Tuesday, September 30, 2008
"Jesus be Glorified"
"Its a Miracle"
- Mac is stuck on this "cutting edge" theme. Its the buzzword amongst his staff. Our communications director says on her blog that our new logo is "cutting edge". Well, we might be trying to be "cutting edge", what ever that is, but contrary to what Mac says our church was not cutting edge. We just looked for ways to teach the bible, and proclaim Jesus, and get people saved. That's all. The secret is there was no secret. What God did in "the miracle of downtown Jacksonville" was not manufactured by man trying to be cutting edge. God did a miracle in Jacksonville as we were led by called preachers who just preached the Bible, with people not having any seminary training or "certificates" but love for Jesus and knowledge of the Bible teaching and applying the Bible in Sunday School. Our "cutting edge" was people devoted not to a preacher, not to a program, and not even to the church (no need for calls for the "churchmen" to rise up) - but people devoted to Jesus Christ.
- I don't fault Mac for starting certificate programs at our church, or desiring for Sunday School teachers to have more Bible knowledge through formal training. But those who sat under the preaching of Vines and Lindsay where the Bible was preached Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and on Sunday morning in Sunday School - after a year or so people HAD MORE BIBLE KNOWLEDGE THAN MOST PEOPLE COMING OUT OF SEMINARY!!! The people of FBC Jax had so much knowledge of the Bible because our preachers weren't giving us history lessons - they really did preach the Bible every single Sunday. And our Sunday School teachers taught us lessons that WERE application...we didn't need to huddle in small groups and ask each other how a verse made us feel.
- Homer Jr. was a called preacher. Never said he wanted to be a lawyer, or that he was smart enough and had the drive and ambition to be successful outside the ministry as Mac as proclaimed of himself. He was a preacher in North Miami when his dad asked him to pray about coming to serve as co-pastor. Homer at first refused, but eventually he did come. Not to a $300k piece of land and 5000+ square foot home in Deerwood, not to have a huge pastor's office suite built, not to put Ms. Shirley on staff. Not to preach sporadically to finish his book manuscript (unlike the millionaire preachers today, Homer declared that nothing he ever said or did or wrote was copyright worthy, since God can't be copyrighted). He didn't come to raise money to put himself on national TV or hold "Time to Stand for Israel" events. He didn't come either to advertise in our bulletin "Holy Land Trips" for the very rich to travel to Israel. He came to get busy in doing local ministry, and in the first 3 years of his ministry the Sunday School attendance doubled. And Homer doesn't brag, he acknowledged over and over: it was all God's doing, nothing manufactured by man, no "theology driven ministry"...no dynamic preacher, no history-laced sermons - all a miracle of God.
- Quite interesting that Mac mentioned that the first building program after our church got out of debt in 1943 was what is now the 6th Grade Building. Mac says that Homer Lindsay, Sr. borrowed $350,000 to build that building. Why bring that up? Because I predict this is Mac signaling that he will be leading us to go into debt again. What Mac doesn't understand is that for the past 60 years God's people built the buildings at FBC Jax as they saw God moving, and space was needed. And the church used the moving through the people giving as a sign it was time to build. And the people's tithes and offerings were used to maintain our facilities. We didn't spend money on high-priced preachers and national TV time and then took special offerings for maintenance of the facilities.
- Mac again couldn't help but to continue his abusive preaching. Had to knock us for not amening enough on one of his excellent points. And he has never yelled at us more forcefully than he did Sunday about older men helping younger men see what God has done in the past. Only problem is that Mac spent his first two years telling us to NOT dwell on the past, that successes in the past have nothing to do with successes in the future - but now he screamed at the top of his lungs that we should help younger people look to the past...followed with a "Did you hear me? Is that clear? All right." as though he were talking to a rebellious teenager. That is abusive preaching. Enough to scare little kids causing them to ask "why is that guy so mad, Mommy?".
From this sermon I get the sense that Mac views himself to be another Homer Lindsay, Sr. Now that I have learned Homer, Sr. was going to be a lawyer until he was called to preach, it makes sense that Mac is saying that now too! Mac views himself in the same position as Homer Sr. in 1940: he has come to save a dying church as Homer Lindsay, Sr did in 1940. That Mac sees a parallel between the $1 million in needed repairs and the debt Homer, Sr. had to retire in 1943. And that Mac will have to start a building program, perhaps borrowing money, just like Homer, Sr. did in 1943. To quote Lloyd Benson in 1988: "I knew Dr. Lindsay, Dr. Lindsay was a friend of mine..."
