Planetshakers Insider

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

Planetshakers Beautiful Woman 2009 Conference

with 32 comments

I’m still struggling to find my thoughts on this Planetshakers ad for the 2009 Beautiful Woman conference at Planetshakers City Church.

Initially, I found it bizarre and somewhat shocking… And now I’m just asking questions 😉

Where are the non-slim, non-blonde, non-white, “Beautiful Women”?

What is the message of the Planetshakers 2009 Beautiful Woman conference?

Is this worshipful to God, idolatry to [wo]man, or is there a message I’m missing?

Is it promoting the inward beauty that Matthew 5:5 talks about (the first line of the advert)? Or is it promoting outward beauty?

I’m told a prominent Planetshakers Pastor responded by saying “It was just marketing – [prominent women’s brand] do it – why shouldn’t the church?”

Should the church set itself apart from the world in marketing? Or does it need to market better in order to save souls?

Advertisements

32 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. i found it a bit strange too. Yeah its beautifully filmed and all but i fail to see how it really connects with the conference. Had i not been to the conference before and if all i knew about it was from that ad, as a non-slim and non-blond woman i may have felt put off and like it wasn’t really for me, or at least not have been given any compelling reason to come. It really is an excellent conference (probably the best i’ve been to) so it is a shame that the angle they’ve chosen for their advertising is maybe not the best

    joanna

    September 24, 2008 at 8:46 am

  2. God has told us his strategy for winning the lost -“It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” [1 Corinthians 1:21]. By and large this truth which has been lived out by the church over centuries has redefined this along pyschological lines. We are not getting the numbers in, so change the message and market the new message.
    We can now apparently do it all without offending anyone.

    So is the marketing of the church causing us to walk away from the mandated preaching of a gospel message that is offensive to natural man. A message that men outside of Christ are spiritually dead and need the rigtheousness and life that Christ provides through His death and resurrection, and relationship with Him.
    Jesus began preaching, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”.

    Seems to me that marketing generally says, “come see what you can be”, but the natural man doesn’t receive the things of God because they are spiritually discerned. The world doesn’t want Christ unless a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit occurs in a persons life to bring them to Christ. As the scripture tells us, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day” – John 6:44.

    So we can market the church, and people might like what they see in the marketing and that may encourage them to attend an event or a church meeting. But what have they been drawn to? What are the marketing messages communicating?

    I think I’ve got it. If you wear pretty white clothes, put on make-up and wear some bling you get to meet other people who dress similarly, look attractive and who share an interest in jogging on the beach – those who also are pure in heart. You can be a somebody like us!

    I just found this interesting quote on another blog site. “Why is it that we constantly parade Christian athletes, media personalities, and pop singers? Why should we think that their opinions or their experiences of grace are of any more significance than those of any other believer? When we tell outsiders about people in our church, do we instantly think of the despised and the lowly who have become Christians, or do we love to impress people with the importance of the men and women who have become Christians? Modern Western evangelicalism is deeply infected with the virus of triumphalism, and the resulting illness destroys humility, minimizes grace, and offers far too much homage to the money and influence and ‘wisdom’ of our day.” D.A. Carson, The Cross and Christian Ministry,

    The Doctor

    September 24, 2008 at 9:16 am

  3. Hey, this is a really cool ad for a bygone era of Nazi Germany!

    Savi

    September 24, 2008 at 7:47 pm

  4. The homogeneity of the women is a bit embarrassing. But honestly, trying to appeal to stereotypes is hardly new in church marketing. Whether those stereotypes are interpreted as exclusionary or exemplary, I’m not really sure. I’m not a girl.

    The thing that caught my attention (ahem) was the homage to American Beauty. I think that us pentecostals should probably be a bit more careful about the sexualisation of the women in the church. I don’t want to overstate it, but we aren’t too subtle about it sometimes.

    I’m a little bit concerned that the women seem to just go along with it. I’m no feminist, but I think that the voice of protest would probably be a little bit louder if there was a more appropriate balance of power between the sexes.

    Joe

    September 24, 2008 at 9:37 pm

  5. In response to Joe – I am a woman and I am definitely not going along with it! Quite frankly it made me very angry. My mothers comments after watching half was ‘thats enough, I don’t need to watch blond girls and their pretty jewellry’. I have just emailed Planetshakers with my thoughts, and I encourage other girls to do the same.

