Hundreds Gather For Christmas Series

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

GracePoint Church launched a marketing campaign with a bold message of "Christmas Doesn't Suck," hours before Black Friday. Today, the church explained the message behind its campaign.

"We are after those that are lost and just have no place to go. They'll relate to words like that," said Judy Rayl, church member.

The word "suck" is offending some people in the community but GracePoint members say it's all in the name of ministering to the masses.

"Little kids all the way to grown adults use it, but the mere fact that it's associated with a church makes it all that much more confrontational, that much more provocative," said Mike Bellick, church member.

"We're trying to reach those far from Christ. We're not attempting to try to pull anyone from any church that they're comfortable with. We're simply trying to find those people that are lost," said Rayl.

The lost are the ones this non-denominational church says they are trying to reach by using red t-shirts, yard signs, and cards with the website ""

"It's a different day and age. I would say that people probably need to relax a little bit and realize that we're not doing this to offend people. We're doing this to reach the people that need it," said Tyler Cooper, church member.

Executive pastor, Terry Johnson, said people are welcomed to hear sermons each week about the reason behind Christmas, instead of the commercialized parts of the holiday.

"It gets really muddied with shopping, traffic, looming credit card debts. For a lot of people, Christmas sucks and so what we're trying to do is point people back to Jesus. Let them know that there's a hope," said Johnson.

GracePoint Church has two locations at 9035 West Central and 830 S. Hillside. Sunday services are at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

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Sunday, November 26, 2011

GracePoint Church unveiled their "Christmas Doesn't Suck" campaign to raise awareness of Christmas.

"If we celebrate Jesus as the primary reason then Christmas won't suck," said Michael Snow, lead pastor for GracePoint Church.

GracePoint Church is hoping to create dialogue between people shopping this holiday season and those who have forgotten the reason behind the season.

"Christmas doesn't suck is just a catchy way of trying to drive people back home to those four points of worshiping, of giving, of loving, and just celebrating the reason of what Christmas is even about," said executive pastor Terry Johnson.

Hundreds of yard signs went up around Wichita hours before bargain hunters hit stores for Black Friday. The message was bold enough to anger some people to take them down.

"It's not even that bold but for the church it is. We just believe that the church has been way too quiet for way too long and we want to be on the edge 'cause that's where people are," said Snow.

GracePoint pastors said they are trying to attract people who have never been to church or have stopped going, so their message is more practical and contemporary. They plan to explain how Christmas doesn't suck with sermons leading up to Christmas.

"Christmas doesn't have to be about to-do-lists, shopping malls, family fights, and Christmas parties. I can be an enjoyable time of the year. We're just trying to bring people back in their focus on why we celebrate Christmas," said Johnson.

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