Lastly, at the end of Mac's sermon, a glimmer of light. Mac let's us know the Lord spoke to him that he needs to let God handle the needs for the money - what a novel thought - how 'bout if Mac trusts God, trusts the Holy Spirit to move in the hearts of people, instead of beating people up with guilt and fear to motivate them to give. Its a little too late...after beating us up and not even bothering to mention the New Testament plan for Christian giving or calling on people to give out of love for Jesus, its just a little too late.
Mac will be on vacation for a couple of weeks. Let's see what the Lord does with him while he's away.
Its quite an appropriate question to ask ourselves at this point, given that Mac has decided to use this scripture and sermon title from the past. Mac's sermon was full of interesting history of our church and references to Homer Lindsay, Sr. But to help understand the difference between Brunson and Lindsay I went back and listened to Homer's sermon from sometime in the early 1990's - most of the members have this as it is in the "Best of Homer, Jr" tapes we received in 2000 when Dr. Lindsay, Jr. died. I recommend that readers who have access to this sermon listen to it again.
Some random thoughts when dwelling on Brunson and Lindsay:
- Homer oft used the "The Iron Did Swim" sermon to express thanks for the many miracles that God did and was doing at our church. Very positive. Homer would go over the miracle of our youth ministry, of our men's ministry, of souls being saved, people loving Jesus and their community. Always Homer acknowledged these miracles were 100% God miracles, not man-manufactured miracles. Contrasted with Mac, who on 9/21 preached a sermon to showcase all that he and Smyrl have done through the theology driven ministry - all the wonderful things Mac has done (e.g. Shelly B: "Thank you Dr. Brunson for theology driven ministry..."). On Sunday 9/28 Mac turned the "Iron Did Swim" sermon on its head, to use the scripture to accuse us of losing our "spiritual edge" (whatever that is) as a metaphor for the axe head falling in the water...and at one point said we should "...pray to get God's spiritual edge back in your life." OK...so let's all pray: "Dear Lord, we pray to receive our spiritual edge".
- One of the very striking differences in the preaching of Homer and Brunson is: JESUS. Mac again Sunday barely mentioned the name Jesus. Just twice. Homer's sermons in general, and his sermon on "The Iron Did Swim" he mentions Jesus over and over. Love for Jesus. Love for souls accepting Jesus. A lighthouse for Jesus Christ.
- Homer loved his people. Oh, he preached hard. But Homer recognized that in his large congregation there were people at all different spiritual levels: some very committed and mature, some new Christians, some back-slidden, a few recalcitrants and some wolves in sheep's clothing. But the difference: Homer AND Vines preached the Word, always in love but in truth, and they let the Holy Spirit do the convicting. Mac just preaches hard on people, at times twists scripture to intimidate and instill fear - as though he doesn't trust God's word to be fitted to the many different spiritual hearts in the congregation. No doubt Homer loved his people.
- Another striking difference is root of the motivation for all that is done at FBC Jax. When Homer and Vines preached about giving and serving, it was to motivate us out of our devotion and love to Jesus Christ first, and out of love for our neighbors and friends second. Mac once again Sunday as he has done since arriving, tries to manipulate people to give and serve out of fear, out of duty and obligation to Old Testament scripture, and out of devotion to an institution (FBC Jax). Mac does not try to motivate people out of their love for Jesus. Why? I don't know. Perhaps Homer understood that the greatness of the church was in its people loving Christ and responding out of love, whereas Mac and Smyrl believe success is gained through legalism, through man's ideas and actions, and a well-structured "cutting edge" program like Theology Driven Ministry. Homer trusted his uneducated leaders to preach the Bible in Sunday School.
I have more to say about some of Mac's antics on Sunday, how we knew Homer was a God-called preacher, and a few other insights as well as some audio clips of Homer and Brunson. If you have thoughts you'd like to share about the sermon Sunday, or about Homer Lindsay Jr. or Sr. that you might have thought of after Mac preached about our church history, chime in here!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Here are some of the "highlights" (or "lowlights") of Mac's sermon from Sunday:
1. The Church in Rome was a Group of Satellite Churches: Mac again this Sunday told his congregation that the churches in Rome were really a group of "satellite" churches. If by that he means "satellite" in the way we use that term today, he's a liar. There was no mother church that the churches reported to. The churches in Rome met in people's houses. There was no rock star preacher who went around preaching to them. In fact just the opposite: the case can be made that the collective churches were "autonomous" churches and certainly not "satellites". But Mac thinks enough of his sheep are biblically illiterate that he can make them think his plan for satellites is directly from the scripture - just by saying it. But I've shown multiple times that Mac plays loose with historical facts and scripture if it suits his purposes. This is a classic example of that. But his sheep are smarter than he thinks.
