"...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, October 14, 2008

Mac "The Double-Dipper" Brunson - 1 Week out of 4 Ain't Bad!!

The people of FBC Jax are beginning to get a complex in that maybe our pastor, Mac Brunson - the man hand-picked by Jerry Vines and pursued and enticed vigorously by our search committee to be our loving pastor and to minister to the city of Jacksonville - doesn't like to spend much time in Jacksonville!

He just finished a two week European vacation taken immediately after asking us all to dig into our wallets and give $1 million to do facility maintenance because we just couldn't find the money despite $40 million being given since he arrived. And while he was gone we watched a video produced to show how caring he is of the poor in Jacksonville by agreeing to man a Salvation Army kettle...what a generous man!

So Mac is enduring one week with his recalcitrants at FBC Jax after his two week vacation, and then off again for another week! Where does he have to go? Its a tough assignment, one that only the bravest of ministers will go to shine the light of the gospel...he's going to preach to a senior's conference at Pidgeon Forge, Tennessee october 20, 21, 22, and 23rd.

Yep, four days. He's going for four days to preach at his buddy Phil Waldrep's "Senior Adults' Celebrators" conference in beautiful Pidgeon Forge, Tennessee. Not going to preach a revival. Not preaching to seminary students. Not seeking to save the lost. No, he's going to preach to a group of seniors. For four days. Not that they don't deserve a quality speaker, but Mac is a busy pastor of a large church - he has a DAY JOB is what I'm saying, so to preach a four day sermon series is a bit much.

Why does he do this? Why does his church allow him to take 4 days off WITH PAY to go earn an honoraria or stipend to preach a conference? Does anyone out there have an employer who would give you time off with pay to go to another employer and earn some additional money?

The more we observe Team Brunson, the more its apparent - we are not purpose-driven, we are not theology driven...we are a MARKET DRIVEN church. Its about hiring a church marketing firm to increasing market share, its about showing videos in sermons of people who have donated large gifts to the pastor, its about using guilt and intimidation to prompt people to give 10% of their income to the church, its about using money given for ministry to start a school to reach those in the community who have the most money, and sadly its about selling sponsorships of up to $12,500 for our pastors conference. Its about revenue, its about money. These guys are so market driven it calls into question every other decision they make like the satellite ministry. Now Mac is going to earn an extra buck by preaching to Aunt Bertha, Uncle Charlie and Grandpa Willie in Pidgeon Forge. I'm sure the demographics tell Mac that he can sell some of his books since many Seniors who go on these retreats likely have considerable discretionary income.

The Watchdog has at least one attendee at the conference who will check in and let us know which of Mac's sermons he recycles there at the conference, and who it is that man's the Brunson book and tape sales table.

Cynical? Yes. Surprised? No, not a bit.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am a former member of FBC Dallas and it looks like the more things change the more they remain the same.

It is sad that it has become all about the money. It is the same here bigger better latest greatest........

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I know some of the readers here are familiar with other conferences at other churches.

Can you confirm if other conferences, such as Johnny Hunt's conferences (I'm thinking his Timothy and Barnabus conferences) and also McArthrur's Shepherd's Conference - do they actively seek out and sell certain "sponsorships" in return for certain favors like videos shown on the video screens, mention of the sponsor by the pastor from the pulpit, etc?

And you all thought it was just a blessing that Jim Caveizel came to speak to us...nope, it was a cleverly arranged marketing scheme where the producer of the tape series paid Mac and Trey for that "spot" in the service.

Shameful.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Not going to believe this...just got an email and then phone call from Good Morning America about Maurilio Amorim and the church marketing craze....should be interesting...

Anonymous said...

Regarding advertising to be used at pastors conference: "There's no business like show business."

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Are you people getting it? Do you see why I raised a stink over Mac using our church as a venue for raising funds for an Israeli hospital? It was a sign of things to come.

The people at FBC Jax need to wake up and see what his happening. They need to vote with their wallets, and do the thing Mac hates the most - send him emails letting him know of your displeasure of he and his son using the pastors conference as a marketing and fund raising bonanza.

Anonymous said...

This old adage has to be corrected: You "can" (not can't) teach an old dog new tricks. Just put NEW in front of it and the gullible reach for it everytime. It worked for cola drinks, Potatoe Chips, Butter, and now it works for the churches. Especially if you market the brand. Sad, sad, sad.

Anonymous said...

Mac's own words:

"The gospel does not have to be preached in an offensive way. We should always seek to be appealing rather than appalling"

"Pastors are to set the example in evangelism by their own lifestyle."

The pastor should be above reproach in his personal finances."

