"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ed Young, Jr: "Boy Our Job is Tough"

When you get a chance, listen to Ed Young, Jr. share his thoughts on the difficulties of being a pastor:

Ed Young Video Blog - May 14, 2007

No doubt he is very sincere and he does correctly point out some of the trials of being a pastor. Anyone who has been in churches, especially smaller churches where the pastor does not have a fully staffed office suite consisting of wife, son secretary and marketing consultants, knows how difficult a pastor's job can be as they juggle so many responsibilities in the church. But I offer this clip because I think it gives us a very rare glimpse into the thought process and logic that these mega church pastors use to justify their enormous salaries and benefit packages. Ed Young Jr's message here is that our job is so tough, tougher than you can ever know, so tough that you need to pay us extremely well. Notice how even his body language and dress and posture serves to communicate the message that there is no job on earth as tough as theirs; I mean he looks like he's been up reading Lamentations all night and might be on the verge of a nervous breakdown!

Of particular interest is his view of the pastor being the "franchise player" who is "responsible every year...to raise money...because we are the ones responsible before God for raising money.....every year I've stared a lot of money in the face and I know at the end of the day its up to me to raise that money....and that's a taxing thing." That is twisted logic. Firstly, he is really not "raising" money. He has people coming to his church that believe they are "giving to God" and they drop their money in the plate. He obviously has no clue what it is like to REALLY have to raise money for a cause, or even more difficult how to generate revenue in a business enterprise to keep it viable and a source of jobs for people who are depending on the business. Secondly, for the pastor to view themselves as "franchise players raising money" ignores the scriptural truth that the church's ministries are financed by God's people giving out of their thankful hearts to God, prompted by the Holy Spirit and really its not a pastor's job to raise the money. As it relates to finances, a pastor's primary responsibility is to be a very good steward of the money that God BRINGS TO HIM. A pastor is to make sure that the faithful people who donated money can rest assured that the money they give is going to ministry and not to enrich a pastor or his family, or that its going to a slick marketing firm in Nashville to design the best looking logos for the next sermon series. If the pastor views themselves as the "franchise player raising the money" then of course they will not have a problem taking a large salary, nor will they have a problem with taking church funds for their own favorite ministry projects that are outside the ministry of the local church.

Of course if a mega church pastor views it as their responsibility to "raise that money", they will have a hard time seeing it as unethical to accept a $300,000 gift from one of the donors to their non-profit organization that they are to lead. If Mac views himself as being responsible for raising $15 million per year to fund the operations of FBC Jax, what could possibly be wrong will taking $300,000 from a church donor? This is why it was so disturbing to hear Mac Brunson at the Pastor's Conference call his son to the platform and proclaim to everyone that "Trey raised over $100,000 by himself to help defray the costs of the conference." This leads me to believe that perhaps Mac shares this view of Ed Young, Jr of the pastor being the "fund raiser" of the church.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Does Mac Follow the Holy Spirit or the A-Group?

While Team Brunson is out on their 2-week Mediterranean vacation, let's talk about the A-Group.

Church, as I've reported here numerous times, and as was reported in the previous FBC Jax blog in early 2007, one of Mac's very first moves as pastor of our church was to hand over the church "marketing", including the design and management of our website, to a man named Maurilio Amorim and his so called "church marketing" firm "The A Group" (Click here to visit their website). It has been reported by several posters here and on the previous blog that The A Group was used by Mac both in Dallas and in Jacksonville to do staffing studies and determine what positions needed to be "re-staffed", or done away with completely. Since we voted for Mac to be our pastor, Maurillio's company has been responsible for our website that we all know is so far behind any other mega church website in its function and usefulness that its pathetic.

