"...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

Thursday, January 15, 2009

FBC Jax Bylaws - A "Hyper" Pastor-Led System

Over the next number of posts I will be discussing the bylaws at FBC Jacksonville. This writer has inspected and read copies of the "old" bylaws, those that existed since December 2000, and the "new" bylaws, that were modified in December 2007. These bylaws can be read by any FBC Jax member - just go to the church library and you can check them out!

This may seem like a very boring subject - after all, who wants to read and discuss something as boring as rules defining the governing a church. In general, most church members don't need to be concerned about church bylaws. However, there are at least two circumstances in the life a church where the "average" church member, one who takes their membership seriously and who has genuine love and concern for their church, might want to take the time to read church bylaws:

1. When there is a pastoral transition - especially from a long-time pastor in whom the bylaws vested much power; and

2. When the trustees and pastor of the church seek to change the bylaws soon after a new pastor takes over, and they are not eager to let the people to know what the nature and purpose of the changes are.

We have had both of these circumstances occur at our church. So we will spend some time here before the Pastor's Conference to look at the bylaws of FBC Jax. I believe this will help our members, and perhaps concerned members at other mega churches.

When a church is functioning "normally", and there is not unusual conflict between members and the pastor/lay leaders, bylaws are no big deal. But let the church enter into a period where there may be abuses by a pastor, or members become gravely concerned over the actions of a pastor, the bylaws can become extremely important. One need look no further than the events at FBC Daytona Beach (after Bobby Welch retired), Two Rivers (TN) Baptist Church, FBC Ocala (FL), and even Bellevue Baptist Church to know that bylaws are important! Bylaws will define how special meetings can be held by the members and deacons, how the pastor can be removed from his position, what rights members have and what rights they relinquish, how members can be kicked out of the church and therefore denied their membership rights, who has authority to hire/fire personnel, what the discipline process is for members considered to be "divisive", and what levels of expenditues must be voted on, and many others.

Before we look at the FBC Jax bylaws and the December 2007 changes, let's discuss the style of church governance at FBC Jacksonville in the bylaws. After reviewing the bylaws its very evident that our church is a heavily "pastor led" church...definitely not what we would call a "congregation led" church. Smaller SBC churches typically are "congregation led" in that and power is spread over lay committees and the pastor's power is somewhat limited. A pastor is generally a defacto member of all committees, so still can exert considerable influence on committee decisions.

Three aspects of this "hyper" pastor-led, FBC Jax-style of governance that I want to point out:

1. "Honor Thy Pastor"

The member convenants state the following:

"It shall be the duty of each and every member of the this Church to honor, esteem, and love the Pastor, to pray for him constantly, and to manifest a tender regard for his reputation"

Very interesting. Shouldn't all members be loving, honoring, and esteeming EACH OTHER out of Christian love...we should be praying for each other, and be tender to each other. To specifically require members to "honor, esteem, and love the Pastor", and to "pray for him constantly" seems a little, well "cultic"...it seems to be setting up some position similar to that of a "Pope". Since we should honor, esteem, and love ALL brothers and sisters in Christ, does this means we should honor, esteem, and love the Pastor MORE based solely on his position? Is he worthy of honor, esteem and love in extra measure more than others? To call out for extra love and honor to be bestowed upon a man based on his POSITION...and not on facts of his character, his behavior, his words...is dangerous. This is how men like Bob Gray and Darrel Gilyard abused for so long even though some knew of abuses. Why he was the PASTOR!!! We are REQUIRED to honor him. We MUST esteem him! How DARE YOU bring accusations against him as that would harm HIS REPUTATION.

We "loved, honored, and esteemed" Pastor Lindsay and Vines NOT because of their position as pastor, and NOT because the bylaws said so. But because of their CHARACTER, their LOVE, their LOYALTY to the church demonstrated over years of faithfullness.

2. Sole Authority in Hiring and Firing of Staff

"The pastor shall have sole and exclusive authority in the matter of hiring and dismissing staff members of the church."

No personnel committee. No advisement of anyone else in the church. One man makes the decisions. As I said earlier this week, this system might work find for SOME pastors, but it doesn't seem to be working well with Team Brunson, as our long-time ministers are now gone (some of them were fired, others felt compelled to leave), and we have Brunson family members and close associates running the church. This was a good system under Lindsay and Vines...but what is so sacred about this authority that would make us keep it when we undergo a pastoral transition?

