"...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

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"After the Service, the Coffee Is on Mac" (If He's Available)

Mac Brunson in his local TV Commercial: "Why not make First Baptist your 'third place'? Come visit us, and if you do, after the service, the coffee is on me"

Well, darn it, we need to reshoot that commercial. Its false advertising. Mac invites people downtown to our church, but the coffee for our visitors is only on Mac when its convenient for him. Not every Sunday is the coffee on him, because he only greets visitors at a visitor's reception if there's nothing better to do. The coffee's on him only so long as he doesn't have a hot preaching gig to fly to, or if he's not rushing out the door to fly to the SBC, or if he doesn't have to take care of his grandchild..and of course if he has a "Holy Land" trip or cruise, gotta rush out of the service even if its the day when we have the largest number of visitors. You see, Mac is a highly paid (and I mean HIGHLY paid) CEO pastor and apparently all of his other religious and family activities take priority over rubbing elbows with the "plebe" of Jacksonville. Of course this is no surprise really - if Mac can't make it to Crime Prevention Steering Committee meetings with the likes of John Delaney, Nat Glover, Steven Wallace, Ed Austin, and Wayne Weaver (read this) then certainly he won't be able to visit very often with some Jacksonville hick who drove downtown to check out this new pastor and the big church.

In keeping with the theme of "hypocrisy" of late, let's measure Mac's own behavior in not greeting our visitors every Sunday, with that which he writes about in his highly-acclaimed (among those who only READ Mac's books and don't actually watch him Sunday after Sunday) book "The New Guidebook for Pastor's". Knowing that on the Sundays when we have the largest number of visitors Mac leaves the service without greeting visitors, here is Mac in his own words:

"People can tell a lot about the health of a church by what happens when the service is over....Much of what happens when the service is over depends on the pastor. If he rushes out of the worship center, the people will rush out too. It is my conviction that the larger the church, the more determined the pastor must be to stay after the service to speak with the people...Visitors were amazed that a pastor as prominent and as busy as he [W.A. Criswell] would take time to talk with them....It could be that success in pastoral leadership rises or falls with how the pastor treats people when the service is over."
Mac Brunson, "The New Guidebook for Pastor's", p. 105-106

Its bad enough that Mac himself can't hang around for the visitor's reception, especially on days when we have so many visitors like Easter Sunday and Father's Day.

But what makes it worse, not only does Mac not make it, but if he can't make it we CANCEL THE VISITOR'S RECEPTION. Yes, on Easter Sunday, in front of a packed house with probably HUNDREDS of visitors, dear Jim Whitmire had to announce that there would be no visitor's reception, as our Krispy Kreme eatin', pick-up truck drivin', grocery carryin' pastor had to leave to catch a flight to Morocco for his Mediterranean cruise. Sunday a week ago, no visitor's reception, Mac had to fly to Indianapolis for the SBC convention - couldn't even stay for the invitation! Father's Day? Nope, Mac can't make it, so we have to cancel the reception.

Yet with all the seminary-educated staff, and the highly (over) paid "executive" staff members with decades of experience, we can't figure out one fact:

Every Sunday when we have scores of visitors to our church, we need to invite them over to a visitor's reception in our new "Welcome Center". Every Sunday. EVERY Sunday. Not just when Mac feels like it.

Maurillio Amorim of the A-Group, Mac's church marketing consultant: come on guy, help us out here. We're a client of yours that helps you pay your bills (you even use your work for us on your website as marketing pieces) - please tell our staff that a visitor's reception should be a priority, and its not a function to be cancelled at the discretion of the pastor. Please tell them that the visitor's reception is NOT ABOUT MAC, its about the visitor. Please tell our staff Maurillio, that for God's sake (literally), when the visitors get in their car and COME TO US, we should at least show them the courtesy of inviting them to a reception where we can give them a soda, a cup of coffee, a snack, shake their hand, and our highly (over) paid executive staff can tell them about the ministries of our church and invite them back.

Even though our conference room Welcome Center that we built in 2002, well-suited for greeting and mingling with our visitors, was converted to a lavish office-suite for our pastor, we can still meet our visitors out in the lobby just outside the new pastor's suite...in fact we could give tours of the pastor's suite to let our visitors know how we would spend their money if they join the church and start tithing.

Seriously: Church staff, tell Mac we need a visitor's reception every Sunday and make it happen. Every Sunday. We have enough staff to do it EVERY Sunday. Board of Trustees: would you please do YOUR job...we elected you in January to serve the church, not serve Mac Brunson...do YOUR job and make the pastor do HIS job, which is to put the needs of our church and our community FIRST...above his cruises, above his Holy Land trips, above his duties at the SBC...and GREET OUR VISITORS.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, my thoughts exactly WD. I don't much care if Brunson goes to the visitor's reception, but with the huge staff we have there is no reason why every Sunday AM and PM that we don't host a reception to express our gratitude for visitors making their way downtown to visit our church. I would go one step further: its something that should be announced by the pastor at the conclusion of the service. "Please, if you're a visitor, I'm heading right now over to the reception and I want to meet you personally" or have Jim Whitmire sell it: "Please, if you're a visitor, we want you right now to make your way over to....and if you have a visitor next to you please make sure you tell them how to get to the..."

