"...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

Monday, September 15, 2008

Carpet, Wallpaper, Chillers, and Roof Repairs...Where Did the Money Go?

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Update: Click here to listen to Mac say that we used to be known as a giving church. His sermon was a classic "sheep beater"...telling us all what our church used to be known as. One of the things we used to be is a giving church. In this clip he says if we want to stay out of debt we'll give the money for these "needs"...although he ignores the fact that he's spent money on non-budgeted expenses already, and he doesn't consider the possibility of cutting operating expenses elsewhere. Are we sure Mac isn't a democrat - he acts like a "tax and spend" liberal.
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Mac explained on Sunday that a special offering will be taken up on Sunday morning 9/28, during our annual budget commitment Sunday called "Chest of Joash" service...and this special offering will be taken up to pay for the following four items:

1. New carpeting in various parts of the campus

2. New wallpaper in selected areas

3. A new chiller (for air conditioning) in the Ruth Lindsay Auditorium

4. Roof repairs


He put the number at $900,000 needed. Like only Mac can do...he doesn't implore people to give out of the goodness of their hearts for a need, doesn't make an explanation as to why a special offering is needed...no, he instead threatens us that we will be going into debt for the first time in 46 years unless we dig deep and give the money. The guy is absolutely shameless. It really is quite an amazing sight to behold.


Mac even had pictures for us to show us a picture of the chiller in the mechanical room, and showed us pictures of the carpet and wallpaper. It was so moving, I nearly cried when I saw that poor chiller in the RLA mechanical room - all alone, not providing chilled water.



People are asked to tithe 10% of their income and there is a $15 to $16 million dollar annual budget. Mac needs to explain why a special offering is needed for maintenance expenses on our campus given the following:
Here's an idea: let's bring Sarah Palin in! She will find the money!



Sarah Palin will take an objective, hard-nosed, "bulldog with lipstick" approach to our church finances. She will look at our budget and see where we can cut out the pork. She can start first over in the pastor's office and his support staff consisting of several family members. Then let's go to the church marketing budget and how much money is going to Maurilio Amorim and the A-Group, and how much we pay to fly Maurilio down for creative sessions with Mac at Deerwood and if we can't cut that budget. The, Sarah can look at where the $500,000 is going for this new school and what its being spent on. Then, we need to get to the bottom of Mac's 501(c)3 website and make sure we're not paying the A-Group for that site. Also Sarah, take a look at how much it costs to put Mac on nationwide TV and if there aren't less expensive options for broadcasting our services to the world. And then let's sick Sarah on the Pastor's Conference money - where in the world does all of that registration money go to? Does it at least pay the increased operating expenses incurred by our church, or does it all go to the pockets of the big time preachers who come to speak? I think - no, I KNOW - ole Sarah Palin might find the $900,000 that should be there for the required maintenance of our facilities.




Finally, I still don't get it...many of the lay leaders of our church are serious, seasoned businessmen and lawyers and accountants and financial planners and CEOs....men who know how to spot an amateur CEO who has his spending priorities mixed up. Why do they allow Mac to do this? Do they really think the congregation is as stupid as Mac thinks we are? He teaches legalistic tithing, then he can't manage the church's budget to pay for maintenance items - he takes money out for non-budgeted projects then comes for a special offering to pay for operating expenses at our church. We can't even pay for Muslim bibles out of the budget, so it takes a special offering. Can our church leadership perhaps make a decision: what is the criteria for what is a special offering?


So FBC Jacksonville faithful members..don't fall for it. Don't give money to this special offering for the maintenance of the church - if you're giving consistently to the church budget - YOU ALREADY HAVE GIVEN THE MONEY FOR THESE REPAIRS. MAC HAS SPENT IT ON THINGS OTHER THAN WHAT IT SHOULD BE SPENT ON.



One last suggestion for Mac: perhaps you can seed the fund by taking a home equity loan out and giving the $300,000 given to you by J.D. Collins when you first arrived, and then maybe the church can borrow $300,000 back from the $500,000 we gave for the start-up of the school, and we're 2/3 of the way to our $900,000!

9 comments:

Aint got nottin said...

If you had kids in the preschoo, but since you don't, you wouldnt want them to be in a room that drips water all over them or that the floor is flooded when you drop them off. Would you? No I didnt think so. We are supposed to give our best to God and that is not our best. We could do better. Would you let wallpaper hang off the walls of your hosue? No I don't think so. So I believe you need to check your attitude

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi AGN - we agree completely. We should not have leaking roofs, peeling wall paper, and worn carpets. But you missed my point in the article - I'm not saying those things are not worthy of doing...I'm saying our pastor is abusing his congregation by taking our tithes, setting up a budget and getting us to vote on it...then spending it on things not in the budget....then poor mouthing that if we're committed Christians we'll give the $900k needed to fix the things that should have been in the budget. He's a scam artist. We need someone with a backbone and integrity to stand up to him and the yes men in the church and say enough is enough.

