"...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, November 18, 2008

Questions on the 2009 Budget

Readers - Wednesday night 11/19/08 there will be a business meeting to vote on the proposed 2009 FBC Jacksonville budget. The proposed budget was handed out during the 11/12/08 Wednesday night sermon.

Since I know that most of you didn't have a chance to pick it up, I want to summarize it here for you, and then give you a copy of an email I sent to the pastor yesterday (11/17/08) with 12 questions, some of which I hope he can address PRIOR TO the vote on Wednesday. As our country heads into what may be some very tough economic times, he needs to address how our church is preparing. As he preaches to us he considers himself to be the bastion of courage in these difficult days - but in addition to telling us to be courageous (and to keep tithing), he needs to also be pragmatic and explain the implications of the tough economy on our church budget and operations and ministries - and let us know that he is demonstrating leadership in taking prudent steps. Here is a summary of the budget:


There are several interesting aspects of this budget requiring explanation:

1. Why is "Communications" and "Business Admin" increased substantially, while other areas are cut?

2. Why did giving to the Cooperative Program under the "Missions & Evangelism" category increase 10% from $500,000 to $550,000? Wouldn't it be best to hold this constant giving our overall budget is unchanged? (I have my own views as to why this is so, but I'll save that for later)

3. Apparently the much needed "emergency" repairs that Mac arrogantly and abrasively asked us to give in two weeks to avoid going into debt are NOT budgeted, since the facilities budget was not increased. Perhaps it is there, but it doesn't look like it. We hope that the difference between the actual amount given in the special offering and the needed $1 million dollars are included in the 2009 Facilities/Maintenance budget.

But here is the email I sent to Mac on 11/17/08 that covers these three items and some others. If any of these are concerns of yours as well, please email Mac at pastor@fbcjax.com. He didn't respond to my email as he does not reply to anonymous emails. Feel free to send any response you get to me, or post them directly here in the Comments section.
-------------
Hello Mac - I understand that we are voting Wed 11/26 on the 2009 budget this coming church year, and I have some questions about the budget. I understand your policy on anonymous emails and I respect that, but still I do feel compelled as a member to write you anonymously for my own personal reasons. If you don't provide a personal response because of your anonymous email policy, perhaps you could provide answers to some of these questions from the pulpit in advance of the vote Wednesday night. I do understand trustees were present last Wednesday after the service for questions, but many members, including myself, were not aware that the budget would be discussed and were not present to ask questions. But here are my questions:

1. I am concerned about the cuts in ministry that are made in all but two of the ministry areas. Can you tell us what the amount committed to the budget was on the Chest of Joash day? How does the amount committed compare to the amount committed last year?

2. I am concerned that this budget shows no detail whatsoever on salaries and benefits paid to our employees. How might we find out detailed information on at least the salaries that are included in each of the categories?

3. Under which category(ies) does your's and your wife's salary and benefits fall?

4. As most companies and non-profits are tightening their financial belts in anticipation of the pending recession, can you share with us what leadership you are providing in prioritizing expenses and perhaps cutting the lower priority costs? Have you looked at personnel cuts and restructuring of staff responsibilities as a way to prepare for the difficult year ahead?

5. Related to question 1.: can you explain the decision making process that leads to a reduction in the budget for ministry areas, but an INCREASE in "Communications" and "Business Administration"? In tough economic times I would hope that cuts could be made in business and communications BEFORE we cut ministry, and certainly wouldn't expect to see INCREASES in Communications and Business Administration while ministry is being cut.

6. I see zero expenditures on the "Pastor's Conference" line item under "Community Life". I assume the revenues and expenditures related to the Pastor's Conference are off-budget, perhaps in another 501(c)3 organization. How might a member find financial information on these expenses, and the anticipated revenues from the pastor's conference from both attendee enrollment and the selling of pomotional space? What is this 501(c)3 organization?

