Well, Jacksonville's local newspaper cracked one of the most perplexing problems facing churches today, especially at FBC Jacksonville! Times Union report Jeff Brumley has done an incredible investigative piece and uncovered the following about FBC Jacksonville and other SBC churches:
Actual attendance is often much different than membership.
Yep, that's right, this is the sub-headline in Brumley's June 30th piece about how...get this...our actual attendance is much lower than our membership numbers! Now how is that for news about FBC Jax! While the pastor at Jacksonville's largest church - which just so happens to be run by some of the most influential people in Jacksonville including politicians, a judge, and a candidate for judge - has accepted a $300,000 gift from one of its members violating an ethical standard that would exist in any profit or non-profit corporation setting and has put wife and son on staff and whose numbers are plummeting - Brumley has a story about our membership numbers. Gee, that is some late breaking news for sure!
It would be nice if our local media would do their job and actually go and ask Mac Brunson about the ethical standard he used in accepting the land gift. Its a little harder for Team Brunson to refuse answering media questions than questions asked of anonymous emailers or coward bloggers. Was the land gift truly a gift according to IRS standards? Maybe ask Mac about the wisdom of putting wife and son on staff with no stated ministerial responsibilities. How about the glaring differences between his own actions and ethics in his book used in SBC seminaries to train pastors? Maybe a story about nepotism in our local mega churches? What about the bylaw changes made at FBC Jax that hardly anyone in the congregation understood, but were asked to vote on last December? Did FBC Jax have its method of church governance changed? Why was a discipline committee begun? And many more questions that require answers - nope, need to first look into that gap between membership and attendance numbers.
This Brumley story is more proof that there is a valid use for blogs. When the large media outlets ignore an obvious story for whatever motives they might have, blogs do provide a way for light to be shown on newsworthy facts. Bloggers were responsible for exposing the Dan Rather lies about President Bush's military service when national news outlets ignored the story. So while Brumley writes about membership numbers and the "blazing oratory" of Mac Brunson and his penchant for Krispy Kremes and driving pick-ups, this blog will continue to expose the abuses of Mac Brunson at FBC Jax.
And one minor detail Jeff: not sure where the "up to 3000" attendance figure came from for Wednesday nights at FBC Jax, but I think you have an extra zero stuck in there. Wednesday night attendance has fallen greatly as has Sunday night - mostly because people don't know who is preaching, if there will be preaching, and if it will be a bible study or a history lesson.