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 Jesus and Nascar

I don't know what to make of the following article, only to know that God will move how to He wants to move, praise Him!

Church Holds NASCAR Event to Draw Crowds

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (Feb. 21) - Minutes before one of Sunday's services at Salem Fields Community Church, Thomas Foster drove a few laps around the Daytona 500 track.

The 8-year-old was in Spotsylvania County - not in Florida for the big race. He was taking his turn in a simulator that lets people experience driving in NASCAR's premier event.

Inside the yellow No. 5 Kellogg's car - which has an engine but can't be driven - were steering wheels, accelerators, brake pedals and video screens. Two drivers at a time could race the 23-car field.

The car was parked outside Salem Fields as part of NASCAR Sunday, the church's second annual event combining racing and Jesus.

Pictures of NASCAR drivers were throughout the Gordon Road church. A mini No. 8 car and Goodyear tire were on its stage, where a band played country. Church officials wore black T-shirts saying "NASCAR Sunday pit crew." A big-screen television was set up for the race.

The point, said co-pastor Buddy Marston, is to attract people who love NASCAR but haven't been going to church.

"Our church tries to find what the culture connects with," Marston said. "And then connect them with Christ and the church."

It seemed to work. About 700 people attended Sunday's 11 a.m. service, and church officials estimate another 700 people total went to the weekend's other two services.

NASCAR Sunday isn't the only out-of-the-ordinary event the church puts on. They've held concerts on New Year's Eve and an annual Biker Day service in June that last year drew 250 motorcycles.

"We try to reach out to the community anyway we can," said Ian Soper, the church's communications director.

Salem Fields is decidedly more casual than most churches. Most people wear blue jeans and T-shirts - attire that church member Ken Lardie said is more welcoming.

Sunday's service opened with a band blasting out the lyrics of "I'm From The Country."

But then the service got serious. Marston, who is co-pastor with his wife, Gaye, delivered a sermon about the importance of never lying. Using a NASCAR metaphor, he said his marriage was troubled until he started being honest.

"We were on this giant oil slick," Marston said.

The church served lunch and showed the race after the 11 a.m. service. People lined up for their shots inside the No. 5 car.

Thomas Foster had already been there, done that. He grinned widely after exiting the car, shyly saying he had won the race.

Buddy Marston said during his sermon that he was glad for "outside-the-box" activities such as the NASCAR simulator.

After all, whether the drivers win, lose or draw, they're doing so at church. And that's the point.

 2005/2/21 19:17

Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132

 Re:When I read these testomonies

I'm torn between to totally different opinions on things such as this. On one hand it is a way to reach the unchurched (notice I didn't say unsaved) but on the other ,at what cost. I've seen soooo many programs like this that seem to be a flash in the pan and add to churches, but the people never seem to stay. Thats just been my observation. What do you think?


 2005/2/22 0:37Profile


I suppose if one person is captured away from eternity in hell... then it's probably ok. However as dohzman points out, these types of "attractions" rarely produce any results of substance.

Ya know, I've thought a lot about this, especially since leaving the institutional church. People who havent taken the time to understand what house churches are about often ask me "how do you do outreach?" Well, my Bible does not say "Go and invite the world to church so that you can preach and teach and make disciples."

What my Bibles says is:

Mark:16:15: And he said unto them, Go ye [b]into[/b] all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Where does this idea come from that we are to make the church so attractive as to bring people to the church? No, the church is to go INTO the world. I'll even go one step further and say that the purpose of the church is NOT outreach, but to equip the saints so that the saints can go into all the world. I personally believe that any "outreach" that comes from the church body is secondary.

Not to mention that when the church puts on "attractions" for the world, usually (not always) the message of the cross is made less offensive, yet the Bible says that the cross is an offense to those who do not believe.

Many times my observation is that these types of "attractions" are coupled together with the easy believism message. It's interesting that Finney and the revivalists of old did not resort to cheap attractions in order to lead literally THOUSANDS of people to Christ. Not just one or two... but THOUSANDS.

Am I against these kinds of attractions? Not really... I would not condemn an effort to reach people. I just think they have it backwards. We should go into all the world with the gospel... not expect them to come to us. Of course people brought their kids to ride a free simulator... I would too! But I dare say most who showed up were not interested in a real "take up your cross and count the cost" Christianity. That kind of message has to be TAKEN to them.

