Planetshakers Insider

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

Planetshakers Blog Hiatus…

with 54 comments

Firstly, thank-you to Mice, Amanda, assembliesofwhat, Grace, theoriginalmattyc, Jason Van Haaster, Grant and all of the others (there are so many of you!) who had positive and thoughtful input on and off this blog.

Your comments were the reason I kept the blog running, and I eagerly looked forward to hearing what you had to say.

Obviously I haven’t been blogging much lately.

The bible talks about guarding your heart…

At my heart, I’m an optimist. I see the positive potential for change. But there were always a handful of bad apples in the bunch – at Planetshakers itself, and visiting this blog.

For these people, change is looked at with skepticism.

Their “Christian” beliefs are so shaky that questioning is met with an almost hostility – almost to a point where they would say “God made it this way, so shut up and deal with it or go find somewhere else.”

The negativity gets to me…

I put church aside for a while…

And I put this blog aside for a while.

I haven’t attended Planetshakers, or any church, in months. And to be honest, the last few months have been some of the best months of my life.

I haven’t worried – worried faith, God, heaven, hell, purpose, direction, sin, worship, life, whatever – I have more confidence – I have purpose – I’m more fulfilled – I’m more successful at work (even being sent overseas to a $8,200 conference) – I have a better relationship with my girlfriend, my immediate family – and so much more.

I’m far away from God – but never felt closer to his promises of peace, wisdom and purpose.

Christians often talk about “filling a hole with Jesus” – that the hole is Jesus-shaped. For me, it was like I was trying to cram Jesus in there.

After years of a desperate search, perhaps he doesn’t want to be found. Perhaps I’m looking in the wrong places. Nobody has been able to tell me yet. I think most haven’t found them, or have fooled themselves that they have him found when what they have found is something inside themselves.

I may continue to search for the true and real God again.

I may continue to blog again.

I don’t know.

But in the mean-time, I wish you peace, happiness, success and fulfilment – however it arrives.

~P.S.I.

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54 Responses

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  1. Hi PSI,

    I encourage you to continue to fellowship with a group of Christians; as you would be aware it is God’s plan for Christians to grow together (1 Cor 12; Eph 4:11-16; Heb 3:12-13; 10:24-25 etc.). God has designed us to work together and not alone. Although I don’t know your full story, I can understand why you’ve pulled out of PS. But don’t let that lead to a gradual falling away from God. This is a crucial time for you. I know several people who have left PS and haven’t continued to fellowship anywhere – and it hasn’t turned out well for them (spiritually). If I can be of any help, let me know. I’ll pray for you.

    Peter.

    Peter

    November 23, 2008 at 9:06 am

  2. Oh HI PSI,
    Its so great to see your new post, I’ve been missing the blog.
    So good to hear of what has been going on, sounds like many successes and blessings for you. Congratts.

    I would just like to share, that I too took some months off from PS, and have just started to go again. It has been the most liberating and revealing time for me ever, in my Christian walk.
    God really blessed me, and answered some prayers that I had been praying and believing for, for many years; it was like the flood gates opened, and I learned that Church has no walls, and that God will never leave me; our relationship is not dependant on my church/urban life commitments, how ‘good’ a christian I am, the company I keep, or the jargon I use….its all about my heart for him.
    I am so thankful to God that I learned this, and that I took part in this blog, bringing intelligence into faith is not a sin, rather God has blessed my search for truth.
    On returning to PS, it was quite odd how much of the preaching actually went against all that I just realised, like not being planted in church = your a lost backslider. But the Holy Spirit helped me to filter all that I hear in church and from fellow believers, to take what aligns with scripture and apply it.
    He also taught me how to operate in His grace towards the leaders and some members of PS, that their attitude and judgements are human nature, He taught me to love them as brothers and sisters, regardless of what has happened.
    Im not so suggestible to what leaders may say, judge and proclaim, I go to God for the truth and the answers, & I have become much wiser in the church environment.

    I really believe the last few months has been an integral journey in my walk with God, I am a better person because of it, and my faith and reliance on Jesus has increased 100 fold, and to think….it all happened while I wasn’t going to church 😀 I feel it is so bizarre, yet at the same time so perfect.

    Church has become a part of my life and faith, not the be all and end all. Besides, there are plenty in my church who need it to be their life, and I hold no criticism for them and that need they have, but I’ve learned to draw the line on their opinions.
    I have heard of many others in PS going through a similar experience of taking some time out, and gaining a better perspective on the church culture, and their relationship with God.
    Not one of them has turned away from christ, rather they have grown as incredibly strong Christians that cannot be swayed and influenced by the culture man has perpetuated within the church environment.

    Anyway, again…its great to hear from you, may God continue to enrich your life.
    Do take care PSI, your voice is welcomed by many and has personally impacted me in a positive way.
    I hope you keep posting, but I also understand if you don’t.

    God bless you brother
    Mice

    Mice

    November 23, 2008 at 1:29 pm

  3. hi PSI,
    I’m a foreigner who has regularly visited your blogsite to see the discussions and found it full of very good insights and legitimate questions of importance. However, of first importance is for each of us to maintain our faith and the hope that is in Christ that will be realised at His return. Keep following the Lord no matter what the day brings. It matters not the criticism you have received, nor whether the Planetshakers leadership changes or not because of what you have done (I doubt they will). Some have seen and heard that you do not know of – some who have been critical may also have been changed. The Lord knows your heart and the Lord will guide your steps. He has used you for a season but it may be that this season has finished and a new one begun. Press in to him and take Peter’s advice to continue in some kind of fellowship even if it seems shallow and those who follow are those who swallow. Many of our brothers and sisters in the Lord are not yet ready to ask the tough questions nor be willing to hear what God would answer to them. Yet, we must love them all the same. Narrow is the road that leads to life…. may we keep on the narrow path. The tares and the wheat grow together. The Lord knows this. The falling away has begun but let us not fall into despair because of this. The Lord predicted it would happen so let us take heart because he has overcome the world. Praise His Holy Name – the Lamb worthy to open the seven sealed scroll. Come Lord Jesus!
    Yours in Christ
    Mike

    Mike

    November 23, 2008 at 1:47 pm

  4. Hi PSI,

    I commend you for your bravery to speak your mind over these recent matters for in essence you have spoken for those without a voice.

