Planetshakers Insider

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

Taking Responsibility for Mike Guglielmucci

with 12 comments

There has been a lot of discussion around whether Planetshakers City Church should bear any responsibility for the hurt and grief caused among young believers that came as a result of Mike Guglielmucci’s deception.

This was a lie that had its Genesis, it’s beginning while Michael Guglielmucci was at Planetshakers City Church, under Planetshakers’ covering, under Planetshakers’ blessing.

It was a lie that accompanied the song, Healer, which was released by Planetshakers – a song that Planetshakers received royalties for, in addition to the dozens of other songs Mike Guglielmucci wrote for Planetshakers around the same time.

And Mike Guglielmucci’s lie continued for several months, from September 2006 to January 2007, while he was still working within Planetshakers City Church.

Yes, the question is “How could this have happened?” – but only in the context of “How do we stop it happening again?”

In the bible, both Jesus and Paul both call us to have discernment, and Paul very explicitly talks about holding other believers accountable for sin. So was Michael Guglielmucci being held accountable inside Planetshakers City Church? Or was this a failure of leadership?

Regardless, does Planetshakers City Church take any responsibility for Mike Guglielmucci’s actions now?

Here’s a comment left on this blog:

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 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!

In his post “Mike Guglielmucci, Todd Bentley… Repentance Starts with Leaders“, Alister Cameron publishes a message by a widely respected American pastor, Dutch Sheets.

Alister Cameron leaves a wise description of what Dutch Sheets message is about:

It is a long and impassioned appeal to his fellow senior leaders in the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements in the US and beyond, and it MUST be heard by leaders here in Australia. In the hope that my little blog reaches some of them who may have missed Dutch’s letter in the midst of all the noise surrounding the Guglielmucci matters, I reprint a portion of it here.

I urge you to read it. I urge you to be prayerful. I remind you solemnly that this is a very senior Christian leader in public repentance. This is a man doing what in Bible times would have looked like a bloke walking around in sack-cloth and ashes, refusing to eat or bathe or smile. This is serious stuff, because we are in a watershed season for this branch of the Body of Christ. Please hear that, folks.

It’s a long message, and I’m not going to republish it all. You can read it on Dutch Sheets’ own web-site if you want.

But let me show you the first few paragraphs:

The fact remains, however, that we have failed the Lord and His people in many ways — not just with Lakeland but in countless other situations — and must repent if we are to be trusted in the future. And as you also know, no repentance is effective if watered down and couched in excuses, therefore, I intend to be brutally honest:

1.

We, the leaders of the charismatic community, have operated in an extremely low level of discernment. Frankly, we often don’t even try to discern. We assume a person’s credibility based on gifts, charisma, the size of their ministry or church, whether they can prophesy or work a miracle, etc. (Miracles and signs are intended to validate God and His message, not the messenger; sometimes they validate the assignment of an individual, but never the person’s character, lifestyle or spiritual maturity.) We leaders in the Church have become no different than the world around us in our standards for measuring success and greatness. This has contributed to the body of Christ giving millions of dollars to undeserving individuals; it has allowed people living in sin to become influential leaders — even to lead movements, allowing them influence all the way to the White House.Through our lack of discernment we built their stages and gave them their platforms. We have been gullible beyond words — gullible leaders producing gullible sheep.

When a spiritual leader we’re connected with violates trust, is exposed for immorality or falls below other accepted standards of behavior, it does not exonerate us simply to say we don’t condone such behavior. Those we lead trust us to let them know whom to trust. We have failed them miserably in this regard.

For this lack of discernment, and for employing and passing on inappropriate standards of judgment, I repent to the Lord and ask forgiveness of the body of Christ.

He then goes on to say:

2

We, the leaders of the charismatic church, spin our involvement and fail to acknowledge our responsibility when other leaders fall — all of which stems from our self-preservation and pride. Enough of the spin — we’re no different than Washington, DC. Every time another embarrassing and disgraceful situation is exposed, the dancing begins…

To contrast, what we hear from Planetshakers is:

None of us knew about this – not even his wife…

…and…

Mike Guglielmucci left Planetshakers 18 months ago

Yes, but his problems with pornography existed throughout his entire involvement at Planetshakers, and his lie began (and continued) between September 2006 and January 2007, while Mike Guglielmucci was still at Planetshakers.

Back to Dutch Sheets:

3.

Our procedures and standards of accountability are incredibly inadequate. We have provided camaraderie, not biblical accountability…

Is it because of the intertwining nature of the relationships between all parties that this failure of accountability occurred?

Andrew Evans is Russell Evans’s father.

Mike Guglielmucci is Danny Guglielmucci’s son.

Andrew Evans’ prodigy was Danny Guglielmucci.

Danny Guglielmucci was Russell Evans’ youth pastor.

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m told Russell Evans was the youth leader of Youth Alive and Youth Pastor of Paradise AOG during Mike Guglielmucci’s time there.

