Planetshakers Insider

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

About Planetshakers Insider

with 51 comments

Planetshakers City Church is one of the fastest-growing AOG churches in history – and is the kind of church that you can be comfortable to take your unsaved friends to.

With church services that look more like U2 concerts than sermons and energetic preaching, it’s an exciting place to be.

But increasingly, working out where the hype ends and Jesus begins is becoming difficult.

There are some elements of the current church culture that, if left unchecked, promise to turn cancerous as the church grows…

  • A lack of genuine pastoral care for Christians facing faith-related difficulties within the church;
  • Relatively small numbers of small groups within the church;
  • A “swallow-and-follow” church culture that has led to fraud by core leadership staff going on unquestioned;
  • An emphasis on fashion and personal looks among young church-going women, rather than a focus on the spiritual;
  • Sermons that spend more time focussed on the weekend’s football action than Jesus Christ;
  • A focus on the quantity of church-goers and number of “decisions for Christ” ahead of any focus on the quality of faith.
  • A overall desire to “beat the previous best” – with each event, sermon, everything requiring more of whatever it is that it could possibly get more of.
  • And more…

Unfortunately, with a church culture that discourages any sort of feedback, as it views questioning and constructive criticism as divisiveness, communicating genuine concerns and working towards positive improvements within the church is all but impossible for a lay church member. As a result, this blog was born.

EDIT: Several people have commented “surely it’s better to approach Planetshakers leadership privately and/or in-person”. I agree – this would be a much better solution.

But frankly, I’m scared to – not because of lack of confidence, but because Senior Pastor Russell Evans has (on numerous occasions, and quite plainly) said that he is not interested in receiving feedback, and if anyone doesn’t like the way that Planetshakers is run, they should find a new church or start one – even going as far as asking people to get out of the church and not come back.

You’ll notice that several other visitors have posted anonymously here, and have commented that they fear reprisals from church leadership.

For these people, Planetshakers isn’t perfect – but it’s a place we want to return to.

If church leadership wants to correct me and contact me directly, they can email me at planetshakersinsider [at] gmail.com

EDIT: I’ve also been asked if there’s a way to contact me in privacy.

Yes – email me at planetshakersinsider [at] gmail.com… I can’t promise that I will be able to respond to all all emails – in fact, I’ll rarely respond 😉 – so keep comments on the blog unless you need privacy.

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Written by Planetshakers Insider

August 22, 2008 at 6:02 pm

51 Responses

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  1. As an attender of Planetshakers, I strongly disagree with a lot of these points:

    “Relatively small numbers of small groups within the church;”
    Er… isnt this “small” number something like 100+?

    “A lack of genuine pastoral care for Christians facing faith-related difficulties within the church”
    Which is one of the main roles of urban life (cell group) leaders!!!!! Unless, of course, you expect the opportunity to barge into the planetshakers office whenever you have any kind of problem.

    “A focus on the quantity of church-goers and number of “decisions for Christ” ahead of any focus on the quality of faith.”
    Isn’t winning people for Christ from a world full of sinners headed for destruction the primary thing the Church is called to do? Besides, the vast majority of sermons ARE focused on the quality of faith, FOLLOWED BY the opportunity for decisions to be made!
    I suggest that you start taking some notes during church and reread these notes afterwards so you can apply the words which can build your quality of faith!

    “Sermons that spend more time focussed on the weekend’s football action than Jesus Christ”
    Now this statement is completely ridiculous – Firstly, they only mention the footy once every few weeks, and secondly, even when they have mentioned it, have they EVER spent more than even 5 minutes on the subject? (even 2 minutes??? er… I think it’s usually more like 10-30 seconds)

    It is true that Planetshakers is not a perfect church, and there are certainly ways that they can improve and look after us. But this is blog contains just gossip and slander.
    Wherever you’ve got concerns, you should FIRST go to your urban life leader. And besides, you’ll often find pastors hanging around at church.

    How about you pause and spend some time with God.
    Then instead of gossiping and spreading false statements, I suggest you talk to someone in the church directly about your concerns.
    Oh, and perhaps consider Alistair Cameron’s comment from your entry of 22/8 – I strongly agree with him.

    Vic

    August 23, 2008 at 7:32 am

  2. Hi Vic – a lot of interesting comments, and I’m certainly not immune to scrutiny.

    However, I think that your sentiments about Planetshakers are leaving you blind to some flaws.

    Let’s point to the facts:

    You say: “Relatively small numbers of small groups within the church;” Er… isnt this “small” number something like 100+?

    Not quite.

    Visit another Melbourne-based mega-church… For example, City Life – pick up their brochure on small groups and count how many more small groups there are at City Life. The answer is “more than double”.

    For a church that boasts so many thousand members, we have a tiny number of Urban Life groups.

    Re: Pastoral Care, you said: “…Which is one of the main roles of urban life (cell group) leaders!!!!! Unless, of course, you expect the opportunity to barge into the planetshakers office whenever you have any kind of problem.”

    In THEORY this is correct.

    But in practice, things couldn’t be more different.

    Urban Life group leaders don’t have time to provide pastoral care.
    They aren’t focussed on pastoral care.
    They aren’t trained effectively in pastoral care.
    They don’t take the time to provide pastoral care.
    Most don’t even take the time to follow up people in their small groups.

    And this is consistent over several Urban Life groups within the church.

    It’s the problem with relying on a group of dozens of people with full time responsibilities outside the church.

    Ben Fewster does all that he can to try to train all of the urban life group leaders, but few have the time to take on pastoral responsibilities too, and even fewer have the skills or biblical foundation to provide genuine and effective help to other Christians – particularly in times of GREATEST need.

    Pastoral care MUST be able to help Christians to build their faith when they need it the most.

    I’m aware how, “in theory”, everything “SHOULD” work… But until you’ve needed Pastoral care at Planetshakers, you’ll never know how hard it is to find someone.

    RE: Football – grab a copy of Pastor Russell Evans’ previous sermon (2-3 weeks ago?), time how long Pastor Russell Evans talks about Football (at least 15 minutes). Then tell me:

    1) How long did Pastor Russell Evans speak about Football?: (Hint: Over 15 minutes)
    2) What was his sermon actually about; (Nobody I’ve spoken about has been able to answer this for me)
    3) How many pieces of scripture did he refer to during his sermon; (I counted 1)
    4) How many times is Jesus Christ mentioned?

    When a sermon spends less time talking about Jesus than Football (the other religion in Melbourne) something is wrong.

    Vic – I hope you can see past your anger to the facts I have pointed out here.. To see this isn’t designed to be gossip or slander, and to see that I wouldn’t make unfounded claims if I couldn’t back them up with genuine evidence.

    planetshakersinsider

    August 23, 2008 at 8:05 am

  3. I wont try dispute your last point since I dont have the recording. But surely that has to be one of the most extreme examples. (I must have been at a different service) Russell is a guy who likes to enjoy his preaching, and yes he does sometimes get sidetracked…
    But one of the main problems I have with your reply is the way you’ve made such sweeping generalizations, on the basis of ONE sermon.
    I doubt that there would be a lot of other sermons with football mentioned for more than 5 minutes, and as for the one piece of scripture, I think you most likely grouped a large passage together.

    BUT ANYWAY… that’s not the point.

    The thing is… What exactly is this blog going to achieve, and how?

    What you’ve created here is basically a hub from which you can start whingeing and speculating about what’s wrong with the church and how it should be done better, and pointing out problem after problem with the church…
    And if things go according to plan, more Planetshakers will start coming here to whinge about what’s wrong, and say this is wrong, this is wrong, this is bad this is bad… never mind the amazing things that are happening with the Church, this blog is just centered on negative “feedback”.

    Besides, what was the point of your complaints about urban life groups? Is it to do with too few people joining urban life groups? Or is it to do with them being too big?
    You talk about there being too few groups, yet with this huge increase you must be hoping for we need to get more urban life leaders with heaps of training, heaps of time on their hands, must work harder, must spend more time and can’t have full time jobs?

