I just saw one of the stranger things I have come across on the net in a long time.
Today popped into my inbox the April 19, 2009 - Christian Standard eNewsletter. Naturally, my perusal began. Down among the teaser lines was this:
“Also this year, we're doing something different for fun. We've recruited 16 megachurches for a Sweet 16 online church-branding competition. Select your favorite church brands in each of 8 pairs this week. Next week you'll choose 4 of those, the next week 2, and finally you'll vote for the best brand of the bunch. It will be fun--especially if you participate! See the brands, vote today, and be sure to come back in the next weeks to see how the competition is going!”
I followed the ‘vote today’ link (it appears you can only use it once) and, as promised, various large Christian churches with their logos were paired up like basketball tournament brackets.
I wasn’t quite sure how to take this little gimmick. Was it meant to be a joke? Was it serious? (Is there something wrong with me because that answers to those questions were not obvious to me??)
I must assume it is not all that serious, given the mention of ‘fun’ in the promo. But I wasn’t quite sure how to vote or why, so I didn’t. After all, I have never been to most of these churches. Was I supposed to pick one in each ‘matchup’ randomly? – or based on how ‘cute’ the logo seemed to me?
And that matter of church ‘brands’ – I must admit that I still don’t understand that. So are churches now like automobiles, soap, and breakfast cereal? (I fear that to many confused people, they are. I also fear that many people who should know better – perhaps some of those at the Christian Standard – are pandering to the confused people.)
Now, those who know me know I’m a guy who loves some fun. But, if this little contest is meant to be fun, it fails because it comes across as a bit, well, stupid. I’m just not sure what we are supposed to voting for – even if it is just for fun.
If you haven’t already used your ‘eligibility’ on this, try the link and see what you think.