HOSTED BY PASTOR MARK DRISCOLL, THE TRINITY CHURCH
SESSIONS TOPICS INCLUDE
How the Church and pastors’ families both suffer under bad governance
A survey of Church governmental models
The biblical standard of singular headship and plural leadership
Theocratic government: a “kingdom-down” not “pew-up” unity focused model
How to embrace apostolic influence
How to implement a God-centered theocratic Church government
They aren’t hiding it. Megachurches in the Driscoll and Gateway image are little theocracies and kingdoms. They are definitely not “pew-up.” There is a lot of confusion about who the gods are.
The description of need for the workshop is priceless:
In an age of multi-site church planting, bad press for Bible-teaching churches, negative social media, lawsuits, disgruntled former leaders, and board conflicts, being a pastor is perhaps more complicated than ever. And too many times, church health is on the backburner, until a crisis happens.
It is so complicated in this age where everybody is wrong but the pastor. If only there was a right form of church government which could rescue a pastor from these disgruntled people and negative outsiders.
Over the weekend, Gateway Church hoped to guide members in the way they should vote by providing voter guides. After all, who doesn’t need a little political guidance with their spiritual guidance?
Things didn’t go exactly as planned. At some point after many guides had been distributed, someone noticed that the guides were very un-Gateway like. According to a reader, here is what was mixed in with Gateway’s guides:
Below is how Gateway wants members to vote.
This was a pretty elaborate prank. The guides look very similar in these pictures and must have cost a lot to produce. Someone wanted to make a point.
One of the individuals lamenting this turn of events pointed church members to vote.gatewaypeople.com which contains links to the approved Vision America voter guides.
Politicians in Church
Not all Gateway folk are happy with obvious Republican politicking in the church. On a church social media site, two people expressed reservations about the voter guides.
Politicians in church; one can’t escape that at Gateway Church. They even tell you how to vote.
One principle from the page has been violated by the Gateway effort:
Here’s one more point: Don’t align yourself too closely with a political party or a politician. That is unwise because we need to be free to call all political parties and politicians to repentance when they step outside of biblical morality and principle.
It is possible that the anonymous prankster wanted to get across something like this with the alt-voter guide. There is more than one way to look at biblical principles when it comes to politics and policy.
Update: In the Texas GOP State Representative race, Capriglione is easily defeating Mizani. At this writing with 458/705 precincts reporting, Capriglione has 11,224 votes and Mizani is far behind with 6,663. It doesn’t appear that the endorsement described below is having much of an impact.
Gateway Church still has some clout. Even though the church has laid off staff and Pastor Robert Morris’ children have left for church plants elsewhere, local politicians still want endorsements from Gateway-connected pastors. Here is a letter of sent by Texas State House of Representatives candidate Armin Mizani in his primary race against fellow Republican State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake) touting the endorsement of former Gateway Church worship leader Walker Beach.
Beach doesn’t even live in Keller anymore. He is a pastor in Florida. However, apparently the Gateway name and aura still carries some weight in politics.
In the rarefied world of Southlake’s House District 98, one can’t be too conservative. According to a GOP insider in the area, Capriglione’s sin was voting for Joe Straus for Speaker of the House. Straus is conservative but blocked the “bathroom bill” which would have required people use public bathrooms consistent with their birth assigned sex. More specifically, the bill would have repealed anti-discrimination ordinances for LGBT people in Texas cities. Local Tea Party supporters wanted Scott Turner as the Speaker. Since Turner didn’t have the votes, Capriglione supported Straus, much to the consternation of the local tea partiers. Thus, Mizani has emerged as an alternative to punish Capriglione.
Even though Capriglione is sympathetic to the same ends, those pushing Mizani want him to roll back protections for LGBT citizens and any number of other Tea Party objectives.
Remember the Gateway Church program that puts a bullseye on rich people? Despite (or maybe because of) the layoffs and other woes at Gateway, the church is still hunting for rich folks via the Gateway Business Leaders program. On March 1, Gateway will feature two successful businessmen as a way to attract “C-level” business leaders with, as former Gateway pastor Bobby Bogard put it, “influence and large capacities of wealth.”
