IFAS | Freedom Writer | Summer 2000 | promise.html

They promise not to die

After ten years the Promise Keepers (PK) refuse to die. With 17 conferences scheduled this year, the conservative men's group founded by former University of Colorado football coach Bill McCartney, is once again full of life.

Two years ago the group dropped admission fees to its stadium gatherings, hoping contributions would cover their costs. The move almost drove them into bankruptcy. They've now reinstated admission fees - $69 for adults and $49 for youths under 18.

The free gatherings didn't draw more men, as they had hoped, according to Steve Chavis, the group's director of public affairs. He claims that men want to be told what to pay for admission; "they don't want to have to pray about what to give." While PK claims to have reached 3.5 million men through 98 conferences, dedicated followers of the movement tend to go to more than one conference a year, inflating the numbers.

Evangelical organizations tend to think, or hope, that their movements will spread like wildfire, igniting the whole population. In reality, if they continue at all, they eventually reach a saturation point, which is probably the status of the Promise Keepers today.

© 2000 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.