HAMILTON, Bermuda — This year, instead of helping a missions team build a church sanctuary in Honduras, Bill Taylor of Open Bible Church in Wichita is evangelizing at beach resorts in Bermuda.
"Now this is missions work," says Taylor while striking up spiritual conversation with wealthy resort guests.
As more church-goers tire of spending vacation time in the Third World, churches are taking a break from poverty and targeting the luxury class with the gospel.
"Our worldview had gotten too narrow," says one pastor. "Rich people need Jesus, too."
Grace Family Church of Littleton, Colo., recently started a ministry called Higher Calling and sent a missions team to tony boutiques in Milan’s fashion district. The group reached out to watchmakers, jewelry store workers and super-wealthy patrons.
"People who were never interested in missions trips are jumping at the chance to go," says the pastor.
Team member Joyce Andrews says the salespeople "will tolerate a lot of evangelizing if you are committed to buying a diamond necklace or a watch." Andrews says she felt vastly more effective evangelizing luxury jewelry shop employees than on her last three trips to Central America.
"I feel useless in poor places," she says. "But I found I fit very well in wealthier environments. Striking up spiritual conversations at the perfume counter is right up my alley."
It's LarkNews, so it's a joke, of course, but does anyone else find Christian-themed luxury cruises kind of creepy? Not that there's anything necessarily immoral about going on a cruise, but to suggest that it is a spiritual practice....