Fast Food in Church? Makes Sense, Really

This is apparently a totally serious idea. An IndieGoGo fundraiser for the McMass project, which seeks to put McDonald’s restaurants in churches to “revitaliz[e] Churches (sic) as centers for conversation and cultural engagement” and reverse the decline in attendance at many American churches.

The McMass Project was founded on the idea that churches need to innovate. Our goal is to establish a precedent and a model for an entrepreneurial church.

Our team at the McMass Project saw the many challenges churches today are faced with, and decided it was time to try something new. Our founder, Paul Di Lucca, one of the creative directors at Lux Dei design, a church branding agency; many of our team have also joined from there. Together, we decided to apply a design thinking process to solve the vacant church problem. Eventually, we arrived at an exciting, entrepreneurial solution.

We want to demonstrate a bold new vision for how churches can engage with their surrounding communities, and thrive in the future.

The fundraiser opened two weeks ago with a goal of raising $1 million. So far, it’s raised $167. But I think it’s brilliant. Religion often has so much in common with fast food — cheap, plentiful, full of stuff that’s bad for you. And for communion, they can serve a single chicken mcnugget and your choice of flavors for the blood of Christ.

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  • roggg

    If that doesn’t pan out, there’s al;ways the “Buddy Christ”.

  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    And apparently Fremont, California already has the Drive Through!

  • Larry

    Welcome to Our Lady of the Obese Lardass. Please partake of our Holy Host spread of donuts, cheeseburgers, and fries. Brought to you by the fine folks at Krispy Kreme and Micky D’s. And after our service, we’re havin’ ribs.

  • felicis

    Luke 19:46 “Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.”

    Of course – starting with the addition of ATMs a few years back to make it easier to give (or even earlier, with the addition of gift shops, or even earlier, with the selling of indulgences… Anyways…), I think their messiah would not be terribly happy with the state of his churches today… Unless they are planning on giving that food away…

  • John Pieret

    Damn! I must be a profit prophet! On yesterday’s post about the Fremont, California drive-thru church, I wondered if you’d have to talk into a clown’s head to get a specific prayer and wondered if you got fries and a Coke with it or had to order them separate from the McPrayer. Little did I know …

  • hunter

    The last time I ate at McDonald’s, I had a burger and small fries. I felt like I’d eaten a brick — it just sat in my stomach for hours.

    Churches tend to do the same thing.

    Count me out.

  • Jeremy Shaffer

    Years and years ago there was a (sort of) joke tabletop RPG called HoL. It was set in the far-flung and miserable future of humanity and one of the elements of the game was that “civilized” society was controlled by the Confederacy of Worlds (the C.O.W), which was basically the result of the Roman Catholic Church merging with a popular fried chicken franchise.

  • John Pieret

    I suggest they think BIG! The first McChurch should be the Sistine Chapel! After all the Roman Catholic Church could use some money to pay off all the childhood rapees and with a judicious application of a little paint, we could have Ronald McDonald presiding at the last judgment instead of that slacker, Jesus!

  • tsig

    “Do you want salvation with that burger?

  • Pierce R. Butler

    … Lux Dei design, a church branding agency…

    What. The. Holy. Fuck?!?

    This implies the existence of a whole ecclesiastical-marketing industry, with campaign coordinators, personal promotion projects, agents and producers, Glitz™ and Glamor® …

    So why no fancy new product rollouts since L. Ron Hubbard and Rael?

    Howcum they can’t even concoct better come-ons on the church signs?

  • http://timgueguen.blogspot.com timgueguen

    This isn’t exactly a new idea. Some of the US megachurches already have food courts, and at least one has a Starbucks in it.

    Pierce, I’m surprised that you’re surprised at that. The “name” pastors like Joel Osteen quite obviously have a high level of marketing support, so the pastors further down the food chain would also be a market for that kind of product.

  • caseloweraz

    Tsig: “Do you want salvation with that burger?”

    These churches, I think, may be confusing salvation with salivation.

  • anubisprime

    The only remarkable thing other then the fact that McD’s have seemingly been invited to get their sweaty grasping paws in on this smorgasbord of delight is the fact that the decline in church attendance has become critical enough to freak out the clergy and encourage them to make total dickheads of themselves in trying to be trendy and ‘street’ ‘n’ down wid de kidz!

    Only about a decade or two to late and a panic to far.

    The decline of an institution is never a dignified sight, soon enough the ecclesiastical’s will turn on each other in their distress, a bit like ships rats do when the boat is sinking, taking chunks out of each other in their panic and abject misery.

    What McD’s are doing is the mystery….well I suppose the rent might be reasonable but volume of turnover is not going to be awesome, and certainly will not impress Ronnie baby.

    Given that it is a logistic run enterprise, what with fresh bread and cardboard meat not passed its best by stamp they might even well struggle to supply a minimum wage workforce.

    And no business will run a loss making project for long, and it will be a long while before costs are covered when you factor in electricity and maintenance, let alone E.Coli free cooking oil.

    Cannot see them going there, nothing spells loss making quite like a church and ancillary minions trying to be with it!

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    The food’s actually okay, but the Holy Meal toys are crappy.

  • comfychair

    [A]n entrepreneurial church“?? Ah, you mean, a church that should be more inventive in siphoning munniez from the rubes, as opposed to the lazy way they do it now by just passing the plate around?

  • vmanis1

    McNuggets instead of wafers?

  • lldayo

    So…fabricated food for a fabricated deity? Sounds about right.

  • magistramarla

    When I was teaching, fast food and soda machines were in school food courts. They are now being kicked out, so it makes sense that they are trying to insinuate themselves into another meeting place where they can shake down the rubes.

  • chilidog99

    I think this is a great idea, but too limited in scope. Why just McDonald’s.

    Let’s expand the concept

    Burger King of Kings

    God’s Jr.

    Jesus Hut

    Pew-fil-A

    The Wafer Barrel

    Dunkin Wafers

    Jack on a Cross

  • moarscienceplz

    This makes perfect sense – give out empty calories with their empty philosophy.

    The food’s actually okay, but the Holy Meal toys are crappy.

    The crucifixion set was actually a lot of fun, until I lost the little nails. Then Jesus kept falling off the cross. Bummer.

  • http://dontlinkmebro F [i’m not here, i’m gone]

    I read the campaign page. That’s some seriously messed up thinking right there.