    I think it’s really just serving to slander and discredit the hard work of the urban life leaders in the Church. (Hope people who are thinking about joining urban lifes haven’t been reading this blog!)

    I’m guessing that you’re probably hoping that eventually this blog will keep growing and continuing to accumulate exactly what’s wrong and (assuming this blog wont be 100% negative) what you think should be done to fix it up… and continue to bring more and more people till the extent that one day, one day somewhere, sometime, someday in the future the Planetshakers leadership you’ve been undermining, dishonouring, and discrediting will suddenly open up their ears and vindicate you with sweeping changes…

    But the way I see it, it could quite possibly have effects you probably didnt plan it to have.
    The way I see it, not a lot of content here seeks to help anyone with their walk with God, it doesn’t really have anything to reinforce people who are looking to build up their faith, it doesn’t help point curious people towards the truth of Jesus Christ.

    Of course you have some concerns with the way our Church is being run, but a whingefest seems to me an extremely counterproductive way to address them.

    Will be praying about these matters, and for you, immediately.

    Vic

    August 23, 2008 at 10:45 am

  4. planetshakersinsider, my advice to is to find a new church, not a mega church. a church that has a hunger to seek the face of God. One thing i learnt from being a part of mega churches is you can’t change them.

    It is up to the leaders of these churches to repent and step down and let God step up.

    Mega churches aren’t bad they just get caught up in doing church and doing really well, as we all need to put our eyes on Jesus, so do they.

    the best you can do is pray for the leadership and don’t let them distract you from growing in God.

    I also agree that modern australian church is really lacking discipleship and spiritual fathers. As the church we can’t have a false sense of accomplishment we must always long to decrease so he can increase.

    Nico Crampton

    nicocrampton

    August 23, 2008 at 12:27 pm

  5. Hi Vic,

    Thanks for returning. I appreciate your comments, and while I disagree with many of them, you do raise some good points.

    Having said that, I think you are overly negative about what is happening here, and suggest you read some of the comments shared by others. The overall tone here has been one of positive, soul-searching discussion.

    I think your immediate reaction and comments have been very negative, and I don’t see that there’s much room to turn your point of view around given that you don’t see that there is any value in even thinking about how to improve Planetshakers.

    It’s a shame, because unless we can look at how to grow and improve, we’ll always get the same thing as we always have.

    And while people fail to ask the tough questions, but rather just accept everything unconditionally and unthinkingly, how can we look at how to grow and improve?

    Again, I appreciate your comments, but disagree with them, and for the moment I plan on keeping going here. I feel convicted to act, and will continue until I feel convicted to stop.

    I am, however, saddened that you see the blog as an attack on Planetshakers, and I hope that you’re able to take a thinking-mans stance, step back, leave your emotions behind, and consider the questions raised her for yourself.

    Planetshakers Insider

    August 23, 2008 at 12:32 pm

  6. Hi Nico,

    Fantastic points here. Sadly, I think much of what you say is true – albeit pessimistic 😦

    Having said that, the unfortunate truth is after searching Melbourne for better, I’m yet to find a church that is in the same league as Planetshakers – despite its faults.

    They do things well – but not perfectly.

    Their faults are overall outweighed by their strengths.

    It’s because of this that I stay at Planetshakers – and why I feel compelled to write about Planetshakers.

    Planetshakers Insider

    August 23, 2008 at 1:03 pm

  7. Hmm, you require a name from me to post here, but you won’t reveal who you are??

    Blogs are a great place for people to think out loud, I’ve read a lot over the past 24 hours about the Mike Gug scandal – the best comment I read was Aussie simplicity – he’s a dick – he lied, scammed people, stood on the platform of Australia’s best known church and cried out for healing for a disease he now says he never had – where are the Hollywood producers?? What a story!

    So, ‘insider’ you are willing to stir up issues, not a bad thing at all, you’ll say the unsayable – but you remain anonymous…. I agree with Alister Cameron, who I know personally, that seems massively gutless!

    So instead of just spouting off about your view from the inside, show some real guts and print your name here! I will if you will!

    A

    why should I tell you?

    August 24, 2008 at 9:49 am

  8. Hi Planetshakers Insider,

    I also attend Planetshakers, and have to say that I fundamentally agree with the premise of this blog. Provided that you are not “gossiping” or “slandering” or solely providing “negative feedback”, I think that this blog has the potential to provide a much needed feedback loop to the leadership of the church — a barometer for the church that it did not have before this blog was created.

    My views of Planetshakers church and culture are overwhelmingly positive, but I do see some areas of the church culture that could be improved — especially as regards to the church’s willingness to be self-reflective, receive constructive feedback/comments, and grow/improve/better itself over time over time. I’m not talking about the growth/improvement/bettering of the services and events, but rather that the culture of the church should not be static, and should be open to refinement and improvement.

    I think that feedback and comments (when given out of the Spirit and love for Jesus and a desire to improve the part of His body that is Planetshakers) should be welcomed rather than dismissed as “divisive” or “negative” or “driven by the enemy”. More than once I have heard senior leaders say (along the lines of) “if you don’t like the way we do things here, maybe you should find another church”. That kind of approach to accountability and culture is not conducive to openness and intelligent discussions about any issues, problems, or other matters being faced by the church.

    I also find it difficult when (a) the messages preached press us to dig into the word, follow Jesus not men, and “not be about religion/religiosity, but about a personal relationship with Jesus”, but (b) we are told not to debate/discuss/question any of the church’s religion, culture and policies. I think also that (at least in part), the term “church culture” is really a synonym for “the way we do things here, which are not to be questioned or debated” and in some cases “our religious practices, which are also not to be questioned or debated”.

    I love Planetshakers and everyone in the church, but not as much as I love Christ. We follow Jesus (who is perfect), not man (who is imperfect). Planetshakers is not a perfect church, its leadership is not perfect, and its culture is not perfect — but He is perfect, and He is why the church exists.

    My desire is for Planetshakers to be filled with intelligent, bible-reading, close-to-Jesus, spirit-filled believers who want the best for His church and who aren’t agraid to suggest new ideas or give constructive feedback. I hope that, over time, Planetshakers will become a place that encourages and fosters such an approach, and is open to receiving feedback and improving its “culture”.

    I am very positive about Planetshakers, and am equally positive about the benefits that this blog could provide to the church.

    ShakeThePlanet

    August 24, 2008 at 11:50 am

  9. ShakeThePlanet:

    Fantastic comment. I couldn’t agree more wholeheartedly. I’m considering taking your comment and using it as a post.

    A:

    I haven’t censored anyone’s opinion here – but yours leaves me scratching my head.

    On the one hand, you seem very unforgiving of Mike Guglielmucci, which seems a very un-Christian response. On the other, you seem very defensive of Planetshakers City Church and say I should publish my name [apparently without reading the reason why my name hasn’t been published first] and do not provide any reason why I should publish my name. It comes across as an aggressive and overly emotional post in a place where discussion and thought is being encouraged – as “ShakeThePlanet’s” post shows.

    Planetshakers Insider

    August 24, 2008 at 2:08 pm

  10. I don’t think that your remaining anonymous is a bad thing. As an outsider to your church following the whole episode, I feel that your remaining anonymous for now keeps the issues and discussions raised impersonal, and thus, in a way, a voice for a collective of people who want discussion raised.

    If your identity is compromised, the issue will then turn to you as a person, and not the larger issues that need to be tackled in the church, and the church culture as a whole.

    That and I feel that what you’ve written so far is quite sensitively done, and raises the important questions.

    Atlasya

    August 24, 2008 at 6:23 pm

  11. Given that this blog is all about open discussions, I though it might be worthwhile giving my two cents on the issues raised on this page:

    Yes, Planetshakers is definitely a church I would be comfortable taking all of my friends to (Christian or otherwise). The praise and worship is excellent, and so is Ps Russell’s preaching.

