"...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, June 14, 2008

Who Is More Accountable? Megachurch Pastors or U.S. Senators?

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"There was a time when most pastors were poor. Many still are today....But a pastor should not allow a well-meaning church to pay him an exorbitant salary"
Mac Brunson, "The New Guidebook for Pastors", p. 184
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Mac Brunson has said on numerous occasions he began his educational training believing he would become a lawyer some day. But then God called him to preach, and then God called him to be a megachurch pastor in Dallas. Then while riding a camel up Mt. Sinai, God called Mac to come to FBC Jax. Even though he admitted during the 2008 pastor's conference that he has the "smarts, drive and ambition" to be just as successful outside of church in the business world, he humbled himself to take the lowly position of millionaire preacher at a mega church. How inspiring.

From a financial standpoint, its a good thing he became a preacher and not a lawyer or politician. Compared to what he's making now as a megachurch pastor, having zero accountability to the people giving the money and earning, well, an "exorbitant" salary, he has it made!

Just ask the U.S. Senators.

There is a law that requires Senators to annually disclose outside income earned in addition to their $180,000 salary as a Senator, any gifts they received in the prior year, and a summary of asset holdings.

Yesterday, June 13th, the Senators released their 2007 disclosure reports.

Headlines from the reports? Majority Leader Harry Reid reported receiving a land gift worth a whopping $14,000. Mitch McConnell received a $500 crystal sculpture.

Obviously Senators Reid and McConnell don't have the "drive, smarts, and ambition" of Mac Brunson, or they would have been able to use their position to get larger gifts from the people they are supposed to be serving.

Imagine if they had reported a land gift worth $307,000 from an influential developer. And only three weeks after arriving in Washington. Headlines would be made for sure.

As discussed here many times, its an absolute embarrassment that our mega church pastors earn HUGE salaries and benefits without the congregation, the people giving money for church ministries, for "God's work", having the opportunity to know what cut the pastor is taking.

The trend of the last 20 years is public disclosure of all public officials' salaries - for instance the salary of any Duval County agency employee can be looked up here. Full disclosure. Why is this important? Its obvious - full disclosure to the givers of the money equates to accountability. When money is allocated in secret by a select few, and when those few in control know the likelihood is almost zero that their decisions will be subject to the scrutiny of the majority of the givers, then abuse is likely. If not abuse, then at least allocations are made that don't serve the best interests of the organization.

Mac Brunson and family, together with salary, benefits, and perks, reportedly earn over $400,000 from FBC Jax. Some have said its higher than that. That's exorbitant. That's disgusting. Do I say that out of jealousy? No. I say it because it's God's money that we're talking about. Its doubly disgusting considering the quote from his book at the top of this article. And we'll say its triple dog-disgusting given that he won't dare disclose his salary, benefits, perks, gifts, and outside income (outside income by the way arguably is NOT earned by his so-called "smarts, drive and ambition" but because he holds the title of "Pastor FBC Jacksoville"). And shame on us as a church to sit back and pour money into the offering plate each week. We are willing accomplices in this misuse of God's money to enrich a man and his family.

Thank goodness our society has learned the value of openness and transparency in finances when it comes to our public servants. It serves us well. Too bad megachurches like FBC Jax can't hold OUR pastor servant to at least the same standard. It would serve us well to ensure God's money is not misused.

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well brothers, you have it. We are now officially 100% Rick Warren,Seeker Friendly, worldly led and conformed nondenominational. The bylaws have trapped us into this mess and it will be difficult to get out. We tried to warn the members of this coming tradgedy but we were not loud enough nor wise enough to make an impact on the members of FBCJAX.

So what's next? Make no mistake, while the members of FBCJAX are still unaware of the devestation that lies ahead of our church, the HOLY SPIRIT is not!

The HOLLY SPIRIT was not asleep when the bylaws were secretely written to gain control of the church.

The HollY SPIRIT is not sitting back watching while Mac Brunson continues to preach, leaving out doctrine or the gospel.