I would like for you to take a minute and browse The A Group's website. What you will see will either make you sick, or make you cry, perhaps both.There you will see beautiful, fit and trim, tanned Marillio Amorim using our church materials in his "portfolio" to further market himself to other churches to do their promos and marketing and websites for them. Certainly if he has done such great work for the influential FBC Jax, other pastors would want to purchase his services, right? Much of the artwork in his portfolio will look familiar to you...your tithes and offerings were used to pay Maurillio's firm to to do that awfully hard Christian work that only a Nashville marketing firm can do, that is design artwork and come up with catchy slogans for preacher sermon series and special events. Thank God for the A-Group, what WOULD we have done without them the last two years? Church how low have we sunk that we have to pay some out of town marketing group in Nashville that is totally unfamiliar with our church, our city and its needs, to do all of our artwork and concepts rather than using our own staff and maybe even our own church members, or perhaps local companies that likely would charge much less and are familiar with our city and its needs? I for one know plenty of talented, artistic people who could do this work in our church. Would someone on the finance committee please post here anonymously and tell us how much of our tithes and offerings are going to this marketing firm?

And when you go to their web site, you'll see something else that sickens you. Along side the FBC Jax pieces of his "portfolio" is the work that Maurillio does for Calvin Klein and Tommy Bahama...so Mac has joined our church with a marketing firm that also does work for Calvin Klein and Tommy Bahama! Does this surprise you? Visit the Tommy Bahama website managed by our consultant Maurillio if you ever need to buy a "beer pilsner set" for $49, or a "Wine Away" bottle for your favorite wine for $10, or maybe your home bar needs a "tropical shot glass set" for $39. I myself have purchased the "Embossed 5 oz flask" so I can carry around my Jack Daniels in my bible pouch along with my Christian tracts for those late night Tuesday visitations....and of course no home is complete without their "brown leather cigar and flask set" for $98. Maurillio - are you a church marketing firm or are you a commercial marketing firm helping to peddle alcohol and tobacco paraphernalia? You don't seem to be such a smart marketer after all, since you seem to be diluting your brand of Christian marketing by doing work in the secular arena possibly confusing your clientelle of your company's position in the market.

Hey Mac and Trey, I'm sure you'll be reading this while your family is on their 2-week Mediterranean vacation (by the way, too bad the start of your vacation interfered this morning with your ability to meet our visitors on the one day that we arguably have the largest numbers of visitors - we definitely see where your priorities lie when you cancel the visitor's reception on such an important day so you can get that early head start to Europe!) you said if Homer came back he'd want to know why you only got 50 men to pray with you. Something tells me that if he came back he'd have just a few questions for YOU dear sir about how you dole out God's money to marketing firms.

Have a great vacation Team Brunson, we'll hold the fort down for you until you get back. Maurillio is hard at work designing the logos for your next sermon series, and I'm sure those proofs will be on your desk when you get back.

Maurillio - since your Mac's marketing consultant...can you please explain to him the power of a "personal touch"....that on the one single day of the year when we have the most visitors in our church that he should absolutely make time to get to the visitor's reception? If I was a visitor today on Easter and wanted to meet the pastor but heard him tell me he and his family were headed on vacation to Europe and didn't have time to shake my hand at the reception...well, that would probably confirm many of the things I had been reading on this blog and hoped weren't true.

Update on Pastor Daniel Jones?

During the Sunday evening service September 30, 2007, Mac brought up Pastor Daniel Jones to the platform and explained how our church was going to assist Pastor Jones in the rebuilding of his church that had been nearly destroyed by arson earlier that year. Mac then told us all how Trey had been instrumental in "negotiating reduced prices for air conditioners" for Pastor Jones' church and we were going to help him get his church building functional again. As you might recall Mac even called out men from the congregation to help Pastor Jones go "door to door" to get his congregants back (but of course this was before Mac proclaimed that "people aren't home anymore" and door to door evangelism doesn't work). This was during the emphasis on giving and Mac was trying to show how we use our church funds to help others in need. In fact that morning he had some pastor from New Orleans stand up and Mac proudly proclaimed "See that guy, we pay his salary." Got the picture?

You can read the Watchdog's original article on the Pastor Daniel Jones assistance here.

Why am I dredging this up you ask?

Today (Sunday 3/23/08) in the Times Union there is an article by Jeff Brumley (the reporter who wrote the Mac Brunson article in 2006 telling everyone of Mac's "blazing oratory") about churches in our area that have burned and the struggles the pastors are facing in rebuilding.

