"...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, September 26, 2009

Crossing from "Church Marketing" into "Money Changing"

"$2500 - We advertise our conference in numerous magazines, seminaries, state publications, etc. We would love to list you as one of our partners as our premier sponsor in all of our advertisements. This is a great way to diversify your marketing" (from 2010 FBC Jax Pastor's Conference Promotions Plan)
*****

This is indeed the "church marketing" age. Churches large and small are employing techniques used for decades by businesses, to get the word out to the community about their ministry, to attract new prospects, and to entice people to come to their church.

This trend is accelerating, as mainline denominations like the SBC are losing members, and they see younger church members fleeing to the non-denominational churches, and there is more and more competition between a rapidly growing number of churches over a slowly growing "consumer base" of Christians. Mega churches especially are trying to stall this membership loss through spending hoards of money - money given by God's people for "ministry" - on things like marketing, advertising, and promotions to attract more nickels and noses to their church.

First Baptist Church Jacksonville was on the cutting edge of this trend back in the '80s as they began to advertise - putting billboards up around Jacksonville, and later, buying TV commercial time.

There are even consulting firms that exist today catering exclusively to the "marketing needs" of churches - offering services including website design and hosting, design of advertising and promotional pieces, design of sermon series and associated promotions and advertising. They will assist churches in applying the business model of market analysis and strategies: branding of churches (and pastors), identifying strategies to target specific market segments, etc.

While this is distasteful to many in Christendom, its nothing new and it has been embraced by almost all denominations.

But FBC Jax in the last 3 years seems to have broken new ground in this area.

It is one thing to implement marketing principles within a church to help it achieve its mission or to simply grow - which some have criticized as being unscriptural at its core - but its another thing altogether when the church employs marketing techniques to RAISE REVENUE through advertising within the church walls.

That is precisely what FBC Jax has been done with the Pastor's Conference - the very conference that was started nearly 30 years ago by Jerry Vines to help minister to pastors and let them see how things are done at FBC Jax - access to these pastor's eyes, ears, and wallets is now being sold.

They have gone beyond using church marketing services of the A-Group to entice people to come, and now have employed marketing AND promotions firms to assist them in SELLING advertising WITHIN the walls of the church to raise revenue by selling access to the eyes and ears of the attendees sitting in the pew.

For the past 2 Pastor's Conferences under Mac Brunson, an Atlanta-based marketing and promotions firm, called Conexus, has actually SOLD advertising "promotions packages", ranging in prices of $1000 to $12,000. What FBC Jax is selllng in these packages includes:

- display of ministry name in the image screens of the main auditorium

- display of videos highlighting the ministry on the image screens

- "Emcee" recognition of the ministry from the pulpit

- plugs for the sales of CDs

- placement of ministry logos on the church website

- listing of the ministry on the conference website

- mentioning of name in post-conference emails

And this is just the start.

This year, they've become even more brazen in the promotions for the 2010 Pastor's Conference, as now they are trying to sell for thousands of dollars the privilege to place the name of a ministry on bottled water, pens, and conference bags. Even the mentioning of a ministry name from the pulpit is "negotiable", according to their website.

Do the people of FBC Jax really want their leadership charging other Christian ministries $750 for the simple privilege of occupying an 8' x 10' section of our foyer to put up a display table? Is that what the faithful people did 20 and 30 years ago when they gave sacrificially to pay cash to build the RLA and Main auditorium: so Mac Brunson and the A-Group could then sell promotions packages in the auditorium? Did the people of FBC Jax give money to purchase image screens and all of the top-notch audio-visual equipment so Trey Brunson could sell to Christian ministries for thousands of dollars the privilege of displaying their ministry logo or so the "emcee" could speak the name of a ministry to the audience after they have negotiated the appropriate fee with Trey and Maurilio?

I don't know about you, but as a Southern Baptist, and knowing the influence that FBC Jax has, and the respect that Mac Brunson has with churches all over the SBC, I'm worried when I see FBC Jax breaking new ground in this area. What a terrible precedent that I hope others don't follow.

In a few upcoming articles I will discuss some of these FBC Jax tactics to raise revenue, why they are a terrible idea, and I will contrast this with how the Southern Baptist Convention handles the matters of promotions and vendors at their annual convention. Instead of FBC Jax having something to teach the SBC, its the other way around in this case.

Until the next article, I will leave you with a Homer Lindsay, Jr. quote:

"God's plan was never for man to use worldly schemes to raise money for the spread of His message. God did not plan for His churches to have sales, dinners, raffles or bazaars to raise money...Such schemes are a shame and a disgrace to the church and certainly can never be pleasing to the Lord" (Homer Lindsay, Jr, "Spiritual Helps for the New Member", 1969).

Did Homer say that? You better believe he did. And if he were here today, he'd say it again.

76 comments:

PureObjectivity said...

Well finally we have a genuine worth while debate.

The money has to come from somewhere. This might be your opportunity to regain some credibility. Let's see if you can keep your personal dillema out of your writing. I am betting that you lose it after the third post.