Why on earth would we keep this in our bylaws when we hire a new man from Dallas that we really do NOT know? Would it not be prudent to tell the new pastor candidate that the bylaws will require personnel decisions to be overseen by a deacon committee, and there will be a nepotism policy governing hiring of family members? If a pastor candidate demands full authority for hiring and firing as a condition of his employment when he is an uknown quantity to the church...I would cross that pastor off the list. Don't touch him. If he's not willing to come in and EARN his respect and power, working with a committee of trusted men at the church on personnel decisions, I wouldn't want him within a mile of the pastor's office. After all, how do we know the new guy won't come in and fire everybody and hire his own family and friends to run the church? Oh my, that wouldn't ever happen, would it?

3. Appointment of Trustees

The new bylaws specifically state that the pastor now has the authority to "nominate" trustees and officers...and the church votes on them. Voting power is meaningless unless they some say in who comes up for a vote! Because the trustees include Treasurers and Assistant Treasurers, this is dangerous. This power to appoint godly, responsible men who will act in the best interests of the church to trustee positions should be shared to some degree with the congregation. That is obvious. Many churches use a "committee of committees" to make appointments to officers and other committee positions.

So that is where we are. We handed the keys of a hyper "pastor led" church to a virtual unknown. And so far, we have paid dearly.

And as we will see, in December 2007 we decided to give Brunson even MORE authority.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

1. Florida law requires corporation leadership to provide a copy of the entity's bylaws to members and/or their legal representatives.

2. From a legal perspective: only the congregation's articles of incorporation compose a more important document (church constitutions are not legally considered important documents); courts want to know how consistently the articles'/bylaw's provisions are practiced.

3. Church bylaws are important to congregations' leaders day-to-day; church leaders, in their meetings, often inquire about the provisions of the bylaws before proceeding with actions (less-involved church members would not be in leadership positions requiring a need to know as often).

4. Our congregation's bylaws: those of the typical SBC congregation. Our church's personnel policies: consider the senior pastor a person employed at-will and as dismiss-able as other employees under similar circumstances.

5. Typically, SBC pastors lead congregations via "church councils," a group of the chairpersons/directors of the churches various ministries; the ministry leaders as a group lead the congregation, while the ministry leaders individually lead their assigned ministry areas.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Don't believe your first point is correct...that in Florida the religious organizations don't have to provide copies, but need to make a copy available for viewing. This has been pointed out here several times...

Point 3 is a good one...I sure hope that deacons have read the bylaws and what their function is. Contrary to what the pastor preaches to them, they have a right and a responsbility to "worry" about the church...

For a good example of bylaws of a small, SBC, congregation-led church, visit Calvin Carr's church website (www.gatorchurch.com) and go to the About Us link, and you will be able to read their articles of incorporatoiin and their bylaws. Their statement is "Our pastor deserves our full support" but then goes on to state what process should be used when there are charges made against the pastor.

Thy Peace said...

WD and Readers: Pastor Wade made this comment on his blog here:

"Wade Burleson said...
Thy Peace,

I do not consider your comment a hijack of this blog. On the contrary, knowing personally the people involved in the situation to which you refer, I believe it to be one of the prime examples of pastoral authoritarianism run amock.

In His Grace,

Wade
Thu Jan 15, 11:12:00 AM 2009"

Anonymous said...

Thy Peace and WD - Wade's articles from today and from Saturday seem to be using Driscoll and Haggard's situations as back-drops to discuss the abuses of Team Brunson without expressly referring to FBC Jax.

What I find interesting is that Wade puts his name on it and the WD doesn't. So what? They are both saying the same things and they are both being read by a national audience of SBC members and leaders.

Now, will only the sheep at FBC JAX wake up and put a stop to it? Only they can stop this by with holding their funding of this mess. (Wade and the WD will only be ignored, slandered, and shunned by Team Brunson and their yes men.)

I can't help but wonder...what are the two bullies and punks that delivered the trespass warnings going to do to Wade? Ban him and his lovely wife from the pastor's conference if Wade chose to attend?

Bullies and punks.

"And (fill in your name if you still go to church there) was there giving his/her consent."

As long as the future leaders see our largest churches being run this way, and the members allowing and empowering it, they will follow this model. It is our job as members to put measures in place to stop this nonsense. And if they won't listen to us, then the money has to stop.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Wow. Wade Burleson is saying that the situation at FBC Jacksonville is a prime example of how "pastoral authoritarianism" in the SBC has run amok.

Did you get that people at FBC Jax?

Did you get that, people considering "linking their lives" to FBC Jax down at the south campus?

Other very respected people in the SBC - those who aren't just reading the Watchdog - but who KNOW THE PEOPLE INVOLVED - that is respected leaders in the SBC that know our new pastor (and presumably his wife), and that presumably have spoken to former ministers at FBC Jax - consider our situation to be "patoral authoritarianism run amok".

Wake up, FBC Jax. Wake up.

