"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Saturday, March 15, 2008

So God Did "Unleash the Resources"....or did Mac?

Questions that the FBC Jacksonville should be asking of their pastor and the board of trustees and all the deacons who supposedly unanimously approved the $500k transfer of funds from FBC Jax to the First Baptist Church Academy of Jacksonville, Inc., for the start of the school:

1. Because we have been behind budget over the last quarter and the giving appears to again be more than 10% below budget for the first month of the year, what parts of our ministry are we cutting that will allow us to give 500 thousand dollars to start the school? According to the pro-forma upto $737,000 dollars will be needed before the school opens; that is more than a 5% hit on our church budget. At the Sunday evening service on 11/25 Mac asked us all to pray that God would "unleash the financial resources of the church" we would need in the coming year for these new ministries, and you said to us: "...and you are the resource." Does our giving indicate that God answered this prayer? Were the financial resources "unleashed", or by "unleasing the resources" you meant you were going to just take them anyways even if we were behind budget like we are now? What were we praying for if you were going to hold an unannounced vote anyways to just take the funds for the school?

2. Mac admitted on 11/25 that the church had overspent $500,000 on missions in 2007 (click here to listen to a 10/7 audio clip from a sermon at Mud Creek in North Carolina where he bragged about giving so much to missions that we were $500,000 behind budget, and accused our finance committee of being "terrified" and having "little faith" - what does our finance committee say now that over $500k is going to a school start up?) that caused us to be behind budget...perhaps that was the money God wanted to go to the school? Can we really trust leadership that "overspent" half a million on missions, and now is dipping their hand into the church resources again to fund half a million for a school? I know for a church our size many think that 1/2 million dollars isn't much, but get real FBC Jax members: most churches don't have an annual budget the size of what was just taken out of our church funds, in order to start a school. Mac, Sunday you screamed at as about what Homer would say if he came back and saw that only 50 men had signed up to "pray with you" (he would probably have said that perhaps God wanted you to have only 50 men)...I wonder what Homer would say TO YOU when he saw you cutting ministries in the church but taking 1/2 million to start your school.

3. On the pro-forma passed out Wednesday night, what is the $230,000 on the start up costs for "administrative space"? Are those renovations at the children's building? Where is this "administrative space" and why is a quarter million needed for that? [Too bad we jumped the gun and built a luxurious library/office/pad for the Brunsons in our conference room - that would have been the logical place to put the school's administrative offices].

4. Why does the pro forma show $280,000 in salary for staff 1-year prior to the start up? Certainly we need to hire a headmaster, and admin staff and educational staff in advance of school start-up, but that number seems awfully high for staff expenditures 1 year prior to start up. Perhaps a head-master up front, but what other hirings need to be made well in advance of the start up for work that couldn't be done by current staff?

5. Dividing the total tuition revenue by the projected students it appears average tuition per student for the first three years of operation is $7663, $8122, $8563. On what basis does FBA come up with these tuition numbers? If Mac is so interested in "educating our children" and "reaching the next generation and their parents" through a school, why are these tuition numbers so high as compared to other Christian schools that FBC Jax members currently send their kids to? Many church members assumed that since we already have non-utilized space and no major capital start-up costs are needed for school facilities that tuition would be quite a bit lower.

6. Did Mac and the committee research how many faithful FBC Jax members currently have their kids in private Christian school, and what the tuition numbers are that they currently pay to perhaps set tuition to allow these families to consider the school for their kids? How many members of FBC Jax, from whom they've just taken $500,000 from monies they've given to the ministries of the church will be able to afford such high tuition? Just who are we trying to reach in our city with tuition numbers that high? Set tuition that high if we're looking to attract upper middle class and very wealthy families to the school, but please don't insult our intelligence by telling us that such a school with upper-end tuition is necessary to reach "our city".