"When God's people manage God's money according to God's plan, the results is always abundance---for His house and for ours."

"When we do not follow God's financial plan, we are not under His umbrella of protection. Without His protection we leave ourselves open to all kinds of financial difficulties."

This is only a small segment of Mac's guide to new pastors. Evidently he forgot he penned these instruction.

So privileged this assignment is a portion of my spiritual curriculium.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - I take it you are a seminary student? Which seminary?

Read my prior articles on the hypocrisy of Mac Brunson in his accepting of the land gift and the construction of a large "executive" home despite the guidebook counseling pastors to NOT do what he did.

Anonymous said...

Reply to 10:08

The comments were directed to Mac Brunson and other mega pastor preachers, but especially to Mr. Brunson who believes they are superior to the underlings of the congregants and can so cunningly manulipate the elders and financial leaders of any church. Most only seek self importance.

Anonymous said...

Does this go for the CEO"s and executive staff of most corporations who make hundreds of thousands and million of dollars off the back of their workers? Some of these workers and possibly a greater percentage as a group compared to those who make "big bucks" are fine Christians who put in long hours and get small salaries like $30-40K would they agree with this financial hogwash.

Most of the American workers have no choice especially today when revenues have already been drained by high flying exec's to keep the job they have. There are millions of Christians right now without a job. Did God do this or was it the money grabbers? I vote on the money grabbers. They are the ones who grab all they can as fast as they can because they know that the money is soon going to dry up.

Its totally mind boggling what some people put in a book....pure nonsense...they have no more idea of what employees are having to deal with even those that work in their own surroundings.

It sure is reassuring to know that someone who has it all can tell the majority of the rest of us just what God's financial plan is. I cannot find that in my Bible, can anyone give me chapter and verse?

Another thing, is this "appealing" in tone, behavior, or dress? Maybe some are more attractive and eloquent than others. Possibly some are just down to earth and love the Lord Jesus and can outpreach the Mega Church speakers. Unfortunately, the Mega Church speakers get all the attention it would appear,and the money. I always thought the best preachers were the ones who were humble but preached hell fire and damnation. Such a shame this seems to be now passe.

Thanks Watchdog you sure have done your homework and for that you get an A+_. Keep it up. God will bless you for it regardless of what any apostate tells you. The truth has set you free.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog: Please let the world know about the secular world and acceptance of a "tainted" culture of mega pastors and their "blind sheep"; I sincerely wont the world to know about the "new age" pastors and how they manipulate the atrocities inflicted upon the sheep, will or not, as most are willing as the are uninformed.

Take the media seriously, using God as your guide; but do not let the powers that be at FBC Jax intimate you in any way.

Blessings,

it is written said...

Dr.Watchdog I have attended two John MacAuthur's shepherds conferences and they were the best conferences by far that I have ever participated in.There was absolutely no indications of any type of secular advertisement or any videos being shown at anytime.The entire three and half day were dedicated to nothing but Biblical exposition,discussion and a question and answer session with Dr.MacAuthur.Also Dr.Watchdog on the second day of the conference there is a massive distribution of Biblically based books by leading orthodox Christian authors all given away free of charge including Dr.MacAuthur's own books.Also everyone is feed without extra charge on the church grounds.Thru-out the entire three day and a half days it was nothing but Christ exalted-not history,or exalting of the pastor's nor any begging for money during the conference hours.I have been to FBC Jax pastor's conference and it pales in comparision to the Shepherds conference.

Anonymous said...

After spending 10 years at FBCW as a member and a "volunteer" for many of the leadership, I can confirm your question watchdog. Johnny Hunt spends approximately 1 out of 3 days away from his office at the church either traveling or on vacation (try 6 or more weeks a year not including "Bible Cruises") or speaking at other conferences and venues. This was before he became president of the mighty (and oh so irrelevant) SBC. And for good measure, the Timothy Barnabas ministry staff works at the church and is on the FBCW payroll (and uses any resource they deem necessary at the church). I am afraid to inform you kind folks that the moment your church becomes a "mega-church", your pastor becomes a highly sought-after, minor celebrity. His calendar erupts with times to "minister" all over the country while you sit back and enjoy the march of the evangelist speaker circuit. Hey, if you all miss your previous pastor, just join FBCW and you can hear him preach practically every Sunday night! The whole experience can make you feel sort of like the tired old bride who was left at the side of the road when fame brought prettier opportunities. It's wrong, the whole system is wrong and nobody seems to want to wake up and ask any questions for fear of losing the man who attracted enough people with his red-faced sermon. After all, there is a building to pay for.

Anonymous said...

