Church Planting Lesson #16: Inflatables are stupid


On Saturday, I happened upon yet another “Mega-Church” in the area that has inflatable castles, slides, and Wiis set up for their kid’s ministry.  The last church like took it just a step further and dressed their volunteers in black/white striped referee outfits.  Granted, I haven’t attended either churches on a Sunday morning, but I’m fairly confident they don’t shove all the electronic and air-filled goodies into the closet and whip out the hymnbooks and felt boards.

But, in addition to skin-burns from sliding down the inflatable slide at Mach 3, what will they leave with?  I’m not some kind of killjoy who doesn’t think kids should have “fun” at church.  And I’m sure there are all kinds of stories about parents whose kids enjoy this , in contrast to their own terrible upbringing.  I don’t doubt that the kids enjoy going to church  because it probably feels like going to Chucky Cheeze.

No, I don’t have a verse to prove these monstrosities are sinful, but I often wonder abut the thought process  pastors go through in making  a decision to do it like “Chuck’!.  I have heard it said, “You win people to what you win them with.”  Maybe inflatables are just the new version of Simon Says or Duck Duck Goose and, those who don’t have them, would if they could afford them.  But I have to wonder if a Chucky Cheeze look might turn into a Chucky Cheeze taste.

You know what I’m talking about.  Chucky Cheeze isn’t renowned for its pizza.  It’s not as if we’re using our date nights to wine and dine the bride with cardboard flavored pepperoni.  You go there for one reason–entertainment and you leave with a bunch of plastic crap that cost you $25 in tickets and an upset stomach.  I guess the question is simply, what are we doing at church? Why are people gathering at all?  If, as Martin Luther so famously said “everything preaches”, what are we preaching through inflatables, wii’s, wacky billboards…wow, I sound old.

I’m sure not all churches that have inflatables are just about getting people in the door.  When we become too focused on how many visitors are coming in the door, we begin to ignore what kind of missionaries we’re sending out.  Of course, inflatables don’t guarantee it will become a slipper slope…but maybe….Church gives away house to , OR Church gives away car, OR Church gives away 1 million dollars in prizes

All we have to offer at our church is FREE CONVICTION and FREE SALVATION.  That sounds like an ad.


Author: Sam Ford

Sam Ford is a preacher, planter, and pastor from the Pacific Northwest. He is currently pastoring Restoration Road Church in Snohomish, WA.

One thought on “Church Planting Lesson #16: Inflatables are stupid”

  1. ignorant
    usually as a fundraiser for the church and or charitable foundations to help out the less fortunate
    inflatables are the shit


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s