Planetshakers Insider

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

Have You Seen This Man: Russell Evans, Planetshakers Senior Pastor

with 18 comments

Russell Evans, Senior Pastor, Planetshakers City Church, Melbourne The title of this post is tongue-in-cheek, but the question remains… Have you met Pastor Russell Evans?

I was asked today (via email) whether I had met Russell before.

It was a relatively pointed question – the person asked whether he was out amongst his flock, as a shepherd should be – whether he was serving his church.

It made me realize…

No, I hadn’t..

Neither have any of my friends at Planetshakers.

In fact, the only people who I’d met who have met Pastor Russell Evans are in senior leadership positions throughout the church.

I’ve never seen him in the foyer after sermons either… He just, sort-of… disappears…

I realize he’s wanting to build his church through “disciples”, just as Jesus did, but even Jesus walked among his flock.

Is my experience uncommon? Have you met Pastor Russell Evans?

I would be happy if I heard otherwise from hundreds of other Planetshakers members – but it was only that someone brought it up that I came to think how odd it was.

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Written by Planetshakers Insider

August 28, 2008 at 1:44 pm

18 Responses

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  1. Yes I have met him, after DNA I introduced myself and thanked him for the Church he raised up. Im not a member of staff or close to any leaders or pastors, i just did it 😛
    I feel he is a genuine man and I often pray for him and Sam. I do trust him as the senior pastor.

    But one man can’t monitor everything, that’s why the team of pple around him.
    I have often wondered if he is aware of the issues within the church, and why there seems to be a large gap between him and the leaders further down the ladder.
    Esp as much of his preaching seems to come from a heart for the church and a genuine love for all of us; yet in practice…it isn’t happening.

    I used to see him often in the lobby before services, and on the door; but i havnt for a long time.

    Anyways, may God bless our senior pastors to bring the heart God has given them to each and every member.

    Mice

    August 28, 2008 at 2:51 pm

  2. I have often wondered if he is aware of the issues within the church, and why there seems to be a large gap between him and the leaders further down the ladder.
    Esp as much of his preaching seems to come from a heart for the church and a genuine love for all of us; yet in practice…it isn’t happening.

    I used to see him often in the lobby before services, and on the door; but i havnt for a long time.

    This is what I also wonder…

    I’m glad that someone has actually met him 😉 – I would still like to hear from someone at Planetshakers who has had much more to do with Russell Evans though.

    It’s the “gap” that you talk about that I wonder about…

    Planetshakers Insider

    August 28, 2008 at 2:54 pm

  3. Hey,

    First of all I must approach your honesty with a little of my own.. I appreciate your raw and honest expression of your thoughts and opinions on stuff in the church, but I must ask with all sincerity what do you actually intend to achieve with this blog? One question I would really like to ask is, why hide behind an anonymous alias?

    On this topic, Russell is actually much more genuine than most people expect. In fact, I was really encouraged when a close friend of mine told me that Russell actually took him out for lunch and even sponsored him to a kingdom life event as my friend was really in a financial rut as he had trouble looking for a job. But Russell followed up on him and occasionally did check with him on the progress of his search.

    Church is not about what one man does and doesn’t do, its about a community, about people of faith. I think sometimes we put so much emphasis on what a leader should or should not be doing that it becomes rather silly to be honest. Its ironic to say the very least. I mean, we say that pastors shouldn’t behave like celebrities, yet we get upset when they didn’t wave to us or smile at us when we walked by. Do we have that same expectation of say Susan down at the grocers or John the bus driver? So why does it mean so much to you that Ps Russell isn’t as accessible as you would like?

    I apologise if my approach sounds harsh or judgmental, but I really do have a genuine heart and concern for the church and for you. I too may disagree with the way things are done at times, but my heart is to always build the kingdom of God.

    You have my email address, so please lets make this a discussion and mutual correspondence, I’m open to hearing your thoughts and I hope you adopt the same attitude.

    Bless ya,

    Jonathan Ngan

    Jonathan Ngan

    August 29, 2008 at 12:45 am

  4. Personally, I find Ps Russell very easy to approach. The one thing I know to be true is that a leader of a 4000 strong church wont be able to meet everyone on a personal level very easily, and it’s more than liklely people will just simply pass him in the coridor and not realise, or asy anything (Ive had this happen to me and have had people point it out on a number of occasions). But, if you go and say hi, hes always willing to talk. And Ps Sam is, also, and though I know she wasn’t listed, I think that as they are a team, she deserves mention.