    I wish you all the best with your spiritual walk and hope you figure out the things you’re looking for soon. I’d just like to share some things Ive learnt over the years. Firstly don;t put god in a box. Sometimes we look for things and expect god to work in certain ways, and in that sense wait for him but end up missing his call because it came in a different form.

    Also, I think it’s important to continue to surround yourself in a Christian environment. The dangerous part is when we start to tell ourselves that we can strike it on our own. Granted we all need time by ourselves with god but we also need that firm spiritual foundation.

    God bless.
    And keep on blogging!
    NY

    NY

    November 23, 2008 at 8:53 pm

  5. Hi PSI,

    Thank you for your honesty in being open and vulnerable with all of us.

    This journey of life like a fingerprint. No two journeys are the same. Although the start point and the end are the same for all of us, its what happens in between that makes us who we are.

    Only you can decide what is the truth for you. That’s the problem with swallow and follow. It only works for blind people who can’t see for themselves and it only works for them because they have no choice, they’re blind. But for those of us like you who can see, we need to decide things for ourselves. No preacher can tell decide for us, nor can any book holy or otherwise, nor can our friends, family, partner, bosses….nobody. It comes down to free will and your decision to exercise it which way you choose.

    If you choose to stay a christian……I love you. If you choose to give away christianity for something else or even nothing at all….I love you. That’s what true christianity is about; unconditional love. You won’t necessarily find that in buildings full of people or in urban life groups or even in relationships. But you will find that in Jesus if you’re sincere and open to him and seek him with all your heart.

    May God bless you on your journey whatever the outcome:)!

    theoriginalmattyc

    November 23, 2008 at 9:39 pm

  6. Congratulations for stepping outside of the matrix to give your insights.

    Do what you need to do to stay emotionally well, whether that be inside or outside of church.

    Lance from Groupsects

    Lance

    November 26, 2008 at 12:10 am

  7. Thanks so much for your blog, it has been refreshing to read the thoughts of many who are comfortable asking questions and analysing the church. The church is God’s bride but is not yet perfect, so continual reflection and altering of our course towards God is so critical (yet so rare).

    There are churches out there in Melb who encourage you to think and develop your foundations on the Word and not on the words of man. I’ve recently moved from a large pentecostal church (not PS) and am feeling so refreshed at my new church each week hearing the Bible being preached without all the fluff I was used to.

    May God richly bless you and protect you from internalising the criticisms that must have come your way. He is real and you will find him when you seek him with all your heart.

    GV

    November 26, 2008 at 9:29 am

  8. GV i agree
    PSI, PLEASE attend a church, dont go there coz ‘they got it right’ and dont waste your time trying to find one that is perfect in every way. it dont exist.
    then again, who ever said church was supposed to be perfect? We are all sinners who need Gods grace, including pastors, so stop this. We are all on a mission to make diciples, not doubt, judge, criticize and discourage the church.
    prayin 4 u
    matt

    (mattiuliano@hotmail.com

    my recent post:I think you are a bit misguided. What is the point of all this? All it does is create dis-unity and causes more people (unbelievers) to despise Christianity. You need to get a life. No one is perfect. not one pastor, church, leader, musician, NOONE but Christ. This nonsense must stop. We are supposed to build and encourage one another in the faith, not sit back and judge.

    matt

    December 8, 2008 at 7:17 pm

  9. let your life be about Jesus, not man

    matt

    December 8, 2008 at 7:19 pm

  10. I’ve wondered where you got to :).

    “There are churches out there in Melb who encourage you to think and develop your foundations on the Word and not on the words of man. I’ve recently moved from a large pentecostal church (not PS) and am feeling so refreshed at my new church each week hearing the Bible being preached without all the fluff I was used to.” SO agree with that.

    One of the things I have learnt over life is that so many religons/philosophies are about us attempting to reach GOD. Perhaps PS is no different?

    But Christianity is about GOD’s success in reaching us. This is something I have experienced and known in my life.

    I am happy that you are you happy. But I pray that in giving up the “Search” for GOD, you would not close off your heart to allow Him to reach you.

    Christianity is not about striving. It’s not about culture. It’s about truth and (I know some have hijacked this as a cliche) relationship- with GOD and others.

    It’s about the Cross of Christ that reconciles us to GOD.

    “The Cross teaches us two things. 1 is that we are significant, valueable and important enough that GOD would die for you. 2 is that your life is so riddled with sin and pride that unless GOD died for you, nothing you do or have would be of any significance, value or importance.”

    I also encourage you not to close your heart off to eternity. This life passes away- I think one of the problems with culture/religion/etc. is that it focuses too much on NOW. If there is a GOD (which I believe there is) I sincerely pray that He will find you and that He will help you to keep an eternal perspective of what peace, happiness, etc. really is.

    GOD bless you.

    Keep dialoging on this blog if you wish.

    Amanda

    December 10, 2008 at 4:42 pm

  11. Hi.

    I read your blog from time to time. Usually when I am freaking out about a horrid thing I hear about PLanetshakers and I am busy googling it.

    Regarless I just read your last blog and don’t have time to read the other comments to see if they say what I say.

