In WCNC’s story about Steven Furtick’s spontaneous baptisms, Rev. David Key from Emory University describes the Elevation show as a product of the Disneyfication of church. He’s right, and we see it especially clearly at NewSpring Church and their pastor’s obsession with measuring the church — usually unfavorably — against Disney’s flash and glamor.
Disney has been on Perry Noble’s mind for a long time:
I personally think the church should be outdoing Vegas and Disney! I think we have not only the ability to create…but the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT! Having Him actually empowers us to both dream big and then accomplish the very dreams that He placed inside of us! (May 30, 2008)
The church SHOULD be doing church better than Disney does Disney! They do it for a mouse…we do it for Jesus. We should care way more! (25 Jan, 2009)
I was once told that the church cannot compete with organizations like Microsoft, Disney and GE. WRONG…not only do I think we can compete with them…but we can BLOW them out of the water. We have a MUCH greater message (the Gospel), a MUCH great motivation (the Great Commission), a MUCH greater generator of ideas (the Holy Spirit) and WAY more potential than ANY other organization on the planet!!! (Jan 4, 2010)
In 2011, he prayed for God’s forgiveness on behalf of the entire Christian church because it wasn’t enough like Disney.
Maybe the best we can imagine is a few people in a room talking about things that the rest of the world does not care about. However, I refuse to believe that a company [Disney] without YOUR Spirit should be able to trump YOUR church who does have YOUR Spirit when it comes to big dreams. We should have THE BEST artists in the world…may we recapture that!
We can also see Noble’s Disney fascination when he’s quoted or referenced by other Tweeters.
In 2012, if you had a child under 12, you could enter a NewSpring sweepstakes to win a trip to Disney.
Steven Furtick wanted to learn how Disney could help Elevation Church, too.
Can anyone tell me the single best Walt Disney biography to read? I’m most interested in his creative process & vision. (25 Oct, 2010)
We might have hoped that a pastor would look to Genesis 1 for instruction on the creative process, but maybe Pastor Steven found something more to his liking in Disney.