Sure enough, Brumley reports that Pastor Daniel Jones is still holding church services in a tent, and he does not have his building functional yet. In fact, here's what Brumley writes:

It's been a tough, day-to-day struggle toward getting the building ready, Jones said. While a new roof has been added and other work has progressed to restore the sanctuary, Jones said it will take about $45,000 to make the structure usable. It would take another $100,000 or so to get the structure into pristine condition, he said. The church has received about $9,000 in donations.

Did we get the church air conditioners? Did our church help them like Mac said we would last fall? If we did how much did we help with and why is Pastor Jones still not in his building now a full year after the fire, and 6 months after Mac committed the church to help?

Mac, since you brought Pastor Jones to the church that night and publicly offered our church to help him, perhaps you owe us an update now that Pastor Jones is back in the news and seemingly no closer to getting into his building than he was last September. But we won't hold our breath waiting.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Just What is the "Media Evangelism" Offering For?

Mac and the A-Group are masterful marketers. Look at the "Media Evangelism" promo banner on the FBC Jax website and you'll see icons showing people using various media. The "sell" that Mac and the A-Group are trying to make to us is that this offering is for "cutting edge technology" ministry.

Unfortunately, that's not what the offering is for.

According to Mac's letter (which is now available on the FBC Jax website), the offering is for:

- buying local TV and radio advertising
- paying for special mailers
- putting Mac's sermons on the Inspiration network nationwide

Nothing innovative, certainly nothing cutting-edge there. We've included advertising and TV time in our budget for 3 decades as they are a very important activity to reaching those in our area. We have never gone onto a nationwide network with our broadcasts because we've never viewed our church and our pastors have never viewed themselves as "televangelist" in nature - as Dr. Vines used to say, when a person gets sick or experiences the loss of a loved on, the TV church and preacher and staff ain't going to be ministering to you. So we've always kept our TV ministry local. If Mac himself wants to go nationwide to build his personal brand, that's fine and he has the right to do it as his sermons are his intellectual property. Let him (or Trey) raise the funds to start a nationwide "Mac Brunson Sermon Broadcast" on a network, but please Team Brunson hold don't your hand out asking FBC Jax members to fund it. Like the school, its not really part of our church's ministry, and will reach very few people in our area for a huge expenditure.

I'd like to point something out for FBC Jax members to consider: in Mac's letter note how he uses the words "our podcast" and "our services" and "our broadcast". No, the podcast is not "ours"...it is the "Mac Brunson Podcast" with a full Mac Brunson mug logo, and its part of a separate 501(c)3 organization called Inlight Ministries. When he says we need to broadcast "our services" nationwide, he's not talking our services, he's talking his sermons. But its convenient and a clever marketing gimmick to use the words "our" in order to compel you to give to his project.

About the "The Mac Brunson Podcast": this offering is not either to pay for Mac's podcast, since that is already up and running and I assume our church has been paying for "The Mac Brunson Podcast" for some time. But there are some problems with that: he and the A-Group controls which sermons are available (for instance the 3/11 "I can't get 50 men and Homer would want to know why" and "your job is to listen" sermon was up only for a few days until someone wisely decided to pull it), there are no original broadcast dates with them (only dates posted to I-Tunes), and its called the "Mac Brunson Podcast", not the "First Baptist Church Jacksonville Podcast". If its "our" podcast and if our church is going to fund it, then change the name to "First Baptist Jacksonville Podcast", put our church logo on it, and put it on our church website with our church logo and not on Mac's Inlight.org webiste. This is an example of how Mac talks out of both sides of his mouth. He loves to say that church is not about personalities, that we don't come to church to hear from a man but to hear from God - sounds good, but then if he truly believes this why is his full face used as an icon and why is the podcast called "The Mac Brunson Podcast" when our church is funding it and its therefore a ministry of our church?

Since we've never gone nationwide with a TV ministry from our church (as I said if Mac wants to do that with his sermons, he's free to raise funds and start a Mac Brunson TV ministry), that doesn't mean we can't use technology to have nationwide and world-wide reach. Live streaming is great, but we can do much, much more at a relatively low cost as compared to buying TV time. After all, in many parts of the world our services are streamed live at inconvenient times.