    I will just say this.

    I felt what you felt (in another church) for a long long time. I decided the best way to deal with it was to take a hiatus from church. I did this (sort of) for a year to two. (I attended different churches from time to time in this period)

    So I won’t tell you not to do what you are doing. In fact doing this very thing cleared my head.

    All I will say is this.

    Jesus is not who he is often portrayed to be, and sometimes it takes a while to disect the rubbish you are presented from the truth. Take your time, but grapple with this until it becomes clearer.

    It did for me.

    In time you will feel better, I did and it sounds like you already are.

    Just because you experienced planetshakers – doesn’t mean every church is like that! I finally found somewhere where i feel comfortable. They aren’t perfect. But they are a vast improvement and I feel happier and more confident.

    So good luck to you. Just don’t take what they said as gospel – find your own truth and give Jesus another chance somewhere down the track!

    – Felicity

    Felicity

    December 19, 2008 at 3:13 pm

  12. Cya Rodney B

    Rodney B

    January 19, 2009 at 8:10 pm

  13. Hey,
    I just wanted to ask how you’re doing. I’m not sure how much you want to write on this blog but I had you in my thoughts and was just hoping that you’re doing OK.

    Amanda

    January 23, 2009 at 3:09 pm

  14. Hi Amanda – doing great. Really blessed (if that’s what it is).

    Still haven’t been back to [any] church. The idea of heading back still repulses me somewhat.

    Thank-you for caring 🙂 I really do appreciate that you would.

    To people who have complained about their posts being moderated – that was an automatic moderation system… Today is the first time I’ve been back in months.

    You were moderated because you used abusive language in your post or left a link – both get automatically filtered out.

    PSI

    Planetshakers Insider

    January 30, 2009 at 1:21 pm

  15. hey PSI. i’m encouraged by your willingness to blog your thoughts and feelings on this topic. i have much respect for something like this. it would be great to catch up for a chat in melbourne one time mate, to pick your brain on stuff. (i’m there for uni all year anyway)

    keep writing.

    Ryan

    January 31, 2009 at 11:48 pm

  16. Hai PSI!!! Good to hear from you & nice to know ur blessed. Miss u PSI 😉

    Just thought Id let you know that your stance with PS has effected some change, leaders on doors…Prayer with leaders after every service; I know its not much but its something, and certainly a hint that what has been discussed here didn’t totally fall on deaf ears.

    Anyway, take care + bless you PSI ❤

    Bai

    Mice

    February 3, 2009 at 11:14 am

  17. Lover or Prostitute?
    The Question that Changed My Life

    A number of years ago, I had the privilege of teaching at a school of ministry. My students were hungry for God, and I was constantly searching for ways to challenge them to fall more in love with Jesus and to become voices for revival in the Church. I came across a quote attributed most often to Rev. Sam Pascoe. It is a short version of the history of Christianity, and it goes like this:

    Christianity started in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise.

    Some of the students were only 18 or 19 years old—and I wanted them to understand and appreciate the importance of the last line, so I clarified it by adding, “An enterprise. That’s a business.” After a few moments Martha, the youngest student in the class, raised her hand. I could not imagine what her question might be. I thought it was self-explanatory.

    Nevertheless, I acknowledged Martha’s raised hand, “Yes, Martha.” She asked such a simple question, “A business? But isn’t it supposed to be a body?” I could not envision where this line of questioning was going, and the only response I could think of was, “Yes.” She continued, “But when a body becomes a business, isn’t that a prostitute?”

    The room went dead silent. For several seconds no one moved or spoke. We were stunned, afraid to make a sound because the presence of God had flooded into the room, and we knew we were on Holy ground. All I could think in those sacred moments was, “Wow, I wish I’d thought of that.” I didn’t dare express that thought aloud. God had taken over the class.

    Martha’s question changed my life. For six months, I thought about her question at least once every day. “When a body becomes a business, isn’t that a prostitute?” There is only one answer to her question. The answer is “Yes.” The American (western) Church, tragically, is heavily populated by people who do not love God. How can we love Him? We don’t even know Him; and I mean really know Him.

    We have made the Kingdom of God into a business, merchandising His anointing.

    This should not be. We are commanded to love God, and are called to be the Bride of Christ–that’s pretty intimate stuff. Are we lovers or prostitutes?

    I was pondering Martha’s question again one day, and considered the question, “What’s the difference between a lover and a prostitute?” I realized that both do many of the same things, but a lover does what she does because she loves. A prostitute pretends to love, but only as long as you pay. Then I asked the question, “What would happen if God stopped paying me?”

    For the next several months, I allowed God to search me to uncover my motives for loving and serving Him. Was I really a true lover of God? What would happen if He stopped blessing me? What if He never did another thing for me?
    Would I still love Him?

    I still catch myself being disappointed with God and angry that He has not met some perceived need in my life. I suspect this is something which is never fully resolved, but I want more than anything else to
    be a true lover of God.

    So what is it going to be? Which are we, lover or prostitute? there is no substitute for unconditional, intimate relationship with God. And I mean there is no palatable substitute available to us (take another look at Matthew 7:21-23 sometime). We must choose.

    I trust this challengers all of us and gives Mr Insider faith, that he is not the only individual in search of truth, a spiritual home and unconditional true love that God speaks about.

    All the best

    Steve

    On The Outer

    February 9, 2009 at 9:18 pm

  18. PSI, that’s great, I’m glad :).

    And Steve that was amazing.

