"...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

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How NOT to Preach a Stewardship Sermon

On election day November 4th, our beloved pastor will travel to Dallas to preach at the SWBTS chapel. He will march in, Paige Patterson will have some glowing words to say about Mac, might mention how much poor Mac is being attacked....and then Mac will get up and talk. He'll sound impressive, and the his deep, bellowing voice will fill the hall and the students will be impressed. His sermon will start with a year, no doubt. "It was [1492, 1854, 1904, 1961, 1993, or 2006]" and he will start with a historical illustration. And he'll sound so good.

But as Lee Corso says, "Not so fast, my friend".

Before the SWBTS students think Mac is some kind of A+ preacher...before they think he is the next Jerry Vines or Adrian Rogers....we want the students at SWBTS to see Mac in action from a recent sermon. Preaching a really important sermon to his congregation. A stewardship sermon, where Mac has the duty of calling his sheep to action, to spur them to give and to serve like they've never done before. Mac's church faces a steep hill in 2009. Our neglected facilities need $1 million in urgent repairs - urgent in the sense of "neglected" while other out-of-budget special projects were undertaken. We have a school starting soon. Mac is opening a satellite church despite our facilities being at less than 1/2 their capacity. So we need a real stem-winder from Mac - one that will just motivate us to love Jesus, love the church, and to commit our time and money. What does Mac do? What sermon does he pull out of his holster? What did Mac learn at SWBTS? How did they train him to preach to his sheep on such an important occasion?

Watch this brief video, the first of three parts that we will show in advance of Mac making a return trip to his alma mater to preach at chapel, and you can decide for yourself. And please, when its over, say a prayer for FBC Jax. And SWBTS students, remember: this is how NOT to preach a stewardship sermon. The last scene is "how to come across as an angry, fundamental, legalistic" - its a classic.

Enjoy.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who pays for all of this travel? Is it the host at the other venues or FBCJ? We know Mac doesn't pay for anything. But rather gets paid!!!!!!Perhaps we could start a trend this way ; "In the year 2009 the "cloud moved"......back to Dallas". Please God.

Maybe Mac can stop taking salary from FBCJ for "NOT" being here and we can use his "absent from the church money", to repair our facilities. It should mount up pretty quickly.

Mac talks about being overloaded with speaking engagements. Well STOP DOING THEM. DUH!! Oh, but then the money is soooo good.And the "star" status is so fulfilling. There is an old saying that fits here, "he is just full of himself".

Here's a thought. If we have mold everywhere. If it is a health hazard to the children and workers alike... Why would anyone want to pay an exorbitant fee(tuition) to send their children to the school Mac wants to start. Oh, I forget, he wants to put us in debt to repair the damage before we start the school. Who is going to be in charge of this school, another family member? We would have the money to make repairs if it had not been spent on OTHER STUFF that Mac wanted, thus blowing our budget. Come on cloud MOVE.

Thy Peace said...

WD, you are perfecting your "video" presentation skills. Good work.

Pastor Mac mentions that he would want ALL the members to come to ALL the three services of the week. Is it because, he is hoping members would tithe more, if they came for more services?

From a market driven approach or let's compare it to going to the movies ... If they gave good and spirit filled sermons, then I am sure the church would be filled for all the three services. Since this administration loves marketing speak, create the demand folks. Content is king here.

Of course, the other important thing, being Christians, as the Church Administration would like to be, is follow the teachings of Christ. This even ordinary people will notice, if lacking by the leadership.

Anonymous said...

WD, Wow, you are certainly pouring a lot of time and effort into this blog. Is it satisfying? Better yet, do you think it is satisfying to God? Just saying. :)

Anonymous said...

I really can not believe what I am seeing. I feel sorry for you folks at FBC Jax.

That guy is on a power trip.

I wouldn't trust him any farther than I could hoist him up and toss him off the platform.

Anonymous said...

Please please please tell me Mac did not preach about commitment...oh shoot you got it on tape and by golly he did. Isn't he the one that left FBC Dallas during the MIDDLE of HIS building project that divided the church? I guess the fancy office on the 6th floor that only invited guests can access wasn't as nice as what FBC Jax built for him. I bet men like him ( that would include shaddy politicians) hate the age of video where we have on tape the hypocrisy they live.

Anonymous said...

Updated "Smyrl of Wisdom" for Week of October 26th:

"The primary postmodern priority perpetuated from prostituted pulpits is . . . .


