An anonymous creator has built Church Tycoon, a new game where the goal is to become a megachurch prosperity gospel leader.
Described as a “casual church management simulator,” this very real app allows players to manage a church however they see fit. Users collect money, coordinate assistants and interns, and hire pastors, bishops or even apostles, on order to attract as many people as possible to their church. Players also can create “unique and luxurious temples” to expand their church building.
Users don’t just rely on finances and fancy buildings to grow their empire, though. Players can utilize the pastors, who all have “heavenly powers” and can “make miracles,” to increase the church (whatever that means). They can also use incense to boost their income and gather more congregation members (again, whatever that means).
It’s not entirely clear who the target audience is for this game. Could it be aimed at people who think they can run a church better than their pastor? Is it for non-believers to show them that church can be wildly entertaining, not just stuffy and boring? Or is it a facetious game meant to poke at church pastors who seem more focused on building their own earthly empire than building up God’s heavenly kingdom?
In the online description of the game, the anonymous creator poses a hypothetical question: “It’s okay for you to be very rich, the money is in the right hands, isn’t it?” It seems as if the creator is pointing out the absurdity of their own game. Greed is a very real problem that everyone can struggle with, and churches are no exception. Paul warns Timothy that “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10) and many leaders have wandered from their faith because of greed.
Perhaps the game, as silly as it is, will serve as a reminder that the Church is supposed to be more than an earthly building or personal empire. It’s the people of God that build up the Church, not their wallets.