    Ps Russell greets at the door perhaps bi-monthly, and he usually is around before, and after the services in the main auditorium or foyer. I think its more that people wont approach him more than a lack of him trying. I don’t see that there is a large gap in the leadership from, what my Urbs leader reports. Ps Russell definitely keeps up with what he can in terms of church issues. Pastoral care reports from Urbs leaders, for example, are a way, and the emails people in the church send, etc.

    And, in the end, who are we to say he isn’d trying as hard as he is able? He is human, and unable to be in ten thousand places at once. If he is away preaching, we wont see him at church, so strike about 15 weeks or less from the year that we see him. He wont greet at the door every week, but no volunteer will. Even Ps Matt Fielder is on about Bi-monthly, also. My furthur proof to the fact that he tries is, that even in other churches, he talks with people, I’ve heard of one circumstance at least where, in a relatively small church, he met everyone in the congregation.

    Not only that, once you’ve met Ps Russell, he remembers you. Even if he’s only heard of you, if he recognises your name, he can tell you what he’s heard, or tell where he’s met you, and he just remembers things about you and that youve said. Its one of the things that makes him a great Senior Pastor, and overall, I’m proud that he is. I still remember a situation where, a couple of months lafter he heard about it, Ps Russell regurgitated to a few people upon recognising and starting a conversation with my brother that my brother and I share the same birthday as Ps Sam.

    So… thats my take on this

    Steve

    August 29, 2008 at 12:47 am

  5. I’m glad that we’ve got some positive experiences here.

    To be honest, before your stories I’d never come across anyone who had ever met Russell before, without being in a position of leadership.

    For the past year or so, I can’t remember a time when I’d seen Russell in the foyer or at the door – with the one exception of ducking out the back just before a service began.

    Steve – do you remember the small church Russell went to?

    Church is not about what one man does and doesn’t do, its about a community, about people of faith. I think sometimes we put so much emphasis on what a leader should or should not be doing that it becomes rather silly to be honest. Its ironic to say the very least.

    I agree completely – right down to the cheers that people give for the “superstars” of Planetshakers… Why is their focus on Man, and not Jesus?

    My point here isn’t to point at Russell Evans as a bad man – just to wonder where the shepherd is amongst the flock. As I said:

    I was asked today (via email) whether I had met Russell before.

    It was a relatively pointed question – the person asked whether he was out amongst his flock, as a shepherd should be – whether he was serving his church.

    It made me realize…

    No, I hadn’t..

    Neither have any of my friends at Planetshakers.

    In fact, the only people who I’d met who have met Pastor Russell Evans are in senior leadership positions throughout the church.


    Is my experience uncommon? Have you met Pastor Russell Evans?

    I was wondering how connected Ps Russell is to his flock…

    You can take the post at face-value – I’m just like you, just another honest Planetshaker – there’s no hidden messages here. 🙂

    Planetshakers Insider

    August 29, 2008 at 1:20 am

  6. Hey PSinsider…

    I have met him… I am just an usher at church…… pretty much…. I am not a “LEADER” but I do look after the food at my urban life…

    Russell took the time to have lunch with me one day…. it was 2 hours or so…. I realised how humble and approachable he is…..

    Seriously… If you understand we have 4000 people at our church… he cant do that to everyone… but HE DOES LOVE AND CARE FOR EVERYONE AT OUR CHURCH!!!

    I LOVE RUSSELL!! HE IS THE BEST SENIOR PASTOR I HAVE EVER HAD!! AND IT IS AN HONOUR TO BE AT HIS CHURCH

    Dave Reid

    August 29, 2008 at 2:29 pm

  7. “Yes I have met him, after DNA I introduced myself and thanked him for the Church he raised up”.

    What man raises up a church. For crying out loud do any of you listen to yourself when you talk. The church is about Jesus and He raises up His true church. Stop giving these men too much credit when the glory should be God’s for what he might be doing through these men.

    wakey74

    August 29, 2008 at 2:59 pm

  8. “If he is away preaching, we wont see him at church, so strike about 15 weeks or less from the year that we see him.”