    Amanda

    February 9, 2009 at 10:35 pm

  19. Hey PSI, here’s a post by a religious blogger/counselor about ten signs of spiritual abuse. Thought I might share it here, coz it sort of relates.

    http://richardmcchurch.wordpress.com/2009/02/09/s-of-spiritual-abuse/

    Atlasya

    February 11, 2009 at 12:56 am

  20. There is always the option that what PSI is experiencing is a dawning revelation that the evidence presented to him (her?) isn’t what people in the Churches say it is. If it is what it claimed, then it is. But it isn’t what is claimed, then what is it? It certainly isn’t “The Truth” ™.

    PSI, good luck with your future endeavours – don’t let those who have commented above guilt you into joining them in their own personal despair and failures of the system.

    Ta
    DD

    DD

    February 17, 2009 at 2:20 pm

  21. Brother,

    Despair over men but never over God.

    In your quiet time, ponder over these words in 2 Cor 13:5: ‘Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you — unless, of course, you fail the test?’

    If you are indeed a sheep of His flock as evidenced by an unfailing desire to hear His voice and obey Him, then pray, seek Him, ask the Lord to lead you to a fellowship of believers with a passion for obedience to the truth.

    Being disappointed with men is part of the walk of faith, it is integral in the process of maturity. God wants to strip away idolatry from our hearts, so that we do not worship men or church programs or music or fancy preaching or even we ourselves. We are to worship Him and Him alone.

    Do not let the failures of Planetshaker be an excuse for you to thrown in the towel. Remember there is one true Planetshaker and His name is Jesus Christ. He died for you, His plans for you are good, follow Him with a glad heart.

    My prayers are with you.

    heimi

    March 12, 2009 at 1:52 pm

  22. PSI,
    sorry to hear that disillusionment has caused you to switchoff (hopefully not for long!).

    In a reflective moment can I tenderly suggest that you check out http://starfishoz.com.au/ – as an approach it might better fit what you have been searching for … Peter’s story links to http://simplechurch.lifeexpedition.org/downloads.php – I found this content brought me great hope – I certainly hope it might encourage you.

    regards
    The Doctor

    The Doctor

    July 17, 2009 at 10:34 am

  23. Hey there fella!

    Been reading your site… love it. Love the thought it has provoked and the comments it has attracted.

    I’ve been attending a pretty people focused church, and yet have experienced a few similar things. I can’t help wondering if its the old “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

    Sometimes God leads individuals, and sometimes God leads communities. When he does, he leads them individually always, and together sometimes. To defer our ethical responsibility to an organisation we employ to think on our behalf, is to fall negligent in our moral responsibility.

    I felt Justin’s pain as I read his responses to the dialogue here, and watched a growing rift. My instincts suggest he was always closer to the planetshakers leadership itself than you ever suspected.

    They want to believe their system has the capacity to hear you because they have chosen to be system men. But we are not system men… instead we sink or swim alone, before God. This is both our blessing, and our curse.

    Sometimes it is too painful to hope that we may again find ourselves in a community of believers who can have enough in common to acheive things and find value together, and enough grace to accept differences as deep, and individual.

    We must always struggle for the boundary of what we can, and cannot live with, and when we lose faith that the big ship will turn before the iceberg, its time to risk the jump.

    Do we serve our church? or our God?

    This is the definitive question. System men will tell you the answer is the same. Minions and henchmen will tell you the answer is the same. Free men serve God, and their noblest convictions, and know with deep personal dread, that power corrupts.

    To live a life of true love, and seize only the power we need to achieve todays tasks, relinquishing it with the sunset… that is a difficult aspiration.

    But it is the only logical challenge I can find in the face of our embattled humanity.

    A Vineyard Christian

    SomewhereElseInsider

    August 24, 2009 at 2:04 am

  24. Hey dude

    Thanks for your blog, and for this post. I very much enjoyed reading your analysis last year. I hope things are well with you now! I find your move away from the church inspiring.
    For my own reasons I had to make the same move you did, about the same time – late last year, after having (almost) never missed a Sunday in my life!

    Ben

    September 26, 2009 at 3:56 pm

  25. Ben, good on you for walking away from a toxic Church culture (if that’s what you were in) but did you also walk away from GOD? (Not presuming you did, just asking.)

    A Fa

    September 26, 2009 at 9:07 pm

  26. Hi PSI,

    Just wanted to let you know Ive been thinking about you lately; hope ur well mate.
    Thanks for all you did with this blog during a really crappy and testing time.
    If it wasn’t for your blog and ofc God’s awesome grace, I would not have come through that experience as balanced, healthy and wise as I have.
    Its proven invaluable in still being able to enter PS without pain and judgment, to see clearly each week the various influences in operation, and it resulted in my heart being broken for my church over its missed opportunity’s under the blanket of denial; which= awesome prayer, beautiful forgiveness & sweet dependence on the Lord for all my needs.

    I think its a testament to the benefit of your blog; your heart in the entire matter, and that God will always provide for His children….perhaps not in the ways expected or ‘approved by men’, but in His own ways.

    Thanks again

    With much love and gratitude,

    Mice

    Mice

    November 18, 2009 at 9:01 pm

  27. Really disappointed my positive comments as a PS attendee have been removed. Are you spruiking only negativity or do you truly want to represent a broad spectrum of opinions..hmmm.

    Felt Compelled to Write

    March 15, 2010 at 3:47 pm

  28. im sure the psinsider didnt do anything like that, i totally agree planetshakers is a good church and everything as im in leadership, but hey the ps insider is risking alot because the team doesnt see things the way i do and i know that our senior pastor will throw his or her ass out the door if they find out who he is and i dont want to loose my job by writing on hear.

    do worry about it

    pshaker

    March 29, 2010 at 8:44 pm

  29. Hey, i just wondered if anyone knows what’s going on with mike guglielmucci these days? Things on the web seem to be a little sparse. I identified with his story as porn addiction was something I overcame with the aid of my wife, pastors and accountability partners and it is my prayer that he too overcomes!

