But first a few comments of why I really like Josh's post.
Josh's comments below touch on some of the issues of why this blog began in 2007. I had my own eyes opened up to the same sort of thing: pastors made wealthy simply BECAUSE they are pastors. Pastors who view the church as a business - THEIR business - THEIR FAMILY business. They hire marketing consultants, they use the church resources to build their own brand, to sell their own goods. They view Christians as customers, as impersonal "giving units" who generate revenue for their godly pursuits.
And good people allow it. They defend it. They encourage it. As Josh says, the mentality is that if something is good for the CEO/pastor, it is good for the church. And people who give the money are not allowed to see the details of how it is spent, especially on CEO/pastor compensation. If you scan the early days of this blog, what Josh writes about are concerns I had in my own church, and I couldn't believe that good people in a good church would allow this sort of thing to go on. I figured if more people knew, they would do something. Thus the blog.
I was wrong. And that is why Steven and Perry and Ed will keep on trucking. The consumers are brand loyal. This will be a very minor speed bump for Steven. The only question is: is this business ("church") model sustainable in the long run? As James Duncan wrote yesterday, perhaps not.
Lastly, in a strange way I might give MORE leeway to Steven Furtick and Perry Noble than I would most other celebrity mega church pastors in this: at least Steven built his OWN business ("church") from the ground up, with ZERO members. He just didn't come in behind other pastors and assume the throne and the perks, be anointed the king and get a sweet land deal and immediately build a huge house and put his family on staff and turn the church into his own family business.
Steven has built quite a successful business, and feels he is justified in making lots of money. In his response to the congregation, he emphasized how he started the church with just 4 families.
It is Steven's business, he started it, he is the CEO.
Here is Josh's post:
Josh is so right: outsiders in the media or blog may ask questions, but they won't get answers.