2. You Should Keep Your Commitments: Mac showed what a hypocrite he is by again this week lecturing us on how we should be keeping our commitments. "When you make the commitments, you stick with the commitments" he proclaimed. He said it once, and got no response from the congregation...so he repeated it again...and then again until he got a smattering of "Amens". Only problem is he should be preaching to himself. He embarrassed our church by not keeping his commitment to attend meetings of the Crime Prevention Steering Committee set up by Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton and to which Mac committed to attend. So who's not keeping their commitments?
3. Mac Says Not to Use Your Gifts in the Community, Only in Church: Mac proclaimed that Christians have a responsibility to use their gifts not in the community but in the church. In Mac's mind, the world starts and ends with First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, that any good that will come to Jacksonville must be through his church. At least he's consistent: he says we should only be serving in church and not in the community...and so very little of our church budget goes to helping the needy in Jacksonville - in fact many more times the annual FBC Jax budget that goes to helping our community goes to paying Mac and family their salary.
4. Mac Says Inlight Ministries is the Preaching Ministry of FBC Jax: He says several times "he gave this ministry to the church" and that Inlight Ministries is the "teaching ministry of FBC Jacksonville." That's a lie. Its his ministry. Its the teaching ministry of Mac Brunson, not FBC Jacksonville. You say "what's the big deal?" It shows how disingenous Mac is. When Mac left Dallas, he brought this ministry with him because its HIS ministry. When he leaves FBC Jacksonville, he will take that ministry and the programming brand equity that the hundreds of thousands of dollars from our church have purchased, with him to his next endeavor just as he did when he left Dallas. When he says he "gave" this ministry to us and its "our ministry", he means that money coming in to the ministry goes to FBC Jax to buy air time - OF COURSE IT DOES! It would be scandalous if it did NOT, since our church members funded the INSP program costs! If this is our ministry, then he can shut down his http://www.inlight.org/ website. But Mac has come under pressure for taking hundreds of thousands of dollars of money from us to broadcast HIS sermons on INSP network, so his response is to tell us that its "our" ministry when it is NOT.
Most megachurch pastors have their own websites. The sermons they prepare and preach are their own intellectual property and they can make them available on their websites. Not a problem. Robert Jeffress who replaced Mac Brunson at Dallas, has his own ministry called "Pathway to Victory" separate and distinct from the ministry of FBC Dallas. And if the church decides to contribute money to the pastor's ministry to help fund his broadcast, and its communicated to the church and its in the budget and the church votes on the budget, great. But look at how Mac does it: he has his ministry, he wants to be on national TV like his fellow mega pastors, he holds a special offering on the largest attendance Sunday of the year to put his ministry back on TV, he gets back on TV using money from FBC Jax, and now he is telling us that its "our ministry" and not "his ministry". This is Clintonesque parsing of words. He did the same with the "Time to Stand with Israel". He told us "we're not sponsoring it, we're just hosting it."
5. Mac Proclaims to Know what the Lindsays Would Say About Satellite Ministries: Very interesting that Mac proclaims to know what two men that he never met, Homer Lindsay Sr, and Jr, would say about his plan to start satellites. Its likely that neither would be in favor of a satellite church that Mac has planned, but might be for a church plant. But whatever the case, can't he stand on his own and make the case himself for satellites? Must he lie about churches in Rome being satellites, and telling us that our deceased pastors would be for it? He has yelled at us as always looking to the past and worshipping previous pastors, but when it suits his purposes he not only looks to our previous pastors, but presumes to know what they would say when he never even so much as shook their hands in his life. Interesting that he only tells us what the dead pastors would say...I wonder what Vines would say about satellites?
6. Mac Calls Those Who Don't Serve "Blackmailers" and "Sinning Against the Holy Spirit": Mac is a divider. If there are people in the church who aren't serving in any official capacity, he doesn't appeal to them to serve out of love for Jesus, or to give of their time to serve out of love for their church or fellow church members...but out of guilt. And if you don't serve - then you are a "blackmailer" and you are "sinning against the Holy Spirit". No scripture to back up his claim. Doesn't have to. In Mac's church, if he says it, then it is so. Our pastors warned us of this kind of abuse - they have always told us to measure words said in the pulpit against scripture..
