A New Jersey group calling itself the "McMass Project" has launched an online fundraising campaign to help open a McDonald's franchise inside a church, in the hopes that adding a fast-food giant inside a place of worship will help "revitaliz[e] churches as centers for conversation and cultural engagement." One of the group's founders, Paul Di Lucca, tells NBC News that the campaign is not a joke, but instead a valid response to the fact that "Christianity is unable to capture modern audiences." The group's fundraising video points out that thousands of churches close each year due to low attendance, while McDonald's restaurants "serve 70 million people each day." McMass also credits McDonald's with "keeping families together" as part of its Ronald McDonald House charities (and they have a point: many communities already use McDonald's locations as gathering places, often to the chagrin of franchise owners).
The McMass Project is seeking $1 million in funds to help purchase a McD's franchise, and write that they are "currently searching for a suitable partner church to work with." Di Lucca admits to NBC that "we are aware a lot of people will think this is an insane idea," but the accompanying video urges church-goers that modernizing churches is a necessity, and that "it's time to pray different." The project has currently raised just $77 of the million-dollar goal, despite awesome incentives like #feast4jesus t-shirts and other McMass Project swag. The Indiegogo campaign will last until January 16, 2015; go, watch the fundraising video below: