At Church, an ‘ATM for Jesus’
Jeans are welcome at Stevens Creek Community Church, the 1,100-member evangelical congregation Baker founded 19 years ago. Sermons are available as podcasts, and the electric house band has been known to cover Aerosmith’s "Dream On." A recent men’s fellowship breakfast was devoted to discussing the spiritual wages of lunching at Hooters.
It is a bid for relevance in a nation charmed by pop culture and consumerism, and it is not an uncommon one. But Baker has waded further into the 21st century than most fishers of American souls, as evidenced one Wednesday night when churchgoer Josh Marshall stepped up to a curious machine in the church lobby.
It was one of Stevens Creek’s three "Giving Kiosks": a sleek black pedestal topped with a computer screen, numeric keypad and magnetic-strip reader. Prompted by the on-screen instructions, Marshall performed a ritual more common in quickie marts than a house of God: He pulled out a bank card, swiped it and punched in some numbers.
The machine spat out a receipt. Marshall’s $400 donation was routed to church coffers before he had found his seat for evening worship.
"I paid for gas today with a card, and got lunch with one," said Marshall, 30. "This is really no different."
[Via Relapsed Catholic]
Reminds me of a parody I did for Spero New.
Are you a priest or pastor of a congregation looking for new ways to raise funds to support your church and yet are having the same old financial difficulties after the collection basket is passed each Sunday?
Have you preached about stewardship until your blue in the face and still the favorite denomination of your denomination is the one dollar bills?
Have you given so many homilies concerning being a cheerful giver that you have lost track and yet your flock is cheerfully not giving?
Have you even tried the following joke with no effect.
You have tried every conceivable means to shame them into supporting the church through tithing to no avail. Don’t despair because we have just the product for you.
There is a funny story that goes along with the above parody. An Australian diocesan magazine paid for a couple of my parodies including the one above and ran them. The editor emailed me later that after this had run the one above, one of their pastors not realizing it was a parody called them wanting to order one.