By Rev. Kathy Neary*

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome, to the Annual Franchise Holders meeting of the United Methodist Corporation. I am the CEO, Bishop I Have All the Power and I Will Keep It Till You Pry It From My Cold Retired Hands. You can call me Sir. I call this meeting to order.

The Board of Directors and I have bad news to report. The UMC in this region has been under-performing for a long time. Our overall market share is one tenth of what it should be. Our competitors, especially Non-Denom, Inc., are stealing, stealing our customers right out from under our noses. We are practically invisible to the most important sales demographic, 18 to 45 year olds. This must change, and it must change now! The Board and I have determined that the root cause of our pitiful sales numbers is you! We are burdened with ineffective, lazy, unfaithful-to-the-mission franchise owners. Therefore we are charting a new course for our corporation that will result in larger market shares, more profitability, and more power for the CEOs and Boards of Directors.

Our first step is to close franchises in areas where the population will not sustain an independent business. To all those running those franchises, I say, thanks a lot, and your miniscule severance pay can be picked up at the door as you leave. Bye-bye.

Our second step is to replace franchise owners of under-performing franchises with new and
better owners, whom we have transferred in from our Southeastern Region. You can recognize these new owners by their smug smiles and the somewhat panicked look in their eyes. For those of you being fired, good luck finding new jobs. We hear that Starbucks is hiring. Don’t let that door hit you in the nether regions.

For the rest of you franchise owners, we expect 10% net growth in profits next year, or you’re

Okay, that wraps up our business…What’s that, D.S. I Was Smart Enough to Suck Up to the
CEO Before All This B.S. Started? There is a franchise owner who wishes to speak? Oh, yes, I think I see him down there. Well, come forward. Yes, you. Yes, you look like a White male with the proper amount of sniveling, so come forward to the microphone. APPROACH.

“P-please, Sir, m-may we have a prayer?”

Of course you may have a prayer. Please, bow your heads to me, and let me pray: Dear God, We
are so grateful that you have given us the mission of being your largest, most profitable subsidiary of God, Inc. We know we haven’t met your market expectations, but we beg for a little more time, just four years. We have a strategic plan to get rid of all the ineffective cogs in our system, and we just know it’s going to turn things around. So please be patient and don’t smite us yet. We humbly grovel at your feet, and pray in your name and name of all our corporate saints. Amen.

Now, receive this benediction: Go and Sell Christ!

And the people said, “We’re outta here.”


*Rev. Kathy Neary is pastor at Orchards United Methodist Church in Vancouver, Washington. Originally published on her blog, Future Faith.

Photo Credit: ‘Unbrand America’ by Flickr user  Pierluigi Riccio


  1. laughing and crying at the same time. How long, o Lord, how long will we self-sabatoge the work of the church with short sighted profit driven goals. Speak out sister. This is too true to be funny.

  2. Your representation of the current trends in The UMC is profound, humorous and sad. Please God, love us through these days of incorporation and unconnection.

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