Deacons...wake up. Don't be intimidated. Take a stand for your church. Don't be bullied.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog, it would be interesting, if some church member would aid this discussion by providing you with a copy of the PRE 2000 BYLAWS. Dr Vines changed the bylaws within months of the passing of Dr Lindsay. I believe there were serious changes made at that time. I am only guessing.

Church members, if you would, follow along with WD, and PLEASE, POST ON THE AREAS OF SIGNIFICANCE TO THIS DISCUSSION. We would all like to know what roll Dr Vines played in reshaping the bylaws.

Anonymous said...

Anybody attend last night's service and hear Smyrl brag about how he wanted to sleep during a red-eye flight to London, so he had his doc prescribe a strong sleeping pill, and Jim went against the doctor's orders and took TWO of the pills instead of one before he got on the plane? Hardy, hardy, har, har...I couldn't stop laughing....the preacher is doping up for his flight to London...and he tells us how the stewardess had two faces, and he was hallucinating, and doesn't remember the trip until he arrived at the hotel room in London. HA HA HA!!!! How funny that our pastor is double dosing on sleeping pills!!!

Great story Dr. Smyrl. Good example for the flock: DOPE UP FOR YOUR FLIGHTS TO EUROPE...AND DOUBLE UP ON ON THE DOSAGE SO YOU CAN HAVE A REAL GOOD "TRIP".

Anonymous said...

Isn't it considered drug abuse to take more than the prescribed dosage of a Christian drug?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I did hear that and thought it odd that he would admit it to his congregation that he doubled his dosage of a SLEEPING PILL! That is dangerous! I believe he said he even went against the strong protest of his wife to take two pills.

I didn't know that a patient could go to their doctor and ask for "sleeping pills" that were not related to a medical condition. Do medical doctors actually prescribe sleeping pills to people who just wish to sleep on a long flight? Seems rather odd to me.

Anonymous said...

Hey WD, sorry to be off topic, but while you're on the subject of Smyrl:

SBC Impact - Pastor's Waistline

it is written said...

Thy Peace thanks for that excerpt from Dr.Burleson's blog..It's exactly what I have stated about Pope Mac,he is lording his position as Pastor over the REAL LORD'S flock[1Pet.5:1-3]....Thy Peace I really admire you,and your blogs evidence exceptional spiritual growth and wisdom!!!!

Thy Peace said...

Anon Comment to Wade
"Anonymous said...
Well, you now have the FBC, Jax Watchdog saying that you are calling FBC, Jax as a prime example of a pastor run wild. You two could not be further apart but he manages to find some similiarities in your writings. Sad day indeed.

Personally, I would not believe anything that came from the NYT and sure would call a pastor before denigrating him publicly.

I recently talked with two current IMB board members and they both said these same things about you. What are we to believe???
Thu Jan 15, 01:02:00 PM 2009"



Pastor Wade responds ...
"Wade Burleson said...
To Anonymous Who Said,

"Personally, I would not believe anything that came from the NYT and sure would call a pastor before denigrating him publicly.

I recently talked with two current IMB board members and they both said these same things about you. What are we to believe???"

It would be helfpul if you sign your name. You spoke to IMB trustees who said the same thing about me? Smile.

I was the questioner at the IMB, not the ones in authority. Seeing how trustees responded to questions, trustees who are mostly "pastors" and "pastor's wives," made me realize we have a really warped view of "authority" in the SBC.

To speak to people about whether or not I exert absolute authoritarian control over people from a position of leadership, you would be wise to speak to my congregation.

In His Grace,

Wade
Thu Jan 15, 01:32:00 PM 2009"

Anonymous said...

As evidenced by the posts by Wade Burleson and his comments to Thy Peace in regards to the Watchdog...it is clear that the public knowledge, and widespread perception of Team Brunson is one of authoritarian control with no transparency and no accountability. Many good former staff members and their families were hurt deeply. Many current and former members of the congregation and their families have been hurt deeply, yet so many thousands continue to give their "gifts" and offerings and "tithes" to "THE LORD" by writing checks to FBC Jacksonville. Which in turn writes checks to Maurilio, and to travel agents for trips to Europe, and to... who really knows where else?

And regarding Vines' involvement. Yes, we love him and respect him, but it is obvious he had a hand in allowing all of this to happen. And even still allows it to continue... Perhaps his continued payments from FBC Jax depends on his keeping quiet? We will never know in this generation. Hopefully future generations will demand answers.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

If anyone has not shown a "tender regard" for the pastor of FBC Jax, it is the pastor himself!

No matter the motives, how pure and lovely they were, in the offering and accepting of the $300,000 land gift just weeks after arriving, Mac HAD to know, he had to consider that this would reflect poorly on HIM the PASTOR, especially in light of the words of his book. So it was HE who harmed the reputation of the pastor.

