Don’t ever be afraid to start over…
The pope on wealth redistribution…
Mike Macintosh stepping aside, son taking over…
Ministry is more like farming than factory work…
Supreme Court will probably legalize gay marriage in 2015…
What is a “Progressive” Christian?
Carl Trueman with a brilliant piece on the transgender issue…
The one thing Christians should stop saying…
Wenatchee the Hatchet with some reflections on the last few years of blogging…
The top eight trends in American churches in 2015…
Are things getting better for women in the church?
The things about millennials and the church that no one wants to talk about…very good!
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God,
In my sorrow, in my pain, in my anxieties, in my joys and victories….my hope is in the Lord my God. I am blessed!
Do Calvary Chapels ever allow the people to decide who the next pastor will be? It seems that the outgoing pastor still maintains control.
and still gets paid…
It is so sad to see so many little churches and chapels being sold off in the UK. They are turned into cafes’, houses, discos, etc. It’s really tragic. Every little town I visit, I will see signs of “For Sale” on lovely little chapels that had once proclaimed the Good News.
And yet, God has His people here and the gospel is being preached.
Even in our little ministry amongst the learning disabled, we are seeing fruit. Men and women learning God’s word and the Holy Spirit transforming their lives. God is able!
Jesus is Victor!
The “Are things getting better for women in the church?” question, assumes that things were at some point bad for women in the church. Once you’ve bought into that narrative, it’s a wormhole you’ll never dig your way out of. I don’t know what the Naked Pastor is after with his feminism articles, but it always comes across as pandering.
Josh, I have been reading some article from a website called
You may not agree with all that the articles state, but for me it has been refreshing to look at some Bible characters and stories from a different perspective.
The older I get the more I realise I don’t know as much as I thought I did…..but I know in Whom I have believed and I am persuaded that He is able……..
Looks good, Nonnie. I should say, as I have before, that I am fine with women in ministry, though unlike the blog you linked, I DO think it should be a secondary issue.
For any sub-group of people, once church becomes about “how much is being done for ME? or how much am I being recognized?” , well, the battle is lost. The focus is off that which is important and instead on side issues. But, thanks for the link, and I will read more!
I’m writing a chapter for my book right now called “all women are Philistines” because that was the attitude that was prevalent in one fellowship I was associated with…
I watched Mike Mac’s announcement. I actually thought it was pretty sweet….
I’ve had the opportunity to watch the transition at Crossroads from Bill Ritchie to Daniel Fusco and thought that was smooth and well done. I ‘wish’ Bill would go on the road helping other aging pastors move on. It’s time. It’s a difficult ‘identity crisis’ sort of thing, to let go. Even OT priests retired at age 50….
Frankly, moving back into ‘normal’ non-churchified life is a blessing, though not without challenges. Hard to see the value of the ministry of the mundane.
Honestly, I ‘wish’ my sons were walking in the Spirit and could have ‘taken over’ our former church instead of having my entire family crash and burn as it did…. I’m happy for the likes of Mike and JonC whose sons are following their dads into ministry. While I’m not 100% on board with CC type ministry anymore, I congratulate Mike and Sandy. God bless them.
Josh, I agree with you about the focus being on Christ. However in the world of blogs there are themes. Our friend Wennetee the Hatchet (sorry for any misspellings) focused on MD, others focus on Calvinism or Covenant theology, others on what have you.
I appreciate Junia because I am reading articles by women who (many) are highly educated in theology and have a passion and respect for God’s word, yet are bringing out things I was never taught, or even broached upon in my tribe. It causes me to be more of a Berean.
“The One thing Christians should stop saying” is pretty much a guilt trip over appreciating anything you have. Oh, whatever you do, don’t Thank the Lord for the good things in your life?!?! That guy is absolutely wrong. “I am blessed” should be the one thing we say more and more. In good times and bad. When we recognize God’s working in our life, we are blessed. His article is not some super-spiritual solution, it is a form of sinful pride in reverse. Instead of saying God blessed me with good finances, should I just say, “I blessed myself with good finances. God doesn’t do that”. Guilt trips burn me up.
I think its wonderful when the son of a pastor goes on to pastor his own church. I just have a problem with succession to the throne. But that’s me, it still live in the time when the people, not the pastor, decides who the new pastor will be. Guess I’m old school.
Josh, I totally agree.
I do agree that that the ridiculous speaking ‘christianese’ is both repulsive and childish, particularly to non believers.
I am blessed. I am thankful.
