bayarea_coverA local church (when I say local, I mean another church in Texas) is doing a creative outreach this Easter Sunday. Bay Area Fellowship of Corpus Christi is giving away millions this Easter Sunday. That’s right, millions. Bikes, guitars, TV’s, gift bags and cars. Yeah, I said cars. It’s part of their message this Sunday called the Ultimate Giveaway. Read more about it here.

God did give us a free gift in his son, Jesus. The gift of grace through this amazing sacrifice is the most valuable and priceless gift ever given and it’s worth getting excited about. Bay Area feels that giving away millions of dollars in gifts not only illustrates the example (obviously not to the same degree) of God’s divine giveaway, but also is a high profile lure to get people to come in and check out what’s going on at Bay Area Fellowship this Easter weekend.

I have no doubt that the house will be packed this weekend (expecting between 15,000 to 20,000). I have no doubt that Bay Area Fellowship will grow as a result. I have no doubt that there will be an energy and excitement that will be hard to describe.

What do you think? I know that opinions on something like this vary from one extreme to the other. I ask this becasue Bay Area’s “stunt” has been highly criticized, but this same strategy is followed (not to the same dollar amounts) in children’s ministries everywhere. Prizes are given away on a regular basis to first time visitors, regular attendees or for earning Bible Bucks for bringing friends, bringing Bibles or memorizing scriptures. I hear very little criticism about these techniques as a method to reward kids or lure kids to come to church, but when the same thing is done on an epic scale, people are up in arms.

Is this the same thing? Is it different? Was this a really cool idea or did Bay Area go to far? What do you think?