Anonymous said...

Right on WD. Sure, he knew his reputation would take a hit...but man was it worth it. Every time I see that smile on Deb Brunson's face I know exactly what she looked like when she walked out of that real estate closing with J.D. Collins having just been handed a $307K piece of land for FREE! Wow! Keep smiling, "Honey' - ain't God good!

Anonymous said...

Smryls Trip to London blows my mind.. what does a staff member of FBCJAX have reason to go to London when the church is struggling to repair its buildings, tryin to raise $20m, cut the budget? I believe as a tither of this church along with the other tithers should put a moratorium on foreign travel for the staff of the church. There is plenty of work to do here at home and won't cost us a pretty plenty!

Good grief this is ridiculous. I think I will send my tithe to another organizations.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I agree Anon...especially when Smyrl says his wife went with him on the trip. I sure hope that we didn't pay for his wife to go with him. Let's hope Smyrl paid for her trip, or that his 501(c)3 organization paid for her travel. But as Jim said the purpose of the trip was to meet with missionaries there to see how our church could help them...so its likely you and I forked over the dough to send Jim to London...so he could come back and tell us what a terrible, godless city it is. Maybe what London needs is a FBC Jax satellite church.

Anonymous said...

Instead of flying to London, why doesn't Jim walk across the street and head north on Main street and see if there is anyone, or any church, in that area he might be able to "help."

No, I didn't think so. How stupid does he think we are? No, how stupid ARE we? Where is my checkbook? Sunday's coming...

Thy Peace said...

Pastor Wade says ...

Wade Burleson said...
Everyone.

Just a gentle nudge if possible back to the topic of my post.

It was not about whether or not you "liked" Pastor Mark. It was not about Pastor Mark's alleged vulgarities from the pulpit, or obscentities of which he has repented.

In addition, I complimented Pastor Mark in my post.

This post is about the total authoritarianism of a pastor, to the point he calls any questioning of his decisions "a sin."

That's the point of my post. I am waiting to speak to Pastor Mark, but if he believes that those who questioned him, those who dissented from him, those who challenged him are "sinners," then I stand by what I have written, I don't care if it was written about Billy Graham or Mother Teresa.

Character is NOT the issue.

The belief that a Senior Pastor cannot be questioned without denigrating or disciplining those who question is.

Wade
Fri Jan 16, 10:29:00 AM 2009

Anonymous said...

Thy Peace - here is my response on Wade's blog to the comment you cut and pasted above:

Wade - you wrote: "The belief that a Senior Pastor cannot be questioned without denigrating or disciplining those who question is."

Amen! Great article topic and very timely. But since you decided to post on this, why have you left out the most obvious, current example that is taking place right now? That of an accused blogger (AND his wife!) being BANNED with trespass warnings from seeing their daughter sing at FBC Jacksonville?

The by-laws of FBC Jax state the Discipline Committee must meet with Mac Brunson first, before taking any action against a member. So it is fact that Mac Brunson had this couple banned from the church premises because they were blogging about him and asking questions about the A-group, a $307K land gift three weeks after he arrived (verified through public records at www.coj.net), nepotism and financial abuses.

I know you can relate to being shunned for blogging. So why no mention of Mac Brunson?

(By the way, I realize the blogger is anonymous, but the fact that this couple was banned from blogging is documented on the website AND a quick phone call to John Blount at FBC Jax will confirm the accuracy of the information contained on the blog about the trespass warning and letter to the accused posted on the site.)

Please don't omit/exclude the abuses of Mac Brunson in an article about pastors' wrongfully disciplining those that ask questions.

Anonymous said...

Wade's response to the above. Very interesting about Deb Brunson's slanders in the staff meetings.

"JJtheB,

I am familiar with the FBC Jacksonville saga. Pastor Mac Brunsons wife, Debbie, served with me on the board of trustees. Their former youth pastor called me and told me that Debbie went on and on in staff meeting at FBC Jacksonville, explaing the problems at the IMB with me were because I was a "liberal." He was disturbed that she felt the freedom to denigrate me to people who didn't even know me, and ironically, this young man had family in our church who knew my beliefs - and vouched for my conservatism.

So, I am not surprised that members at FBC Jacksonville are being treated harshly for voicing disagreement with the pastor, his wife, or their son. Frankly, to see how Debbie handled disagreement on the IMB Board of Trustees spoke volumes to me about how they might handle disagreement at their church.

The only criticism I have with the FBC Watchdog blog is that it is anonymous. The objection might be from the one writing it, "But if they knew who I was, they would make my life miserable."

My response is a simple one. If you can't say what needs to be said and be identified as the one who is saying it, risking the wrath of those of whom you write, then what you write ought not be said. The courage of character is seen by posting one's name beside the dissent expressed.

