Monday, September 12, 2011

Stay for Pay: Church/Meeting Growth -- The Bad Friends Way

As many Friends, good and Bad, know, I (Brent Bill) have thinking about ways to revitalize Quaker life (not the magazine!) in the 21st century. Thus I've offered my "Modest Proposal" series (visit it here or download a pdf of it here).

But, of course, those writings are very deep and thoughtful and practical. Not much fun, I guess. Association of Bad Friends co-clerk Jacob Stone and I (with help from our Bad spouses) have come up with some other ideas in the past -- such as the inclusion of the Quaker Whoopee Cushion as a way to enliven Meeting and perhaps attract a more fun-loving bunch of Seekers.

Whilst those earlier ideas were great, the newest one from the Research and Development Sub-committee of the Advancement and Outreach Committee of the International Association of Bad Friends for Meeting Expansion and World Domination (Corporate motto: "We see a great people to be snookered") is simply stupendous.

We call it "Stay for Pay."

Simply put, Quaker meetings will begin paying people to attend Meeting for Worship.

Brilliant, isn't it?

Instead of taking an offering during or after worship, local meetings will pass out cash to attendees. Below is the proposed payment schedule:



Attend Meeting for Worship (entire service)


Give good vocal ministry (5-7 on clerks’ scale)


Give great vocal ministry (8-10 on clerks’ scale)


Give outstanding vocal ministry (leaving people crying, laughing, ready to march on DC, etc – without mentioning anything about God or Jesus or John Woolman)*

*unprogrammed meetings only


Give outstanding vocal ministry (leaving people crying, laughing, ready to go door to door on evangelization campaign, etc – without mentioning anything about how God or Jesus is your best Friend and made you rich)*

*programmed meetings only


Vocal ministry (other than the outstanding category, which has obvious criteria) would be rated Olympic style, with three or four clerks holding up signs with their scores for the message.

It's a win/win situation. Meetinghouses will be packed and a family of four will walk away with enough money to go do something enjoyable on Firstday afternoon! Who could ask for more?

And the best part -- it's not going to cost any money! That's right. Every Friends meeting seems to be sitting on some stash of endowment cash that they can't spend. Here's an opportunity to put the proceeds that have been piling up for the past one hundred years in the Phoebe Ann Mosley Memorial Straight Shooters and Outreach to Indigent Orphans of the Spanish American War Fund to work. The legal team of Stone, Bill, Stone, Stone, Stone M O'Gwynn will be glad to help with the details of modifying the conditions of the endowment.

For more information on this amazing program and how your meeting can franchise this opportunity for its use, contact us at 1-666-BAD-QUAK.

-- Brent


Marcia Z. Nelson said...

no mentioning the New York Times or NPR -- $15

Brent Bill said...

Love it, Marcia!!

RantWoman said...

You need some categories for:

Non-verbal ministry including sleeping, snoring, drooling, sliding off the chairs because one couldn't find the footstools, audible eye-rolling...

Frequent Flyer ministry, very-slowly evolving theme division

Frequent Flyer ministry, sudden departure from standard theme

In my Meeting, also
Plain Dress, denim and Birkenstock division

Plain Dress, day-glo and bicycle gear division

What is the scale for Business Meeting?

RantWoman admits she may be something of an overachiever on the Bad Friends front.

Brent Bill said...

Hmmm, may need to develop a "withholding" schedule including such things. Would possibly curtial some behaviours -- and if it didn't, would benefit the Meeting's bottom line. ;-)

MikeSnow said...

Ok, Brent, I just discovered your blog and am already in stitches.