The following is a part of a series I plan to write on the “Prosperity Gospel” movement. It’s leaders include; Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, TD Jakes and many more. The series itself is satire and intended to be an introspective look at the deception in these movements and how they target their prey. If you know people who are a part of these type of churches, please make an attempt to share the Gospel with them.
Everyone wants to be prosperous. There are enough scripture references to use in order to convince even the most stubborn of person, that God cares about how wealthy and successful they are. We must always be careful to talk just enough about “sin” that we don’t give away our intentions. If we become too prosperity driven without a counter balance it will be much too easy for people to see through our motives. We will try to avoid some of the more introspective sins and focus on ones like lying, murder and idolatry. Most people will agree that these are common. Stay away from denouncing any type of politically charged sin such as homosexuality or transgender. In fact the more you side with any popular group, the more support you will get.
Part 1: Choose Your Target Audience
There are several options you have in choosing your audience to target. Historically the elderly are the most susceptible of people to give up almost all of their money. With the elderly (typically 65+ of age) you can expect:
-They have social security
-Multiple medical conditions that cause them pain
-Spend a majority of time watching television and are easily manipulated through “testimony”
-Are looking for that last minute insurance of an eternity in Heaven. They have come to grips with reality that they won’t be alive forever.
When you target the elderly, you must be sure to capitalize on their need for healing. Most are going to doctors, so if you touch on the fact that God is a great healer, you can convince them to forgo paying for medical services and instead plant a “seed of faith” in the ministry. Showing them that seeds are mentioned in the bible, and that God “gives increase” you can likely convince them that their finances can be seeds. (Don’t forget to use the parable from Jesus in which the steward buried his money). If you use enough scripture, even the most skeptical elderly person will be convinced.
Another way to ensure that you will receive a steady influx of donations from them is to continue to convince that they can send even more for additional blessings. Maybe they are estranged from their families and a promise of a child or grand-child visiting will cause them to sow just a little more. If you send letters and trinkets in the mail after they are on the mailing list, you can convince them that you are more concerned with their well-being than you are about their donation.
Testimonies are incredibly helpful to convince anyone. If you can find just a few people close to an elderly age, you can have them tell stories of what God has done in their lives. This will bring hope to your targets, because they identify with the story and the hope that they get from actual testimonies are enough to cause them to become gullible.
If you display names of top donors on your television program or mailer, you give those people a chance to feel included in what “God is doing”, therefore stabilizing their support until they die. There are even those who you can convince to leave their inheritance to the ministry. These are special cases but the larger your reach, the more opportunity there will be to get large sums.
By preaching that “the love of money is the root of all evil” you can convince or convict almost anyone that if they don’t donate to you, they love their money. This is a great way to allow the scripture to speak plainly, and those who are scared of their station in life, will gladly do all they can in their “final hours” to give what they can. You mustn’t forget to show “blessings” to them video an interview. If possible, though it may be a risk, send a reasonable sum of money to an audience member and ask if you can interview them. It’s proven that if you inspire your audience with an exciting testimony of how this works, they will donate more. Consider the Publisher’s Clearing House commercials. After one commercial would air, subscriptions would spike.
The elderly are the most susceptible to coercion and they are also decently financially established. In the beginning they can be a little skeptical, and in the most difficult of cases you should be able to convince them by just sending correspondence with “prophetic” words of health and encouragement. It’s not hard to pick a common ailment and hit a target based on the laws of average. The risk is well worth the reward.
On the next installment of this series, we will address targeting the poor.