Communion just got real.
A church branding firm is trying to raise $1 million to put a McDonald’s restaurant in a church building.
This idea was conceptualized by Lux Dei (Light of God) Design firm - obviously just before their lunch break one day. I’m sure proposing an outlandish idea and then supporting it through social media posts has nothing to do with providing a case study to their customers and potential customer base.
They just want to be “the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13) and if you have eaten at a McDonald’s lately, you know that salt hasn’t lost its saltiness. Every fry tastes like a salty piece of heaven above.
In a statement on a website supporting the idea of McMass, the group said, “We realized that a design approach — an entrepreneurial approach — had the potential to revolutionize how churches engage with the world. We want to see churches return to the center of everyday life, and the way to engage with our modern culture is through innovation.”
I have two Bible passages at war in my mind challenging how I should respond to this. The first is Acts 10:9-23 where Peter’s vision of eating animals his Jewish tradition had taught him were unclean were shown to him to be acceptable by God. The vision was about more than food. It was about taking the message of Jesus’ offer of salvation to gentiles as well as Jews.
The McMass church could be another vision God has granted using food to open new doors on the delivery of the Good News.
But another passage seems more relevant. That is Matthew 21:12 when Jesus drove the moneychangers out of the temple. The fact that they are seeking $1 million in startup costs is a cause for concern. Selling McMass T-shirts and snapback hats on the site also lends credence to the idea that this may be more about profit than prophecy.
The idea of a McMass church makes sense on many levels.
Let’s face it, if you are going to pray before any meal, McDonald’s a good place to start.
“Dear God, please bless this ‘chicken’ before I eat it,” might be a good start. “And thank you for whatever animal the McRib comes from, for it is a tasty beast.”
Lux Dei is pushing the #feast4Jesus hashtag but somehow McDonald’s feels like more of a binge than a feast.
Honestly, if my church were also a McDonald’s, tithing would be a lot easier.
Even though they aren’t tied to any particular denomination – despite the name McMass, which sounds far more Catholic than Protestant - the McMass people do seem tied to the idea of using beautiful church buildings as locations for these new McMega churches, but I don’t think limiting the idea to one fast food franchise is the best idea.
Let’s flood the market.
In fact, for tithing purposes, I might already be spending a tenth of my income at Sonic. Maybe we could make Sonic a church. People always complain that church is too long. A drive-in church would really speed things along.
Don’t even get me started with my pizza delivery church idea where I stay home and someone brings me both pizza and a sermon to my house.
I’m not sure this project will get off the ground, but if it does, they better also get permission to change the name of the Filet-o-Fish sandwich to Loaves and Fishes or they will have missed one of the best marketing ploys in the entire plan.
Kent Bush: Do you want fries with that sermon?
Communion just got real.