Planetshakers Insider

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

When is someone ready for leadership?

with 33 comments

“The Doctor” posts an interesting series of ponderings:

A few things I have been pondering on …

Firstly, 1 Timothy contains instruction that would encourage elders (pastors) to be appointed who are not young men – promote not a novice. From what I have read although Timothy is referred to as a yound man, he was probably in his late twenties or early thirties … How old was Michael when he was appointed and annointed for minsitry?
Whilst there may be a case for the appoinment of some young men such as Timothy the clear injunction for the church (and Senior Pastors who seem to have two votes on most eldership boards) is not to appoint too early, take time to observe character – not charisma! And of course the family name seems to open doors that are often closed to other “lesser lights”.

Secondly, it seems to me that bad teaching plays a part in leading to this type of behaviour. After all having to acknowledge sin as a habitual problem in your life is considered amongst those who have it “all together” as a sign of weakness. The magic formula works for us (your peers in ministry), it should work for you. If it doesn’t then the problem is yours – you are not doing it right, not trying hard enough, or let’s maximise the guilt and shame by saying, you just don’t have enough faith brother! After all what place does weakness have in this type modern derivative of Christianity influenced heavily with a KINGDOM NOW Theology. That is, ALL of heaven is mine to enjoy NOW, in this life, right NOW – healing NOW, sinless perfection NOW, financial prosperity NOW, success in all I do NOW.

Thirdly, we as Christians are called to forgive and distribute mercy as freely as we have received it. We are all sinners and can bring the name of Christ into disrepute through our actions. The tragedy in Michaels case is the tremendously damaging effects of such a public fall from grace – it magnifies the reproach to the name of Christ because of the media and internet.

In closing, this is a timely reminder of the days in which we live where in the last days men will fall away because of iniquity. Therefore we should exhort each other to live a life that honours Christ and His holy Name, rather than the modern approach which exalts charismatic men and makes idols of them. Rather than the greatest shall be your servant we now have the servant shall become your master.

Honour and Serve Your King, and keep your “lesser light” shining !!!!

The question “The Doctor” raises about the right age for ministry is interesting. There’s no shortage of young leaders within Planetshakers – Russell Evans, Mike Guglielmucci and many more Planetshakers began working in ministry at reletively young ages.

Yet again, read this post at face value.

I have more questions than answers.

It’s just a shame that the culture of Planetshakers discourages discussion of these sorts of questions…

Written by Planetshakers Insider

August 29, 2008 at 5:00 pm

33 Responses

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  1. Honestly, when was the last time you heard anything but raw hyped-up enthusiasm from within Planetshakers.

    When was the last time someone asked a probing question about the way Planetshakers is run – like “Why do we cheer whenever some superstar is shown on City News?”

    or

    “Why do people seem to call out ‘C’mon’ at odd and almost unnatural times in a sermon?”

    or

    “Who is keeping our leaders accountable, and pastoring them?”,

    or

    “When people stand up in a sermon – are they standing up because they thought about the preacher’s point and agree strongly with what they are saying… Or are they standing up because the preacher suddenly got very loud”

    Think a little deeper, my friend.

    Don’t just take it at face value because it’s there, and someone told you it was good. Think about it.

    When was the last time you heard someone scratching deeper than the surface?

    When was the last time you heard someone questioning something, rather than ingesting it with raw enthusiasm?

    Or is Planetshakers 100% right, 100% of the time?

    Planetshakers Insider

    August 30, 2008 at 1:31 am

  2. The Doctor’s is the most sensible response to this incident I have heard so far.

    I was on staff at Hillsong Church for 5 years, and found the same frustrations there as he describes at Planetshakers.

    I heard shocking things come from the lips of world-renown leaders at several staff meetings, and yet somehow the charm and apparent annointing of the senior pastor always managed to subdue each and every one of us. And we’d just keep on lapping up whatever was thrown our way.

    Questioning was out of the question. It was freakily similar to George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four”.

    The Doctor’s observation of charisma, not character, being king is well-founded and true of every pentecostal group I’ve ever encountered.

    Christians need to start thinking for themselves, and start with what the Bible says rather than what a popular personality declares.

    The Pensive Pentecostal

    August 30, 2008 at 10:24 pm

  3. amazingly articulated their planetshakers insider..

    it does make you think, and questioning is such a healthy thing

    IB

    August 31, 2008 at 5:19 pm

  4. Is it just me or is whole Micheal Guglielmucci episode and its fallout becoming something akin to spiritual totalitarianism.

    Whenever anybody puts up a post anywhere on the internet that seriously questions either the goings on in leadership in Planetshakers or in the evangelical body of christ as a whole, chances are there’s somebody who will put a reply to denounce us. No questions, no arguments, no debate, no scriptures, no evidence just denouncements.

    Wasn’t it behavior like this that created the whole Michael Guglielmucci incident to begin with? The lack of questioning the motivations and actions of those who claims to be God’s anointed? There’s a massive difference between claiming to be God’s anointed and actually being God’s anointed. One way to tell is the fruit of the spirit. Someone who claims to be God’s anointed will do exactly that; claim to be God’s anointed but their actions and their fruit will declare them to be anything but that. Someone who is truly God’s anointed won’t even make that claim, their actions and their fruits will demonstrate that on their own.

    theoriginalmattyc

    August 31, 2008 at 5:27 pm

  5. DISAAAAAAAAAGREEEE!

    sorry for the theatrics….. as someone who stands and shouts come on… this is my side of the arguement..

    It is not hype… its when the word of God and revelation is so good. that we get excited…. the preacher does get loud… but when they are on a roll…wow!!!

    now someone who sees this is hype needs to sit next to me one sunday… I dare ya

    Dave Reid

    August 31, 2008 at 11:51 pm

  6. lets not get critical…..and kick when someone is down…
    Jesus chose the disciples….raw men with no ministry experience to evangelise the world.
    We have to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.

    there is no age monimum or maximum for leadreship.

    God looks at the heart…..and picks the most unlikely……some fall…King David….but God restores.

    Mike can,in the future still serve the purposes oF GOD IN HIS GENERATION.

    If he is truly repentant….and only God knows that….read psalm 51……

    Lets pray and uphold a brother who has fallen.

    jayne williams

    September 2, 2008 at 2:48 am

  7. Jayne, thanks for your thoughts.

    Firstly , kicking someone while they are down is certainly not the intent behind what I have written. The individual concerned has significant problems that he needs God’s help and the support of all concerned to get through.

    We all want the forgiveness and mercy of God in our own lives when we sin, but can often be ungracious when others fall into the same trap as ourselves. We judge ourselves by what we intend to do, and others by what they actually do.

    Psalm 51 is a great reminder of many things, including the fact that God restores, and it also reminds us that sin brings an outworking of consequences, that forgiveness may in all reality never erase.

    Secondly, you state that “there is no age minimum or maximum for leadership”. From my experience I would say that leadership is learned and demonstrated at all ages (that is, it is not something reserved on a shelf until your hair starts to turn grey). It is clear that, one child may show leadership qualities in terms of organisational capabilities, another in terms of their sport or daring, another in terms of scholarly capabilities etc.

