Planetshakers Insider

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

Is Planetshakers Leadership Responsible for Mike Guglielmucci?

with 20 comments

I read a fantastic comment that I wanted to share with you…

No “What if”……. Mike was certainly not untouchable…. As the Shakers and the Hills have run a mile from this boy! All have claimed that he left their congregation “ages” ago. It really is quite sad. No guilt by “dis-association” is there? See…. the loyalty is there ONLY when it suits. I thank God there are churches that rebuild those in the “u2″ church that do fall. How else is restoration put into place?

Not by severing the relationship! Yes… stand him down…. take away his platform… maybe for life…. but don’t stone him to death. I say again…. these leaders raised him up…. so where is there accountability in this? Where was all this all knowing insight?

The most wonderful thing….. his Dad is standing by his side and holding him accountable. And isn’t that what our Heavenly Father does for all of us?

If I ever saw a real world example of this, it has been on the weekend. I applaud his fathers courage and integrity. Sadly… any one can be duped by sin. Isn’t Satan referred to as the great deceiver? And his family are only human.

Again…. pray for Mike. I believe that he is broken before God and wants repentance and not from being caught out by others. You are right… there is no difference in struggles between all of us.

Sadly… the difference always is …..in regards to leaders … is the height of the fall…..

The most obvious part of Planetshakers’ service on Sunday was Planetshakers City Church’s Senior Pastor, Russell Evans, struggling to work out how to respond amongst his own feelings of hurt and disappointment.

The second most obvious part was Pastor Russell Evans repeating multiple times:

“None of us knew about this”

Planetshakers raised Mike Guglielmucci up.

Through his music alongside the Planetshakers Band, and through his ministry at Planetshakers and Planetshakers Conferences, Mike Guglielmucci achieved his status.

Mike Guglielmucci was under Planetshakers’ covering throughout most of his “miraculous” (now questionable or false) healings, and in the beginning months of his fraud.

So does Planetshakers bare any responsibility for his actions?

Is Planetshakers accountable for the actions of the leaders they raise up?

I thought Planetshakers responded reasonably well on Sunday – but I disappointed about what seemed like an “It’s not my fault”, “I didn’t know”, “He left here long ago” attitude.

No Russell – you DIDN’T know. And you DIDN’T perpetrate the lie… I don’t think anyone accuses you of this…

But you SHOULD have known.

He was accountable to you. You raised him up as a leader. You held him up as a mighty man of God. And his cancer deception started in YOUR CHURCH.

Surely Planetshakers needs to take some responsibility instead of dodging blame, and hiding Mike Guglielmucci’s association with the church.

This is a time when we need brave and strong leaders.

It’s not good enough to forgive, heal and move forward. We need to equip ourselves so this doesn’t happen again.

20 Responses

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  1. So here’s the real problem…

    In a pentecostal movement, where the gifts of the spirit are manifest – including discernment, prophetic insight, words of knowledge etc… how can they not have known?

    Foget Michael for a moment, this episode shows that the AOG/ACC leadership and the Planetshakers leadership and not capable or competent or spiritually gifted to lead a pentecostal work.

    This is the real issue here.

    Sure – people sin all the time.
    Some of them are superstars.

    But how come our leaders can’t do their jobs?

    insideout

    August 26, 2008 at 3:59 am

  2. I think you’d like a blog I did that is very similar to this one. It contrasts good leadership in the midst of mistakes with not-so-go leadership in the midst of mistakes.

    http://pillarsarejustcrutches.wordpress.com/2008/08/23/the-age-of-accountability/

    xnowimcoolx

    August 26, 2008 at 7:08 am

  3. I agree with you entirely; and I feel the way Pastor Russell and Shakers leadership responds from now, will impact the healing process of our congregation, particularly those who see the links between leadership and the raising up of MG.

    MG needs our prayers and the support of the church, he is a broken man; but Planetshakers needs to examine what their role was in all of this.
    In all addictions, there are underpinning causes and contributions, environmental, psychological and interpersonal, just to name a few.

    There were great expectations put on him by everyone, and it is almost like this was a beast created with no where to go.

    We all have sin, and it would be great to be able to go to our leaders for guidance and support during our walk with God; but when MG could not himself, then there needs to be a great examination of the system by which our church operates.