And later, Mike Guglielmucci became Youth Pastor under Russell Evans at Planetshakers.

Is this the reason for the lack of discernment and accountability?

Dutch Sheets goes on to talk about several areas where I have criticisms of Planetshakers:

4

We, the leaders of the charismatic church, have built on hype, sensation, innovation, programs, personality and charisma. This has produced: shallowness; false movements; novice leaders — gifted but immature and untested; a deficient understanding of God’s word; the building of man-centered rather than kingdom-centered churches and ministries; competition rather than cooperation; humanistic, self-centered Christians who don’t understand sacrifice and commitment; Christians without discernment; superstar leaders; a perverted and powerless gospel; prayerless and anemic Christians; a replacement of the fear of the Lord with the fear of man; and a young generation that is cynical of it all. We are responsible, not the devil; he takes what we give him.

Sadly, there are several points in here that ring true for Planetshakers…

Who is Planetshakers accountable to? Who is Russell Evans accountable to? Are the other leaders accountable to Russell Evans? Who is willing to speak out when things are so obviously wrong.

Written by Planetshakers Insider

August 28, 2008 at 2:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

12 Responses

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  1. wow, thats some huge stuff.

    I think I need to think hard about this, give it some time to digest.

    You continue to fill this blog with content worth reading, for that I want to say thanks.

    IB

    August 28, 2008 at 3:57 pm

  2. It´s sad that Planetshakers reaction is: Mike didn’t work here anymore, we didn’t know about it, etc etc. In other words: “DON’T BLAME US”. It seems like that’s all they care about.

    Mike was involved with them for a long time, during his addiction. In those 16 years of his addiction, he didn’t feel safe enough to find ONE person to tell the truth to.

    In my opinion, everyone who was involved in Mike’s life, ESPECIALLY church leaders (but also his family & friends-but I’m sure they already do that), should examine right now if they contributed to an environment where Mike was put on a pedestal, where there was no accountability and where there was no safe place for him to admit his addiction.
    Planetshakers was a big part of his life, and they shouldn’t be thinking about their reputation, they should very very seriously analyse if they worried enough about their pastoral care and how this could have happened.

    That’s the saddest part for me, that he felt like he had to carry this burden alone for 16 years, that just speaks volumes to me.

    Julia

    August 28, 2008 at 6:57 pm

  3. According to 1 Tim. 3 it wouldn’t be imprudent to ask his dad to resign from his church – especially as he had a porn addiction while under his dad’s roof, and that they didn’t know he had cancer makes it worse!

    If that doesn’t disqualify him (at least for a time) from ministry, I don’t know what would!

    xnowimcoolx

    August 29, 2008 at 6:47 am

  4. It’s called Nepotism. Frank Houston/Brian/joel. People wrongly believe in this family successionism, the reason? because they treat the ministry/church as their own NOT Gods people. It’s not about who is the right person, the best person, the most honourable and humble person. It’s family and it happens right down to small churches.

    Another blogger in a far away planet said, If the self appointed leaders tell their congregations with such passion and claiming to be speaking for God, where you should live, attend church, who to marry, what His will is for the finances etc ad nauseam.

    Why oh why didn’t Almighty God tell Danny G about his son. He wouldn’t be able to hear it because he wouldn’t want to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Holy Spirit will only tell people something more than once if He knows they will act on it/obey. After that He stops speaking!!!!!!!!!!! I would say that 99.9% of christian leaders DO NOT hear the voice/guidance of God because they are so caught up in building their own Kingdoms!!!!!

    The most sobering words in the bible are when Jesus addressed those who said Lord Lord, we prophesied in Your name etc etc Translation: Lord Lord we built huge churches/ministries in Your name, huge Bible colleges etc etc. His response???

    Depart from Me, I NEVER KNEW YOU!!!!!!

    I wonder how many would receive the same response from Jesus today?

    It’s not that their the only ones who are duplicitous, the entire human race is especially in our religious/faith expressions and actions. At best our motives are mixed. The real sin is we try so hard to say it isn’t true. God says ” I desire truth/integrity in the inner place, the heart……

    The majority of pastors will never come to this place of truth because so much of THEMSELVES is invested in the success of THEIR ministry, to do so would be the destruction of that false self. The irony is, don’t they KNOW that God KNOWS everything????????????????

    God have mercy on us all…………………………………..and HE does

    Cal

    August 29, 2008 at 10:23 am

  5. i just want to say that, you should stop this….. bible clearly says that we shouldn’t gossip and yet, here you are writing stuff….we, no one has the authority to comment nor judge, the only one person that can judge us, is Jesus. So please ‘planetshaker insider’ stop this cause your not bringing Glory to the One person that deserves all our honor and praise, Jesus.

    woody

    August 30, 2008 at 1:47 am

  6. Actually – we are commanded to judge woody. Read your bible and dont be so gullible.

    Howzat

    August 30, 2008 at 5:56 pm

  7. to Woody,

    I understand, as I’m sure many people do what the bible says re gossip. I’m not going to justify gossip and you need to realise what it actually means. When something is done or said in private or confidentiality and another sees/hears and tells someone else…….that’s gossip and it happens SO much in church leadership under the guise of leaders discussing “the state of the flock” and we are concerned for such and such……….unfortunately what had been going on in “private” was made known to the Church and the public (via the media) by Mikes own admission.