We can archive our sermons video and make them available 24/7. I want to offer to you three examples of how churches are using technology to provide video streams of their full services, made available 24/7 world-wide. Consider the following examples:

1. First Baptist Church Woodstock: FBC Woodstock makes available online all church services for the past three months - not just Johnny Hunt's sermons (its not the "Johnny Hunt Broadcast" its the "FBC Woodstock" broadcast), but all sermons, even when Jerry Vines is preaching or one of the other ministers fills in. I'm talking full video of the entire service, praise music, preaching, invitation, and even an up front promo highlighting the ministries of the church. They even hyperlink in sermon notes. Click here to see it:

FBC Woodstock On-Demand Video Ministry

While there click on the Jerry Vines 3/2/08 sermon to see and hear a great Bible sermon. Listen to this sermon and you'll be happy to see he has hardly lost a step since retiring. Powerful message on the love of God.

2. First Baptist Church Dallas: The next one that I want you to see is how FBC Dallas makes their services available. They utilize a service called "316 network" to make there services available online:

First Baptist Dallas On-Demand Video Ministry

Notice on the viewing banner Robert Jeffress picture is there, but its the FBC Dallas logo, and the "tools" on the site are all hyperlinks highlighting the ministry of the church. Viewers can even click a link to submit a prayer request, or find information out about the church's ministries. Its not a ministry of just Robert Jeffress, its a ministry of the church that is funding it.

3. Northpoint Community Church: For a third example, take a look at Northpoint Church, the Atlanta church started by Andy Stanley in the 90's. At their website they archive all sermons (not the music), but they have a very unique and innovative interface that lists each sermon, its date, speaker, and three options for viewing. Take a look at the third option, that has the red "f" icon (for flash)...it is a viewer in which the wide screen sermon is viewed, with tools on the viewer to allow notes to be taken and emailed to one's self, hyperlinks to the previous parts of the sermon series, and pdf files for sermon outlines.

North Point Church On-Demand Video

Notice again: this is not the "Andy Stanley Video Broadcast", its the Northpoint Church broadcast at their website, and all sermons not just Andy Stanley's are put there for viewing.

So church, don't be duped. Giving to the "Media Evangelism" offering this Sunday will only be paying for advertising that should already be in our budget, and to pay for broadcast of Mac Brunson sermons nationwide when we FIRST need to make our full worship services (not just Mac's sermons) available on demand on the Internet.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Just Say No to "Media Evangelism" Offering

Everyone by now probably has received their letter from Mac Brunson about the "Media Evangelism" special offering to be taken this Sunday.

Church, I sure hope you decide to NOT give ONE DIME to this offering.

- Mac just a week ago held an unannounced business meeting to ask for the church to vote on giving $500,000 for start-up costs for the First Baptist Academy. He asked us in December to pray that "God would unleash the financial resources of the church", and it sure looks like instead of waiting for God to "unleash", Mac took matters into his own hands and himself unleashed them in a quickie business meeting moderated by the president of the Trustees. Although Mac has repeatedly told us that the school is absolutely necessary in order for us to reach people for Christ, we know that is not true. The school may very well be a great idea, but to take $500,000 from money given by God's people for the ministry of our church in order to fund a school start-up is not right. I submit that the $500,000 would pay for any of the local media evangelism that he proposes. Mac has it backwards - instead of siphoning off money for ministry given by God's people to fund a school start up, let's instead use special offerings for new ministries or capital projects such as schools and pay from the budget those ongoing ministerial expenses like advertising and TV air time.

- Mac says that we should be on the cutting edge of using technology to reach people. Is he really interested in "cutting edge" technology, or getting himself on TV to a nationwide audience? If he is interested in "cutting edge" technology to maximize our reach an obvious question is: Why are we not maximizing the reach of our church's music and preaching ministry by making our recorded church services available 24/7 on-demand either at our website or at the 316network website, like most every other mega church?

- Mac says that giving is up. If so, and if we've always paid for our TV and advertising in our regular budget, then why now do we need a special offering for local media evangelism? Where did this money previous earmarked for local media expenses go? Are we perhaps paying too much to the Agroup for their "marketing" services?

