Saturday, January 05, 2008

Salvation Message & Church Promotion

I was one frustrated dad, basketball coach and Christian this afternoon. Today was our Upward Basketball Awards Ceremony and it made me SICK.

One would think that at an award ceremony, the kids may receive some awards. One would think that they may recognize the kids. One would think that they may recognize the teams that played in the league. But, not at this awards ceremony.

What we received was the following:

- a 2 minute welcome

- a 3 minute video highlight of the season but mixed it was look how far we have come since we began this ministry. In '01, we had X amount. In 2007, we had X amount - YEAH, US !!

- a one hour message on Salvation and do you know where you are going to go when you die (at least he did some chalk art)

- a 5 minute, come here if you do not have a church home. You have spent numerous Saturdays in our gym. We have worship in the gym; so your know the gym; so come and be with us.

The kids on the team was wondering if they were going to get recognized. They were wondering if their names were going to be called. They were wanting to know if they would get some kind of trinkit. I just shrugged. I had no answer for them except that we did not have the afternoon schedule.

Today, I truly experience the "BAIT & SWITCH" tactic by a church and I felt "fooled". It truly upset my stomach. I also wanted to reach out and grab someone after hearing:

If something would happen to you today; do you know for 100% sure that you would spend eternity with Jesus.

for the 8th time ........

If you wanted to give a "gospel" presentation; at least let us know that is what the afternoon will be; so we can "plan" for it or NOT SHOW. Do not cover it as an award ceremony.

At least ( the very least ), you could have done the following:

1 - Called each teams name and have them stand
2 - Get a 4-5 minute song and place each team picture on the big screen as the song is being played.

Alright, I am done being negative. I will wrap this up with my highlight of the night and reminder:

Please do not give me a gospel presentation and promote your church under the "scheme" of an awards ceremony.


Lori said...

That made me sick just reading about it!

Jeff Greathouse said...


I was getting over my sickness tile some of the folks at church asked me how the ceremony went last night :)

Anonymous said...

Bummer. I hate it when that happens. So freaking Baptist. (okay, I should be nice and not spill my baggage all over the place) The same thing happened to me when I got invited to attend a reunion for all students and teachers at the first school I attended as a student and taught at as a teacher. The whole reason I went was to reconnect with my favorite Kindergarten teacher and see former students. But instead, I got treated to a two hour presentation on the growth of the school, the principal's plans for continued growth, and a strong-arm plea to give them money. Idiots. They paid their teachers less than $10,000 a year AND expected those same teachers (and former ones) to give money! And of course, to not give money was verbally compared to not being a good Christian. Gag me.

I'm sorry the year was wrapped up in such a way. If anything, it taught all those boys and parents that churches are all the same - just after your attendance and your money. They aren't interested in real relationships with you or truly accepting you as a person. They just want you for what you can give.

Is there anything you can do to let them know that those messages are not the messages they should be sending?

Oy. I can hear God scratching His head and saying, "Oh, kids, you've got it all wrong."

Will any of us ever escape our churchiness and just be kiddos loved by God who love Him back? (This is the question of my life, as I'm not very good at it.)

Sara Orange

Dale Sheehy said...

I hate it when that happens! I've been in similar situations and just wanted to stand up and scream! Wonder how many they'll have participate next year? If it were me, I wouldn't.

Jeff Greathouse said...

Sara Orange:

I am not sure how I am going to proceede. I think that I am going to go through their 'national office'.

In Alabama, there was a message but they recognized the teams and told the kids about the 'award' (the ball)

I am also going to do some researching on what others are doing in the area (how they handle the closing)

For the church (which is not Baptist), I am not sure who I will be contacting.

Jeff Greathouse said...


This one (the church) is about 4 miles. There is a church that is about 15 miles away that does it as well .... we will look there next year

Tammie (a mom and volunteer) said...

Hi Jeff,
I agree that it seems they forgot about the kids in this "awards ceremony". I can understand your frustration. Why don't you volunteer to organize and put on next years ceremony? There have been times when I thought I could do a better job on I stepped up, volunteered and did the work to do it better. Sometimes people just need someone with new ideas to improve on what has "always been done". It's really easy to complain and find fault. Talk to the right person and do it better year! You might be really surprised how happy they will be to have some help! :)

Anonymous said...

I myself am I youth pastor and I was very disappointed by what I read about this "awards ceremony". Our God is a great and loving God. He doesn't need people "tricked" into a salvation message to have people follow him. What's sad is that sometimes a truly gracious and loving God gets a bad rap because of some very imperfect and unwise humans.

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