RM said...

I can understand Mac having things that conflict with the visitors' reception but I can't understand not having some staff member host the event every Sunday. Surely with as many as you have someone could do it.

It tells a lot about what your church actually thinks about visitors.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

RM: I'm not saying that a pastor is supposed to make every single visitor's reception.

What I'm saying is it sends a TERRIBLE signal, when the pastor is present for the service, but then has so poorly planned his schedule such that he must RUSH out the door to something else other than a visitor's reception. Especially in light of his own comments in his Pastor's Guidebook.

Easter Sunday was an absolute embarrassment. Jim Whitmire announced at the beginning of the service when he greeted visitors that they were invited to a guest reception...then later in the service he had to explain there would be no reception, since the Brunsons had to leave immediately for their Meditteranean cruise. OUCH!!! That one hurt. And why is the reception dependent upon him? He views the reception as an opportunity for the visitor to MEET HIM - that if he's not there, no sense in even having a reception. No, a reception is a chance for our church staff to meet and greet our visitors as a part of our outreach to the community.

This shows that he views himself as unaccountable to anyone. There is just no excuse. The day of probably our largest number of visitors to a Sunday service, and he couldn't stay an extra 30 minutes to an hour to greet our visitors.

This Sunday: no excuse. He preached the service. He should be able to greet visitors.

I know many will view this as being hyper-critical. But if this was just an isolated incident, people might overlook it. But this is just ANOTHER example of the Mac Brunson way of doing things that tells us about his priorities.

RM said...

I agree with you completely. Someone once well said, "Its not what a pastor says with his mouth but its what he does with his life that tells the priorities of his heart."

Enough said...

Anonymous said...

It would have to be pretty good coffee to make we want to be in the same room with Brunson! No surprise that greeting visitors are low on his list of priorities because most of them are non-givers at the time the are visiting.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Email from an FBC Jax member:

Dear FBCWATCHDOG,

I just found this blogsite of your and was embarrassed and deeply sadden.

I guess the obvious is that you don’t have anything better to do than gossip.

Use your energy to spread the Gospel, encourage and enrich others lives.

It is a sad day when Christians are using their energy against one another instead of furthering the Gospel.

Serve the Lord with Gladness and don’t accuse the “brethren” thus allowing for Satan to gain a foothold.

Pastors, Preachers and clergy of all denomination are NOT accountable to YOU or me.

They are accountable to GOD. It is our responsibility to pray for, support and encourage them.

First Baptist has an impeccable failsafe system of accountability, with the deacons and each respective committee they are voted by the church to maintain. There is an appropriate process to address your concerns, you slanderous blog isn’t it.

I for one trust God first and foremost that should anyone in leadership at FBCJAX be acting or operation in any inappropriate manner, that God Himself is big enough and capable enough to rebuke or remove that individual AND He, God, doesn’t need nor ask for your help.

Your blog is vicious and worldly, full of hate and very unChrist-like. Satan and the rest of the world who read it must be very happy.

By the way, Dr. Vines lived in a beautiful large home in a gated and private community. Based on the economy of that time wasn’t too far from what Dr. Brunson has now. Are you aware of the “housing compensation that the Lindsay’s and the Vines received, and how that economically compares to that which our search committee and ultimately our church agreed to offer the Brunson’s?

Would you be so proud of your blog if Dr and Mrs. Lindsay were to read it? And I know for a fact, if Dr. or Mrs. Lindsay could, they would sit you down and explain just how “out of line” you are. (shameful)

I am not perfect. I make mistakes. I don’t claim for a minute to know everything. But I am emailing you personally instead of contributing to your hurtful blogsite, asking you to pray and seek God’s face. What Kingdom benefit has your site been? It promotes hate and mistrust. Who has been saved, uplifted or helped by it.

Use your gift of writing and powers of acute observation to bring a positive message that enriches and benefits our Lord’s Kingdom.

I will be praying that God changes your heart in this matter.

I hope that you take these comments to heart. They are intended to bring peace and resolve.

Anonymous said...

You can't always have it your way? Wasn't that what Mac said about two years ago? Dr Lindsay Sr and Jr used to stand at the doors of the Hobson and the Ruth Lindsay Buildings after the services (all of them) and say hello and shook hands with hundreds of the fellowship. They did not mind being close to the congregants. Maybe we are now in a NEW AGE...standoffish....don't get too close to the membership they may think you really appreciate their coming. It's kind of like Howard Hughism. Stand away from them ...never get too close to them. Where do these people get their education? Do they get it in the seminaries or do they have a special place where these courses on pastoral authority take place.

