Case in point: a friend emailed me this past week with a link to a "Funded and Free" seminar to teach pastors how to "fund their vision", that I thought for sure must be some sort of April Fool's spoof making fun of the fund-raising practices of preachers Perry Noble, Clayton King, and a few others.
This seminar bears a striking resemblance to my 2011 April Fool's spoof, "Al Mohler's Save Them From Their Ignorance Retreat for Pastors".
But this seminar next month is real. Perry and friends - along with a group called "Injoy Stewardship Solutions" - will be holding a one-day seminar at a church in Charlotte, NC that will teach pastors how to "fully fund" their vision.
What will Perry and friends be teaching your pastor if he attends this seminar? Some very important topics that all holy men of God need to know:
Yep, just what a pastor needs to know. Talking to banks? (Maybe like "Hi, Bank, I'm the man of God.."?) Engaging "high capacity donors"? As I blogged one year ago, another church marketing consultant brazenly explained to pastors how they can tap into "high capacity" donors within their church.
- how to increase operational giving by 30% or more
- how to talk to banks
- leading and developing those with the gift of giving
- best practices for engaging "high capacity donors"
That Perry Noble would use his face and name to sell this sort of nonsense tells you what he really thinks of what he preaches. He tells people that they must trust God with their finances by blindly forking over 10% to receive God's blessings. Yet when it comes to pastors, they need to go to a seminar so THEY CAN LEARN how they can "fully fund" their vision?
Where is THEIR faith in trusting God to provide resources? Answer? There is no faith. Instead there are tips, tricks, and best practices to get trusting, gullible people to separate from their money.
Look at what the conference leaders say at their website to pastors:
"Dear Church Leader,Look at the terminology: "your God-given vision"..."frustrated by your efforts"....this explains why they mercilessly beat the sheep to fork over 10%. Because the pew sitter has the money in their pocket that can help the preacher fulfill the "vision" God has given directly to them. What is this vision? Look at what they say next:
Are you frustrated that despite your efforts, you can't seem to increase your giving?
Does all the latest "generosity lingo" seem to be getting lost in translation?
Does it often feel impossible to take the next step in your God-given visions, because of money?
These are some very common issues we see church leaders struggling with all the time. You have a strong desire to fulfill your God-given vision for growth in your ministry, but you get discouraged at how difficult it can often be to raise the necessary funds."
"Perhaps your vision includes one of the following...Yes, the pastor's God-given vision might be to "hire more staff"....and the catch-all "do more ministry".
• Building Project
• Pay Down Debt
• Hire More Staff
• Increase General Fund
• Do More Ministry"
Here is the line-up of speakers:
We all know about Perry Noble. But who is Clayton King? He is the friend of Perry Noble, and is on staff at Nobles' church, and more shockingly, he is the "Campus Pastor" at Liberty University. The preacher to the students at Liberty is participating in a seminar on how to tap into rich donors, how to talk to banks, and how to fund visions from God.
So there you have it, friends. This is what your pastor can learn in Charlotte, North Carolina at this "free" seminar. Free in that there is no registration cost, but this in and of itself is a marketing ploy to help a church consultant possibly gain access to your church through your pastor. So it ain't free, and church members, don't pay for your pastor's travel expenses to this seminar.
And if your "man of God" does attend, watch out for the sales pitch coming from the church marketers, as they will want to help you raise your revenues at your church; and their services ain't free.
Now off to sulk over being out-spoofed by Perry Noble himself.....and to figure out what in the world I am going to do for the 2012 April Fool's Post.
This is getting tougher and tougher each year!