If Mac Bruson thinks he can go against God's Word and preach from a paraphrased bible.

So be it!

I would not like to be in Mac Brunson's shoes.

We will see what the members do next. The noise of this takeover will be spread abroad. News of what the TRUSTEES have allowed to happen here at FBCJAX will be discussed from church to church. Some churches will agree with Mac Brunson, others will will get on their knees and pray that it doesn't happen to them.

Members, what will you do now?


TRUSTEES, BE NOT WISE IN THINE OWN EYES!

Anonymous said...

Will the members of FBCJAX see the light and demand answers from Mac Brunson for his abuses of power?

Will they sit back and allow secrecy to continue at FBCJAX?

Will they continue to allow these CHANGES to take place?

OR will they take action?

Anonymous said...

What other secrets are contained in the bylaws:

Were the words "God's Word" changed to read "Holy Bible"?Is that why any bible is OK with Mac Brunson? You know like he says "take out your COPY of the bible" Does Mac Brunson know which COPY is God's Word? Is the book The Message God's Word? We have it in our book store. It must be a bible. Right? Wrong!

Dr. Brunson when did you stop using the King James Version and start using the NASV bible? Dr. Lindsay would not allow anyone to preach in the FBCJAX pulpit unless they used the KJV. Was he wrong?

Anonymous said...

WD - the main difference I see between senators and public employees disclosing such information from that of a non-profit organization is that we are FORCED to give our taxes. When you are forced to give, you demand accountability. On the other hand, gullible sheep VOLINTARILY give to "God's Work." No one makes them give, so it can be argued that they need no protection in the way of disclosure from the government. To put it more simply, "If you are dumb enough to blindly and gullibly give your money to people and organizations without any accountability, go ahead." The government stays out of it.

"A fool and his money are soon parted." Mac Brunson...maybe?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 8:55 - perhaps, but its interesting to see then these megachurches who love to throw the word "legalism" around, then turn around and use legalism and tell their congregations if you want God's blessings you have to give 10% of your money. So its really not freely given in that sense, since they use their tactics to ge the money out of the people.

Also, look at 501(c)3's that are non-religious. Most of them do make available to their donors the financials in enough detail so donors know the money is not being misspent on enriching the CEO and his family.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Definition of "exorbitant" to help us:

For Mac, here's his definition

exorbitant: Middle English, from Late Latin exorbitant-, exorbitans, present participle of exorbitare to deviate, from Latin ex- + orbita track of a wheel, rut, from orbis disk, hoop

For the rest of us stupid sheep who don't have the sense to even bring our bible to church:

exorbitant: excessive

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Memo to Holy Land Travel Agent:

Please make sure to schedule camel trip up Mt. Sinai.

Thank you,

Concerned members of FBC Jax

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

About the bylaw changes: is it possible that the bylaw changes were not Mac's idea, but the idea of the upper echelon power structure to take power away from the congregation so that what happened at Two Rivers (the membership called a special business meeting, called for an up or down vote on the pastor)? I'm not saying this justifies the changes you say are in the new bylaws in any way, I'm just speculating on the impetus for the changes.

The Anon that is posting about PD and bylaw changes: have you read the bylaws, do you have a copy of the bylaws? If you have a copy I challenge you to scan them and email me so that we can provide them to the full membership as they should have been BEFORE the vote...should be put up here for all to see.

RM said...

You guys might want to take note of what happened at Two Rivers. You could be out the door before you know it and there's not a thing you can do about it.

RM said...

Personally I not a big fan of church business meetings (I think the business should be handled by the elders) and I'm not a fan of posting salaries (I think that should handled by the Personnel and Budget committees that are elected by the church).

HOWEVER...

