Skip to comments.Texas Megachurch to Give Out Cars, TVs at Easter Services
Posted on 04/02/2010 7:56:21 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Easter at a megachurch in Corpus Christi, Texas, will look like the popular TV game show "The Price Is Right."
Sixteen cars, 15 flat-screen televisions, furniture sets and other prizes are lined up at Bay Area Fellowship Church and ready to be claimed by anyone who attends the church's Easter services on Sunday.
Though the church of some 7,000 weekly attendees has regularly flexed its creative muscles to draw the unchurched, the upcoming "Ultimate Giveaway" is like no other outreach it has ever attempted.
Pastor Bil Cornelius, who made the game show analogy, admits it's a bit "outrageous."
But he sees it as "an opportunity to share Christ with people who may never go to a church for any reason," he told The Christian Post.
The prizes are worth over $2 million and are all donated items or sponsored by members of the church. Pastor Cornelius asked the congregation to give and to get their businesses involved for the bold effort. Bay Area members signed up to give cars, bikes, laptops, gym memberships and other gifts.
"I'm very proud of our people for being so incredibly generous and willing to do whatever it takes to get spiritually lost people in the door to hear about the love of God," the lead pastor said.
Along with some of the bigger prizes, every individual or family attending one of the church's 30 worship services held across seven campuses this weekend will receive a "value pack" of gift certificates worth over $300 from local businesses. Additionally, more than 300 children attending the newest campus located in a lower income neighborhood on the west side of Corpus Christi will receive new bicycles.
The "ultimate" giveaway, however, will be the free gift of heaven and Christ.
"We hope to show people that while it is exciting to receive free stuff here on Earth, the greatest free gift of all time is something we havent yet seen, but can enjoy for all eternity," said Cornelius, who started the church 12 years ago with five people.
"The entire giveaway leads to the Grand Prize available to all, salvation through Christ, if simply received ... with no strings attached (Ephesians 2:8-9)," he added.
Cornelius acknowledges that the Easter giveaway has drawn some "pretty strong" criticism from other believers, some of whom accuse the pastor of turning Jesus into a product.
But the Texas megachurch pastor responded to the critics, saying: "[I]f just one of their children were lost and found Christ through this program (that they may not approve of), I bet they'd be glad we did it."
Bay Area Fellowship Church expects some 15,000-20,000 people this weekend. The giveaway is open to all members of the church and visitors but excludes staff and their families.
"They're coming for the loot and they're going to leave with Jesus," Cornelius said.
Sickening. “Corpus Christi”.
Why not? They pay kids for going to school in some places. I mean think about it. It is all about materialism right?
If your church has an inspired message and a Pastor able to convey that message to the congregation, such cheesy promotions would not be necessary.
I hope it can help to reach those who are in need of the Easter message the most. I’ve never seen an outreach like this before. A lot of time and money seems to have gone into it. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
“Lord Jesus, we honor Your sacrifice for us and in remembrance of You on this holy day we offer.... A NEW CAR! Ticket number 1653, please come to the front to claim your prize!”
I have to admit, that made me laugh :)
What’s next, money changers?
I agree that may well be the case, but many of the disciples came for the bread, and not the BREAD. I hope it can serve some good.
Oh,Lord,give me a Mercedes Benz,my friends all drive Porsches,I must make amends!
Flee out of the midst of Babylon!
Where in the New Testament did Jesus give away free donkeys and plows to selected lucky followers??
May I ask the believers on this thread....
Wasn't Christ's message more along the lines of "come to Me and you will find that your "need" for a new car or a big screen will pass from you??"
Most who attend won’t receive “salvation” but they will receive a hefty invoice from the IRS!
This is disgusting....I think of the following verse
Then they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves;
Look it up.