Last week, Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, put on a wild production for Easter. Their “Ransom” program went viral for it’s pyrotechnics, massive dance numbers and theatrical performances. Eventually, Pastor Mike Todd offered an explanation into the over-the-top service, something many pastors have had to do before.
Transformation Church isn’t the first church to push the line on outreach events. Here are five other churches who took their outreach efforts to a whole new level:
When a Church Crucified Iron Man for Easter
This part of Endgame was so sad pic.twitter.com/ugt8BSdVuK
— Jenny Nicholson (@JennyENicholson) April 23, 2022
Church of the Rock, an interdenominational multi-site church in Winnipeg, Canada, are known for doing the most. The church restructures popular entertainment scenes and franchises into a Gospel retelling. While we see the vision they’re going for, we don’t have to watch The Avengers or Captain Jack Sparrow to get the point across.
When a Church Started a Fight Club
According to documentary filmmakers Bryan Storkel and Daniel Junge, there are hundreds of churches across the country that are incorporating MMA fights into their men’s ministries. Some churches simply offer viewings of MMA fight viewings, while others are hosting bloody MMA battles on church grounds.
In a trailer for the Storkel and Junge’s 2014 film, one pastor explains “Fight Church” is just “a couple of God-fearing men punching each other in the face.”
When a Church Hosted a Gun Raffle Giveaway
In an effort to reach “unchurched rednecks,” the Kentucky Baptist Convention hosted “Second Amendment Celebrations.” Churches provided home-cooked meals and gave away guns as door prizes. The bizarre tactic worked quite well for a while, reportedly bringing in more than 1,500 men to make “professions of faith” each year.
By the way, the raffle winners did have to pass a federal background check before they could claim their prizes at local gun shops.
When a Pastor Brought a Real Lion and Lamb on Stage
Props can be a powerful tool, but only if they’re not distracting from the actual point you’re trying to make. Unfortunately for Pastor Ed Young of North Texas’ Fellowship Church, he’s creative prop caused a major distraction. For his 2012 Easter sermon, Young brought a real lion and lamb onto the stage (the lion, understandably, stayed in a cage) to demonstrate the message that Jesus is both the lamb of God and the lion of the tribe of Judah. The stunt certainly captured his congregation’s attention!
When a Church Used Flying Angels For Their Christmas Service
Speaking of Texas, Plano-based megachurch Prestonwood Baptist Church is known for their over-the-top Christmas celebration, with some people loving it and others calling out the “outrageousness.” The “visually stunning multimedia event” includes flying acts, a wide variety of casts members, special effects, an LED video wall and a 50-piece orchestra. We’re all for showing off the glory of God, but there has to be a better way to do it, right?