    Regarding hype, I don’t personally see anything wrong with having great visuals, audio, and atmosphere at church — I just think that we all need to focus ourselves on Jesus, His love, and our personal relationship with Him. The “production” aspects of the services should just be aimed at making an amazing atmosphere for us to draw nearer to Him and show our love through amazing praise and worship.

    I think maybe some of the wording on the About page could be toned back a little bit — not because it is necessarily wrong, but because it might distract people from the purpose of this blog (which seems to be providing an open outlet for feedback (hopefully also including positive feedback) on all aspects of Planetshakers). Here’s my take:

    · Cancerous elements: I think rather than necessarily being “cancerous”, these elements could at least result in the church not being the best that it could be. The church, like each of us, should not only _grow_ but also _change for the better_ over time.
    · Pastoral care: I haven’t had personal experience with pastoral care issues, so I probably can’t comment on this with any authority. I do think that our Urban Life group leaders do a great job with the resources they have, and make their time (and homes) available for Urban Life evenings etc. Given that many of them are working full-time, it wouldn’t surprise me if focus/training/time/resources were an issue. So perhaps this is just a resourcing/church focus issue?
    · Few small groups: I haven’t had experience with other Melbourne churches so can’t add anything here.
    · Swallow-and-follow culture: Yes, this is definitely an issue and we are taught to follow the culture and direction of the church and its leaders without question. I’m not sure that the swallow-and-follow culture necessarily “led to” Mike Guglielmucci’s dishonesty being unquestioned, but I can see how this kind of approach might make people less likely to raise their voices/come forward when they are unsure about something or see a potential problem.
    · Emphasis on appearance: I assume that Planetshakers view would be that its what is on the inside that counts. Of course it is nice to take pride (but not too much pride!) in our appearance, but obsessing about fancy clothes and the latest Amy Winehouse-esque hairdos will not do anything to please Him. I think that those involved in youth leadership should always be hammering home messages relating to self-acceptance (and most importantly acceptance of others) — but I assume that they are doing this? As a personal comment, I would like to see more diversity in the praise and worship team — races, weights, ages, heights, … Surely we will have some amazing singers from each of the different demographics that make up the church?
    · Football/banter: As an avid St Kilda Saints fan, I have to say that I’m biased on this one. I think that what Ps Russell is trying to do here is to connect with people about things that are going on in his world (eg. running, AFL) and show a more personal side of himself. So long as he’s preaching about Jesus rather than the Saints, I don’t have a problem with him doing a little “banter” about current events.
    · Focus on numbers: I kind of agree here, but I think that this can be very difficult to measure. Obviously it is fantastic to bring people to Jesus so He can save them — lots of people saved is a great thing in my book. Obviously once a person is saved, this is where their faith journey really kicks off, so it is important that we as a church do whatever we can to help new Christians begin their walk in the strongest possible way. This means genuine support for new Christians — providing them with practical help to grow their faith and help them get into the Word. I think it also means helping new Christians to form strong personal connections with others in the church. Here’s where Urban Life’s role really comes in. Strong Urban Life groups with strong personal relationships in them and a focus on loving God, loving eachother, delving into the Word and building these personal relationships is where its at. Regarding attendance, I think having strong attendance at church is great, but you’re right that quality of faith and what we do as Christians (eg. stepping out in faith, impacting our community) is also vitally important.
    · “Beating the previous best”: I think striving to do bigger/better can be a good thing, provided that it does not become a primary aim or distract us from His other important purposes and goals for us. I’m not sure what the right mix might be, but the idea should be that we try to improve each aspect of the church in His name over time — without compromising on making Christ the focus of the church, and without putting undue emphasis on things that don’t matter to Him.

    I think that you are right — Planetshakers could be more open to feedback and suggestions. People who have questions, feedback, or concerns about any aspect of Planetshakers should be encouraged, respected, and taken seriously by the church — and given appropriate and clear channels to ask these questions and provide feedback etc. I understand the need for a cohesive church culture, but I don’t personally think that the church can achieve its full potential if it sees its culture, religious practices, and policies as being perfect, set in stone, and not to be questioned.

    Finally, I would like to see this blog continue to be about making constructive suggestions for improvement: How can Planetshakers become even stronger and better? What can the church improve on? Are there aspects of current church cultrure that might be problematic? This obviously isn’t my blog, but I hope that you will always keep the focus on making a positive contribution to Planetshakers and providing an open forum for people to raise issues (potential or actual) with any aspect of Planetshakers.

    Sorry for the lengthy post!

    ShakeThePlanet

    August 24, 2008 at 11:43 pm

  12. Oh, and regarding anonymity, if I was confident that there would be _no_ negative consequences/actions from Planetshakers for my speaking out in this way I would consider putting my name on here. Unfortunately, I don’t have that level of confidence at the moment.

    I think anonymity allows people to speak with a level of honesty and frankness that would just not be possible otherwise. I speak for myself (and I assume most other people on here) when I say that I am certainly not trying to damage the church or spread lies/gossip spoken from behind a veil of anonymity. I am just a concerned Planetshaker that loves my Jesus and wants the very best for the church.

    ShakeThePlanet

    August 24, 2008 at 11:50 pm

  13. Firstly this is the first time that I have felt lead to post a comment on any sort of Blog and to be honest I hope it is the last.

    I have to say that I agree with Vic and Alister and have to question the heart motive behind this blog. I am not in anyway associated with Planetshakers Church. I am a member of the Australian Christian Churches and in leadership in a large church in Queensland.

    After reading your replies to the others that dare to question you on your motives I am pretty sure that me putting my 2 cents in is not going to change you attitude but I feel strongly enough that I am willing to post, more in the hope of bringing some sort of balance and encouraging caution within people who are reading this blog than changing your opinion.

    You make the claim that Planetshakers is a good church but that it is not perfect. As I have already said I am in leadership in a large church. Have you ever stoped to think about the logistics of managing a church of a considerable size? What one person sees as being a good thing another sees being bad. The life of a church leader or senior pastor is unfortunately a constant balancing act between doing what they have been called to do by God and listening to the complaints that come from people about the very things that they are doing in obedience to God.

    I can assure you that there would not be a church in the country over the size of 500 people that does not receive multiple complaints every week over some aspect of the service that took place on Sunday. These are only the people who have the guts to put their complaint down on paper or make a phone call. Sadly these are the easy ones to deal with. There are far more people out their running around sewing discord behind the scenes and creating problems which unfortunately are normally so out of control by the time they reach leadership that the leadership is left with a huge mess that requires so much of the leaders that it takes away from their time and energy to be able to deal with the needs and pastoral care of those who really need it.

    Planetshakers Insider, this is my concern with this blog. Yes I agree that there is nothing overtly negative that you “yourself” have posted yet but there are definitely seeds of dissent. You have opened a porthole where people with grudges and offence can gather and “share” about the hurts that they carry towards Planetshakers. From past experience in dealing with groups that get together to “talk about what could be done better”, I can guarantee that it will only be a matter of time before the “sharing” will turn to gossip and slander and you will have a melee of offended and hurting people all feeding of one another’s hurts and offence and creating one big infection that you will not be able to control. Sure you can shut this blog down but by then you will either be that caught up in it that you won’t know better or the group that you have created will just rename its self and pop up somewhere else.

    If you are truly seeking to help make Planetshakers Church a better place why don’t you go humbly to your leadership through the appropriate channels and share with them not your concerns and grievances but the ideas that you may have to help make Planetshakers a better place. It may take weeks or months to be able to speak directly to the level of leadership that I suspect you want to especially with the number of people who will be in need of care at present. You may even be surprised to find out that some of your ideas have already been tried or are in the pipeline.

    In the current climate what Planetshakers needs most are people who are willing to be part of the solution by getting on board and doing the hard yards. Picking up their part of the load and working together with leadership to keep the ship moving. By moving in your own direction while choosing to stay at Planetshakers all you will do is create resistance and more work for leadership to have to deal with thus adding to the perpetual increase in workload on leadership and add to your first complaint of a lack of pastoral care for those who really need it. Why? Because it is being taken up by those who don’t really need it!