7. Have we considered cutting the expenses of our consultants like the A-Group and Conexus Group and doing some of these tasks in house with our staff and support staff to save money? How might a member concerned with our expenditures on marketing and promotions consultants find enough detail in our financials to see what are the amounts of these expenditures in the last fiscal year?

8. In that the "Facilities" line item under the catetory "Facilities/Maintenance" is cut by 4% from last year, does this mean that the portion of the $990,000 needed for the repair of our facilities that has not been raised through the special offering, is NOT included in this budget? If so, why is this? Why are we not paying for ongoing maintenance of our facilities in our budget?

9. About the Communications budget, which is increased by $400,000 dollars over last year, can you explain what this money is being spent on? We are concerned that this represents TV ministries on the INSP network that might be a low priority, given that we are archiving on the 316 network. Again, clarification as to why "Communications" spending is increasing over last year while ministry budgets are cut is a major concern.

10. Our cooperative giving budget was increased from $500,000 to $550,000. Can you tell me why this is so, and why we are cutting local ministry expenditures but increasing cooperative expenditures? Would it not be more prudent to simply hold that budget expenditure to last year's level?

11. The costs of starting the satellite next year: can you tell us what category these new costs for 2009 are located in the budget?

12. I understand from several deacons that questions were asked by deacons who wanted to see more detail. Were the deacons who had questions given the detail they requested prior to asking them to vote on the budget?
Thank you for reading my email, and I'll await your response via email or from the pulpit.

FBC Jax Watchdog

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a shell game. If this doesn't tell you what this church(?) is all about then what will? And this is the tip of the iceberg. You don't have enough info to TELL you anything.
We see where the priorities are. Communications: Would that be to keep Mac on INSP? So he can continue to build his "brand". How does this benefit FBCJ?
Business Admin: Why no breakdown on salaries? Where is this money being spent? It's a "Black Hole", in outer space.
Will many of you now believe that MINISTRY is not a priority at this church(?).
Missions: Is this money and increase given to strengthen someone's future role?
What is Community Life? This looks like a generic catagory that makes it easier to "dump" expenditures.
Maybe the reason that repairs are not addressed in the budget, is that he intends to "borrow" the money.
This is a disgrace, and we don't even know the "real" story.
Look for another sham vote, "all say aye, opposed no. The ayes have it. Whether they do or not.
If these guys help him pass this, they all need to go.
I personally would not give a dime to this church. And I wish I could get back the considerable sum I have given in the past!

In the past, each department had to submit and JUSTIFY their budget for their area. This was in turn reviewed by many. The Administration, Music Ministry, Sunday School (each department individually), Training Union Housekeeping, Facilities, Dining Room all others etc. And we actually understood where ALL monies were spent and why adjustments were made. Don't be duped into accepting this "blind" assessment. ASK QUESTIONS!!! Why has the old method been replaced by this current "puzzle". I am almost afraid to ask. Makes one very suspicious as this is impossible to track, as appears to be the intent.
This rivals the Harvard Business Schools tatics. Lets just call it FBCJ Inventive Bookkeeping.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I'll make this a main post on my blog very soon, but I have to make a comment on this now.

Jimmy Smyrl, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

He starts his 111/4/08 blog in this manner:

"I do not make it a regular practice to quote cult leaders in a positive manner. [Yes I believe the beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church are cultish, but that is for another day.] "

I certainly don't agree with many, many of the teachings of the Catholic church. However, I have know some solid Christians who were Catholics. And they do stand for many of the moral things we stand for. And I do acknowledge that many people attending Catholic churches are lost and in need of a Savior.

The fact is there are quite a few major doctrines that we DO share with them. And aren't we as a church trying to reach out and partner with other churches? Didn't we even want to befriend some Jews by hosting the Time to Stand for Israel?

But how on earth does the #2 man at our church, a church trying to reach the city for Christ, decide to use our church blogsite to post an article and refer to the Catholic church as a "cult"? What purpose does that serve? Does that help us win the city for Christ?
What does it serve for him to cut down all Catholics by saying a priest is a "leader of a cult"? What do our Catholic friends have to say about this?