Once the person in Jacksonville who runs the blog goes public, I will make sure that what I know about the Brunsons and their style of leadership is decared publicly, and that those who are being abused by authoritarian leaders are protected.

I don't play anonymous games.

In His Grace,


Wade"

Thy Peace said...

Pastor Wade says ...

"Wade Burleson said...
JJtheB,

I am familiar with the FBC Jacksonville saga. Pastor Mac Brunsons wife, Debbie, served with me on the board of trustees. Their former youth pastor called me and told me that Debbie went on and on in staff meeting at FBC Jacksonville, explaing the problems at the IMB with me were because I was a "liberal." He was disturbed that she felt the freedom to denigrate me to people who didn't even know me, and ironically, this young man had family in our church who knew my beliefs - and vouched for my conservatism.

So, I am not surprised that members at FBC Jacksonville are being treated harshly for voicing disagreement with the pastor, his wife, or their son. Frankly, to see how Debbie handled disagreement on the IMB Board of Trustees spoke volumes to me about how they might handle disagreement at their church.

The only criticism I have with the FBC Watchdog blog is that it is anonymous. The objection might be from the one writing it, "But if they knew who I was, they would make my life miserable."

My response is a simple one. If you can't say what needs to be said and be identified as the one who is saying it, risking the wrath of those of whom you write, then what you write ought not be said. The courage of character is seen by posting one's name beside the dissent expressed.

Once the person in Jacksonville who runs the blog goes public, I will make sure that what I know about the Brunsons and their style of leadership is decared publicly, and that those who are being abused by authoritarian leaders are protected.

I don't play anonymous games.

In His Grace,


Wade
Fri Jan 16, 02:55:00 PM 2009"

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Interesting turn of events readers...Wade is now saying that our "former youth pastor" outted Deb Brunson for her slander to our staff concerning Wade Burleson.

My question: What the heck is Deb Brunson doing in our staff meetings? What is her role in our church? OK, she's on staff, but we've been told her function is to help Mac with "counseling of women and families". Is she an admin assistant? Why does she have a voice of authority in the staff meetings?

What role, if any, did she and hubby play in issuing trespass warnings to members in the church?

Can Mac just be open and honest and transparent with the congregation and define her role, her title, her authority, her responsibilities? We're grown-ups, we can handle the truth...unless there is something to be hidden.

Thy Peace said...

Lydia says ...

Anonymous said...
"My response is a simple one. If you can't say what needs to be said and be identified as the one who is saying it, risking the wrath of those of whom you write, then what you write ought not be said. The courage of character is seen by posting one's name beside the dissent expressed."

This is a hard decision. In your case, being public does not mean you will lose your income or ability to find a job. I personally know some people who publicly spoke out about some abuses of leadership in a mega church who ended up losing their secular job! Why? Because the tentacles of a mega church reach deep into a community and the leaders/elders are usually men of influence in the community who command respect even in secular and government venues. These are men who can make a phone call and cast doubts on the person who spoke out. Mega's are large vendors for many secular organizations, too.

Would it be better to say nothing? Or would it be best to write about public teaching or even behaviors that are questionable even if anonymous? Until someone loses it all, and other 'Christians' go scampering for their hide outs so as not to be the next victim of influence, it is hard to understand what one faces when speaking out. Kids need shoes and the mortgage has to be paid. And some do not realize how vengeful these leaders can be when any bad PR comes out. They have a lot to lose if anyone believes it. If they can ruin and make others believ the messenger is the 'evil' one, they will.

That is why so few speak out.

Lydia
Fri Jan 16, 03:10:00 PM 2009"

Anonymous said...

PROTECTIONISM:

To protect themselves, pastors have found a way to become protectionist. This protection, strange as it seems, is not from outside influences, but from INSIDE RESISTORS. In order to accomplish this. pastors have enlisted the aid of the trustees to construct the bylaws in such a way as to give power to the pastor over the deacons and church members.

We could spend much time telling stories about how Deacons or church members have overly controlled their pastors. Sadly as it may be, this has, in many cases, caused considerable harm to pastors or the cause of Christ.

It seems to me that we are in this pendulum cycle. We have swung, to the extreme, in the other direction. We now have pastors causing considerable harm to the Deacons and church members.

You may say that this is the Deacons' fault and they are not being hurt. The fact of the matter is that the Deacons are being hurt. They no longer are counselors to the pastor and therefore, they have to live with all of the bad things that the pastor does.

Oh, the pastor is counselled but only by the YES MEN, TRUSTEES.

Now that we have these PROTECTIONIST bylaws. It is the DEACONS' FAULT THAT THEY STILL EXIST.