7. The Group That is Not Happy About God Moving in Our Congregation: In Mac's church, if you're not fully behind Mac, you're against him and against God. Mac refers to those in our church who are not happy about God moving in our congregation. Again, Mac's attempt to divide his church - be happy about what he wants, or you're against God. Mac loves to do this with his opposition: instead of dealing lovingly and gently with those who have concerns with his leadership, instead of addressing directly concerns that people have, he instead mischaracterizes them as being "not happy about God moving" in our church, and thereby belittles them and can conveniently ignore their legitimate concerns. Classic Mac Brunson strategy.
In the next article we'll look at Mac's legalistic approach to motivating people to open their wallets and give to his church.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Mac's sermon (infomercial) Sunday was a hurried attempt to try to paint Mac and Smyrl as innovative leaders in our church - as though they have ushered in a new day with "theology driven ministry" - as though we were previously "comic book driven ministry" or something else...but don't be fooled church. There's another side to Mac's story. That is the side that Mac has hijacked power at our church to himself to do what HE wants, irrespective of what his congregation, which is a royal priesthood of believers at FBC Jax, believes should be done.
Its been almost 3 years since the end of the Lindsay/Vines era at our church, and as time passes and we are exposed to the Brunson regime week after week through his abusive preaching its very easy to be become numb, to forget what the leadership and decision making principles were that made our church great. Don't listen to Mac when he proclaims to know what Homer Lindsay Sr. or Homer Lindsay Jr. would do - as I said he never met either man, and he is very ignorant on the history of our church as evidenced by him thinking we were "cutting edge" in years gone by.
Here are three leadership and decision making principles that made our church great that Mac has absolutely turned upside down:
1. The "Priesthood of the Believer" was recognized by the Congregational Rule form of leadership in our church and our bylaws.
- Our pastors and lay leaders have long understood that our church was governed by "congregational rule", under the biblical principal of the "priesthood of the believer" in 1 Pe 2:9.
- When a decision was to be made that required special funding or capital funds, a vote was taken before the money was spent. The vote was announced, and it was genuinely taken in a regular, or previously announced business meeting. If the congregation did not approve it, it wasn't done.
- He and our yes-men lay leaders clandestinely changed our church bylaws on November 28, 2007 in a business meeting where absolutely NO explanation was given by the pastor as to what the changes were, or why they were made. These changes shifted power from the congregation to the pastor and the lay leaders of the church, thus we are in effect no longer a congregation led church
- The bylaw changes removed the right of the church to hold a special business meeting (thus the congregation could not call for a vote on the pastor's position);
- The bylaw changes specifically state that members agree to have all disputes with the church settled by arbitration - the end result of which is to remove a path for members to legally demand detailed financial records of the church
- The pastor has assumed sole responsibility to appointing trustees of the church, and the finance committee was disbanded and made part of the trustees, appointed by the pastor.
- Mac has repeatedly demonstrated a low view of the members of his church by constantly accusing them of not reading their bibles, not supporting the pastor, and his low esteem of his congregation was evidenced by his failure to distribute the bylaws prior to the vote. He has spoken ill of our congregation away from our church on multiple occasions, further evidence of his low view of the sheep he was called to pastor.
- FBC was a congregational ruled church, and our pastors recognized that. Calvin Carr will vouch for that as he has preached about church polity in his new church in Gainesville. However, our church had chosen to willingly give our pastors much moral authority in making decisions. Our pastors had demonstrated their love and commitment to the church and this city after years of sacrifice; they were rewarded with loyal members following their leadership in almost all decisions;
- This moral authority was not something demanded by the pastor as a function of his position - it was granted to him by our congregation. He didn't use his power to lord over us and beat us, or to be a dictator and demand we do what he does without a vote or before the money is given. We willingly followed their loving leadership based on years and years of them demonstrating to us that they walked with Jesus, and that they loved the church and had the best interests of the church and the community.
- Mac came in from day 1 behaving as though he should have the same moral authority granted to him as a function of his position as the new "Pastor" at our church. This was evidenced by taking a salary as large as previous pastors, practicing blatant nepotism by putting wife and son on staff in newly created positions , and having our church spend $100,000 and using 3000 sf of prime Children's Building space for a lavish office suite. Its good to be da king.
- Even accepting the $300,000 land gift and a year's rent free stay at an ocean front condo as he did three weeks after arriving in Jacksonville send a signal that he believes himself worthy of such an honor as receiving a 6-figure gift based solely on his position, not his sacrifice. He should have politely refused that gift and urged the man to use it for the Lord's work, not to enrich the pastor.