I don't know but it seems that they are too uppity for me. Can't visit either, wouldn't that be sort of uppity? You would think that some of the Trustees or church staff pastors would just out of common sense would make themselves available to welcome new visitors. I just don't get it, but maybe I'm just old fashioned but I still believe in GOOD MANNERS and certainly don't find it among churches much anymore.

It's as though you are lucky you got to see them perform at the service, you sure can't call it preaching anymore. They are always saying I have to hurry now....I just have a few more minutes to finish...my third point is......

Well, I remember preachers preaching way after 12:00. The old pastors John and Charles Wesley preached for hours and hours from Sun up to Sun down in various places and then got on their horses and rode home late at night. Maybe with gasoline costing so much we could and should go back to those days!!!!

Pray tell what church will be like in another 50-100 years. I stand amazed and cannot believe we've drifted this far in the last 50.

Even more astounding is that only 37% of Southern Baptist attend services on Sunday morning (6million out of 16 million) and there is a proposal that SBC local churches go out and gather the "wayward members". See article "On Regenerate Church Membership And Church Member Restoration" 6/13/2008 The Florida Baptist Witness.

The church under the Purpose Driven Movement has driven out thousands and thousands of its membership by their philosophy which they admit didn't work and now they want to go back and reclaim members that arn't attending!!!!!. Unless the local church gets back to strong bible preaching and strong doctrine they can forget getting back most of those members. They forced many of them out...you know the ones...the pillars of the church Rick Warren talks about. History and psychological lectures have turned a lot more away. People can get that tripe off of the internet, reading, and watching some decent programs on the History channel.

God help us.

Watchdog: You got your work cut out for you. you could run this thing to the second coming and still wouldn't have time to report the half of it. I'm sorry, but in all truth, we're DONE. By the way, does the Rock Star sign autographs at this coffee get together?

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, your tone and comments are so ungodly. Please don't do this to the body of Christ.

Anonymous said...

my feelings exactly.what are we doing here? acting like a bunch of hatemongers. can we find something positive to talk about? all of these blogs look like a bad jerry springer show. we should be above all of that.

Anonymous said...

re:In my opinion, your tone and comments are so ungodly. Please don't do this to the body of Christ>

who are you directing your opinion too, the church member email or the original "watchdog" blog?

Anonymous said...

i guess everyone has forgotten how dr vines would leave during the last prayer with tight security ushering him out the door and to his waiting car that his wife, who had left earlier was already there. when both lindsays stayed after they were only at two of five exits so i am sure many people didnt get to shake their hands. but noone complained and that was in the day of having 1000 in services not 6 or 8 thousand. and as for ending the service in a rush, ever look over your shoulder, people leave in the middle of the service if he goes over 35 minutes. if he were willing and able to preach for a full hour, most of us wouldnt miss "kick-off" to stay.-get real-

Anonymous said...

The neighborhood Dr. Vines lived in was nothing compared to the Brunson's. Gated community yes, but definitely not an "executive home". The Lindsay's home was nice as well, but nothing fancy.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

IRRELEVANT.

Firstly, who cares if Dr. Vines did it. Two wrongs doesn't make a right.

Secondly, Vines didn't write a book telling pastors what to do then doing something else.

Thirdly, Vines didn't cancel visitor's reception at a whim. He coordinated his schedule with the staff and made sure that if there was a reception, he would make it.

Anonymous said...

okay - now your being ignorant WD.
the point was you are attacking brunson and leaving an impression like he is some kind of evil, self serving person. yet the previous pastor was far less of a "people person".

vines has writting many books telling preachers the what and how of preaching. had many speaking engagements away from our church while he was our pastor, did far more cruises and trips than brunson and yet, no complaints, why is that?

just how many guest receptions did vines attend that you went to? none, he never did anything like this at all.
And finally, who are you to determine right from wrong? you sure are mighty brave hidding behind this little website of yours.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon Emailer:

Get with it. Your head is in the sand my friend.

Pastors, Preachers and clergy of all denomination are NOT accountable to YOU or me.

Wrong. Mac Brunson is accountable to the Board of Trustees, and he is accountable to each of the church members to carry out his duties as a pastor in accordance with scripture.


First Baptist has an impeccable failsafe system of accountability, with the deacons and each respective committee they are voted by the church to maintain. There is an appropriate process to address your concerns, you slanderous blog isn’t it.

Maybe, but with the secret bylaw changes, including the removal of our finance committee we really can't be sure how our church is governed. If you had bothered to read the blog you'd see that. The blog is not slanderous. You're slanderous, saying the blog is slanderous, you slanderer you.