I was sitting here thinking of the bedlam that would arise if all the megachurches were to actually publish the REAL SALARY PACKAGES of their pastors and staff. I think the outcry would be heard all the way to Heaven. I can hear them say "Well, we're a big church with responsibilities so they need to be paid well." Wonder what Jesus would think of one of His servants making over $400,000! On the other hand, imagine the outcry if the Christian community knew the real salary packages of some of the television evangelists.

I'm going to Prestonwood Baptist Church tomorrow and the sad thing is that I'll be probably be wondering how much Jack Graham makes all during the service--but then, I don't have to worry about knowing since noone in their church knows...

Anonymous said...

Straight from Rick Warren's pastors.com website, read all six parts of How to transition an established church beginning here. Link to the next part is at the bottom of each page.

How far along is your church?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

God bless you Anon that posts on the PD and bylaws.

But I don't have a copy of the bylaws. I'm not willing to go to the church leadership and ask for a copy, and I don't think they would give me one anyways.

Before we go down the road and say "we're full blow purpose driven, the bylaws have been changed to make us a PD church", I want to see the bylaws. If you have them as you say, please forward a copy. You have my email address in the "Profile" section of this blog. Any other readers that have the bylaws, please send them. If our church bylaws were changed so that there is no more finance committee, and that power was taken away from the congregation and given to a group of men called trustees, and the men assuming the power did not have the integrity to let the church body know what they were doing, then let's let the Southern Baptist Convention know about it. I think conservative pastors all over this country, many of them that will be asked to fork over hundreds of dollars to come to the next Pastor's Conference here...they deserve to know about any shenanigans concerning our church governance.

And if Mac Brunson was the driving force, let's know that too. Pastors and seminary students who are buying his book deserve to know the truth about how Mac's own actions at his church square with what he preaches in his book.

Wouldn't Tim Russert have done a great job interviewing Mac Brunson? Can't you see Tim Russert putting up Mac's quotes from his book on the screen and asking him about how his own actions square with his book? But I digress...

Let's let everyone see the bylaws.

We should have seen the bylaws BEFORE we voted on them.

Who will send the watchdog the bylaws to post on the Internet?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - please email me. Create a yahoo or gmail account if you need to keep your anonymity. I need to discuss the bylaw issue with you privately.

Thank you brother.

Anonymous said...

RM: RE: Bedlam and the outcry of the people: The lack of unaccountability of these mega preachers are the ones that have caused the bedlam, not the church members who are trusting and giving. So please no excuses for these guys. That's like saying someone has cancer but don't tell them. Churches are sick and being abused on top of it!!

If something is hidden where public trust is involved, you can bet its not for any good reason. It probably would hurt the preachers to have the people know the truth. Money is their "calling".

Having said this: There are many "Godly" pastors that are truly in the ministry to truly serve God and the people. You know the ones that PREACH the whole Bible (not history, or social subjects), the ones without the "bloated egos". There are many true preachers that preach JESUS and redemption. They are preaching to get people saved!!! Not to acquire wealth!!! Most of these men are not rich or anywhere near it, here on earth but what a reward they will receive in heaven when they hear "Well done good and faithful servant". If I were one of those real preachers I would be fed up with the mega guys giving the ministry a bad name.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:55 a.m. --

Regarding the difference between transparency in government and transparency in church finances, I agree with you (and disagree with WD) to an extent: whether Mac abuses his position to gain donations or not is irrelevant -- he has no authority to FORCE people to give, as the govt does, so the donations are still voluntary. In that sense, I agree that we do not need govt regulation requiring disclosure of details -- it is a free market thing, keep the govt out of it.

The "missing link" here I think is this: what WD is doing IS the free market at work. WD is bringing these issues to the forefront, and attempting to get the congregation to "self-regulate" and require these disclosures on their own. This is the very essence of free market control -- it assumes that the individuals, collectively, will act in their best interests, and will not act in ways that harm their interests.

Here, presumably, the "best interests" of the congregation members are to see the gospel furthered and people discipled. Anything which hinders this interest would be "not in their best interest". The very public actions of the most public representative of the church could very well hinder these things, so the congregation needs to take action to avert this.