Bottom line: don't take $500,000 from our church Mac for a school that is NOT necessary to reach people for Christ despite your insistence that it is, and which will provide a ministry to relatively very few people in our local area (most of whom will be the very wealthy who can afford $8k per child tuition), and then come holding your hand out for a special offering for items that should be in the budget anyways since they reach poentially thousands world wide! Particularly when we aren't fully utilizing our infrastructure to maximize our reach through the Internet and archiving all video streams for 24/7 world-wide viewing.

Consider this church: after the sermons he's preached lately blasting his congregation and talking to us like we're biblically illiterate morons, how excited are YOU about funding nationwide broadcasts of those sermons?

Just my opinion.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Angry and Condescending Mac

Listen to these two clips to see examples of how Mac treats his congregation.

Click here to listen how Mac blessed out his congregation when he only got a response from 50 men to his request to pray about being a prayer parter with him. He asked for 120 men, and got 50. Maybe people were still praying. Maybe God only moved in 50 men's hearts. Maybe Mac needed to gently remind his men to keep praying. Maybe God only wants 50 men instead of Mac's number of 120. But Mac chooses instead to not only bless us out because God's number was 50 instead of 120, but then he has the unmitigated gall to assume that he knows what Homer Lindsay would say about the matter, and complains that 6 years after Homer's death he can't find 50 men to pray with him. I know what Homer would say: "Mac, only two years you've been here and YOU'VE ticked so many people off that you can't find 50 men willing to pray with you?" Mac, I knew Homer Lindsay. Homer Lindsay was a pastor of mine. Sir, you're no Homer Lindsay - and you do NOT know what Homer would say in fact if he came back he might have a whole lot of questions for YOU and not for us as you presume.

Here Mac tells us that "his job is to preach the Word" whether we like it or not...that its not "his business" if we don't like him, the part in his hair, the car he drives, or if we're upset over his accepting of a $300,000 land gift (OK he didn't really say that last one, but he should have!). And he says our job is to "listen". He preaches the Word, then we are to "listen" according to Mac and if we don't "listen" then that is between us and God. Maybe Mac left off one step in his process....he preaches, then we drink the Kool Aid, THEN we listen and obey. I mean really, enough is enough. Yes, he is to preach the Word, with conviction and with love and concern. Our job is NOT to just listen. CHURCH DO YOU HEAR WHAT MAC WANTS? Our pastors NEVER EVER told us just to "listen" (and I assume he means we are to listen and obey)...our pastors taught us to always measure a preacher's words by THE Word, not to just merely listen and follow like blind sheep. You say that's what he meant? Well he should have said it, because young Christians in attendance that hear a preacher say what he said will get the wrong idea that their job is to just listen and obey the pastor and it IS NOT. Notice also how Mac condescendling emphasizes it at the end as he points to the Bible. You can't get any more condescending than that. He might as well have said "There it is, its in the Bible, if you had Bibles and knew how to read them you illiterate morons."

Lastly, if you missed the Wed 3/12 business meeting where God "unleashed the financial resources of our church", click here and you can hear it for yourself. Notice how Mac faked out the "Nays" at the end.

Is this how SWBTS teaches its pastoral students to treat their congregations?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Mac: Need $180,000 For Inspirational Network Broadcasts

In case you missed it....Mac announced that he is looking for $180,000 next Sunday in a special offering, as this will put him back on the Inspirational Network for a year's time.

If he was as mad as h-e-double hockey stick and blessed us out last Sunday when only 50 men responded to his request to pray about being his prayer partner, can you imagine how mad he'll be when he doesn't get but 1/4 of what he needs to go back on TV? Won't be a pretty sight.

If you're a church member, or anyone on the church mailing list, you'll get a letter this week from Mac (let's see, about 10,000 mailings at 30 cents bulk mailing rate, a cost of $3000) asking you to give to the special technology evangelism offering. I'm not quite sure what is so "technologically advanced" about putting one's self on nationwide TV on a Christian network, as televangelists have been doing this for decades.

