Prophetic Thursday: Mary Lou Retton

Welcome to Prophetic Thursday here at the blog.  Every Thursday I will peer down the pike and try to give you a heads up on what to expect within Christianity in the near and not so near future. To see the last 2 posts in this series click Here and Here.

Mary Lou Retton

Have you seen the Dairy Queen commercial featuring Mary Lou Retton? To describe it as awesome is an understatement. Don’t believe me? Take a look:

Just in case you weren’t aware–Mary Lou still has “it.”  Even though I’m not entirely sure what “it” is, I know that she has had it at least  since winning the all around title in women’s gymnastics in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

I was just a young kid then and don’t remember all of the details of her victory. But I still remember seeing her wearing that red, white, and blue outfit with that big, bright smile covering the majority of her face. I remember it made me feel proud to be an American. Those memories come back every time I see the Dairy Queen commercial. 

Yes–Mary Lou still has “it.” And I wonder when a mega-church is going to realize this and hire her to use her Mary Lou-ness to help them achieve their goals.

What? You don’t think that there is any way this will ever happen? It seems that some church leaders believe that they have to keep upping the “wow factor” in order to reach people.

I think having Mary Lou Retton show up would provide plenty of wow. But how could she best be used?

Here are three suggestions:

1. Stewardship Campaigns. I can imagine a minister preaching a series of sermons about tithing and stewardship. I can imagine him carefully expounding on all the Bible says about money and how we are to relate to it. I can imagine him building up to the final point of the final sermon on the topic and then…..I can imagine Mary Lou Retton bursting through the back door, flipping up and down the aisles, and having people throw money in her direction.

2. Calming Babies. Babies are great. But sometimes they cry. Loudly. And sometimes they are inconsolable. And sometimes us parents are a little slow in taking them out of the service. Enter Mary Lou. Her hypnotic smile is enough to quiet a church full of crying babies. After her showing up in person a few times to get the young’uns used to her, a church could then simply put a picture of her on one of their big screens to quiet the little darlings when they get out of control.

3. Security. One thing you probably didn’t know about Mary Lou: she’s a ninja. Okay, I have no proof of this, but she’s short. And she does gravity defying flips. And she eats Wheaties (a favorite among ninjas). If someone showed up to the church building intent on causing a ruckus on her watch, he would face the wrath of Mary Lou. And never bother the church again.

Should a church really pay Mary Lou Retton to show up and serve in one of these capacities? Um…no. They should pray and allow the Holy Spirit to lead them.

Will a church really pay Mary Lou Retton to show up and serve in one of these capacities? Maybe.

And when it happens remember that you heard it here first.

What are some other ways that Mary Lou Retton could serve a church?
Who are some of your childhood heroes?
Share away!


19 thoughts on “Prophetic Thursday: Mary Lou Retton

  1. She could be the inhouse encourager for some of the Pentecoastal churches….doing backflips and wheelies and cartwheels down the aisles during worship.

    Then again, Tarzan could swing down from the ceiling during the offering and collect the bags
    I didn’t have a whole lot of childhood heroes. I spent my time collecting DC Comic books and some Marvel Comic books also. Does that count?

    • I like the Tarzan as an usher, idea! Although, his yell might drown out the organist.

      If you really want a high energy, running in the aisles sort of church service, you probably nee to skip Mary Lou and go for Richard Simmons, though. “Get those knees up! You can do it, granny! And one and two and three and four!”

  2. She could be hired by all the churches that have trouble raising their hands in worship. Have her come in, do some gymnastic flips, and then say, “This is how it is done.” Raise her hands and then say, “Now you do it.”

  3. Mary Lou Retton/Tonya Harding cage match. Our churches would have to turn people away. Because these two epitomize both everything that’s right, and wrong, with America.

    Think about it.


  4. I remember watching those Olympic games and the perfect Vault score that Mary Lou received. I was in Alaska at the time – my husband was on a road trip with his brother – and we were living with my in-laws for a summer. It was an amazing moment.

  5. Great post and commercial! I’ve had a crush on MLR since she won the gold in 1984 and was crushed when she married some huge jock shortly thereafter. As far as her ministerial role, given her diminutive stature (4′ 8″) I think she’d be ideal to portray baby Jesus at each Christmas pageant. Heck, she played “Tiny Tim” in the movie Scrooged, so why not….

  6. She could be used to lead the congregational “walls of Jericho” march around the neighborhood with presidential music in the background.


  7. Well, I live in Mary Lou Retton’s hometown and she still pops by pretty regularly. So I’m fairly certain that these events can happen for reals around here.

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