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Friday, September 06, 2013  

A Guide to Short-Conning Pastors

My apologies for the long hiatus, friends. I wish I were breaking the streak for something more than this, but at least this is pretty good (if I do say so myself):

Having spent a number of years now in the kinds of churches that entertain the travelers of the grift circuit, I’ve learned a few things about rip-off attempts. I’ve seen some great efforts—even some leaving me uncertain that they were scams—and others that were just shamefully bad. How can you increase your odds of walking away with some cash?

Don’t appeal to naked pity. Straight-up sob stories are not usually effective. We hear a lot of them. We give a lot of our money, and sometimes our congregation’s money, to fund social service agencies and other emergency aid outlets. And a lot of us are compassion burnouts. We need variety in our lives like anyone else.

Do appeal to more complex motivations. Be in some other kind of trouble, something that doesn’t immediately call dollar signs to mind—ideally, something that is at least partly of your own making. Remember that our business is aiding sinners, not victims. Protection from danger is a good thing to need, or moral counsel for a serious dilemma. Most of us imagine helping people in tight spots or wading into morally ambiguous waters. Let us do that!

Read the rest at the Christian Century

posted by Benjamin Dueholm | 11:59 AM
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