24 February 2008

How to Increase Your Church Membership

Many churches have been accepting from members gratuities in the form of "tithes," which pay for the gaining of new members who will in turn generate further "tithes." It's a pretty great system. Whether a part of a new church looking to expand, an old church looking to revitalize, or a middle-aged church thinking the red sports car might be a bit over the top (perhaps yellow is a better alternative?), you may be wondering how to most efficiently increase the funds your congregation receives.

Because religious literature is no longer trendy (remember, "literature" and "litter" both begin the same way), and religious torture frowned upon, churches like yours must begin to think creatively about how to grow your member base. Why not turn to the internet for some creative new ideas? What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the internet? Was it that dancing baby from the 90's? Let's try to top that.

What about pornography? It's wildly successful and popular with males of all ages, but especially those ages 18-35— a demographic most churches are missing out on. How can internet pornography help your church grow? What can it do to increase your members? Below is a veritable ménage à trois of methods inspired by internet pornography for increasing church membership.
  1. The Preview: Always allow prospective members an opportunity to preview what you have available, but never allow them immediate access to your best services. Perhaps try some kind of outreach— a thumbnail, if you will— to show what they're missing out on. The goal is to tease and entice until the prospective member commits— try to move them from mere attenders to members who in turn invite others to join.

  2. Emotions: Religious and pornographic institutions succeed by oversimplifying human emotions into two categories: elation and guilt. In both cases, elation— in the form of excitement or ecstasy or the promise thereof— is a lure which draws a new member in. Guilt keeps members returning for more. By making a member think poorly of themself, you'll be able to re-sell them on the renewed possibility of elation— just make sure the promise seems too good to be true so that guilt sets in again almost immediately.

  3. Isolation: Internet pornography is a private affair— and so should conversion be. Put the burden of conversion and membership solely on the individual. After all, it's not really the community's business. Make it about the sins and needs of the member, while implying that their culture and their surroundings— even friends and family— are ready to break in and interrupt their fantasy happiness. Thoughts that your church is the only place they could receive the elation promised above should be thoroughly encouraged.

The basic movement from non-member to "tither" is as follows: a prospective member is given a "preview," showing how great your church is, and hinting at the possibility of something even better for members. Upon making a commitment, a new member is given the promised elation— and the guilt of knowing they're far, far from real happiness and probably unworthy of whatever happiness they already have. The cycle of guilt and elation continues to aid in isolating the member, during which time they become ready to contribute "tithes" to bring more members to the church which is their sole source of happiness. And that's how your church can gain new members with the help of internet pornography.


Unknown said...

Dude, this is the best thing you've ever written...hilarious and insightful...good work

gestridge said...

Interesting...very interesting..you really got me thinking. Thanks.