    A distinction must be made however when it comes to church government (governance) and church leadership. “Elders” (Presbureros – Greek) were to be appointed to “serve the church” BUT NOT solely on the basis of their gifts (charisma), or even their leadership ability (natural talent). They had to be qualified first and foremost on the basis of CHARACTER (as per the Pastoral Epistles, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus).

    Not all who demonstrate natural leadership (irrespective of age) have the call or the capability to govern the household of God. Unfortunately in recent times this distinction has blurred such that gifted individuals (leaders) have been rewarded with the office of elder / pastor. This is a totally unbiblical practice – when it comes to leadership in the church – church officers such as elder / pastor should not be given to someone purely on the basis of leadership gifts or ability.

    Character is proven in the midst of “life”. It is in the process of living that character flaws are revealed. For instance if someone is greedy, violent, a gossip, thief, a liar or a power hungry fool, it will be very hard for them to hide this fact in everyday life from all they interact with.

    It is in the same process of living that other men show great integrity of character (I am not suggesting sinless perfection here). For that reason, Paul writes the list of qualifications for elders in 1 Timothy 3. He instructs Timothy and the church audience that they ought not to appoint unproven men irrespective of their gifts, leadership abilities, preaching or singing abilities, family relationships etc, as wonderful as they all might be!

    Those who are appointed to oversee the flock of God must have been observed by those within and without the church and have a track record of integrity. Recent events seem to suggest that across much of the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches these biblical mandates have been overlooked.

    You are correct in stating that God alone sees what is in the heart. And after genuine repentance He does garciously restore the repentant sinner back into his family – but restoration to church government is a whole other matter.

    Let’s continue to pray for Michael, Danny and Sharon but also that the church that belongs to Jesus Christ will live in His strength and power, and with an expectation of His soon return for His bride without spot or wrinkle (Eph 5:27).

    The Doctor

    September 4, 2008 at 4:29 pm

  8. when i saw the title to this post, i was very interested to read on and see it’s content. could it be that finally, after trolling through so many people who just wanted to vent their spleen, maybe here is someone who is going to contribute something of intelligence to the debate. Contribute something of substance. Something positive in terms of what it is that determines someone’s readiness for ministry.

    could this finally be a post on a Planetshakers Insider posting??

    unfortunately not. Once again, more tripe being dolled out so PlanetShakers Insider can get his ‘18000 hits’.

    So instead of actually answering the question as to when someone is ready for leadership, we have a droll regurgitation of many other postings. could this excuse for a response to the question posed be the disillusioned postings of “The Doctor”? or simply the misleading advertising of PlanetShakers Insider.

    No questions were answered here. the closest this post has come to answering the question posed was in narrowing the field of questioning to age. manifestly unhelpful. there are too many examples in the bible of young leaders. How old do you think John, the disciple was? don;t even get me started with King Josiah … 8 years old!! and one of the best kings Israel had! Instead, once again, more whining about what shouldn’t be done and no constructive comment about what should be done.

    no comment about the character qualities that we should be looking for. No comment about the type of gifts we should be identifying. No comment about what are the indicators that reveal character. no comment about what situations will reveal character and how to create those situations in a disciple’s life so as to help reveal that character, not only to you, but to the disciple. No comment on what behaviours to be looking for and what they mean in terms of a person;s heart. No comment on how to disciple this person through that, rather than just deem them unusable.

    every week or so i look on some of these blogs in the vain hope that someone will offer some constructive comment rather than the typical “back and forth” of – “big churches suck!” – “No they don’t!” blah blah blah.

    i’ll be looking around again in the next week. can someone who is a dedicated blogger please put something useful on one of these sites? restore my faith that it’s not just the disaffected that write these things.

    Alex

    September 5, 2008 at 5:04 pm

  9. Alex, how about you be the one to post “something useful” rather than just criticising others who are sharing their thoughts? What “constructive comment” are you offering?

    NV

    September 6, 2008 at 3:48 pm

  10. This is a bit of a sidebar but it feeds into some of the other comments.

    We certainly need to minister the “grace and truth” of Christ to those who have fallen but it is also biblical and helpful to ask if there are things within the church culture that are contributing to the problems we are experiencing.

    Part of the problem is the “marketing and packaging” – image first, celebrity status, lack of open inquiry, no accountiblity (other than their chosen circle of friends), leadership and teaching in some of these churches, which have substituted orginizational growth over Jesus’ command to make disciples..

    I don’t know the specifics of this church or the situation but we had better take heed to the warning of Christ — “Let no man deceive you”. Deception is rampant in our culture and is strongly influincing much of the church.

    In reading a recent newsletter from a well known and respected Pastor in Minnesota who was addressing “avoiding division” in the church I was alarmed to see his postion. He said we “absolutely cannot let the enemy” enter our thinking by causing us to question the credibility of the ministry (ministers) God has chosen to connect you with.

    This is a real problem we face. It also violates the teaching of Scripture.

    1 Thes 5:21, Test (scrutinize) all things; hold fast what is good.

    Strong’s #1381 – Dokimazo: test, prove, approve, discern, examine.
    1. to test, examine, prove, scrutinize (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals
    2. to recognize as genuine after examination, to approve, deem worthy

    Scrutinize: To examine carefully for accuracy with the intent of verification, so that an informed decision can be made concerning the proper course of action.

    This is not a suggestion, it is a command.

    This same word is used in Rom 12:2, Phil 1:9-*10, 1 John 4:1.

    “Gullibility is not synonymous with spirituality. Faith is not a mental habit leading its possessor to open his mouth and swallow everything that has about it the color of the supernatural” (or has a Christian label slapped on it).

    “Faith keeps its heart open to whatever is of God, and rejects everything that is not of God, however wonderful it may be. ‘Try the spirits’ is a command of the Holy Spirit to the Church. We may sin as certainly by approving the spurious (false) as by rejecting the genuine (truth). And the current habit of refusing to take sides is not the way to avoid the question. To appraise things with a heart of love and then to act on the results is an obligation resting upon every Christian in the world. And the more as we see the day approaching.” ( A.W. Tozer)

    The enemies attack is two-fold: get you to believe a lie or reject the truth.

    Make sure your church is “rightly dividing the Word of truth” and be alarmed if there is not an environment that welcomes and encourages open inquiry.

    Peace!

    Jay

    September 6, 2008 at 7:47 pm

  11. It depends how hard you want to work for ministry. At the moment we have ‘performance’ placed positions in church structures, where if you prove yourself to meet certain requirements there will be a position available. Personally i await the time we start positioning ministry leadership roles according to an individuals charisma(biblical meaning), character and calling.
    Biblical charisma-
    1. a favor with which one receives without any merit of his own
    2. the gift of divine grace
    3. the gift of faith, knowledge, holiness, virtue
    4. grace or gifts denoting extraordinary powers, distinguishing certain Christians and enabling them to serve the church of Christ, the reception of which is due to the power of divine grace operating on their souls by the Holy Spirit.

    and by character I’m referring to proven character, so there would have to be a certain level of experience which comes with age. Lastly by calling I’m referring to having gifts/grace for certain areas of ministry~ read Ephesians 4.

