Matthew 7:15 (NIV) “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matthew 24:11: (NIV) “…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”

2 Timothy 2:23 - 25 (NIV) - 23Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Scam Alert: Thom Rainer Offers to "Mentor" Your Pastor - For $249.97 a Month

Did you know Thom Rainer, the CEO of Lifeway, will "mentor" your pastor for only $249.97 a month? It is true. At the website www.churchanswers.com, your pastor can use his church credit card to select one of three different mentoring options. See the three options below.

Now, if your pastor can do without an "annual on-site meeting with Thom and his team", or if he can survive NOT having 24/7 access to Thom, he can cut the price down to $99.47 - or if he can live with no email access AT ALL to Thom, the price drops to $49.97. 

I can't verify this yet, but rumor is all three levels include a secret decoder ring so pastors can receive secret messages from Thom during his podcast?  "D-R-I-N-K  T-H-E  K-O-O-L A-I-D" will likely be the first secret message.

Readers, this is not one of my wonderful April Fool's posts. This is real. This is actually being offered by Thom Rainer, who already has a full time job as CEO of Lifeway. He now is selling "24/7 email access" to himself, to pastors. Your pastor. He is selling a site visit to your church by "Thom and his team", as long as your pastor pays $249.97 a month. Thom and his team? Does your church and your pastor need "Thom and his team". 

This of course is not "mentoring", it is "consulting". Thom has devised a stupid idea to try to tap into YOUR wallet, SBC church-goer. The pastor himself would not be buying these services. No one in their right mind, in any serious or real profession, would consider purchasing "24/7 email access" to a guy with a full time job for $249.97 on their credit card. This could only exist in the fantasy world of seminarians whose lives are devoted to story-telling and studying ancient texts.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to point out the foolishness of "church consultants" and the squandering of my church's money on out-of-town consultants. This is not mentoring Thom is offering, but a nutty type of church consulting paid on a church credit card. It sickens me.

How will you know if your church is spending your money you've donated to the church on Thom's nutty plan? If you wait until you see "Thom and his Theam" at your church - with Thom maybe preaching a Sunday sermon - it is too late.  I would be proactive and alert your church lay people who are involved in budgeting and finances about this scam so it never happens and not a penny goes to www.churchanswers.com. 





15 comments:

The Govteach said...

Wow....just wow..maybe it's just me, but doesn't this just scream..." SCAM!"

bobfelton said...

I wonder if this means there is more bad news in the SBC pipeline, and Rainer wants to feather his nest before it hits ...

Anonymous said...

$250 dollars? Why you don't think those experts are gonna work for free do ya.We will even get to meet "His Holyness"in person at least once a year. Sounds like something Jim Bakker or one of the TBN crowd came up with. Way to go SBC.

The Govteach said...

Bob Felton, do you have a clue of what the bad news might be?
And you can answer " Yes" in order not to give away your suspicion....

Anonymous said...

Ironically, this guy also sells his expertise as to why people are leaving the church. Now he can add his own smarmy behavior to the list.

I believe this greasy clown would sell his own mother if he could get a few bucks from the deal. On the other hand, I'm sure she would be more than happy to leave him.

bobfelton said...

Govteach: No, just thinking out loud ...

All of the indicators that the SBC relies on -- attendance, baptisms, etc -- have been going down for years, and the IMB is selling-off property and recalling missionaries in order to make-up for years of shortfall. There is no reason to expect those trends to reverse themselves, either.

So, yes, it makes me wonder if Rainer wants to get some money in the bank, or at least develop an alternative income stream, before some more bad news lands. But as I said, I'm only thinking out loud.

The Govteach said...

Bob Felton, I grew up SBC, even attended one of their seminaries, and I no longer consider myself SBC. My wife goes, but it is mostly out of habit.
If there was an Anglican or a even an ELC Lutheran congregation nearby, I might consider going there, ( and I am not a liberal) it's just to the point I do not see myself as evangelical anymore. They seem to hurt more people than they help. ( it is like they WANT to hurt people.)

Anonymous said...