- Instead of Mac coming in here and getting busy to preach and roll up his sleeves and work hard and love us, he took 2 months with pay to arrive, sporadically preached his first year, vacating the pulpit on Sunday mornings and night without letting his congregation know, sometimes by his own admission he could work on his book manuscript (the book where he counsels pastors not to accept large gifts or live in "executive" homes) began using our church to advertise for his Holy Land trips, etc. Mac embarrassed our church by not keeping his commitment to serve faithfully on the Mayor's crime prevention steering committee. In short, Mac came in as the "rock star", not as the new humble preacher coming to build good will with the people.
- When the pastors determined what major direction they believed the church should go in, they brought it to the church and clearly communicated it - why it was necessary, how it was rooted in scripture, and they asked us to pray.
- If it required capital funds (as many decisions did during our high growth years), the financial needs were communicated, and the people were asked to pray and give as the Lord moved. When the funds were raised and we were ready to launch, a vote was taken of the congregation to spend the money.
- Our church historically has used the people's willingness to give as a sign that the Lord was moving in the church. The pastors did not go into debt for several reasons, one of which was they knew that if the Lord was in something, at least as God had moved in our church for decades, then God would move the hearts of his people to give the money needed! It wasn't just a desire to stay out of debt; but the pastors trusted the people to give as evidence that God was moving.
- Because of his low esteem for the people of God, that we don't read our bibles, we don't even bring our bibles, and we're a bunch of legalists with "no real relationship with Jesus Christ": because of this, the congregation must be told what to do.
- After Mac tells us what he wants to do, then he builds a case to convince us that its a good idea. For those who might disagree or don't respond as he asks, he will mischaracterize or minimize their concerns from the pulpit. Case in point his anger at the church for not being behind totally behind the satellite concept. He'll use guilt to try to convince people to go with him.
I have blogged about many instances making the above case. The latest one I will point to is the decision to start a school downtown. Mac wanted a school. He believes that it is necessary. He lied to us and said that knocking on doors doesn't work, and thus, we MUST start a school if we're going to reach Jacksonville with the gospel. That's a lie out of hell. Its not a requirement to reach our city. But Mac wants it. An endeavor like that takes start up costs...to the tune of $500,000. So what did Mac do? Well, I can tell you what Homer or Vines would have done. They would have communicated the vision, and asked for people who were behind this vision to give to a fund. When the money was raised, a vote would be taken to start the school and spend the money. What did Mac do? He held an unannounced business meeting to vote to take $500,000 from our church funds, money given by God's people to the ministry of FBC Jax, to start the school. Shameless.
And as further evidence of how stupid he thinks we are, he holds out his hand for $1 million in maintenance costs when these should have been taken care of when he first came on board, or certainly before spending money on pastor office suites, INSP broadcasts, and start-up of a school for the very rich. And now that we don't have the money we should put it in the budget for next year.But the sheep will give deep...and Mac will receive a hefty Christmas bonus for his wise and able leadership. And Smyrl writes his "Theology Driven Ministry" book.
And the sheep march to the sheerer....
Sunday, September 21, 2008
But in his letter this year, he has included a list of "emergency" spending items for which he is asking our church to give a special, one-day offering of $1,000,000 dollars to. Yes, he uses the word "emergency" to describe this list.
1. RLA Chiller - went out in June - $200,000
2. Preschool Building Roof Replacement - $250,000 - been on the repair list for 5 years, hardly an "emergency" as we've know about this for a LONG time.
3. Preschool Building Waterproofing - $100,000 - on the repair list for 3 years
4. Preschool Wall Paper replacement of $60,000 - caused by failure to act on number 3. above.
5. Preschool Carpet Replacement - $125,000 (when the building will be fully renovated in 1 to 2 years!)
6. RLA roof repairs and ceiling repair - $50,000 - on the list for 5 years
7. Admin Building carpet replacement - $80,000 - on the list for 4 years
8. Children's Building Renovation for the new school admin offices - $125,000.
Friday, September 19, 2008
In this post I want to give the next indictment Mac made against our church, that we are no longer evangelistic. Mac said:
"You were known for your evangelism...how 500 people would go out on Tuesday nights from this church. You divided up into zip codes, nobody ever thought of that [news flash: most churches have done that for visitation, large and small ever since zip codes were defined!]...and we said 'man, what an unbelievable thing, we don't run 50 in church and they've got 500 going out' and you were 'cutting edge', you were knockin' on doors, you were seeing people. Is that not the committment you made when you came to Jesus Christ? [yelling now]. Ye shall be my witnesses! Or they just gonna talk about what you used to do? Are they gonna talk about FBC Jax in ther past tense for the next 30 years?