A suggestion: You are pretty good with graphics and images on this blog. Get a calendar and highlight the days the pastor is on vacation, at revivals, conferences, or otherwise out of town.

I once had a member who noted how many times I was in or out of the pulpit in a given year. Fair game.

Thy Peace said...

To me (being a new Christian), all that matters in fbcjax pastors conference:

- To listen to fbcjax Choir and Orchestra

- To listen to the preaching of David Allen style of preaching the Word of God.

Everything else is secondary and ornamental.

Anonymous said...

WATCHDOG you are absolutely right, Mac is indeed MARKET DRIVEN.

However, STRUCTURALY, he is 100% Purpose Driven. It is all about CORPERATE MENTALITY. That is Rick Warren's fundamental GUIDELINE.

You measure the success of your church by growth. That growth will translate into more money for the corperation. Now I know that the membership at FBC Jax has decreased drasticly. But, MAC has pounded GIVING into the heads of the church members. Specificly, the deep pocket guys. Now that the STOCK MARKET HAS TAKEN SOME OF THEIR MONEY FROM THEM, that source may be about about gone.

Like WALLSTREET CEO'S whose PAYCHECK was determined by the MONITARY success of the corperation, in the PURPOSE DRIVEN church the PASTOR'S salary is also increased with the increase in GIVING.

HERE IS THE POINT. LIKE THE CEO'S WHO FOLLOWED THE SUB PRIME SYSTEM AND FAILED, SO DO THE PASTORS WHO FOLLOWED THE PURPOSE DRIVEN SYSTEM ALSO ARE FAILING.

Watchdog, the reason that you are now blogging on MAC is proof of the failure of the Pd system.

Greed is only a symptom of the PD system.

Mac has adopted SYSTEMS and has move the HOLY SPIRIT OUT OF THE CHURCH. The evidence is everywhere. Mostly in the pulpit.

God help Mac to see his FAILURE.

Anonymous said...

Did the search committee look for an executive salesman instead of a spark of the Holy Spirit?

Anonymous said...

Do not be concerned about FBC meeting or surpassing budget and financial needs. The deep pockets and finance chairman (who vacationed with Brunson) will by miraculous means find a way to meet the goals.

Have you given thought more was actually pledged but powers that be decided not to inform you guys in an attempt to shame you into giving more? Just a thought! I believe people are beginning to become quite skeptical of those in leadership at FBC.

Anonymous said...

I have always believed pastors should avoid inflaming conflict within the congregation and to use discretion concerning acceptance of gifts by considering the intent and whether there could be a risk of being compromised or loosing objectivity.

Seems my perception of acceptable and prudent behavior has been turned up-side-down.

Anonymous said...

No wonder Mac hired his son under the radar with no job description.

How on earth would our church approve hiring a guy out of college to turn the pastor's conference into a money making enterprise?

gabriella422001 said...

seeing as i just don't think i could continue to judge the pastor of FBC Jax because judgment is not my calling, and judging a pastor especially is not, and judging a church is not, I left the church yesterday. I couldn't support it, so i left. Its not my place, its Gods to judge anybody including me. I now feel about 100 percent more at peace. I not only don't agree with FBC Jax, the Southern Baptists are the thing i really couldn't get behind. And i think the way they treat women is appalling. But its not my place to judge it. Its my place to leave it.

Thy Peace said...

Gabriella, I would encourage you to find any Church to fellowship with. Fbcjax is not all that bad. The music ministry is very good. So is the preaching. Though it could be better. The money issues and power issues ... Most average people can not relate to it. About the role of women in Southern Baptists ... it's a struggle for the proper definition.

I posted a comment in Stop Baptist Predators blog of Christa Brown. There is an article on Bob Allen:

What befell Bob Allen? - Thy Peace said:

This comment shows a review by Bob Allen of Susan Shaw's book "God speaks to us, too: Southern Baptist Women on Church, Home & Society"

Also, check this article, posted today by Pastor Wade:

A Critique of Dorothy Patterson's Article in the Fall 2008 Southwestern News: "Is There a Biblical Paradigm for Womanhood?"

Chris said...

Hey I have an idea---why dont all you people that detest mega churches so much go back to small churches where you grip and complain about how theres nothing there for you---and then after that you can complain about the Pastor and his lack of vision and not reaching people and being too small---or hey you could even not pay the pastor and since you all seem so well versed on how a church should run you should just do it---and to Gabriella who is sick of the SBC---where'd ya go? Feel Good roll around the floor and speak in toungues pentecostal? Or maybe the dead Episcopal? Or perhaps the homosexual affirming direction? You people make me sick to my stomach---it is a crying shame that you complain and you are the kind of people who complain in every church--_I am not a pastor but I support mine---God deals with him, it is not my job or yours to hold him accountable---it's Gods and I think he is big enough to handle that---and way to go Watchdog---air out dirty laundry on TV---that's great you are sick twisted miserable excuse for someone who only want to see life and reconcilation

Anonymous said...