So in one sense, you are right -- there is a difference between govt and church accountability in finances. But that does not in any way discredit what WD is doing here. In fact, the way WD is doing it is preferred as a free market approach is preferred to a government-mandated approach, any day of the week! (Just my opinion...but I bet even Robert agrees with me!)

Just to carry this comparison a step further -- imagine if the government made tax payment voluntary. Would you still pay? Certainly there are some valuable services that the govt excels in -- security, infrastructure, etc. I would still pay at least to an extent, and I bet if you are honest you would too. NOW -- imagine if the govt made tax payments voluntary AND simultaneously removed all transparency in the realm of finances. Imagine if the public was required to "vote" on these changes without being informed as to what all was being changed. You had absolutely no idea how the tax money was being spent, or even if it might be going to fill an individual's pockets. Would you still pay your taxes? Or would you demand accountability before paying? You and I would probably demand accountability before we paid -- but imagine how frustrating it would be when you watched the public continue to pay because they have a blind trust in the new regime, and for the most part aren't aware of the grave potential for abuse the new changes present.

This is exactly what has happened at FBC JAX.

PS - to the anon visiting Prestonwood tomorrow: I would wager that before you even begin to wonder about Jack's salary, you will find yourself trying to guess how long R. Todd Bell spent in front of the mirror that morning, and what the collective cost of all the suits and ties on stage is... have fun!

RM said...

I doubt if Todd was before a mirror any longer than Jack Graham was...

Anonymous said...

True, very true. But he'll probably take the stage first, thus causing the intial wonderment...

Anonymous said...

OK brothers what is the ethical and legal ramifications of posting the complete bylaws on the web, in the newspaper, on this blog? There obviously are pros and cons.

Would you do it? Would a church member do it? Would a Trustee do it.

Would the Lord be in this?

You tell us!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - good questions.

Before we answer any questions about the ramifications of posting our bylaws here, perhaps its worth considering first:

What are the ethics of asking for a church to vote on VERY signficant changes to their bylaws, changes that may have changed the governance and power structure of the church, WITHOUT one word of explanation or widespread dissemination of the proposed changes?

There are no ethical and legal ramifications for me posting the bylaws here on this website. They are bylaws. They aren't secret rules. All members should be furnished with a copy at their request. I'm going to facilitate that by posting them here as soon as I can get a copy.

Then we can all see what they did to our bylaws when we voted on them last year.

bowtheknee said...

He might not be able to FORCE people to give but there are ways to get people to do what you want. Wear them down with sermons on giving or make them sign forms. This has happened and is happening at other churches - not only Baptist ones.

I met a woman yesterday who told me what was going on at her church which I believe she said was Assembly of God. Her children were supposed to be in a musical program and were at all the practices but were not at church every time the doors were open. The pastor told the mother her children could not be in the program. She also told me of another church that used to be Presby but they have now taken that out of the name where the preacher is preaching on giving every single week because they have a wonderful new sanctuary and not enough money coming in.

Anonymous said...

When churches (?) start being like clubs( follow the rules, pay dues) then they cease to be CHURCHES!!! FBC is now a big club. It certainly is not a spiritual haven, where the WORD(!!!!) is preached, as we evidenced last week. One of Dr. Lindsays last sermons was that he hoped FBCJ would not become a "country club church". He would say in a joking manner that he didn't want a "Fust Baptist". Well, it's worse than that now. But you have a bunch of yes men in control with a dictator in charge. The preacher controls and picks the trustees and he tells them what he demands and the trustees go back to the deacons and being the "yes" men that they ALL are, the church is at the COMPLETE mercy of the preacher. We were always "pastor" led before, but these pastors were Godly men that answered to God, and the church. We trusted them because we knew them and we knew their heart. We knew NOTHING about Brunson ,he was not vetted properly, just "recommended". Well, thanks alot gentlemen, I hope you can live with this mess. Having been at FBCJ for years I can tell you Dr. Lindsay would not have put up with this mess two minutes, trust me on that.

