As he twittered yesterday, we put him up at the Omni. Hey pastors staying in our member's homes or at a cheap motel 15 miles away...your registration fees helped put Maurilio up in an Omni suite three blocks from the church. Not cheap. He's staying at a luxury suite at the fabulous Omni downtown. Wonderful. Good for Maurilio!
Pastors, I highly recommend that you go to Maurilio's sessions. Many of you came to the conference to learn about how things are done at FBC Jax. Its impossible to learn what is going on at FBC Jax unless you sit at the feet of Maurilio, and let him teach you his ways...about church marketing, his "secret shopping" consulting service, and how to "brand" your church.
That is what our church is about these days. We are about marketing, branding, commercials, advertising, and promotions....and Maurilio is the brain child, the trusted advisor of Mac. As Watchdog blogged last year, FBC Jax cut all ministry categories in our church budget for 2009 except "Communications", which we vastly increased by a whopping 28%. We are starting a school, and while we have 600 or so children in our church that could be the start of the school, we are instead sending vast sums of money in very prime time local TV advertising - spending God's money on lots of TV advertising. We are buying TV spots featuring Mac and Debbie Brunson inviting people to come to church.
We have charged ministry's large sums of money at the Pastor's Conference this year and last for the privilege of putting up a booth in our church, and we've even charged ministries to put advertisements on the image mags in the church and the dining room! We're even selling the "emcee" mentioning the name of a ministry from the pulpit! Did you ever think you'd see the day, pastors, when FBC Jax would actually SELL the privilege of having a ministry's name mentioned in the pulpit? Well, that day is here. Not only are we charging your an entrance fee, but we are selling access to your eyes and ears at the conference through selling of promotions packages. Click here to read the promotions plan put together by Trey Brunson and our PR firm out of Atlanta. This is what Maurilio and Mac have brought to our church.
Our church growth strategy? We aren't about church planting, but establishing satellites. You see, Maurilio isn't a church planter, he is a church marketer, and he does what marketers do...he helps his clients increase market share. Like Mac told us, we are going to do what McDonald's and Starbucks does and we will be extending our FBC Jax brand to the north, south, east, and west. In fact, read what Mac said to his congregation in February 2007 about our marketing strategy:
"I've been wrapped up and caught up in the concept of how I'd love to take this church and multiply it all over this city. Why not have one church, in multiple locations. We can have one church, not various churches, we're not doing a church plant, we're not starting another church that will constitute into a church, but this church, right here, one pastor, one deacon body, one trustee group, one church with different locations. McDonald's has done that all over the world, you know....eventually we will do it [the preaching] by closed circuit...I'd love one day to see First Baptist Jacksonville downtown, First Baptist Church Jacksonville South, First Baptist Church of Jacksonville East, First Baptist Church of Jacksonville West, First Baptist Church of Jacksonville North, so that no matter where anyone went they were constantly running into First Baptist Church of Jacksonville. If we want to reach this city, let's DOMINATE IT. Let's TAKE IT."
And included in the upcoming "Next Generation" capital fund program is raising a million or so dollars to start these satellites all over Jacksonville. Never mind that we are at less than 50% capacity downtown. Never mind that our Sunday School is dwindling. Never mind that we don't even have 1/3 of the money necessary to make the needed capital repairs on our buildings downtown! Sadly, what will likey happen is these satellites will open with lots of TV advertising and the end result will be sheep stealing from other churches all over town. We're going to build our market share - we'll dominate, we'll take it.
Now, I thought I'd blog a bit about who Maurilio is and what he does...and most importantly, what it says about FBC Jax that we have retained him as our church marketing consultant - and what it means that he is a trusted friend and advisor of our pastor, Mac Brunson. The Watchdog has written about Maurilio last year here, here, and here.