    LS

    September 6, 2008 at 11:34 pm

  12. Thanks for the various comments …

    Alex, the post that started this thread was my first ever blog post – so thanks for helping me realise I should have kept on track – Now I know !

    As far as me being disillusioned “the disillusioned posting of the Doctor”… After almost 3 decades of Pentecostal involvement and watching the ready acceptance by leadership of various fads (books), strange teachings (name it and claim it) and practice, I have been disappointment disillusioned on many occasions. My disillusionment has been at times with the church leadership but not with the essence of what the Lord Jesus Christ taught. But despite this I am still in a Pentecostal church – not Planetshakers however.

    So back to addressing the matter at hand. In terms of character requirements, I want to post some key commnents from the objective source of truth – God’s Word rather than subjective opinion. Let’s consider what is stated in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 …..

    Elders are to be
    – blameless (they have to have a good reputation within and without the church – impeachable, above reproach)
    – the husband of one wife (exhibits demonstrable faithfulness in all aspects of his life)
    – temperate, self-controlled (not given to excessive behaviour, fits of rage or moodiness but moderate in life)
    – sober-minded (treats his responsibility to God and men seriously – not flipant)
    – just (they live right)
    – holy (pure in their life before God and man – careful of what they watch and read)
    – demonstrate good behavior not unruly
    – hospitable (share what they have, not clicky but welcoming to all especially those in God’s house)
    – able to teach (given to the study and understanding of the Word of God)
    – knowing and adhering to sound doctrine (disciplined to understand the teachings of the church)
    – an exhorter and encourager
    – not given to wine (not excessive in their lifestyle)
    – not violent or quick tempered (not a wife beater or an unruly member)
    – not greedy for money, and not covetous (content with few possessions)
    – not self-willed (puts the kingdom of God first, teachable not a know it all)
    – a lover of what is good
    – gentle, not quarrelsome (able to instruct others lovingly, not a dictator – flow or go!)
    – rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (someone with a track record of keeping a disciplined house – not this does not imply severe or austere)
    – have a good testimony of those outside the church (not just shining before those who can promote buit consistent in their life and lifestyle).

    As you can see these characteristics are a challenge to most who profess to know Christ. We should not appoint just to fill positions because they are vacant or because of a need – it needs to be Gods appointment that will be evident to those who know the individual.

    Many evangelical churches will go through the above characteristics with an individual before they appoint. They also ask the congregation to put forward objections if they are concerned about inconsistencies in a candidates behaviour. God gives gifts to the church – but elders are to be scritinised before appointment and for consistency after appointment.

    Remember that the Apostle Paul commened the Bereans because they searched the scripture to make sure what he taught them was true. Paul delighted in this type of behaviour. It is frightening to think that we could have modern church leaders who encourage a swallow and follow unity amonst the church – this sort of behaviour has no basis in scripture.

    The Doctor

    September 11, 2008 at 9:24 pm

  13. “This type modern derivative of Christianity influenced heavily with a KINGDOM NOW Theology. That is, ALL of heaven is mine to enjoy NOW, in this life, right NOW – healing NOW, sinless perfection NOW, financial prosperity NOW, success in all I do NOW.”

    I’d love for somebody to write or link on this issue more. I have a sneaky feeling that it’s not GOD’s will to give us a completely comfortable existence in the here and now, even though we will enjoy those things forever.

    Amanda

    September 19, 2008 at 8:40 pm

  14. Hey Doctor,

    I’m back. been away for a while and it’s good to read the update on this blog.

    Comment to NV – the constructive comment that i offer is that if we are going to discuss a topic, let’s discuss the topic. Let’s not call it one thing and then use that as a great avenue to rave on about things totally irrelevant.

    To the Doctor, i too have been part of Pentecostal Christianity for 25 years after coming out of the Catholic Church that i had been in all my life. I understand the excesses you have seen because i have seen them too. But it doesn;t shake my faith in that which God instituted … the church. And as much as people want to bag it, they need to be careful that they don;t find themselves on the wrong side of an argument with God.

    Not because they question, but because they have harboured an attitude toward the church that is borne out of their own hurt, or insecurity, or bias. Some people have issues with thte church because they have their own warped ideologies and theologies that weren’t accepted. And then there are the myriad of people who were hurt because of well meaning mistakes or menacing leadership. i feel for them all.

    But in all this, we need to keep a sweet spirit toward the one thing God loves, His church. When you attack “the church” like it’s some institution, you fail to realise you attack God’s people. that just grieves God’s heart.

    Again, please understand that i am distinguishing people who question, form those that harbour ill-will and just take advantage of these circumstances to bag the church generally. i have read too many posts by people that are using this as simply an excuse to bag the church.

    i have read too few posts fomr people who are using this as the opportunity it is to bring out real questions and build the church through it. i have read som, but overwhemingly, there are more people “bagging” than “building”.

    So before anyone gets typing that i have a problem with leadership being questioned, i dont; have that problem and welcome questioning in the church. I think that through that kind of open and honest dialogue we can actually build what God wants to do.

    Having said all that, it was great to read your last post on teh scriptural basis for sleecting a leader. I’m not sure if ti answers the question as to when a leader is ready, but it is certainly the best attempt to do so on this blog.

    the one thing i can;t help thinking is that i would bet my bottom dollar (though i’m not a gambling man) that at the time Mike Gug was promoted through leadership, he fulfilled all of those criteria. I have no doubt that would be the case.

    i don;t believe anyone saw something untoward and ignored it. Not a chance, knowing the poeple involved.

    What we have here is a phenomenally skilled actor, whether by mental illness or whatever, that fooled evryone. people are looking for someone to blame, but Mike did what mike did.

    I think we should certainly look at our church culture and see what we can learn. We should certainly evaluate how we can grow as a church from this. but we also need ot have alook on the inside and see if we’re not just using this to justify our own personal biases against “the church” because we were hurt once.

    we always need to keep sweet spirit.

    Alex

    September 23, 2008 at 5:24 pm

  15. i don;t believe anyone saw something untoward and ignored it. Not a chance, knowing the poeple involved.

    Two people have emailed me and shared conversations with prominent individuals in leadership who allegedly claimed they had their suspicions about Mike Guglielmucci. I’d like to hear it for myself though.

    Planetshakers Insider

    September 24, 2008 at 3:15 am

  16. OK – I heard it for myself today from one of the senior pastoral team.

    Senior leadership at Planetshakers suspected something was wrong with Mike Guglielmucci long before he left the church.

    He didn’t fool everyone – just those who should have acted didn’t.

    Planetshakers Insider

    September 24, 2008 at 2:09 pm

  17. Hey PSI,

    i think i may not have articulated what i meant well or you have misunderstod it.

    when i said,
    “i don;t believe anyone saw something untoward and ignored it. Not a chance, knowing the poeple involved.”,

    it was in the context of the paragraph before
    “the one thing i can;t help thinking is that i would bet my bottom dollar (though i’m not a gambling man) that at the time Mike Gug was promoted through leadership, he fulfilled all of those criteria. I have no doubt that would be the case.”