I think that there is room for the Pastors Conference. There is definitely some common interest and there is nothing like seeing a bunch of "on fire" preachers assembled. The bills have to get paid somehow and in the past FBC membership has footed most of the bill for the cost.

The attending pastors are not going to pay. That is a proven fact. Someone has to pay. Who should pay then?

Should we just dismiss the Pastors conference and not have it at all. Should we pass the hat at every meeting during the conference?


Is this just another article that is intended to hurt FBC?

Johnny D. said...

I didn't make a comment in the last thread where all your relatives came in an bailed you out, Cousin Tom, so I thought...

Just kiddin'. Never met Tom in my life. I like him though, because he's got cajones. He's stuck this out when most people would have folded. I stand for truth and justice, and in Tom's case, there hasn't been any justice for a man asking for the truth. Yet.

Tom, let me sum up my reply to this latest blog with Acts 2:42-47.

42They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Show me any church in Jacksonville that meets that criteria, and I will at least come and listen to the preacher. Until then, as far as I'm concerned, what we have now is either a dead shell of what used to be, or the above passage is just so much made up BS.

How what you have posted here regarding this upcoming conference is in any way, shape, matter or form mirroring the Scripture I have posted above, is beyond my ability to understand.

Also, it doesn't appear if the link you've posted in the blog is working. Kool-Aiders might have redirected the link just that quick. However, probably just my internet connection this morning.

Johnny D. said...

I see what's up with the link, Tom. You've got two "www" in it. One is for the blogger address, and the other is for the pastor's conference. No workee that way.

Anonymous said...

Good Article!

Monies were specifically given at FBCJ and designated for a Senior Citizen Building . . .we gave a sacrificial offfering believing in the vision.

The answer to your question below is NO - very disturbing, especially after the "pep talks" from Dr. Vines as to the various reasons we needed to give our monies for such a building for the older folks. Again, the answer is No, No, and No to this question!

"Did the people of FBC Jax give money to purchase image screens and all of the top-notch audio-visual equipment so Trey Brunson could sell to Christian ministries for thousands of dollars the privilege of displaying their ministry logo or so the "emcee" could speak the name of a ministry to the audience after they have negotiated the appropriate fee with Trey and Maurilio?

P.S. Glad you gave us new subject as in the last article we had "Stt said: give his glowing letter of recommendation on his insight into the personal value, purpose and worth of the FBCJ adminisration and how it relates to others. He/She noted it was their last posting and we were to go in peace. Clap, Clap, Clap. Sorry, not believable as he/she will be posting again under ANON.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Thanks Uncle Johnny D for the URL correction. See you at the family reunion this weekend!

Here's one for you: "cajones" is spelled "cojones".

:)

PureObjectivity said...

To Johnny

It seems that STT brought to light that Tom did not approach FBC leadership in a Christian like manner either. Dr. Cooper did a marvelous job of describing the ideal way to approach a pastor with a concern, which is, in private. Instead Watchdog started an anonymous blog.

On the other hand their was some name calling, no doubt and somehow the Watchdog's identity was exposed.

We do not have any evidence that anyone directly accused Watchdog of the stalking, there are some credible people on record that say the stalking activities occured, and Watchdog says that he has inside info that leads him to believe that he was outed by a group of Deacons.

I hope that we are all through with that and everyone understands that no one involved is without sin. Perhaps the courts will decide with a weighting of the events of who bears the greater burden and award the difference. I hope that Watchdog and the church settle their differences amicably and agree to disagree and move on with each agreeing to do the other no further harm.

Let's put that to rest, acknowledge that we are all sinners, we all have our intellectual shortcomings, and let's debate a real issue with the upcoming Pastor's Conference.

Can we all agree that a Pastor's Conference is a good thing? Can we all agree that we want more people to seek and find salvation? If this is not what we want then what good are we.

Johnny D. said...

Dang, Cousin Tom. There goes all my years of living in Southern California and thinking I was paying attention.

I think I'm gonna start calling you "CT" from now on - short for Cousin Tom.

Anyhow, CT, I went to the website touting the conference. Sure looks like a business to me. I love the package levels. I can just see that whole thing there in Jerusalem in the passage I cited. I can just envision Peter standing up before the crowds and shouting, "Listen! People of Israel! Today, before you, you have seen many great miracles. This is a testimony to the power of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And for 30 pieces of Roman silver, we will get you a complete package and have your business mentioned in our next sermon. We're still working out the details, but John here is going to see to the making of 10,000 souvenir crowns out of thorn bushes. We will have your name and business sown into the brow, and each crown will be passed out to the zealous throngs currently visiting Jerusalem! We've arranged for a discounted stay at the local inns to make this even more attractive! Please see Matthew when I'm done, as he handles all of our money and business affairs these days - what with the loss of Judas and all."

It really is something to look at that website. They even got the old Gator QB to show up. He's a pastor now - or is he just a semi-famous now to draw the crowd?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Sorry to disappoint you, but sst did not bring anything "to light". It has been said here and discussed here many times that I did not seek a private meeting with Mac Brunson for several reasons and I won't rehash it here.