    This is your opportunity to take a step back and have a look at this situation from a bigger perspective. Are you really being part of the solution or are you acting out of the frustration that you feel towards the church because you don’t feel you are being heard within the church.

    As I said I hope to not have to post again but I assume that you have my email as I have provided it to post so if you wish to contact me and speak personally I am willing to share from my experience.

    Justin.

    Justin

    August 25, 2008 at 3:42 pm

  14. PlanetShakers Insider: Is there any mechanism by which I can pass along some private comments? I would not want to risk my identity being disclosed, not even to you … so if you have a third-party email address somewhere (e.g. Hotmail, Gmail) which doesn’t identify you, perhaps you could publish that?

    Anonymous

    August 25, 2008 at 4:36 pm

  15. Justin:

    I appreciate your comments – really, I do.

    I do want to keep the chatter as positive and thoughtful as it has been so far. And, I said on another comment here, seeing change at Planetshakers is going to be like turning the Titanic – if it happens, it will take time – I’m aware of the difficulties of working with large groups of people.

    But regarding your comment:

    “If you are truly seeking to help make Planetshakers Church a better place why don’t you go humbly to your leadership through the appropriate channels and share with them not your concerns and grievances but the ideas that you may have to help make Planetshakers a better place.”

    Unfortunately, they simply don’t want to listen.

    As other Planetshakers members have stated on this blog, Planetshakers leadership has been very clear that if we don’t like how things are done, we should look for a new church.

    As you see on this blog, there are several users (including several posting in this thread) using pseudonyms because they fear being booted from Planetshakers in reprisal.

    As this page says:

    “Unfortunately, with a church culture that discourages any sort of feedback, as it views questioning and constructive criticism as divisiveness, communicating genuine concerns and working towards positive improvements within the church is all but impossible for a lay church member. As a result, this blog was born.”

    I agree, it would be wonderful if Planetshakers Leadership was receptive, and that this blog is not a perfect solution – but in the meantime it’s the best we have.

    If Ps Russell Evans or Ps Sam Evans or any of the Planetshakers leadership wanted to contact me about this, assuming I was confident that I would be safe in doing so, I would have no problems speaking to them one-on-one.

    Anonymous:

    I’ve posted my email address on the most recent blog post here.

    Planetshakers Insider

    August 25, 2008 at 11:01 pm

  16. PSI:

    After reading your post, I don’t understand why you are staying.

    Honestly, you won’t find a mega-church (In Australia or anywhere else) that doesn’t have the problems you listed. You could have called your blog, Mega Church Insider and it would have been just as appropriate. You’ve managed to pick up a lot of the downfalls of the mega church movement (and it is a movement!).

    That being said, I would encourage you to leave and find a place that suites you better.

    xnowimcoolx

    August 26, 2008 at 7:04 am

  17. Pastor Evans ‘If you don’t like it then leave’ is typical of the AOG church in general.

    Now what would Jesus have said.

    i suggest he would have shown love and compassion.

    Instaed Evans and his ilk are only interested in building their little empires. Whereas Jesus was interest in building the kingdom. Jesus never turned anyone away, yet evans does with his ‘if you don’t like it leave’ comments.

    We in the AOG church wonder why we get media attention such as tonight program of Today Tonight.

    We get my dear pastors, because you cover everything up and then when it is exposed don’t want to talk about it. It happenned last year in my own church when the senior pastor wass caught in adultery and visiting brothels.

    We were told he had had a moral failing and the leadership did not want to discuss it. but slowly the truth came put from some rebel pasators with the guts to speak the truth and they were then sidelined for a while. So much for the truth will set you free.

    The AOG treats its congregations like little children. By hiding the truth they are saying they do not believe the truth will set you free.

    By hiding the truth the walk in the darkness; which is not the way of Jesus.

    My friends, Pastor evans and Houson the truth will set you free, only by walking in the light can you repel media attention.

    On your current path, you walk in darkness, you leave a train wreck behind you and you have no freedom. On your current path you are no better than the exclusive brethen and othe cults.

    it is time to be forthright and honest; we can handle the truth. What we can’t handle are lies and deception.

    Robert

    August 26, 2008 at 5:31 pm

  18. Hi PlanetShakers Insider,

    There are some pros and cons of your blog and most of them have been listed here already by previous posters. I would like to commend you for what you have done and by moderating it well and making sure the tone is kept positive and constructive – this can do a lot of good.

    Will it make the current pastors and leaders open their eyes and change their ways? Maybe.

    At the end of the day, we can look and point at Pastor Evans and Houston at what they do but in the end they are still people. People who will falter and fail INSPITE of the influence they wield.

    I am amazed how the pastors of the church is subject to so much scrutiny whereas football stars, pop idols, politicians get away with lighter sentences. I still think the media in general is biased anyway and like any other business – concerned with their bottom line rather than what they say they would do.

    But that is the same thing for all of us. Its in our nature to do anything to survive in this world. I dont know what prompts Ps. Evans to say those things but then again no one knows the whole story. If I was Ps. Evans and I hear 30 complaints a day about what I have done wrong and maybe 10 praises per week about what I have done right – I would be prompted to say the same thing as well!

    In summary, while we can focus on what our pastors/church have failed to deliver to our expectations – we should ask the same question to ourselves. What have we done to meet what Jesus expects of us?

    Keep up the good work!

    mike

    August 27, 2008 at 11:14 am

  19. Hi,

    A ‘big thanks!’ for hosting this blog and giving a platform for Christians and non-Christians to critique the mega-church phenomenon called Planetshakers.

    Doubtless some comments will fall into the ‘gossip’ and ‘criticizing’ form. The reality is gossip and criticism already exists whether we like it or not. And yes, perpetrated by Christians and Planetshaker members themselves. It happens when churches get too big and doesn’t have time to listen.

    The point is it is not always gossip and criticism. In fact, the majority of genuine believers hold fast to the ideal of not gossiping and criticizing. Many (wrongly) stifle hurt and pain in order to keep this commandment. And consequently, this has led to a situation where we play dumb, stay mute, close a blind eye when we should have spoken out about things that are unacceptable, ungodly and plain old wrong but done in the name of Jesus. (see Todd Bentley fiasco)

    With megachurches, there is the amplified dimension of human pride. The bigger we get, the more humble we should be. Theoretically. But in the last few years, we’re noticing this ‘anomaly’: certain celebrity pastors getting less and less humble and more and more off-base. The way they carry themselves, the way they live, their outlook on materialism, the way they handle disagreement and dissenting opinion, they way they promote leadership, they way they relate to the ordinary believer on a day to day basis – it doesn’t tally with the Bible.

    Within the Pentecostal churches, it is not uncommon to hear tales of pastors saying ‘sorry mate, you don’t like the way we do things here, go somewhere else…’ or ‘.. too bad.’ Tragically, such anecdotes aren’t coming from non-believers, the immature in the Lord, or troublemakers just out for a stir-up. They are coming from Christians who have served faithfully, with a proven record of keeping God’s commandments, and are part of a long-term commitment to the fellowship.

    We all suspected in mega-churches it’d be more and more difficult for people to go to a senior pastor to talk things out. We just didn’t realize how bad it’d be.

    This scenario is now common:

    The Senior Pastor is too busy being top cat. His corporate duties, his evangelistic ministry to countries on the other side of the globe, his speaking engagements, his book signings, his concert tours, his obligations to secular politics.

    He thinks he can solve the problem by appointing assistants and home group leaders. So he appoints dozens of them.

    Problem solved? No way! What happens is in fact the man has now placed himself in a glass bubble. He is surrounded by a massive structure, echelon-upon-echelon of secondary leaders, associates and assistant pastors (quite often aggressive young bucks who mistake ‘aggressiveness’ for ‘passion’).

    These secondary leaders, being human, are incapable and untrained to communicate accurately just exactly what a lamb is saying to its shepherd. It is the proverbial pass-the-message-down-the-chain-gang parlour game. Then some assistant leader will have his own agenda, or, out of good intentions, decides it’s better not to convey the message at all. Hence, we have censorship of communication.