By the way, Dr. Vines lived in a beautiful large home in a gated and private community. Based on the economy of that time wasn’t too far from what Dr. Brunson has now.

Wrong dude. You don't know what you're talking about, and your head is in the sand. The market value of Vines home is 1/3 of the Brunsons. When Vines came, he had 4 kids in his house, and he purchased a nice home yes, but it was NOT an executive 5000+ sf home in Deerwood. You cannot compare Deerwood and The Woods - no comparison whatsoever my friend. So don't try to defend Brunson by lying about Vines.

Would you be so proud of your blog if Dr and Mrs. Lindsay were to read it? And I know for a fact, if Dr. or Mrs. Lindsay could, they would sit you down and explain just how “out of line” you are. (shameful)

You learned from Brunson well. One of his favorite tacticts is to claim to know what Lindsay would say. Yes, Homer might wring my neck if he could get my hands on me. That's OK. But I would also say that many of the actions of Mac Brunson would make Homer just as mad at him as me.

I will be praying that God changes your heart in this matter.

Not likely...I went on a Holy Land trip and while riding a donkey up Mt. Sinai God told me its his will for me to use this blog. :)

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 4:39 pm

How disgraceful.

Vines wasn't a hypocrite in telling precisely how pastors should pastor, then did something different. Vines wrote books on PREACHING.

But you're like the other Brunson defenders, you have to defend your pastor by attacking the previous pastors. That is sad.

And you don't know what you're talking about: Vines did visitor's receptions after Homer died. Check the facts before you come here and slander Vines.

I don't care how much of a "people person" Brunson is.

Anonymous said...

WD - Let's see...I want to defend my pastor, I want to accuse you of spreading lies and slanders, but you are using his own book against him and stating facts we all know are true. So I can't defend him, as much as I would like to. So...I will just tell you what Dr. Lindsay might say or what Jerry Vines did. There. And I can always criticize you too. What else can I do. Your observations are right on track and make my pastor look very bad. So instead of being upset with HIM, I will be upset with you.

Anonymous said...

WD> you are a sick and disturbed individual. you need to get out from behind your computer and get a life. who hurt your poor little feelings to make you so bitter?
I am so sorry I found this site, took the time to read what I have read and am glad, as I am sure you are, that I wont be back.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - if you're the same person who emailed defending Brunson by attacking Vines and saying things that aren't true - you may be the one that is "disturbed" not me. You may have drunk the Kool Aid.

Anonymous said...

Vines sold his big ole house in a gated community for a whopping $330k.

Anonymous said...

POST THIS WD:
I have known all four of our Pastors personally. Have been an active member since the 1960's. Participated on many committees and been present at many board meetings and rarely missed any services. Again, I don’t know you but I do know or have known each pastor. You are so off base it isn’t even funny. When you read your comments and those of many on your website the wording appears to be the same (yours and the reply) You appear to be answering yourself, I guess for effect. You have every right to express yourself. Right and wrong are only in your eyes and the truth as you tell it is very vague and obviously self-service to your own personal agenda and vendetta. The men of which you yourself have compared one to another on this page and several others that you have written on your site would most certainly be surprised at what you call facts. I know because they have told me. (the living ones of course) You are not disturbed, a disgrace or an embarrassment. I am and anyone else who feeds in to this garbage. Your opinions do not warrant comments and the time and energy those of us who care take to write them. You will continue and that is fine. I hope that those who really think the truth matters and defending our faith, acting as followers of Christ and supporting our church and our leadership will agree with me and basically "boycott" or leave and never come back to your site. Then you won’t have the platform you so badly need and desire to exert your self as the All Knowing One. So post that!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Boy you nailed me! I am the one who is posting all of the posts. I thought I had them all cleverly disguised.

OK everyone, shut 'er down, the Anon says boycott this blog. Don't come back.

Anonymous said...

Annon 3:44: you are correct that clergy is accountable to God. But please understand, being a pastor is a sacred trust. We as a church are to be able to trust a pastor to preach Gods word (all of it, the whole counsel of God) not just history or social issues and psychology. We must trust him to make spiritual decisions in favor of his responsability to the body of Christ. We have questions about acceptance of a $307 thou. land deal, nepotism, money making trips,all which have been listed here. Now we have problems with what he says versus what he does. Secret by-laws!!!
You can't deny what you see!! Also, we have no info on issues we are expected to vote for. As to the "impecable failsafe system of accountability": Are you serious? This is the deal. Mac appoints the trustees, the trustees duty is to say yes to Mac always(or they are no longer trustees). The deacon chairman appoints more yes men and around and around we go. So forget accountability. This is why the blog. is here. Has it occured to anyone that God may already have taken His hand off FBCJ. GEN6:vs3 MY SPIRIT will not always strive with man". We certainly have a lot of trouble now, that we never had before.
As to what Dr. Lindsay would say: He was a Godly preacher that preached ALL of the word without compromise. He was a no nonsense preacher that truly loved the Lord and the church. He would have cleaned this house pronto.