And to the hateful Anon who still tries to post here calling me names and bringing my family into this in a most hateful manner: get over it. Stop being so resentful. And most of all: please stop reading this blog if it brings so much heartache that it would cause you to say those things.

Anonymous said...

Sheesh let's just turn the church over to the likes of MLB outfield walls, plaster ads everywhere. OR better yet - let's clone NASCAR and smother the place with sponsers.

Bottom line is it IS the bottom line. All about the money. No souls to be saved here!

FBC hurts itself. They don't need ANY help from the Watchdog

word verification: phersome

yes PHERSOME indeed!

Anonymous said...

Johnny D - HELarious!

You're one favorites! Keep it up bro!

Anonymous said...

Now you have a true picture of the end time church of Laodicea!!! Now all that is need is a used car lot in one of the parking garages.

Anonymous said...

The appeasement forces keep coming with the "Can't we all just get along" comments. Answer: Of course we can if those that feel they have been wronged want to forget justice and a fair hearing.

Arce said...

Dear Fourth Cousin Thrice Removed Tom:

It seems as if "Pure Objectivity" is anything but objective. I won't comment on the purity part!

However, your not contacting Brunson in person is not an issue that has anything to do with legality or the suit, which has to do with the church, Soud and Brunson, and their actions that are torts and possibly crimes.

There is no objective evidence of stalking, picture taking, mail theft or a threat from the blogger. No timely reports of any of these were made to the appropriate authorities, which reports are matters of record.

Second, the church used the CRIMINAL authorities to out you and two other bloggers, possibly by making false accusations to a police officer (or he made them on behalf of the church), which is a criminal offense in most jurisdictions.

Third, it appears that the deacons were told your identity in the same context as allegations about mail theft, stalking, etc., resulting in at least some deacons thinking those had been linked to you.

Fourth, Brunson and Soud have made statements to the newspaper that are clearly libelous.

There is no issue in court about who tried to talk to whom, etc.

I have not seen any evidence of a counterclaim filed by the church or Brunson and do not see anything in the blog or otherwise that would be the basis for such a claim.

So everyone, the issue is whether and how much my Fourth Cousin Thrice Removed Tom wins, and not whether the church or Brunson are able to collect anything, because they have made no counterclaim in court and likely have no basis for doing so.

Anonymous said...

Anything that appears to "cheapen" the cause of Christ, is far too expensive. The loss of one soul, because that soul sees the church as no different than the world, is far too expensive. Having to answer to a Righteous God for turning His church into a place of business, is far too expensive. What price did God give for sinful man?

1John 4 vs.9-10: "In this was manifesed the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
vs.10: Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins".

That was the price God paid for us. Shame to any who through worldly actions, appear to cheapen it!!!

Anonymous said...

Dog,

I fully agree with your point about the inappropriateness of a church selling advertising, but let me play devil's advocate:

What if the advertising revenue is used to lower the cost of the conference so that more pastors can afford to attend?

Or to put it another way, would your view change if FBC Jax is not profiting from the advertising revenue? If the conference as a whole has a break-even budget (total conference expenditures equals total advertising revenues plus total registration fees), then does that change the analysis?

I think selling advertising would still be inappropriate, but I would be interested in your thoughts and others' thoughts as well.

Thy Peace said...

I think most of the expenses goes towards paying for the speakers and their upkeep. Last years pastor's conference felt like a trade exhibition as demonstrated by twitter comments and comments posted on this blog by some pastors.

I personally feel the fees paid to the speakers are outrageous by Christian standards, but when compared to business standards are comparable as being paid to paid speakers.

Word Verification: mingles

Lydia said...

Show me one example of selling the Gospel message, church or ministry OR paying to advertise their 'ministry' in the NT. Just show me one example of Paul, Peter or John or anyone selling his messages or paying to advertise his ministry. Just one example will suffice.

What were offerings used for in the NT? To help poor believers and pay expenses for those going out to share the Gospel. they were not staying at the Corinth Hilton but at people's homes.

So, how did we get from there to where we are now? The church went from being an organism to part of the government to a business enterprise today.

2 Peter 2

3 In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.

The last thing these pastors need is another conference. They would all learn more by going out street preaching. What exactly can they learn from Mac except to write a book of advice for pastors then ignore your own advice and do the things you tell other pastors not to do.

How do the bills in ministry get paid? Try listening to this:

http://www.archive.org/details/SchoolOfPrayer-JournalReadingAndMessageByPaulWasher-Sermon-

And read some George Mueller

Anonymous said...

Anon. 11:57 Devils advocate (your words). As usual, lets look at those worldly standards. Did you read the post above yours. Man can always justify his actions. How easy it is for man to compromise when money is the motivator. All you have to do is set your price. What price is worth it if you have to explain it to God one day? And you will!!! One can never compromise with God. One SHOULD never compromise His church. You know what compromise is: it's where one gives away a diamond in order to get a zircon, thus ending up with the phony stone worth nothing. You always end up with an inferior result.

Anonymous said...

Why should a church have to advertise at all? Shouldn't word of mouth be sufficient if the particular church is truly ministering to the people? My mega-church recently opened a new sanctuary without the expected increase in attendance. Gimmick after gimmick has been attempted with very little increase.

