Although created simply as a harmless, time-wasting video game, Goat Simulator is now the latest tool in the belt of seeker-driven church planners who are looking for the next big thing to attract new attendees.
“Our typical market research is mostly successful at exploiting current trends and making a mockery of them,” explained Ned Young, Jr., lead motivational speaker of Hennoship Church in Grapevine, Texas. “With Goat Simulator, we are able to experiment with combinations of elements in our worship services such as bungee jumping off running roller coasters with rocket backpacks, jumping between helicopters on motorcycles, and interstate highway parkour. This creates exciting and unique trends that keep people coming in the door to be exhorted to obey God’s command in Malachi 3:10 to pay us ten percent of their gross income.“
Not only are experiments in Goat Simulator bringing in new attendees simply on an attractional basis, but they are also generating new evangelism strategies. “Older evangelism strategies such as calmingly walking up to someone, explaining how awesome Jesus is, and then hopelessly begging him or her to repeat the sinner’s prayer require patience that we simply do not have,” explained Stephen Fertig of Levitation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Now we have warrant to run into people and gas stations at full steam, just like in Matthew 21:12, audaciously believing that our god has plans to prosper us and not to harm us, even when we are drenched with gasoline.”
Plans for the game’s sequel, Goat Simulator GO, are on hold until the developer’s team of lawyers reviews its potential benefits and risks.