    Mice

    August 26, 2008 at 11:38 am

  4. I’m nt so sure about the responsibility of the church in this kind of thing.

    I work within a similar style church to Planetshakers – though I will disclaimer and say I have never worked within the PLanetshakers church structure myself, we have a similar modus operandi.

    I know that personally here, there is ample opportunity for individuals at all levels of church leadership to have help for anything they are struggling with. This can be offered through prayer, counselling, or other more ‘professional’ help like life coaching (all of which I have taken part in myself before). Most leaders also have mentors that they meet with on a regular basis and have good relationships within the church where they can bring issues they struggle with to the plate. It seems obvious and necessary to me that churches have these structures set up, and I believe that PLanetshakers do this as well. It is also clear to me, in talking with key members of PS, that there is push for perfection, and no shame in admitting struggles, both on and off the platform.

    However, it is also clear that the only person who can bring our sin to the plate is, in fact, us. Prayer, mentoring, and counselling don’t work on someone who is afraid to admit to what they struggle with, or who feel the need to appear perfect. I am certainly guilty myself of hiding sin and struggles from those who would seek to help me because of shame, and that is certainly not the fault of those in leadership over me. Someone may even confront or directly ask me about issues I am facing, but if I don’t admit to it, what options are open to them?

    PS needs to create structure in which people are able to get help for thier struggles. But if this is done and a pastor or leader does not use this structure and instead suffers the effects of hiding sin, is the church still to blame?

    Carly

    August 26, 2008 at 11:53 am

  5. I too was shocked when I first heard about this, however, I can understand what went wrong a little more now that I’ve read his own words (rather than what has been put forward in the media and on the net in various angry blogs).

    This one thing I have to say – we are all sinners in need of the grace and power of God whether we told the occasional white lie or we lied to the world, whether we have a secret problem with lust or we have pushed God away in our day to day lives. Jesus died for us all.

    In Jesus’ words from a couple of thousand years ago, when a woman who was caught in adultery was dragged into the public arena for judgment, “He who is without sin may cast the first stone.”

    He was a brave man to come forward and make things right.

    God bless you Mike in your recovery!

    Michelle

    August 26, 2008 at 12:44 pm

  6. whoever raised the issue of anonymity being a cop out misses the part where anonymity equals objectivity from a reader point of view.

    as soon as you know the person posting it you have wasy of discrediting it as subjective and contextal. when you have no idea you are forced to deal with the details of the text itself and that’s what this stuff is all about. dealing with ideas and thoughts.

    good work shakersinsider although i think you’re more hopeful than i am about your church.

    assembliesofwhat

    August 26, 2008 at 1:10 pm

  7. I partly agrees with both of you but really, personally i dare not make such a great comment until I actually ask and understood personally from the leaders themselves why such a comment was made. One thing i’ve learned and forever grateful for the lesson is to stand up and stand with our leaders and family during the tough time. Aren’t we all family? Such comments will only hinders our faith and faith of others who is reading it. Please don’t get me wrong! I’m not hostile or anything but just sharing from a heart and peace! I love you deeply whoever you are. Lets bring our doubts to people who can help us understand more ok. : ) God Bless!

    Time Over

    August 26, 2008 at 2:18 pm

  8. Every issue brought but here are so complex, yet so important.

    I feel that these church leaders should have more accountability to eachtoher. Through mentors and other people guiding them in decision makings- but of course that is never going to be fool proof. For all I know Mike had this support but it wasn’t enough. I don’t know enough about mike’s situation within the church to say.

    Ideally things like this would never happen, ideally making sure people are surrounded by loving christian people would stop this happening, Ideally having the opportunity to share thoughts and feelings with people who are respected by you would ensure this situation never came about… The problem is it isn’t an ideal world, things go unsaid, things go unseen. I can’t offer any answers here, I can only reflect that there is no right way to run a church, there is no fool proof plan to make it run smoothly.

    I guess the good comes with the bad, so much good can come out of this church, and so much good does come out of it. But there is always the other element that is not perfect and not easy and not good. From these things we can also see good things happen.. they might just be harder to find.

