Turns out the Mission and Service people (among many) who continuously have to remind us about how low our voluntary givings are are right!
In his Christian Century March 11, 2008, M.E.M.O. column, Martin E. Marty reports on CalTech professor Antonio Rangel's experiment that showed how price activates the brain's pleasure centre.
When the people in the study were not told the prices of the wines they were sampling, the cheapest wine was the preferred choice.
But when prices were included, the more expensive samples were preferred. The catch was that unknown to the participants, the most expensive wine was included twice: once at its actual price and again at a cheap price.
The experimenters used brain scanning equipment to record people's brain activity during the wine tasting and were able to observe that the pleasure centre of the brain was indeed more active when the more expensively labeled wines were being tasted.
Maybe there are more than just theological reasons why those of us who price the "cost of discipleship" at bargain basement prices are losing our market share? The brain is programmed to associate cost with satisfaction!
Turns out our founder had the right price point for success right from the beginning: Those who want to be my disciples must pick up their cross and follow me. It doesn't get more costly than that.