2 Samuel 16:9,11 - "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head...let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord hath bidden him."

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

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

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Meet Maurilio - The New Face of the FBC Jax Way

Maurilio Amorim has flown into town to teach three sessions at the FBC Jax Conference.

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".


Anonymous said...

Why, he is a handsome chap, with his highlighted hair, glowing white teeth, and that bead neckace. And he is in shape, too, unlike many of the pastors today.

I wonder if he'll twitter about all the fatties coming to his sessions, hoping they don't sit next to him.

Ramesh said...

I have simple questions to all this hyper-church-marketing.

Where is Jesus in all this hyper-church-marketing?

Where is The Holy Spirit in all this hyper-church-marketing?

Where is The Word of God being preached in Love and expositionally, in all this hyper-church-marketing?

Clearly they are marketing fbcjax as they do soap and laundry detergent.

Come Lord Jesus. Soon. Send The Holy Spirit to convict us. Show us to seek Your Face and none other.

Ramesh said...

Off Topic:

Please check the post on Pastor Wade's blog and the comment stream to read all about the cover up and shenanigans being done at SBCToday blog.

Are Southern Baptists Blind or Blindfolded?

There are too many comments for that post. You can start here, as a starting point. Of course you are welcome to read all the comments too.

Anonymous said...

Bully Bylaws

Anonymous said...

What sessions will Maurilio teach? In checking the program I do not see him mention anywhere.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

You're right, total silence on the website as to Maurilio even being there. No picture, no bio.

But in his twitters he is leading THREE sessions. He twittered that he went right after Mike Miller (who IS on the agenda) in one of the premium sessions. I'll monitor Maurilio's twitter on the Blackberry and maybe he'll let us all know where he will be speaking next.

Anonymous said...

How do you who attend FBCJ worship Jesus Christ there? Why do you bother attending? What WD has desbribed and what is going on down there is nothing more than a business. This church is very expensive entertainment. But, it is NOT a church. If people continue to support this "business" called incorrectly a church, then you same people deserve what you pay for and get!!!Remember that old saying "There is a sucker born everyday". I didn't realize how many attend FBCJ.

Anonymous said...

I guess he did have sessions; however why could they not list him on the website or program?

# Enjoyed my session on Marketing today. Full room and great questions from the audience and I didn't even have to give out prizes. about 7 hours ago from twitterrific
# The volunteers at First Baptist Jax rock. A lot of them take off from work several days to serve at the conference. about 9 hours ago from twitterrific
# getting ready for my session on church marketing. I love helping pastors think about evangelism in a different way. about 10 hours ago from TweetDeck

Anonymous said...

I know someone who works at the Omni in a position that sees what rates the rooms are billed at. You would be surprised - in fact, they have literally seen rates as low as less than 1.00 per night - no lie. And its way more frequent than you would ever believe.

So, Mr. Maurilio may not be paying through the nose they way you think he is, he'll just keep the church's jingle for his pockets.

Anonymous said...

Get this cat's ugly mug off my screen. This wanna-be Hollywood greaseball is soo phony. "yeah man, I love church." And Pastor Mac the Fool...These two losers go together like thieves.

Anonymous said...

Maurilio is a very pretty, pretty boy, just lovely -- I'm sure he has many special friends.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Says Maurilio on his tweeter:

"Tim Tebow and Rusty Smith just got a standing ovation at church. Ok, I must admit I've got a man crush on Tebow. "


I'm quite certain Tim Tebow does NOT have a "man crush" on Maurilio.

Anonymous said...

Wonder what Maurilio wants to be when he grows up? Oh well, he's bringing in the money now...that's all that counts, isn't it. Time to grow up later. One suggestion: in this area of exploitation...he can always do toothpaste ads!

Anonymous said...

I have been reading some of Maurilio's twitters. I can hardly believe that this man is helping churches in any way at all. He makes fun of people and is all about himself. What form of godliness is he showing? Would anyone, after having read his twitters, think this man could or would lead them to Christ? How about the overweight man on the airplane? Has Maurilio ever studied obesity? It's not always caused from overeating. And so what if this man was obese from overeating! There are plenty of kind, godly people who are overweight. Did Maurilio think about the overweight man's spiritual condition? Perhaps if Maurilio cared more about a person's soul, than their looks, we might would be celebrating another salvation instead of either feeling sorry for the overweight man or laughing at Maurilio's cheap humor at someone else's expense. So, tell me why Maurilio is at the FBC conference? And why is he twittering during the service. I found my self listening attentively to every word Ravi Z. spoke this morning. God's Word pierces the heart. Did it pierce Maurilio's heart or was he just thinking about his Italian suit, how good he looked today, how humanity was represented in SS today, or where he was going to eat after the service?! I sure hope Dr. Brunson turns his heart toward God in matters of our church. I am truly heartbroken in what is taking place.