And by the way Jimbo, our church every day is looking more like the cult, as our pastor is demanding that we follow HIS desires, and wants us to not "worry" but follow HIS vision that God has given HIM, as he is "baptized in the holiness of God" and has received God's vision for our church, and any that oppose him aren't "trusting Jesus". Open your eyes Jim.

And by the way Jumbo Jim...Mac himself brought in a singer/pastor from the Seventh Day Adventists WHO ARE MORE OF A CULT THAT THE CATHOLICS...and several of our church members were very hurt over this as they have family members who have been deceived by the SDA.

I just don't get these guys...Mac and Jim Smyrl - what a contrast to Homer and Jerry.

Little love for the people. Even less discernment.

God help us.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

To be fair, what I'm sharing here is my own summary of the budget sheet handed out.

What they gave us Wed night was a budget on two sides of the page, with line items under each of the 7 categories. But still, its hard to see where the salaries are, and where more traditional "budget categories" are.

We have much less useful information shared with us regarding the budget than when Homer and Jerry were here.

I just summarized the main categories into one table.

Anonymous said...

Are there any line items for the Lighthouse Book Store? What about the Dining Room? These were big money makers prior to Mac coming.

Any mention of Hilliard anywhere in there? This is a hugh, multi-million dollar asset ripe for Mac to take and convert and use as he pleases.

RM said...

Very interesting...

I do know that in large churches each of the committees submit their budget recommendations to the Budget Committee and then they formulate the budget that is then presented to the church for their approval. Not sure how you guys actually did this process.

I do not know of a large church (over 2,000) that publishes the salaries in detail. They trust their Budget and Personnel Committees to handle these matters and I am assuming it is done that way in your church.

Your figures were quite revealing to say the least. I've always learned that where the money goes is the location of the heart of a church...

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is that FBC has never been very transparent with their budget to their members, and even the rank-and-file deacons. The deacons are given the same information, no additional detail, then the normal members that show up on Wednesday night.

I remember one deacon meeting where I asked for some more information about a particular item and that finance committee member simply gave me the same information on the printout. He might have said some general statements about this or that, but nothing specific. Basically there was no real reason for attending those meeting or voting since it was just a rubber-stamp in the process. Something that at the business meeting they can say all of the deacons voted on this budget.

Between the months that Dr. Vines left and Mac started, I was keeping a copy of the monthly budget reports. The old versions did have the salary groups broken down by area (one of them "Staff"). Some of the money was allocated in "operations" for housing or anniversary/etc., but you could add them together to get a general idea of what money was going to overall salaries.

But to my wonder, the format of the monthly budget report changed during the transition. I figured you could see the monthly salary amount drop when Dr. Vines left, and then pop back up when Mac arrived. But amazingly, all of the salary information and other stuff was rolled up into that Administration category. So, like it or not, they changed the report to hide what Mac was making.

I'm not sure why, maybe it was on request from Mac or the finance committee where ashamed of what they were giving him and did not want people to complain. In any case, all of that is NOT transparent.

I'm sick of hearing Mac say that he would preach even if he was not paid, but at the same time his (and families) salary is that of a mid-sized company. FBC is not a company, it is a ministry. Much like the Salvation Army, where I cannot remember the figure, but it's top dog make a more reasonable income.

The finance committee should make the budget report more transparent like it used to be back when Dr. Vines was pastor. I thought even those reports were not detailed enough, but now they are basically useless.

Anonymous said...

Why not just post the document they passed out?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I'll try to get it posted tonight.

As far as Hilliard:

Budget is unchanged, $77,000.

Food Service budget decreased from $850k to $680k. Revenues are not shown of course.

Bookstore budget decreased by almost 1/2, from $502k to $292k, and Media Store increased from $80k to $114k.

Also, there is a notation at the end that subtracts out the Media and Bookstore costs to take the total budget to $15.3 million, and the explanation is:

"The Bookstore and Media Sales are self-supporting profit centers. Removing them from teh operating budget provides a clearer picture of our proposed member supported activities"

As far as a "finance committee", I'm not sure one still exists. With the bylaw changes I think the finances are managed by the expanded Board of Trustees - probably Stimler and some others.

