For the record, I know this isn’t the first “ice bucket challenge” post on the internet.
The spotlight all of it has provided for ALS has been outstanding. You can hear one man’s personal comments on it here (warning: some raw content).
I more want to bounce around some of your and my insights on this as it relates to how people view Christianity and church in general.
As Brandon explained:
The Ice Bucket Challenge phenomenon involves dumping a bucket of ice cold water over your head and then challenging three other people to take the challenge within 24 hours. If those people you challenge do not want to accept, they are suppose to donate $100 to the ALS Association. These donations help the ALS Association fight Lou Gehrig’s disease.
According to an article at the Huffington Post, the ice bucket challenge itself involves “one part challenge, one part charity, sprinkle in some celebrity and cook on high with Facebook.” Many people are doing it because someone else tagged them to do so, most of whom aren’t actually donating money to ALS.
So what is the takeaway? Why is this so popular?
Please share your thoughts. Here are three of mine:
- It’s quick. No one is being asked to go out and become “polar bear” swimmers. You won’t be under the cold water for more than a few seconds at most. People are more willing to try new things if it’s either a one-time thing or they have a quick out. To quote the Huffington article, “You can do something from your computer — or from your yard — that makes you feel good, but doesn’t actually do anything.”
- It’s random. This activity asks and gives you the chance to answer the unconscious questions you ponder while seeing others do it. For example, “What would *I* look like under cold water?” or “Is this something ‘new’ I can try that is relatively safe?” If you’re tired of your daily routine of work/homework/housework, why not throw a bucket of ice cold water on your head?
- It’s communal. Anyone can do it – young or old – and become locally (and possibly globally) famous if they post a video doing it. You can likewise tag others in an attempt to connect with people you actually know or form a connection with others you want to know (even if you don’t actually know them).
- Legalistic. Want to only stand under a sprinkling can versus a downfall of ice water? Or how about involve beer and a shotgun? You decide. Don’t want to donate to the ALS fund, but want to make a funny video getting wet? There’s no law that says otherwise. While others may give you a hard time for your choices, you get to choose your experience… because it’s America, dang it.
So… that said…
it’s all fun, but…
(and please add your own insights)
How does or doesn’t this describe the average person’s faith?
Does this encompass what people seem to want from church?
i.e. “I have no problem doing this one-time thing because it’s fun… but if it involves a real commitment or actual financial sacrifice, I’m no so sure about that if I’m not ‘feeling it.'”
If a church doesn’t offer something that feels quick/random/communal, how does that affect its viral popularity? Could you build a church/student ministry “faster” if you did those things? Should you?
Do people really just want to stay at an “ice, ice baby” level of faith and commitment?
Is it all just fun… or is there any parallel to 2 Timothy 4:3?