Towards a More Perfect Consumer Church 3

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : September 22, 2005

Check out this funny post on TallSkinnyKiwi. It points out the consumerism of the church today. I got a very similar mailer from a local area church once (that likens their three different worship styles with different coffee drinks).  Church is all about taste, right?

His post reminds me of a couple posts I wrote a while back called Towards a More Perfect Consumer Church (You can read them here and here).  I now offer to you a third installment of Towards a More Perfect Consumer Church


Amway is a great company.  People are motivated to help their friends AND expand their own potential wealth at the same time!  The cool think about Amway is that you get residual income from your "downlines." In other words, if you can get 100 friends into your Amway business, you are not only helping them find personal wealth, but get a percentage of their sales yourself.  You can be set for life simply by helping your friends start their own Amway business.

Churchway_1The church can learn from this.  What if people got a residual income from the people they bring to church?  Let’s say "George" invites 20 friends to church, and they all become members (givers).  If each gives $400 a month, and "George" were to get 3% residual income from their giving, he’d be getting $240 a month! And if each of those 20 brought 5 more friends (who each gave $400 a month), and George got 1% residual from those 2nd generation "downlines" he’d get another $400–that’s $640 for helping his church!  The newcomers get to be a part of an awesome new church, the Church is able to grow in people and giving, and George get’s a nice retirement income.  Everyone wins.


Finding a good church is difficult.  If only there were a way to "track" the success of all the churches in your area, so that you can know which church to attend… Well, now there is! Introducing Churchdaq?

Using the simple formula below, each church’s success can be determined and made public toFormula_4 potential church goers:

For example, Pine Hills Church is a church of 4000 that has grown by 500 in the past year in a city of 200,000 and has an average yearly giving per person of $2000 (the median income of the area is $35,000/year).  Their Churchdaq score would be 13.06.  On the other side of town, the Church of the Redeemer has 150 people, 10 of which are new converts from the past year.  Their average annual giving per person is only $1000.  There score is a measly 0.23.  It is clear which church is experiencing greater success.

Taking the Movie Promotion Trend Even Further!

EmilyroseRemember the Passion Ad campaign?  Maybe you’ve noticed the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe church ad campaign?  I say we go even further…introducing the Exorcism of Emily Rose Ad Campaign!

Before you respond, please realize that this is a parody.  It is supposed to be funny.  I know that God loves the people in the sorts of churches I poke fun at.  I don’t want to discredit how God works in their lives.  But I do want to challenge consumerist ideology and how it affects the Church.

Don’t forget, the Conference on Christianity in a Consumer Culture is coming in April 2006.  Help get the word out.  Thanks.

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6 Responses to “Towards a More Perfect Consumer Church 3”

  1. Mike Schellman on September 23rd, 2005 10:42 am

    My first encounter with Amway - was with a Christian fella. He told me that Amway was gonna become real important in the last days - because when we are unable to buy or sell anything - having a solid distribution/networking system will be essential for our survival.
    I just kept thinking - how do you know the Beast doesn’t run Amway? ? ?

  2. Mike Higgins on September 23rd, 2005 6:33 pm

    This brought great laughter and drove home a point. A materialistic church will not win a materialistic world.

  3. Michael Rew on September 24th, 2005 1:00 am

    LifeWay already beat you to a cheesy logo.

  4. Justin Baeder on September 30th, 2005 6:50 pm

    This is freaking hilarious. I love it - complete with graphics for The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Priceless.

  5. James Paul on October 28th, 2005 10:12 pm

    I loved this post! Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down in the most delightful way.

  6. pete on January 24th, 2006 7:43 am

    Dude, you’re not going to believe this, but our senior high group actually had a great discussion after we watched Emily Rose last weekend at our winter retreat.

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