    This blog for example, people are talking, people are expressing themselves and their concerns for the church and for people. That in itself is very healthy and positive. I am not saying that the end justifies the means, but there is a light to be found in every darkness, we just have to seek it.

    IB

    August 26, 2008 at 4:52 pm

  9. theres one Judge and he is in control of this situation. So stop gossiping and trying to judge based upon your own human reasoning.

    dont judge

    August 26, 2008 at 6:25 pm

  10. I agree with dont judge. It is easy to point the finger when someone is a high up leader and question why didn’t people pick up on it.

    What would Jesus do?

    Lets pray for this situation that God will somehow be glorified at the end of it and that we can learn, move forward, be stronger and show grace.

    It’s important that we pray for Mike and his family at this time.

    dont judge

    August 26, 2008 at 9:56 pm

  11. who are you you’re amazing!

    assembliesofwhat

    August 26, 2008 at 11:14 pm

  12. Have been really mulling over this and here’s the thought I have right now: I think Mike Guglielmucci needs to be given space to come to a place of true repentance. It’s a rotten business that being a preacher’s kid who is under much pressure to live up to his father’s reputation and the church’s reputation. It is incredibly tragic he’s had to deal with the shame and pain of porn addiction for 16 years, alone.

    I hope his dad, Danny, doesn’t apply the screws on him to confess and repent straightaway. It doesn’t work. True repentance that leads to salvation is the work of the Holy Spirit and cannot be rushed or manufactured. Danny will never be set free of his addiction unless his heart comes to a place of grieving for his own sin and he knows he needs Jesus to cleanse him and set him free.

    This all takes time. Lots of time.

    Mike needs to be with people who can help him think through this, not psychiatrists who will label him ‘unstable’ and then try to ‘cure’ him with prescription drugs. He’s already struggling with porn, he doesn’t need to get hooked on Prozac. We cannot dope him into repentance.

    Planetshakers need to acknowledge he is part of their fellowship and come help him. They must not cast him aside like a leper and try to protect their own reputation by erasing him from their records. Only if a reasonable length of time has passed and Mike does not respond to loving discipline, then only should they remove him from fellowship.

    Mike, I forgive you in Jesus’ name. You need to repent and make restitution, mate.

    ez

    August 27, 2008 at 12:40 am

  13. I think that there’s a different thing taking place here than judgement. Judgement would run along the lines of ‘Mike Gug is a sinner and should go to hell for what he’s done’. I haven’t seen that anywhere here. Instead I’ve seen people using this situation as a vehicle to discuss and tease out the aspects of church leadership we all need to think about, and use this situation to examine where we as a church (not a collection of separate churches) can improve, and where personal responsibility lies.

    *Correction to my last post – I meant to say that PS does not push for perfection but rather excellence, which is to honour God by stewarding your gift to the best of your ability in Christ.

    Carly

    August 27, 2008 at 5:17 am

  14. and who made you God? I’m sick of ppl thinking they have all the answers and know the truth and who gave you the authority to hold them all accountable and bring them to judgement?

    why does everyone have such a high and mighty high horse to jump on so quickly?

    at least russell evans and pastors there are doing their absolute best to help people find God and live a Godly life. what have you done? sat around and criticised everyone who is trying?

    it’s none of your damn business.

    anonymous

    August 27, 2008 at 12:13 pm

  15. It’s all so convenient for the churches, isn’t it? To immediately wash their hands off any responsibility.

    I was there at the 3.15 p.m. Sunday service, a tear or two trickling down my face as I personally saw Pastor Russell break down in front of his congregation. I could really feel his hurt and disappointment, but it all stopped as soon as he said , ” I want to point out that as opposed to a lot of speculations, Mike left this church a long time ago… yada yada yada”…

    I like Pastor Russell, I really do. He has a lot of compassion and is a good man. But to preach forgiveness and to say that our focus should be on God and Jesus and THEN to deny accountability for any wrongdoing on Mike’s behalf is extremely hypocritical. If what he says is true (that we should focus on God, Jesus and the bigger issue) instead of blaming Mike, then why not be brave for the church, stand up and admit it… instead of running away from the limelight. Pulling this type of stunt is not going to make believers and non-believers alike have more trust in the modern church. Of course, it is a typical defense mechanism… but as Christians, we are not supposed to be ‘typical’ are we?

