The Call of the Mild Michael Duduit January 1, 2005 During the Christmas season just gone by, one major American retailer offered a brilliant new innovation: wake-up calls recorded by celebrities to alert customers it was time to get up and shop. As if we needed reminding. The Target chain offered customers the opportunity to sign up to receive a wide variety of wake-up telephone calls the morning after Thanksgiving, considered one of the busiest shopping days of the year. (I wouldn’t know, given that I was still sleeping off my unsuccessful battle with a relentless pumpkin pie.) That day, Target stores opened at 6:00 am – which is somewhat earlier than my heart typically starts beating – and customers could get their wake-up calls as early as 4:00 am. (Frankly, up until now I didn’t realize there was a 4:00 am.) The wake-up calls were recorded by celebrities like rapper Ice-T, supermodel Heidi Klum, and Star Wars villain Darth Vader. (Sorry, but the Target marketing budget couldn’t handle the cost of actual stars.) Call-recipients also had the option of receiving calls from a crowing rooster and crying baby, along with other choices. Yep, if I was going to get up at 4:00 am, I think I’d enjoy hearing from a supermodel or a crying baby. I don’t know if the wake-up call gimmick enabled Target stores to ring up lots of additional sales – as best I can determine, the celebrity callers didn’t warn customers about the dangers of sneaking over to Wal-Mart. But the whole idea made me wonder if we should try something similar in the church. Every pastor knows that there are members who sleep in on Sunday morning instead of making it to worship at their local congregation. Perhaps we need to start providing wake-up calls to folks that will help them get up and get moving on Sunday morning. And just think of the celebrity callers (and their messages) we could use! Billy Graham: “I’m asking you to step out of your bed and make your way to the front of your bathroom, and start getting ready for church. Don’t worry, the buses will wait.” Robert Schuller: “It’s time to get up and think positively. Have a be-happy attitude and get a move on to church.” Max Lucado: “Once upon a time there was a church. So get up and go there to hear the rest of the story.” Rick Warren: “Looking for purpose in your life? Then get that lazy body out of bed and get ready for church.” Or maybe we could just get everyone an alarm clock that sounds like a crying baby. ___________________________ Michael Duduit is Editor of Preaching magazine and President of American Ministry Resources. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit his website at www.michaelduduit.com. Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.