    It was in the context of my musings that based on the criteria set out by “The Doctor”, Mike would most likely have filled all of those biblical requirements as well as (or better than)anyone else. as such, as he was developing and growing and moving throught the process of leadership development, i don;t beleive anyone saw anythig untoward.

    to say that they never ever saw anything untoward is highly unlikeley. at some point in every deception, someone will start to wonder. you know how it goes, “You can;t fool all the people all the time”

    I thinkl you may have missed my point somewhat PSI. my question to you would be: what is your response to the previous paragraph that he probably would have fulfilled these requirements.

    What is the solution to this? what should our churches do about this? when you can answer this, you have found the holy grail of leadership development, answering the question “When is someone ready for leadership?” the question you posed in the first place.

    a

    Alex

    September 25, 2008 at 7:54 am

  18. “what is your response to the previous paragraph that he probably would have fulfilled these requirements?”

    I don’t believe there are requirements being fulfilled at all.

    The church seems to be built on personal relationships, sentiments and meeting KPI’s – not discernment.

    Check out Dutch Sheet’s recent apology for an insight on this lack of discernment. So much that he says rings true to Planetshakers.

    But it’s not just about “passing the test once” – they need to pass the test every day.

    Where was the accountability? Where did they act when they saw something wrong?

    He probably fulfilled the requirements once – but this doesn’t entitle him to a free pass forever.

    After he was “healed” of broken bones, blood diseases, and all of the prior miracles – and after senior pastors had their suspicions raised – WHY DID HE get a free pass after this?

    Now… The question is “Did he meet the requirements?”

    If you go to the homepage, you’ll see a blog post about Planetshakers putting Russell and Sam Evans’ son on stage at age 10(?) a few weeks ago to contribute to the service.

    Did 10 year old Jonathan meet the requirements above?

    Line 1 of The Doctor’s post quotes 1 Timothy… “promote… not a novice” Paul says. In some translations a “Neophyte”.

    Jonathan didn’t meet the requirements.

    And he was on stage with his grandfather, Russell’s Dad and respected pastor Andrew Evans… So what’s the bet that Russell was brought up the same way?

    Mike? I don’t know.

    But you can see the culture here.

    Planetshakers Insider

    September 25, 2008 at 9:12 pm

  19. i didn;t see that service, but you have revealed a cultural pattern in your own life if you believe that being on stage is promotion.

    being on stage is simply a role. those that see it as promotion miss the fact that it is simply a role in the church like kids teacher or usher or whatever.

    but you speak of it as though it is something to be “promoted” to. it speaks only to your mindset that contributes to the very culture you claim to abhor. you are actually contributing to the concept that the stage is osmething to be desired after.

    additionally, are you saying then that no child should ever be on stage. this is ludicrous. as The good doctor pointed out, the qualifications mentioned above are for an elder … not anyone who steps on the stage.

    while i would be very careful to guard the pulpit in a church, i’m presuming Jonathan wasn;t expounding some profound exegeses of the book of james or something … or was he? as such, his invovlement in the service is equivalent to any child that would be brought up onto the stage to share a testimony or story.
    Unless jonathon was being brought up on stage to be appointed to the role of pastoral care in the church or something similar, he wasn’t being promoted.

    Alex

    September 25, 2008 at 11:19 pm

  20. I have to say tht I whole heartedly agree with Alex on this. Look at the whole situation in context. This event took place at a Fathers Day church service. It was a celebration of the father and as such there were 3 generations of the Evans men/boys on stage. I was not there but I can see what Ps Russell would have been trying to achieve. I would imagine that it would have been a case of each individual speaking about what the role of a father ment to them coming from 3 different perspectives. firstly from that of Andrew, a Grandfather/Father, Russel – a Father/Son and Jonathan- a Son/Grandson. there is no promotion to leadership taking place it is simple using a creative means to encourage men in every season of their lives.

    PSI. One thing that I continually read within your posts when someone questions you is that they are taking your post out of context or that they need check their details and not post from an emotional level. Mate, the post regarding Jonathan sharing the stage with his Father and Grandfather was posted before the service had even taken place so therefore you had made up your mind before a word had been spoken by Jonathan what your stand was going to be on the matter. If you really wanted to bring a clear informed dialog to light about Planetshakers letting a child on stage then myself and I suspect many others would expect that you would have waited and hear the context that the service was conducted in and then make and informed and sprirt lead decision on if the subject warrented a post on this blog or not.

    Mate I have already clearly stated my views on where I believe this Blog is heading in my post on the “About Planetshaker Insider” page. It is becoming increasingly clearer that this Blog is not much more than a Tabloid-esk attempt to rubbish Planetshakers and its leadership, dressed up in a bit of spiritual mumbo jumbo and well placed Bible verses. Even that name of this blog and the time when it was started are clearly provocitive and designed to create the most pubilicity and couriosity possible. It is obvious that this Blog has a very negatively bias (I am yet to see a positive post appear) and I really doubt that it is going to bring positive change to Planetshakers.

    Alex raised a good point in here when he said that
    “the one thing i can;t help thinking is that i would bet my bottom dollar (though i’m not a gambling man) that at the time Mike Gug was promoted through leadership, he fulfilled all of those criteria.”

    To which you replied.
    “But it’s not just about “passing the test once” – they need to pass the test every day.

    Where was the accountability? Where did they act when they saw something wrong?

    He probably fulfilled the requirements once – but this doesn’t entitle him to a free pass forever.”

    PSI. My question to you is this.

    What is your heart motive now?

    Are you passing the test every day?

    Where is your accountability in what you post here?

    Who do you have in a position that can act when they see something wrong?

    You may have started this Blog with a good motive but does that entitle this blog a free pass forever?

    Is this Blog something that is bringing glory to God (you have already said elsewhere that God never told you to do it) or is it something that just feeds your pride?

    Hard questions I know, but ones that should and need to be answered by us all.

    Justin

    September 26, 2008 at 12:09 pm

  21. Hey Justin,

    thanks for your post. you have well articulated the concerns that i hold also. I said in a previous post that i thought the start of al this bloggin was actually useful.

    but you are right that it has turned into “Today Tonight goes online”

    i think this blog was useful when it started, (I know it initially made me ask questions about my own leadership) but it has devolved into what seems to be PSI’s “day int he sun”. His opportunity to get his “18,000 hits”.

    It is now no more than an opportunity to get attention and gather hurt people togethr to complain. Sad to think how much good it could have done. i actually think that some of what you have brought up really needs tobe addressed in today’s western church. Not just planet shakers or pentecostal church’s, but church in general. it saddens me that those real issues will be clouded now by your tabloid blogging. i think there really was an opportunity for people to take notice and listen. your credibility in this has been shot to pieces and now your possible influence has been severely diluted. i think that’s unfortunate.

    Alex

    September 26, 2008 at 5:07 pm

  22. “It is now no more than an opportunity to get attention and gather hurt people togethr to complain”

    Alex…it would be more appropriate to say it is an opportunity for hurt people to gather together and be HEARD!