    Ewan

    April 2, 2010 at 9:22 pm

  30. Just wondering, if, perhaps, even more so, these days and times, this blog is a worthwhile and nessesary thing to press on with.

    Notwithstanding, well wishes and peace to you and yours, PSI.

    Ryan

    June 16, 2010 at 4:26 pm

  31. I think perhaps what is required is a whole new blog that looks into cult-like behaviour in Australian Churches, and analyses honestly what that might mean.

    Even if the people at the top mean well, sometimes other leadership aspects further ‘down the tree’ can differ. It’s not uncommon for big churches to discover that some of their leaders have been misusing their power.

    For some reason we seem to polarise between brutal criticism, and vehement aggressive defence. Its a shame the notion of scholarly discussion is just too hard for most christians to get their head around.

    God will not die if people deny him. The church will not fall, if we reflect on its nature. Give a voice to the voiceless, and shine a light on dark places. That is surely what this blog did, and what each of us has a mandate to do into the future.

    Tough Question...

    June 17, 2010 at 10:43 am

  32. P.S.I. just know bro that planetshakers is a circus and in no way represents how the church should be. I pray you continue to seek Truth through scripture alone instead of the sick emotionalism and experientialism guised as truth at Planetshakers. I know what it’s like to be sucked into their games.

    In Truth,
    Ryan

    ryan

    June 17, 2010 at 1:42 pm

  33. Wow I’m not sure that ‘scripture alone’ without relationships with people is a great way to go Ryan…

    wonder where PSI is these days, PSI you entered our lives in this blog and then vanished from them. It’s cool, but you have an honourable soul, and it would be great to know what you are up to now.

    Peace,
    Tim

    Tough Question...

    June 17, 2010 at 2:20 pm

  34. Having thought about it for a while… I started this. Hope its ok to post a link. Maybe it will take off, maybe it will flop… but if anyone is interested hit me up:

    http://riteofreply.wordpress.com

    tdogilvy

    June 17, 2010 at 4:24 pm

  35. @Felt Compelled to Write – After this post, I opened up comments (instead of moderating every comment [What a task! So much bile from so many “Christians”]).

    Before that, when I was moderating, the only comments I removed were spam and vitriol.

    It sounds like your comments were neither, but I don’t know what or when you posted, so I don’t know what might have happened to them.

    Feel free to share your experiences again though.

    @Tim – I’m still around.

    @Ewan – I checked up on Mike Guglielmucci a while ago, and couldn’t find anything. Last I heard, he was still in hiding and may or may not still be receiving psychiatric care (although I’d expect he’s probably working quietly in a job somewhere.)

    Planetshakers Insider

    September 21, 2010 at 2:05 am

  36. Interestingly Mike G appears in production credits of Youth Alive Western Australia’s latest production (which features some nice tracks too) – he is indeed ‘working quietly in a job somewhere’

    speccygirl

    November 4, 2010 at 12:42 am

  37. mate, from what I’ve read tonight as I’ve scoured through some of your blog and the comments, you’ll do fine in life as your writing reflects some important qualities: truth-seeking, fair, articulate, thoughtful, open-minded, reflective, perceptive and unpretentious. keep seeking, keep questioning, keep challenging. you’ll get answers, but you’ll probably end up with a heap more questions the deeper you go. church isn’t the answer.

    thnkfryrslf

    January 25, 2011 at 12:13 am

  38. Why put down such a giving church like this? All this effort you’ve put in just doesn’t make sense to me. With no proof at all. Something horrible happened to them, how were they to know- we are all human and sin dude. U need to look at Jesus more than spend so much time trying to look for things ‘wrong with the chirch’

    One big answer for u- NO CHURCH IS PERFECT. don’t let peoples own personal mistakes and battles determine ur destiny.

    Why

    April 3, 2011 at 1:44 am

  39. Haha you can’t stop it. Some people will always see reflective thinking as slander. Oh well.

    🙂

    Tim

    Tim

    April 3, 2011 at 10:42 am

  40. NO CHURCH IS PERFECT- an excuse for abuse and neglect, used when you first join, along with YOU WILL GET HURT!! Examples of Planetshakers Doctrine– you bet ya!!!

    Angel

    July 5, 2011 at 10:30 am

  41. A great book for those needing help after bad church experiences…

    “Healing Spiritual Abuse,How to Break Free from Bad Church Experiences” by Ken Blue
    ISBN 0-8308-1660-7. Found it hidden away at Korong.

    Really helped me!

    Angel

    July 6, 2011 at 11:10 am

  42. Thank God for Mike’s “bad” situation, really…it really isnt bad at all.

    It certainly helps a lot of young people to identify with their own problems and get help, and for those who look up towards their church authority figures more than Jesus do get realigned back to the Lord, as their most ideal example (or “idol”…. as the world right now is incessantly earning for someone to come to the forefront and be their greatest leader of life…well to sidetrack a bit, i do thank God for Leo Messi 😛 )

    For those who fell out of church, its a good thing that happens now than later, or too late. All you need to do is refocus on Jesus..coz i know many (including myself) are so used to attending church to focus at other things (not necessarily evil, mind you) but its natural to get distracted with serving and praising and etc. etc. etc. and dont really know God.

    To me personally, this is a blessing in disguise…for Mike himself, and for many Christians around the world. Also, it sure helps me identify with my own “double life”, and get me back focusing on Jesus…i’m still learning and i tell you, i really need his help to get over the “bad stuff” in my own life, many which i dont even understand why it is like that…or why am i like that??

    Many of God’s children suffering silently in shame and pain, now have renewed hope and revelation…and for Mike to go thru all that, its like he represented the entire group of God’s children all around da world to bring out the dirty stuff hidden in our personal closet, so to speak.

    The whole ordeal is indeed a blessing to me, and not sth i would use to judge others or complain about…

    Good stuff really…and thank God!

    (btw, i’m not frm australia…me frm penang, malaysia ^_^ God bless you all down there….and tq for the great songs all along..from planetshakers, hillsong, etc.) Cheers!

    Jesus, you alone can really help!

    June 5, 2012 at 11:30 am

  43. I have been following this blog religiously for some years now. Early on, I was so scared to even admit I had seen it, for fear of the repercussions I might face. Later, I commented on it defending Planetshakers tooth and nail.

    But after over 7 years of full blown involvement, I came to a very harsh realisation. I started to think back to all the events that occurred over the years, stuff that shouldn’t happen to anyone. I think back to the way in which I so vigorously defended something that had been hurting me for years. I think back to the way in which I was treated and in turn, passed on that treatment to others in my care. There’s no other way to describe it other than abuse.

    In no way, shape or form should anybody be told how to dress, how to act, what to eat, who they are allowed to talk to, who they are allowed to hang around with, what time they should be home, who they communicate with after 9PM, who they get in a car with, who they live with, when they should see or shouldn’t see their families, who they should date, how they should speak and act, what seat they should be sitting in, what music they play, how to clean the pastors’ cars, etc. No one should ever have to be in fear that their leaders would go through their phones and check their messages and recent calls (this happened way too frequently). No one should ever be subject to interrogations of their whereabouts whilst on an evening walk. No one should be in trouble for saying something was ‘ok’ not ‘great’. No one should be pushed over in leaders meetings. No one should be yelled and screamed at by leaders, let alone in front of packed meetings. The way in which those that were heavily involved were treated is nothing short of disgusting. I personally went along with it and followed these rules set upon me because I believed we were doing something different, something great and wanted so desperately to be a part of it. Being a part of a church should bring happiness to your life. But as is this case with so many that have since departed, this wasn’t the case. I think back on my time at Planetshakers and can’t help but feel that I was depressed for most of my time there. No person should be left crying uncontrollably after being screamed at by Pastors. No person should leave a discipleship feeling hurt, let down and singled out. No person should be worked to the point of breakdown without anyone in leadership caring to intervene. No person should be left feeling as depressed as I and so many others were. No person should be living in the fear that so many of us were.

    I used to believe that maybe senior leadership didn’t know what was going on back then. That the scandal surrounding Mike Guglielmucci had also hidden many of the things that had been done to those that were under his leadership. (I remember sitting in a “True Relationships” seminar where Ps Sam Evans clearly said she had no idea about these so called rules that we were under and didn’t know where they had come from) But now I wonder how they could not have known what was going on? The team of leaders (urban life leaders, boom leaders, pastors, etc) was small back then, everyone knew everyone. How could you not know what was going on? How could you not see in our faces how upset we all were? How could you not notice when we were breaking down, crying, that it was from hurt – not by a “move of God”? I remember hearing people cry during leaders meetings and let me tell you – it wasn’t pretty. People screaming and breaking down, like those that have lost a loved one act when they find out the awful news. I think of how this scandal was handled by leadership and feel that it was swept under the carpet so quickly. Yes, we were given a small opportunity to discuss what had happened after the announcement of the scandal. But where was the opportunity to discuss and deal with all the hurt, lies and pain we had all endured in the years leading up to this? Had Hillsong not have fronted up and broke the news of the scandal, would it ever have reached Planetshakers? It’s only now that I feel my mind to be clear enough and free of the constraints of Planetshakers am I only truly able to deal with what happened back then. And I come across people so regularly that are in the same state of mind as me. Strangely, I don’t blame Mike for what happened. I think he clearly learned this way of leading from somewhere and have no doubt it came from more senior members of not only Planetshakers, but the wider AOG movement over many years.

    Seeing the list of departed staff, pastors, leaders and those heavily involved – is nothing short of astounding.

    As I am coming to terms, finally, with what happened throughout my time at Planetshakers, I can not help but feel sorry for those that are still so heavily involved. I look at them now and they aren’t even a shadow of the people they once were. I so badly want to scream at them and show them there is a better way to live life, but I know that would not do much good.

    Moral of the story, never do anything you feel uncomfortable about doing. Listen to that voice inside you that is screaming at you that something is wrong. More often than not, that voice is right. Had I have listened to that voice throughout my time at Planetshakers, I would never have gotten as far in as I did. I would never have subjected myself to the years of abuse. I would never have let my life spiral so far downward that it take so long to recover. I would never have had to rebuild my entire life from the bottom up as I have had to these past few years.

    I’m pleased to report that I am in a much happier place now and would never in a million years dream of walking back into a place that promotes and fosters such an evil, awful culture. My hope is that those that endured Planetshakers and were lucky enough to get out are able to rebuild their lives and put behind them the awful time they had and that those still in there are able to get out and salvage what they can.

    Jethro

    August 22, 2012 at 10:56 am

  44. Thank you, Jethro. Indeed AOG have a lot to answer for. We spent three years in Planetshakers and thankfully (now) never belonged. We just didn’t fit the mold and didn’t adhere to the “swallow and follow” mentality. Ah yes, feeling unworthy and depressed… know that feeling.Really hope this evil organisation sinks and that their former leaders aren’t allowed to inflict pain elsewhere. I am returning to my roots and going back to my traditional church, might not be so hyped but at least I know it will be safe !!!

    Angel

    August 22, 2012 at 10:59 pm

  45. Angel,

    Sadly your story isn’t uncommon. But lucky for you – you did get out and didn’t get too far in. You were lucky unlike so many others, many of which have gotten out and are still suffering or are still deeply involved.