Anonymous said...

The facilities stuff comes out of the building fund. Communications also includes the wireless microphones that need to be replaced. The stuff for the satellite church is in each ministry's line item.

Anonymous said...

4:04: I beg to differ FBC IS a business, and Brunson is the CEO!

Anonymous said...

Look with any nonprofit, they are required to publish the line items of the budget, for that matter, states are required to publish in detail budgetary items. If there is nothing to hide, why doesn't FBCJAX simply disclose the items as oppose to continue to hide the information? Unfortunately, many church members continue to blindly support the current leader of the church based on steeped faith that was built by probably the only pastors of FBCJAX, Homer Lindsey, Sr and Jr. It took years for these men to build the kind of faith that existed in our church, wherefor we could simply and blindly vote in business meetings and pass a multimillion dollar budget.

To this day,I don't think the pledged amount of the Chest of Joash has been announced or printed.

Why the secrecy and again where are the deacons? Why don't they demand to know?

Anonymous said...

By the way, WD you are dead on with your summation and I loved your email to the pastor. Its ashame that he doesn't answer.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:04...Your analysis is right on. I attended these meetings too. All you would get was an up eyebrow cause they had already gone over the items. They (those explaining the budget items)did not know anymore than anyone else. It was already DECIDED and you and I and others were the RUBBER STAMP. Mac and the Trustees run the church make no doubt about it. When was the membership ever asked to give input into something they had already approved? NEVER.
General membership is just considered in the way so therefore don't bother explaining anything. The memberships job is to just give the money and don't ask questions. It's all in God's hands according to them.
The dining room and bookstore do not need a budgeted amount as they are still generating profits. When you mark up books by 30-40 percent you do not lose money. Its just plain old window dressing, that simple. Gives them more room to move the money around from one area to another.

Anonymous said...

As far as I remember, the salaries of individuals has never been broken down and was lumped together so you didn't know what they were.

While you raise very good points, I would also point out based on what you have written previously, you do not tithe there. You encourage others not to also. Therefore I am not sure you have much right to gripe or even question the budget in the same way someone who doesn't vote has any right to question or complain about those in office.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

True - salaries were lumped together, but we still saw a line item for salaries. We had much, much more classical budget detail given to us BB. (before Brunson).

Its a new day.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog,

I am a former Member of FBC Jax. I am also a former part-time staff member. I have been gone for some time, I left right after Mac arrived. I do understand the hassles of a budget. I am currently a Minister of Music in Georgia. Last week, the budget was presented at my church with disscussion. The deacons had seen the budget the prior sunday and made a motion to give the Pastor and increase of 5% vs. 3% in his salary. Now, that's a net gain of 2%... not 5%. They argued. People sat there and said that God's man didn't deserve that much. The difference was only $25 per week. THAT'S IT! He's make, about $57,000 a year total package that has to feed a family of 4 and they huffed and puffed about $25 per week more! Churches need to realize that they better take care of God's Man! We are dealing with people who want to buy a bus, and not worry about the ministries of the church, just like FBC Jax - the ministires have taken a "back burner". Now, in the case of FBC Jax... i believe God's Man has been taken more than care of. I think that Team Brunson is not doing what's best for that church. Worship and Education were priority at FBC. Rodney Brooks had a phenomenal program because he had the budget and resources. If you take away the budget and resources to equip God's servants, guess what? THEY LEAVE! Now, to give communications at 28% increase is unbelieveable. I am guessing that Buisness Admin. includes the salary packages of team brunson. Education was the reason FBC JAX had so many soulwinners in past years. I remember sitting in Middle School learning the Roman's Road. And I remember Discipleship being an important role of the High School Ministry. If I were any members of FBC JAX, I would question this budget. Stand up for what you've invested you money and your time in.

Anonymous said...