Anonymous said...

A disturbing trend is, some pastors believe they must give God a helping hand with these varied advertising and marketing techniques. Strange thing is, there is no record of Jesus or His followers spending money or using any of the present day techniques to get a crowd together. It appears and is shameful that many pastors have no real belief that gospel is free and open to everyone. They have forgotten the MESSAGE. I personally would prefer a church go broke without marketing than a church going broke with a marketing guru, plan, or budget item!!! Give me that old time religion and a pastor who preaches the whole council of Almighty God anyday!!!

Anonymous said...

Why should a church have to advertise at all? Shouldn't word of mouth be sufficient if the particular church is truly ministering to the people? My mega-church recently opened a new sanctuary without the expected increase in attendance. Gimmick after gimmick has been attempted with very little increase.

September 26, 2009 3:02 PM

Yes, it usually slides into gimmickery quite fast.

At one mega over 50,000 per month was spent on advertising not only the church but individual events at the church. Guess where they got the greatest bang for their buck? The movie theatres advertising on screen before the movie starts.

The absolute worst advertising decision I have witnessed were the little plastic discs placed in men's urinals (usually in popular resturants) with the church name, website and phone number screen printed on them.

Matt

PureObjectivity said...

Was there a problem with my last post?

Lydia said...

"We do not have any evidence that anyone directly accused Watchdog of the stalking, there are some credible people on record that say the stalking activities occured,"


So, if credible people claim it occured then why are they not still looking for the stalker and why were the investigative reports destroyed?

What were the reasons for the subpeonas?

Anonymous said...

I don't know why they have to be so over-the-top with this thing. I find it all very distasteful and I think the scale of it alone should make just about anyone at least uncomfortable. Why would anyone want to be a part of this thing? I don't know...conformists and shallow people - sure, but those that go a little deeper, I would think would want to distance themselves from an event like this.

Anonymous said...

"Give me that old time religion and a pastor who preaches the whole council of Almighty God anyday!!!"


Ooohhh yeahhh!!! What I wouldn't give to bring THOSE days back. Heartbreaking what the church has come to THESE days. I would add to that, though, give me a pastor who is truly pure-hearted with no stench of greed or worldliness. No more corrupt pastors, please.

Anonymous said...

Matt, are you serious???!! Disks in urinals advertising the church??!! Are you kidding me??!! I belive you that happened but at the same time I don't believe it. So men were urinating on the "church"? Oh, how wretched is that! How in the world did THAT get a pass? Who approved that without the slightest bit of discomfort? No fear of God in something like that?

And where was the outrage of either A) the members of that church or B) the men that actually had to use these urinals

Well FBCJ (and others), here is your next crack at even lower depths.

Second cousin, once removed Dee said...

Step cousin Tom

Why did Jesus overturn the moneychangers tables? Weren't they just trying to reduce the cost of running the Temple? That Jesus! Just overly critical. His actions probably caused some not to come to the Temple anymore. He should have apologized and just gone with the flow.

Cousin Arce
Loved the last post. It is helping me formulate my letter to the authorities.

Anonymous said...

I think the problem with the actions of churches and all mankind today is, they don't really realize how HOLY ALMIGHTY GOD IS!!! We are talking about the God of the universe. About His Holy Son that died on a Cross for OUR sins, and rose again, and is currently on the right Hand of the Father. ALL must please stop and think about WHO GOD IS!!!! Then act accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Pure Objectivity - I wonder how many souls were "turned off" when Jesus overturned the tables and ran out the money changers in the temple with a whip? Or when he called the pharisees brood of vipers? I guess he should have met with them privately first?

Why was it they (pharisees and religious leaders) wanted to kill Jesus anyway? Something about taking on the current religious system and leaders wasn't it? Calling them hypocrites and pointing out their true hearts.

It seems religious leaders and their mob followers still don't like criticism, no matter who it is that calls them out on it.

Anonymous said...

Tom's relatives have been busy. Over 120 comments two posts ago, and over 140 last post.

SBC Leaders All Over the World said...

SBC Leadership all over the globe again...just checking in to see if the church has handled this lovingly, biblically, and wisely and the lawsuits have thus been dropped and the blog has been closed down to the Glory of God. Nope. Will check back next month.

Anonymous said...

The bills have to be paid. Somebody has to pay them. How will we possibly pay all the expenses? Maybe an "escort service"? Oh wait, that's what's already happening here.

The "ends justify the means" philosophy coming out of FBC defenders is very eye-opening. The comments on this post make the root issues crystal clear. I hope many, many current members see this post.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Pure Objectivity? I agree with you. This is a genuine worthwhile debate. It lifts the rock and lets folks see all the slimy, creepy crawlies living underneath.

Anonymous said...

Is Lydia your first cousin or just an aunt? She surely must be single because all she seems to have time to do is post on every anti-pastor blog site she can find.

Lydia said...

Is Lydia your first cousin or just an aunt? She surely must be single because all she seems to have time to do is post on every anti-pastor blog site she can find.