Anonymous said...

Regarding rambling, incoherent comment of 5:38: Guess we heard from a yes man. Many of us have been at FBCJ for years also. Have you noticed if you arn't on the same page with the always "in Gods will" yes men it is ALWAYS your fault. But, we aren't yes men thats why we have a blog. Thank you WD for this blog., sorry for your being abused by such caring individuals.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry, but I have read some of what you people are writing about your Minister but nothing that proves anything. Has your church gone completely crazy? Land deals, you sound like the mafia and money making trips, prove it, says who - you? Who are you? So your church had to agree to hire his wife and son, whose fault is that, apparently yours. If it he is as bad as you say, call KEN at the TV station, go ahead make your claims public and get this guy out of your church. What are you waiting for? He is either a bad man doing bad things or not. Get rid of him or shut up about this. Be like us Catholics and just wait until he really hurts someone, then say "I told you so". You Baptist are all screwed up. I would never believe anything any of you say.
Good Job.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 6:16 - you're probably not a Catholic, you sound more like a religious zealot - you view things in pure black and white terms. Mac is either good or bad, worthy of staying and doing what he does, or he needs to be thrown out of the church and exposed by Ken Amaro.

Maybe its not so simple. Maybe Mac is a good man but needs to come clean on things that have been going on in our ministry to free him up to be all God wants him to be in our church, and to free US up to love him and fully embrace him as our leader.

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

WD - still, I don't see anyone addressing his actions...just more being judgmental and critical of the blog and the WD. (Wait a minute, I AM the WD, just posting to myself..ha ha ha.) That is really a strange phenomenon to think about. Fact after fact is stated, and because those facts are "hurtful" to the pastor, some get upset. What if you just posted facts about how great the man is. I bet no one would ever ask you to stop blogging. So it is not about the means of expression, but more about suppressing the CONTENT of what you write. Sounds like freedom of the press and freedom of speech are threats to those few in power. WE MUST SILENCE THE BLOG OR BOYCOTT IT! Homosexuals are getting married in California and not a peep from Rick Warren and his boys, but man this blogging has got to stop! These people are so shallow in their pastor worship.

What is so hard about the church demanding more transparency on the business side of things? Tell us how we can get a copy of the by-laws and the changes. Explain why the changes were needed. Explain who knew about the land gift and when they knew about it so as to "vindicate" Mac. Because until then, he looks like a greedy, manipulative charlatan. Are these folks happy that he leaves during the invitation so he can get to the SBC Convention a night early? Or that he cancels the visitor reception at will? This guy is an authoritative jerk. He needs to read the book about Jesus on Leadership. (servant leadership) His style is abrasive and divisive and in conflict with his own book.

Anonymous said...

Donny Mac, Jr's problem is this: A lack of respect. Every man needs it and will do crazy things for it, according to Mac. Even cheat on his wife or get into gangs. So applying this to Mac himself, he left a good ministry and commitment in Dallas in search of RESPECT. He could not find it despite having followed in the pulpit of the most respected Dr. Criswell. Prestonwood was right up the road and Mac was a little bitty fish in a huge pond. He never could, or should, have earned anywhere near the respect Dr. Criswell had and this angered him. Even Dr. Jack Graham built up Prestonwood, he didn't inherit another man's ministry. So off to Jax, to follow two of the most loved and respected pastors in the world. Guess what, he does not get even one iota of the same love and respect that those men earned. So lack of respect is his problem. And he has yet to find it from the congregation or in his own home. Hey Donny Mac, go start your own church, live amongst them and minister to your flock, grow it numerically and spiritually, and then someday, you might have their respect. Until then, the money sure is good here isn't it?

You are a disgrace and a joke, Donny Mac.

Anonymous said...

Just for the record, Dr. Billy Webber started Prestonwood and it was considered a mega church when he pastored it. Jack Graham was the recipient of an already
fast growing church when came as pastor and of course the North Dallas area was fast growing. It was Webber's vision that put the church there and where the initial growth began. He DID inherit a church established by someone else!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Vines did the visitor's reception for years. He didn't just leave under "tight" security to go home.

Yes, he did have tight security, as did Dr. Lindsay. In case you didn't know, there was a good reason for it - their lives were threatened on a weekly basis! And following the whole Mohamed ordeal, of course Dr. Vines' security would be tightened.

However, to say that Vines just left after the service is just factually incorrect.

Being a supporter of Dr. Brunson does not mean it gives you the right to disparage the good names of your former pastor's. In fact, some of the behavior in here from Brunson supporters towards former pastor's is downright disgusting.

