In its latest ad campaign for Easter, a Plymouth, Mich., megachurch is redeeming a word famously used by actor Charlie Sheen – "winning."
While big houses, nice cars, fame and money equals winning for Sheen, NorthRidge Church is demonstrating a different kind of winning.
"It's sad, but here's the reality. Charlie Sheen isn't alone in having, (how can I say this sensitively), a bizarre view of what it means to be 'winning.' Our culture tends to get it wrong as well," wrote Brad Powell, senior pastor of NorthRidge, on his blog Friday.
"I think it's absolutely essential that those of us who know Christ, the only valid path to 'winning,' share Him with people who want it so badly but have lost their way."
Sheen, former star of CBS' "Two and a Half Men," has been making headlines over the past few months over what many are calling a public meltdown. Drug and alcohol abuse, wild partying, and radio rants against his show's creators have led to his firing and a temporary removal of his twin sons from his home.
He is now currently on his own "Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not An Option" tour, where he continues to boast about "winning."
"I'm not bipolar. I'm bi-winning," the actor said Sunday in Chicago to a supportive crowd.
NorthRidge wants to offer Sheen and the rest of the public a different formula for winning – one that doesn't include "goddesses," money or fame.
"[W]e came up with a formula that can help people like Charlie find what they're looking for," said Powell.
"NorthRidge + Easter = 'Winning!'"
"Yes, it sounds crazy. And, some people will probably be offended … (something that happened to Jesus a lot)," Powell said. "But, we are simply trying to do what Jesus called us to do … help people find their way to what He created them for … 'winning' (See John 10:10)."
NorthRidge, which draws more than 20,000 weekly attendees, launched the ad campaign over the weekend in hopes of drawing more people to its Easter services and letting them see for themselves what winning is really about. The campaign slogan is currently plastered on local billboards and on the Web.
Powell acknowledged that for most people, church is the last place they'd look. But he wants to wake people, including those who have experienced boredom with church, up to "a new and different opportunity this Easter."
"Church can and should be authentic – a place where people can genuinely get to know God and His truth, move past their failures and experience the hope and promises of God," he stated.
And that to Powell is, borrowing the words of Sheen, "duh ... winning!"
This year, NorthRidge will hold 11 services at its three locations over the Easter weekend of April 22-24. The church touts that "it won't be your typical Easter service."
Last year, the church featured a musical on the biblical account of the prodigal son using Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."
On the Web: http://www.northridgewinning.com/