Anonymous said...

Timmy Tebow would be EMBARRASSED to hear that Maurilio has a man-crush on him! That is just disgusting and homosexually perverted!

Anonymous said...

If I were TIM Tebow I would be embarrased with how the church worships him like some worship the new president.

Anonymous said...

Not true. The members of FBC are proud of how Tim is using his platform in football to bring the message of Christ to others.

Anonymous said...

Not true. The members of FBC are proud of how Tim is using his platform in football to bring the message of Christ to others.

Anonymous said...

Many self professed Christians today don't worry about whether others around them are saved. Souls hang in the balance while others "twitter" away. Dr. Lindsay used to say "Only what's done for Christ will last." Jesus said in Matt 7:21: "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord,shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." vs.22"Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in they name? and in they name done many wonderful works?" vs.23 "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity".
If anyone participating in or just observing the conference are not saved I pray sincerely that they will examine their hearts. To be so blinded by self importance and works is a pitiful substitute for true salvation.
Many are blinded by "star quality brillance" but only for a season.

Anonymous said...

Someone asked on the previous blog;"Wonder what Dr. Lindsay would think of FBC now"? I can see in my mind, Dr. Lindsay walking to the microphone and with extreme indignation but quiet control, admonishing how Gods house has been turned over to profiteers and money oriented men. His voice would ring out loud and clear "Where are the men that will stand for Jesus". How have you let this happen." And then point toward the door and many would hang their head in shame as they left. Then he would deliver a sermon on Jesus Christ and give an invitation for those to come, and for others to repent.

Anonymous said...

Let's leave Timmy alone. If he were accepting land gifts from adoring members, then plugging their businesses... Or if he were telling us we have to give him money... Or if he were not going to do real ministry to orphans and those in need all over the U.S. and abroad... Fortunately, Tim is the real deal and not part of this new breed of CEO millionaire pastor. Thank God Bob Tebow Evang Assoc does not need Maurilio Amorim.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Mac was right, we should honor those preachers who have gone before.

I wonder why then Maurilio blew off the Dr. Vines sermon tonight and instead headed for the chart house? Too bad, Dr. Vines could have taught Maurilio a thing or two, but Vines being a "fundamentalist" Maurilio probably couldn't have stood to hear Vines.

How was the meal at the Chart House Maurilio? Too bad you couldn't stay to feast on the word preached by Jerry Vines.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Vines did deliver a GREAT sermon tonight! Thank you Dr. Vines!

Anonymous said...

It was great to see Dr. Vines tonight. However, it was also very sad. I felt as though I were matching a man with infinite wisdom that is anchored in life experience, and the word of God who was trying to caution a new generation of preachers and that it was all falling on deaf ears. Dr. Vines unfortunately is among a dying breed who have a now profound belief that JESUS attracts people to a church, and not some marketing guru, or purpose driven book. I'm glad Mac decided to put this young man from Raleigh up before Vines because it provided quite the contrast of how far we've fallen as a convention. It's a shame these young preachers will not listen to the wisdom of Vines, and we will be worse off as a denomination because of it.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Maurilio twittered today:

"lunch with Ravi Zacharias and then long meeting with Mac Brunson and friends about kindgdom strategy. Now preparing for session tomorrow. "

Yep, Mac takes counsel from, and consults with MAURILIO AMORIM, on "kingdom strategy". Please, please, someone explain to me what in the world Maurilio has to teach Mac Brunson, or any seminary trained pastor about "Kingdom Strategy"? I mean really.

What was very telling, is that here is Maurilio, making a small fortune from FBC Jax as the ace marketing consultant for Mac...and Maurilio was (presumably) flown down here at the expense of FBC Jax...AND MAURILIO HAD A CHANCE TO HEAR JERRY VINES PREACH TONIGHT, BUT INSTEAD OPTED FOR A DINNER AT THE CHART HOUSE.

If that doesn't speak volumes of what Maurilio is about. Just out of courtesy to his client Mac, and to the people of FBC Jax, humble yourself oh mighty Maurilio and listen to the guy who was pastor for 23 years at the church that is one of your prime clients. Sit down front with a bible in your lap, and hear what the old man has to say. Or are you just too darn cool to listen to Vines? Afraid he might step on your toes? Or is it that Vines is too much of a fundamentalist for you, and you can't stand to hear fundamentalist preaching?

I sure hope your parmesan crusted snapper at the Chart House was worth blowing off your chance to hear one of the greatest southern baptist preachers of our generation, Maurilio.

And who is going to be paying for Maurilio's parmesan crusted snapper and his two dinners Sunday night...the good people of FBC Jax, of course.