    Why is he or any of these other pastors away from “their” church so much. If they say they are so big on the local church then how about they spend more time there actually being a pastor, ie: shepherding the flock instead of out making a name for themselves

    wakey74

    August 29, 2008 at 3:04 pm

  9. I don’t get it? Who here goes to church to see Pastor Russell Evans… I don’t know about you, but church to me is about Jesus and my faith. Who I do or don’t see, whether I get invited to the Evan’s house for dinner, whether I there’s music or just prayer is totally irrelevant.

    One of my favorite verses in the bible is the one about not relying on man.

    We have an amazing leadership and an amazing church, you should try to see that, or maybe take a break and see the world we live in, in contrast.

    You want to be a change? Try adding substance to your posts.

    Peace

    Esky

    August 29, 2008 at 8:31 pm

  10. Esky – I think (as you say) that this one you don’t get.

    The point of the post was to ask a question – what involvement does Ps Russell Evans have with the lay church member, and whether he’s close enough to the average church member to see or understand the harder to see issues in the church.

    Have a re-read of the post – there’s no condemnation here – just questions.

    You’ll also see that I’ve already agreed with you when you say the focus should be on Jesus, not on Man (I say so in as many words).

    Planetshakers Insider

    August 29, 2008 at 9:28 pm

  11. wakey74:

    “Why is he or any of these other pastors away from “their” church so much. If they say they are so big on the local church then how about they spend more time there actually being a pastor, ie: shepherding the flock instead of out making a name for themselves”

    In response to this, I can only say that he knocks back opportunities to preach so he can spend more time with the church. If I were to name 4 of those weeks where he isnt there, it would be where he goes along with the ministry he helped found; Planetshakers. When they do their international tours, he goes along, which isnt an uncommon thing to see. Even during Planetshakers conference, when it used to be in January and all over Australia, he, and for reference, most of the other members of the Planetshakers band and team, will come back to Melbourne for church on Sunday. At least, that was what he did this year and the previous year, because the year before, he didnt, and he didnt like that he was away from the church for so long. Even when he goes on holiday at the end of the year, he comes back for church. He makes it a priority

    As for accepting offers to come and preach, I can only say that I assume he and Ps Sam pray it through, which I do recall him saying that they do, and choose only the ones they believe God has told them to do. Also, even in the past, he’s knocked back things at the last minute because God told him to.

    To PS Insider, Unfortunately, I never found out the name of that church, I have only heard about it through a couple of sources; a friend of mine who knew a person at that church, and on one of the posts here on this site. Unfortunately, I am unable to find the post again…but I’m still looking.

    Steve

    August 30, 2008 at 4:01 am

  12. Hey PS Insider,

    initially, i read your blogs with some interest and thought you brought up some good points. but i must say that your blogs have taken on a different tone.

    though you protest that your blog is the completely innocent musings of “just another honest planetshaker”, i don’t think it is. even the title of the post betrays an underlying snipey attitude. and it is disappointing.

    it seems to me that this situation presents you wiht an opportunity for your day in the sun. the ability to bask in the glow of unfettered, unchecked and unaccountable opinion. Never having to really answer for your postings except to other bloggers. the veil of anonymity presents you with the enviable position of being able to take as many shots as you wish under the guise of being “just another honest planetshaker”, while not having to be accountable to any real flesh and blood person yourself. It seems a sad contradiction. The Bible tells us that if we have an issue, we are to go to our brother, it didn;t tell us to blog about it. and it didn;t say go to your brother if you think they will recieve you well, but if you’re not sure of their response then just blog instead.

    There are some great posts (jonathan – some great points, Steve – also very good) on here and it seems odd that you would be telling people to look to Jesus, and not man, and yet you then point to the man saying why isn’t he hanging with me more.

    As i have posted previously, what i find sad is that, in my experience, the people that complain about the “superstar” culture are simply complaining about the fact that they aren’t in the “in-crowd”.

    They usually have some issues of their own and are angry that they are not recognised for their gift like someone else is.

    The funny thing about that is that by that thinking, they create an “in-crowd” that they are excluded from. it is human nature to want what we don;t have. To look at something and think it’s better than what i have. So by wanting to be with certain people, we create an “in-crowd”. It’s just the law of supply and demand.