    The Beautiful Women website states that their desire is to see women discover who they are in Christ. From the video, I gather who I am in Christ is a pretty, peroxided blond, with lots of jewellry and a bed of rose petals to lie in.

    I went to the 2006 conference. Here we were given a ‘goodie bag’ which included a pair of earrings, a perfume sample and a lipgloss which was branded ‘Beautiful Women’ and has a quote on the back from Sammuel which says ‘And she will become a beautiful woman’. (Mind you, the actual content of the conference was awesome)

    Biblically, there is no mention of physical beauty in the Proverbs 31 woman – rather her beauty is in her wisdom, her strength, her faithfulness, her generosity, her CHARACTER. And then, in verse 30 it says [physical] beauty is fleeting.

    Why is the undertone of the advertisement that physical beauty equates to a measure of purity in heart?

    Grace

    September 24, 2008 at 10:33 pm

  6. @Savi – Be gentle with your comments 🙂 You’ve had a lot of great things to say – and I’d hate to see people misreading your analogy and think you’re saying that Planetshakers has some racist, aryan, or facist agenda.

    Having said that, you’re not the first person who I’ve heard comment that the ad is reminiscent of nazi propoganda.

    @Joe – I agree with the homogeneity (sameness). As a Planetshaker, I can tell you that there isn’t a majority of blonde women in there.

    I completely see the American Beauty homage too.

    The whole ad reminds me of a Perfume commercial, and I agree is very sexualized and “worldly”.

    @Grace – Your comments are very insightful, as a Planetshakers Woman. Thank-you for dropping by.

    @Joanna & @The Doctor – insightful comments as always. Always enjoy reading your thoughts. Thank-you to you too.

    PSI

    Planetshakers Insider

    September 24, 2008 at 10:39 pm

  7. Yeah. You’re right. Sorry.
    But after watching it that was gentle 🙂

    Savi

    September 25, 2008 at 10:10 pm

  8. lol personally I don’t really expect any less, and I understand that many of the women involved in producing the promo’s have a relatively 2D view of women’s ministry revealing itself in the ‘image’ within the wider mega church culture.
    That being said, the conference is pretty cool, providing inspiration and adequate guidance for a woman’s walk with God.
    Though, the promo and the ‘product’ seem to fail in supporting each other…as PSI said:

    ‘Where are the non-slim, non-blonde, non-white, “Beautiful Women”?’

    Too much fantasy I think 😛

    Mice

    September 26, 2008 at 7:05 am

  9. “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
    But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.”
    Pr 31:30

    “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.”
    2 Timothy 2:9-10

    Another concern I have is for young impressionable girls in the Church being led to believe that physical beauty is important and is akin to Godliness. It has nothing to do with anything really.

    Amanda

    September 26, 2008 at 11:43 pm

  10. @Savi – I know 🙂 I hope I was gentle on you too.

    @Amanda and @Mice – Thanks for taking the time to comment! Both of you have contributed insightful comments.

    Planetshakers Insider

    September 27, 2008 at 6:00 pm

  11. I was trying to tap into what so deeply disturbed me with this ad… I agree with all the comments above: stereotyping, etc.
    For myself maybe it was the fact that “Purity” and “Pure in heart shall see God” was equated with outward beauty, wealth and opulence? Is that how purity in the eyes of God should be represented? Maybe what concerned me too was that nobody said “This isn’t a very good idea!”

    Savi

    September 27, 2008 at 6:40 pm

  12. Thanks PSI

    The obsession with wealth and jewels also worries me. Even though I don’t think this is PlanetShakers heart at all, the advertising conveys an image reminiscent of the “cows of Bashan” (women in the old testament who were judged for spending money on worldly pleasures instead of helping the poor). Jesus’ warning about not being able to serve GOD and Mammon, and the NT injunction to store up treasure in heaven, not on Earth, also are relevant here.

    I wonder if there’s a way to offer any of the constructive feedback in this post/the comments to any of the Church leadership? I know this blog was created because of the difficulty in doing that, but I imagine they could perhaps handle some feedback re: something specific and relatively minor like a conference advertisement.