    A few years down the road, what is essentially a small problem becomes a ridiculously big one. People are hurt, people leave. Or some lamb self-implodes. And kills half a dozen sheep standing nearby. And the Senior Pastor sits in his little study and wonders why. All along, he’s thinking he’s doing a fantastic job: the sheep are well fed, feeding on the right grain, ready to reproduce healthy and robust kids in springtime. Can it be true, he thinks, is half the flock dying, some are being chased by wolves, some are eating grain but purging everything out because it doesn’t agree with their stomach, can it be?

    Micheal Guglielmucci isn’t a phenomenon. He is indeed the making of a megachurch who isn’t listening as well as it should be.

    I think blogs such as this one are crucial to keep megachurches listening to some frank talk because for a long time, there has been no other way.

    This believer supports blogs!

    heimi

    August 28, 2008 at 6:30 am

  20. I don’t see why you don’t just move on to a different church. Find somewhere you agree with and can contribute positively. If you don’t feel like you can approach the leadership with issues or feedback, a blog ain’t the answer. Seriously.

    Hmmm

    August 28, 2008 at 10:54 pm

  21. I go to Planetshakers and i was affected alot buy this situation and i beleive the Church did a great Job Pastoraly caring for people I felt loved helped and that they were 100% honest with me so You have all these ppl judging the church but they helped me get through this emotionlay and spiritually

    A Person

    August 30, 2008 at 3:57 pm

  22. Its a Pentecostal church that teaches Pentecostalism… That’s the problem with the church! Not that its a ‘mega church’.
    Within ‘Pento’ churches anything goes… false prophecy, false speaking in tongues (and if any of it is legit than its breaching the biblical guide lines of 3 at a time and MUST be interpreted), The baptism of the Holy Spirit as a second “blessing” of the Holy Spirit after initial conversion, with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues. This belief (without the speaking in tongues) matches the Roman Catholic and Orthodox sacrament of confirmation. If you don’t get this second blessing then you’re not ‘close to God’ and God can’t work through you fully, Women can be church pastors, elders, Some extreme Pentecostals believe that if you don’t speak in tongues you’re not saved at all, God heals all sicknesses because of Jesus’ death on the cross, Christians should all be wealthy, healthy, prosperous etc, Jesus was wealthy so we should be wealthy, Christians can be demonically possessed – this is part of their ‘deliverance’ ministry, ‘Slaying in the Spirit’, Apostles that have the same authority as the 12 apostles!, Pentecostal churches have heaps of false apostles…(Todd Bentley! BAM!)

    Next time when I have more time ill provide the verses, but i don’t right now, sorry.

    The bible is clear, the pento church is not, get out while you still can!

    One of main function of the church is to teach the truth – Mat 28:18-20 & Eph 4:11-16. A good church teaches the truth form the bible.

    Name (required)

    August 31, 2008 at 11:14 am

  23. Hey ShakeThePlanet.

    You said this:
    “As a personal comment, I would like to see more diversity in the praise and worship team — races, weights, ages, heights, … Surely we will have some amazing singers from each of the different demographics that make up the church?”

    Surely you have noticed that Mike was of big build? He may not be there anymore, but it is one example. The next is Matty B. He’s not gigantic, but not small either. Anyway, the fact that they aren’t heavy means little; in order to be able to keep up the energy to span over conference (so they arent collapsing by week 3) and/or church (three services now…lots of energy required), all of them work out or at least run fairly reguarly. Then there is the couple whose names escape me, who are dark-skinned. Age range, depending on the meeting, 19 to 40 years old. Heights…Need I say anything? Henry’s short. Morgs is tall. Everyone else falls in between. And I doubt they’re basing their singer choices on height, somehow.

    Steve

    August 31, 2008 at 10:30 pm

  24. We have annointed leaders, and they are doing a fantastic job!

    What feedback do you feel to give tho PSinsider? What should they do differently?
    Or do you just want to create a hype yourself with this website?

    You seem to be in dissaproval about what is happening at Shakers yet talk like you wish to stay there.. Why is that? You like the music? you like the Speakers?

    If i dont like a movie im watching you know what, I put something else on.. I dont call up Kerry stokes and tell him what to program on TV.

    When im under no-obligation to do something then it is my choice whether to do it. No one is under any obligation to go to Planetshakers, so I dont understand the purpose of this website and its existance, other than to try and pull down the work of God.

    May God do some awesome work in this city, starting with you my son!

    EB

    September 2, 2008 at 3:01 pm

  25. hi PS insider,

    i was can say an ex-PS kind of associated church… comin fr tat environment i do agree wid your points…sometime i think we try to b “GOOD” Christians and cover up everything behind a spiritual answers that we fail to identify problems in our church..not oni PS but any churches… i do agree no churches are perfect…or no human being is perfect but don’t always take tat as excuse to cover up our mistakes…..

    admit…seek help and move on…i think wat we looking here is honesty n Christ driven generation……Jesus didn’t say go and make numbers…He said go and make disciples….
    we need to understand actual meaning of disciples…..it is easy to bring people to Christ but discipling them…that’s da most important…da foundation(Word of God)…need to be planted…coming fr PS kind of affilated church..i did c da failure wen leadership more concern about numbers than building da people……. God is a very orderly person…i think order is very important in churches….

    i think we need to realize n admit there is problems…let face it and correct….in regard mike gug…i don’t c anyway PS regretted or felt sorry for what happen… in the name of protecting church unity they actually failed to address the problem…..

    i think we as Christ followers need to rise up and pray for revival in churches before revivals take place in nations….. do not worship or idolized movements rather worship The One…i do admit that i have made mistakes worshiping bands, preachers and churches…but Thank God for His corrections to remove idols fr my heart…

    answer this question i belive you will know where your heart is:

    a) you like PS songs is it because of the band or because you really want to worship God

    b) will you able to worship God without PS or any other bands???

    c) Who is Christ in your life???

    please axamine every spirit before blindly follow anything…always accountable to some1 you can trust whom you know their walk wid Christ is right….don’t open doors for enemy…God bless all……

    P/s

    September 8, 2008 at 9:05 pm

  26. I Just want to recommend a very insightful and ‘call to arms’ book for yourself and others who visit the site to read…

    ‘The Truth War’ by John MacArthur.

    Read This!

    September 9, 2008 at 5:09 pm

  27. I think you have a great an amazing blog!

    Very insightful…well thought out, meaningful and correct. Unlike a lot of nasty blogs that are out there I don’t think yours is negative or critical at all – in fact many of your observations are spot on.

    I do think it is hypocritical of you to stay at the church – and write about all things you disagree with.

    You seem to criticize all the elements which really make up a mega church – yet you love it because it is a mega church. There are probably many “smaller” churches in Melbourne that would suit you to a TEE – but you don’t like them – because they’re too small.

    While all your comments are good and really are just about being open. Unfortunately your words do have the power to undermine the faith of some whose conscience is not so strong.

    Leave the church and go elsewhere otherwise admit to the fact that God has not put you in charge of Planet Shakers nor are the pastors required to run everything passed you for your approval.

    Justin

    September 30, 2008 at 5:01 pm

  28. Hi, Planethsakers Insider.

    I am from Indonesia. I always went to church back in Indonesia. I am not from Christian family. I came to Melbourne in January 2008, I began to attend Planetshakers in March for the very first time.

    My first impression about Planetshakers City Church is “AMAZING”. Don’t get me wrong. I am not talking about the praise and worship performance (my church back in Indonesia is exactly similar as Planetshakers, so, honestly, I was not that impressed when I step my feet into the service for the first time), I am talking about the very very strong sense of His presence everytime I come and worship Him together with all other believers.

    In Bible, it’s said that “For where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I among them.”

    What makes you have very negative thoughts about this church? Don’t let the bad experience hold you, enemy knows your weakness, don’t fall into him..

    People may hurt us intentionally, but, if we peservere, God will lift us up eventually.