One of Mac's very first moves as pastor of our church back in 2006 was to hand over the website design to Maurilio Amorim's company. Mac had used Maurilio as a consultant during his time at Dallas, and it was obvious that Mac needed to bring Maurilio with him. Maurilio was involved in Dallas and at FBC Jax in reviewing the existing staff and management structure, and was involved in assisting Team Brunson in making personnel decisions affecting our long time staff members.
Maurilio is a church marketing consultant. He is not a church planter. He owns a company called "The A Group" out of Nashville that does marketing, branding, and web design. His consulting portfolio includes mostly non-denominational churches, some of them near mega status. He also does web design for Calvin Klein and Tommy Bahama. You can look at these at his company's website.
Maurilio is a very big proponent of social networking. He operates a blog, and he also was one of the first "Twitterers" that this writer knew of. Twittering is a type of "real time blogging" where Twitterers will post brief snippets of information about what they are doing throughout the day.
Maurilio twitters about all sorts of things in his life: he twitters about his yoga classes - yep, he's into yoga and spin classes. He twitters about getting his teeth whitened and his hair colored and sessions at spas and tanning salons. He twitters about his disgust and frustration with fat people on planes and at restaurants. He twitters about his very expensive meals and meetings with important people. Look for yourself here. He twitters about his 6-head shower he had installed, and his trip to Vegas and his $700 tickets to Cirque de Solei. Poor Maurilio had his toes stepped on last hear when the Watchdog wrote an article about his twittering of his jet-setting and hob-nobbing lifestyle, and the Maurilio took a swipe at the Watchdog in his blog about the "Top 10 Ways to Get in Trouble With Twitter"?
"Post fun tweets about your Vegas vacation and watch some crazy, anonymous fundamentalist jerk turn you into this money-spending, luxury-loving, pleasure-driven Satanist on his loser hate blog. (Do I sound bitter?). I guess what happens in Vegas should really stay there."
So Maurilio, the church marketing consultant who earns very generous consulting fees from the good people of FBC Jacksonville, felt total freedom to lie about one of its members (Watchdog never called him a Satanist) and call one of its members "crazy", a "fundamentalist jerk", and a "loser" who owns a "hate blog". Even if its true that the Watchdog is all of these things (which he is not), how arrogant must a man be to say these things about one of the members of the church that pays him consulting fees?
Good for Maurilio. He owns a business that apparently is in high demand, and he is doing very well at it. What I have a problem with is how he seems to flaunt his lifestyle publicly in the name of "social networking". People at churches, including our FBC Jax, sacrifice and do without to donate money to church, and then pastors like Mac take that money and pay large fees to Maurilio for help in determining how to market and brand their church. Not church planting. Church marketing. Church branding. Helping pastors design their sermons. And I have a huge problem with a church like FBC Jacksonville that went after a pastor like Mac Brunson and paid him a very generous salary to lead our church, only to find out that for Mac to lead our church he has to hire a church marketing guru! We have some 20 professional staff members, many who have seminary training...and we need Maurilio to help us figure out how to reach our city? Our staff needs Maurilio?? Really?
My guess is that if many of members were given a breakdown of the consulting fees and travel expenses paid to Maurilio over the past three years, they would fall out of their chairs and wonder why our money is being spent on such nonsense as church marketing. This is why the new bylaw changes Mac initiated STINK...there is no way any member could ever force the church to share details of expenditures to the A-Group.
I wonder if we are paying Maurilio to come down here and do his three sessions, or if he's doing it as a favor to us. I'm sure this is a wonderful opportunity for Maurilio, as he might drum up some new clients while down here.
But beware pastors - he's expensive, and if any of your church members give you grief about using him and his flaunting of his high life on Twitter, he might just lie and talk down one of YOUR church members! But if you have a functioning lay finance committee, and members who ask questions about how money is spent, I doubt they would want God's money spent on a church marketer.
So go to Maurilio's sessions and learn of the NEW way FBC Jax is being run. And tell Maurilio that the crazy, fundamentalist, loser, jerk Watchdog, said "Hi".