Games. Pizza. Cokes. Puppet shows. Magic. Parties. Churches use these gimmicks to attract folks. "Gimmick" - a superficial, attention-getting device to promote the success of a project. The idea seems good: get them here so they can hear the gospel.
But, the apostle Paul did not use gimmicks. "Our exhortation does not come from...deceit" 1 Thessalonians 2:3. NASB. The word "deceit" means "trickery" (NRSV), "a bait, a snare" (W.E.Vine's Expository Dict. of NT Words). Fishermen use a "bait," something appealing, in order to "snare" a fish. Churches are using these gimmicks in order to fish for men. The apostle said he would not use these tactics, and they were not used by the churches of the New Testament. Jesus Christ himself refused to use food to keep followers, John 6:25-35...66. Peter stated the reason to follow Jesus, "You have the words of eternal life" (v. 68). You can trick men into coming and increase numbers by offering fun, food, and social activities. But if people are drawn by these gimmicks they are not Christians. And when churches turn to such tactics, they have abandoned the New Testament pattern. Does that make any difference? Does it make any difference to you?- Steve Fontenot
If you would like further information mailed to you on this subject, or to set up a home Bible study, call (281) 446-2562, or write, firstname.lastname@example.org, or, P. O. Box 2706, Humble, TX, 77347. Web: http://www.kingwoodcable. com/colblip/humblechurchofchrist/
The Church of Christ in Humble meets at 621 Herman St., corner of Ave. "F" and Herman St., Sundays at 9:30 A.M., 10:30 A.M., and 5:00 P.M. and Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m..