Oh yes, Nonnie, I agree. My “focus” question was in direct response to the text in Micaels link “Are things getting better for women in the church?”. I think that question is misguided, and the Naked Pastor’s stuff is just clueless.
I agree that there is discussion to be had in and around the subject of women in ministry, and that there are qualified women scholars who can speak ably on that issue.
That is what I was trying to say in my number 1.
I’m tired of the Jesus Juke against Christians who are sincerely speaking in plain English that they love the Lord and give Him the glory for their lives….even in the sorrow, the pain, the joy the triumphs!
Me too Paige! I am blessed, and unashamed! I was able to feed my children for another year. If that is not blessing, I don’t know what is.
Nonnie, I skipped right over your #1. Well said!
The article on Pope Francis was very good. He came along at a very good time in history. I wish him well and a long papacy.
Pope Francis is not we he presents himself to be.
Check out Perry Noble’s Christmas Eve sermon. Wow.
I hope that everyone who cares or comments about the transition at Horizon will read the “what to expect” details there and not just concentrate on the fact the new senior pastor is Mike’s son.
LOTS of good stuff there in the “what to expect” and what we have seen called for on this blog (and Calvarys criticized for) for many years…
Michael, regarding the subject of women in the church; Last week, I read Revelation. Upon reading Ch 8:1 When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about an half an hour”. I had a mega flashback to the multitude of so called “Bible studies” I’d been at over my 36 years in CCs and how that verse was always considered “Proof there are no women in heaven”….and the crowds roaring with laughter.
As I considered that verse and those experiences, and even now, I felt a profound sickness, sadness and anger. It’s a classic portrayal of the devaluation of women in those circles.
I recently had a conversation with a friend who is a pastor about Job’s wife. IMO, she has “taken it in the shorts” for 8 thousand years over her one line in the Book of Job.
I’ve never heard or read any sympathetic commentary for the fact that she also lost all her children, all her employees and livestock and her husband’s health, and was subjected to the scorn of a society that equated prosperity with God’s approval. No one wants to cut the poor woman some slack for being angry at God or telling her husband to take his own life.
Who wouldn’t have moments like this?
Obviously this subject is ‘near and dear’ to my heart and personal experiences…. I have come to hold the opinion that in much of Church Culture, women are no better off than in Muslim culture, both historically and currently.
I agree…and that’s exactly how I’m writing it.
Well, said, Paige.
I had never heard of intinction…and had no idea any churches actually did this. (The farming/factory ministry article)
” I have come to hold the opinion that in much of Church Culture, women are no better off than in Muslim culture, both historically and currently.”
Wow, you guys really think that?
I am not a woman, and haven’t been around that kind of joking, but Muslim culture? Really?
As far as the “One thing Christians should stop saying” article goes, I actually agree with it, to a certain extent.
Recently, some rich folks invited us to their new house. They took us on a tour. At every marvel, they exclaimed “Look what God has blessed us with!” Now, my husband and I live in a modest house and we are exceedingly content with our circumstances but I have to say, by the end of the tour I wanted to smack her. (I resisted.)
You need to hang out with me and answer my phone and read my email.
In some evangelical cultures there is little difference in the way women are treated and perceived…they just get to dress better.
My church uses intinction. It is not for the purpose of efficiency (people are invited to kneel at the alter in prayer after receiving); it is for the purpose of hygiene.
Mike’s announcement isn’t a surprise to anyone whose attended for the last 20 or so years.
As in many CCs, when a son is exiting the womb, they’ve got the ordination papers ready for his little heel to step on (they wait till he’s 16 to make it official). So, the Biblical ethic of its not by the will of man or the flesh, but the Spirit, doesn’t and hasn’t really applied in many CCs when it comes to nepotism, not for a long time. That we (current and long time CC’er) openly excuse this idolatry and castigate all non-CCs for all their extra-Biblical traditions has always smelled highly hypocritical.
Having said all that, I knew Philip when he was younger and growing into a young adult. I was sad to watch the nepotism heaped upon him because of how that played out in the OT.
However, I guess my problem is with Mike and CCs at large being hypocritical and cowardly not to speak on such an open secret with all the energy we’ve spent on other ministries. This isn’t Philip’s fault, yet. I’ve maintained friendships there and been told repeatedly how loving and faithful he is and his ability to teach – THAT is what I really care about now.
As a sort of side issue, but curiously occurring at the same time, Horizon is as many CCs are, really hurting ($) while many of their familiar targets are growing, including $.
