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America's Best Christian Paintball Park

2 January, 2003 9:13 PM

Stumbled across this link to the Promised Land Paintball Park . To be honest its a concept that leaves me a tad puzzled.

Now before I say why let me say that I've done paintball (or as we call it here in Aus - Skirmish) and I found it to be a fun, although slightly painful, experience. I don't have problems with it as a game/sport even though its a bit violent in nature to be shooting people, even if it is with paint balls from a low powered air rifle.

What confuses me is why the park advertises itself as a 'Christian' Paintball Park. I know they are not alone in this, so many businesses do it, but I wonder why? I wonder if in doing so do we separate ourselves somewhat from the world in which we are called to engage with.

Jesus gave us the ultimate model to follow in his becoming human, his incarnation, in order to bring humanity life. When we separate ourselves and our businesses from the world we live in by slapping the word 'Christian' on our door, do we we run the risk of alienating some in our communities from the message we proclaim?

Please do not misunderstand me - I'm not saying we should hide our faith - rather I'm trying to work out what the positives of distinguishing ourselves so blatantly are? What makes a paintball park 'Christian'? Many of the 'customer comments' (and there are rather a lot!!) on the site seem to talk about it being a 'family friendly' and 'safe' environment. Its a place where you can only come if you come with a 'member' -I guess the unruly type are kept away - I wonder if Jesus and his disciples would have gotten a game?

I guess I say this from an Aussie perspective also where if a business were to name itself the 'best Christian paintball park in Australia' it would probably stand to go bankrupt in a matter of weeks. The 'Christian' market in Australia is tiny by comparison to that in America - 'Christianity' is not something that a business that is serious about making money would put in its name here - it would have quite the opposite effect! I take it things are a little different in the US. For example, the sales of 'Christian Music' in the US every year is larger by far than the total sales of ALL music in Australia each year.

With such a large 'Christian' market, the cynic in me wonders if maybe putting the word 'Christian' in your business's advertising is probably more a money making decision than it is a statement of belief.

Gee - I must sound like a real grump tonight. I'm not aiming to be and I'm not meaning to launch an attack upon 'Promised Land Paintball Park' - I'm sure they do offer a fun day out, if I were in the Mid West of the US I'd pop by, however think these types of questions need to be asked - anyone got any thoughts???

UPDATE - the original comments to this post got lost in the move to my new domain - if you're interested you can access them here



where are u located

shawn » 2 January, 2004 11:09 AM

I'm Rick Pinter, the owner and founder of Promised Land Park. I'm also a Christian, and I never hide that fact. As a Christian, I wanted to build something that would result in more people coming to God, and dedicasting their life to Him. The concept of this park is both simple and also VERY effective. Presently, we have 197 churches who participate in paintball games at our park. The leader of each church group is almost always a "Youth Pastor" who leads a group of young people, mostly teens, in the respective church. Each youth pastor is encouraged, by me, to have the members of his group invite a friend who has been reluctant to check out their youth group meetings. For example: A youth group with 30 teens might bring an additional 6 friends, who have never been to any of the youth group meetings. They often think: "Christians don't know how to have fun. They're too busy being "religious"". These invited friends ususally conclude that the youth group that invited them, REALLY KNOW HOW TO HAVE FUN! They play, interact, protect each other in pretend battles, and often fin that they had more fun than their last drug & sex party. The invited guests now see the people who invited them in a new way: "ordinary teenagers, looking for fun and excitement". But they find it in a safe, very friendly place. Now, when invited to a youth group meeting, many of them DO come. I have over 200 letters and emails from youth pastors telling us about the success of the outing, and stories a new teens coming to their groups, and also to church. Those new teens then often invite their parents to come to church. Our purpose has been fulfilled to an extend beyond that which I could have concieved. I feel certain that God has given me this mission, and the huge resulting success has encouraged me to expand. We have had over 25,000 teens and families come to our park. And EVERY time we end the day, Youth pastors, dads, moms, and many of the teens look for me to thank me for building this park.

If you have question or comments, I would really like to hear from you.

Rick Pinter

RICK PINTER » 24 August, 2004 12:40 AM

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