As I said before, if this is "not about Mac Brunson" but its "about reaching people with the gospel", then let's FIRST start with making all of our services, from start to finish, available for "on demand" viewing at our website. We don't need $180,000 to reach every person in the world with Internet access 24/7. So let's start there and see what kind of reach that gives us, then we can talk about $180,000 for the Inspiration network.

Please church member - if you're like most who are struggling to pay your bills and provide for your family, or if you're not but you know families who are, DO NOT give to this special offering to put Mac on TV. By any measure its not money well spent, at least not at this time. You're better off spending the money on helping someone in real terms meet a physical need, or helping someone pay their rent, or pay a vehicle repair bill. Let the very wealthy church lay leaders who can't say no to Mac give their money to help Mac build his nationwide brand image....let's you and I push for our church leadership to maximize our reach WITH THE RESOURCES WE ALREADY HAVE by making video of our services available 24/7 from our own church website.

Besides, as he said right before David Jeremiah's sermon at the Pastor's Conference, Trey himself raised $100,000 to offeset costs associated with the pastor's conference...surely Trey can raise $180,000 for the TV ministry.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

So God Did "Unleash the Resources"....or did Mac?

Questions that the FBC Jacksonville should be asking of their pastor and the board of trustees and all the deacons who supposedly unanimously approved the $500k transfer of funds from FBC Jax to the First Baptist Church Academy of Jacksonville, Inc., for the start of the school:

1. Because we have been behind budget over the last quarter and the giving appears to again be more than 10% below budget for the first month of the year, what parts of our ministry are we cutting that will allow us to give 500 thousand dollars to start the school? According to the pro-forma upto $737,000 dollars will be needed before the school opens; that is more than a 5% hit on our church budget. At the Sunday evening service on 11/25 Mac asked us all to pray that God would "unleash the financial resources of the church" we would need in the coming year for these new ministries, and you said to us: "...and you are the resource." Does our giving indicate that God answered this prayer? Were the financial resources "unleashed", or by "unleasing the resources" you meant you were going to just take them anyways even if we were behind budget like we are now? What were we praying for if you were going to hold an unannounced vote anyways to just take the funds for the school?

2. Mac admitted on 11/25 that the church had overspent $500,000 on missions in 2007 (click here to listen to a 10/7 audio clip from a sermon at Mud Creek in North Carolina where he bragged about giving so much to missions that we were $500,000 behind budget, and accused our finance committee of being "terrified" and having "little faith" - what does our finance committee say now that over $500k is going to a school start up?) that caused us to be behind budget...perhaps that was the money God wanted to go to the school? Can we really trust leadership that "overspent" half a million on missions, and now is dipping their hand into the church resources again to fund half a million for a school? I know for a church our size many think that 1/2 million dollars isn't much, but get real FBC Jax members: most churches don't have an annual budget the size of what was just taken out of our church funds, in order to start a school. Mac, Sunday you screamed at as about what Homer would say if he came back and saw that only 50 men had signed up to "pray with you" (he would probably have said that perhaps God wanted you to have only 50 men)...I wonder what Homer would say TO YOU when he saw you cutting ministries in the church but taking 1/2 million to start your school.

3. On the pro-forma passed out Wednesday night, what is the $230,000 on the start up costs for "administrative space"? Are those renovations at the children's building? Where is this "administrative space" and why is a quarter million needed for that? [Too bad we jumped the gun and built a luxurious library/office/pad for the Brunsons in our conference room - that would have been the logical place to put the school's administrative offices].

4. Why does the pro forma show $280,000 in salary for staff 1-year prior to the start up? Certainly we need to hire a headmaster, and admin staff and educational staff in advance of school start-up, but that number seems awfully high for staff expenditures 1 year prior to start up. Perhaps a head-master up front, but what other hirings need to be made well in advance of the start up for work that couldn't be done by current staff?

5. Dividing the total tuition revenue by the projected students it appears average tuition per student for the first three years of operation is $7663, $8122, $8563. On what basis does FBA come up with these tuition numbers? If Mac is so interested in "educating our children" and "reaching the next generation and their parents" through a school, why are these tuition numbers so high as compared to other Christian schools that FBC Jax members currently send their kids to? Many church members assumed that since we already have non-utilized space and no major capital start-up costs are needed for school facilities that tuition would be quite a bit lower.