    That aside, I join in the calls for more transparency, accountability and open-mindedness. Everyone from the top leaders in the congregation down to our Urban Life (cell group) leaders must be duly held accountable. In addition, we shouldn’t aim to cover things up by ‘not speaking about it’. Speak about it, it creates less room for naivety and in the long run, it will strengthen our faith in God.

    another planetshakers insider

    August 27, 2008 at 3:07 pm

  16. Been thinking about this a lot myself this week how could someone, at PS, or on the state or national exec not have known, but you know what a few things come to mind. 1 when you love and have a relationship with someone you trust them, 2 if someone wants to hide something their not going to fess up even when confronted (and who’s to say someone hasn’t done a nathan the prophet over the last 2 years….), 3 discernment is a gift from God right so its his business when he lets someone know something is up, though we all think it shouldn’t have got this far and of course I wish no one had to get hurt this way, but maybe it’s just God’s perfect timing that’s made it take this long to come out, did you know it took Nathan a whole year to confront David about Bathsheba? That said it never hurts to question the system and make sure we can’t do a better job. For an excellent article on why Christian leaders fall check out: http://www.crossrhythms.co.uk/articles/life/Why_Do_Christian_Ministers_Fail/33139/p1/

    Claudia

    August 27, 2008 at 4:50 pm

  17. Hey there,

    Replying to Planetshakers Insider and another planetshakers Insider

    Planetshakers Insider:
    “thought Planetshakers responded reasonably well on Sunday – but I disappointed about what seemed like an “It’s not my fault”, “I didn’t know”, “He left here long ago” attitude.

    No Russell – you DIDN’T know. And you DIDN’T perpetrate the lie… I don’t think anyone accuses you of this…

    But you SHOULD have known.

    He was accountable to you. You raised him up as a leader. You held him up as a mighty man of God. And his cancer deception started in YOUR CHURCH.

    Surely Planetshakers needs to take some responsibility instead of dodging blame, and hiding Mike Guglielmucci’s association with the church. ”

    Another Planetshakers Insider:
    “But to preach forgiveness and to say that our focus should be on God and Jesus and THEN to deny accountability for any wrongdoing on Mike’s behalf is extremely hypocritical. If what he says is true (that we should focus on God, Jesus and the bigger issue) instead of blaming Mike, then why not be brave for the church, stand up and admit it… instead of running away from the limelight”

    My opinion:
    In my opinion, the truth is NOBODY knows, even the closest person to mike, his wife, Amanda which is a woman of God didn’t know and how do you expect Ps Russell or the church to know????

    I dont understand why some say that the church dodged responsibility,deny accountability and should be brave to admit coz what responsibility does the church need to take and what do they need to admit? No one knew about the lie, hence nobody is responsible for this lie, everyone is a victim. Yes he should be accountable to the leadership team before he left, but you can’t force accountability, however you enforce accountability, if someone just doesnt want to tell then you cant know, it is mike that abuses the trust.

    Also why do you say the church is hiding its association with Mike? It maybe sounded cold hearted when Ps Russell emphasize the Mike hasnt been involve in Planetshakers forawhile but thats the truth and i think the reason why Ps Russell emphasize that is because the media thought Mike was youth pastor all along and he needs to clarify that fact because it will somehow affect the church’s reputation and as the senior pastor of the church, Ps Russell has to protect the church’s reputation and the wellbeing of the members of the church of course not by twisting the truth but by telling the truth to everybody and not covering any faults of mike. I’m sure Ps Russell personally cares alot for Mike and the Guglielmucci family.

    Well in summary, the truth is all of us are victim and no one is responsible for this lie. People can blame the church and blame the system but the truth is everyone is deceived including his wife and nobody wants this to happen. Mike had his own internal struggles but he needs to open up no matter how good the accountability system is. Everyone is sad and no one wants this to happen, i heard Ps Russell cried everytime he told people about Mike Gug, im sure he is really sad but he still needs to protect the church and not letting the devil do anymore damage to the church. I truly love Mike and sad for him but every action has its consequence and lets look at this issue with a bigger perspective. Let’s pray for Mike, the church and uphold each other at this time of crisis but not criticizing each other.