September 27, 2009 7:15 AM

Oooooo. Retract those claws!

Cannot handle debating "content" so attack the person. So typical.

Maybe you are a slow reader and it takes you a lot of time to read through posts comments. Ya shoulda taken speed reading as a kid. It really makes a difference.

Or maybe you have just been taught to ignore content and attack people the best you can. Some folks are raised like that.

If you want to insult me you are going to have to do better than that. I would have to repect you, though,for an insult to matter.

Johnny D. said...

"A disturbing trend is, some pastors believe they must give God a helping hand with these varied advertising and marketing techniques. Strange thing is, there is no record of Jesus or His followers spending money or using any of the present day techniques to get a crowd together. It appears and is shameful that many pastors have no real belief that gospel is free and open to everyone. They have forgotten the MESSAGE. I personally would prefer a church go broke without marketing than a church going broke with a marketing guru, plan, or budget item!!! Give me that old time religion and a pastor who preaches the whole council of Almighty God anyday!!!"

This is a good post, Anon, and if I handle it correctly, could bring more light upon the subject of this blog by my filling out some thoughts I posted earlier.

I am certain it is not just that pastors believe they must give God a helping hand, it is that pastors don't operate in the power of Acts 2:42-47. That passage says so much in just a few verses.

I always loved the book of Acts. It was one of my favorites - especially the first few chapters. I loved the power of the proto-church. Peter, a guy that had just weeks before denied Jesus, stood up in front of thousands and preached his heart out. Thousands of people were convicted and saved. But they were not just cut by his words - they saw the believers and their fellowship and they wanted to be part of it. There wasn't any fancy advertising and reduced rates at the inn - there was just love. They knew what they believed, and that knowledge permeated everything in their lives. If Acts is to be believed, many of them had seen the resurrected Jesus. It was a totally different dynamic than what we have now. Church now is mostly about comparing clothing, getting together and eating, and thinking up clever ways to advertise so that the hard but much more rewarding work of being an Acts chapter 2 church doesn't have to be done. "Love that guy? Hell with him - he's a jerk. I'll just give a little extra to the advertising budget and maybe we can get some other guy in here worth loving. He's just a mechanic anyway. We need more doctors and lawyers. With more doctors and lawyers we won't have these budget issues."

On a personal note (sorry CT), the above is a major reason why I walked away. There's plenty of reasons, but the church turning into a gimmicky business virtually empty of any sort of power as depicted in Acts, has led me to believe that either the church today is a dead shell of yesteryear, or it never was anything like Acts, and the whole thing in Acts is just a bunch of made up BS. I know I said that in my last post, but since I expanded my thoughts on the matter, I wanted to bring any reader of this post back to what got me started.

Collecting money from the flock and buying advertisments is easy. Loving people to the point that it is noticed like a hot fire rolling through a dead, dry meadow, preaching like Peter in Acts, selling your favorite toy to help poor brothers and sisters, and gathering in houses and singing and praising Jesus out of spontaneous love, are apparently the acts of a bygone era. Just get some advertising and have a conference now and then. "At least we're doing something." No thanks. That's a dead shell. Most of you are just settling for a place to go on Sunday that makes you feel good. Don't settle. If you're gonna believe, then light that dead, dry meadow on fire. Burn it down and then really live.

Word verification: hesoar (LOL.)

Deb said...

Howdy Ya'll!!!

It's Tom's long lost cousin Deb here. You can find me over at The Wartburg Watch. Yep, we're from the same blood -- the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Anonymous, you crack me up!!! Talk about the pot callin' the kettle black... It appears that you post more frequently than ANYONE else here! Now we know who has the most time on his/her hands.

Thy Peace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thy Peace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Spin + Internet:

CoffeeTrader News & Views [Lin & Lindon] > The Spinternet?.

Or

Suzanne's Bookshelf [Suzanne McCarthy] > Evgeny Morozov on the spinternet.

Also, some other posts from EFF.org:

What Information is "Personally Identifiable"?.

New Cookie Technologies: Harder to See and Remove, Widely Used to Track You.

How Online Tracking Companies Know Most of What You Do Online (and What Social Networks Are Doing to Help Them).

The above posts are relevant to this blog readers about internet privacy.

Anonymous said...

Tom,

I'm sorry that I'm not one of your frequent-posting relatives but here's my two cents worth anyway.

Most of your blog posters must be well over 50. They all seem to remember the Lindseys personally and think music from the 50's and 60's is what built great churches.

Wake up and realize that things have changed. The way churches do things will NEVER be the same again and if you want to be part of it, you need to get on board and quit trying to relive the past in every post.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Aw, isn't that cute. Boy, where have we heard THAT before? "Quit living in the past?"

Why not defend the selling of advertising space in the Main auditorium with something more substantive than Brunson's tired old "living in the past" quip?

Things HAVE changed, but I don't know of any other churches besides FBC Jax that are daring to sell advertisements in the Main auditorium, and to charge $750 for the privilege of setting up a table in non-rented, paid-for space in a church santuary. That's the point of the article: let's all hope and pray this STAYS only at FBC Jax and no one else tries it.