    Amanda

    September 27, 2008 at 8:07 pm

  13. As a young woman myself this type of portrayal of what it is to be a christian, seems to be playing on a girls insecurities. If I had self esteem issues, if I was feeling low, if I was feeling isolated and as though I could never fit what this world displays as ideal I would hope that I could turn to God, turn to chrisitian friends, and people who would hopefully have their priorities straight.

    This clips sends the wrong message. It says to me that the messages my peers, the messages the media, and the messages the secular world are sending me are correct. If I don’t fit the description, if i don’t do my hair right, if I wear the wrong clothes, if i don’t have perfect skin, and perfectly proportioned body than I can never make it in life.

    I am very disturbed by the message that the church is sending their woman. I feel that we are worth more that what is external, for few could ever live up to the idea that we are set. We try to hold onto an impossible dream, when we should try to get closer to God, and leave all of this behind.

    I hope planetshakers, and every church, do right by their woman, and send a message of hope and love rather than these shallow messages we recieve from the world anyway.

    IB

    September 28, 2008 at 1:19 pm

  14. I don’t think we should accuse planetshakers of trying to push the blonde, slim, beautiful sexualised woman ideal. So I’ve read here, all the women who went to the conference found it enlightening. I’d say this is more planetshakers attempting to pander to its audience, ‘the world’ so-called. God knows there’s plenty of fake tans and hairdye outside the church – it is a pity that the church gives into it so readily at times, when so many both inside and outside the church are willing to rise above it.

    Ben

    October 2, 2008 at 7:32 am

  15. @Ben

    You’re right –

    “I’d say this is more planetshakers attempting to pander to its audience, ‘the world’ so-called. God knows there’s plenty of fake tans and hairdye outside the church – it is a pity that the church gives into it so readily at times”

    This is the key issue here.

    As IB said here – it’s a shallow message – not a message of substance.

    Substance is taking a “back seat” to image.

    But as Christians, we’re called to rise above the world and be men and women of substance.

    While there are problems with the ads, they’re just a symptom of bigger issues at Planetshakers – like a focus on image ahead of substance.

    Like how the Mike Guglielmucci scandal was dealt with – no apology, no focus on healing, or using it as a lesson for growth…

    …instead, hiring a media officer who members of the media tell me avoided their questions and negotiating hard to have Planetshakers removed from any news articles, arranging radio interviews and canceling at the last minute, removing all references to Mike Guglielmucci from the Planetshakers web-site, telling the media “Mike Guglielmucci left Planetshakers 18 months ago” in regards to his cancer deception – when he had been with Planetshakers for several months prior while lying about his cancer…

    Or how hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars are put into album promotions, sound and lighting each year (according to Planetshakers, running at a loss) – while Pastoral Care and developing relationships with Jesus that are of substance suffer.

    Or the focus on superstars (like Mike Guglielmucci) – the lack of discernment that the leaders they serve under have in promoting the superstars, the lack of accountability that church superstars (like Mike Guglielmucci) are held under, the focus on church KPI’s rather than the points raised by the Bible regarding what a leader should be… and the worrying trend where church members will cheer more loudly for a pastor on screen in the church news bulletins, or on a roll in a sermon, than they would for Jesus.

    Image over substance.. This is the root cause.

    Planetshakers Insider

    October 2, 2008 at 11:10 am

  16. @Amanda – Perhaps people the solution is to pass various comments (even a link to this page) to church leaders whose contacts are published on the Planetshakers web-site.

    Planetshakers Insider

    October 2, 2008 at 11:11 am

  17. so your saying to be a “good” christian is to not wear make up, dye your hair and not be fit or pretty much not present yourself nicely
    i’m sure that the ladies that have written on here wear some make up and dress up every now and then
    there is nothing wrong with spending some time on yourself to look nice
    i guess the “perfect” church would be if everyone comes in they’re pjs, no one brushes they’re teeth or they’re hair…nice

    .

    October 2, 2008 at 4:09 pm

  18. Hey Planetshakers insider

    It appears that the link has been changes or the Video has been removed from You Tube

    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”

    Dickens

    Dickens

    October 2, 2008 at 6:50 pm

  19. Thanks Dickens

    @”.” – Thanks for dropping by.