    You have become so blinded by PSI’s antagonistic comments (regardless of whether they were warranted or not) that you have totally missed the fact that there are hurting people here, who have been missed amongst the loud music, pretty lighting and prosperity doctrines.

    You had the opportunity to provide guidance to readers. Instead of commenting in an encouraging way you have raged, horns blazing, at PSI. For example, where people have raised lack of pastoral care as an issue – I didnt see you offering to come alongside anyone to help them through. No, instead you engaged in an intellectual head-bashing which has probably served to dishearten even more those who are hurting and looking for guidance.

    Gah, even I have more discernment than you.

    Grace

    September 26, 2008 at 10:13 pm

  23. Hey Grace,i’m afraid you’ve missed my point.
    this isn;t a forum for people to be heard. unless you include PSI as the person who needs to hear you. I understand that when we’re hurt, anyone hearing us feels like it is helpful. But even the Bible is clear that it is not helpful. my point is that PSI hearing you is irrelevant.

    It’s not about being heard. anybody can hear you. it’s about being validated. and for that to happen, you need to have the right people hear you. But this blog has only served to set those very people into a posture where they are unlikely to validate you because of the large amount of complaining that has come in.

    I’m not doubting that numbers of hurt people have read and posted on this blog. my concern is that their genuine hurt (and non combative spirit) has been lumped under the same umbrella as the others. This is why i think it’s so sad that PSI has taken the posts in this direction through provocative titles etc. As I said, I believe there are rela issues and there was real potential to cause people to hear AND validate what it is that has happened.

    Alas, now not so likely.

    complaining is where people with a hardened spirit and bad attitude bring up points about an organisation in a way that is provocative or attacking.

    People expressing their concern, or difficulty or anything else, when done without an attacking spirit, is more likely to be recieved – not guranteed, but more likely. And there has been many posts of this nature too.

    And if people don;t recieve it, that eventually will be osmething they will have to answer to God for. So the intent is not to disheartent thsoe that are hurting, but to somehow help PSI see that this isn;t the way to help people to be validated and bring change. What he is doing is unfortunatley counter productive. Some may think it is helpful just ot vent their spleen, but it won;t bring any change. And that was the potential of such a blog. real and lasting change within, not just planet shakers, but many churches in Australia. Perhaps even further afield. so much potential lost …

    Alex

    September 26, 2008 at 11:39 pm

  24. Hi Alex – Firstly I apologise for my rash statements earlier – I have a bad habit of ranting and my discernment comment was probably uncalled for!

    I really want to respond to your comment, but I am already late for work, so it will have to wait for this evening.

    Grace

    September 27, 2008 at 11:46 am

  25. Hi Grace.

    I do not believe that Alex or myself have any doubt that there are people out there that have been hurt by Planetshakers or the Mike Gug incident. I have said in another post here that I am in leadership in a large church. I know what it is like to have to deal with hurting people after leadership fails them. Believe me our church has been through 2 massive traumas in the last few years. This is the reason that very early in the piece I saw the danger in what was happening here. You see, when people are hurting there are a number of things they can do but I really want to focus on 2 here.

    The first group of people have an ability to respond to a situation. They hold a level of spiritual maturity so that they can honestly get before God and start asking the hard questions in their own life. Take the time to hear from him seek counseling from the Holy Spirit. Once they have come to a basic understanding of where they stand, they then go to the leadership and share where they are at in their own spiritual walk. Then politely seek guidance or ask the hard questions of leadership. Things like. How did this happen? Why didn’t anyone see it coming? What is the leadership now going to do about it?

    When people have taken the time to work through things openly before God them selves before they seek outside help it will normally be a case where the answers that leadership give them simply confirm what it is that God has already spoken to them. Out of the people who approach an issue in this manner around 80%will stay in the church and continue to serve and grow with out any major hiccup. Out of the remaining 20% around half will get caught up in someone else’s offence over the matter for a period of time before realizing that they have strayed and come back. The other half will get caught up in someone else’s offence and stay there. They will normally end up leaving the church within about 6-9 months.

    The second group of people are those who react to the situation rather than respond. They will not normally give much time to seeking God on the matter. Usually they find that the issue is too much for them to be able to handle on their own and that they are getting overwhelmed by what has happened. Basically it starts to consume them. What happens next is that they see out a friend or family member or unfortunately sometimes even somebody in some level of leadership to try and help them but what often happens is that the person who they seek out is in the same position as them and them selves unable to deal with the issue. This is where things start getting messy because now you have confused hurting people getting guidance from other confused hurting people. The real problem is that these groups have an uncanny ability to be able to spread it seems faster than the speed of light. (Slight exaggeration I know!)

    I am sure you can see where this is going so I am going to skip over all the gory details but the basics of what happens is that things start out fairly harmlessly e.g. Asking how did this happen? This is ok… Except for the fact that the people who are answering don’t really know themselves so instead of just saying “I don’t know” they say “Was talking to so and so and they heard dadada.” Lets face it, it is human nature. We have to have an answer for every question.

    Things really do start out harmlessly enough and most people are not malicious about things at the start. They are just hurt and confused. But what happens is that hurt feeds hurt and confusion feeds confusion and the more this goes on the messier things get. It really does not take much for offence to set in and then we are in real trouble.

    Ok I am going to jump ahead to the point where we now have a group of people who are all offended and feeding off each others offence. They have now developed a list of solutions that they feel need to be put into place before the church can move forward. They are going to go to leadership and get all this sorted out. I am not going to go into what happens next or I will be here all night but lets just say that things don’t go the way that they had envisioned.

    The basic end result will be that 60% of this group will leave the church within 6 months 20% will hang around for a bit longer but will fall by the wayside somewhere over the following 12 months. 10% will stay on simply because this church is all they have known, they will not serve in an active capacity and will basically become a pew warmer. The other 10% will see their fault and undergo a healing process.

    The really sad thing is that of the 80% that leave the church over their offence about 50% will change churches at least twice in the following 5 years over disagreements with church leadership and about 30% will stop attending church altogether.

    I am sorry if this is a bit rushed and long winded at the same time (does that make sense) but I could really write a book on it and maybe someday I should.

    There have been a heap of comments made on here that this sort of questioning is not welcome and might run the risk of being booted out of Planetshakers. You know what. If this is really what is happening (and I was an attendee of Planetshakers) then I would be one of the first people to walk out. There is however a difference between those who come to leadership to help work their way through the issues and those who come in with all guns blazing demanding that they be heard and that the changes that they want to happen be made because that is what they and their little flock of offended followers think should be done. It is while dealing with these people that I can sympathize with Pastors when they eventually get to the point where they say “you know what. Maybe this is not the place for you because you are evidently not happy and not willing to submit to leadership and what you are doing now is simply serving to create more hurt and division in an already hurting place.” On the surface it seems hard and ungodly but look at it in context of what is actually happening and it is simply the biblical principle of pruning the vine.

    I hope that you can see that what we have a problem with is not that there are hurting people out there but the opportunity that this Blog gives Satan to sew a little more discord amongst people who are already hurting and struggling.

    Justin

    September 27, 2008 at 11:57 pm

  26. Alex, glad you cam back for a read and comment…

    you said .. But in all this, we need to keep a sweet spirit toward the one thing God loves, His church.

    Agree – we must be careful in our attitudes towards the brethren, we are called to love all that is true and abhor evil. Christ died for HIS church. We are actually His inheritance. For the LORD’s portion is his people; Deut 32:9, Eph 1:17-19.

    But what is the church? After all, balance the above with the fact that Martin Luther questioned, challenged and confronted the Catholic “Church” of his day because of the many excesses, coorupt leadership and unscriptural teaching and practices, financial manipulation through selling of indulgences etc. I wonder how sweet his spirit was towards God (probably) and towards the corrupt priesthod (maybe?) of his day? Only God really knows, but from my reading he was almost out of his mind as he took on a corrupt religious institution.

    By doing so, was he attacking God’s people? God’s people being the true church? The true church existed amongst the corruption of the instituitionalised religion of the day. It took tremendous courage and faith for him to take a stand against it at that time.

    Like Keith Green said, going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than going to McDonalds will make you a hamburger. As the scripture reminds us, it is by their fruits that you shall know them.

    The Doctor

    September 28, 2008 at 5:26 pm

  27. Hi Grace.

    I do not believe that Alex or myself have any doubt that there are people out there that have been hurt by Planetshakers or the Mike Gug incident. I have said in another post here that I am in leadership in a large church. I know what it is like to have to deal with hurting people after leadership fails them. Believe me our church has been through 2 massive traumas in the last few years. This is the reason that very early in the piece I saw the danger in what was happening here. You see, when people are hurting there are a number of things they can do but I really want to focus on 2 here.

    The first group of people have an ability to respond to a situation. They hold a level of spiritual maturity so that they can honestly get before God and start asking the hard questions in their own life. Take the time to hear from him seek counseling from the Holy Spirit. Once they have come to a basic understanding of where they stand, they then go to the leadership and share where they are at in their own spiritual walk. Then politely seek guidance or ask the hard questions of leadership. Things like. How did this happen? Why didn’t anyone see it coming? What is the leadership now going to do about it?

    When people have taken the time to work through things openly before God them selves before they seek outside help it will normally be a case where the answers that leadership give them simply confirm what it is that God has already spoken to them. Out of the people who approach an issue in this manner around 80%will stay in the church and continue to serve and grow with out any major hiccup. Out of the remaining 20% around half will get caught up in someone else’s offence over the matter for a period of time before realizing that they have strayed and come back. The other half will get caught up in someone else’s offence and stay there. They will normally end up leaving the church within about 6-9 months.

    The second group of people are those who react to the situation rather than respond. They will not normally give much time to seeking God on the matter. Usually they find that the issue is too much for them to be able to handle on their own and that they are getting overwhelmed by what has happened. Basically it starts to consume them. What happens next is that they see out a friend or family member or unfortunately sometimes even somebody in some level of leadership to try and help them but what often happens is that the person who they seek out is in the same position as them and them selves unable to deal with the issue. This is where things start getting messy because now you have confused hurting people getting guidance from other confused hurting people. The real problem is that these groups have an uncanny ability to be able to spread it seems faster than the speed of light. (Slight exaggeration I know!)

    I am sure you can see where this is going so I am going to skip over all the gory details but the basics of what happens is that things start out fairly harmlessly e.g. Asking how did this happen? This is ok… Except for the fact that the people who are answering don’t really know themselves so instead of just saying “I don’t know” they say “Was talking to so and so and they heard dadada.” Lets face it, it is human nature. We have to have an answer for every question.

    Things really do start out harmlessly enough and most people are not malicious about things at the start. They are just hurt and confused. But what happens is that hurt feeds hurt and confusion feeds confusion and the more this goes on the messier things get. It really does not take much for offence to set in and then we are in real trouble.

    Ok I am going to jump ahead to the point where we now have a group of people who are all offended and feeding off each others offence. They have now developed a list of solutions that they feel need to be put into place before the church can move forward. They are going to go to leadership and get all this sorted out. I am not going to go into what happens next or I will be here all night but lets just say that things don’t go the way that they had envisioned.

    The basic end result will be that 60% of this group will leave the church within 6 months 20% will hang around for a bit longer but will fall by the wayside somewhere over the following 12 months. 10% will stay on simply because this church is all they have known, they will not serve in an active capacity and will basically become a pew warmer. The other 10% will see their fault and undergo a healing process.

    The really sad thing is that of the 80% that leave the church over their offence about 50% will change churches at least twice in the following 5 years over disagreements with church leadership and about 30% will stop attending church altogether.

    I am sorry if this is a bit rushed and long winded at the same time (does that make sense) but I could really write a book on it and maybe someday I should.

    There have been a heap of comments made on here that this sort of questioning is not welcome and might run the risk of being booted out of Planetshakers. You know what. If this is really what is happening (and I was an attendee of Planetshakers) then I would be one of the first people to walk out. There is however a difference between those who come to leadership to help work their way through the issues and those who come in with all guns blazing demanding that they be heard and that the changes that they want to happen be made because that is what they and their little flock of offended followers think should be done. It is while dealing with these people that I can sympathize with Pastors when they eventually get to the point where they say “you know what. Maybe this is not the place for you because you are evidently not happy and not willing to submit to leadership and what you are doing now is simply serving to create more hurt and division in an already hurting place.” On the surface it seems hard and ungodly but look at it in context of what is actually happening and it is simply the biblical principle of pruning the vine.

    I hope that you can see that what we have a problem with is not that there are hurting people out there but the opportunity that this Blog gives Satan to sew a little more discord amongst people who are already hurting and struggling.

    Justin

    September 28, 2008 at 9:35 pm

  28. Hey Justin,

    I appreciate your comment – you explain it well and you clearly have a grasp on the whole thing – perhaps a book would be a good idea :). I have heard that situation described before with similar numbers, so I have no doubt that what you write is true.

    The situation you described is one where leadership fails people and there is a fallout effect.

    I have a question for you – in the current case, where there seems to be 2 issues – the Mike Gug failure and then just general ‘failures’ which seem to have been exacerbated by MG…what should the remaining leadership be doing to mitigate the statistics you have observed…and is Planetshakers doing it? (apart from the obvious pushing spiritual maturity so people don’t end up in the 2nd group to begin with)

    It seems we are at the point with this blog where:

    “Things really do start out harmlessly enough and most people are not malicious about things at the start. They are just hurt and confused. But what happens is that hurt feeds hurt and confusion feeds confusion and the more this goes on the messier things get.”

    Surely Planetshakers could step in here now before it gets real messy.

    Again, I agree with your comment elsewhere that this blog is not the best way to do things – and from your own experience you can see where it is headed. Which is why I don’t understand why they are ignoring it. (NB – I’m not saying leadership need to justify every action)

    I don’t understand why there is not a ministry set up to deal with truly hurting people (people that need more than a 15 min pep up talk).

    I totally understand your comments about how Pastors get to the point where they say ‘maybe this is not the place for you’. (I work in retail – towards the end of a long shift, grumpy, impossible to please customers rise the same thoughts in me 🙂 ). Surely though in that situation you have tried extensively to deal with the person before you get to this point. When I first saw this blog I cringed a little, as I saw it is fitting into the scenario you described. But as it has gone on, it seems TO ME that the church has no desire to reconnect the group two types and to bring them into spiritual maturity, and instead wants to speed up the process to get them out.

    Sorry, I guess what I am getting down to (in a very roundabout fashion) is that there does not seem to be any care for the ‘little flock of offended followers’. I truly believe (correct me if wrong) that for the majority these people just need to be made to feel ‘apart of it’, or cared for, and in the absence of this caring thats when they jump on every gripe.

    “opportunity that this Blog gives Satan to sew a little more discord amongst people who are already hurting and struggling.”

    …yeah but think about the reverse – how cool it would be and how much the church would mature if leadership could acknowledge the blog and make an effort to engage the people here and turn it around into something positive.

    Grace

    September 29, 2008 at 1:31 pm

  29. Hi Grace.

    Sorry to take so long to get back to you on this. The last few days have been a bit tight time wise. I will try and answer as many of your points as I can and try and keep this short at the same time. Now that is going to be hard.

    You point out that there are two issues going on at Planetshakers at the moment. The MG one and just general failures. Basically the two go hand in hand. All the little general failures that people are now really focusing on have probably always been there and the reality is that they will most likely continue to exist in some form or another. That’s not to say that Planetshakers won’t do their best deal with the problems, it’s just that when you are dealing with 4000 people no matter what you do someone is going to have a problem with it.

    What happens when you have something like Mike Gug happen is the spiritual equivalent of something like this. Picture this. You have a large stack of wood that you have cut to use in your fire place stacked out in your back yard. On a rainy day someone comes along and tries to set your pile of wood alight by stuffing news paper around the base and lighting it. The paper light up but quickly die off and has no real effect on the whole stack of wood. This picture would have been something like the state at Planetshakers before the MG thing. There are small (or general) problems that rise up and then die off naturally with out really affecting the church body which is generally happy and content. Sure the areas closest to the paper get a bit warm but no damage is caused.

    Ok. Now we add MG into the picture in the form of 5 litres of petrol that someone pours over the whole stack and then throw a match in. The whole stack instantly erupts in an enormous fury of flames but after only a few seconds it quickly settles down and leaves a few pockets where the fire has managed to take hold but most of the stack is a little scorched but still not burning. What has happened though is that the energy that was created by the petrol has dried out the water that was serving to insulate most of the timber from the fire leaving the whole stack prone to catching fire.

    This is where I believe Planetshakers is at the moment. The energy that was created by the MG issue really only lasted a very short while but it has left the whole church vulnerable and given enough of a kick to the general issues that they have now become the problem issues. Left unattended they have the ability to spread to the point where they can consume the whole church.

    You asked what should Planetshakers do and are they doing it? I don’t know what Planetshakers is doing so I really cannot answer the second part of your question but I would find it really hard to believe that they are not doing any thing. The first part is hard for me to answer also because I am not part of it and I don’t want to put ammunition in the hands of the wrong people who could use this to say “some bloke on the net who seems to know what he is talking about said that Planetshakers should do this and they are not”. Every church is different and leadership needs to be given the credit of knowing the best way of dealing with their particular churches problems.

    The basic things that are needed in one form or another are.
    Counselling and support services that are made available to those who need it upon request.
    Leadership to be visible, stable and open.
    Support and training to be given to key lay leadership on how to approach peoples issues and what to do if it is above their ability.
    Keep people informed about the basics of what is happening.

    I know that this is very general and could be interpreted in many ways but it is not my position to tell the leadership of another church how to best deal with things in their circumstance. They will know far better than I.

    You do make mention of the 15 minute pep talk. I don’t know if this is simply an illustration or if it is what happens but I will say that in our church any pastoral care or counselling appointment is at least an hour. You really can’t get through making someone feel comfortable in 15 minutes let alone doing any form of counselling.

    As for Planetshakers leadership taking part on this blog. I really don’t think that it would work. There are people out there who are just waiting to be able to nail Planetshakers leadership in whatever way they can and with the anonymity and therefore total lack of accountability that a blog like this affords would be more than they could resist. It would be fairly damaging on a lot of levels.

    When it comes to a pastor suggestion that it may be better for someone to look at leaving the church it really is the last resort. It is not going to happen over small or medial issues over extended periods or even one really big issue. It would really only happen when there are continual major issues and it becomes clear that the person does not really want to be in the church themselves. It could be that they are staying there (in extreme cases) to deliberately cause problems or in other cases it may be that they can’t bring themselves to admit that they want to leave for family or relational issues. Honestly any circumstances I have experienced of this happening have been done in the best interest of the person and it is a case of helping them make a decision that they are unable to make on their own. The truth is that it does happen that leadership may suggest (note the word suggest) it be better for someone to leave but the idea that people are told to leave because they might dare to raise an issue is simply an urban myth.

    Ok. Last one. Dealing with the people who are caught up in offence. This really is a hard one because in a way they have already made their bed so to speak. It is a really hard thing to work through issues with someone who is already offended because the things that they want to express and work through are simply a symptom of the heart issue and getting them to see that is next to impossible without some major God intervention.

    Ok this is going to be a really sensitive example but it is current and before your eyes so I will use it. Have a look at my posts and some of the replies I have received. The thing that I have focused on in my post is the heart issue of what is happening here. I have not entered into debate about the small issues but focused on the danger I see in what is happening here and offered an alternate option in dealing with the problems. The thing is that offended people cannot handle this and it causes them to react. Why? Because all they want to do is talk about their gripes and it gets under their skin when they feel confronted. So why am I doing what I am doing? Simply to give that alternate option to the people who will probably never announce their presents, but are coming here to genuinely try and find answers and support and who are not yet carrying offence.

    People who are already offended are already in that group 2 circumstance. It really depends on if THEY have the humility to admit their offence themselves and turn their lives around before God as to if they do or don’t pull through. Sadly most don’t. Where does that leave the church? Really at times the best it can do is the same as what I am doing here. Provide as much support as possible to those who are not carrying offence and limit the damage that is being done by those who are. Eventually those carrying offence will either leave repent or settle and once that has happened the church can start moving forward again. Sad I know, but in the words of Ned Kelly. “Such is life”.

    Finally I agree that it would be great if this blog was something that brought glory to God and helped to build up Planetshakers but sadly it is not and under its current administration that is very unlikely.

    Hopefully I have answered your questions clearly and that this now “not so short” reply make sense to you.

    God Bless you Grace.

    I pray that through all this turmoil you would come into a greater relationship with God and use the gentile strength that I see you have for his purposes.

    Justin

    October 1, 2008 at 11:39 am

  30. Hi Justin,

    I would be interested to find out more about the church you are a leader at. I tried finding it by Googling your name and couldn’t (obviously I have an interest in ensuring there is discernment here).