    In my lifetime, I have been attending many churches, and I will say, none of them is perfect, and we are too. So, why do we have to waste our time by judging and correcting the imperfection of someone / party with our own understanding? “Trust in Lord with all your heart, do not depend on your own understanding.”

    I don’t believe that God will do the same thing as you are doing now. He is a loving God, He always forgives us. And we have been forgiven.

    About Pastor Russell Evans, he is a very great pastor. He loves football, so what so matters about that? He definitely speaks about God more than football. There is always mnore than 1 piece of Scripture he refers to during his preaching. On 21st of September, He was talking about the sound of heaven on earth, there were more than 3 pieces of Scripture. (I can tell you another ones, as I always take notes during any sermons) ^^

    Hey, Planetshakers Insider, I pray that you will realize what you’re doing now. I also pray that He will wash the heartache away that you might be feeling right now.

    Don’t misunderstand me, I haven’t served this church yet, but, I am madly in love with these people in church. I don’t long for perfection, as I am not perfect, all I seek is a togetherness at seeking His face.

    And, one more thing, I have a very awesome leader, she is always busy, but, deep inside, she very cares for me, everytime I tell her that I need her now, she will immediately come and stay on the side of me.

    Overall, what I’m saying is not about the church itself, it’s about God and His people. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is : ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”

    “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.”

    Massive God’s blessings for you, Planetshakers Insider. =))

    JCC

    September 30, 2008 at 10:28 pm

  29. Hello, P/s..!!

    ^^ I am an active member of Planetshakers city Church. To tell you the truth (in front of God), nowadays, I am not listening to Planetshakers songs. I listen to another Christian singer’s songs.

    And, one more thing, why did you refer “worship” term only to songs? We worship God with our mind, strength, acts, words, etc.

    “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”

    Be blessed..!! =))

    JCC

    September 30, 2008 at 10:35 pm

  30. I don’t understand how you are a religious. I’ve been reading through other parts of this blog. And what you write is pretty spot on. You write a lot of what I would write, especially your post in response to the questioning as to the purpose of this blog. I find it very difficult to fathom you are religious. So honestly tell me are you religious?
    – Please feel free to e-mail me

    Abbadon

    October 1, 2008 at 4:42 am

  31. @Abbadon – You’re right – I’m not religious.

    Religious people are committed first to the church (whatever church that might be) and secondly to God.

    For me, it’s not about religion (the sacred nature of altar calls, how leaders should be revered, how they should cover us lest we fall into harms way) – it’s about getting into a genuine and real relationship with Jesus.

    Anything that stands in the way of that genuine relationship needs to be cut out like a cancer, burned off like the chaff from the wheat, and removed entirely as it only stands to take things away from genuine seekers.

    @JCC – “And, one more thing, why did you refer ‘worship’ term only to songs?”

    I didn’t. At least not on this page.

    Having said that, it would be apt (correct) to refer to ‘worship’ as singing songs in the context of Planetshakers City Church services, as singing songs is the focus of all worship in Planetshakers church services.

    @Justin –

    “I think you have a great an amazing blog!”

    Thanks!

    “You seem to criticize all the elements which really make up a mega church – yet you love it because it is a mega church.”

    It’s not because it’s big that I like it – it’s because I went to a dozen-or-so other churches as a relatively new Christian, and it was the first one that seemed to do most things so well.

    Planetshakers Insider

    October 2, 2008 at 10:55 am

  32. Hi there,

    Just found your blog and am enjoying the honest discussion within. Planet Shaker Insider… you mentioned you were afraid to contact the leadership of Planetshakers Church – don’t be, they are ignorant, arrogant, proud and cowardly. We have been publishing Watchman Reports (not nearly as gently as you do) on their doctrinal departures for years, and we don’t even get so much as a ‘talk to the hand’ courtesy, despite many, many challenges for a response.

    Russell Evan’s brother Ashley (senior pastor of the Paradise Community Church here in South Australia) who appears to be competing with Rus to see who can build the biggest ‘church’, has obviously also adopted the unbiblical ‘do not respond to criticism’ creed. I am convinced this is because he knows he cannot Scripturally defend the tactics used to build the rickety castle of bling he has erected on his hallowed seeker sensitive sand.

    I don’t expect this to be published on your blog, I send it as an encouragement to you and others who see error in the Body to stand up and expose it as you ought (Ephesians 5:11). Don’t fear man, it is a snare. If God is for you who can be against you?

    As for Russell’s challenge ‘if you don’t like it leave’ I would support just that in accordance with 2 Corinthians 6:17.

    Keep fighting the good fight.

    In His Everlasting Embrace

    Watchman

    Watchman

    October 31, 2008 at 4:18 pm

  33. Hi,

    I am quite interested in your view of Planetshakers. I myself am a Christian going to an ACC church and struggling to… submit to the style and format of the church. I’ve never been to, or plan to go to Planet Shakers, but would like to know more about your experiences.

    Sam

    July 16, 2009 at 8:51 pm

  34. After reading some of the comments posted here, I felt compelled to write about my own experience with Planetshakers. It has been overwhelmingly positive.

    I came to this church almost a year ago. I didn’t know anyone and I had been through a difficult marriage break-up that left me a single mother.

    The first meeting I was there, I had a lovely couple warmly greet me and ask me to come and sit with them. They had a chat with me and led me over to a pastor who prayed with me at the front after the service.

    At Urban Life meetings, I have received words of encouragement and warm smilles from people I didn’t even know.

    One Sunday, Ps Russell Evans called up all the single mothers, prayed a blessing over us and then took up a collection. I ended up with $200 that helped me cover the cost of Christmas.

    That church IS following the mandate of Christ!

    I go to Planetshakers to worship God and be part of a church community. The meetings provide an annointed atmosphere to do this. I also go to give my time and have volunteered for care follow-up calls and community projects (ie. scrubbing off graffiti at housing commission estates). As I have received kindness, I want to give it out as well.

    From an insider’s point of view, Planetshakers is a wonderful, wonderful church. They are truly bringing Heaven to Earth.

    Felt Compelled to Write

    February 25, 2010 at 2:00 pm

  35. honestly the best thing about planetshakers was the way i was welcomed when i first come there, i dont appreciate the little sales sermon before the offering buckets go by, and even at urban life there is no need we all know the urban life offering goes to the planetboom busses for the children to get to the youth ministry and if we want to give we will give, valubale time at urban life is wasted preching when we could be building our personall relationships with eacth other.

    so the pastor had a moral failiure he needed sez he went to the brothell,,,, brothels are there to run a service for people could you imagin the rape satistics if we didnt have them, i had a argument at ul over this cause i said next time you see a prostitute you shouldnt knock them as they may be the only thing stopping you from being raped in the street

    i will tell you i go to planetshakers, i serve in the church, i go to the mens gallery, and i personally go to the brothel, and if anyone has a problem with that id encourage feedback……

    pshaker

    March 20, 2010 at 9:35 am

  36. That’s just sick. And that’s absolving all responsibility for rape for the pastor and rapists with your “brothels prevent people from being raped”. And here I thought Christianity was all about self control. Thank you for making your church look even worse.

    Ally

    March 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm

  37. makin my church look even worse, i dont think so, i beleive in God yes im also a single man living in the real world and every man has there needs ok id rather do it leagally then sleeze on anyone in the church.

    i honestly dont give a fuck if you think its sick God know me he knows my heart and my intenions

    bless ya heaps.

    pshaker

    March 29, 2010 at 8:04 pm

  38. Just been to Conference and heard John Bevere preach about being who we really are and not living up to who we want people to believe we are. Very timely for Planetshakers considering the number of orange skinned,heavily made up young women who wear clothing and shoes that can only be described as distracting, especially when on platform. I had a friend come to church with me for the first time and she thought a couple of these women were transvestites!! They were interns! It’s that bad and sadly the new Beautiful Women Promo reflects this!
    What has happened?? Planetshakers never used to be about tack– it was real and down to earth, genuine and authentic.. When did all this fake stuff become okay– who is monitoring it???