LOL, he has to be kidding right? Try and say that five times real fast. Thats not even intelligent writing. Big words yes but not real effective in getting your point across.

Smyrl come on buddy, talk like a real person not an intellictual idiot. WoW we have really gotten ourself into a mess!

Anonymous said...

WD has had this pegged from the getgo. Its a real shame the deacons are so impressed with their "deaconship". They are the "rubber stamp" and have they got everyone now in a mess. Just goes to show if there is no accountability required by the congregation the machine just keeps on a running. WD has the correct formula for stopping the runaway train...stop the fuel (money). If the money dries up then we might just have a chance to be the "flagship" again, otherwise its going to be a sinking ship. We need to get back to basics that would be GODS WORK! Witnessing, getting people saved, and growing in character and knowledge of the SAVIOR.

I doubt it will get better as the deacons really believe its better to carry on with this present sycophant than to embarrass themselves publicly. The problem is, we are already embarrassed as a church, and these guys have allowed it!

Anonymous said...

Re:The travel expensive question: Keep in mind Honey usually goes along....so double the expenses. That would be TWO salaries we pay for NOT being here.

Anonymous said...

The week Brunson and Molasses was gone Trey was also on the road, in New Orleans. This is really getting comical if it was not so sad.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Thy Peace - you are so right.

One of the many missteps of Mac Brunson when he came to Jax, was he did not hit the ground running so to speak. His preaching schedule was light, and he was absent from the pulpit many times unannounced. We didn't know if he was or was not preaching at any giving service. I've blogged about this for over a year. With Vines and Lindsay they always told us who was preaching in advance, and if Vines was going to miss a Wed, he told us Sunday night AND told us who would be filling in on Wed. for him. It was respect.

Wednesday night is a classic example. One of the hallmarks of our church was having a "worship service" on Wed nights. Our preacher, Vines, or one of our other ministes like Carr or Barton would preach a full sermon. And we have wonderful attendance on Wed nights. You knew that if you could somehow drag yourself down the church even after the most exhausting day - you would be fed in the dining room for a reasonable price and you'd be fed a spiritual meal in the service.

Enter stage left, Mac Brunson.

He started preaching Wed nights, and it was about the time the DaVinci Code came out. He started a Wed night series to combat the falsehoods in that book with scripture. But within 4 weeks, he morphed that series into a "Church History" series that lasted 3 months or more.

I'm not kidding. Most Wed nights the guy barely cracked a bible. I knew many, many people who just gave up on Wed nights. They jacked the prices way up on the food, starting giving smaller portions, rationing ketchup packets...and it all just reached a critical mass where people said "why make it down there when we don't even know if we're going to hear a sermon or a church history lesson?"

And this was just a few months into the Brunson regime...and one of the first red flags of trouble to come.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

What was Trey doing in New Orleans?

Anonymous said...

I really hate to dig and find out.
Would not be to hard to find out. But he was definately gone all week.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog,

this series, of whatever, comes from Maurilio. He says that preachers who had strong attendance during holidays, had a drop off in attendance after the holidays. He wanted preachers to preach a series that would extend past the end of the holidays and that would keep the members coming back. The more series the better.

Now about MAC'S lack of preaching when he first arrived, he brought in several men who were doing his dirty work for him. They all preached for change. They were all preaching AGENDA TOPICS. Mac could sit back and have them tell of the need and direction of change and support what Mac was about to do.

Listen, it was like clockwork. These guys were preaching EVERYTHING that was to come. Change the music, the bibles, sunday school, visitation, how you preach to people, change everything.

They and Mac, Rick Warren, and Mclaren and others said IF YOU ARE GOING TO REACH THE LOST, YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO BE LIKE THEM.

So here comes the LOUD MUSIC, THE ROCK BAND, THE CONTEMPORARY MUSIC, THE CONTEMPORARY SERVICE.

John Macarthur said "That's never been the biblical way...NEVER. The bible does not change... it doesn't shift and change and adapt to culture. It confronts the modern culture"

These guys want the culture to define what a christian is not what the bible says they ought to be.

When I started to searching for the Lord, I went to church. I met christians and I wanted what they had. They had JESUS. That is what I wanted and that is who I now have.

I already had what the world had to offer and that was NOTHING. This old world has nothing to offer the LOST. Nothing!!!

Mac is doing his best, since day one, to bring the world into out church. IS IT ANY WONDER THAT WE ARE HAVING SO MUCH TROUBLE.