7. While there are many strong arguments for starting a Christian school, why Mac is your main argument for the school that it is NECESSARY in order to reach the next generation? You've said that on numerous occasions as documented here on this blog. Can you explain why a school is an absolutely necessary ministry for our church to be successful in reaching our community? Is it really true that "you're never at home, we're never at home, and nobody is ever at home anymore"?

8. Please explain: Why was $500,000 just taken from funds given by members to the ministry of the church for a new entity (FBC Jax Academy, Inc.), but now you are asking for a special offering to pay for what SHOULD be a ministry of the church, that is the broadcast of services on TV? Wouldn't it make much more sense for us to raise the school start-up funds by special offerings from members and even non-members who might be interested in the start of a First Baptist Academy?

I and others are thoroughly disgusted with how Mac Brunson has handled the start-up process. He has not been straight with us on why a school is necessary (telling us that people aren't home anymore and that it's a necessary component of our church if we're going to fulfill our mission), he has decided to start the school with 1/2 million dollars from our church that was given to the ministries of the church (not for the start up of a school in 2009) at a time when other ministries are being cut, and then he calls for a vote on the 1/2 million dollars without even announcing it on the church website or from the pulpit or in the bulletin. Now we find that the pro-forma for the school assumes tuitions that are out of reach except for the very few richest in our church and city.

Church, wake up. Mac has just taken 1/2 million dollars from monies you've given to your church for the ministries of the church, to pay for start-up costs of a school that he claims is necessary to reach the lost. He asked you to pray in small groups, led by deacons, on November 27th that God would "unleash the financial resources necessary", and I submit that God has not, through his people, unleashed the financial resources for this school, but Mac instead has decided to just take them. What in the world was he having us pray for if he was just going to hold an unannounced business meeting to fund the school start up from church resources? If the school is such a good idea, then I submit that it would be worthy of a special offering so that those who truly are excited about the idea could give to it, and we could all rejoice in how God "unleashed the resources". Do you still feel comfortable giving money to a church where the pastor and the board of trustees will take it for a non-church ministry so easily with no prior announcement before the vote? All of this is not surprising to those of us who were outraged at how Mac and the board of trustees ram-rodded the bylaw changes through last year.

Now that they've taken your money that you gave for the ministries of the church for the start up of the school, be sure to dig deep and give generously next week in the special offering on Resurrection Day to pay to resurrect Mac's nationwide TV ministry!! According to Mac that is another ministry we must pay into in order to reach the lost!

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are so right. In fact, we should immediately fire the pastor, and we could make you the pastor since you know all and know how to start a school and all about how the church should operate! Only problem is you would have to reveal your coward self because we cant have an anonymous pastor!

Anonymous said...

I'm just apalled. The tap into our church funds was made Wednesday, and the spicket can be opened further by a small group of men called the Board of Trustees. You are right, I'd like to know what Homer would say about this if he came back.

Anonymous said...

I know what Homer would do because he would do what Jesus would do. Which is...? ITS IN THE BIBLE. SOME OF YOU OUGHT TO READ IT SOMETIME. AT LEAST PICK UP A HYMNAL AND ACT LIKE YOUR ARE TURNING SOME PAGES! (You biblically illiterate morons.)

Paul Y said...

Watchdog asked if God answered the prayer for the resoruces to be released within our church and the answer is no, they were not. But Mac doesn't care to wait on God for an answer, he just decides what Mac wants and does it.

Case in point: Mac asked men to pray about joining him as prayer partners. Mac wanted 100 plus men to join him as prayer partners. Apparently God has only moved in the hearts of 50 men instead of 100, so Mac blessed out all the men in his church last Sunday and invoked Homer's name in the process. May I say it: Mac, I knew Homer Lindsay. Homer Lindsay was my pastor, sir, you have absolutely no idea what Homer Lindsay would say if he were here so please stop invoking his name. Perhaps if you want to know what Homer would say about something you ought to ask Ms. Shirley and give her the mike, because she WOULD say what Homer would say and you wouldn't like it.