There's nothing wrong with being a supporter of Dr. Brunon. I am one of them. However, in my support of Dr. Brunson, I still don't see the need to put down Vines or Lindsay for anything to show your support for Brunson.

Anonymous said...

If all Christians acted like Christ, the whole world would be Christian. - Mahatma Gandhi

"By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35

"And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? "Or how can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother's eye."
Luke 6:41-42 NKJV

Heb 13:17 "Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account."

But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 2 Timothy 2:23

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - Great scriptures. And excellent quote from Ghandi. I agree, if preachers like Brunson stopped living like kings and rock stars, and instead humbled themselves to be servant leaders, following after say, Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul, how much better off would the world be?

Anonymous said...

For the record, I never heard of Prestonwood until Dr. Jack Graham got there.

And you seem to discount what Dr. Graham's leadership has brought because of "explosive growth" in North Dallas? That is weak. Jacksonville continues to grow by the thousands each year and we are actually declining in membership.

If God's hand is not on the leader, it will be obvious. Regardless of how much the city grows.

Fact is, Mac inherited ministries from Criswell and Lindsay/Vines and has done nothing with it. He just can't cut it. Andy Stanley, Ed Young, Jr and Joel Osteen all used their youth and energy to reach a new generation. Mac is NOT the man to try and do that in Dallas or here. But until this church realizes it, he will continue to live large like a king.

I-C-H-A-B-O-D on Team Brunson and their ministry of family and personal branding and wealth building at the expense of formerly great congregations. But...he couldn't do it without a handful of gullible, yes men could he? Nope. You men ought to be ashamed of yourselves!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Mac says tonight that our church is planting churches in Albany, NY, "downtown Atlanta", and I believe he said Tampa.

Really?

Sorry, if you cant' tell I'm a cynic when it comes to anything Mac tells me.

Why not give us some detail. Just how are we doing this? Money? How much money? Who are we giving it to if we are giving money? Can't he share details with us?

He likes to talk about how our church is involved in all these mission ministries. But let's get down to brass tacks: how much of our budget is actually going to these ministries? When people are taking mission trips, its not funded by the church. When we send youth now its not paid, Mac did away with that.

Anonymous said...

Having been brought up in a Christ centered ministry/church (Dr.Lindsay) I can't possibly imagine being in any church with a Joel Osteen, Andy Stanley or Ed Young, Jr. These are Purpose Driven with hard rock music and just plain entertainers.These are not my idea of preachers. I personally would not cross the street to hear them. Much to the chagrin of our current pastor, the Lindsay footsteps (60yrs.) are hard to fill. Many of the men that were around serving then are around now. I am wondering how they have been able to compromise so easily.

Anonymous said...

Was Mac asking the membership to pray for financial means to do all of these various ministries? Why is there hardly any effort to reach Jacksonville? Remember: "That Jacksonville May Know Christ." Cells in St. Johns co. What's wrong with Duval Co., that's where the money is coming from. The lost are all around here. Who in our church membership is going to preach and teach individuals in Atlanta, Tampa and Albany NY? It appears, we are taking a shotgun approach to ministry. Just fire everywhere and hope something happens. Do we really think Jacksonville FBC will have any effect on these other cities. This sounds like Purpose Driven satellite churches to me. Check out "How To Take Your Church Purpose Driven".

Do we not know that FBC has always been a local church? Do the trustees have any idea of what's going on? Yes, Jacksonville is growing but FBC is not. We need to build up our own church. Our resources should be spent right here in Jacksonville not all over the country. Do these other cities not have churches. Why is it up to Jax to prioratize them, with our resources.

We have thousands on the church roll that do not attend the services? This should be a priority to get them back in attending and serving!!!! No choir tonight and the appeal was made for people to join the choir. How many services did he say someone else would be preaching this summer? Why!!

We don't need an excuse to travel all over the country for meetings.
This just doesn't sound effective to me. What would be the organization required of FBC in these other locations?

There have been many in our church that have left for one reason or another. Some don't like the changes, some find the preaching style too abrasive. Some have been alienated. Some think the direction we are going in unacceptable.A Somewhat scattered and fractured situation. Our own church is falling apart and the desire is to go in all directions, just to look like we are doing great things on the mission front. Heal this church first. There is quite enough to do HERE!!! And it won't cost money. Let's visit our own people! One final question: Is FBCJ a 1st priority or not?

Jason said...

here is an outsider's view on fbc...take it for what it's worth:

I was raised at fbc...attended sundays and wednesdays, was involved in all activities through high school before i moved away for college

Jesus saved me this past July. The instrument he used were people at my current church, Willow Creek Chicago, who lived and loved like Jesus. In all my time at FBC, I never felt Jesus' love from anyone. I was just a body in the seats. And I was a member!!! With lots of friends!!! I am more than willing to admit this is partially due to my own stubborness. And sure, I learned a lot about the Bible, how I should act, how I shouldn't act.
But to feel the love of Jesus radiating from other people was what God used to break me.