Do you not get that on Wednesday nights anymore in the monthly business meeting?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Readers: Here is the link to the pdf version of the budget detail. This was provided to the church Wednesday 11/12/08.

Proposed 2009 Church Budget

Anonymous said...

It appears there might be an explanation for the Communications increase. As was mentioned in an service last month, the FCC is allowing more folks access to the bandwaves that churches use. It was mentioned that the cost would amount to more than $100,000.

Also, if the new facility opens south of here, there will be a cost to transmit services from downtown to there. Equipment will be costly again.

Anonymous said...

How much of the Hillard budget goes to cover the seminary students attending the 2009 pastor's conference? Are all of their expenses covered, lodging, traveling back and forth, meals, etc? If so, who are they, how do they qualify for these benefits and expenditures? Who approves their attendance?

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:32

Great post; but I would not call it Inventive Bookkeeping, rather Selective Bookkeeping. They know exactly what they are doing.

Anonymous said...

Communications = A-Group and Conexus!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Scholarships, from a marketing perspective, are a GREAT idea. Mac told his seminary students at Criswell College and SWBTS to take a "long view" of ministry, and scholarships for seminary students are just that!

Pay a seminary student to come to the conference...and you'll get that money back many times over when the guy gets hired by a church and convinces his church to pay him every year to go to the wonderful Pastor's Conference he attended as a seminary student.

Easy money!

Sorry, but in this new day of church marketers, promotions consultants, and selling advertising at the conference, I can't help but view all of Mac's decisions and plans in light of a sales and marketing strategy.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

And right in line with my cynic's view of Mac's motives:

Why increase the Cooperative Program by 10%?

It helps Honey look good, since she's one of the IMB trustees (she can whisper to her fellow trustees that she got Mac to do that).

And of course Vegas' over/under is 93 days until Mac is at a preaching gig and utters:

"I don't know 'bout y'all, but in a day when churches are cuttin' their missions spending, we increased our cooperative program by a whopping 10%, AMEN? That's right."

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Remember Mac's sermon where he bragged about going out and getting some fruit and milk for Honey while she was jogging, and she "made it worth his while"?

I wonder how much Honey made it worth Mac's while to up that cooperative program by 10%...YEE HAW!!!

Anonymous said...

Please forgive me for not posting in the previous "Theatrical Preaching" blog.

Anon 9:50 a.m. reminded some of us about the saint God used at FBCJ; Fred McCormick. He truly was a humble, God loving, obedient servant. Please go back and read the original post about him; it was eloquent and so true.

I spiritually ask God to provide more servants of his maturity and humbleness and his true devotion to serving Jesus to uphold the church Fred loved.

Anonymous said...

WD,

That is so wrong but so funny . . . lol. If you don't want it discussed don't mention it. Man I am in tears laughing!

Anonymous said...

The increase of the cooperative program was to protect Honey and Mac down the road, once FBCJ is no longer their supplier.

Yet maintenance and repairs are still in question?

Thy Peace said...

WD, you are truly poking all Pastor Mac's supporters in their eyes with some of your comments.

I disagree with you, when you make these "crass" remarks on Pastor Mac. I know, Pastor Mac himself made some of those comments in his sermons, but still ...

I remember, about 4 months ago, you had a post, where you raked or yelled at Pastor Mac some choice words. I actually went back and referenced most of those comments.

Guess what? All but one of them, were also uttered by Pastor Mac in his sermons.

So I can't really be mad at you.

I am learning much from your comments and "it is written" comments in the past 2 days (except for the "crass" remarks).

Thy Peace said...

I am reposting comments about Fred McCormick here ...