    Angel

    April 8, 2010 at 10:38 am

  39. Hey Planetshakers Insider,
    Have just recieved the Volunteer Form for PS. Pretty invasive, how can I get it to you?
    Angel

    Angel

    August 10, 2011 at 10:48 pm

  40. Hi, can you please contact me?

    Thanks

    Jason

    Jason Van Haaster

    September 30, 2011 at 12:50 pm

  41. Would be happy to but don’t have an email address.

    Angel

    September 30, 2011 at 3:57 pm

  42. Planetshakers City Church Volunteers
    Volunteer Application – Confidential
    Thank you for expressing interest in serving at Planetshakers City Church. To maintain our commitment to excellence, this application is necessary for preserving our safe environment and complying with the National Child protection requirements from the A.O.G. We thank you for joining with us in our commitment to protect our young people and look forward to ministering together.
    You must fully and accurately complete this Volunteer Application. (Please include a photo)
    GENERAL INFORMATION
    Information contained within this application will remain confidential and will be disclosed only to those individuals needing to know in order to carry out their responsibilities for Planetshakers City Church or as required by law.
    Volunteer Area: __________________________________________
    Name: __________________________________________
    Marital status: ____________________________
    Date of birth_________
    Spouses name if married____________________________________
    Children’s names and ages: ____________________________________________________________________
    Address: _____________________________________________________________________________
    Prior Address: _____________________________________________________________________________
    Home phone: ( ) _____________ Work phone: ( ) ________________
    Mobile___________________
    E-Mail: ________________________

    BACKGROUND INFORMATION
    1. Do you regularly attend the Planetshakers City Church services
    ____Yes ____No If yes, since when? _____________________________
    2. How long have you been attending Planetshakers _________ and which campus do you attend? ________________________
    3. Is Planetshakers your home church? [ ] no [ ] yes [ ]
    4. In what capacities are you presently serving? _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    5. Please list your previous church affiliations, including length of time attended. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    6. Please describe your previous ministry experience or pertinent training (Prior experience and/or training are not prerequisites)
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    7. Please describe why you have decided to serve in this volunteer ministry.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    8. Have you committed to trust and follow Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?
    ____Yes ____No
    9. Have you been Water Baptised by full emersion?
    ____Yes ____No
    10. Have you been baptised in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues?
    ____Yes ____No
    11. Please describe your salvation experience
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    12. Our desire is that each of us be growing in Christ. Please describe your daily walk with God:
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    PERSONAL INFORMATION
    The following information is very personal. Please know that it will remain confidential and will be considered in light of the life changing and healing power of Jesus Christ.
    1. Have you ever been convicted or pleaded guilty to a crime?
    ____Yes ____No If yes, explain: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    2. Have you ever been convicted, accused of, or have you ever committed any act of physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, molestation, or exploitation of a minor?
    ___Yes ____No If yes, explain: _____________________________________________
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    3. If there has been alcohol abuse, drug abuse, physical or sexual abuse in your family background, please describes the steps you have taken to overcome the impact that these issues will create for you, both now and in the future.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    4. Is there currently any physical abuse, neglect, or unhealthy habits in your life or home?
    ____Yes ____No If yes, explain: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    5. Have you or anyone else ever been concerned that you may have an addiction to drugs, alcohol, pornography or any other addiction?
    ____Yes ____No If yes, explain: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    6. Are there any circumstances or patterns in your life which would make it inappropriate for you to minister to minors or which would compromise the integrity of Planetshakers City Church?
    ____Yes ____No If yes, explain: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    7. Do you need help addressing any personal issues?
    ____Yes ____No If yes, explain: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    REFERENCES
    Please list three people who have known you for at least one year who would be able to attest to your character and to your ability to work with children. Please note one of these references must be from a Pastor of Planetshakers City Church.
    1. Name: _____________________________________ Length of time known: _____________
    Nature of association: ______________________ Occupation: __________________________
    Address: _____________________________________________________________________
    Home phone: ( ) _________________ Work phone: ( ) _________________
    2. Name: _____________________________________ Length of time known: _____________
    Nature of association: ______________________ Occupation: __________________________
    Address: _____________________________________________________________________
    Home phone: ( ) _________________ Work phone: ( ) _________________
    3. Name: _____________________________________ Length of time known: _____________
    Nature of association: ______________________ Occupation: __________________________
    Address: _____________________________________________________________________
    Home phone: ( ) _________________ Work phone: ( ) _________________
    AUTHENTICITY AND AUTHORISATION
    The information contained in this application is correct to the best of my knowledge. I authorise any references listed in this application to give you any information (including opinions) that they have regarding my character and ability to work with children. I authorize the release of the information contained in this application to any ministry at Planetshakers City Church in which I seek a position. I waive any right that I may have to inspect any information provided about me by any person or organization identified by me in this application.
    I have carefully read and understand the criminal records release (on following page) and sign this release as my own free act.
    Applicant’s signature: ___________________________________________ Date: __________

    REQUEST FOR CRIMINAL RECORDS CHECK AND AUTHORIZATION
    Important: This section must be completed by every applicant regardless of criminal record.
    I hereby request and authorize the release of any information which pertains to any record of convictions contained in law enforcement files or in any criminal file maintained on me whether local, state or national. I hereby release local, state and national law enforcement agencies from any and all liability resulting from such disclosure. I further acknowledge that if a criminal background check is conducted as may be required under the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, I may be denied access to children while the application is pending. I further understand that in accordance with this law, if I am denied a position because of a conviction which appears as a result of such search, I may challenge such information.
    Signature: ____________________________________________ Today’s date: ____________
    Print name: ___________________________________________________________________
    Print maiden name (if applicable) __________________________________________________
    Print all aliases: _______________________________________________________________
    Date of birth: ________________________ Place of birth: _____________________________
    Driver’s license number: _______________________________
    State: _____________

    Angel

    September 30, 2011 at 4:04 pm

  43. To insider:
    You know if you’re truly a lover of Jesus, you wouldn’t want to talk about bad things about a church.
    And if your concern is that you cannot feel the Presence of God being there, then why do you end up criticizing? Shouldn’t you pray to God and ask Him to guide that particular church instead of writing comments that would affect and discourage Christians?

    Those who can-do; those who can’t-criticize.

    secret.peace!

    November 6, 2011 at 4:29 pm

  44. All it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to say nothing. Well done on this blog & for speaking up. I have also been concerned for a number of weeks at the way the women are dressing at Planetshakers Church in Melbourne [Dallas Brooks Centre]. There seems to be a over emphasis in dressing in tight & skimpy outfits, tights & high heels, often not leaving much to the imagination etc, you have to ask are they dressing for a night club or a cocktail bar? Often led by a leaders wife at the front the younger women seem to delight to wear things tight, short & revealing, lots of time spent on appearance, looking good for the boys. I believe it is inappropriate for a Church & it grieves the Holy Spirit. A senior leader even said a while back from the front when he was home [and not travelling overseas AGAIN] “boys are ugly, girls are pretty”, what was THAT supposed to mean & why would he say that? It was well documented disgraced Planetshakers Pastor Michael Guglielmucci had a major problem [by his own admission, refer TV interview Youtube files] with lust & pornography, but this was seemingly unchecked by those over him & who employed him in the Church. Is this is what the “culture” will produce? When is the last time the leader actually preached from the Bible?

    Pete

    December 27, 2011 at 8:51 am

  45. Wow…this is nuts.

    What would Jesus do? I don’t think he’d be wasting his time with blogs when there is a whole world that needs to know him. If you feel the church isn’t doing it then it can only start to change with you!

    I’m a pastors kid, been in church all my life and been blessed enough to have had parents that put us before ministry…I believe that is why all 3 kids are still passionately serving Jesus.

    I’m young (well 25…) But having lived in the pastors house I recognise the damage this sort of ‘forum for feedback’ causes.

    Theres no point trying to rehash what has already been said but one thing I haven’t seen asked is this,

    If you feel there is a lack of pastoral care, have you volunteered to be a home group leader? Have you gone looking for some people you can do life with and help along their journey?
    Do you look out for people on a Sunday who are on their own and connect with them?