Thursday, September 18, 2008
In Mac's indictment, he rips us because:
we used to be creative in Sunday School;
we used to be evangelistic;
we used to love our pastors and staff;
and we used to be a giving church.
It was very discouraging. Maybe our church has fallen far. If it has, he has to accept some of the blame himself as he's been at the helm for 2 1/2 years. But he doesn't accept any responsibility, in fact he uses the word "you" instead of "we" an awful lot in his lambasting of his congregation.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
1. New carpeting in various parts of the campus
2. New wallpaper in selected areas
3. A new chiller (for air conditioning) in the Ruth Lindsay Auditorium
4. Roof repairs
He put the number at $900,000 needed. Like only Mac can do...he doesn't implore people to give out of the goodness of their hearts for a need, doesn't make an explanation as to why a special offering is needed...no, he instead threatens us that we will be going into debt for the first time in 46 years unless we dig deep and give the money. The guy is absolutely shameless. It really is quite an amazing sight to behold.
Mac even had pictures for us to show us a picture of the chiller in the mechanical room, and showed us pictures of the carpet and wallpaper. It was so moving, I nearly cried when I saw that poor chiller in the RLA mechanical room - all alone, not providing chilled water.
People are asked to tithe 10% of their income and there is a $15 to $16 million dollar annual budget. Mac needs to explain why a special offering is needed for maintenance expenses on our campus given the following:
- Mac chose to take $500,000 from our church funds during an unannounced Wednesday night special business meeting to fund the school start-up. Was that money in our 2007-2008 budget? Shouldn't maintenance items be paid out of tithes and offerings before money is taken to fund a brand new ministry?
- Mac took a special offering in April to raise money to put him back on nationwide TV. He never told us if we reached the goal. But we are now spending over $150,000 to put Mac on nationwide TV on INSP network. How much did we have to dip into our budget to pay for Mac to be in INSP again?
- Mac is encouraging the rich to go with him on a Holy Land trip that is not a church function. He uses our church website to advertise it, and he even mentions it in his sermons.
Sarah Palin will take an objective, hard-nosed, "bulldog with lipstick" approach to our church finances. She will look at our budget and see where we can cut out the pork. She can start first over in the pastor's office and his support staff consisting of several family members. Then let's go to the church marketing budget and how much money is going to Maurilio Amorim and the A-Group, and how much we pay to fly Maurilio down for creative sessions with Mac at Deerwood and if we can't cut that budget. The, Sarah can look at where the $500,000 is going for this new school and what its being spent on. Then, we need to get to the bottom of Mac's 501(c)3 website and make sure we're not paying the A-Group for that site. Also Sarah, take a look at how much it costs to put Mac on nationwide TV and if there aren't less expensive options for broadcasting our services to the world. And then let's sick Sarah on the Pastor's Conference money - where in the world does all of that registration money go to? Does it at least pay the increased operating expenses incurred by our church, or does it all go to the pockets of the big time preachers who come to speak? I think - no, I KNOW - ole Sarah Palin might find the $900,000 that should be there for the required maintenance of our facilities.
Finally, I still don't get it...many of the lay leaders of our church are serious, seasoned businessmen and lawyers and accountants and financial planners and CEOs....men who know how to spot an amateur CEO who has his spending priorities mixed up. Why do they allow Mac to do this? Do they really think the congregation is as stupid as Mac thinks we are? He teaches legalistic tithing, then he can't manage the church's budget to pay for maintenance items - he takes money out for non-budgeted projects then comes for a special offering to pay for operating expenses at our church. We can't even pay for Muslim bibles out of the budget, so it takes a special offering. Can our church leadership perhaps make a decision: what is the criteria for what is a special offering?
So FBC Jacksonville faithful members..don't fall for it. Don't give money to this special offering for the maintenance of the church - if you're giving consistently to the church budget - YOU ALREADY HAVE GIVEN THE MONEY FOR THESE REPAIRS. MAC HAS SPENT IT ON THINGS OTHER THAN WHAT IT SHOULD BE SPENT ON.
One last suggestion for Mac: perhaps you can seed the fund by taking a home equity loan out and giving the $300,000 given to you by J.D. Collins when you first arrived, and then maybe the church can borrow $300,000 back from the $500,000 we gave for the start-up of the school, and we're 2/3 of the way to our $900,000!