    We are simply commenting on the situation already known and I have to say I haven’t heard/seen many people condemning Mike, quite the contrary. Many are commenting and struggling with the state of the church and it’s leadership and wondering why and how?

    Unfortunately, the lack of scrutiny and accountability and leaders not willing to “hear” people bring a word to them that doesn’t tickle their ears or egos, is a huge underlying factor why people can’t admit wrong/sin/struggles with faith or any kind of weakness. Let alone the son of the Senior Pastor. We’ve become politicians, running and seeking to deflect any hint of weakness/scandal/problem. Why is it that we want to reach the lost with the GOOD NEWS, that God no longer holds our sins against us and after the initial sigh of relief and joy that is the product of Gods’ grace, we try and hide any hint of weakness and our humanity?????

    This is not gossip.

    Cal

    August 30, 2008 at 10:52 pm

  8. What puzzles me, Planetshakers Insider, is if you really doubt your own church, why don’t you just find another church where you can feel at home & grow better?

    I believe if you keep on questioning the accountability of your leaders, your heart don’t really feel peaceful in your church right now. Why don’t you just find a church where you really believe that they are preaching and doing God’s word?

    I know you have a good reason, like speaking up so you don’t just watch the church going to a wrong direction. But if you’re doubt has grown too big and even lead you to blog about your church/your own leaders’ accountability, maybe it’s best if you find a better place to really grow.

    That way you won’t even neeed to write a blog questioning your own leaders and causing others to debate about the body of Christ. That way, you can focus on more important stuff, like your spiritual growth, spreading the Gospel and serving God.

    Jeanny

    August 31, 2008 at 11:56 pm

  9. I come from a small church and I’ve visited planetshakers several times. What has never sat well with me is the superstar praise that has been given to preachers both from shakers and those who visit; standing ovations and widespread praise etc. Now this could just be the way people are encouraged and lifted up in pentecostal churches but what worries me is how this can give people the wrong message. That the focus is no longer on the message of God but on the messenger. That we are lifting up man above God.

    I asked someone why no one questioned whether Mike Guglielmucci was sick. Their answer was that because everyone loved him so much no one would question it. That to me would send alarm bells ringing.

    On the outside it seems like we have a trend where the leaders of these ‘megachurches’ are held in such high regard that we speak of them in a reverential sense?
    Are they held so highly that their actions are never questioned privately by those who are closest to them?

    Can those who have concerns with the leadership of the church take their worries to someone? Or are they shot down as causing disunity?

    Are they regarded so highly that everything that is said is taken as a word of God and never tested and discerned?

    Where was the accountability? Who was Mike accountable to? Did the structure of the planetshakers pastoral and leadership team contribute to this?

    The leaders of the pentecostal movement need to start looking at what kind of a church they are building. To me it seems like that some have lost sight of what they were called to do and have instead focused on building a church that is full of hype, superstar preachers, rockstar worship leaders and a view that a successful church is one that has the most members.

    worried

    September 1, 2008 at 1:31 pm

  10. Isn’t scary how easy it is for someone to take the verse from the Bible that refers to judging others and use it to stop people from commenting on the actions of leaders even though one can clearly see there is an error?

    Woody where in the bible does it say we cannot comment on any situation? Or tell someone that they have made an error in their ways? It’s an attitude like that where no one is allowed to disagree or question for fear of being accused of ‘judging others’ that causes sinful unchecked behaviours to keep on going.

    I’m not perfect, I’m not saying that I have done no wrong, what I am saying is that there needs to be accountability.

    Kev

    September 12, 2008 at 1:08 pm

  11. […] Here’s a comment left by a reader on this blog: […]

  12. Let me see. Where can I start? This organisation has not preached against sin since??????????? Never ever talks about the cost of being a disciple Last time I checked,the word hell is in the bible along with weeping and nashing of teeth and being hated for what we believe in. We even have to check our bibles to see if what’s been said is true. The Apostle Paul in Galatians 1 v 8 @9 is even more blunt to self indulgent messages v 8. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach another gospel other than the one we peached to you, let him be eternally condemned (NIV) Ref Math 4 v17, ACTS 2 v38 Acts 3 v19 Luke 9 v 57-62, Luke 14v25-30 Luke16 v19 -31 Math13 v40 -42 Math 13 v47-50 Math 24v9@10 Acts17v11 IThess 5v21. Jesus warned us to watch out that we’re not decieved (Math24v4) and that many false prophets will appear and deceive many people(Math24v11) If the message is not Jesus Christ and him crucified please abandon ship asap. David

    David Reynolds

    May 3, 2014 at 11:36 pm


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