Written by Luke Gilkerson Many churchgoers are in the liturgical season of Lent, a corporate time of fasting, self-denial and prayer, leading up to the events of Holy Week.
But the married members of Relevant Church in Tampa, Florida, are planning on having lots of sex right up to Palm Sunday. Why the Day Sex Challenge? Relevant Church leaders brainstormed ways to help couples deal with their top concerns: Pastor Wirth told media that the challenge is aimed at revolutionizing intimacy in marriages, and revolutionizing thinking among singles about what really makes relationships work.
The Buzz The buzz about this in Tampa is growing. I really believe that God wants us to have great sex. Neither was the content of a their promotional video that showed a few bellybuttons and a guy without a shirt. Relevant Church tweaked the billboard and video. Now the tagline reads: The church is challenging married couples to embrace a Biblical picture of intimacy.
Initially my post-modern-generation brain likes edgy programs and eye-catching ads. Nothing wrong with being a little edgy, right? And certainly the church needs to dismantle once and for all the myth that God hates sex. But perhaps the American church as a whole needs to reexamine its banners and buildings, how it taps media and mass marketing to reach new audiences.
Only time and eternity will reveal the effect of our marketing strategies in the church. My prayer is that the banners and billboards drive people to a pulpit or a Bible study where they will hear the whole truth.
Mass marketing strategies aside, I am eager to read the community blog from Relevant Church members about their reactions, their feelings, and their sexual encounters—or lack thereof.
It will be interesting to see if this approach proves to be a fruitful first step for their members to connect spiritually and emotionally. I am hoping, especially for the singles, that their challenge to abstain from sexual intercourse also encompasses all forms of self gratification, such as use of pornography.
I really appreciate that Relevant Church is offering their attendees a format to journal their thoughts throughout the sex challenge. Members can print off the pdf booklet from their blog site and use it as a day-by-day devotional journal of their reactions. The booklet also offers couples and singles thoughts about their top 10 emotional needs and ways to communicate them. I appreciate it anytime the church gives practical tools for Christians to be more introspective and focus on quality relationships.
In general I think the challenge is humorous and eye-catching, but it will be important that the program not be presented as just another behavior modification tool.
Habit-forming psychology aside, Paul said that the strength of sin is the law: Letters and laws written on tablets of stone or billboards bring death. The Holy Spirit brings life 2 Corinthians 3: If used properly it should point to Christ as the one who saves.
I pray the married men come face-to-face with Jesus who is the model of love for their wives Ephesians 5: I pray the singles will discover a Jesus who offers real freedom: Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
About the author, Luke Gilkerson.