Comments about Fred McCormick
"Watchdog: Your perception and analyzation of Brunson in your 8:11 AM blog was masterful. You have completely captured what this man is about.
Thanks to the deep Bible preaching/teaching that Dr. Lindsay gave us for years, he prepared us to recognize whether a man is truly a God called preacher or not. Mac did not count on the real Bible believers and YES scholars that would be found in this church. He completely underestimated this church and now is having to deal with them, because they know he is not a preacher. He is an opportunist. This is why this church doesn't respond to his histronics,and amatuer theatrics.
As to laymen being God called: This church once had a man named Fred McCormick here, that was one of the most humble Godly men, to walk FBCJ halls. He never attended a seminary, but knew the Bible well. His passion for the lost was legend. This was a man that would drive hundreds of miles (and did) to take a lost man back to his family AFTER Fred had led him to the Lord. Fred had over 200 men in his T.U. class, a large number at that time, the men wanted to hear him teach that much. No small groups here. He had a revival going among the men of this church that was truly of God. It made one feel that this was a once in a lifetime experience. Fred was a very quiet,humble, Godly man. If Brunson could have spent some time with Fred, he may truly have become a preacher, as Fred inspired everyone around him to know the Lord well."

Anonymous said...

anon 8:38,

"crass" or not, funny is funny and that comment by WD is hilarious! Look if your going to lock and load then be prepared for it back. I have sat in those sermons where he talked to us in his angry tone, like we are a bunch of biblical morons. He obviously di not know FBCJax when you walked in and love and kinship were in the air, all there for one reason.

Now? Well you'll have to tell me cause I am in the process of looking for that same air for my family and I in a new church, which my Saviour will provide. I am a 20+ year member, faithful tither and Bible bringing FBC lover. Just lost my taste for Brunson.

The straw that broke the camels back for me was selling promotions for our churches Pastor's conference, wow that is dangerous (to me).

So forgive me if I laugh at WD's comments to lighten the mood if for just a minute. That was hilarious! Love you FBCJax, see you later Team Brunson me and my family choose to move on.

Thy Peace said...

Anon 9:16pm: I fully agree with you. I understand you have to laugh at times, or else everything is so bleak here.

I was trying to understand, why all of Pastor Mac's supporters ganged up on WD on Sunday ... and I felt some of WD's comments (though deserving in content and tone) were felt like lashes in the eyes for Pastor Mac's supporters. I think that could be one reason, they were "very emotional" that day. So was WD then.

I was too. About 2 months ago, when I found out, what Pastor Mac did to fbcjax about "congregational authority".

So I full understand where WD's anger and bitterness is coming from. Especially since, he had a wonderful, prayerful, spirit filled Church for more than 20+ years.

The contrast is too great for him and others.

About Sales and Marketing: I know ALL businesses do sales and marketing to increase Sales or Revenue. I would like to know what the intentions of the new leadership is of this marketing. Is it to increase revenue?

If so, then they are wrong.

If it is to bring the gospel to new Christians (I do not know, how it does that), then it might be ok.

But it feels like manipulation to me.

It would be far simpler to show people, your LOVE and simply preach the Word of God. And nothing else.

The Holy Spirit will do the rest.

I am probably naive in saying it, but that is how I feel.

Anonymous said...

Reading all these comments about the vagueness of your budget and how things used to be under the Lindseys and maybe Vines made me recall - did someone post before that it was Jerry Vines who wanted Mac for FBCJ's pastor? Quite some time ago someone mentioned the book "Spending God's Money" about the shenanigans in the NAMB and the damage that Bob Reccord did before being forced to resign. In an appendix is a letter of support for him signed by several men, one of whom was "Jerry Vines, former senior pastor of FBC Jacksonville". I was totally stunned that, after reading about all the shady dealings of Bob Reccord, that someone like Jerry Vines who,from bloggers here, seem to feel was a wonderful man of God, could and would support a person who did what Bob Reccord did. I've never attended FBCJax and don't know anything about your former pastors other than what has been written on this blog, but if Jerry Vines could support Bob Reccord after all his shenanigans, and if he also was instrumental in bringing Mac to Jacksonville, well, then that says quite a bit about why he would want Mac there. As I said, I don't know your pastors but anyone supportive of what Bob Reccord did to he NAMB I would view with great suspicion when it came to reccomending a pastor for my church. Just my opinion.

