Go to Church, Win a Harley

April 6, 2005 by

Harley Davidson motorcyleThis sounds vaguely familiar, but Crossroads Church in Coronoa, Calif. is giving away a Harley Davidson motorcycle to a lucky first time visitor or church member who brings a visitor. (link via ADHD Dad)

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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12 Responses to “Go to Church, Win a Harley”

  • Ian
    April 6, 2005

    Manipulative stunts like these make me ashamed to be an evangelical. Maybe it’s time to jump ship after all…

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  • dwc
    April 6, 2005

    Well, I dunno about going that far, but it is a sad, sad site to see. To peddle the gospel in this manner is a shameful thing.

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  • Wp
    April 6, 2005

    At any rate, the rampant consumerism this represents is insulting to the Gospel. Who cares about being sincerely concerned about those people in our lives when we can just use them to win a Hog? What happens when these “visitors” figure out they were just used to get stuff?
    I’m repulsed.

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  • Rodney Olsen
    April 6, 2005

    Wow. All we’re offering at our church is eternal life in paradise. Bit hard to compete with a Harley.

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  • cryptblade
    April 8, 2005

    I have a serious problem with churches that resort to that kind of gimmick to increase membership. My church increases membership by an average of 200 members a month. It is done with strong Bible-teaching messages on Sunday, Wednesday mid-day and evening Bible Studies, and several other ministries. We have been fortunate to have air time and my pastor is just now getting some air time on TBN. Yet my pastor works about 60-80 hours a week and is over 50.
    I question what these pastors doing this kind of gimmick actually do FOR their flock. Are they fed the Word? Are ministries available to now only help them, but to transform their lives?
    What does it say about having your own members get more first-time visitors to the church by having a Harley give-away? A church stays strong if it changes the lives of people spiritually. Therefore, the messages should be life-transforming and the messages are the product. If the church is dead and stagnant, then the messages are not working, and the product SUCKS. Imagine being asked by a coworker – hey would you like to go to church with me – you could win a Harley as a first time visitor…hmm.. so where’s the church?

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  • Shawn Wood
    April 26, 2005

    I think the negativity to this post may be alittle harsh. There is much talk about “feeding the flock”, and “All we’re offering at our church is eternal life in paradise”, but seriously, if people will come for the chance to win a Harley, maybe have some fun at church and then find both of the above (the word and eternal salvation) is it not worth it.
    Youth groups have been practicing “gimmicks” and “giveways” for 20+ years (and seeing a lot more conversions than most of the adult churches they serve). Adults are just grown up kids…if it takes a fun giveaway to get a hardened husband who would much rather be on his lazy boy watching NFL preview shows to come to church – bring on the Harley’s…he just may leave with Jesus… and a new bike!

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  • Rico
    May 11, 2005

    You are right on target. Our church doesn’t have the resources to give away a Harley but several times a year we designate a special emphasis for our regulars to bring unchurched guests. We give away door prizes such as restaurant gift certificates to the first timers (regulars are not eligible). Our people respond by inviting new people and many of those come back. If it reaches people and connects them to God, I’ll try it!

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  • SarcasticSurfer
    June 18, 2005

    Hey, Jesus did it, didnt he. I mean, he didnt hand out the keys to a brand spankin’ new harley, but he did give a certian large number some bread and fish on a few occasions. I mean hey, whats the harm in commercializing our religion and appealing to human greed? its all good as long as we get people in the building. shoot, why dont we go after the fat husband where he sits? My church has flippin’ TV commercials too, so they dont actually have to even get out of their seats to hear about church. ALl sarcasm aside, I think Christ has to work in a person’s heart for them to overcome their pride and find salvation. im no calvinist, but i think that no one ever came to Christ because of a harley or a crispy cream. God works, try it

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  • Brian
    March 19, 2007

    If the church is authentic, the gift of a harley will be seen as just that…a gift. And Christ will be preached, and perhaps someone will hear it.
    But most of these negative comments come from people who are more interested in complaining about what someone else is doing than in doing anything themselves.
    Remember when the disciples got mad that someone else was doing some baptizing? He basically told them to quit whining and do what they were called to do.
    If you don’t like giveaways, don’t do them. But I hope you’re as active in evangelism and outreach with your time AND money as this church. A Harley isn’t a small investment.
    If you (or your congregation) isn’t that invested….shut up.

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  • marjy
    August 11, 2007

    wow, you have 500,000 people enter and they listen to the sermon. just to win 1 harley. wow you touched a handful of people, i think it was worth it. GREAT marketing, no you should not have to do thing like this, but this is the way the world works now a days. I don’t think god would mind.

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  • Scott Risley
    October 11, 2007

    Ok Im in.
    God Bless Harley Davidson.

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  • Nicole
    April 13, 2010

    I think it’s a great incentive. Get people through the door, let Christ do the rest. They’ll stay at His call or not, I see nothing wrong with a little motivation. Think outside the box.

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