I was contacted about my recent E.G.C. Megachurch Challenge post by a good friend and colleague in the Order, and she posed some interesting questions about how to do that kind of thing when you’re starting out small. We got to talking about different things they could do as a small body without any permanent space yet, but with a decent number of people attending their regularly scheduled masses. What quickly became apparent was that there’s a lot more to having a thriving Thelemic Body than just “lots of people at the mass.”
To get to an E.G.C. Megachurch, I think you’re going to need at least two weekly events:
- Thelemic Study/Discussion Groups
- The Gnostic Mass
This way, every week you can invite two to five people to come to a Thelemic event, and they can either have an easy conversation over coffee or wine, or witness and participate in our Mysteries as a communicant in the Mass. Then Thelema can just sell itself, and the participants can take it or leave it as they Will. If what we’re doing is at all true and useful, the visitors will respond and accept the Law. Thelema sells itself.
Weekly study groups are easy. They can happen at libraries, coffee shops, or ideally, living rooms. I know there are dangers to doing these things in living rooms, but trust me, more than a dozen Christian Megachurches stared out as Bible studies in living rooms across America. If you’re going to do it in your home, don’t use the internet to advertise it, target people you know, and invite people you would want in your house. This will help grow a local organization that feels comfortable together. Pass the hat at every event, and put the money away for a public space, you’ll need it later. Every penny counts.
I’ll write up a Promulgation piece sometime, after I test a couple of theories out a bit.
But weekly Masses… That’s something else altogether. To do an official mass, you need at least one Ordained Priestess or Priest, a Deacon, and preferably two Children. Deacons should be Baptized and Confirmed. Children in the Mass should be at least Baptized, I think.
To be an Ordained Priestess or Priest, you need to be at least a Knight of the East and West (KEW). To be KEW, you have to have finished all the Man of Earth triad of initiations, and at a minimum, I believe that takes … four years and nine months, if I remember right. Which means that the day you’re able to take the next degree, there’s a body prepared to perform the initiation that you are able to visit.
Which means there needs to be an O.T.O. body that has at least one Chartered Initiate, and all the things necessary to initiate through the III*, and other secret stuff to get through IV* and PI, and then KEW.
And to get there, you need a body with an awesome set of Officers running the local organization. You need a Body Master, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and as the body grows, an Initiation Secretary and an E.G.C. Secretary. And they need to be competent.
So you need a qualified pool of volunteers to select from. So you need a pool of volunteers. So you need a membership of more than 3-5 people.
So you need to put on regular events to draw people.
And one Mass team isn’t enough to put on weekly Masses. People get sick. Their kids get sick. Their pets die. You need at least three full Mass Teams that can switch up for each other as needed.
So the first thing you need to do is build the framework of qualified people who can support the minimum regular schedule necessary to build the foundation that can begin to expand into the Ultimate E.G.C. Megachurch (which will be hosted by Leaping Laughter in the Valley of Minneapolis long before anywhere else because we’re the best of the best).
So to recap, the key to growth is going to be promulgation, getting people to your local body events. That’s the start. To do that, you need to have events to which you can invite people. the take-away from this post, I think, is probably:
- Home study groups are easiest to invite people you trust to, public space study groups are next best, especially free ones.
- Invite people. Personally.
- Have the meetings regularly.
In Part 2, I’ll go over some themes that came up in the conversation we had about ways to build up the basic things you need to have a solid O.T.O. and a solid Mass Team. It’s Themed Events, with Advertising and Targeted Flattery. 😀