The Pointe Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana Uses AC/DC Song ‘Money Talks’ During Worship Service

ac dc

Lest anyone doubt how far some Evangelical churches will go to attract and maintain a crowd, I give you a recent video of The Point Church worship team singing and playing AC/DC’s song, Money Talks — much to the delight of those in attendance. I’m an atheist, but I wonder — shouldn’t music sung during church services at least be about Jesus being your boyfriend or best friend? AC/DC? I never thought I’d see the day. Something tells me my guitar-strumming sons would love playing in the Pointe’s worship band.(According to one article I read, some of the people associated with Sweetwater Sound attend the church. I suspect the Pointe has awesome AV equipment. A former friend of mine is the senior vice president — sales at Sweetwater.)

Video Link

The Pointe Church, located in nearby Fort Wayne, Indiana is a generic, seen-one-seen-them-all, ain’t-we-unique-and-relevant Evangelical church. Such churches are scattered all over the Fort Wayne area, heaven-bent on attracting and pilfering Christians from other churches, people who endlessly seek the latest and the greatest.

According to The Point Church website, the church strives to be:

  • Real
  • Relevant
  • Relational
  • Reliant
  • Risk-Taking
  • Reproducing
  • Redemptive

The seven R’s of modern Evangelical church planting. Woo Hoo! right?

Led by Ray Harris, several other pastors, and a passel of “directors,” The Pointe Church attracts a thousand people a week to their three Sunday services. By the end of 2020, the church hopes to have:

  • 50 Young Adult Leaders Developed
  • 600 Students Won to Christ
  • 1000 Kids Attending Weekly
  • 125% Of Our Worship Attendance participating in Small Groups
  • 1000 Churches Using our Artistry
  • 5000 Attending Worship Services
  • 1,000,000 To Find & Follow Jesus

Several years ago, I wrote a post about another Fort Wayne church — Elevate City Church. What I wrote then applies to The Pointe Church today. In a post titled, The Elevate City Church Con Job, I wrote:

The dirty little secret of Evangelical church planting is that the vast majority of people who attend a new church plant come from other churches. Few people are new converts. Why? Because almost every American, especially here in the Midwest, has already heard the good news of the gospel. It is not a lack of information that keeps people out of churches. Americans are increasingly rejecting Christianity and turning to spirituality, eastern religions, or atheism/agnosticism/humanism. Why?

Evangelical Christianity is slowly dying. Instead of trying to strengthen that which remains, hip, relevant church planters start new churches. They poach the members of old, established churches and this “growth” hides the fact that the disinterested are still disinterested and they haven’t flocked to the new church. The truth is, more and more Americans think Evangelical Christianity is irrelevant. Evangelicals have a huge PR problem, and as long as their beliefs, practices, and lifestyle are tethered to an inspired, inerrant, infallible ancient book, Evangelicals should not expect the disinterested to rush to their churches on Sunday. Playing rock and praise and worship music, dressing down, getting rid of pews, and acting all hip and cool, hides the fact that the message is still the same; repent and believe the gospel or you are going to be tortured by God in hell for all eternity.

I have no objection to Evangelicals starting as many clubhouses as they want. This is America, and corporate, capitalistic, libertarian thinking dominates the Evangelical church-planting scene. They just need to understand that some of us see through the smokescreen. By all means, plant another church, convince yourself that “God” is leading you to do so, but the facts on the ground remain the same. Planting a new church will not fix what ails America. Americans no longer are buying what Evangelicals are selling. Perhaps it is time to follow the command of Jesus: go sell all that you have and give it to the poor. Perhaps when Americans see THAT kind of Christianity, they might take an interest in it. Even though I am an atheist, I can, from a distance, admire a church and a pastor which take seriously the teachings of Jesus. All I see right now is the same incestuous, irrelevant church, with a new name. It is time to burn the institutional church to the ground and start over. Or so says this atheist.

Elevate City and The Pointe are separated by ten miles of Fort Wayne interstate. Between these two churches are numerous other churches preaching their brand and version of Evangelicalism. Much like driving along one of the many restaurant rows found in Fort Wayne, cruising the streets there discloses that local Evangelicals have every type of church at their disposal. Want Wendy’s? Burger King? McDonald’s? Rally’s? or Five Guys? Local Evangelical churches are manning their grills, ready to serve up their brand of hamburger. Perhaps these churches should become IN-N-Out Burger joints — reflective of the constant stream of people in and out of their doors.

What do you think, readers? To my atheist readers I ask, if you were still a Christian, would you attend a church that played AC/DC during Sunday worship? Do you think there are lines that can’t or shouldn’t be crossed? If you are still a Christian, would you be okay with the worship team playing songs by AC/DC, KISS, or other patently anti-Christian groups? What say ye?

Note

2006 news article featuring Pastor Harris and The Pointe Church. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Eventually, he said, those churches do move into traditional church buildings.

The Pointe Church is still an exception, because its organizers don’t plan on making it a megachurch. Ray Harris, the church’s lead pastor, said he plans to keep his church in a non-traditional building and train other pastors to start similar churches in other locations that would be affiliated with The Pointe.

‘”New Testament’ churches met in public spaces,” said Harris. “We’re in the real world on Sunday mornings, in a movie theater. Even though Fort Wayne is the ‘City of Churches,’ many people who come (to The Pointe) have never been in church but have been in movie theaters. There’s familiarity.”

Formerly pastor to students at The Chapel, a Fort Wayne megachurch, Harris said typically more than 33 percent of a church’s finances go toward maintaining a building.

“We wanted to focus on meeting people’s needs, not putting money in the bank or paying people to clean the church,” Harris said.

Although it pays rent to the Rave, the church doesn’t have to worry about the cost of heating bills or hiring someone to shovel snow, Harris said. Instead, the church already has helped some people who were struggling to find jobs and/or finance a house payment.

“It’s an economic decision for the Rave, too, because no one comes to watch movies there on Sunday mornings,” said Harris. “We fill seats when they can’t.”

In addition to the economic reasons for having a church in the Rave, Harris said the church’s goal is to help people get to the next step spiritually.

….

Ten years later? The Pointe Church has its own building located at 5335 Bass Road. So much for “New Testament’ churches met in public spaces. We’re in the real world on Sunday mornings, in a movie theater. Even though Fort Wayne is the ‘City of Churches,’ many people who come (to The Pointe) have never been in church but have been in movie theaters. There’s familiarity….We wanted to focus on meeting people’s needs, not putting money in the bank or paying people to clean the church.”

The Pointe Church has a YELP page.

Church’s Facebook page

The Pointe Church operates a three-location daycare business — Care Pointe Academy.

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15 Comments

  1. Brian

    I have a scary gut-feeling that if I was allowed some more freedom expression and personal choice in church, perhaps by enjoying AC/DC and early Dylan etc., I might still be a Christian. In other words, a watered-down Christianity is not as harmful in my view and I would have been very attracted to it as a teen because it might allow to strtch a bit and not shame-blame me into becoming a preacher-clone. I am by no means saying that my still being a Christian is a good thing: No, not at all but the style of worship, the loosening of the tie, the party, the fun would make the social aspect much more powerful and I might well have been up there playing the guitar and rockin’. Gerencser, you have found a way to make me thankful for my bare-bones, IFB exposure as a teen. It helped me run away from religion much faster!

    Reply
  2. Justine Valinotti

    Brian–Trying to make churches more “hip” or “relevant” is simply putting the proverbial lipstick on a pig. The only way you can make a church more “modern” or “real” is to ignore large parts of the Bible, not to mention doctrine.

    You’re probably right when you say your exposure to naked evangelistic Christianity made you run faster (and sooner) from religion: You never had the delusions the “rock ‘n’ roll” churches offer their followers.

    Reply
    1. Brian

      Greetings Justine… Indeed, the lipstick on the pig. But at earlier stages of life, with less exposure to the world, less reading and experience, I can see myself being drawn-in to the godd-time believing. I think I would have found my way out of it but it would have taken longer; what better way to avoid dealing with the parts of scripture that are troublesome! Git out the geetars and amps and ROCK to sweet baby jeebers.

      Reply
  3. howitis

    How ironic…I came of age at the height of the “Satanic Panic,” and I remember when AC/DC was on a “Dirty Dozen” list of bands that my youth group leader gave out once. It was a list of bands that Christians should not listen to, because they were “devil worshippers” or some such crap. AC/DC was on the list, because their name supposedly stood for “After Christ/Devil Comes.” KISS was on the list because their name was supposedly an acronym for “Kings In Satan’s Service.” Rush was on the list because of the pentagram on their “2112” album cover, and because their drummer supposedly said he “hates Christians” in an interview. Black Sabbath was on the list because….well, Black Sabbath. Led Zepplin was the list because the symbols on one of their album covers were supposedly satanic, and because if you played “Stairway To Heaven” backward, you heard things like “all praise Satan.” Journey was on the list…no fucking idea why (weird album cover symbols, maybe?) I don’t even remember the rest of them…the whole thing was just bullshit. Even as a teenager who still considered myself a Christian, I thought the whole thing was bullshit.

    As far as attending a church that used AC/DC songs in worship….uh, no. If fact, if the leaders of this church think they’re being “hip” and “edgy” by using AC/DC songs, they are showing just how un-hip and un-edgy they are, especially if they are trying to attract those all-important Millennials. According to an article I read recently, the Millennial generation prefers EDM (electronic dance music), Rap and Hip-Hop to Rock; Rap and Hip-Hop artists now outsell Rock artists by a good margin. Rock bands like AC/DC are viewed as “middle-aged white-guy Dad music.” So unless Pointe Church is looking to attract more middle-aged white dads, this isn’t going to work. If they want to be “hip” and attract Millennials, maybe they should start using The Chainsmokers or Drake songs in worship…good luck with that… 😉

    Reply
    1. Appalachian Agnostic

      I remember my sister telling me my Phil Collins casette tape was Satanic because it had “CS” on the label. She didn’t say what it stood for. “Created by Satan”? “Collection of Satan”? Who knows? It scared me even though it sounded ridiculous. If I remember correctly, she got this information from our cousin who had attended a lock in at a local Baptist church.

