Sunday, July 16, 2006

Corporate Church?

OK, I had this funny thought last night (it doesn't happen often, so when it does, I have to write it down). We were talking about church building projects, and somebody said that it's always better if a church can find an investor to front a large portion of the money needed for a new building. That got me thinking that we're not far from acquiring corporate church sponsorships.

Say hello to your new church staff!

Think of that picture: The pastor stands at the "Interstate Batteries" podium in a three piece suit with patches on the lapel and sleeves reflecting the logos of sponsors like "Slim Jim" or "Yahoo", or - heaven forbid - "Viagra". Before delivering the sermon the worship pastor, wearing a suit adorned with logos of hair care products like "Paul Mitchell" would ask everyone to turn to hymn #44 in their "Black and Decker" Hymnals. The pastor would then stand and thank all the sponsors for making the service possible, while opening a bottle of "Coke" only a few inches from his face.

It was just a funny thought, that's all. Shoot, I wouldn't put it past some of these guys in the church growth movement to go to any lengths to get that nice, shiny new auditorium. Let's just all pray that we don't go the way of major league baseball by having corporate sponsorship for our churches.

"I'd like to welcome you all this morning to Ameriquest Sanctuary at First Baptist Church." Sheesh!


r! said...

We're almost there:
The above link contains a link to another article about pastors who win prizes for mentioning the movie Chronicles of Narnia in their sermons.

Already there in the UK

ryan said...

Brilliant! Then we could hang banners all around the auditorium balcony and at some point in the service we could have a troupe of crazy, finger-pointing, hand-clapping, head-nodding kids shooting officially-licensed merchandise into the crowd with ones of those giant sling shots. They would have T-Shirts that read, "Rev. 19:16...Brought to you by the King of Beers."

Branden said...

Here is a question:

Should churches give up their 501(c)3 tax status? Is being subject to the governments rules to remain tax free a good thing? Does it hamper the church's ability?

It's not just election campaigning they can nail you for, if you incorporate as a 501(c)3 church. IRS guidelines even cover political views expressed in non-church publications. A pastor could get in trouble just for failing to append a disclaimer to an opinion column (stating that he speaks for himself only, not for his church).

Anonymous said...

Too sad yet as you said possibly not too far off in the future. They are selling worship albums on TV from Time Life along with Best of the 80s gold. Christianity is less about Christ and more about gaining power - - it's post-modern in the best (or worst) sense of the word.