But then again, you do have a point about living in the past, since this marketing ploy to raise revenue reminds us of the Catholic church back in Luther's day selling indulgences.

Anonymous said...

I find it so interesting that after someone blogs the inventory count of this blog and assumes it is family and friends posting, we now have someone who is posting their anaylis of age.

Agree, with WD that it's cute! Probably the same "anon" who claims he doesn't post.

Why even do they bother coming on to post to (we) the Seaman, as the Admiral says moneys is coming in strong, membership is growing both downtown and at the beach. Why the worry about Seaman like us?

Okay, here's my take on age, as I look at the FBC leadership at the beach, it makes me laugh as I see the Baptist leadership wearing "mask" trying to be act and be like the other churches where the young adults are flocking too. These churches are genuine, people are flocking to them as they are not pretending to be what they are not.

Sorry Anon 8:46 all the bloggers on here aren't the old folks. :>)

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Great to see you posting here, Brother Charlie from Omaha! My relatives are EVERYWHERE!!

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Grace and Truth to You [Pastor Wade Burleson] > The Tragic Mistake Made by My Hero in the Ministry --Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
But I believe the biographers of Spurgeon are missing it. Spurgeon did make a mistake--a big one. Unfortunately, it is a mistake that otherwise wonderful, Bible-believing, God-fearing Baptists seem to be in the habit of making.

Spurgeon did not follow Jesus' instructions by going privately to visit with those with whom he had offense. This was precisely the error that the Baptist Union accused Spurgeon of making at the time. In response to that charge, Spurgeon wrote: "I have followed out our Lord's mind as to private remonstrances--by seeing the President and Secretary (of the Baptist Union)."

Anonymous said...

I never said Mac was right. I just said most of you are living in the past.

He may not be right but at least he's creative. Perhaps some of you naysayers are just upset because you didn't think of it first.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

You're too much, anon.

OK, thanks for letting us know you think it wrong to charge advertising space in the sanctuary of a building that was constructed, cash money, by sacrificial gifts of Christians - but apparently will defend Brunson even when you think he's wrong.

And my point is: it is NOT creative to charge advertising space. That is what any church could try to do if they hold a conference in their building. Its easy - call a promotions firm and hire them and let them do it. Its what the SBC could do at their convention, charge market-based "nickel/nose" prices for advertising and vendor space, but they have a written policy that prohibits them from such marketing ploys.

Anonymous said...

As much as I disagree with you on most of what I consider to be pettiness with your blog. This is one area we are in total agreement on and it makes me sick to see the advertising. "This session is brought to you by Hilton Hotels" or something like it just makes me cringe.

Anonymous said...

Most large churches have written policies about selling advertising. Guess Vines and Lindsey dropped the ball on this one.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 1:01 - I'm not sure which is worse:

"This afternoon's session is brought to you by Hilton Hotels and Chik Fil-A"

or

"This afternoon's session is brought to you by Southern Seminary".

I think the latter is worse - at least in the former, it is a company who has a goal of making a profit, and they are very skilled in making advertising investments to reach their target markets to sell their product. They pass those costs back to the consumer, and they operate in a competitive business environment that dictates their success or failure.

When you see Southern Seminary or Billy Graham Evangelistic Assoc sponsoring an event, that is a non-profit entity that raises funds for the purpose of spreading the gospel, and they have to fork some of that over to FBC Jax for the privilege of just communicating their name to attendees. If its a SBC entity forking it over, that comes out of the pockets of all SBC churches who gave money to the SBC CP to spread the gospel, and some of it now must be forked over to Maurilio, Conexus, and FBC Jax.

Homer Lindsay, Jr. would be ashamed of these men who are doing it, and would be ashamed of the deacons and trustees who remain silent and kiss the ring of the king and let him do as he pleases.

But apparently the FBC Jax trustees don't give a rip, and they're either afraid to tell Mac and Trey and Maurilio to knock it off, or their in on it and loving the opportunity to "raise revenues" from other Christian organizations.

Shameful.

Anonymous said...

How about a baptismal sponser? Each time someone is baptised it can be "brought to us by (fill in the blank with the highest bidder)."

Anonymous said...

"You're just jealous" is a very poor argument in any debate or conflict.

I can condemn the act of murder without being jealous that I did not "get to murder someone".

I can condemn theft and not be jealous that I did not steal that car.

I can condemn the act of adultery and not be jealous that I did not get to have a steamy affair.

I can condemn the act of killing someone while driving under the influence and not be jealous that I did not get three sheets to the wind drunk.

I can guarantee you that I am not jealous that I did not come up with the idea to sell out the church by raking in advertising fees. I consider it to be an abomination to God. While it may not be murder, God considers all sin to be equal. If "selling" church was just a minor error in judgment, then Jesus would not have overturned the money changers tables.

I am a member of the church. I am not one of Tom's relatives - except in Christ. I AM ASHAMED of the church on this matter. I am well under 50 years of age. I am not against change, but not all change is good.

I have a question for the anon that made the over 50 comment. My guess is that YOU are under 30. Am I correct?

Anonymous said...

