By Scott Linscott
I think I’m allergic to hype. Words like “biggest” and “best” and “life-changing” turn me into a cynic. I gotta admit, I hear them and think, “oh really?”
It’s church hype season. Easter brings out the big guns of hype. One church rents a helicopter and drops thousands of eggs and another advertises free gas cards for visitors. You’ve probably heard of the drawings for free stuff, right?
Church hype makes my stomach feel like I just bought 5 burritos for two dollars and ate them all.
I got a glossy, direct-mailer invitation to go to a church to attend one of their Easter “experiences.” I bet they will sing some songs, take an offering and have someone talk for 30-45 minutes. “Experience” sounds so much cooler than “church service.”
I wonder how much money we Christians spend collectively on bouncey houses and direct mailings trying to attract the once-a-year crowd? I’d rather spend those dollars for just about anything else instead of another annual production.
I read an article a few years back that said the most depressing Sunday of the year for ministers is the Sunday after Easter when attendance drops back to normal or even less than normal.
I feel the pressure to rev things up and put on a great show for Easter. Let’s play the Easter hymn hits, hide eggs for the kids and see if we can wow some people into actually coming back before Christmas.
But there’s that bad burrito feeling again. For me, the hype machine reduces Easter to just another annual event to attend.
The resurrection of Jesus is so much more than an annual production and performance. It changed everything. It made me an entirely different person than I would be otherwise.
Hype fades and goes away. The reality of Jesus does not. Let’s not let the eggs, helicopters, production and performances become our focus.