By the way... I watched Daytona. I'm a big Earnhardt (Sr.) fan... so thats not the issue with me. My wife and I go to Bristol every year. I just dont think these kinds of "outreaches" produce much fruit. I think the whole premise is flawed.


 2005/2/22 8:13

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37518
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11


I'm torn between to totally different opinions on things such as this. On one hand it is a way to reach the unchurched (notice I didn't say unsaved) but on the other ,at what cost. I've seen soooo many programs like this that seem to be a flash in the pan and add to churches, but the people never seem to stay. Thats just been my observation. What do you think?

Brother I have the same feelings and godly concern when I read things like this. How far has the modern church gone from the apostolic original! I truly believe that if we use the worlds methods it will fail, "If you try and use the world to win the world the world [b]will[/b] win you" -Keith Daniel

If a Christian cannot and does not desire to pray and read the bible and go to fellowship with others that have partaken of the divine nature of God then really you have to ask the question is that person born-again (born from above). We are supernatural beings and must live like that in this life. I am sick of gimmicks and worldy methods lets just get back to what God instituted as the means of sharing the gospel, the preaching of the cross.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2005/2/22 12:15Profile

Joined: 2005/2/16
Posts: 621
Cache Valley, Utah


When the Spirit of God sweeps into a community people will be running for the church and fleeing the racetracks.

[i]"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."[/i] 2 Chronicles 7:14

Eli Brayley

 2005/2/22 14:24Profile

 Re: HalleLuYah!

May it be so! and may every Christian rip that TV cable out of the wall, and disable that satellite dish, and stop up that slurry pipe of filth from cascading into their house.......

oh oh, best not say that, might be accused of "legalism"......

thats what I'm learning, if people don't like what you say, or the tenor of your rebuke, they either say yur "legalistic" or have a "bad attitude".

2072 years and nothings changed.

 2005/2/22 14:29

Joined: 2005/2/16
Posts: 621
Cache Valley, Utah


Television is Satan's secret sedative.

Eli Brayley

 2005/2/22 14:34Profile


thats what I'm learning, if people don't like what you say, or the tenor of your rebuke, they either say yur "legalistic" or have a "bad attitude".

You should wait until someone has actually accused you of that before you take offense! LOL ;-)

TV is Satan's sedative? Never heard that one before, but I believe it's true.

BUT... we can get off balance with the attitude that all TV is evil. Fact is, it isnt. We home school, and to be honest our dish is used for educaitonal purposes. Discovery, Discovery Health, History Channel, Animal Planet, etc etc. Sometimes they slip some evolution junk in there... but thats good because when we do watch things on TV we do it as a family, and if evolution comes up, we show are kids the truth of the matter in scripture.

So lets not get completely off balance here.

And long live ESPN... lol. I'm a big NASCAR and football fan. All things in moderation, folks.


 2005/2/22 14:55

Joined: 2005/1/7
Posts: 267
Morehead, KY


I'm right with all of you guys! We would never allow the city to run sewage pipes into our home and dump waste in our living space. . .but we'll let Fox or NBC or whoever do it. As for the methods of out reach? Who gets the Glory? if the church has a Nascar or WWF or Spiderman day to get folks to come and "win" them, who gets the glory? Do they come to see the reed shaken in the wilderness? A man i fine linien? John did not have T.v Radio or even a decent PR firm to represent him. ;-) Whatever happend to people being drawn by the conviction of the Holy Ghost of God? We must pray and repent, for then we will relaize that "God's arm is not short and His ear is not dull" No one had to woo me with a gimmik to Jesus--he alone was enough and still is and forever shall be. There is no subsititute for Godly convition--we can try to seduce them in gimmiks--but how far are we willing to go to keep them? I agree with the brothers statment to try to use the world to win the world will make way for the world to win you. Let's be a counter culture and not a sub.


 2005/2/22 17:46Profile

 like dat!!

Let's be a counter culture and not a sub

I take that back....I don't like dat, I LOVE IT!!

Lemme borrow

 2005/2/22 17:50

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