Additionally, we are not the Catholic church, we can't be excommunicated if we cross the preacher, (at least not yet), or, if we don't give to (his cause). But, as this church is now, it certainly would be no great loss to leave, as many have. But, this is what "they(Purpose Driven) want. PD says get rid of the dissenters, and the pillars of the church. That would be the long time members that prayed, tithed and served in thuis church for YEARS!!! We are supposded to hand this church over to what we have now!! They came in here, took over a great church and are riding it to ground. As someone once said "I have been kicked out of better
places than this". So, if I go I will be sad remembering what this church was (a God honoring, soul winning church), to seeing what it has become. It's not a church anymore people, it's a high priced organization. Welcome to the Fust Baptist Country Club!!

Anonymous said...

Regarding the sermon(?) that was preached last week and played on the 8:00 tv this a.m.: Listening to this sermon was interesting. I perceive the preacher completely different from the way he apparently perceives himself. In my opinion, this is a man absolutely in the wrong occupation. I find him applying a lot of psychological nonsense to his sermons in lieu of the true word of God.

He was repeating the inference that women were more spiritual than men again. Again, God used MEN in the Bible. The prophets and diciples were MEN. All of the books in the Bible were written by MEN. I believe Adam was created before Eve. God created MAN in His image. And on and on. There are only two books entitled about women, Ruth and Esther, most likely written by men. Ruth we don't know for sure who wrote it. But if the rest of the Bible is written by men, it probably is also.

Listening to this (last week sermon ) again was to question whether it was church or Sat. Nite Live. We rarely get the true scripture, it's always Mac's interpretation. And the endless Greek, Greek,Greek. Who cares!!! We already know how smart he is, he tells all of the time, what else he could have done to make a lot of money.

In this sermon(?) Mac describes the servant character of Jesus, in the Bible. In my opinion, Mac has none of these servant qualities. His attitude is more that of a monarch than a preacher/servant.

He refers to his wife as "Baby". What's that? Just a good ole boy, with no class.

Dont' counsel with Mac if you don't want your private life broadcast to the world. He was right when he said "Counseling was not his strong suite". Preaching
(in my opinion) isn't either.

Mac said that "all women suffer from low self esteem". Is he kidding? Would that truly include all women? I guess women are just poor pitiful beings, until a Mac comes along to make something out of them. He also said that if men don't get respect at home then they will turn homosexual.W H A T

Where was the Holy Spirt in this sermon? And the deacons are happy with this stuff. God help us.

Anonymous said...

"Dr. Brunson when did you stop using the King James Version and start using the NASV bible? Dr. Lindsay would not allow anyone to preach in the FBCJAX pulpit unless they used the KJV. Was he wrong?"

I marvel at this June 14 comment...ask any seminary graduate who is a normal thinking person and they will tell you that NASB is closer to the original text of the Scriptures than any other.

It is just possible that translation research and techniques could have improved since 1611 when KJV was published.

Wow. Talk about legalism...thinking KJV is the only Bible to be used is just that. It is wonderful, no doubt and has stood the test of time. But what did Christians teach and learn from before 1611? Paul, Peter, James and John sure seemed to do OK without KJV.

Anonymous said...

So you want to know who is more accountable Megachurch Pastors or:

It is not those pastors but how they got to be Seeker Friendly that concerns me. Find their mentor and you can find what is in their heart.

Here comes RICK WARREN their mentor. Now how did he become who he is? STRANGE BEDFELLOWS. Warren has surrounded himself with a group of men unlike any baptist you have ever known. That is not surprising for they are not baptist. You be the judge.

www.inplainsite.org/html/rick_warren_new_age.html

Anonymous said...

If you dont like your church go to a different one and stop looking for flaws in your church.

RM said...

Did Mac really say in his sermon that if men don't get respect in their home they will turn homosexual? Please tell me he didn't...