Think about it did we EVER BLOG LINDSAY, OR VINES?

If Mac was doing right we wouldn't be here.

We never had a stewardship problem here at FBCJAX.

NEVER!!!

Anonymous said...

That buffoon has a major anger problem. If a man talked that way to my face or to my wife, I'd smash him in the mouth. And yet thousands sit there and take the abuse. Someone oughta stand up in the sermon when he rants and call him out. I would. I'd stand up and tell him to stop bashing people and to preach the word. I think your church is full of sissified wimps who are afraid to stand up to the big bad pastor. Grow a spine men!!

Anonymous said...

15 years ago, I made a conscious decision to expose someone in senior management and authority in a major, USA corporation. I became aware of this person's wrongdoings concerning company and corporate monies. It took several months after learning of the wrongdoings before I presented the information to corporate loss prevention officials. I did not present anything that was not documented and open to investigation for clarification. No second guessing what the person in question was doing, just facts.

Before my documentation was given to corporate officials, hours were spent in pray that what I was about to do was what should be done. I took no delight in doing what I believed was the right thing to do, as so many employees were adversely affected by this person's total disregard for improprieties. This was not an easy decision, as I realized some of the consequences could also adversely affect me as the "bearer of bad news."

My decision was made easier by meeting with my pastor who blessed me with spiritual, biblical and personal support that made my burden lighter. My decision was further influenced by growing up and being nurtured by pastors at FBCJ that lovingly would guide you in recognizing a blatant sin and how to go about addressing such an issue. Even though I lived a thousand miles away, I knew how they would respond, thus I acted accordingly.

My point being that the trustees and deacons must prayerfully examine the facts, and yes the "purported" evidence presented via blogs and what the deacons and trustees have experienced, heard, witnessed and being a part of the present pastoral administration. During my quest, I was intimidated by a number of people that believed the information, if known publicly, would adversely affect the company. Thus the cover-up theory in action. I would not be swayed by various means of intimidation and stood my grounds. Yes it was quite unpleasant buy in my humble opinion quite necessary.

Gentlemen, gird your loins. Stand your grounds. Act as an ambassador of God, not man.

Respectfully.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - thanks. And loins are girded.

Anonymous said...

Check Maurilio's twitter, it might reveal he was in New Orleans last week.

Is Trey on personal time and expenses. If not, what is he doing in New Orleans, planning a "special projects" for hurricane Katrina victims while leaving the maintenance and repairs of FBCJ still unresolved.

What new will the 23/24 year old boy wonder come up with. You can be assured it will cost the members of FBC plenty. I thought the internet and multi-facted electronics replaced a much traveled individual. Is he meeting in secret and did not want an electronic trace of what he says and does. Or is it a visit to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary?

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe these supposed men of God are allowing the atrocities to happen at FBC. We used to respect the title of deacon or trustee but no longer. Their reputations are on the line, not just for the present but ongoing. Integrity is lost under the current administration and trustee leadership.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that Maurilio keeps tapping into this blog? I know, he reads how things are going, contacts Mac, Debbie or Trey in how to respond to the posts, all the while FBCJ is paying for this precious wisdom via contract obligations.

Anonymous said...

Some have compared Mac to be brother-in-kin to Steve Gaines at Bellevue. Not to worry, Mac could not physically scale a 4 foot fence at a gated residence. Otherwise, so much alike.

Perhaps he will get Trey to do it for him.

Anonymous said...

WD : regarding your 4:l8 remarks about attendance. You are right on. The following is my opinion. I remember when church was full on Sun.PM. and Wed.PM. You had to get there early to get a good seat. Even the teenagers showed up. Could it be because Dr. Lindsay and Vines actually preached THE WORD? People came because they got something that the world did not have. Now the attendance is limited to the center section. And even that is not full. Many pews that hold l0-l2 now have l person sitting there. The sides of the church and the balcony are EMPTY. I don't think there would be anyone there if the teenagers were not the choir for the service, and the parents are only there because their children sing. Who wants to hear this guy deliver a SPEACH that some one else has told him to preach (Maurilio). Mac makes a big deal about THE GREEK, so what. Academic learning is not comparable to what the Lord teaches through His Spirit. Knowing THE GREEK does not make one a Godly preacher. I think one reason he doesn't preach anything spiritual, besides not being led by the Holy Spirit, is he really doesn't KNOW much about the Bible, other than history. The aisles are so empty, one could bowl down them and never endanger another person.
This should tell people and Mac, that spiritual needs are not being met by this preacher or people would be there to hear from the LORD. SINCE WHEN IS MAURILIO THE HOLY SPIRIT. IF HE IS THE ONE SUGGESTING WHAT SERIES THE PREACHER SHOULD PREACH, HE IS TAKING THE PLACE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. MAC SHOULD BE ON HIS KNEES TO THE LORD ASKING FOR DIRECTION IN HIS MINISTRY, AND WHAT HE IS TO PREACH. NOT ASKING OR TAKING DIRECTION FROM ANY MAN (MAURILIO). If this is the case.

