Planetshakers Insider

Musings on Life, the Christian Journey and being a part of Planetshakers City Church

Planetshakers Difficult Choice: How To Respond on Sunday?

with 18 comments

This Sunday will be a big day at Planetshakers City Church, which is meeting at Melbourne Town Hall.

Guest speaker, Ps Glen Berteau, has been invited to speak at Planetshakers City Church. So Planetshakers will need to be sensitive about giving their invited guest a chance to speak.

But this is poor timing for Planetshakers.

At a time when they need to deal with the fall-out caused by Michael Guglielmucci’s fraudulent cancer claims, effort, time and care needs to put into dealing with the anger, resentment, disappointment that has been caused by the revelation of Michael Guglielmucci’s lie.

Particularly as most Planetshakers members will have had a close emotional experience with Michael – through his music, through his influence as Youth Pastor, through his altar calls where many young Planetshakers made their first decisions for Christ, and through prayer for Michael Guglielmucci’s healing.

So how much time will Planetshakers leadership dedicate to pastorally caring for their flock in the wake of Mike Guglielmucci’s lie, and how much of the stage will go to a man who by most accounts is an outsider to the church’s daily activities, Glen Berteau, as a result of their commitment to their guest remains to be seen.

Surely any sermon on healing should come from Planetshakers leadership itself, rather than a man who, while being involved with the church, is not within Planetshakers leadership.

I read in the news:

“…A statement about the preacher, who is the son of the founder of the Edge Church at Reynella in Adelaide, will be read at churches on Sunday.”

This would be an appropriate response to churches that had known of Mike…

…but for his home church, this would be a disappointing and underwhelming response if Planetshakers ignored people’s hurt and coldly kept to a prepared written statement.

With team of three pastoral carers, serving a church that boasts membership in the mid single digit thousands, and small groups run by leaders whose core skills and training are not around pastoral care, pastoral care at the best of times is not Planetshakers strong suit.

Given current difficulties, it will be interesting to see how the shepherds tend to a flock of disappointed, angry and philosophical people who are all searching for answers in a time of difficult faith.

I’m sure they’ll do more than simply reading a statement; but will they choose to ask their guest to step down so that they can more personally and effectively deal with the hurt and anguish their flock is facing themselves?

Written by Planetshakers Insider

August 23, 2008 at 9:15 am

18 Responses

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  1. I hate that church. There’s so many things about it that just seem wrong and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the rest of the church leadership were in on his lie. That song would have made big $$$.

    On Sunday, I hope they apologize to the 1000’s of people they’ve deceived over the years, give all there dirty money to charity, and move to Afghanistan.

    That guy

    August 23, 2008 at 10:13 am

  2. Hi “That Guy”:

    It sounds like your feelings on the church run pretty deep.

    I’m disappointed that anyone would feel as strongly (in a negative sense) about anything as you do (it’s sad to see someone saying they “hate” anything) – perhaps you could share more about why you have these feelings about Planetshakers?

    Planetshakers Insider

    August 23, 2008 at 10:17 am

  3. This whole thing is a pretty big mess. My heart goes out to all those affected, especially Micheal himself. It would be far easier to point the finger of blame and say “what did you expect, he’s one of those high profile christians”… but it saddens me to think of how lost a man must be to do such a thing. I also think that we should be shocked! We should not come to expect such a thing of anyone, regardless of their status. We all lie and decieve others. No christian wants to dissapoint God and so I pray that through all this he will never forget of God’s unfailing love for him.


    August 23, 2008 at 11:03 am

  4. hey ‘that guy’

    if your a christian, you shouldn’t hate any church. all churches have there faults, and your no person to judge it! your no better then them!
    were all one in the body of christ.

    im saddened by what happened to mike… i cant understand why someone would do such a crazy thing! ill be interested to hear his statement.


    August 23, 2008 at 11:27 am

  5. I am really interested to see how the church responds to what mike has done. There is a lot of hurt among the youth church at the moment and a lot of confusion.

    I certainly hope that this issue isn’t just swept under the rug and just a statement read. It going to take a lot of humility, trust building and restoration for this downfall to be turned around for the good.

    Geoff Bullock also comes to mind when i think of this situation with mike and how Hillsong dealt with him and what he is doing now.

    I really feel for mike and i believe he can be restored.

    in a blog i wrote earlier today, I mentioned that it is possible God is revealing sin in the church and if this is the case the way this situation is dealt with is very important.


    August 23, 2008 at 12:11 pm

  6. Nicocrampton:

    Fantastic points.

    I completely agree with your statement “I certainly hope that this issue isn’t just swept under the rug and just a statement read. It going to take a lot of humility, trust building and restoration for this downfall to be turned around for the good.”