    On a side note…

    After reading through this blog a lot more and seeing how Planetshakers had attempted to shut it down throughout 2008/2009, I can only confirm that this was the case. I saw a lot of the behind the scenes garbage that was going on and knew they were at the forefront of trying to get this blog removed. I knew of people being interrogated to find out what they knew about who the insider was. I know that this very blog had the senior staffers running scared. I know they had created a profile of who the insider was and were suspicious of anybody that fitted this profile.

    That begs the question, if they really are a stand up, quality organisation, why feel the need to hide anything?

    Some questions have really bugged me over the years and I feel putting them out there may generate some answers or at the very least, discussion around the topic.

    What happened to the Planetshakers Building Fund that we all gave to over the years?

    What happened to the tithes and offerings? What were they used for? I’ve been a part of churches who put this information in reports or newsletters so that the congregation knows where it stands.

    Who are the elders? Why is this information not available anywhere? Why is this not readily available?

    Likewise with the board. Who are they? Why is this not public?

    Why the secrecy surrounding leadership?

    Why are those that have spoken out against something they feel strongly about removed from ministry so quickly?

    What happened to City Church KL (a church that Planetshakers reportedly setup in conjunction with another church in WA)? A church that Planetshakers were financially supporting.

    Why is the congregation not aware of who it financially supports at all? The only notice the congregation gets of this is when a guest speaker is brought out on stage and Russell makes mention of how we have been supporting them for years.

    What happened with the investigation surrounding Neil Smith’s questionable business practices at his former church in WA? Why was he brought in without any consultation from anyone? I’ve had discussions with members of his former church in WA over the years who all smelt a rat with what happened in their church.

    I distinctly remember staff being removed from the offices over the years with little to no explanation as to what happened to them. Other staff and leaders were told not to communicate with these people. Why?

    Just how many of the “pastors” are accredited? As far as I know only Russell, Matt Fielder, Sam Evans and Neil Smith are accredited. (Ben Fewster and Rob Bradbury were also accredited, but no longer on staff).

    I remember a service at Melbourne Town Hall very early on (2006 I think) where all the department heads shared their departments progress, where the money was going, etc. This is the only meeting I have ever heard of that shared this type of information. Why?

    What happened to the Empowerment Centre? What a white elephant that turned out to be.

    Why were staff and leaders told when they could and couldn’t have children? (this occurred right throughout 2004/2005/2006)

    What happened to the partnership with John Bevere? Why did that end so suddenly? Likewise with Myles Munro.

    I believe the acquistion of the North East Campus to be somewhat shady and seriously question how this process was handled not only by Planetshakers but the AOG/ACC powers that be.

    These are all questions I have directed at Planetshakers over the years and none of these have been answered. I used to fear what would happen to me should I ever raise these sorts of questions, but as I am now at a stage in my life where I no longer fear the higher powers within Planetshakers and the AOG, I feel it is time to raise these questions and get some answers for those that are still quietly suffering and for those that are still trapped inside this organisation. I feel it’s about time Planetshakers City Church came clean not only to its congregation but the media and general public on its practices and the way in which things are run. The “swallow and follow” mentality is seriously dangerous and anybody that preaches that message doesn’t deserve to be in such a position of leadership.

    To those that can and will throw biblical verse after biblical verse at me to back up their defence of Planetshakers, I say to you this: You can not ever mess with somebody’s personal experience. People are hurt. People have suffered. This is continuing to this day. Christianity aside, there are legal and moral questions that must be answered by Planetshakers that up until now have been avoided. If you continue to attack those that seek answers to their hurt and suffering, you are no better than those that have caused said hurt and suffering.

    Jethro

    August 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm

  46. It’s so sad to read stories of spiritual abuse.

    Idk much about the experience of it but what do you guys feel you’ve learnt through this & how do you feel you’ll be better equipped to avoid it in the future?

    I think the biggest strength & the biggest weakness of the Church is that it is a community of people. We crave community so much but we don’t seem to know how to do it well. If we want to remain in community with Christ & others who follow Him, how do we make sure we do this without becoming leadership fodder?

    Amanda

    August 23, 2012 at 2:23 pm

  47. Personally, I’ve learned never to follow something blindly and to question everything. I’ve learned to listen to that voice inside my head telling me that something is wrong and to take caution. My discernment of right and wrong is far more advanced than what it would have been had I not been involved to the level I was. I can safely say, I will never be in this sort of situation again.

    I don’t have any intention of walking back into a church anytime soon, it doesn’t interest me anymore. Life is so good, I don’t think I could subject myself to that type of thing again.

    However, I feel such a concern for what went on over my time at Planetshakers that I feel it best to get it out there what happened. Someone needs to be accountable for what happened to us. Processes need to be put into place to ensure this type of abuse doesn’t occur again. These concerns fall on deaf ears amongst Planetshakers and the ACC. Maybe, just maybe, external parties may force Planetshakers and other organisations guilty of such behaviour to bring themselves into line and ensure the safety and welfare of all.

    Jethro

    August 23, 2012 at 3:01 pm

  48. All VERY valid points!!! Yes, The Building Fund…. it became the Building and Missions Fund. Were we asked or consulted? No. Where does the money go??Well, Russell can afford to take a helicopter down to Geelong to preach. They can afford to plant a church in South Africa (which incidently opened the same weekend as the second Hillsong Campus).Who is the Pastor? Someone originally from Paradise who was working at a church in WA. I strongly believe there is a toxic link between all the churches in the AOG, especially those based in Adelaide. All this sort of stuff happens there too in Edge and Paradise. Common denominator.. Danny Gug who was the Evans’ Youth Pastor. What happened to Mike screams a lack of trust and fear of condemnation, even from his own father. There are smaller churches here in Melbourne that have those same links and they quite frankly are very unsafe places.Somehow something’s got to change. Only way I know how is real,authentic, heartfelt prayer. Lets all pray in agreement… and keep this blog active.

