I frequently get messages from people shocked that I charge for my art, cartoons, books, my community, and coaching. They say things like, “Jesus never charged people for anything. You SUCK!”
To that, I only have one argument that seriously challenges it. You’re wrong!
Jesus charged far more than I do. Let me explain.
People say: When Jesus invited people to follow him, he didn’t ask for money. There wasn’t a financial cost to following him.
Or was there?
There were grades of followers of Jesus.
Some liked to listen to his teaching and would either find him or happen upon him and listen to him teach. For free.
Then there were those who were so enthralled by him that they would take trips to go find him and listen to him. Not free. They had to pack supplies or take money to last sometimes as long as days. There were some who, although they weren’t a member of his immediate disciples, followed him around from place to place. This also was not free. This required money in order to support their pilgrimages. Some cost.
Then there were the disciples, the loyal twelve. Not only did they, but they were required to leave their families, friends, and even their jobs. They gave up more than their incomes. Great cost.
So, when people tell me Jesus didn’t charge people to follow him, in one way they’re right. But in another way they’re dead wrong.
No, he didn’t charge an admission fee. But he did require people to pay far more depending on the level of their commitment.
So, when people express disgust when I charge people to be a part of The Lasting Supper, my online community, I respond by telling them: I’m not asking you to leave your family and friends, or to quit your job. It’s only $15 per month, which is only .50¢ a day (only .41¢ if you pay annually), and I can find that in parking lots!
I like the Jesus model for business: three offerings inviting three levels of membership and commitment:
1. Free stuff for anyone.
2. A small cost for fans.
3. A greater cost for committed clients.
This is how other business people I admire do it as well. So this is how I do it too.
1. I offer free stuff every day through my cartoons, art, writing, and videos.
2. Then there is a small cost for fans who buy my cartoons, art, books, and The Lasting Supper memberships.
3. Then there is the greater cost for those who want to work with me at a deeper level of intensity and commitment. Like Jesus, an effective coach would be very busy with around twelve clients, I think.
(By the way, for those who criticize me for charging more than a some people can afford, we do provide sponsorships.)
Some of you might be thinking this is a crass way to talk about the ministry of Jesus. You might believe I am degrading, dishonoring, and demeaning his work. I used to be tempted to think that way too. But once I started healing my negative beliefs about money, my opinion changed. Now I see that this is just how life works. There’s no getting around it.
Even Gary Vaynerchuck, whose work I consume daily, uses these levels of commitment. Yes, he gives tons away. But you have to pay if you want more. And you have to pay a lot if you want to go deep.
There’s nothing inherently evil in money, nor the need for it, nor the appeal for it.
It’s how life works.