Aint got nottin said...

I am sure it wasnt in the budget for this year because it was unexpected but I am sure it will be in the budget for the coming year. Emergencies happen. They are to be expected you dont budget for having an accident do you?

Thy Peace said...

Normally, in most organizations, they budget for maintenance, repairs and emergencies. There is always a fund for these events (unanticipated).

I wonder how it was done before Dr. Brunson became the pastor of fbcjax.

I did watch this portion of the broadcast, where Dr. Brunson asked for money. I agree with Watchdog, that Dr. Brunson came across as little cross. (I do have to credit him, for recognizing the music ministry of fbcjax.)

It would be wonderful, in the internet era, if fbcjax published it's budget and spending (by line item) on the internet. They can hide the salaries and other line items that can not be disclosed, but lump them as sums, broken down by the minimum time interval of a month.

If we had this data across the years, then we can debate more meaningfully.

I am not a member of fbcjax and I do not tithe to fbcjax.

But in the spirit of openness, if fbcjax did this, that would be great.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

AGN - please dig deep, find some extra money that you can give to FBC Jax for the chiller, the carpet, and other maintenance items.

Carpeting doesn't go bad overnight. As Mac explained the chiller has been out for some time. My point is that Mac needs to explain to his sheep WHY a special offering is needed and why funds are not available in the budget. Funds were somehow available to start his school when he held an unannounced business meeting to start a school. We're spending money on that school start up, we're spending money to put Mac on TV that wasn't in the budget (he said so earlier this year and he held a special offering for that too).

My point: Mac likes to spend money and hold his hand out for special projects this past year...but then when the funds are short he yells at us and expects us to dig deep again and says that if we don't want to go in debt we better give! Why not go back to J.D. Collins and see if he has another $300k to give? Can't Trey, who is an expert fund raiser as Mac proclaimed during the 08 Pastors Conference, go out and "raise" the money needed?

Its just all too much. If you're going to put the yoke of legalistic tithing on the people to "bring all the tithe into the storehouse"....by God you better budget the expenses and not be spending like drunken sailors and then ask for special offerings several times a year.

Another thing: when challenging the people to meet a special project, updates should be given to the church on whether the need was met. Mac wanted to raise a quarter million on Easter Sunday for "media evangelism" which included his INSP network TV time. He never told us whether we met it or not....and then some months later he was back on INSP.

I urge you church not to fall for this nonsense.

We were treated to an awesome service Sunday with the music. Then Mac got up and raked us all over the coals, gave us a huge dose of legalism, told us how lousy we are now as compared to previous years...and treats us all as bible illiterates by proclaiming that the churches in Rome were "satellite" churches.

More to come...

Our First Son said...

I'm fairly new to your site...but after reading several posts, I have a question...not meant to be rude or anything, just very curious...wouldn't it be better for you and your family to simply move to another church? Obviously, when you head out to church, you aren't worshiping when you get there? You find fault with Dr. Brunson, the staff, and the leadership of the church. If I were in that situation, I'd simply believe God was saying, Move On...

But, that's just me...

Ludie said...

You can budget for anything, but if the giving isn't there, appeals like this must be made. Any idea how the church is doing against it's paper budget? This might possibly explain why repairs aren't done yet. The money may simply not be there, despite being budgeted for. Oh and by the way, shouldn't a person's giving be according to his/her ability as they are directed by God, and not some disgruntled church member whose mission is to make others as miserable as he is? Just questions, that's all.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Ludie - of course. But Mac has all along bragged about how our giving is up! Are you saying that our giving is below the budgeted amount? I believe the last Wed night business meeting handouts showed we are at or above budget on giving, so the money should be there. And besides, if its not there, then he should explain WHY. Don't just hold your hand out asking again for more money.

Do you know how the long the chiller in the RLA has needed repair? We suffered water damage from the rains of TS Faye because we've needed roof repairs. Hmmm...wouldn't roof repairs take priority over putting Mac's history lessons on INSP network?

Anonymous said...

Maybe he invested a LOT of money in the market and it is gone, and he is AFRAID to level with the people: and so, this is what you get, a man who smoke-screens needs for more money 'cause the 'other' money is long-gone.

He is not accountable.
Why give him more money?

Throw the bum out.