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:49 Many of the liberal preachers for years have been trying to give some credibility to Westcott and Hort. Homer Lindsay would not.

The textus receptus was most accepted by conservative pastors.

Mac Brunson is anything but a conservative preacher. He is bent on changing everything that we have been taught at FBCJ.

RICK WARREN has twisted scripture to make people think that any bible is valid.

Are you in that camp?

Anonymous said...

Re: The King James Versions vs other translations. This argument is quite extensive and cannot be gone into adequately here. The evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the King James Version. The thousands of changes in verses , even to parts of chapters completely taken out of other translations are evidence enough to prove the validity of the King James. Most people do not go "in depth" with their Bible enough to notice the blatant errors in other translated bibles.

As to the originals..you don't have them. No one has seen them since the 1st Century. The Dead Sea Scrolls match the Masoretic text which is the King James Version of the Old Testament. The discovery of these scrolls add nothing new or different to the Hebrew text.

The original scrolls were very fragile and did not survive to present day. What you have today are copies of copies made down through the centuries by scribes, who, if made one error, even to a dot of ink applied accidentally the entire document had to be destroyed.

You mentioned new techniques and research: the originals are the originals. We have the preserved Word of God in the King James. God would not give us an errant Bible for centuries. He wanted us to accurately know His Word.

The problem with most seminaries today is: they are turning out less than stellar Bible students in favor of Purpose Driven oriented expositors. The legalism tag could actually be applied to these liberal preachers who fault anyone that doesn't move "progressively" with their ministry.

There is another reason for translated bibles: the King James is not copyrighted. The other versions are copyrighted and cannot be changed or altered to another version without more changes in the scriptures. Thus, each new version printed is different.

II Tim 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth".

Matt 24:35 Jesus speaks " Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away".

Rev 22:18 "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:vs 19 "And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book". (KJV)

Anonymous said...

to anon who's posting regarding the KJV. I used to believe as you, however I studied the matter in depth and learned it's not the only acceptable version. It has come to my attention that most of the men who teach deeply use more than the KJV. Also, those who are KJVO in their thinking are quite often a little looney-quite often the yellers and dictators. It almost seems they worship the version. Peter Ruckman for instance. Do you by any chance have Trinity in your past? Theres enough concerns about MB but this isn't one of them.

IT IS WRITTEN said...

Rm.I pesonally veiwed the broadcast this morning and Brunson definitely said that many men who don't get respect from there wives turn to homosexuality!!!! He also said that the reason many men cause trouble(WD)in the church is because they are not getting any respect at home. I after 52 years of life have NOW HEARD IT ALL!!!!

Anonymous said...

Actually, I believe he said that a lot of men who don't get respect from their fathers when they are young turn to homosexuality when they are older. I don't remember exactly, but I'm almost certain he didn't try to attribute homosexuality to a lack of respect from one's wife.

Anonymous said...

The message being referenced regarding respect in the home, marriage, homosexuality, etc. is available at Mac's www.inlight.org site. Click on "podcast" and listen either via the media player on the site to the sermon titled "marriage" or download the audio via the itunes link (free).

Anonymous said...

I notice you have a preconceived opinion of what KJV people are and what they believe. I also noticed that you did not offer a rebuttal or evidence to nullify my comments supporting the validity of the KJV over other translations. I did however, notice your faulty assessment of my character and personality. Quite a feat since you don't know me. But, that's ok since I am perfectly comfortable with what I know and believe about my Bible. After MY "in-depth" study finding errors, changes and removal of significant verses, this was quite enough for me. Not to mention the questionable origin of the translations.The KJV has thousands of manuscripts which agree, where as the other translations have a lot less. Plus other versions have the influence of Westcott and Hort admitted spiritualists.

Hopefully, we are all saved brothers (even in disagreement) and must wait until Heaven to solve this controversy, as neither side will see the other. My problem is that the other versions damage the perception of Gods word. Either way, lets keep reading it.