D

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Thy Peace - I don't characterize myself as "bitter". I'm really not. I'm a very happy, well adjusted human being that loves life. Mac and his defenders would say otherwise, and I'm "unregenerate" (Smyrl's fav word for the troublemakers and gossipers) and a danger to the church. But the fact is I don't like what Mac Brunson is doing to our church, and so I choose to raise the awareness of other people who might be like minded. And I allow for Mac's defenders to post here (except for a few - like the guy with the glasses from NC).

Much to my amazement, Mac has done nothing over the last year but continually behave in abuse ways that I believe are worthy to be analyzed and discussed by clear-thinking Christians who love their church. And now, unfortunately, its spilled over into Smyrl. If there is anyone who is bitter and angry, its Donald McCall Brunson. Just watch a sermon. Any sermon. Pick one at random. He's angry. And he's bitter.

In a way I'm very happy for guys like Pigg, Howard, Barton, and Carr that they got out of here before what has apparently happened to Smyrl (Brunson has rubbed off on him) happened to them. They could shake the dust off their feet and move on to other ministries.

Anonymous said...

to your comment thy peace -About Sales and Marketing: I know ALL businesses do sales and marketing to increase Sales or Revenue.

It has not been long since the tithing message tirade where we we were told by Dr. Brunson that we better pray we don't get a raise. If we don't need a raise then why does the church need a raise?

FBCJ has been full of faith, that is one bit of our legacy. If the powers that be feel like the church has got to raise the money by selling tables then shame on them. What happened to all the revenue the church was receiving from investments?

What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Practice what you preach Brunson!! I hope no one buys a table!

it is written said...

Dr.Dog you do not have to post this response if you do not want to...But I have to respectfully disagree with you and agree with Smyrl about the Catholic Church..There are good people in involved in Catholicism,unfortunately their Church itself has most of the characteristics of a cult...The Pope himself last year said basically that everyone who was not a Catholic were devoid of all the necessary truths for salvation...Dr.John MacAuthur stated in one of his sermons that the Catholic Church was not another denomination,BUT ANOTHER RELIGION!!!Dave Hunt incessantly warns of the dangers of Catholic teachings(www.thebereancall.org)..Josh McDowell in his earlier publication of his book on cults(which was carried by FBC'S book store)had a chapter on the Catholic Church...Unfortunately due to criticism removed)like the leaders of FBCJ are trying to silence you)...Dr.D.J.Kennedy,MacAuthur,R.C.Sproul and John Ankerberg released a tape(inwhich I have a copy)inwhich they discussed the danger of protestants and Catholics forming coalitions due to the serious and major disagreements over HOW ONE IS SAVED(is it by faith alone or faith plus works)among other major differences...Author James G.McCarthy a former Catholic himself wrote a book entitled "The Gospel According to Rome" which compares the teachings of Catholicism and the Word of God(get a copy if you can)...WD another good website to research this is www.letusreason.org...Finally Martin Luther)a former Catholic Preist)whom you know started the Protestant Reformation with his nailing of the 95 thesis to the door of the Whittenburg church did so do to the MAJOR differences of what the Catholic Church was teaching when compared to what the Bible was saying...Though I admire you and your just fight against the abuses of Brunson and his posse I lovingly and with total respect have to strongly disagree with you on The Catholic Church.....Please before you blog on this subject::PLEASE RESEARCH IT THROUGHLY........Thanks your Brother in Christ

Anonymous said...

Does anyone realize that the high school teens are not being trained to have quiet time? There is not quiet time or scripture memory work for them this year.

Christians are not called "only" to missions. We are to win people to Christ and disciple them. That is scripture.

The basic Christian discipline is quiet time. Why on earth has the church deliberately opted not to train these young people to continue in their quiet time as the kids who have come up in the church have been taught to do all their life?

Is the INSP & Maurilio's paycheck more important than training these young people to continue in the things of the LORD, love God's Word, and study it as the Bible instructs us to do?

Anonymous said...