    I think you’ve missed the key point on this one.

    The issue isn’t that some girls looked pretty, or that nobody should look pretty, or that looking pretty is somehow bad and we should all honour God by being ugly – because that would obviously be wrong.

    The issue is using homogenized outward beauty to advertise a conference that is supposed to be of substance and be about inner beauty – that the church is pandering to the world, rather than rising above it.

    Planetshakers Insider

    October 3, 2008 at 11:16 am

  20. Yeah, I love the reaction i get when i wear my PJ’s to the late service, tis priceless 😉

    Mice

    October 5, 2008 at 8:17 pm

  21. I attend PS and meet with the Holy Spirit regularly, as does my wife and kids. I read your ramblings with interest from time to time and amuse that you cal yourself “insider” without really being on the”inside”.

    However the video is a bit of an odd one. Thematically I can put it together as good video but not sure exactly what the point of it was. All other Beautiful Women ads had women young, old, black, white, thin, not so thin so I think that perhaps being a “music video” instead of a real ad it might not be used to bring people to the event the way the previous ads had.

    But it might just be a bad choice, not a spiritual weakness.

    Nathan

    October 9, 2008 at 7:16 pm

  22. Hi Nathan,

    I don’t think anyone’s said that it was spiritually weak – they’ve said it was misguided, homogenized, shallow, un-substantial, and not a reflection of what the conference represents (which it sounds like you might agree with) – but nobody has said the ad was spiritually weak.

    I’m glad that you’ve been meeting with the Holy Spirit regularly at Planetshakers – but I get the feeling that you’re also under the impression that this blog somehow says that spiritual encounters at Planetshakers are rare? (Is that true?)

    The issues raised here are mainly around accountability, pastoral care and teaching.

    I’m disappointed that you would take a swipe at the blog – surely you must have seen plenty of specific instances where Planetshakers let down people in these areas. (If not, I’m happy to highlight them to you too – or some of the other people here who have seen major failings in these areas might share with you too.)

    If you’re from within Planetshakers too, I’d love to hear your perspective.

    It seems unfair to criticize without providing any specific details – essentially name-calling, when this blog is here for genuine discussion.

    PSI

    Planetshakers Insider

    October 9, 2008 at 11:08 pm

  23. Hmmm…. Haven’t read the chat on this site for a while. This thread really makes me chuckle!

    Having worked with this mob for many years (albeit certainly not recent), I would like to make this comment.

    Anything this mob writes, composes, edits, records, films, advertises, markets and attempts to sell is purely a rehash of what the “world” (and I struggle with using this term, but Shakers attendees will know what it means) actually attempts to produce!… Sorry, reproduce!

    Listen to the songs…. the hooks can be attributed back to many top 40 tunes. The riffs….. rip offs! The melodies…. poor reproductions of classics. There is nothing new under the sun when it comes to their music. I have personally had the laugh of singing a chorus from a top 40 song to match the verse of a Shakers Song! Very amusing!

    So… with this new video for this Beautiful Woman Conference….. You have all seen it before. Don’t be offended…. It is just another rehash! What does the media produce… we will just copy it. Didn’t someone earlier make reference to a Shake * Bake Pastor that sniped back to a reasonable question?

    People…. If you don’t like it…. Don’t go!

    If you think it is rubbish…. stay home!

    If you REALLY all want them to take notice? I suggest all the congregation tithe their money to the Salvation Army or World Vision! Just for a week.

    Watch the panic. Watch the attention being redirected. The congregation is still a democracy when it comes to church leadership, coming under the covering, wisdom, teachings of Christ.

    So what does God and his Son say? Who cares what the leadership say.

    Once again….. If you don’t like it… TURN IT OFF.

    Otherwise…. lets stop moaning, complaining and critiquing every rehashed bit of media they rip off.

    You are the congregation. In the end, an army full of righteous “enough is enough” and serving God, will pull down and switch off this performing circus.

    Love the site. Keen to know if they have hunted you (Mr Webmaster) down yet! 🙂

    On The Outside

    October 30, 2008 at 9:56 pm

  24. I’m fascinated by your blog and the responses you’ve had to this ad for Beautiful Woman 2009.

    I agree with your image vs substance point re PlanetShakers.