It will be interesting to see if and how long CCs will act like those churches who spent most of their energy finger pointing when Chuck/Lonnie began (yea Lonnie, another story).
I really do hope and pray this transition will be the start of a maturing of Horizon and the movement as a whole. We, the church – ALL of us, are not enemies, we never have been. Its time to stop acting like it (even all the secret times).
Let’s end our prayers to chuck and the distinctives and truly act like part of the body.
CC didn’t invent any new doctrine (all stated as late as around 500AD), it brought the faith to many who a lot of the church wouldn’t come to and be with them how they needed. And yes, it “taught chapter by chapter, verse, by verse.” We can keep the expositional strength, but we need to get back to flexibility and Jesus’ vision (we never needed a new one).
Yes, Josh, really….. in SOME circles. Not all. I didn’t say ‘all’…I said “much of”. It’s much more subtle than the burka.
We’re just so used to it that we still laugh at comments like the ‘proof text’ I just mentioned, or a pastor’s ‘jokes’ about how his wife was at home ‘breaking stuff’ he’d have to fix when he got home from doing church stuff. (true story). Been there, done that.
Just read the link about ‘Starting Over”…made me cry (since I’m thinking of all the cr@p I’ve taken with a submissive smile in the Name of the Lord).
Zach nailed the commitment that a pastor and ENTIRE family makes in starting and serving a church for 5 years; 24/7, blood, sweat, tears and more. All In…. and for whatever reason, is swept away, as if by Hurricane…. .
Been there, done that….only after 24 years of being All In…
Nothing but lots of time to wonder if it was all wrong, if I deserved it or was it a waste of a lifetime. God knows (please, I am not fishing for affirming feedback)…. and I know that I am far from being the only one in these shoes. God help our sick ways of misrepresenting Him.
The Orthodox Church serves the precious Body and Blood of Christ like this:
The priest puts consecrated bread (leavened. Actually, he bakes it himself) into the chalice and adds consecrated wine and hot water. This is served to the faithful (a bit of bread and some wine) on a small spoon).
As I’m writing this chapter it is with you and a dear mutual friend of ours in mind…and I believe you’ve wasted nothing.
But, you knew that already… 🙂
Thank you for the response Paige. I am sorry to hear that.
To be brutally honest, Michael…. I really and truly don’t know. I have more questions than answers. I know what I disagree with, what horrifies me, what I can’t participate in, etc… I’ve rejected so much of what, at one time, I thought was “Biblical” Truth.
This week, I’m reading the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew…. I see a repeating pattern : “You have heard it’s been said ….xyz….. but I say to you…….something profoundly and constitutionally different that is SO much greater, higher and unattainable in principle.”
This speaks so deeply to me….
“My hope is built on nothing less”……… my mantra, my epitaph, my fall back theology.
On “the one thing Christians shouldn’t say”, a little sketch comedy below for some terms that may be “played” out. To be expected….it’s totally a God thing, I’m blessed, he’s back slidden, secular…etc..It is similar to the article posted a few weeks back.
Happy New Year! Enjoy.
I have no where near the depth of experience that Paige does, but I remember after my husband, who was “training for ministry” quit and quit going to church altogether, during the period that I was still trying to keep the rest of us in church, having my eyes opened to the way women were treated. For so long I wore the submissive smile, got praised for my “gentle and quiet spirit”. When it all fell apart it wasn’t just at CC’s but several different churches that I realized I wasn’t just a person, I was a woman who no longer fit any comfortable category. Surely I was trying to steal someone’s more godly husband since mine didn’t attend. I no longer fit in the married Bible studies because he wasn’t there, but was I supposed to go to the singles group? Why did any of us have to be defined by our marital status? I remember when they offered to start a class for the 2 of us who were married but attended without our husbands. This in a church of hundreds, probably thousands. As if it weren’t difficult enough already to be there. Years later i finished my degree at a secular university and it was such a relief to just be another student, a person there to learn. I healed a lot by being treated with respect and finding that just because I was a woman didn’t mean all interactions had to be weird and have an undercurrent of judgement or suspicion.
“Pastor Phillip and the board of Horizon have a plan in place to help bless and honor his father for his many years of faithfulness. They will continue to support him financially for a determined amount of time and look forward to the opportunity of being able to send Pastor Mike out to help equip the church and further the Kingdom. ”
The point here is Mike wants to retire, but not cut off his meal ticket.