And since you are no longer a member of that church it really isn't any of your business.

Anonymous said...

Only a few options I see here:

1. Cancel the P.C. due to lack of funds

2. Charge pastors more to cover the cost of the P.C.

3. Come up with creative ways to fund the P.C.

Every major conference I have ever been to in the "real world" has advertising. Why not let businesses foot the expense and still be able to hold the P.C. to encourage and train these pastors? I am sure there are some extents to which this could be taken that I would disagree but I have not heard anything thus far which falls into that category.

Anonymous said...

Wake up and realize that things have changed. The way churches do things will NEVER be the same again and if you want to be part of it, you need to get on board and quit trying to relive the past in every post.

September 28, 2009 7:21 AM

Why wouldn't I want to 'do church' as they did in the NT? (uh hum...in the past)

Scripture says that God is the same today, yesterday and forever. It is WE who change. Not God.

Matt

Anonymous said...

2. Charge pastors more to cover the cost of the P.C.

Won't Work:
So many "on fire" preachers come to the conference on a free ride, who don't not pay for registration - they come only to vacation, in sunny Jacksonville and only show up for the "open" door sermons. They have learned the system, so have their associates - they have no interest in the workshops. (I know, I've fed and hosted my share).

Yes, the bills do have to get paid as members of FBCJ foot the entire cost and no profit is made from those that do register - this new advertising tool is called desperation, not being creative.

BTW, I don't feel this blog is "petty" as I've enjoyed reading some of the pretty wise comments, examples would be Dr. Cooper, Matt, Dee and Deb and yes even one of my favorites, Johnny D! :>)

Anonymous said...

"Every major conference I have ever been to in the "real world" has advertising. Why not let businesses foot the expense and still be able to hold the P.C. to encourage and train these pastors? I am sure there are some extents to which this could be taken that I would disagree but I have not heard anything thus far which falls into that category."

-----------

Because we are supposed to separate ourselves from the real world. "Creative financing" does not belong in the church.

Anonymous said...

I say cancel it. It seems to me it is likely nothing more than a fawning, back-slapping, my-number-is-bigger-than-yours trade show.

New BBC Open Forum said...

4. How about not paying the speakers anything more than their expenses? "Expenses" not meaning $350+/night hotels and $75+ dinners. Most if not all the speakers already draw a salary or other income from their churches or corporations. If the goal is to train and mentor other pastors, why should they demand $5000+ speaking fees? Oh... wait. I forgot. It's the good old boy network... at work. You scratch my back and I'll scratch his and he'll scratch yours.

Anonymous said...

DISCS IN URINALS????????? NO!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

To the anon under 50. Hopefully, one day you will grow up and become over 50. Then someone younger will tell you to mind your own business, that the church you attend has become more modern than your views. Just keep thinking that way and eventually you will wake up one day and say what happened to the church I used to know. Sad indeed. Life is full of surprises. What goes around comes around even to the young and dumb.

Anonymous said...

"So many "on fire" preachers come to the conference on a free ride, who don't not pay for registration - they come only to vacation"

Uh, excuse me, but isn't that EXACTLY what the IMB trustees do? Openly? More than once a year? On our dime???

Anonymous said...

Matt,

So you want to do church like they did in the New Testament? Perhaps you have a cave you would like to start meeting in and see how many come.

BTW, aren't you the one who doesn't even attend church? Just wondering.

Bill said...

Would Big Mac let the Mormons or others have a table if they wrote a big enough check?

Anonymous said...

The modern church is in free fall without a parachute especially in these difficult economic times. It is all about growth when everything else outside of the building is coming down. When will these egocentric driven mininstries realize they do not care enough to deal with the hungry, unemployed, downtrodden, poor, suffering members within their own memberships. But they don't care, it's get as much money from as many as they can. The fields are quite white unto harvest and they are completely ignored!!!

Anonymous said...

Its amazing how many of you just hop in the bandwagon of criticism for all churches just because Tom doesn't like Mac.

Not all churches are like what you keep saying. Go find a good one and quit griping. Your negativity does nothing to advance the Kingdom of God and His church.

Anonymous said...

It has become quite obvious, these types of "conferences" are money makers. I like the above analogy of them being back-slapping, good ole boy, trade shows. How aprapoe!!! The trend started with the quid pro quo and the land deal.

Why is it necessary to have so many "conferences" around the country so often. IT'S JUST A BUSINESS!! The thought that there is anything spiritual about them is just fantasy. It is not a coincidence that the more the church goes the way of the world, the less people are being saved. And the "good ole boys" will one day answer for their part in the downfall of the church and even those lost souls that walked off because of the hypocrisy. They may be raking in the big money from the "business" now but one day the money will be useless and the "boys" powerless!!!

As for my money, I have relatives out of work due to this economy. They have college degrees and can't find a job. These two famalies have children that must be fed. So I share what little I have with them. I bought groceries, perscriptions that they need and were unable to afford. Paid for Dr., visits for the children. And other general needs to keep them afloat until they can find work. What has this money hungry church done, beside cruise the Danube. Oh, I guess they do help keep the travel agencies in business. Some one should write a book about the "selling of the pulpit". There is certainly enough material out there. My opinion.