Oh, people of FBC Jax. Please, please, come to your senses and put a stop to this madness. I'm trying to envision Maurilio telling Homer Lindsay about "kingdom strategy"....for some reason, that I just don't see how that would work....

Anonymous said...

John 3:16: Jesus said:"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

That is Kingdom strategy!!!!

Kyle B Gulledge said...

I used to love coming to the PC, it was a regular on my yearly calendar. I haven't attended the last two after attending everyone from 1998 on.

I am quite glad that I'm not there this week, it just is so sad. I believe that I would feel so out of place.

There was a time when the leaders of FBCJAX gave us the kingdom strategy of your church it was lift up Jesus!! That was it, and it worked and continues to work where tried

I'm praying for you in JAX!

Let me recommend that you get Dr. Mohler's newest book "He Still Speaks" Preaching in a postmodern culture. IT is great and strikes tothe heart of the PD movement.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Maurillo eats Parmesan crusted fish for dinner and at my church today we had bar-b-q and an auction for our youth group. Our little church raise over $1300 from less than 90 people to help the Youth group and their walk with christ.

Anonymous said...

The kingdom of God is within you. The cause...the Holy Spirit...that is the strategy...no marketing...no sales promotion..just the filling of the Holy Spirit.

Anonymous said...

Shame on all of you who put down Christian Men of God. One day you will stand before God and answer for all you have done. You may cause an unsaved person to not hear the word and have life eternal and for that the Lord will have the final say on your life. You can try and put down our men of God if you want to but in the end Satan and his followers will be cast into the lake of fire so go ahead and try to distroy Mac Brunson and all the other Pastors but you will never be able too. If you were truley saved you would have recieved a blessing from the messages that were preached instead I can see your heart is hardened and I will pray for you that God will turn your life around.

Anonymous said...

It is people like this man, Maurilio, who make fun of the heavy set, live the rich life, sit out in the st. johns townscenter with the people with their full bags, who have made people like me feel completely unwelcome in the church today. Who ARE these people and how did they get "in control" of the "marketing" (a word i DESPISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), of the church? What is the church? What did the Bible have to say about the poor? About the despised? Who do you think someone like this guy is going to market TO? Not the poor and despised. What are his life values....who do you think First Baptist of Jacksonville is going to try to attract with this guy in charge of their commercials? THE RICH AND THE SNOOTY, THATS WHO. People like this guy are the bane of my existence, and have been for YEARS. Marketing...the next thing you know they'll be trotting out the subliminal graphics and plastering them all over posters and stuff. All in the name of "evangelism" of course, nothing wrong with a little misleading advertising as long as you bring the people in. Just NAUSEATING to me. Make sure you include those key words you know like...well....

And PLEASE don't include the great tim tebow in this conversation...you probably couldn't be talking about two more different individuals....thats my "perception" anyways.

Its all in the perception isn't it.

Anonymous said...

Im sorry but i've just been reading Maurilio's blog....what the sam hill is a SPIN CLASS??????????? I can't help it but is it where you put a ballet thing on and spin around...you know....one of them tutus????
Ok, you bring this on yourself when you talk about a spin class....

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

"Spinning" is a type of indoor stationary bike routine. Not ballet.

What I love are his twitters about "yoga".

If we could only get Maurilio to turn Mac and our staff onto yoga class...would love to get a picture of Mac doing yoga.

Anonymous said...

MAC WROTE THE 11:16(02/09)POST

Anonymous said...

Give me a break. You mean to tell me that all the fuss is over a smart man that sold something and FBC bought it. Maybe Maurilio gave the church a wake up call guys. It is not about what seat you sit in or the polyester suit and tie you are wearing to outdo your "brother." It is reaching the hurting out in the world and community and showing Jesus with your hands and not with your mouths. This a bunch of crap on here and you guys need to spend your energy "showing"people about Jesus and not tearing apart the church or its imperfect people. Who are you to judge, oh yeah the same one that outdoes his "brother." Watchdog and your followers - think about this - what would Jesus do or is it that you don't give a damb? Wake up guys - use your energy in extending your hand to help someone. get it?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1/10 10:28 PM: You made my point. See following: It is the Elite Business type preachers that have taken over many churches today. It is interesting that you require more of the lay person in the church than you do the "suits" (your word), that are supposed to be the preacher/leaders. If I were a "betting man", I would say maybe this failure in the "brotherhood of the pulpit", is why 50% of the church is leaving and why many churches in general, are failing. Could it be that the pastors are failing Jesus and the people?

And how do you KNOW that Watchdog and "readers" don't extend hands (your words), to help others? After all it appears that it is the people (congregations) that are giving the money, time and effort in the community. The preachers and marketing groups better known as "suits" are the ones GETTING PAID.

As to what Jesus would do. We must be respectful. After all HE is the Holy God, our Savior and not a mere earthly person. But I think he might "fire" the "suits".