One of the oldest rules in the advertising playbook is “sex sells.”
Daystar Church in Good Hope, Ala., put that rule to the test by putting up billboards in the rural community which read, “Great sex: God’s way.” The church has drawn criticism in this rural enclave for being too over-the-top in promoting a sermon series by the same name.
A recent article suggests the approach might be more culturally palatable in a large city. It also goes on to say that Daystar has increased its attendance 20-fold in seven years since it adopted what could be termed as a megachurch mentality: high-tech productions, a coffee shop and a wide variety of ministries.
So then the better question to ask becomes is it the sex that’s selling or is it the traditional message Pastor Jerry Lawson is preaching–faithfulness to your spouse and keeping your family away from destructive cultural influences?
A brief peek at the church’s Website shows a video of Lawson preaching when a guy in a devil suit comes out and scripted members of the congregation shout him down in a theatrical approach to casting evil away.
The production could be viewed as corny but the church’s overall approach is attracting people. Reminds me of a famous line from one of my favorite movies, “Field of Dreams”: “If you build it they will come.”