Ann: of 10:04 PM: Not everyone loved Jerry Vines. Dr. Vines had many faces. He was who he was talking to. If he liked you then of course you saw him differently. If he didn't like you of course you saw him differently.

To answer your question: Yes, Vines was the primary reason given by the Pulpit Comm. as to why Mac was asked to come here. I believe Patterson also had some influence.

Anonymous said...

Thy Peace: thanks for reposting the comments on Fred McCormick. I can tell you it was a deeply humbling time to have been a member at FBCJ. The Spirit of the Lord was heavy upon this church at that time. People cared about each other. They came to church eager to learn the Bible, taught faithfully by the Lindsay's. Many had "witnessing experiences" and stories of leading someone to the Lord during the past week. The Bible was taught in the S.S. classes, not so much silliness as goes on in some classes today. This was truly a great place to grow ones faith, I am so glad I didn't miss it, as we probably will never see or "feel" it again. That time laid the foundation for my deep commitment to the Word today.

it is written said...

Anon 8:55am Nov.19,2008..........Ditto on Dr.Vines...When I was discussing some indiscretions of another Pastor with this member(whom would be known if I mentioned their name)of FBC Jax and I stated "that at least Dr.Vines is not like this Pastor" and this person shocked me by saying "I could tell you some things that would change your mind"!!!!!!I was so shocked by the statement that I couldn't ask them what the issue was...Vines is not without guilt in letting this pariah loose on FBC Jax!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't doubt there are "skeletons" in Vines' closet too. Which is most likely why he continues to support Gilyard and Brunson and Patterson to this day. And remains silent about the abuses going on at the church where he remains "pastor emeritus."

Anonymous said...

the most puzzling aspect of all this... how could someone who is such a great expositor and always seemed so loving from the pulpit (JV) not have better judgement? Did he really think MB would be good for us? After much thought, I've concluded that loyalties lie more with their buddies than with us. When he allowed Gilyard on our platform we should have known his judgement was seriously lacking.

Anonymous said...

11:42, You are so right. It was the fact that JV was Gilyard's mentor. JV had Jerry Falwell give Gilyard the pulpit in Lynchburg. It's all about the Buddy System. They'll take it as far as they can until something falls apart and then they slip away.

Remember JV also preached at Gilyard's church twice. I suppose he got "big bucks" for that, huh?

gabriella422001 said...

It is written: when a person works in a church, people LOVE to say things about them true or untrue and the person just has to live with the lies. You do not KNOW that Dr. Vines did anything wrong...you just HEARD it...if i said the stuff people said about my family that were blatant lies when my dad worked in a church, the hell on earth for my family- a SOUTHERN BAPTIST CHURCH (and trust me...50 percent at least of the people that went to church there believed every word of it, but it was every bit a lie) Unless you KNOW THE TRUTH about a STORY about a person, you don't know squat. Thats one of the problems with a blog like this, you have no idea if what you are reading is true or false. Don't go putting a brand on Dr. Vines you can't prove, ok?

it is written said...

Grabriella.....Point well taken...Though the person who said this is trustworthy none the less you are absolutely correct...Thank You!!!

Anonymous said...

Gabriella 1:23 The sum total of what you don't know about this church and goings on here are huge. Many of us "know" a lot, take my word for it. OK!

Anonymous said...

Watchdog,

Just curious...did you vote against the budget tonight?

Did the pastor ever reply to your email?

Anonymous said...

Gabriella:

I worked at FBCJ and know exactly what I post is true. So be careful in your evaluations!

At times you come across as diametrically opposed to the current FBCJ leadership (even posted you left the church because of the treatment you received there), but yet you keep coming on posting one side then the other. You need to get your priorities straight.

You are young and very impressionable; I too was when I first attended FBCJ but I learned Godly teaching, preaching and loving pastors. I never once would question their love for God and what was best for FBCJ, Jesus first, always and ever ending. That was until the leadership of Brunson, his family and advertising consultants, but especially the lack of discernment of the trustees and deacons.