Anonymous said...

Only a few options I see here:

1. Cancel the P.C. due to lack of funds

2. Charge pastors more to cover the cost of the P.C.

3. Come up with creative ways to fund the P.C.

___________________________________

Sounds like Trey or Maurilio wrote those 3 options. This brings the topic back around to the main point. The church always was able to fund and operate the PC for decades without ANY of the above being options. What changed? Mac and his bunch have bled off (I will say "robbed") so much of the tithes and offerings that buildings can't be maintained and the PC can't be funded! So he needs to raise money (money YOU gave but HE spent) for this PC. He is on INSP and Maurilio is getting paid, and the advertising budget is up...but guess what, the PC needs funds or it must be canceled? Are you all really that gullible? If you are, I bet you believe that if you don't pay more taxes your libraries will have to be closed and your fire departments cut.

"A fool and his money are soon parted." Anonymous

Voice of Reason said...

Its amazing how many of you just hop in the bandwagon of criticism for all churches just because Tom doesn't like Mac.

Not all churches are like what you keep saying. Go find a good one and quit griping. Your negativity does nothing to advance the Kingdom of God and His church.
__________________________________

Show me ONE that is not that way, and I will be glad to stop griping. They ALL need "more money" and could do so much "more ministry" if everyone "would just tithe." What they mean is "what God has provided us is not good enough. We could be in a much bigger building, with much more staff, and really bless ourselves. NONE of them are out there trying to "raise funds" so they can help out with real ministry needs of those whom Christ loves.

Trust me and test me in this: You will find more preachers and "men of God" on the GOLF COURSES of Jacksonville then you will standing with an evicted family, or in the hospital with a sick person, or at the jail with a locked up person, or working at the homeless shelter, or feeding the poor. TEST ME ON THAT! Ask your "godly leadership" about their fishing and golfing and travels, then ask them about their real ministry.

Go on. Ask them. Or better yet. Listen carefully and watch them. They will be asking for money before they leave for their tee time or for their next overseas trip. And what do they want the money for? Listen carefully...a better building, better amenities in the church, more vacation/mission trips for a week or two.

Anonymous said...

Voice of Reason,

Boy do I feel sorry for you. You need to get counseling but then I'm sure you wouldn't want to pay for it. Maybe you can find some government agency to give it to you since you don't think any church is doing anything.

Keep looking--there are some good ones out there and some Godly pastors to boot.

Anonymous said...

Voice of reason I thought you were supposed to be the voice of reason. Obviously we are "gripping" about the churches caught up in the money/business scenario!!! Many of us have been in churches that once WERE mighty instruments for the work of the Lord and have seen them changed into todays debacle. So don't critize us for not settling for the imitations today. As for there being "a lot of churches out there, it's not that easy to find them. So many are going the Purpose Driven route that it's unusual to find a truly GOSPEL INSPIRED church without gimmicks. Suggest YOU name some good ones for us, please.

Voice of Reason said...

anon 9:35 - You need to get counseling but then I'm sure you wouldn't want to pay for it. Maybe you can find some government agency to give it to you since you don't think any church is doing anything.
___________________________________
Okay, I'll bite. I feel sorry for you and it is YOU who needs counseling if you think I need counseling, but I am sure YOU will be happy to pay for it. (See how productive that kind of posting is?)

And yes, I would find help from the government (medicaid, medicare, social security, WIC, food stamps, subsidized housing, police protection, libraries, fire rescue, roads, defense of our country, schools, student loans, etc.) before I would knock on the door of a church and ask them to help me pay one single bill for me.

And I never claimed churches aren't doing anything. I just pointed out that whatever they are doing, they need more money from you and me to do it...allegedly. They are the ones that need to stop griping.

And yes, I am aware there are a lot "Godly pastors" out there, with feet of clay, who are imperfect just like me. So I will continue to watch and listen carefully and that way I can discern one from the other. I hope you will too. In the meantime, remember Jesus' words "I was hungry and you didn't feed me, I was naked and you didn't clothe me..." And YOU will say...When?

Voice of Reason said...

September 29, 2009 9:57 AM - I agree with you. Your comments are directed to the anon who posted below me.

Anonymous said...

Matt,

So you want to do church like they did in the New Testament? Perhaps you have a cave you would like to start meeting in and see how many come.

BTW, aren't you the one who doesn't even attend church? Just wondering.

September 28, 2009 10:13 PM

I have no way of knowing if you are the same anon who keeps making that last statement. I discussed church several threads ago and again in one of the last few threads and you (?) continue to make a similar statement on each thread. why?

Are you simply trying to spread an untruth if you can get by with it?

A cave is not a bad idea. It certainly would humble us all. Jesus Christ told us He had no where to lay His head.

Matt

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps you have a cave you would like to start meeting in and see how many come."

btw: The true believers would come to a cave if it meant worship in spirit and truth.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Voice of reason...MY APOLOGIES TO YOU SINCERELY! Please assume my comments are directed to the appropriate commenter. THANKS!