I knew the first time I heard Mac speak that he was no preacher. After a few times listening to endless history, and nothing spiritual , I knew we were in deep trouble. I wondered why he was preaching on the DaVinci code, thats unGodly. All he has accomplished so far is to make himself rich, split the church and put the church in financial difficulty. This was a very giving and Godly church prior to his arrival, because we had Godly preachers led by the Holy Spirit. Nothing was done that wasn't prayed over. Now our "leader" is taking orders from a marketing firm. How pitiful. When I heard he had brought a marketing firm with him here I was shocked. This was not the way this church had ever been led. I knew then it was over. Yet our trustees(joke) tied themselves to Mac and now they look like idiots. Hope you guys see how others look at you. If you think it will get better if you keep supporting Mac, your in for a rude awakening. And to say that this church is not already split, take a look at attendance. When will you all wake up? When the church properties are sold and the electricity is turned off I guess. Staff if I were some of you I would be looking for another job. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:24.

You are so right on.

Even the televised sermons show pews half filled, and that is showing the most filled.

Mac is breaking our bank. So is Debbie and Trey, along with Maurilio.

Why not contact FBC Dallas to see how they are faring now, even with the heavy debt Mac left them with.
He will do the same in Jax.

Thy Peace said...

Anon 8:20pm: Amen. Your comments are similar to the thoughts running through my head.

My only knowledge of your church history comes from this blog posts and comments.

I would like to know where the "error" came from. From my understanding, Lindsay and Vines were preaching and feeding the sheep, as directed by Our Lord Jesus Christ. Also, lot of the members were attending Sunday School Bible Study classes, where they grew in depth of the study of Word of God. I would guess that based on all these years of expositional preaching, lot of the members would have been mature and discerning of the Holy Spirit guidance.

Now the "error" being, during the pulpit or selection committee for the Senior Pastor, where did they make the mistake? or to put in another way, what were the origins of these mistakes, that led the committee to Pastor Mac.

I understand from reading the posts and comments, that the committee was swayed by PP and SBC leadership on this matter.

Did they interview or inspect more than one person as a candidate for this position? I heard comments, about how high the salary requirements were for this position.

Just from my gut feeling and instinctive reading, I am certain there would be 100's of pastors who would have loved to pastor fbcjax (fbcjax was Our Lord's jewel then), for a fraction of the money Pastor Mac is getting. Please note I am not complaining about the money here. I am making a point about the pastoral style and leadership qualities of the would be pastor.

If you look at Vines, how he was brought in, and how he was co-pastor with Lindsay, for lot of years, before Vines took over after Linsday's retirement.

Why did Vines not do the same, for another pastor to fill his shoes, when he would retire?

I understand, all this is water under the bridge. I am curious as to where this "error" came in the committee. It now looks like they were not Holy Spirit led. My impressions are, they got carried away with PP and SBC leadership recommendations, and the performance style of preaching of Pastor Mac.

Did they do objective inquiry or evaluation of Pastor Mac, before he was hired?

I found this link as I was searching the internet:

This was Pastor Lindsay Jr. retirement announcement.

First Baptist Jacksonville pastor stuns congregation with retirement

Anonymous said...

Thy Peace: There are a lot of "behind the scenes" things going on here that no one has addressed, and I am not going to be the one to address them. Suffice it to say the pulpit selection committee was basically led to Mac as the anointed,by Vines and the SBC via PP. There was very little if any effort expended to "select" a pastor. It was basically a cut and dried thing. The pulpit committee was just the window dressing. Funny as they really "acted" as if they were "doing the selecting". I think everyone now knows otherwise, making them look foolish. There is much more to your question but I think some are reluctant to get into it. I am not referring to anything dishonest, just to circumstances that led to this selection. Church politics if you will. Brunson was "given" this position, and there are those that wonder why and how much he was offered to come here. Why was it so necessary that he get this church? We as a congregation were never given ANY voice or choice in the matter. Most churches hear a preacher several times in view of a call. They hear several preachers usually and get a chance to ask questions and vote. We got none of this. He was brought here and had a sham vote and that was it. Here you are church your new preacher. Believe me many didn't like it, but gave him a chance and really tried to adjust and support him. I believe they would now except that he has done everything possible to make it impossible. Please pray for us.