What am I saying? I'm saying that Mac asks people to pray, and if they pray and its not the outcome Mac likes, he either gets mad at the people who prayed, or he just does an end around and keeps on going.

What a true man of God. Great example for all of us.

Our church leaders always brought the needs before the people, and waited for God to move. Homer and Jerry Vines never dipped into the funds of the church for special projects outside of the church ministries, but Mac apparently sees no problem with it.

Anonymous said...

I have gone to a baptist church most of my life. I won't go anymore. The churches are business's now. I refuse to pay these potentates another dime to inflate their lifestyles and egos further. I've had enough of these men making money off churches. Mac go..........please go and leave us in peace, preferably without bankrupting us. The church cannot afford you and your family. Church, this is really cruel to you.........you don't deserve this. You hired him in good faith, face it, he is an expensive disaster. Where do I go to get all of the money back that I have given down there? Mac, I knew Homer Lindsay..........You're no Homer Lindsay (either one of them).

Anonymous said...

I cannot tell you how ticked many people are as word gets around that the vote was taken wed on the school and people are hearing the projected tuition. I have not given to the ministry of the church of First Baptist Church to have the money pulled out and put into a school that will start in 2009. I already have my kids in a Christian school and its all I can do to pay the $3500 per kid, and give money to support the ministries of my church. Now I see that he is taking money we've given for our church to start a school that will be for the very rich. This is the last straw I can't follow the leadership of the Burnsons anymore.

Anonymous said...

Church, you can't TRUST the trustees and deacons to do anything, so don't look to them for help. They are as helpless as you to stop Mac. Yes men can't spell NO.

Anonymous said...

Watchpuppy, do you think you will be able to stay anonymous indefinitely? People know who you are, you can't stay anonymous forever and you will be exposed for the dissenter that you are, and you will be embarrassed and your family.

Anonymous said...

I had an uncle that was a baptist preacher in another state for over 50 years. He gave away much of his personal wealth to the poor in his community and to missions. He taught all of his children to work for a living. This man never took a salary from any church he pastored. He lived very modestly in the community. This man was truly a God called preacher.

Anonymous said...

The Church votes on the deacons, and all of the members of each committee. The Church members put their trust in these deacons and committee members to go to these monthly meetings and pray through issues such as starting a school, stopping/starting a TV ministry,etc. Dr. Brunson does not have the power to start a school on his own or stop/start a TV ministry on his own. Why in the world are you constantly berating him for these decisions? Do you really think each and every deacon and each and every committee member is brain-washed to say yes? I really think you're upset about something else and are choosing to take it out on the Pastor. It's utter nonsense, if you don't like it so much and if you can't follow his leadership then please pack your bags and go elsewhere. You are acting like a fool, and I really feel sorry for you.

I think you have jealousy/envy issues that you need to deal with in some way other than lashing out at the Pastor.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - Who are you kidding? Dr. Brunson does have the power to start/stop a school on his own. Of course he does, the pastors at our church have run the church and they make the decisions and the management culture in our church is that the pastor makes decisions and deacons and committees rubber stamp the decisions. That is precisely the problem. It worked well under the humble pastor leadership of Vines and Lindsay, but it is dangerous under the arrogant, self-serving, CEO leadership of Brunson.

To ask for a special offering to put him back on TV - was that someone else's idea? What committee would have the power to stop him from doing that?