I don't know much about Brunson or the politics surrounding FBC right now. I just would like to encourage the members of FBC to love and live like Jesus. That's all that really matters. That's how you're going to reach Jacksonville.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Watchdog!! Logged on expecting not to find you still here. Thought you were shutting 'er down!! How much longer are you going to be online?

Anonymous said...

Watchdog, I'm like you, I hate to be cynical, but does he have family members in those cities who need jobs? I looked up Andy Stanley's "Buckhead" Atlanta satellite on the internet to see how it was run and they have a full staff...they have to...I have heard someone say that it has thousand's in attendance on Sunday. How were the cities picked? I'm guessing the A Group worked the numbers to build the "brand". I just don't see why you have to "expand" to other cities when the numbers in the pews in Jax seem to shrink every Sunday. Has the mission in Jacksonville definately moved from reaching the lost in our city. I'm guessing too that the pulpit committee had no idea that the Brunson approach would be to move away from reaching Jacksonville to satellite churches here there and everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone list ten positive things about Dr. Brunson as a pastor, preacher or as a Christian? Just ten.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - my take is a bit different in his claim last night that our church is "planting" churches in Atlanta, Albany, NY, and Tampa, FL.

I'm certain these are not FBC Jax churches or satellites. I view his claim with skepticism in the sense that its an exaggeration to say we are "planting" churches. Are we planting, or are we giving some sum of money to help get these started? If we are giving money, how much and to what extent?

For instance in our church budget every year we give a sum to Liberty University, or at least we used to (can't tell now that the financial reports are even less detailed than before Brunson). It was on the order of several thousand per year. That's great, but in a budget of 16 million its nothing to point to as a "ministry" of ours.

So I'd be interested in knowing: to what extent are we planting churches in each of these locales?

Sorry, I view everything he says that paints himself and our church in a positive light with skepticism. He changed our bylaws very signifcantly and didnt' bother to mention one word about it. So his integrity to be open and honest with us regarding ANYTHING he is leading our church to do is near zero with me.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Sure Anon - I can start a list:

1. He is a great family man and husband.

2. He is a good story teller and orator.

3. He is very educated.

4. He is incredibly well read - I want a preacher who reads and learns about history and current events.

5. He has impeccable personal moral standards - not a hint of any scandal or impropriety

6. He is a conservative, and unashamedly so.

7. He professes to believe the Bible to be the literal, inerrant, fully sufficient word of God.

8. He is interested in missions and making our church more missions-minded.

9. He has wonderful children that love him dearly - this says about as much about a man as anything.

10. He's not preoccupied with his looks and appearance like so many ministers today that look like they spend an hour adoring themselves in the mirror before preaching.

I like these things about Mac, and others.

I just wish he would humble himself and address the many concerns that have been raised on this blog...not because I want them addressed, but because many in our church will not be freed to love him and accept him as their pastor until he does. He has said and done things in and to this church that have been very hurtful...and I don't believe he will be able to lead our church as God wants it lead until he humbles himself, is open and honest with us about things that have happened his first 2 years.

Any other things to add to the list?

Anonymous said...

I will add one:

He certainly listens to the advice and counsel and leadership and he often seems to defer to the spiritual wisdom and spiritual leadership of his wife.

Her being from a Presbyterian background, this is probably where the move to an elder led (staff led) congregation came from.

Anonymous said...

I have a question, I've been a supporter of the church sort of and I am a member for now. But a couple of weeks ago, I didn't like that in the sermon the pastor talked about a counseling incident with a couple from Dallas (or wherever) from the pulpit. So I wrote the church and asked about it, clearly stating that I was a MEMBER of the church in the email. And I felt like the response I got was pieced together from other emails response, telling me that IF I WAS A MEMBER I would know this and that about the church. I didn't like the response, and I didn't like the sermon that I heard that Sunday either. So, since I wrote and asked and felt kind of insulted by the response to my letter, especially that they couldn't even read and see that I said right in the email that i was a member, I wondered if all the responses to questions you write the church are canned, like a piecing together of emails to form a response etc. Anybody know? Or a form letter just filling in the blanks of what the person asked about? I mean, cause if you're gonna piece together a response from a bunch of stuff, then at LEAST can you answer the persons question, and not add insults to the person. I understand that when you have thousands of members that you can't answer letters from everyone about stuff, but the letter I got was insulting enough that I didnt attend church last Sunday, and I definitely decided not to attend any further counseling in their Family Center, and hey, I wrote and tried to go the Biblical way to ask my question. I didnt think my original letter was rude, I just asked if the pastor had permission to quote the guy from the counseling session. Whats wrong with that question? I said somebody quoted my counseling session in a sermon once, and they did several years ago, and I was kind of insulted. But in the email they acted like I said that somebody quoted me in THIS church. Thats not what I said, and it was like totally misinterpreted. Kind of like somebody pieced it together from some other emails, I tell ya.