    I also agree with your point about Geoff Bullock – however, I would say that after a fall from grace, no “super-hero” preacher ever is returned to their former glory unscathed. I don’t think Mike can be fully restored, but I think he can go a long way.


    Wise points. I don’t think high profile Christians are ever sin-free.


    I agree that “That Guy’s” comments are a bit off-colour. However, I’d hope he returns to give us an insight into why he said what he said. It’s better to understand than to be understood.

    Planetshakers Insider

    August 23, 2008 at 12:50 pm

  7. It would be in order to have something read, in an “official” sense, but once it’s read I would appreciate a good uplifting Word that didn’t try to address the issue directly. Give the people a good Word!


    August 23, 2008 at 3:53 pm

  8. It would be “in order” to have something read in an official sense… But it is very legalistic, and wouldn’t deal with the emotional issues.

    If this happened, I’d feel very let down myself.

    Planetshakers Insider

    August 23, 2008 at 4:20 pm

  9. It might not deal with emotion issues right then and there, but it’s a start. What if the Pastor/Leadership totally dive-in to the issue real deeply and alot of members aren’t satisfied with what’s said? Healing is a process. Yes, you all deserve answers, but will it help everyone cope, or will it enrage members further wanting even more information from the pulpit? See what I mean?


    August 24, 2008 at 9:53 am

  10. I don’t think more information will necessarily help. In fact, it’s probably not the best thing as Mike Guggs needs time to heal, and needs to be away from everyone’s scrutiny.

    I agree that it would be best to receive an uplifting word, but it should address the issue directly. If it were me, it would be an uplifting word that was open-ended enough to invite people to seek leaders within the church for healing.

    Planetshakers Insider

    August 24, 2008 at 2:47 pm

  11. Hi planetshakers insider.

    I attended planetshakers briefly, for maybe 2 or 3 months back in 2006. It was the first non catholic church I attended and I thought it was really great. The only reason I stopped going was to travel overseas.

    After I left I had a lot of time to think clearly about what happend while I was there. The thing that stuck in my mind the most was how much the church leadership focused on money. (there is other stuff to but i wont get into that now)

    Each time I went there it was the same. The pastors would preach for 10 minutes about how they were abundantly blessed because they tithed before paying their credit card bill (from memory thats a real example) or because they gave everything they had to God, right before the offerings would take place.

    If you believe in these people and believe they are of God, then you feel obliged to “give till it hurts” (I’m pretty sure they used that one to?) This is very cunning and evil manipulation. They are making huge amounts of money from people they are supposed to be leading to God. Its disgusting.

    2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

    By the way, i’m no longer a Chirstian.

    That guy

    August 24, 2008 at 5:37 pm

  12. hi everyone,

    It is certainly a very sad time, to see the hurt and reproach. However, it is also an opportunity to respond in a manner the world has rarely seen. It’s about family and grace. When David wanted to kill Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba, he sent him to the front lines of battle with instructions given to Joab to withdraw from him. It is wrong for us to shoot the wounded. We must be committed to the healing and restoration of Mike as a person, along with his wife and family. That must be our primary concern. Of course the thousands who have been influenced must receive appropriate treatise also.

    I believe it is important to not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Many people were positively influenced, saved etc through Mike’s ministry. Despite his faults, God still used Mike to reach people.

    The tragedy I am about to relate is relevant, and how it is being handled will likely help most who follow it through process the Guglielmucci situation.

    Many of you may be aware of a another recent tragedy of perhaps even more significance, regarding Todd Bentley and the Lakeland Outpouring in Florida.
    Beginning in April this year, Todd had been used mightily by God in an incredible and remarkable move of God, which was broadcast for over 100 days by GodTV into over 200 nations. Thousands were saved and healed, genuinely and completely. Some of the most remarkable miracles I have come across have occurred through this revival. Many were blessed, and because of the impact God had on their lives through this ministry, went on to bless others and cause others to be saved and healed. However, there were significant mistakes made during this time. Unresolved issues in Todd’s marriage surfaced, and a major meltdown took place, resulting in divorce proceedings.

    Todd Bentley is in relationship with a group of apostolic leaders and fathers, who are working through Todd’s failures with him, and who are committed to his healing and restoration. Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, California, last week shared a powerful message regarding how the situation is being handled. I want to encourage anybody to listen to the message entitled “The Battle for Grace, Part 2”:–/free_message.html