How did the decision to take $500k from the church for the school start-up happen? He goes to the Board of Trustees, that he appointed two months ago, and they approve it. He goes to the deacons, and they approve it although they have no power anyways. Then he Brunson goes to the finance committee and tells them that the board has decided to do it, what else are they going to do but go along? Am I wrong? If so tell me how!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 12:17. Don't you suppose if these leaders were really doing their job, we wouldn't be in this mess. Obviously, where there is smoke there is fire. I pray also, and I have been led to see much amiss down there. If you call me a fool when the Bible says "call no man a fool"; what does that make you? By the way, what flavor of Kool Aid do you like best? One other thing when there is very little discussion on matters brought before the congregation and there is one second for aye how does one know what is happening down there?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Watchpuppie: I have been a member of FBC for almost 30 yrs. I love my church fellowship. No church is perfect because the people are not perfect. Maybe there's some things the Lord is teaching our pastor through all this, but who are we to set ourselves up as his "watchdog" and point our finger at him. Isn't that the Holy Spirit's job? Instead of blasting him with your opinions, why don't you get on your knees and pray for him? Do you have callouses on your knees from doing so? If these decisions about a school, TV ministry, etc. are wrong, then let the Holy Spirit convict Pastor Brunson of such, not you all who what to be his judge.

Jesus said to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you...". Are we doing that? Are you? Dr. Lindsay, plenty of times, rebuked our congregation, when he knew things that were going on with us. He had times of disappointment in us when there was an apathetic air among us. That's part of the preacher's job. Jesus, many times, rebuked his disciples for their lack of faith, wrong motives, and bad attitudes.

Watchpuppie, it's wrong of you to hide behind this blog. Know that our judgment will come back to us many times over, I can promise you that. If Pastor Brunson's motives are wrong, so are yours, by the way you are behaving in this blog. I don't see any resemblance of the love of Jesus in what you are doing here. If you don't pray for Pastor Brunson and our church, then leave and find you a "feel good church" to spread your discord.

Have you shared the gospel of Jesus with anyone lately, or prayed for someone to be saved lately? Do you conduct yourself in a manner that draws people to Jesus? I am ashamed to say, but am willing to admit, that sometimes I don't. Our pastor is trying to bring us all back to the main focus, Jesus. I feel we have our priorities all out of order. We're focusing on our pocketbooks and not Jesus. That's where we all need to wake up.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - Homer Lindsay and Jerry Vines yes they did get on us, but they saved their anger for being angry at sin, not at people. They used gentle correction in the church, but always trusted God to move in our hearts when there was a need. When there was a need, they communicated it, and asked us to respond and gave God time to move. Most times we did respond, if we did not they didn't beat us up. This past Sunday Mac's rebuke for only having 50 men pray for him is VERY telling of what he is about. He asked people to pray about praying with him, and he didn't like the response so instead of gently reminding us to keep praying about that, he lashed out and rebuked in anger. Did you hear me? I said ANGER. He sees it as his role to play the Holy Spirit in OUR lives. Go to his podcast and listen to it again and you'll see the man is angry. I'll tell you another thing about Vines and Lindsay - they always thought the BEST about us. This guy week after week talks to us like we're bible illiterates, as though we never bring our bibles, as though we're always asleep - his act and attitude is growing so old that its hard to tolerate.

Your last paragraph is strange indeed. If people are giving less and are concerned about their pocketbooks, its in response to Mac Brunson and his actions at the church that we've chronicled here on this blog that have made people not trust him and the lay leaders.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why you're even at this church. Oh, i know, it's because you want to put someone down! You're not being very Christ like....

It says in the Bible, that we should WANT to act like Jesus. If all you are going to do is put down the man who works 7 days a week, preparing an awesome sermon for us Christians, then you are totally not being someone Christ like. I <3 God, don't you?

You didn't answer my questions in my last paragraph that you called strange... you completely blew them off.

Anonymous said...

Amen George Wells! I hope you and all of the other people just like you continue to believe you are giving "to the Lord" when you give money to buy houses and cars and luxuries for your preachers and yourselves. I hope you build even more multi-million buildings, and put slides and Nintendo games and fishtanks in them. And, George please give all you can give to the downtown school, and then pay $8000 per year to send your child there. That keeps "God's money" from being used biblically.

Satan

Anonymous said...

All of you might be interested in the website saving bellevue. Another sad commentary of a Southern Baptist Church (flagship) previously pastored by Adrian Rogers for over 30 years. We need to pray for those members also.