Anonymous said...

Anon - emailing the pastor, or trying to ask him anything face to face or by any other method will not work. That is a lie from those supporting him no matter what. If you have any questions, Trey will field them, or you will get some canned, rude response, or you will be directed to the proper committee for answers.

We have tried. NO answers are forthcoming from this staff about anything. PERIOD. Test me on this one. No answers, period! Not even the yes men can get answers if they ever happen to find anything to ask about. If they did happen to ask, they are no longer yes men and will not be tolerated. All they can do is brown nose and say yes.

Anonymous said...

Annon: 5:04 Your lucky you got any response at all!! Most of us dont't get a response whether we sign our name or not. Plus, you dared to ask them a question on the appropriateness of discussing his counseling of some couple privately in his role as pastor. He said, counseling was not his strong suite. Privacy isn't either, unless it's his business, or of course information asked for regarding matters concerning the church. As my "ole grandma" used to say:"If you want your business kept private, don't tell it". Guess that would include the "counseling" preacher. Bet those people won't be talking to any preachers again.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Yes, I was flabbergasted that he shared that counseling session in his sermon. Jerry Vines has told stories like that before, but he hides enough of the details so you wouldn't no even what church he was speaking of, much less who it was. I recall the story Vines told of seeing a church member at a pro golf event, running up behind him only to find him with another woman. But we never knew who it was, it was some "previous church"

But Brunson actually said this couple was from Dallas, that they were elderly, very rich, very popular, everyone hung out with them, fun to be around, etc. And that she would always cut him off in mid sentence, talked to him like he was a child - etc. That is more than enough to know who he's speaking of, if you're someone from Dallas.

Then he proceeds to tell of the actual counseling session. Deb was there. The wife was crying. Deb got the Kleenex. Deb consoled her...etc. etc. Then Mac explains the guy had a girlfriend and was cheating on his wife.

My initial thought when hearing it was that he spoke about them in a past tense such that maybe they were both passed, but that's unlikely.

Anyways: Church, don't go to Mac for a counseling session. I'm dead serious. He will likely leave here and go to another gig, and he might use your session in one of his sermons. "Yes, I had this couple back in Jax. He was a high school teacher, she was a principle at a junior high. Great couple. He was short and balding, she was beautiful. The lived on the Westside, and had 3 kids. I think his last name started with a B. They were well liked, I think they sat in the front left section. Well, anyways, let me tell you about their counseling session....."

Mac should be ashamed. Maybe a trustee will go to Mac and tell him not to do that anymore.

And maybe pigs will fly.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

About emails. I've had a number of emails from "pastor@fbcjax.com" forwarded to me from readers of the blog. Its very apparent that there are multiple responders, probably son, wife, and even secretary, and probably not Mac. Lots of grammatical errors, sometimes very short and not friendly responses.

About the counseling session again:

Isn't it a bit ironic: things that should be out in the open and shared with the congregation: like significant bylaw changes, reasons for doing "Time to Stand With Israel", details on his sweet land deal, are all kept quite, not a peep. But the sacred trust that he has as a pastor in a husband/wife counseling session - NOT A PROBLEM. I'll share that will everyone. Pretty scary stuff.

Anonymous said...

What is it with Christians that they love to take incidents from other peoples lives and "share them" with everyone like they have that right? If this was only the first time I've ever seen this in life, I would be a lucky person. And the way its "shared" is a lot of times in such a derogatory manner to the person being "shared" about. Here is what I say to any Christian...the next time you want to "share" something about me....we can "share" it in a court of law. (I'm the person who asked the question about the counseling session again.) I'm really bent out of shape about this, not cause of this incident, but it brings up such memories of the past and those wonderful "sharing" Christians. ugh. Can't people draw the line between appropriate storytelling and crossing the privacy line????? WHAT SOME PEOPLE WON'T DO FOR A STORY. But this is supposed to be Christianity where people "respect" each other. Excuse me while I fall out laughing.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - I'm not quite sure I understand. Are you upset over Brunson mentioning that counseling session, or about us talking about it? Your last post isn't so clear.

But how does Brunson sharing this story, which he obviously should do, affect you personally? I'm not making the connection.

Anonymous said...

Hey WD, About St. John's homes for teaching on Sunday night, has anyone thought about who would own these homes? I heard the Church was building homes in that area, would be a community like Ponde Vedra. Maybe you can check this out, and see what you find out. Keep up the Good WORK! We need YOU!

Anonymous said...

you gives are make me laugh... and thats sad...you've never grown up lol