Many megachurch members are curious about how often the megapastor is away...but are afraid to ask. How about the 'ol watchdog keeping a tally and presenting it graphically? I'd bet that would be linked heavily.

Anonymous said...

Brunson railed against a certain style clothing worn by some in our society, much to the hoot and hollering of a number of congregants last week. Please take a look at Trey's web site and the "southern exposure" of the surfer. He could have chosen a picture less revealing and provocative.

Anonymous said...

Dear Chris,

It is people just like you who are chasing off people like me by the thousands from today's church. I can almost see you now smacking sinners upside the head with your 3 inch thick Bible and Sunday School binder. I see nothing of Jesus in your comments or your spirit. Maybe you need to re-read the New Testament and take note of who was getting it handed to them (the religious establishment) and where it was coming from (Jesus). Somewhere along the way in the church, those with genuine questions became dissenters and off they were banished into the void - and yet we still worship the greatest rebel of all time, Jesus Christ!

I have learned that it is much easier to attack those who challenge the way you think then to wrestle with those questions yourself. Instead of attacking, look in the Bible for scripture to address these issues and formulate your own opinion. By the way, it should be noted that Jesus Christ never ventured beyond a roughly 50 mile area during His ministry and yet He changed the world. So why do you think any Pastor needs to travel the globe to minister? Why not send the people in the church? And why not try and answer this without regurgitating something you heard from a pulpit somewhere?!?

Anonymous said...

Chris: Hold on buddy. You are drowning in Kool Aid. Please, foaming at the mouth is soooo unattractive. Have you not noticed that we are in the last days and the "falling away" of the churches spoken of in Thess:2 vs.3? These things must come to pass before the Rapture of the Christians. All churches are facing their own demons. But the problem with our particular church is the pastor that uses the church for his own advancement and enrichment.

I am sorry you are sick to your stomach. Perhaps some more Kool Aid will help. But keep in mind how sick others are to see their beloved church destroyed so callously. And, as you said, God will deal with the pastor. I believe He is, as he is being held accountable by the many that blog., here. I would say the loss of members, revenue, and respect indicate that all of the people don't swallow the Kool Aid. God gives wisdom to those that ask for it. Do not assume that others have not prayed for wisdom and been led to depart because FBC has lost the Godly position it previously held. UNDERSTAND: We never had these problems in this church before the arrival of this pastor. So what changed? It wasn't the many people that have lost their church. Perhaps the problem lies with one man....could it be the preacher?
Get well soon!!!!

Anonymous said...

Chris,

If dirty laundry isn't aired it will become so polluted and dirty the only recourse would be to destroy it.

Also, you really need to check your comments about the Pentecostal and Episcopal denominations. YOU judged them by your offensive remarks. Who is to say the Baptist way, is the only way. YOU probably make them sick by your unbelievable, hurtful attitude.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog: Be cautious. Whose to say that Maurilio and his New York contacts just might be trying to flush you out!

chris said...

So it's offensive that I say anything negative towards Pentecostal or Epsicopal but it is okay for Gabby to say she doesn't like SBC and its okay for WD to curse in a blog previous to this one? I really don't understand. You say i am bitter and hating sinners---not I completely agree with you that there are some huge things being overlooked here but enticing people not to give and to "rebel" while remainging a faithful part is just not the way to do it. Its a sad situation all the way around---but here are the facts: Mac Brunson was voted in, he is your PASTOR, and until the church either calls a vote or he resigns, you are to either support him as such or leave and seek fellowship where you can follow God's guidance. I am sorry for my remarks on Pentecostals and Epsicopals---that was rough and crass but the hypricosy of this whole situation, from WD to FBCJ makes me saddened.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Chris - about voting him out....he clandestinely changed our bylaws making it impossible for the congregation to call for a vote to remove him. All special meetings have to be approved by Mac's board of trustees, whom he hand picked (and yes, we voted for them to), but there is ONLY one vote left at FBC Jax, and that is with the wallet.

And I won't leave, as hundreds other won't leave because of Mac. We know he's an opportunist, and he will move soon. We can only pray that its sooner and not later.

Anonymous said...

WD,

I have been at FBCJ for a short time. As you have mentioned earlier, there is responsibility to share.

Where can I go to find a listing of the Elders and Trustees? How do they differ? Do we have specific lay committees?
I'd like to see some names I might approach.