I have encountered one unusual church, one I haven't seen ever.
This church has an academy with a motto “Where Feet, Fist and Faith Collide.” Yes, the Pastor, John Renken is even a coach in this academy and he does this to reach men to Christ
Brando Beals,the lead Pastor at Canyon Creek Church, one of the Pastors supporting this academy is quote saying; “Compassion and love — we agree with all that stuff, too,But what led me to find Christ was that Jesus was a fighter.”
The reason why they've started advertising Mixed Martial Arts was because these pastors have feared that their churches have become too feminized, promoting kindness and compassion at the expense of strength and responsibility. And that inserting this sport in the church teaches the latter quoting verses like “fight the good fight of faith” from Timothy 6:12.
And this has been approved as a legitimate outreach tool by the National Association of Evangelicals.
To know more about it, check their website here: http://www.cmmaa.com/
As usual of course there are critics, here are some:
"What you attract people to Christ with is also what you need to get people to stay,” said Eugene Cho, 39, a pastor at Quest Church, an evangelical congregation in Seattle. “I don’t live for the Jesus who eats red meat, drinks beer and beats on other men.”
Robert Brady, 49, the executive vice president of a conservative evangelical group, the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, agreed, saying that the mixed martial arts motif of evangelism “so easily takes away from the real focus of the church, which is the Gospel.” Many black churches have chosen not to participate.
Here's my personal opinion:
I admit Churches nowadays must learn to ride with the "flow" of the technology and lifesytle. That's why Churches now need to have it's website, some even have online churches, some have Facebook Accounts, rock music, clothing style and other "NEW" things for the sole reason of reaching out people to Christ.
And yes the main reason is to reach out people to Christ! But here's the question, will the end justify the means? or a better question would be will the "end" be achieved or people will linger in the "means" and forget the "end".
In this case, no offense meant to people who like Mixed Martial Arts but for a church to advertise it and promote it is a different story.
I agree Jesus was a fighter and a conqueror! Our God even was a warrior leading Israel battles and winning them everytime!
I'm good with using it for reaching people and using it as bait but what are we doing in making them stay? Being Compassionate and Loving are not "feminine" because Jesus was moved with compassion when he saw Israel like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus left us two commandments to Love God and Love our neighbors.
How are we then able to disciple these "fighters" to becoming Christ-like when what we teach them is to fight and fight hard?
What do you think?