I’m sorry I’m a bit jaded here, but is this going to end like the CC in Vegas or the recent Capo Beach change? Hey even consider the Crystal Cathedral, how’d that go when the son attempted to keep the purse strings open and fill a multimillion dollar appetite?
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother…” Maybe Mike’s son should leave and build his own home first?
Yes I’m a bit bothered by it.
You are aware when Jesus says, “you have heard it said… but I say…” is not an unusual thing to His listeners.
The problem is we read His words with our own set of optics.
The good new is you read and meditate on His words. I like what an old sage once said (or something very similar), “You want to know God, then get to know His instructions…”
My church has no segregated groups except a youth group, but they do everything with the adults and then later go off on their own.
We have no men’s group, no women’s group no singles or marrieds. We do have outside affiliations with MOPS and AA.
We do this on purpose even to the extent of all children, crying infants on up, in church – we are only 1 group … God’s group.
Why begrudge a retirement “meal ticket” for Mike Mac after faithfully building and leading Horizon for 40 years (no doubt 24/7) and stepping down in honor (rather than disgrace)?
Most lifelong career paths offer some sort of retirement plan.
I was going to post a comment almost exactly like MLD’s 40. We are all together as one group so no one feels like they don’t fit in a specialized group. The youth might go on an outing together sometimes but as usual, anyone that wants to can come along.
My husband taught at a government language school for 30 years and when he retired, we got to keep his meal ticket, although a bit diminished. What is wrong with this??? What do you want old retired people to do, live on their SS?
I understand C’s experience…..
When my ex/late husband left me, I was suddenly viewed with suspicion in ANY church function, specifically segregated or not…. Men wouldn’t talk to me for fear being seen talking with “another” woman. Women distanced themselves from me, partly because of the typical competitive nature that seems to emerge when a new single woman is on the scene, upsetting the balance of all relationships. Or so it seems.
For those same reasons, I was not included in many ‘family’ gatherings and screened from some potential church involvement. One might be completely unaware of this phenomenon until in those shoes.
I think it’s great the Mike Mac could raise his son up to succeed him. That is honorable. Aaron’s son’s I am sure would have followed him if they had kept their noses clean.
I have no problem in general with Nepotism with Senior stepping aside to allow his son take up the baton. And for all you who poo poo nepotism, lets look no further than Father God giving his Son the kingdom. I tend to agree with the math that a high % of nepotism in the church doesn’t work out well. But there is a % where it does, so again we are guilty of throwing out the baby with the bath water. We should hope and pray that Mikes son has this call to be pastor and is anointed for service. And of course many of the readers here have a very different opinion of what that looks like. But when I heard the news, even though I don’t have any attachment to Mike or his son. My heart rejoiced, just to think his own very son could take the baton of church and love and care for the sheep as his father did.
Interesting that I could care less about the trends in churches… Definitely a sign of age
I support succession based on appointment provided there is evidence of the Holy Spirit. The Father/Son paradigm suits me just fine.
I have a friend who greets me with “I’m too blessed to be stressed,” and “I’m so blessed that I’m drinking from the saucer.” He says it with such childlike joy and simplicity that I believe him and don’t want him to stop.
“What do you want old retired people to do, live on their SS?”
What makes you think they care you live at all?
Is Mike going to be a volunteer (directing traffic) now or is he on the payroll?
Pastor at large with salary?
Why don’t you call the church and ask…tell them you are very concerned about where your tithe dollars are going. Or maybe this Sunday after service you can go up to the pastor(s) or other leaders you have relationship with as a member of Horizon and ask them.
Why can’t pastors fund retirement plans while they’re working as part of their comp. like everyone else?
On Mike M handing the baton-fine if God has called his son to do so. However, cannot ignore that many men have been in the ministry with Mike long before Jr. came along and have in put in long hours that placed their own families in the mode of serving right along with them.
As for Mike getting a retirement—great. But does this mean that the staff and other pastors also get to have a retirement plan “for a determinant amount of time.” When I worked for the ministry, short term disability and social security deductions were not taken out of my check. Definitely effects the amount off SS benefit, when it is most needed.
Mike is not the only one that put in hours in Harvest. Therefore, isn’t it reasonable to think that all that do and all that do have the Holy Spirit would have a voice in this.
Glad to hear you are writing a chapter regarding females in the church, Mike. If anything at all changes within the church, it my prayer that the body of Christ would wake up and understand just how much females are disrespected, made invisible, and covertly/overtly believe to be a side dish to clean up after those who think they are more anointed in the Lord, in the congregation, and in the home.