Gateway Business Leaders
Here is the announcement:
Notice that the last fellow, Jimmy Blanchard, started the largest credit card company in the world. This should make him less than a popular figure around the Gateway ranch since the church has been a big fan of Dave Ramsey’s credit card discouraging financial advice. However, given his influence and large capacity for wealth, he probably has one rather large bullseye on him.
Healthy in So Many Different Ways?
Not so long ago in January of 2017, Pastor Bobby Bogard was touting the health of Gateway. Now, with the layoffs of about 35% of the staff, he is no longer at the church. As a reminder of the rationale for the Gateway Business Leaders program, here is Bogard talking about Gateway’s “grace lane” to the rich and influential.
Gateway Church will be 17 years old this Easter. We’re a spirit filled Charismatic church without the weird or the goofy. I’ve seen the weird and the goofy, believe me in my charismania days. Um, we have over 30 thousand in attendance on a weekly basis. That’s six campuses, with 26 services. I say all that to say this, big is not always better. Big is not better. But what we are at Gateway Church is we’re healthy and I wanna talk to you about healthy church. We’re healthy in so many different ways. And health is probably one of the main ingredients of our success. In all of the growth that we’ve taken place we’ve remained a healthy organization and a healthy church. A healthy ministry. A healthy people. A healthy staff. Healthy pace. And so, part of our secret sauce is that we’re healthy. Our goal is to become healthy, not to fill buildings with people. Because here’s the deal. If we can become healthy, we will see people filled with God, and then the principle of ‘healthy things grow’ right? So that’s a value that we hold. Healthy things grow. And so church growth is really a byproduct of a healthy church.
Number two is people. We’re all about people. That’s our slogan, it’s been our slogan from the very beginning. I’m gonna drill down to some of this in just a minute. I wanna fly by on a 30,000 foot view, okay? But, we’r e all about people. And the reason we’re all about people is because God’s all about people. Am I right? And so if we’re all about people because God’s all about people, it’s because we know God loves people, and if God loves people we need to love people. But how many of you know, sometimes, in our journey we love Jesus with all of our heart. Right? It’s just some of the people He hangs out with that we have a problem. C’mon somebody? And so, God loves people. I love what Johnny shared, man. I love the fact that John Maxwell is passionate about a million souls, because souls are people. People have problems. People have issues. People have transition. But God loves them in every season of their life. He never turns himself away from people. And so, if you help people, God will send you more people, because God loves people. I’ll say that again. If you love people and you help people, God will send you more people. Why? Because God loves people.
And so as we, as we, look at health, and as we look at people, there are some considerations that we go after in preparing ourselves to be healthy and to love people. And that’s number one is: We’re always asking ourself, who is are target? Who’s our bullseye? Do you know who your bullseye is? Your bullseye, not that you’re not gonna reach all people, because we’re gonna reach all people. We’re gonna be all things to all people, to reach all people. But there’s something that God has gifted you with. There’s a Grace Lane that you have. And that Grace Lane is directed to a bullseye. And who is your bullseye? Who are the people God’s called you to reach?
And so, as we look at our bullseye, God has called us, to reach professional people. That’s our bullseye. We’re still gonna help the down and out. We do it every week. We’re still gonna help single moms. We do it every week. We-we’re still going to uh, look and help marriages and blended families. We’re gonna work through their issues. But our bullseye is the business professionals. Matter fact, in one of our depart- we have a whole department that’s built towards reaching business people. I’m talking about people with influence and large capacities of wealth. That’s our bullseye because we feel like that’s something God’s graced us to do. And if we can reach our bullseye, it will create a ripple, if you will, so that we can reach the others more effectively.
Some past posts have aged well. The 2009 post regarding child abuse and non-heterosexuality has been in the top ten nearly every year since 2009. Readers continue to be interested in Mars Hill Church and various players surrounding the demise of that church.
Although the page views don’t show it, the story that continues to be covered here and almost nowhere else is the Gospel for Asia saga. The target of federal scrutiny and two RICO lawsuits in the U.S., GFA has also initiated and been involved in various legal actions in India. Although the scope of the GFA empire dwarfs other organizations I have examined, it continues to fly along under the radar.
For a profile of my work and the role blogging has played in it, see this lengthy article by Jon Ward in Yahoo News earlier this month.
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The learn more about the sexual identity therapy framework, go here.