Tuesday, June 25, 2013

#233 Giving Kiosks

With the way tithing has been cramping our cyberactive lifestyles, we had to know we’d live to see the Giving Kiosk. Forged by Mother Necessity/megachurch-era capitalism, these glowing monoliths of conviction are humming in lobbies of evangelical churches across North America. You may now foist over your firstfruits anytime, anywhere. Your excuses have vanished ascension-style.

Judging from Giving Kiosk’s customer feedback, everyone loves this system. But the folks at Giving Kiosk say they don’t toot their own horn, they let happy customers do that for them. Yes, "customers." Don’t be cynical. That could just be their love language. Now the churchgoers/customers don’t have to haul out their checkbooks or hate themselves beyond standard Calvinist depravity when they leave their money at home. And Giving Kiosk even has an app so you can give at stoplights, worship rehearsal, women's Bible study, men's discipleship breakfast, or from your marriage bed.  

Now, they might seem a little spendy. An upright Giving Kiosk is $3,895, but their website says most churches see a 20% increase in tithes. So even if your church can’t afford the pastor’s life insurance right now, that 20% increase track record should have it paying for itself pretty soon (and maybe even for some new daylight projectors, MacBook Pros, thermal-regulated baptismal tanks, plexiglass sound-isolated drum kit booths, plasma screens and worship woofers). And if a church really can’t afford it, they can even lease the kiosk. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Doesn’t Dave Ramsey say leasing is bad?” Don’t get your soul patch in a twist. Giving Kiosks are in line with Ramseyism because their Ramsey Clause™ specifically states that they encourage the use of debit-based giving. But they're not legalistic. They can configure their products to accept credit cards, too. You never know how the Lord will work. He might call for you to give him money you just don’t have. What’s more self-sacrificial than that? Dump a wineskin of perfume on Jesus’ feet and wipe it off with your hair already!

With the security of the Ramsey Clause™ you can push to the back of your mind Dave’s “Leasing Is Fleecing” mantra. You can even use your leased Giving Kiosk to conduct registration for your next Total Money Makeover event. It just means they take your business seriously, which of course is the message of the cross, or maybe the message of the bottom line and charge capture. Don't worry. There's no way Martin Luther is rolling over in Wittenberg right now. 


Karla said...

"You now have no excuse for failing to contribute to our Send Pastor Dillhole to Curacao fund! It's what Jesus wants!"

Anonymous said...

Yay! It's good to hear from you again!

Guardian said...

wow. the only thing missing on this kiosk is a web cam, to capture our cheerful giving..of which we can then post to facebook and tag our pastor...

J.Mill said...


"Dump a wineskin of perfume on Jesus’ feet and wipe it off with your hair already!"

Anonymous said...

Wasn't there a song about the alabaster box? (As opposed to a wineskin)

Tony D. said...

OK, I haven't read the post, but I've never heard of such a thing, and my first thought was, Wait, have I surfed to the Onion by mistake? Is this sh*t for real? Wow. If evangelicalism was the only kind of Christianity there was I'd be a pagan for sure.

Tony D. said...

Sorry to barge in again, but I was thinking about this after my knee-jerk dismissiveness(this blog does always make me think), and I thought, OK, there are people/companies who make collection plates commerically, right? My church uses a collection plate (albeit placed in the back of the nave, never actually passed around), and I don't begrudge its makers a little profit from its manufacture. Is this really that different? Tacky and gaudy, yes, but hell, churches wrote the book on tacky and gaudy...

Anonymous said...

Having read the entire volume of posts in the past few weeks, the tone of this most recent post has a bit more cynical bite than the others. Did you wake on the wrong side of the bed or something?

Anonymous said...

This should be called a 'taking' kiosk. It'd be great for lazy televangelists - now you don't even have to put on a show and people will still throw money at the screen.

Anonymous said...

What's next, deacons passing around an electronic debit card reader for those who don't have cash to drop into the plate ?

Dustin@God's Elite said...

I woke up on the right side of the bed this morning and It is sickening and sad how so many self appointed 'leaders' are preying on the weak. And I'm not saying they are all doing it intentionally. But it's still wrong. If the blind lead the blind they will all fall into the ditch.

When did Jesus ever ask for a dime? Even when he had 5,000, 10,000 or even 50,000 followers he didn't ask them for tithe or offering. But we have to justify the big beautiful buildings and the paid clergy etc etc.

What if we could help each believer reach his or her priesthood authority, mature in Christ and learn to become his or her own temple? Then, the billions that are spent annually on buildings and maintaining them could be spent on actually making the world a better place in thousands of different ways.

AND, each believer would then become a 'walking tabernacle' and the overall influence and reach of the Church would grow as each believer matures, integrates and connects with others, gives to others and to programs instead of paying to maintain buildings and learns that true worship is a lifestyle, not a song and dance.

Sound nice, but what about fellowship? Some of the best fellowships I ever had were in smaller groups, or at Starbucks or in a living room. Where people were genuinely connected to each other. Not when I was sitting side by side with someone staring at an elevated platform and podium. Where 2 or 3 are gathered in His name, He is there in their midst.

Sounds nice, but what about the pastor? How can he be in all places at all times? He won't need to be because each believer will have progressed to the place where they have learned to hear God for themselves.
They will have matured in Christ to the point where they "need not man to teach them" and where "the Lamb that is in their midst will feed them" and where they "have become kings and priests directly into God".

So if this were applied, than more money would be used to transform broken people in broken situations into thankful people ready to hear the gospel WITH WORDS that you have declared into them first WITHOUT WORDS.

Christian Vagabond said...

I get that the kiosks look tacky (and it's almost impossible to make them look otherwise.) But the era of paper money is coming to swift end. Try thinking about your last experience at the supermarket and how strange it seemed when the person in front of you pulled out a checkbook. I can't recall the last time I had actual cash in my wallet.

So churches can and should find a way to accommodate people who prefer digital donation options. Eventually society will get to a point where paper money will become a rarity.

Anonymous said...

Actually, a religious vending machine is FAR from a new idea.

The first vending machine ever was a 1st Century machine invented by Hero of Alexandria. It took a coin and dispensed holy water.


Anonymous said...

I found this article after a google search to learn more - I just learned our church has put a giving kiosk near the exit of the sanctuary. The SANCTUARY, not the narthex or other place in the church. I am so disgusted...your blog entry is spot-on.

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