Nonnie, I think it was you—–hope everyone reads the link on Junia. No longer can this or will this information be permitted to be dismissed or negated. Too many in the church are leaving either their marriages and/or the church that support such things, while other doors are being opened (I believe by the Holy Spirit) to enable the entire church to exercise their gifts, as God has called them to do—not some man who eyes are closed to just how abuses have gone on while expecting females to put on that “smile” being led to believe that it is more godly to submit to such than to speak the truth and to call it for what it is. That is, quenching the Holy Spirit and depriving the church of its voice that has yet to be heard, honored, and protected.
Steve Wright, #51. Nice. Very nice. 😀
“So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, ‘If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?'” (Num. 14:1–3)
In the above text the Israelites murmured against their gracious and loving God. Needless to say, their murmurings displeased Him.
Sadly, many Christians are murmurers and complainers. In the home, on the job and in the local church they grumble, murmur and complain.
To murmur means to grumble or whine.
First, it helps for some of you to read the link. I quote “Pastor Mike is not retiring and will continue to be used in various ways at Horizon— focusing on Evangelism and pouring into the church worldwide”
Second, and what I already wrote earlier, read the what to expect section. As many of you know there is a concern (and it was a main theme in the last SPC) about these first generation pastors stepping aside for the younger generation – and for the church to adjust and adapt to such a change.
I applaud Horizon, their transparency, and their vision. Hopefully, given the reputation and their age within the CC movement, they will be a model for other men and churches facing similar situations.
Excellent article on “Progressive Christian”
MLD, and Xenia, I’m glad your churches don’t group people like that. This was the most obvious example I experienced of the odd place I suddenly occupied without my husband present. Paige’s experiences mirror mine much more closely, whether in a specifically labeled group or not. I think being in “those shoes” really opened my eyes.
I have a different opinion on small groups, and think that it makes sense for small groups to be in different niches. I spent 8 years at CC Costa Mesa, a huge church, and the church I pastor now has 4 services due to a small building and a decent, but not massive, attendance. Thus it is hard with 4 services for people to get to know each other as family unless they participate in smaller groups – so we have several – but there is no pressure to join them (as I see in some churches) and they are not intended at all to just repeat what happens on Sundays.
We just started a young married couples fellowship, a place for young couples to meet and have their kids (if they have them) play with each other and just make friendships. This is incredibly difficult to have happen on a typical Sunday, as the parents are busy getting their kids from their classes. We have a young adults group which I think is huge in this day and age as we hear of the 18-29 age that leave the church as soon as they get away from Mom and Dad.
I will say this, we have a mens and womens fellowship and it is stressed to not make the single people feel second-class as can be the case….None of this “we are praying God will bring you a spouse” stuff offered to people who have never even expressed the desire for a spouse.
Well there are small groups in my church – especially the guys who get together to play poker, smoke cigars and drink beer. 🙂
On a more serious note (but that last one was serious) I just came back from a meeting at church for our Strategic Mission Planning committee. We are working on common interest groups.
Folks who would like to travel with other church people, whether big like a cruise or day trips to Temecula for wine tasting. Sports for those who want to join a softball or bowling league, book club (well I am sure that will just be segregated to women) – we have about 15 groupings we are trying to start up to offer community to our church people, who then can take it out into the community as a platform.
This was a good list, thanks for the time you put in on this. Hope everyone has a nice day on Wednesday
Im starting a Celebrate Recovery group that deals with deep seated grief and not handling life issues to well. A friend recommended it anyone ever involved with Celebrate Recovery?
brian, yes, I have.
went after my last job loss because some of the folks that I had been hanging around were very into it and it worked well for them.
Did CR for a while, but the group I was in was clear across town (20+ miles) so I started attending a recovery based service at a large church closer to my house that had started out as CR and then expanded into using other materials.
Did the work and have to say it was the best decision I’ve made in a long time.
hope that helps
You are the all things CC apologist, so does Horizon have a membership, and does it require tithing? I thought tithing was not a NT thing.
As a member with a relationship with the leaders (partiality) can I get paid to direct traffic?
As the PP CC apologist, can you tell us what exactly does “pouring into the church worldwide” mean or entail?
It sounds a bit vague to me, but must be clear to you.
“I applaud Horizon, their transparency, and their vision”
What transparency other than dates for a transition and some kind of announcement for a general graph after the fact?
Where are the specifics that are required for “transparency”?
And what is their vision, reach the lost and disciple, is this revolutionary?
Plus you will have a pastor at large (mascot) “pouring into the church worldwide” what ever that means?