Anonymous said...

If a particular translation is a closer match word for word to the Greek and Hebrew, that is quantitative analysis and is not based on "seeker friendly" nor any other influence (and I personally have little respect for any of our seminaries at this point in time).

But I don't care to discuss this or any other disagreement in heaven, sorry. At that point the debate will matter even less than it does now. Thank God. (Scary thought: What WILL Baptists have to talk about in heaven, then, if there can't be any arguing??)

I love both KJV and NASB and like many others far more knowledgeable than I, consider them both to be excellent and trustworthy translations.

Anonymous said...

wasn't referring to your character and personality...was referring to many of the KJVO preachers. Sorry as I didn't make that clear. let's agree to disagree and be friends.

doubting thomas said...

What is your purpose?...The deacons are resposible for the salaries and benefits given to our pastor. If you want to change things, go before the deacons in the next deacons' meeting and demand a vote to cut his benefirts or anything else you want to do. Let the deacons vote on your motion and go by the majority. If you do not agree with the outcome, go to another church!
All of this secret unfounded junk posted here is an abomination to our God and the work of our church.
The answer is to bring it before the deacons and let them hash it out.

RM said...

Doubting Thomas,

Great post... I do find it disturbing that your deacons are responsible for setting the staff salaries. Most large churches leave that up to the Personnel Committee and/or the Budget Committee. Its unbiblical for the deacons to have that responsibility since they are called to be servants.

That being said, (and since that is the way your church is obviously run) I would concur with your advice to Watchdog. I think he has enough guts to do this--now we just have to see if he the will.

I think it would be a great step to resolving this crisis in your church.

JMHO by the way so hopefully no one will stone me for saying this...

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

RM - doubting thomas is not correct. The deacon body in our church doesn't set church salaries. That's absurd.

No, I will not be going before any committees to seek to try to fix the problem.

RM said...

Thank goodness. At least you haven't put the deacons in charge of something they have no business overseeing.

But then, I'm not your Personnel Committee and/or Budget Committee are doing too good a job either. I am open to a staff position at your church though since I imagine they start at about $100,000/year.

I do wish you would reconsider going before the appropriate committee. I think its a great idea and might actually get something accomplished.

You do have another option. The IRS requires that the constitution and by laws be available for any 501(c)3 organization. If they are not provided to you upon request, you can file a formal complaint with the IRS and they will take action. Might be worth a try.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Private to Robert: you left off "and hitting the DELETE key on my mindless posts so that I don't embarrass myself."

Ghost said...

I hope everyone enjoyed their night off last night. Mac's constant cancelling of church services certainly show that Mac's motives have nothing to do with seeing souls saved. If Mac's motive in any way involved reaching people for Christ he would never consider cancelling one service, much less the countless services he cancels every year including Easter night. And not only did Mac cancel the service last night, but he cancelled the visitors reception as well and also had the nerve to complain to us that he couldn't see his father yesterday. I guess that whole pesky preaching gig he has prevented him from taking off for the weekend.

Folks, we sure have come a long long way from Dr. Vines who agonized over cancelling our Sunday night services when the Super Bowl was in Jacksonville.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Welcome back Ghost.

I thought the same thing. The nerve of the guy canceling the visitor's reception AGAIN this week.

Last Sunday he couldn't even stay for the INVITATION, much less the visitor's reception, as he was in such a rush to get to the Southern Baptist Convention. Let's us know what his priorities are (as if we didn't already know).

MEMO TO CHURCH STAFF:

Here's a novel thought church staff. We know the staff reads this blog on a daily basis:

The visitor's reception SHOULD NOT ever, NOT ONE SINGLE TIME, be canceled. Every single service we have on Sunday morning should include a visitor's reception, whether our millionaire, rock-star preacher is available or not!! Who cares if he can't make it because he's rushing off to the latest preaching gig or because he's taking care of his grandchild and he can't make it? Is whether we greet our visitors and show them how much we appreciate them coming dependent upon the committment of our pastor? Of course not! The visitor's reception should not be Mac's to cancel!