Dr, Vines said from the pulpit,"there would be alot of changes made when Mac got here". Looks like he knew what he was talking about.

Thy Peace said...

Anon 9:52pm: Thank you very much for answering truthfully and with love. God bless you.

Now one line of your comments drew my eye brows. "Brunson was "given" this position".

This makes me wonder, how far SBC has gone ... If the SBC leadership are giving away prize jewels of Our Lord Jesus Christ to their "friends" and "patrons". This reminds me of the similar structure the Catholics went through with their Papacy. All the power struggles and bureaucracy. And this indicates much wider problems with SBC, if this pattern is wide spread or prevalent.

Thanks again for your answer. Fbcjax is continually in my prayers. I pray for Our Lord's Peace to descend on this great church.

New BBC Open Forum said...

anon 9:52,

Substitute "Steve Gaines" for "Mac Brunson" and "Rogers" for "Vines," and you just described the way Steve Gaines came to Bellevue. It was announced one Sunday that the pastor search committee had found "God's man," but they wouldn't reveal his name, a fact that raised more than a few eyebrows from the beginning. Instead, they said the following Sunday morning the "mystery man" would come preach, and there would be an up or down vote immediately following each of the two morning services. Not one other candidate was ever brought in to preach -- or even mentioned, and like your church, the vote at Bellevue was a sham, too. They took several months to announce the chosen one, no doubt simply to give the appearance they were seriously considering other candidates when it was apparent Steve Gaines was the one they wanted. By his own admission he told them "no thanks" three times over a period of several months, but they kept coming back, probably sweetening the pot more each time, until he finally cracked.

The son-in-law of one of the women on the pulpit committee (whose husband was the then-deacon chairman and later would be one of the infamous fence jumpers) was on staff at Gardendale FBC where Steve Gaines was pastor. Guess whose son-in-law soon had a cushy position on staff at Bellevue -- and a nice group dinner party at Ruth's Chris at the church's expense? Now this same lady gets a close-up camera shot on Bellevue's TV broadcast every week.

And now, three years later, the parallels between our two churches are eerily similar. Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Anonymous said...

l0:57: Boy you said it!! This is exactly what happened at FBCJ. They must have a playbook they go by, as the circumstances are identical. But I guess if you are THEM you go with what works. Doesn't this suggest the same FORCE behind the deeds? This stuff certainly isn't from God, I can tell you that! I would be terrified to by-pass God as they do. There isn't enough money to make me put myself on the throne in place of God and His will. The church is the Bride of Christ. Just in case they have forgotten, as appears to be the case. I wouldn't be in their shoes for anything. They have turned Gods church into a money making business and have cheapened and weakened it. But God is not mocked, repent while you can boys. Thanks for your input l0:57.

Anonymous said...

I have been a member of FBCJax for the past 12 years -- under Dr. Lindsay, Jr., Dr. Vines, and now Dr. Brunson.

I find your blogspot disgusting and perverted. I was personally present during the March 2008 sermon during which you claim there was a "commercial" for Collins Builders. At the time, I did not view the video as a commercial but purely as a testimony of two businessmen who made a decision to honor God by closing their business on Sundays.

YOU, Mr. or Mrs. blogger, who fails to identify yourself, apparently have a deep problem which YOU need to take us with the heavenly Father (if He is, indeed, your Father).

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi Anon - I'm surprised that you were a member while Vines and Lindsay were there, and you don't find the display of a testimony in the MIDDLE of a sermon highlighting the business of two men whose father gave the pastor a quarter million dollar piece of land...just a little bit questionable. Its actually a perversion...to show partiality like that toward these men, and to do it right at the apex of a sermon. But I gotta hand it to Mac, it was so brazen that there is something almost to be respected for being that "bold".

I find it very funny that you criticize me or being anonymous, yet you yourself don't reveal your own name! How ironic is that?

And you know what I find disgusting and perverted? You raising the question of who my heavenly Father is.

But that is how Kool Aid drinkers have to behave when they read something like this blog shining the light on dark deeds by their pastor. They have to attack.

So I understand.