“Pastor Mike is not retiring”? Why does he need to fill out a volunteer application? Levity I guess.
nepostism, double speak, partiality…same ol same ol.
“I quote “Pastor Mike is not retiring “”
This is right out of the CC playbook from CS, no one retires. Come on now, while it is not official retirement it is a method of backing out and yet staying in control and receiving full financial support of and from Mike’s church church.
And the murmuring thing in 55. Typical CC pastoral approach to shutting people up, don’t speak against Moses or God’s anointed.
Read the link about Europe selling off churches, this (church people) are a shrinking demographic market.
“And the murmuring thing in 55. Typical CC pastoral approach to shutting people up, don’t speak against Moses or God’s anointed.”
One word: Classical
Just who are God’s anointed? Very poor usage of scripture and abusive as well. As you stated, it only serves to silence those who are speaking the truth to avoid having to deal with it.
Classical = typical, as in basic defense of warfare to silence others.
Whenever this stuff comes up, I always like to ask guys like you ‘give me the web site to your church and let’s see what we can pick apart.’
I bet I have made this request of 20 guys just like you over the years and not a one of you have had the spiritual b**ls to pony up.
Put up or shut up my friend.
Beside Home Communities, our church offers a wide selection of interest groups ranging from study/discussion, to more recreational such as basketball, learn to fly fish, and canoe building.
I though we are going to be like angels in heaven: B**l-free 🙂
That’s right – no bills in heaven. 😉
I wonder if Billy Graham receives any money from BGEA? If so, does that make him a crook also?
There are at least two friends of Michael and this blog (that guys like Q drove away from posting long ago) who I can think of that are working a transition to have a younger guy step into the senior pastor, Sunday preaching…who likewise have no intention of sitting in a rocking chair but will continue to minister at the church and in the community representing the church and I assume will draw some form of compensation in doing so.
I think it is better than walking up to the pulpit with an oxygen tank and leaving no clear succession plan upon death.
And as Michael and most of the regulars on this blog know, it is not like I have no experience in such matters myself….I know what to applaud, and I applaud Horizon
One thing about nepotism…
I understand the concern that some here have expressed, and these are things too that I question. One thing that has to be considered is that the son gives up much to serve under his father. The parent-child relationship dynamic is always present. I have watched many sons over the years both in church and in business endure much abuse at the hands of their own fathers.
My son serves with me. I hope that I treat him better than the examples I have observed over the years. I often wonder whether I am simply holding him back or is he in the midst of the stream of God’s will for him and his family. If I were to leave the church today, he would the obvious choice for one reason… he is the most qualified. If that were to take place I’m sure we would be subject of scrutiny, charged with nepotism, even though our church is not one that is capable of providing a livable wage.
It seems that the larger the church is, the more the enticements are to tempt men to cross ethical boundaries. Those boundaries that are blurred by a Christianized world view of hedonistic independence of grace and freedom devoid of any reasonable accountability and order. Even in those structures that have good accountability systems in place, such actions are frequently interpreted as an appearance of evil, which when lumped together through a “guilt by association mentality”, brings much of the church structure under suspicion.
The nepotism doesn’t trouble me, but the pastor’s power to appoint his successor does.
At one time, I had my wife, three of my daughters, and two grandsons working for me.
Bob, it’s good to be king! 😉
I’m leaving my throne in June.
But I won’t appoint my successor. 😉
Charges of nepotism when it comes to the senior pastor position come from a mistaken understanding of the difficulty and responsibility of the position, a mistaken understanding of the local church being a family (despite the desire expressed for that to be the case) and sometimes are just plain old bigotry, when the people involved are not known…no different than when some white guy complains someone got a job because of their ethnicity or female gender….and it’s just as ugly.
Church nepotism that deserves notice is when someone related is given a high-paying job with little responsibility or public accountability. All the more when that job is not really necessary and/or there are volunteers who could fill the role.
I’m not a fan of Macintosh, nor do I think “transparent” is a word I would use to describe his operation for reasons I won’t go into at this time.
If we’ve learned anything from the Driscoll follies it’s that when people decide to take responsibility for the health of their fellowship they can do so.
My guess is that Q is far more bent about this matter than the congregation in San Diego…and until they prove otherwise, they don’t really care who is appointed to preach on Sundays.
Transparent (as I used it) was in connection with the stuff mentioned in the “what to expect” which included apparently online financials to be disclosed in the future.
“……..and until they prove otherwise, they don’t really care who is appointed to preach on Sundays.”