PARADIGM SHIFT: WE DON'T NEED MAC BRUNSON TO HOLD A VISITOR'S RECEPTION. We can invite them, give them a gift, give them a soft drink and coffee (as Mac says on his commercials that run every night after midnight on FoxNews and Channel 12 that if visitor's come, the "coffee is on Mac." - need to re-shoot that commercial: "the coffee's on me, provided I'm not to busy or preoccupied to meet you after the service). Where's the coffee Mac?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Ghost: don't know if you have been posting anonymously, or if you've been keeping up with things, but I very much want to get a copy of the church bylaws and post them for all to see here at this blog.

From your previous posts you seem to be a person in the know. Do you have a copy of the bylaws? Can you get a copy? If so, please scan them and send me a private email so that I can post them and we can then intelligently discuss here what the changes were that were made last year.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Some excerpts from Mac's Guidebook on Pastors:

"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..."

Then speaking of W.A. Criswell, speaking of how he treated people after the service:

"He gave them his full attention...vistors were amazed that a pastor as prominent and as busy as he would take time to talk with them."

"It could be that success in pastoral leadership rises or falls with how the pastor treates people when the church service is over."

Two weeks in a row, he cancels the visitor's reception. As though if he's not there, there is no reason to greet the visitors.

If that isn't the height of arrogance, I don't know what is. "Oh, Mac can't make it? Then forget it, don't invite the visitors over so we can say a word to them and shake their hand and tell them about our ministries."

Come on Mac. What are your priorities brother?

Anonymous said...

Great quote from Mac's own book, WD. I am speechless. What more can we say to add to what Mac already said about what happens after the service? The man has NO INTEGRITY to write such things and then do the opposite.

You trustees make me sick. You hired a celebrity hot shot hired gun, paid him like a rock star and then gave him full authority with no accountability, except to his wife, who is really running the place and making all the major decisions. If you don't believe me, just ask HIM.

What will it take for one of you cowards to quit fawning over him and respectfully request that he greet the visitors EVERY service and that he distribute the by-laws openly...just for starters.

Anonymous said...

if you really want to see where PD will take you go to www.alittleleaven.com/purpose_driven_madness/index.html see especially the posts for march 19,2007 and may 08,2007 entitled "shaking it for Jesus saddleback style"

IT IS WRITTEN said...

I remind you Watchdog that I warned that it was going to get worse and worse.Brunson is consumed with HIMSELF(2:Tim.3:1-2a);It now appears he's not "given to hospitality(Visitors 1Tim3:2b).Leaving during the invitation which is very important to those making a live changing decision to accept Christ or join your church.Being secretive about church finances and business(church by-laws).Drifting from preaching CHRIST to preaching pschology.Exhorbitant salary's(greed).Abusive toward people in which he is in disagreement with.Hypocrisy( revealed by his book). NEED I GO ON. STAY TUNED FOLKS THERE'S MORE TO COME!!!!

stephenwebb said...

I'm late on this, I know. Just curious, WHAT DO YOU MAKE? What is your total salary, benefits, etc...? What do you do for a living? What was your total charitable giving last year to your church home? What percentage of your GROSS income was that?
Thanks. Love your blog and am eager to hear back about this. THANKS AGAIN!

"SAM" said...

$400,000 to support a pastor and his family?

Ezekiel 34:1-3: "And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?
Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock."

deaconandusher said...

Usher: Come on guys, you're being rough on him! Does he have his own 20MM jet (Kenny does), or a 400K Rolls Royce (Creflo does)? Does he have his own forum for presidential candidates (Rick does)? Does he have 18 pairs of golf shoes in his apartment sized wardrobe (Richard does)?

Deacon: What about the fruits of his labor? He makes 10s of thousands of lazy christians feel good about themselves every week!

Deacon & Usher
deaconandusher.wordpress.com