A Chicago-area church is bringing a new twist to the “prosperity gospel.” According to the Chicago Tribune, Lighthouse Church of All Nations in Alsip, Illinois, awards weekly cash prizes to lucky churchgoers who are sitting in the right seat.
Writes reporter Lolly Bowean:
At each of the three Sunday services, the Rev. Dan Willis pulls a number of one seat from a bag and the worshiper in that seat wins a cash prize. Two of the churchgoers win $250 and the third gets $500. The church gives away $1,000 each Sunday, Willis said.
The cash prize is part of Willis’ recent focus on helping his congregation pay bills and begin a debt-free life, he said.
Rev. Willis is not ashamed to confess that the giveaway is a gimmick designed to fill the pews — and it’s working. Since the cash giveaway started five weeks ago, weekly attendance has grown from 1,600 to 2,500 people. And if a few souls get saved in the process, that’s all right with Willis.
“If I can get someone in here and teach them and give them money, that’s what I’m going to do,” he said.
Read the full report here, then tell us what you think about Rev. Willis’ ununusual church-growth methodology.