6. Did Mac and the committee research how many faithful FBC Jax members currently have their kids in private Christian school, and what the tuition numbers are that they currently pay to perhaps set tuition to allow these families to consider the school for their kids? How many members of FBC Jax, from whom they've just taken $500,000 from monies they've given to the ministries of the church will be able to afford such high tuition? Just who are we trying to reach in our city with tuition numbers that high? Set tuition that high if we're looking to attract upper middle class and very wealthy families to the school, but please don't insult our intelligence by telling us that such a school with upper-end tuition is necessary to reach "our city".

7. While there are many strong arguments for starting a Christian school, why Mac is your main argument for the school that it is NECESSARY in order to reach the next generation? You've said that on numerous occasions as documented here on this blog. Can you explain why a school is an absolutely necessary ministry for our church to be successful in reaching our community? Is it really true that "you're never at home, we're never at home, and nobody is ever at home anymore"?

8. Please explain: Why was $500,000 just taken from funds given by members to the ministry of the church for a new entity (FBC Jax Academy, Inc.), but now you are asking for a special offering to pay for what SHOULD be a ministry of the church, that is the broadcast of services on TV? Wouldn't it make much more sense for us to raise the school start-up funds by special offerings from members and even non-members who might be interested in the start of a First Baptist Academy?

I and others are thoroughly disgusted with how Mac Brunson has handled the start-up process. He has not been straight with us on why a school is necessary (telling us that people aren't home anymore and that it's a necessary component of our church if we're going to fulfill our mission), he has decided to start the school with 1/2 million dollars from our church that was given to the ministries of the church (not for the start up of a school in 2009) at a time when other ministries are being cut, and then he calls for a vote on the 1/2 million dollars without even announcing it on the church website or from the pulpit or in the bulletin. Now we find that the pro-forma for the school assumes tuitions that are out of reach except for the very few richest in our church and city.

Church, wake up. Mac has just taken 1/2 million dollars from monies you've given to your church for the ministries of the church, to pay for start-up costs of a school that he claims is necessary to reach the lost. He asked you to pray in small groups, led by deacons, on November 27th that God would "unleash the financial resources necessary", and I submit that God has not, through his people, unleashed the financial resources for this school, but Mac instead has decided to just take them. What in the world was he having us pray for if he was just going to hold an unannounced business meeting to fund the school start up from church resources? If the school is such a good idea, then I submit that it would be worthy of a special offering so that those who truly are excited about the idea could give to it, and we could all rejoice in how God "unleashed the resources". Do you still feel comfortable giving money to a church where the pastor and the board of trustees will take it for a non-church ministry so easily with no prior announcement before the vote? All of this is not surprising to those of us who were outraged at how Mac and the board of trustees ram-rodded the bylaw changes through last year.

Now that they've taken your money that you gave for the ministries of the church for the start up of the school, be sure to dig deep and give generously next week in the special offering on Resurrection Day to pay to resurrect Mac's nationwide TV ministry!! According to Mac that is another ministry we must pay into in order to reach the lost!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Church Approves $500k Loan for Start-up of FBC Jax Academy

Much to the surprise of everyone at church Wednesday 3/12, Mac Brunson began the service calling for a vote for FBC Jacksonville to make a loan to the First Baptist Academy school for costs associated with the school start-up, slated for the Fall of 2009. This church vote was prompted by a meeting on Sunday 3/9 between the pastor, the FBC Jacksonville board of trustees, and the church deacons. According to Mac Brunson before the vote was taken, in the 3/9 meeting the deacons approved a "business financial arrangement" allowing the school to start.

Because this business meeting was not announced from the pulpit prior to tonight, and because it was not announced in any of the church bulletins to alert the people that they would be voting on this, I will provide here on the blog the motion that was voted on, and will get the audio clip here for people to listen to.


Mac Brunson called Mr. David Bristowe, the chairman of the deacons, to the platform to call for the vote.