    Angel

    August 23, 2012 at 8:02 pm

  49. Who could forget the helicopter fiasco? That was a total spit in the face to all members of Planetshakers City Church and a complete waste of money. At a time they were claiming financial difficulty and having to sack staff, they hire a helicopter to fly Russell Evans from Geelong to Melbourne (a car ride would have been comparable timewise, considering the flight left from Avalon Airport just outside of Geelong). Astounding.

    I distinctly remember issues surround staff entitlements within Planetshakers. While I am still trying to remember the exact scenario (and will endeavour to back this up), I do know staff members entitlements (sick leave namely) were being withheld by Planetshakers. It was only when lawyers were brought in, was this situation rectified.

    Russell Evans is nothing but an insecure bully who seeks out those that will serve his agenda. Anyone that does not fit into his agenda or no longer fits into it is promptly removed. How do I know? I have seen it time and time again. You will turn up to carry out the job you have been appointed to do only to be told you are no longer needed. If you so much as raise an innocent question as to why something is done a certain way, you will be reprimanded. You will be stood down. You will be told “Maybe Planetshakers isn’t the right place for you”. You will be silenced. No ifs. No buts. No maybes. Make no mistake, he will have no hesitation in yelling at you in front of a packed foyer if he feels you are not up to his standard. Again, this was witnessed and experienced personally on numerous occasions. How can this possibly be healthy?

    In relation to the Planetshakers North East Campus (Formerly Yarra Plenty), does it strike weird with anybody else that Andrew Evans was appointed caretaker of the church by the ACC while a suitable buyer was found? It strikes weird with me when churches such as Hillsong, Enjoy, etc all placed offers to take on this church, yet Planetshakers who made no financial offer other than to take on the existing debt and be “gifted” the church building in return, were awarded the church. No other offer was presented to the congregation. Convenient I thought. I honestly felt sorry for those at Yarra Plenty. They had no idea what they had agreed to. I only hope that being geographically away from the Melbourne Campus and the “elite” yes men keeps them out of the evil that is inflicted.

    Angel, your comments surrounding the Cape Town campus are completely spot on. To my knowledge, there have been some serious problems with that campus. So much so, the big wigs within Planetshakers were sent over to fix it. Although, sending Neil Smith anywhere will hardly solve problems, rather create new ones.

    Thinking more about the way in which the AOG/ACC operates, it really does scream “jobs for the boys”. You don’t get anywhere unless you’re related. The executive really does have a lot of questions to answer. How can they ignore what is going on within one of it’s biggest churches? How can they profess Christianity, yet distance themselves and ignore those that their very own denomination has hurt? Where is the accountability and transparency within this movement?

    Call it what you want, but any rational person from the outside looking in would call this “church” a cult. And after 7 years of heavy involvement, I can’t help but agree with that term.

    Jethro

    August 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm

  50. Reblogged this on My Blog and commented:
    I wish Planetshakers Insider would begin writing again, miss you mate!

    peaceonwings

    February 23, 2013 at 7:57 pm

  51. This is for you Jethro

    peaceonwings

    February 23, 2013 at 9:36 pm

  52. Ah gee, if only enough rope was still screening. A little bit of decent journalism to blow the whole thing open would be the very best thing that could happen. Maybe that and a full tax audit of the whole organisation.

    It’s really good to see people from all layers of that church getting out, and speaking out.

    It might take some of you another five or ten years before you realise the full extent of the damage – how many friendships, opportunities, ideas, creative moments, creative feelings you have lost. These people have all but stolen the best years of many many young people’s lives.

    This kind of abuse is far more insidious than ‘stealing’ your best years. They convince you to willingly part with your mind, your soul, and your spirituality, and consume their placebo. It was never the ‘Kingdom of God’ it was always ‘The Kingdom of Evans’.

    The sermon posted above was too long and wordy to hold my interest, but the title says it all. Do RUN for YOUR life. There are too few days to live real after all those years lost being conformed to a fake reality.

    The older you get, the more you will regret every moment lost. I have spoken with many mature and elderly people who spent time in culty churches in the 60’s and 70’s, and most are angrier and more determined that it was terrible with every passing year.

    We cannot, and must not abdicate from the responsibility of finding our own road through life. Wanting to be part of ‘a big thing’ is the cause behind so much evil in the world. There are no things. There is no next big thing. There will be crowds, masses, cults, throngs, groups, swarms, churches, ‘cells’ and any number of fancy names for people following each-other around. But all the people who ever made the pages of the history books, the ones who influence and define culture: they are individuals. The world is largely shaped by people who find their own thoughts, ideas and feelings.

    Personally I don’t give a damn whether someone gets that out of the bible or not. You can read the bible 70 times and still have not an ounce of love in you. People get so obsessed with the damn book. There’s one other thing that God created that can lead you to understand love and truth. It’s not in the book, but the book is in it. It’s called the universe, and its a pretty nifty place to hang out.

    by the way, I’m Tim Ogilvy, I live in Melbourne’s East, and I’m very happy to be public about my dislike of Planet Shakers. P.S.I have you ever thought about reveling your identity? They have feared you while you were anonymous, how much more would they fear you once they know who you are?

    This story should be on National News. It’s time that place was exposed, and closed.

    Tim Ogilvy

    March 4, 2013 at 8:39 am

  53. Yea Tim, national news. Let’s give unbelievers reason to doubt God and His church.

    Matt

    September 10, 2014 at 12:58 am


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