    Planetshakers Insider, I was wondering what you’re hoping to achieve by this? It’s not a heavily loaded question… i’m just very curious. Thanks.

    pentys anonymous

    November 14, 2008 at 5:01 pm

  25. all good. found the ‘about PSI’ link. cheers.

    pentys anonymous

    November 14, 2008 at 5:29 pm

  26. hey insider,

    I’m also curious to know what the point of this blog is..?
    having recently attended PS 09 conference, i typed PS 09 into google to see what blogs had to say about the amazing week we just had.

    and this site came up.
    certainly an interesting read. i also have questioned this video-to the same degree as you -stereotypical etc etc.
    yet being an active part of the PS congregation (as i’m left to believe you are-since you are in ‘insider..’).
    i make the choice to honor my leaders (the people GOD has put in authority over us) and the choices they make.
    this doesn’t mean i may agree with everything that happens, but I’m not posting my thoughts and pulls downs all over the internet.

    the bible says, “”And if your brother does wrong to you, go, make clear to him his error between you and him in PRIVATE: if he gives ear to you, you have got your brother back again.”” MAtt 18:15

    My understanding of this scripture is that you are to talk to your brother/friend/whoever has offended you/whoever you don’t agree with in PRIVATE, and sort the issue out. This is certainly not what has happened – in fact, you have caused other people to stumble also.
    Another point well made is that BW conference is amazing-no matter the advertising material used. this doesn’t change the content, the amazing speakers that God has blessed us with, and the lives changed whilst in attendance. GOd is certainly with this church. he has certainly blessed us. and his annointing is certainly on us.
    much much love to all.
    xx

    PS i am a well built, short, curly haired, pale skin brunette female who certainly wasn’t brought down by this clip. myself esteem stands strong in who i am in Jesus, not the videos i watch 🙂

    honor.

    April 17, 2009 at 7:57 pm

  27. This has nothing to do with what everyone is talking about but it’s just a few words that Sam Evans said to me at planet shakers and were so inspirational, umm just wanted to say thank you so much sam i went to planetshakers searching for my plan to life my dream and i had no idea in the world what my dream was to life. If i hadn’t have listened to you preach i would still be lost in my own little world and not following god. Before i went to planetshakers i didn’t no what the word worship meant but now i do. I just want to thank you for what you did. love youu. xx

    Ami

    April 29, 2009 at 10:44 am

  28. hi planetshakers,
    the concert from Timisoara, Romania was wonderful…i like u very much. God bless you all!
    PS: i made some pic with Liz W., Joth, Mike..
    was very cool

    liviu

    June 4, 2009 at 6:11 am

  29. this video represents a woman who honors herself in her personal lifestyle how she dresses, her behavior, even simply being feminine, this is the character that represents that part of God that nurtures us in all our lives, our faith and the risk we take when we believe in Him, yes it is the Lord who lifts me up when I open the door to Him every day and once again I feel what this woman feels, yes I thank the Lord too for the great experience of the `09 beautiful woman conference I have been changed revived. Praise the lord

    Linda

    August 5, 2009 at 2:21 pm

  30. The word of God is the same for ever. You don’t have to ‘modernize’ it or help it in anyway. Let us not forget that The Word IS GOD. It was in the beginning, Is now and ever shall be. God never makes a mistake. Let God do the drawing, It is afterall his kingdom, not some abode made to ”suit the changing times”

    Pamela

    June 11, 2010 at 6:40 pm

  31. Having said that, just because one makes an error in one aspect doesn’t mean that the person should be condemned. The advertising might have been wrong, but the conference did bless people. To God be the glory for that!

    Pamela

    June 11, 2010 at 6:45 pm

  32. hi there, i’m not sure if you still check this blog but i find it really refreshing there is discussion going on regarding the culture of planet shakers. all in all i have been enjoying my time at this church, learning more about God and the worship music is fantastic. But I worry that the leaders are almost like celebrities and that any questioning or debating is considered wrong. would love to discuss some more.. let me know if you are still active on here!

    K

    August 2, 2016 at 9:09 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: