Ten Most Important Steps
- Understand the principles
Remember, joining a church is primarily about what is best for you. The good news is that many churches now see themselves as glorified businesses. This is wonderful news for the "consumer" because "the customer is always right". If you are unable to find a church (Ltd) that completely caters for all of your needs, then find one where you can be vocally belligerent, in the hope that the church (Ltd) will alter its produce and services.
- Find the "power families"
Once you have chosen the right church that will service your needs, the next step is to seek out the people/families in the church who are part of the "inner-circle". These are usually rich, well educated members of the church. This 'inner circle' have quite a powerful influence over the church. Only sometimes are they 'elders' or 'deacons', though the best description is probably 'majority shareholders'. Admittedly, it can be difficult to be accepted into this group if you are not rich and/or educated. However, perseverance is a virtue.
- Do not aspire to a Leadership position
It is important to follow this rule. In churches (Ltd) most forms of official leadership (we shall call them 'management') are fodder for all manner of public criticism. It is far easier to remain a customer, and demand to "see the manager" when you want to influence the direction of the company. Ensure the management do not make the same "mistake" twice.
- Get to middle-age as quick as possible
This is a fundamental part of joining a church. It may seem as though the church (Ltd) directs most of its efforts toward "youth" and the "elderly". However, this is usually because it pacifies them on business matters, leaving the 'inner-circle' to get on with directing the company. Middle-agers will benefit most from many church companies.
- Choose a house-group wisely
This decision could potentially decide how influential you will be in the church that you join. It is absolutely imperative that you join the house-group of one of the 'inner-circle', for numerous reasons. Firstly, they will probably have a nice, big comfortable house. Secondly, it is in this house group that most business decisions will be made. The church management shall be informed in due course.
- Learn the jargon particular to your new church
For effective communication, and to look like you mean business, make sure you use buzz-words often. Naturally, each company has different jargon, and moving from one organisation to another can mean learning almost a new language. Where words such as 'river', 'presence' and 'flow' may be popular jargon in one branch, these can be replaced by 'fire', 'journey' and 'conversation'.
- Practise your "mmm"
"Mmms" are an extension of jargon language. It is the sound of approval, vital for showing allegiance to influential people. When trying to show particular agreement, a "double-mmm" can be employed. You should never do more than a "triple-mmm" - people will think you've gone insane.
- Learn golf
A very effective way of socialising with others in your new organisation is to play golf. Being good (but not too good) at golf will result in many invites to more personal social events. This does work better for male customers, though it certainly does not exclude females.
- Buy a Cafetiere
Coffee is the drink of church. Even if you prefer tea, it is wise to learn to stomach coffee. Furthermore, you can fulfil your charitable duties by buying fairtrade coffee. After this, there is no real need to do much else charitable. Charity is expensive, and hard work, and therefore it is useful to find short-cuts.
- Do not commit
This is the golden rule. Do not commit to your new organisation. This does not mean you should up and leave at the first disagreement. However, always remember that if the management and 'inner-circle' consistently fail to meet your personal needs, it is time to swallow your pride, and admit you may have chosen the wrong church. Be encouraged though, there are plenty more fish in the sea.
(Please note that this is satire. I actually think the Church is a wonderful institute. God loves, and lives in the Church. I hope, though, this article makes you think or at least makes you chuckle.)