My point is, if they did care, they would still be told who is appointed. Maybe the feeling is that the “sheep’ are too dumb to care.
Do you think that the financials will be more than a pie chart of percentages as to how the money is spent? Pie charts can be a great cover-up. I’m not making any accusations, just sharing what I have witnessed in the past at other churches.
Secrecy permeates many churches today.
I can’t stress this enough.
The people in the pews pay the bills.
When they care enough to stop paying and start speaking they can change anything they choose.
I haven’t heard a peep from anyone in this church, haven’t seen any protest over the appointment, or anything at all other than what I posted.
We have to destroy the notion that passivity is acceptable in the local fellowship.
@89; maybe the people are thrilled with Phillip’s appointment. They know his heart, his ability to teach and have watched him grow in their midst. Why is it that we assume they should be mad about something all the time? Perhaps they are aggressively (as opposed to passively) pleased.
It’s also likely that, like many congregations, they take whatever they’re handed.
In any case, it’s their fellowship and they should take responsibility for it.
That was my point. They should be left alone to accept responsibility for however this turns out and people like Q, who have no skin in the game, should remain quiet. It is disturbing that some who want a say-so in how a church operates have given nothing, sacrificed nothing, served no one, and loved no one refuse to shut up. This is San Diego’s move.
Most churches in the world do not have a say in who their pastor is … is this news to you guys. This is a modern phenomenon of the American independent, I don’t take crap from anyone church.
Are we going to lobby the EO, the RCC, the Church of England etc to allow drawing straws for your pastor.?
I think this is a healthy backlash to what can be an unhealthy form of church governance.
The key is that those in the local fellowships have to be the ones to bring any needed change.
If they choose not to, the have the leadership they want and deserve.
All of those groups you mentioned have these guys called “bishops”…apples and oranges.
There is nothing healthy about the vitriol that Q spews. Without love, all we can do is make noise. Healthy backlash? Hardly…
If your pastor leaves, will he name his replacement?
I look at it this way.
I’ve been both loving and unloving at times in my writings on this topic and most of your peers still think I’m an evil son of a ….
Q doesn’t think much of me either, but he’s raising issues that will be addressed by more and more as time goes on.
I don’t talk about my family on here – but will make an exception. I have a high school aged son, as all of you who are facebook friends know. I have been VERY sensitive to EVER pressuring him in any way because “he is the pastor’s son”
Now, the cynics will roll their eyes (and I could care less) but the reality is I have watched my son volunteer his time repeatedly to serve at our church with some of the other kids his age (who often also are pastor/leader’s kids). Once he moved to 7th grade he started helping the adults with the younger kids at our midweek. I’ve seen him repeatedly give over a week of his summer (and a lot of prep hours before) to serve at our VBS doing skits and helping out.
He gets up with me at 6:00 on Sundays and goes in and stays all four services, helping out where needed and cleaning up afterwards (I actually wait for him to finish before we can go home).
In addition, he has chosen to involve himself in weekly worship and fellowship with the youth, including a couple mission trips – and I repeat, none of this is pressured or expected from his parents. If anything, I encourage him to take a week off from time to time when his schedule in other areas is hectic. And he keeps his nose clean in this fallen world, which is more than I can say for myself when I was in high school.
I am very proud of him.
But, I do not think we are unique. And it is funny that, given the Bible’s instructions in Timothy about pastors raising their children, that when someone online sees a pastor’s kid serving the Lord there is some weird expectation that he needs to go to some strange place rather than continue at the place he grew up in, has served, and with the people who he loves and who know and love him.
I have no thoughts, desires, or imaginations that he would someday ever replace me as the Senior Pastor – and I am the sort that likely would discourage that to the extent I could – BUT…if the Lord was opening that door, and making it clear amongst the fellowship, with their support and blessing, that this is the proper transition at the proper time, then I would not stop it because of a few loud voices with no connection to our church who would shout nepotism from the safety of their anonymous keyboards.
There is nothing healthy about the vitriol that Q spews. Without love, all we can do is make noise. Healthy backlash? Hardly…
Q likely would not have said a word if he/she had not read me making a positive comment. THAT is what sets this person off. My existence on this blog.
His/her backlash was at me far more than Horizon. That’s pretty obvious if you read the comments. No big deal, but let’s not pretend we are speaking of some voice of reason out there….
Signed…the CC apologist.