    In Christ our King,


    August 24, 2008 at 11:05 pm

  13. hey everyone,
    just felt i needed say this: offering talks are used by big Churches to humbly ask their members to give to the ongoings and ministry of their Church. Churches are buildings, and have bills and staff etc to pay. Most members feel happy to give because they love their Church, and know their money is going to a place that is going to be used for the benefit and gain of God’s Kingdom, not to the individual gain of the leaders.
    Remember that each person’s experience is different of God’s blessings – God does not need your money, He wants your heart, first and foremostly. Maybe your offering is time – so volunteering to be an usher at Church or volunteering at a local soup kitchen. No one can be put in the same box. You shouldn’t feel obliged at all to give till it hurts to mere mortals. God gave everything up for me – His only Son, so in return, i WANT to give back to Him. Maybe this is in the form of giving money to Church that has the resources to do things that as an individual i can’t.
    Think about it – it’s easy to give money (if you have a job etc, and are living as the average 1st world person)
    I don’t believe all offering talks are spot on, and some are not all that appropriate either, but maybe you need to come to a place where they don’t bother you any more – i know i did and now i can determine for myself whether i want to give in certain places or not.
    Being a Christian is about having a personal relationship with Jesus and all i know is that i’m at my happiest and most content when i am in His presence.
    all the best in the journey


    August 25, 2008 at 12:35 am

  14. Hi there,

    I attend Planetshakers City Church, just to be clear.

    Just a clarification to the article
    “…but for his home church, this would be a disappointing and underwhelming response if Planetshakers ignored people’s hurt and coldly kept to a prepared written statement.”
    To clarify, Planetshakers has not been Mike’s home church for 18 months. However, I can assure you that when our Senior Pastor spoke to us today (or yesterday, technically), he did not just read a prepared statement, but talked to us, guided us, and was a shepherd to us. He encouraged us to talk to our leaders about it, or the pastoral care team, and clarified the situation as best he could, with the information that is currently known. He finished by asking us to pray, then and there, for the Guglielmucci family. In terms of giving enough time for Glen Berteau, they gave him all the time that a preacher usually recieves at our church.

    To “That Guy”,
    It saddens me that you only took away bad things, but I agree that when they started, there was a bit of a money culture. Which, for any new church, is unfortunately not uncommon. However, I always remember that they consistently mentioned that we are under no obligation to give. Yet some people need the encouragement to step out in faith and give to God, and if the church doesn’t provide that, will these people ever trust in Him and give? Food for thought. As for now, 2 years later, I can mention that this has changed. Yes, they still take up an offerring every service. And we still hear that type of storiy every now and then, but they are not as common. And, when Ps Russell does offerring talks, he basically says the same thing: Give out of love of God, not because we ask you to, you are under no obligation to give. They are in a completely different position than they were. Just clarification.


    August 25, 2008 at 2:07 am

  15. i think that he should be complimented for his bravery to come out from his lies and reveal the truth. he probably regrets it anyway. it definitely bugged me, this situation but i’ve learnt a lesson from his mistake and i think that people should give him a chance. everything happens for a reason and God doesn’t put people in situations they can’t handle, so we as sinners should not judge another sinner just cuz his sin is more publicized than ours. All i’m saying is that it’s definitely time for us as Christians to practice what we have been taught, to love, to forgive, to care, to be child-like.
    i’m ranting.. sorry. =)

    Nicole Kow

    August 27, 2008 at 1:28 am

  16. Hey,

    I dont normally go to Planetshakers but I did on the weekend becasue I wanted to hear Glen Berteau and i have a few friends that go there.

    From an outsiders point of view Russel and Sam did a great job talking about it. They were obviously hurting about the whole situation. The thing that impressed me the most was the emphasis they had on people talking the stuff through with their pastoral team, leaders etc and they also emphasised time and time again that if they needed to talk or a pray to come down the front after the meeting or to seek out someone during the week.

    I dont think there are many Australians that understand the porn scene and how it so easily entangles. One good book to read is “Dirty little secret” by the guys at It is a sin that is so steeped in guilt and condemnation, most of the time the person caught in it wants to get out but cant no matter how hard they try. I really pray that Mike will get out of it and have a strong testimony that will teach others how to get out of it too. Its a bigger problem than we think.But Gods grace is bigger.


    August 27, 2008 at 2:00 pm

  17. James,
    Thanks for that posting of Porn is a sin that is so taboo when your saved you automatically are free’d from porn. But like all sin it’s something we must overcome.

    – Gab

    Gabriel Wong

    April 17, 2009 at 1:20 am

  18. I went to Calvary Temple Worship Center for almost 13 years. I’m well known there, even though I have only been there a few times in the last 5 years. Since then, I have gone to other churches. I am at a church that says nothing about tithes. It is a small church. They are now letting our young adult minister go because the funds are not there. This church is very open about their financing. It hurts me. That guy, it is necessary for a church to mention money. I’m sorry that you feel that it shouldn’t be brought up, but I can tell you first hand, going from a mega church, to a small church; one that taught tithing, and one that didn’t. I still tithe, it is important to me, but I know first hand what ignoring the topic of money can cause.

    David Turner

    July 22, 2009 at 4:51 am

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