    You want to be like them because of your own insecurity and so you create a demand for what htey have … influence. then when they talk to someone or give them some of their influence, they are now supplying htat demand.

    but it isn;t just some “church system” that creates this. It’s you! it’s your insecurity! it’s you wnating to be liked as they are. it’s you wanting the stage that they have. All thhis want creates is a demand. Which then makes it a commodity.

    If you wnat ot change this “superstar” culture, it’s not that hard. Stop creating a demand for it by your wanting to be a part of it. deal wiht your own issues of insecurity and get over yourself.

    If i don;t care about the “in crowd” talking to me, it ceases to hold any power over me. It’s no longer the in-crowd.

    Alex

    August 31, 2008 at 7:07 pm

  13. Hey.. just stumbled upon your blog.. just wanna say that everytime Ps Russell is around in church, he usually talks to people at the right side of the foyer. And he occasionally stands out side greeting people too. Its funny… But we go to the same church but have such a vastly idfferent experience.

    Leinard

    September 1, 2008 at 7:44 pm

  14. hey everyone, I am not to say a very spiritually strong believer but i still do believe that the senior pastor should actually mix with its flock and spend time to get to know its members better. I have not meet or talk to ps russell personally and I am not even from australia but just tought if placing my opinion. I have been reading this blog quite often this few days and i have realised that a lot of focus have been placed on churches , pastors , and leaders. But should this be a topic of discussion in the very first place?? Isnt christianity all about Jesus Christ and not about the mer humans that are HIS vessels that will at many times screw up! We as humans only have a mer 24 hours a day and a leader or a senior pastor will also have the same 24 hours a day. Therefore should we placed emphasise on the lack that we humans have or should we actually set up a blog to gloryfy the works the LORD has done in our lives rather than focusing on earthly mistakes and lacks??? Maybe a Praise Blog will futher Glory the Kingdom of God rather that a blog that the satan can use to bring down so many other people in this world just by the negative comments and reactions that are being posted here. Imagine me as a non believer and I came across this blog , what impression will I have on the christian community? Is it about the BIG and MIGHTY God we serve or is it about the Mistakes we as humans commit..

    P.S I hope this does not offend anyone but i just wanted to post what i felt.

    God Bless

    JOsH

    October 13, 2008 at 10:42 pm

  15. I’ve seen him twice or thrice or may be more at the foyer. Why is pastor Russel the focus? It’s all about Jesus. I don’t see the point of this whole blog. My dads a pastor so I know how difficult and strenous it is to run a church.

    Jeff

    July 13, 2009 at 11:41 am

  16. I didn’t read all of these responses, just the initial question. We are pastors of a small church, which is very different. Someone in his position has a weight of responsibility that most of us will never experience. We cannot begin to imagine the schedule and the stress that comes with this kind of authority. David said it best when he refused to lift a hand against King Saul even though he knew he would be the next king. Don’t touch the Lord’s anointed. I mean this with all respect and love. Until we have walked in his shoes, we have no right to try to say how he should be doing his job. With the same measure you judge others, you will be judged.

    stephanie

    January 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm

  17. Stephanie that defensive response is just so religious, it’s something the Church needs to get rid of. What did Jesus say? FEED MYSHEEP, three times! If he aint there helping the sheep on the cutting edge, then he needs to go back and do something else. Jesus didn’t call “executive pastors”, just pastors.

    Adam C.

    August 25, 2012 at 6:20 am

  18. Just want to say- part of feeding the sheep is feeding the other leaders and pastors in the church. Didn’t Moses have to get help from his father in law to set up a system so that he would lead the leaders over 1000s, 100s, 50s and 10s so that they could bear the burden with him and so that he could endure. Key word being endure. Pastors over big churches focus on their core teams so that that core team can focus on the teams that they are responsible for, and so on so that all ‘sheep’ in the church are then able to be taken care of WELL. Ps Russell is a good leader because he trusts other people to lead and walk in their callings, and chooses to pour himself into those leaders. And yes, he also does greet at the door and be with the people. Overworked leaders produce unhealthy leaders which produce unhealthy decisions and unhealthy care of the church. Thank you Jesus that our pastors know how to release others and delegate! And yes he does greet people at the door 🙂

    Sez

    November 19, 2012 at 4:31 am


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