Here is the motion as read by David Bristowe:

"On Sunday afternoon the deacons unanimously approved what I'm giving to you tonight. The trustees brought it to them and they approved it.

a. To move forward with the establishment of First Baptist Church Academy of Jacksonville, Inc. in accordance with the financial pro forma prepared by the school development committee and reviewed and approved by the FBC board of trustees and deacons;

b. That a loan of up to $500,000 from First Baptist Church of Jacksonville to be extended to the school to pay for associated start up costs. Said load shall be non-interest bearing and shall be extended on an as-needed basis as periodically determined and approved by the FBC board of trustees. The term of the loan shall be determined by the trustees and shall be mutually agreed to in writing by the trustees and the governing body of the school.

Dr. Brunson I move that these items be approved."

Immediately after reading the motion, no discussion was asked for, but Dr. Brunson called for a verbal vote.

The motion passed. Following the vote Mac Brunson announced that the school website will be up on Thursday morning: http://www.fbcjaxacademy.com. The school name or mascot is the "Warriors".

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mac Brunson: "Its Not About Mac Brunson"....

Mac explained to his congregation that on Easter Sunday we are taking up a "special offering" to again begin Mac's preaching ministry on a certain Christian TV network. He announced to us that he had been on a Christian TV network for 8 years straight, but that last year he cut that out of the budget and now his sermons are no longer broadcast on the Christian channel.

So Mac is going to raise a "special offering" to put him back on TV...and he said "its not about Mac Brunson, its about reaching people for Jesus Christ."

I submit, it is indeed about Mac Brunson, and as a church we must reject this attempt to misuse money to promote Mac Brunson. Let me explain.

Sunday Mac read several emails from people in different parts of the country that were ministered to by his podcasts. One man in Alabama was saved by listening to Mac's sermon on podcast. He read another email about a man who used to watch Mac on the Christian TV station, and now he can't find Mac because we cut the TV broadcasts out of the budget.

So Mac's proposal? Let's raise money and put him back on TV!

If its not about Mac Brunson, but its about reaching people with the gospel through the ministry of FBC Jacksonville, there is one simple solution: USE THE EQUIPMENT AND RESOURCES WE ALREADY HAVE AND ARCHIVE EVERY ONE OF OUR COMPLETE SERVICES ON OUR WEBSITE. The man who emailed Mac at inlight.org because he couldn't find Mac on TV...if we had archived our services on the Internet we could just email him the hyperlink and he could watch the service if he has Internet. The podcasts? Yes, keep podcasting your sermons Mac on your website. But church we need to maximize our ministry's impact by making available our complete taped services on the Internet, and do it right away.

We absolutely do NOT need to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to reach people around the world. We DO need to raise money if we want Mac on TV. But if we want to have MAXIMUM impact at MINIMAL cost, we will do what we ALREADY SHOULD HAVE BEEN DOING THE LAST TWO YEARS, and that is on our FBC Jax website making our services available on our website for viewing at any time. This would be a blessing for people all over the world - including missionaries - who could watch our services and special music and baptisms and baby dedications - a great ministry for which we already have the infrastructure and don't have to be giving money to a network that is mostly filled with heretics and "hair"-etics.

Look at FBC Woodstock - you want to hear Johnny Hunt's sermon last week, and hear the special music at his church? Go to their website and watch it.

So church, please reject this attempt at putting Mac back on TV at this time through a special offering. Besides, if its a long-term, recurring-cost ministry, why use a special offering? If its important enough to do, then its important enough to put into the regular budget. If it was so important, why was it cut in the first place?

So church, please let Mac know that you are against him soliciting funds from our church members to put him back on TV. Email him and call him. And most importantly, don't put any money into the special offering. If you have extra money for a special offering, give it to the building fund or somewhere else, but not to the ministry of putting Mac back on TV.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Mac Brunson Bares All: Anger, Ego, and Animus

How did you like that sermon today? Have you had enough of the Mac Brunson show yet? Post your thoughts. Watchdog will post more later on today's display of anger, ego, and animus. The man is acting like he's delusional, and there obviously is no one in his inner circle that is willing to tell him the truth about how he is harming himself and his congregation by his behavior in the pulpit.

Mac: think twice if you think the church is going to give you money on Easter Sunday to promote yourself on TV coast-to-coast. More on this later...