Mac would say, "let me tell you something". Well let me tell you something. There is no doubt that our Deacons want the very best for Mac Brunson or any other pastor. Their heart is right. The problem arises when this protectionism gets out of control. As it has in many of the mega-churches.

What you end up with is LUST OF THE FLESH LUST OF THE EYES AND THE PRIDE OF LIFE. GREED!!!!

Listen, Mac is no different than any of us in this regard; he wants the best for his family. The problem begins when LUST RAISES ITS UGLY HEAD. For a pastor that is DEADLY.

What we now have at FBCJ is a house DIVIDED. The scripture says a house divided will fall.

Mac it seems, does not believe that.

Rick Warren, Mac's buddy, says make the music loud, don't preach about sanctification, justification or any other thing that will drive the lost off. Brother, to a DISCERNER OF SCRIPTURE, THAT IS HERESY. IT IS DIVISIVE. IT IS UNSCRIPTURAL. But, it appears, that this is what is going on here at FBCJ. Well, maybe the music is not as loud as it once was.

This house is divided.

For the protectionist pastors,they may have a revolt on your hands.

It will be only a matter of time before the pendulum swings back to center. These abusive pastors will be stuck with their trail of sorrows.

So Mac, how divided do you want FBCJ to become?

Will it FALL?

Let me just add one more thing. I have just read what Wade said about the ANONS here.

Wade, I am not a blogger. The Watchdog site was shown to me by a member of FBC JAX. What I have written here is out of concern for others who are in the same situation that we have found ourselves. Once this situation rectifies itself, I will no longer post here or any other place for that matter.

I respect you Wade and am as conservative as you are but for now my identification will remain unknown. My Call!

it is written said...

With all respect to Pastor Wade it has been shown that to reveal ones identity at FBC Jax is to be thrown out with no recourse..The greater emphasis IS are Dr.Dog allegations TRUE OR NOT?..And by all accounts Pope Mac doesn't have a leg to stand on..Mac believes he is the Pontiff of FBC Jax and will not be challenged by anyone or anything(personality problem)!!..A Pastor led Church is not bad in itself as long as it is led by a man who truly loves Christ and understands his role as and example to the sheep such as the Apostle Paul...Mac has no clue on the latter!!...HIRELING is defined as::Someone with a MERELY mercenary INTEREST IN THE JOB for which he has been HIRED/NEGOTIATED(With the enticement of salary,land,nepotism,total authority,etc)...I will say thanks to Pastor Burleson for being willing to honestly access the issues at hand concerning Pastor authoritarian abuses..

Anonymous said...

Dont hate! Appreciate! W-dog you are a jealous nobody. Leave the Brunson's and their family alone before you get sued. You and I both know you cant afford that.Its easy for a private investigator to find out who you are. I know. I am one. In fact I might just volunteer my services to the church.

Anonymous said...

Mrs Watchdog cant be "getting any" with you on this website at all hours of the night and day. I would start paying her some attention before she looks elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

What is a private investigator. It's some nobody who cound't find a real job!!

oc said...

Anon 7:33,7:48.

We see that mom left you kids home alone again and you got access to the computer. Call one of your "uncles", you probably got 20 of 'em in the trailer park. Or call the club and tell momma to come home. Whichever, but it's apparent you should not be left alone. I'm thinking about calling CPS. :)

Anonymous said...

Well, if there was any doubt as to why WD should keep his/her identity secret, Anonymous 7:48 laid it to rest. Those comments were completely uncalled for. Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

7:48 just might be Trey's friend.

Thy Peace said...

The Desires of A Deacon by Jim Smyrl

DEACON (The Greek word diakonos means servant )
A. Responsibilities of Deacons
Deacons have responsibility for certain well defined task in the ministering to the physical needs of the membership each local church. Their duties are carried out in order to free the pastor s time to be devoted to his primary responsibilities of spiritual oversight, prayer, and the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:1-7). The deacons and pastor work in close relationship with each other, thus covering the
needs of the church physically (deacons) and spiritually (pastor). The deacon is to be the servant to the families within the local church. Each person being faithful to his God assigned role in these two offices produces a healthy, unified, evangelistic church, for the glory of God.

