Here’s a cool experiment (with severely flawed methodology). Pastor Tommy Jackson pretended to be a drunk and homeless man wandering around his Texas church’s parking lot. As church members drove in for service that morning, they saw a man staggering around…
Jackson wanted to test his congregation on their compassion for those in need. Playing the part to the fullest, he even had the police called on him. Some church members were [leery], but others offered food and shelter, not knowing who the mystery man was. Jackson revealed himself at the end of the Sunday service.
There’s video, too.
Ok, so if I saw a strange man around my own church’s parking lot one morning, and saw cameramen in the distance, I would just jump to the conclusion that something strange may be happening and I should be on my best behavior. Maybe that’s just me. And judging by the video, I’m shocked that no one seemed to recognize it was him. He changed his clothes, added a fake beard, and splashed alcohol on himself. I do that on a regular basis and everyone seems to know it’s me…
A better experiment may have been getting a non-church-volunteer to pose as the drunkard and approaching select people somewhere away from the church (grocery store parking lot, neighborhood park, etc.) where they may not feel a sudden urge to “act Christ-like.”
That said, I think it’s an interesting experiment and I like that the response was that several people were willing to help. It makes me feel good. I want to say that non-Christians would’ve been just as courteous.
Am I right?
(via Church Marketing Sucks)