I have been reading Thom Rainer's blog posts for over a year now and I have actually found some useful information there. He has actually done a good job of exposing some of the reasons churches decline, such as internal conflict, resistance to change, and bully tactics of church members who want to run the church. I was in ministry for 30 years, 23 of those as a pastor, and a good amount of what I've read from his blog was useful. But when I saw all this coming out about paying a monthly fee for "Church Answers" mentoring thing, I thought, "Say what?" Why would I pay for what I can easily find for free on numerous online resources? It does sound odd.

Also, he says this as an intro to the deal: "The most effective church leaders are the ones being continuously and intentionally mentored." I disagree. The most effective church leaders are those who are sincerely seeking a closer walk with Christ, stay daily in the Word, and are preaching the gospel because God called them - not because they want to get rich. Mentoring is great, but you shouldn't have to pay for it. I have a few dear friends in ministry who have always been there for me and I've learned from them, and they didn't charge me a dime.

One last thought; I have known a number of churches over the years who paid big money to bring in a "professional church consultant" to get them on track. I cannot recall one instance where the "consulting" really accomplished much of anything. In fact, in some cases, there was confusion and division as the congregation tried to implement the "consultant's" suggestions.

Thanks and may God bless you and all who sincerely seek the Lord.

Anonymous said...

YES!!! I've been waiting for years for someone to skewer this hell bound, corporate religionist. You've just touched the tip of the iceberg concerning the multiple ways he has monetized the body of Christ. Look into his involvement with Vanderbloemen Search Group. A Rainer crony pastor search company in which he is a silent partner. Also check out his prepubescent son, selling church growth and Christian leadership materials. It is truly a family affair.

Anonymous said...

If you dig into the site, it appears that Thom's son is the one who is running this "ministry." His son's have benefited from his position within the SBC, having had books published though Lifeway, even though they aren't really qualified to write. Another example of cronyism within the leadership of the convention.

bobfelton said...

GovTeach: You might profit from reading Nietzsche's "The Antichrist," a sort of philosophical anthropology of the early Jesus Movement. There are things in it that I disagree with, and it was written during has last productive year before he went entirely mad (there are passages that probably are harbingers of what was to come), but he is far more right than wrong. My experience as I read it, and the experience of many others, is to be shocked by something he says, and then to find yourself thinking, "Oh, wait -- he's got a point here, there *is* a lot of embedded malice."

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight. Ranier has a full time 6 figure gig with Lifeway, paid speaking gigs on SBC time not to mention book deals YET he needs this? This is downright cheesy. Narcissism on steroids.

Is there no shame? Are they really so blatant as to rip folks off in this way? He is definitely a Mohler loyalist and probably has more business than we can imagine. That world is totally immersed in cult of personality. The young men cannot live without their gurus. How would they know what to think and believe?

He and Ed Setzer make a perfect couple as they rip off followers in the Christian Industrial Complex.

Anonymous said...

"Narcissism on steroids." That is a great quote. It sums up what is going on in the world of mega churches and rock star personality pastors. The examples abound; Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, Ken Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Jesse Duplantis, and on and on the list goes. These charlatans apparently cannot get rich enough and as long as their sheep are willing to throw obscene amounts of many at them they will keep on getting richer. It's all very sad and the faith I have embraced and preached my entire adult life is looking more like a circus thanks to these silly clowns.

Anonymous said...

"If you dig into the site, it appears that Thom's son is the one who is running this "ministry." His son's have benefited from his position within the SBC, having had books published though Lifeway, even though they aren't really qualified to write. Another example of cronyism within the leadership of the convention. "

I don't know how many sons he has but I know one of them did the control freak young pastor gig at a large church in Western Ky. I know some folks who go there. He is long gone. Perhaps he needed a paying gig profiting off Jesus and daddy had just the thing.

Anonymous said...

I think this consulting practice for money is very unfortunate and embarrassing considering how much this man makes from Lifeway and books, speaking engagements, etc. And I do believe the fringe operations benefit his sons. But for me, the greatest WRONG was taking the Glorieta homes at $30 a square foot while getting this cushy deal for himself. We can all be sure-our God is not mocked; what He sows-He will reap.