B. Qualifications for Deacons (10 Fold) I Timothy 3:8-12

Man of Dignity-lifestyle elicits the respect of others. vs. 8
Not Double Tongued-does not spread stories that cause strife-true or not vs. 8
Not Addicted to Wine-not controlled but free from alcohol vs. 8
Not Fond of Sordid-not greedy for power, possessions, or position Gain vs. 8
Holds the Mystery of Faith with a clear conscience-faithful to the Word vs. 9
Tested-proven before hand he is the man for the job vs. 10
Beyond Reproach-free from questionable activities vs. 10
Husband of Faithful Wife-measurement of his leadership in the home vs. 11
Husband of One Wife-only one wife and faithful to her vs. 12
Good Manager of Household-able to minister to needs of family vs. 12
C. Reasons for Deacons (Acts 6:1-2)

The Numbers were too incredible (1a)
The Needs were too involved (1b)
The Necessities were too instrumental (2)
D. Results of Deacons (Acts 6:3-7)

They were organized (3-4)
They were testified (5-6)
They were multiplied (7)

Thy Peace said...

1 Timothy 3:8-12
Qualifications of Deacons

8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, 9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. 11 Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

Anonymous said...

Let me tell you something (to put it in Mac-Speak and as a FORMER FBC Dallas member) - MAC'S DAYS IN JAX ARE NUMBERED!

Anonymous said...

Mac will leave when it gets bad enough but not before he has a sweet deal in which to land. His average job has run about 6-7 years. Be patient. Then, for goodness sake, get your bylaws cleaned up before the next guy comes in.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog - don't know if you're the one who was put out of the church or not with the trespass papers, but in case you're not at church tonight I did want you to know just how compassionate Pastor Brunson is toward you - at least in his own mind.

He told us tonight that "putting people out da church" through church discipline is an act of compassion, to help people (I suppose nasty people like you and your wife who deserve to be "put out da church") miss the sweet, sweet fellowship and want to come back into the wonderful beautiful fellowship...that is "if they're even saved" he said.

So if you're the one banned from the church and if you're the one who got served the trespass papers, then maybe you could tell us: did the serving of the trespass papers make you miss the fellowship of FBC Jacksonville? Do you just yearn to come back to the church that threw you out of the church and your wife and prohibited you from seeing your kid sing in the choir? How does Mac's compassion make you and your family feel? Can't you just feel the love from Mac, Watchdog?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

That Mac Brunson is one heckuva compassionate fellow. What a guy.

Thy Peace said...

Pastor/Elder by Jim Smyrl

"I. FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PASTOR / ELDER (8 fold)
g. • The pastor is to lead by example (Heb. 13:7; 1 Pet. 5:2-3).
h. • The pastor is to lead in the exercise of church discipline (Gal. 6:1), but not to the exclusion of the entire body when warranted (Matt. 18; 1 Cor. 5; 2 Cor. 2).

II. QUALIFICATIONS FOR LEADERSHIP AS A PASTOR / ELDER (20 fold)
a. • above reproach…that is, blameless, having unimpeachable integrity, no grounds for accusation of improper Christian behavior (1Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6)
d. • prudent…sensible, wise, balanced in judgment, not given to quick superficial decisions based on immature thinking (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:8)
f. • hospitable…generous, a “stranger lover,” willing to share his blessings with others (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:8)
i. • not pugnacious…not physically violent, not a person who creates trouble and looks for fights (1 Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:7)
j. • uncontentious…not given to quarreling or selfish argumentation (1 Tim. 3:3)
k. • gentle…fair, equitable, not insisting on his own rights (1 Tim. 3:3)
l. • not fond of sordid gain…free from the love of money (1Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:7)
o. • good reputation among people outside the church…unbelievers must respect his character and integrity (1 Tim. 3:7)
p. • not self-willed…not stubborn, or insisting on his own way, not forcing his own ideas and opinions on others (Titus 1:7)
q. • not quick tempered…not one who “flies off the handle” or gets angry quickly (Titus 1:7)
r. • loves what is good…desires to do God’s will in everything (Titus 1:8)
s. • just…fair, impartial, able to make objective judgments based upon principle (Titus 1:8)
t. • holding fast the faithful word…committed to God’s Word as true and authoritative, obedient to God’s Word in all matters, not hypocritical, but living in accordance with that which it teaches (Titus 1:9)

God is not demanding perfection in the above areas, for He knows the weaknesses of man. But what He does require is a heart commitment to His standards and a willingness to conform to them. To be a pastor/elder, a man must demonstrate a high degree of maturity in all of the areas listed above.

Accusations or criticisms of an elder are to be received according to 1 Tim. 5:19-21. If the pastor is guilty of an offense, he shall be counseled by other godly, spiritually mature men with a view toward restoration (Gal. 6:1-2). If the erring elder continues to sin, he shall be removed from office and disciplined according to Matt. 18: 15-17. If a spiritual leader is not guilty of that which is illegal, immoral, unethical, or clearly unbiblical, it is the responsibility of the church to follow his leadership as this is the will of God (cf 1 Thess. 5:12-15; Heb. 13:7, 17)."