    Bless ya!

    JC

    August 28, 2008 at 1:25 am

  18. I don’t think we need to be “protecting” God’s reputation. He can protect His own reputation (most of the old testament prophecies were about doing just that). Israel had some catastrophic falls, which God always judged; yet He always brought them back to repentance and restored them. God is bigger than all our sin, shame, and lies. He is bigger than any church scandal. His grace is sufficient.

    rhymerchick

    August 28, 2008 at 2:40 am

  19. Hey Insider,

    Seems I provoked something in the subject creation of this thread……

    Lets expand on this further……. And this is just my OPINION and because it is just that, it really can’t be wrong. Anyone can disagree and that is more than welcome.

    Is leadership of planet shakers to be held responsible?

    They can’t be responsible for Mike’s choices. But they need to take SOME responsibility for his failure. Leadership at this church has had relationship with Mike since he was a kid! Do you realize that Mike’s father, Danny, was Russel’s Youth Pastor?

    So would we see Danny dis associate himself from Russel if he had any form of failure?

    Hardly.

    I believe that he would stand by him and work to restore him. This is a man of integrity. A leader. A mentor and a man of God. And no I am not saying ole’ Russ will have a failure of anything like this. We can all bring to the surface our “opinions” about his performances to date. Make your own mind up about the behavior that you see. Don’t worry about what he might be doing. Pray and worry about what he is doing!

    BUT

    How difficult is it too stand up and say “I had responsibility of Mike… his failure is therefore partly my fault”…. “Lord… teach me more discernment… more of your insite into the heart of man”! I’d be incredibly … well….. impressed. Surely the communities respect would hit a J curve up!? Sadly…. that is not an option!

    Lets put it another way…. when children muck up…. who’s responsibility is it? Their own? Come on! When a young apprentice blows up an expensive piece of equipment …. unsupervised….. is it totally their fault? No way! Where was the jack-ass Supervisor, Leader……. dare I say Pastor? Where is the responsibility. And where is the accountability!!! Feed my sheep…. look after my sheep…. care for my sheep…. Don’t metaphorically put the ugly one on a Souvlaki Cooker!

    The sadness that leaves my head shaking, is almost political in its nature. What do politicians do when one of their “Party” do their own thing? Dump them. When the “outsider” upsets the balance of harmony in caucus….. remove them suddenly from the position of office? Tell the media you were shocked and upset? You can’t condone what they did? You can’t support them anymore?…… No wonder Pastors are going into politics…. There is not much to change!!!!

    Again….. as you read this post… Please pray for Mike. His family. The people who are just plain angry at this young man. And pray for this circus of a church!! 🙂 Really… pray….. God will do with it, what he will. And if it is of God… he will bless it!

    On The Outer

    August 28, 2008 at 3:47 am

  20. Well at a glance, Food For Thought , well we all fall short is it Pastors fault or is it mikes , maybe we could say both, Pastor for not seeing the fault in Mike over the years , Mike for not speaking truth .
    Let me say this sometimes Pastor like things there way, because there is a trust of people , yes people let us down and so do leaders at times, is it because they are given to much to quick and because the Pastor is overloaded he looks to others for support him and take some of the load YES it dose happen all the time but do we kill off the Paster no we expect him to do better true so when one under him, who in all fairness is he the problem or victim ? You see Mike was looking for help long before he mist the mark it was all there if they look back but a growing church this is not seen and that is true there are needs for everyone that need to be met , so the focus on the leaders is not there to see sad but true.
    But bigger is the man that restores because if you are so worried so much about your reputation that we forget who we are and where we came from is that good NO.
    I hope Ps Russle may one day get Mike and stand before the people as the father watching for the son who came home after many mistakes and loved on him, is the mistake the grater reward or the restoration because we can make comment after comment ? But dose that build the Pastor or Milke up to the purpose at hand forgiveness , Thanks Pastor Russle that you seen something in Mike I gess how much? Just like Mike seen somthing in Ps Russle to stay and sit under him but somthing went a stry let’s hope it gets found Just food for thought bls .

    Don

    April 22, 2013 at 3:16 pm


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