      Reply
      1. Brian

        I think that if you listen to Phil Collins played backwards, you will find yourself not only a sexual switch-hitter but also unable to listen to Phil going clockwise ever again. Satan flips your switch, so to speak and off you go completely off the rails. By the by, Phil does sound better played backwards. 😉

        Reply
  4. Reverend Greg

    The new big thing church near me used ‘You Got To Fight for Your Right to Party’ by the Beastie boys (yes, the church band dressed like them) for the theme to a sermon series. Sigh. I’m still apologizing to the younger generation for what mine has done. Copy the world but refuse to address racism and other issues in the church.

    Reply
  5. TLC

    I went to a funeral today — Catholic mass in a beautiful church. Very traditional. The last time I was in a religious setting, I had my first-ever panic attack. Today, I was fine (with the religous part, anyway.)

    After seeing the intro to this video, I couldn’t even make it through one verse of that song. A few seconds of this video is much more triggering than an hour-long Mass. What a bunch of twisted crap. Lipstick on a pig, indeed.

    BTW, Bruce and everyone here, I took you with me in spirit today. It really helped to remember what I learned here and use it to make it through the Mass and graveside service. I very much appreciate your teaching and support.

    Reply
    1. Brian

      TLC et al, Ditto! I will soon be attending a funeral and know that it is going to be a full-on IFB affair. The words I read here help me maintain perspective, I think, (at least occasionally) and in a way, just allow others to dress-it-up as they please but the Christian message offered always ends up twisted beyond belief for me…

      Reply
  6. Richard Hart

    About Sweetwater: obviously male-dominated executive board. A single female on the board–one of TWENTY-FOUR execs. Oh, yeah, too, all are white. The lady exec only joined in 2016, and was an outside hire after spending 16 years at McDonalds and 4 at Vera Bradley. And this for “Customer Experience” VP?

    Reply
  7. Appalachian Agnostic

    Back when I was still a believer, I took my trans daughter to a Christian counselor. I dreaded the sessions for several reasons, one being that this counselor always had Christian music playing. The music made me sad and depressed. It always felt so good to finish the session, get in the car and leave. After one particular session, Money Talks came on the car radio. It was a relief to hear something so unabashedly vulgar and raucous after an hour of listening to overwrought, pining for Jesus tunes. Still, I felt guilty for prefering AC/DC .

    That someone would incorporate that very song into a worship service is surprising, but then again, maybe not. My first thought is that the people who did this are trying too hard to be popular. It does, however, seem typical for the things that shock one generation to become mainstream and even passe’ for the next, so maybe this is just an example of that.

    Reply
  8. Kevin Creed

    To bad that you have no clue of what really happens at The Pointe Church. You would see people with drug addictions being baptized,giving their lives to Christ and transforming their lives. You know why? Because we are not judgemental! We practice scripture and live it out! By the way, the AC/DC song went with the message, but I’m sure you didn’t listen to that!
    God bless you Saul, but now it’s time for you to become a Paul!

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      But my name is Bruce.

      Using your logic, the use of anything in church is appropriate as long as it “fits” with the sermon or overall worship theme. Let me know when your church has naked women dancing — David danced naked before the Lord, right? Having naked dancers would illustrate this story in a way that no one would forget it. I’d love to come to church then!

      “We are not judgmental,” you say, yet you “judge” my spiritual condition, telling me that I am, in some way, deficient/inferior. Is that not being judgmental?

      I guarantee you that no one in your church is practicing scripture and living it out. All Christians are buffet believers, choosing which commands, teachings, precepts, and laws to obey and which to ignore. I’m sure you and your fellow church members are quite selective as to what you believe and practice.

      Reply
  9. Kevin Creed

    I guess that’s your opinion… Nothing I say will make you see the truth. You see what you want to see. You see what you have been taught to see.
    By the way, I’m on the clean team at The Pointe and I’ve never been paid. It’s a voluntary position, I’ll have to ask the other volunteers if they’re getting paid…. Maybe I’m getting screwed? Lol

    Have a great day.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      You read all of one post on this site, never curious enough to learn anything about who or what I am.

      The “ truth” as you call it, is there for all to see. The data for this post primarily came from the church’s website. What, in the post, then, is inaccurate? What, exactly, have I been taught to “see?” And who taught me?

      You did say one thing that is correct, this is my opinion. Not, however, an uninformed opinion. I was an Evangelical pastor for 25 years. I’ve been writing about Evangelicalism for ten years. My experience with the Evangelical cult is broad. Thus, my “opinion” is an educated one. I don’t need to attend your church in order to make an educated judgment.

      You see, it is you who sees what you want to see, what you’re taught to see. You think your particular club is wonderful because you attend there, and to admit otherwise would negatively reflect on you.

      Objectivity only comes when you can dispassionately stand apart from the church and judge its beliefs and practices. I’m able to do that because I’m not part of your club. Certainly, my biases — which we all have — influence my opinion, but I am aware of them and I try to limit their influence on my writing.

      Thank you for commenting.

      Reply

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