From the FBC Jax website, it looks like things are coming together for the FBC Jax Pastor's Conference next February. There is a link to the pastor's conference website at http://www.fbcjax.com/. A pretty impressive list of speakers Mac has assembled. Noticably missing is Steve Gaines from Bellevue; but Steve's wife Donna Gaines is a keynote speaker for the women's conference. There are some blank speaking slots on the schedule, so methinks Gaines will be a late add to the agenda but they just didn't want his mug on the brochure for obvious reasons. Mac does address "staff changes" in his opening letter to potential attendees - but only to mention that he has Jim Whitmire on staff to provide great music.
Its also interesting to note that this year it looks like he has added "Florida Baptist Convention Seminars" in addition to the typical ministry sessions led by staff members at FBC Jax. The ministry sessions will be without a number of key staff that have left since the the last Pastors Conference: Rodney Brooks, Lewis Howard, Bob Barton, Doug Pigg, and possibly Calvin Carr - although Barton and Pigg may have been gone by last conference.
Church members, one of the questions that was asked on a prior Jax blog and never answered, is what happens to revenue generated from the registration fees paid by the attendees? We know that the conference is a tremendous expense in terms of lay labor and direct expenses to FBC Jax, but in the income statements of the church budget we don't see (and have never seen as long as I can remember) a line item for this income. So far as we can tell from the budget documents registration income doesn't hit the FBC Jax books. Last year attendance was way off, but assuming that 4000 people attend, and they are paying the $125 fee, that is $500,000. I'm sure the conference speakers are paid handsomely for their time and their expenses, but does the excess money go toward offsetting the direct budget expenses of the church for hosting the conference? Is there a separate corporation outside of FBC Jax that receives and dispenses this money? Does anyone know? Does anybody care? What about hourly staff expenses for hosting the conference - are these paid for out of the regular church budget, and if so does any of the registration fee revenue get transferred to the church to offset these expenses? Promotional materials are these paid out of the church budget? How would a church member find out this information?
As a member sitting under Mac Brunson's preaching the past year, I find it disingenous in his opening letter where he says to potential attendees that we are a loving and friendly congregation...just this past Sunday he told us to not to treat unsaved people like we do people in the church (it was directed to us, not the "church" at large). But of course it makes him look good to tell the attendees in his brochure how great we are...but attendees if you listen to his sermons you'll see that we are an unloving, complaining, and stuck in the past congregation.
More thoughts on the Pastor's Conference later...and some rememberences of the "highlights" from last year's conference.