It's Hypie Time Again!!!


hypie-award-winnerYes, that’s right, boys and girls, time for our latest recipient of a Hypie! For those of you who are new or who need your memories refreshed, it frosts me when I get an advertisement in the mail–or see one online, or in a magazine, or…you get the picture–where some ministry is over-the-top in promising results that it cannot/will not produce. It’s overhype, and while I hate that in general, I find it particularly bothersome among Christians, who are supposed to be tellers of the truth.

As I’ve said before, the all-time Hypie goes to PromiseKeepers, an otherwise great ministry, for its promotional ads done in conjunction with its February 2003 Pastors Conference in Phoenix. The slogan they used–and I actually contacted PK and told them they weren’t telling the truth, and that was a factor in my non-attendance–was, “This will forever change what it means to be a pastor in America”.

No, it won’t. And it didn’t. And anybody with a brain and a pulse knew PK was fudging from the get-go.

And so, a couple years back, I began awarding the Hypie Award to any Christian ministry–and it might be a great ministry, by the way; I in no way mean to denigrate the ministry itself, so keep those cards and letters to yourself–that employed overhype in attempting to sell its product. Thus, without further ado, I present today’s Hypie Award to…drumroll, please…Yugo Ministries of San Dimas, California (wasn’t that where Bill and Ted hung out? Hmmm…). And by the way, the award has nothing to do with being named for the many Yugoslavian-made commiecars rusting in auto graveyards around the world. No, I give it for the mailer I got for their youth ministry, which involves taking teams of teenagers to Mexico for a week (“You provide: Your Youth, some $$, and One Week in Mexico. YUGO supplies: Pre-field & on-Field Logistics, Poverty and Spiritually Hungry Mexican People”). By the way, that’s the literal quote, with the mis-capitalizations and all. Hope they can get a better graphic designer, or at least one who can handle some of the basic rules of English (and there’s more to come).

But here’s the kicker, which I’ll reproduce as best I can below:

“R U Developing Revolutionary Christian Youth?”

Your Youth Before Yugo
Luke Warm (sic) Faith
Tentative & Uncertain
Is a Follower
Unwilling to Share
Lead (sic) by peers

Your Youth After YUGO
On Fire Faith
Confident in Beliefs
Now Leads Others
Has Strong Testimony
World Changers

There is so much to pick apart here, if I wanted to be real snarky, but I’ll be gentle and say: let me get this straight: if I can just bundle up my adolescents and ship ’em off to Mexico, they’ll return completely-different people?

And that preposterous proposition, my friends, richly deserves a Hypie. Enjoy, YUGO!


  1. Graham on January 28, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    I am trying to get my head around them supplying “spiritually hungry Mexican people.”

    Do they get these Mexicans to sign up? Keep them locked up in a box until the week arrives?

    • Byron on January 28, 2009 at 2:49 pm

      There is so much to pick apart, but I thought I’d leave some of the snarking to others, Brits and Americans alike…

  2. Derlin on January 28, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Do you have any adolescents to ship off? It’s unfair to criticize without testing the product, right? It’s interesting that you provide the week in Mexico, not just a week of time where they put you adolescent in Mexico for you.

    • Byron on January 28, 2009 at 9:32 pm

      Not criticizing the product, remember; criticizing the overhype. And it is, categorically, overhype. WAY overhype. A week in Mexico will undoubtedly have some effect on some young people, but not to the degree YUGO describes. I’ve worked with people long enough to recognize overhype when I see it.

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