    So often I have seen people leave church over a problem(s) that they themselves could have been the solution to, or worse – stay and spread discontent to others who were actually happy.

    When we get to heaven, we will be judged on what we did do to build the kingdom. My advice? Ditch the blog and spend your time more effectively – why not find your nearest home group and ask how you can help the leaders provide better pastoral care?

    Be the change you want to see in the world, or in this case, the church.

    Bec

    April 6, 2012 at 9:05 am

  46. Is it just me?
    I love attending Planetshakers – the atmosphere is great, the people are quite friendly and the preaching is quite good too, however…
    Whenever the church announces a conference, I feel that it is a bit too aggressive. I remember one time a lady on the platform asked how many people had registered…then demanded to those who hadn’t (not personally, but in general) “Why have you not registered yet?” I felt quite offended (I know she didn’t mean it to sound like that – I hope so anyway – it was the pushyness I was offended by – it’s interesting that the lady (I don’t know her name and probably wouldn’t put it here anyway) hasn’t been on the platform since then) And just last year, they had only just finished the last conference and they were already advertising the next conference 2012!
    I feel that this ‘pushing’ (for lack of a better term) makes it all seem quite commercialised – yes the conference probably would be amazing – especially for the price, but the way they push it (announcing it often, generating hype for it during the service, etc.) turns me off actually going to a conference.
    Am I the only one who feels this way?
    Btw, Planetshakers Insider, my friend (who comes with me to Planetshakers and started going with me at the same time I started going) saw this blog and mentioned that she thinks something might be changing. Let me explain.
    When we first came, the first thing that we noticed was the ‘overabundance’ of make-up, on most of the girls faces. Now I’m not against wearing makeup (obviously!) but I did think that the amount of makeup made the church-goers look like they were going to a club and not a church. (I read someone else’s comments here on how one of her visiting friends thought they were transvestites? I don’t like to agree with that, but unfortunately, that description is close, and, contrary to what anyone may say, that we should be focusing on Jesus and not on what people are wearing, it’s quite hard to do that when distracted by these things – especially as this was our FIRST TIME to the church).
    Now, however, the makeup seems to be quite subdued. No orange skin, no overly made-up faces. My friend commented that she thinks perhaps the pastors may actually be tuning in to this blog and taking some measures (however small). We’re not sure, but just this indication has clued us up. So hopefully this blog will continue to be positive (I’m sure that is your intent), and that the church will use the constructive criticism to improve (if and when they feel the call of God to do so). So keep it up and be encouraged!

    Missy

    April 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm

  47. Just because Planetshaker Insider has exaggerated to make a point does not mean that his arguments are worthless.

    Anyone with half an eye of perception can see that Russell Evans is an untrustworthy individual who uses the name of Jesus to seek personal weath, honour and prestige. Planet$hakers, Hill$ong, Ari$e, Audaciou$, etc, etc are all about “feel good” church, building the self-belief and self-esteem of their members using half-baked psychology laced with a bit of Biblical flavouring. These are not churches in the true sense – we, the members are church. These orgnisations are businesses owned by individuals. Hence the total lack of respect for external scrutiny and opinion. The leaders exploit the loopholes in charity status to hide assets for their personal use and future wealth.

    And do you know what the tragedy is? It’s that with some good accounatblity and governance, these movements could be awesome for God!

    It makes me cry inside whenever I happen to be on a plane with the leaders of these churches – they are always at the front enjoying the richness of God’s abundance, while I, as a steward of my shareholders’ investments, choose to sit further back down the plane having bought a cheaper ticket (as do all of their interns, BTW). They live like lottery winners – gotta get a Harley and designer jeans!!

    And the conferences, well those just take the biscuit. Can anyone actually remember what any of all the conferences was about? What changed in youir life? What the was the blinding insight? Just another money making opportunity. Having piad $200+ to attend the conference, why should I have to pay another $80+ for a record of the talks on a $10 memory key? No respect for their flock at all.

    Jimmy

    November 12, 2012 at 9:52 am

  48. To everyone I would like to share my experience for being at PSCC.

    I started off being fragile and lost. But I never had the help I needed when I was at the church. I was struggling and all I wanted is for someone to talk to. Unfortnally I never got that. The only advice I always got is ” hAve you prayed to God about this” or ” I’ll pray for you”

    How is this suppose to help.

    I’ve also seen things that the people who attended the church.

    I have seen that staff/leaders don’t treat people how they are meant to be treated.

    I was supposed to me “loved” but I never got people coming to my outings or invited out.

    The church only love you for who your friends are or who you’re married too.

    How is this Jesus like?

    Even my best mate from high school isn’t talking to me. As I am “weird”

    I have got called stupid by the leaders.

    As from an interns POV they use and abuse them. From the 5am sets ups till the 2am pack downs to the offices.

    During my intern days I “served” my heart out and get yelled at.

    When it came to a dinner. I organised 2 months before. No one came or got messages saying no one is gonna come. Because there was a another outing that was on. And they didnt want to give up 1 hour to say hello or happy birthday.

    I also have asked for help and tried to talk to them. They didnt

    I could go on and on but I wont

    GastroNurse

    November 25, 2012 at 7:49 pm

  49. I have been attending plannet shakers since they moved to Melbourne and meetings were held at RMIT building. Over the years I have been going sparatically as a single woman and then sparatically as a single mum. Here are my observations.
    Positives about plannetshakers
    – a dynamic and positive environment for those who has never known Christ or lost their way and want to reconnect with Christ.
    – great social arena for high schoolers and uni students
    – cool music and entertaining preaching.
    – great kids ministry
    – generous financial support for single mums with a $300 gift cards posted out to single mums every Xmas.
    No checks are required to qualify for this gift. You sign up at the info desk and that is all.
    – follow up phone calls are made every 2-4 months to a quick hello and checkup from a plannet kids team member. Majority of plannet kids leaders are uni students or younger from what I have notice when I check in and check out my girls. Most may have no training in childcare.
    – great at marketing their brand and music. Very strategic and effective business model.

    Negatives of plannetshakers.
    – new members that have just given their life to Christ that week are assigned to an urban life group in home meeting to integrate with regular attending cell members. Potential security risks.
    – lack of pastoral care leaders with formal education. Most members who attend the courses offered by plannetshakers are eligible to become urban life group leaders or co leaders.
    -church culture is clicky. It’s who you know not what you know. There is a separation between the worship leaders/ musician and the congregation unless you are related or know them personally.
    – I felt pastor russel and Sam were unapproachable.

    To be fair to plannetshakers they are an asset to the city of Melbourne. I pray that they will strive for the glory of God and not their own. “With great power comes great responsibility ” Spider-Man .

    If you have any other questions from my experience just ask… Happy to share all my thoughts.

    Single mum power

    April 6, 2013 at 2:34 am

  50. Thanks for your input. I just wanted to respond to a couple of points mentioned by ‘Single mum power’.
    -New members are assigned to a home group is so that new members can feel more of a part of the church (otherwise people would complain about being lost in a large church where they didn’t know anyone). The meetings are attended by other church members of about 10-25 in number, depending on the group, and this is not a one-on-one meeting by any means (so no security risk involved). It is easier to offer pastoral care in smaller groups where people can make new friends and have supper afterwards in a social setting.
    -The Planetkids workers are volunteers who are screened (very detailed application form), reference checked, police checked, working with children checked AND trained through regular Discipleship Training sessions.
    -Urban Life leaders and co-leaders are screened, police checked and reference checked. They are not selected after completing a simple course only.
    I know all this because I have witnessed the process for these things personally. Please be careful before you spread misinformation because it could be potentially damaging by making people think that the church is not taking these things seriously. God bless.

    Clarifying Some Details

    February 26, 2015 at 1:21 pm

  51. Hi i am ronn, can i ask u guys do u all speak in tongoues too? Please reply me thanks

    ronn

    July 10, 2017 at 1:17 am


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