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:18... not sure if you are being sarcastic or not, but if the "discipline" process that the church did to those poor people who were issued the no trespassing papers was a way to show compassion, we are truly in trouble. I can promise you that, if I had been served those papers, I would not come back to FBC for any reason. I am sure there are other churches in Jacksonville that have a different kind of compassion, one that makes me want to come to church, be loved, and supported.. and you know what, where I go, my tithe goes!

Anonymous said...

Pastor's Conference update.. apparently only 900 have registered as oppose to well over 3,000 from past conferences. Can anyone verify these stats?

Anonymous said...

No clue on the enrollment but he did say there was record enrollment of pastors wives. Leading us to believe enrollment is strong, very strong.

Anonymous said...

What I see happening-

The Pastors Conference, for years, was a gathering of pastors, young and old. It was a time when pastors could be refreshed. A time when pastors could get away from home with their wives and hear some of their heroes preach the WORD. The pastors could bring their staff and or members with them to, in the seminars, learn HOW WE DID THINGS AT FBCJAX.

The atmosphere was filled with love. For years we would ask those that attended, what they got out of the Conference and they would always say they where impressed by the love that all of FBCJAX MEMBERS SHARED WITH THEM.

I don't recall a year when we didn't lose money in the Conference. I recall the pastor always, during the offering, asking the attendees to help us with the cost of PC. They would, but I think we still lost money.
We happily took the loss, for the PC was for them and not for us. If they could go away REFRESHED AND LEARNED SOMETHING THAT WOULD HELP THEM AND THEIR MINISTRY WE WERE SATISFIED and happy.

It appears that today's PC is a money making proposition aimed at those who agree with Brunson's [PURPOSE DRIVEN] WAY OF CHURCH GROWTH. Each year the number in attendance goes down. This year we will have two Speakers speaking on the subject of SATELLITES. As pastors learn that the PURPOSE DRIVEN MOVEMENT IS HURTING CHURCHES, FEWER PASTORS ATTEND THE CONFERENCE.

We shall see how things go this year.

Anonymous said...

Mac did this same thing at FBC Dallas -- changed the bylaws so he was in total control of the hiring and firing. Now our current pastor, Robert Jeffress, is following in his footsteps. No search committees, he just picks the person and announces their new start date. It's unbelievable how these men get by with this. Why in the world doesn't somebody do something?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I wouldn't worry about it too much...unless he hires his 22 year old son as his "Director of Special Projects", and then hires his wife and gives her an office in the pastor's suite with an undetermined title, and allows her to be in staff meetings. And then praises his son for "raising money" by using a promotions firm in Atlanta to sell advertising space at the church. Post back here when any of that starts to happen.

By the way Dallas, what is the latest with your pastor's vision for building a new super sanctuary? Is the A-Group running the promotions campaign?

Anonymous said...

Hold the phone, there. W.A. Criswell established the "Pastor does all the hiring/firing" policy at FBCD when he came as Pastor in 1944. It was one of his conditions for coming there. This is now the case in most SBC Mega Churches and has been for years. And, no - FBCD is not using the A Group. That relationship was promoted by Mike Miller, former Exec. Pastor, who was put out to pasture when R. Jeffers came to Dallas. Miller is now an executive with NavPress and the relationship with the A Group and FBCD is no more.

Anonymous said...

Jeffress is promoting the new super sanctuary. In fact, he brought the idea before the congregation when he had only been there two months, which did not go over well. I predict that he wants one of those big sanctuaries "in-the-round", and I guarantee you it will incorporate all praise and worship and no organ. He and the new music minister (who is really a band director/praise and worship leader) are really into guitars and praise teams. In a year you won't know FBC Dallas.

Anonymous said...

Couple of things.

Jeffress seems to have never had too much good to say about Brunson's management of FBCD; and endeavors to distance himself from anything Brunson did while at FBCD. The A-Group, interestingly, is the one thing that seems to have survived the transition. A new media director has been hired and we will see how long the A-Group can survive.

As for the 'guitars', the music has taken an unwelcome and cliche lurch to the left as the new preacher puts his personal touch on everything. After all what works in one church will automatically work in any. Right? And how do preachers who know nothing about their new church seem to show-up and suddenly know all of the idiosynchracies, subtleties, complexities and solutions?

For now much of the church seems to be sitting back waiting to see where it will really go. Also interesting, the establishment of the church seemed relieved at the calling of Jeffress as a "Criswellite" and assumed that he would not change the sacred things. Foolishly and needlessly Jeffress squandered much of his inherited poltical capital with cliche contemporary music and an icy contempt for anything not new; and he will soon pressure the church to pony-up 9 figures to build new facilties.

Poor Judgement? Yes.

Anonymous said...

The A Group is out at FBCD. A new website will launch soon with a new company running it.