    You raise some points that I agree with wholeheartedly:

    The basic things that are needed in one form or another are.
    1- Counselling and support services that are made available to those who need it upon request.
    2- Leadership to be visible, stable and open.
    3- Support and training to be given to key lay leadership on how to approach peoples issues and what to do if it is above their ability.
    4- Keep people informed about the basics of what is happening.

    #4 is interesting… It never really happened at any time in the Mike Guglielmucci fraud – beyond “Mike is sick, and no longer at the church… we’re praying for him… let’s take up an offering for him.” and later “We’re hurt by Mike’s actions too, we didn’t know, and he left here 18 months ago” before some lines of Mike’s statement was read.

    I’m unaware of any further news being brought forward regarding Mike Guglielmucci.

    This is very basic though, and of little value in terms of keeping people informed. So I doubt it meets your measure.

    #3 – This is not happening. In speaking to the person in charge of this, the issue is that there aren’t the resources to support such a fast growing church pastorally.

    #2 – As raised in another blog post, top level leadership prefers to let low level leaders (particularly low-skilled small group leaders) do the work for them in terms of visibility and pastoral care.

    While I was able to speak to a high level leader eventually, it turned out that only a partial truth has been spoken about publicly and there are issues that haven’t been revealed to the wider church community. This is not openness.

    #1 – Counseling is largely non-existent at Planetshakers. There is no counseling ministry, and those in need of counseling are told to seek professional help from psychologists.

    I agree completely with the points you raised – and it’s important to encourage Planetshakers to grow in these areas.

    When you say:

    Finally I agree that it would be great if this blog was something that brought glory to God and helped to build up Planetshakers but sadly it is not and under its current administration that is very unlikely.

    It seems like a backhanded swipe at Planetshakers or this blog (it’s unclear which).

    Either way, I’m disappointed to read this.

    Who are you to say what brings glory to God, whether Planetshakers are willing to grow and mature in their ways, or the motive and potential outcomes from this blog (if that is what you are indeed doing)?

    No doubt you’ve been watching the news of the global economic crisis.

    There are a lot of parallels between what happened there, and the church…

    Wall St directors lacked discernment, everyone enthusiastically “talked up” the economy, and talking down (in the economy’s case – short selling) was discouraged and treated with suspicion.

    The bubble grew, and burst… And when that happened, those who “talked up” the economy work to place heavy restrictions on those who took an alternative view (and were short-selling, or talking down the market)… However, if the economy had have been balanced, there would have been no bubble to burst.

    Likewise, where was the discernment with Mike Guglielmucci’s case? Why would someone speak poorly of another just because they take an alternative view?

    In the church, our currency isn’t money – it’s the quality and quantity of relationships with Jesus.

    If all we ever do is look for ways to get more people to respond to altar calls, and talk about how good the church is, we cause church “bubbles” that stand to burst.

    Fundamentally, the lessons here are of accountability, discernment, and placing substance over image.

    I fail to see your point in this context…

    If you’re saying that keeping each-other accountable (as asked of us in the bible), being discerning (as asked of us in the Bible, and being men and women of substance (again, Bible) DISHONORS God because it questions and seeks truth – whether that truth be ugly or beautiful – then I’m not sure if you have understood what honors God and what doesn’t.

    If the issue (via the other interpretation of your words) is that Planetshakers is not capable of taking on these points – then we need to do as Paul did – work to provide good examples (i.e. the Bereans), and influence and encourage them to be more discerning.

    Planetshakers Insider

    October 2, 2008 at 11:53 am

  31. PSI.

    Have a read through all of the posts I have made here. I have made my view point very clear from day one where I stand on this blog.

    As I have clearly said. I am not here to talk about your issues with Planetshakers. I am posting here because I believe what you are doing is far from right or Godly.

    As for finding out my identity for the purposes of discernment I must admit I find that somewhat confusing and amusing at the same time. Why is it, that now discernment has become an issue to you? Considering that there must be somewhere in the range of 200 posts here many of which show very little discernment, including some of your very own, which you have never questioned.

    I am sure that you will however understand that I also require a level of anonymity and I don’t believe that sharing particulars of my situation online would be beneficial. I am willing to communicate with you personally via email or phone so you can PM me if you like. I do stress that any information that may share with you personally will not contain personal information of those involved and would be provided only on an understanding of confidentially and purely for the purposes of proving my identity to you and you alone.

    For the record my name does appears on our churches website but I also was unable to find it by doing a generic Google search.

    Justin

    October 2, 2008 at 6:26 pm

  32. Hi Justin,

    I’m disappointed that you would be so quick and sharp with your tongue – but particularly that you would provide little specific detail about your criticisms and speaking in generalities and feelings.

    Regarding credentials and discernment – There’s a line between posting an opinion or a comment, and counseling someone (Grace above) from personal experience as a self-claimed leader within a major penetecostal church of over 500 people.

    You’re not the first person whose credentials I’ve checked here – and won’t be the last. But you’re the first who has made substantial claims that could not be verified through simple due diligence – which is why I have asked you to help me validate some claims.

    (It would be hypocritical of me to ask Planetshakers to have discernment with those who emerge as leaders within a community – and not ask the same here! :))

    Feel free to email me anytime – I publish my email address on the blog, and am happy to receive email from anyone – planet shakers insider [at] gmail [dot] com

    Planetshakers Insider

    October 3, 2008 at 11:13 am

  33. Hey Justin,

    just wanted to drop a line and appreciate your input here. you have well articulated my concerns on this issue also.

    i also appreciate your dispassionate discourse, while addressing the real issues about this blog.

    @PSI – Justin’s right. it is more than a little amusing at the double standard you apply in credibility and discernment. None of us have the abilityt o check your crededntials or exercise discernement through knowing who you are, yet it’s important for you to do that. so i presume that means it isn;t important for us to check your credentials or exercise discernment. hmmm ….

    as for what is Bible, you’re living in a glasshouse. when it ocmes to this issue, i don;t hink you can afford to throw too many stones!

    you postulate:
    “If you’re saying that keeping each-other accountable (as asked of us in the bible), being discerning (as asked of us in the Bible, and being men and women of substance (again, Bible) DISHONORS God because it questions and seeks truth – whether that truth be ugly or beautiful – then I’m not sure if you have understood what honors God and what doesn’t.”

    yet who keeps you accountable? we, the “each-other” obviously can’t. How do we exercise discernment? We don;t even know who you are …. and as for being men of substance …. tell me this, having been in contat with Planet Shakers leadership, have they offered to meet with you and discuss the issues you have? if so, what was your response? did you do so? or did you refuse to?

    As for getting back to the Bible, then i stand by previous positngs that point out the fact that if you wanted to be Biblical, then you would be following matthew 18 without fear or favour …. that is, if you have a problem with your brother, go to him. Don;t tell me you’re afraid of what might happen or it might colour your objectivity. the bible leaves no room for such excuses.

    you either follow what it says, or you don;t. Jessu was explicit in His telling us to address the person witht the issue. He made no mention of bloggin it. isn;t that just technologically advanced gossip?

    all good food for thought.

    Alex

    October 11, 2008 at 2:57 pm


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