Rase uses unconventional methods to teach word of God

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 29, 2005

Dean Rase is breaking with the traditional method of preaching by bringing in a young attitude with props and a more casual dress code.

"There are a lot of people who think church has got to be boring," Rase, the interim pastor at Central Christian Church in Ironton, said. "I don't agree with that. I try to make the sermon where people can laugh and learn something."

"I think it's a breath of fresh air," said Charles Snead, a lifelong member of the church and office administrator. "He likes to use props and it's good because he gets his point across."

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Rase does what he calls "series" for sermons which have included cans of soup, a canoe and movie characters.

"Some people might not agree with my philosophy with the boat and cans, but I don't care. It's about getting the message across," Rase said. "Christ taught in parables Š this is my parable."

Snead said his favorite sermon involved cans of soup, what Snead referred to as the "canned church message."

Rase said he went into the church with a chef's hat and apron and had asked everyone to bring a can of soup.

"Church is like a can of soup," he said. "No one knows what it's like until it's opened."

"It's aimed at any church," Snead said. "You have to make sure you're not stuck on an idea. You've got to get out and reach people."

Rase said he thinks his tactics work.

"The older people seem to laugh and enjoy it and younger people look at it as not old, traditional church," Rase said.

Church members said Rase and his props are what the church was looking for and needed.

"I think the way he's preaching is what we needed," Katy Kisor, life long member and organist, said. "He tells it like it is and he's helped our church."

Snead said the older congregation needs Rase's young ideas to perk it up.

"We were looking for someone to give us that young mindset and we've found that with him," Snead said. "He's got young ideas and this church needed young ideas."

In addition to bringing props, Rase has pushed for a more casual dress code.

"I never wear a tie," he said. "And I don't wear suits. If I wear a suit everyone else thinks they have to wear a suit, so I don't."

Rase has many ideas for upcoming sermons. This Sunday he said his series is "extreme church makeover," playing off the TV show "Extreme Home Makeover."

"I want people to sit there and think, 'what's next, how's he going to top this,'" he said.