In the past 30 years, I have attended a Friends Church, Mennonite, Church of God (Anderson), and Conservative Baptist. In every case, when a pastor leaves, the local church determines the replacement. I guess I have be sheltered. 🙂
Anyway, I have no dog in this fight, and it certainly doesn’t apply to me anymore, so I’ll bow out before MLD begins to pond me down. 😉
fyi – look at it this way….
Church governance is a prickly cactus bush – No matter where you try to grab a hold of it, you’re going to come away with something.
For some, church governance is a non-issue. They “leave with God” and trust what their pastors and leaders say who should be in charge.
For others, they would like a church like Horizon to have a plurality of elders elected by the congregation meet and then decide who should be the next lead pastor. I’m thinking that this isn’t going to happen any time soon.
I agree with Michael – when the people paying the bucks decide that they want a change – that’s when it will happen and not one millisecond before.
Does this move look like nepotism? – Yes.
Does this move look like a pastor appointing his successor? – Yes.
Does this move look like they asked for or cared what the congregations would think? Nope – not one iota. As long as the tithes come in, they are “doing the Lords work.” When the tithes stop coming in – see Driscoll as an example.
No the pastor does not appoint his successor – in fact if he retired he cannot stay at the church – he must move on to another. We pick our pastor under the supervison of the Synod and the District … in other words we are free to choose – but we can’t just choose anyone.
I don’t think you folks remember your own CC days long ago – the reason we all went to CC is that we didn’t need to be bothered by any of that. In fact, if we were all honest there was a time that we did think these guys were anointed and that God spoke to them.
Because we have become jaded and now have all the answers, we can’t understand why those remaining have not come to the same conclusion.
Michael – well, no one in the pews gets to choose the bishops either – so they have people even further from there own source doing the choosing.
Let me say this…especially to Q.
Most people don’t understand what Steve Wright is doing on this blog.
Most of my “friends” in CC speak to me covertly and go to great pains to keep me a dark secret.
If they post here at all it is under a monicker.
Steve posts here under his name and has told God and everyone that he and I are friends.
He takes the shots, he calls it like he sees it, and through all our differences we remain friends.
Show some respect for that kind of integrity…or go away.
Tough crowd. Maybe the younger MacIntosh’s biggest mistake was not becoming a friend of the blog like Neo. 🙂
Thank you Michael for that. I too have told many people that we are friends offblog.
That’s a heck of a testimony Steve. You must be very proud, and watching your son around the church must make the whole congregation proud to have your family serving there.
Nothing creates trust in a leader more than to see effective leadership in his own home.
Thank you, Jean. I appreciate that.
Michael @ 97; you are wrong. MOST do not think of you are evil at all. Clearly, some do and I address them as I have addressed Q–very directly. I tell them if they got to know you a little or actually invested in understanding your growth and the benefit of your blog, they would think differently. There is no CC line to toe any longer. We are independent and think that way. Most of us anyway… 🙂
Paps @101; I understand that there are people who would like a plurality of elders (or even congregational voting) and they should find a church that is governed like that. It is really pretty simple. For those who are OK with a pastor-led church, they ought to be able to attend in peace and give or don’t give accordingly without being judged as evil (getting what they deserve) or spiritually bankrupt. Additionally, I will appoint my successor (in fact, I already have) when it is time for me to leave. I have more than 20 years invested in loving these people and watching them grow and be fruitful. There is NO WAY I would or could entrust them to someone I didn’t know loved them as much as I do and who will be consistent with what they have been taught. I make no apologies for wanting to care for the people God has allowed me the privilege to serve. By the way, the man who will succeed me is more than 20 years younger than me and has been here–invested–for 8 years. I trust him with my life. He is not my son by blood but, like most dads, I would be unbelievably blessed to be able to have a son I knew was trustworthy.
“Additionally, I will appoint my successor (in fact, I already have) when it is time for me to leave. I have more than 20 years invested in loving these people and watching them grow and be fruitful. There is NO WAY I would or could entrust them to someone I didn’t know loved them as much as I do and who will be consistent with what they have been taught.”
FYI – I’d like you to consider your statement in light of what I am about to say, and know that I am not attacking you – merely pointing out what it sounds like to my ears.
In a nutshell, this is the issue I have with a pastor appointing his successor: he doesn’t trust the people (and by extension God to lead the people) to choose a new pastor.
Here is how all of this really works,
Some have a combination,
In the end the fruit is born and the market decides. Buys stay, sellers go, fight or wait it out, in the end the person in the pew exercises power right along with the guys up front.
In other churches the magisterium decides…
In the end the Holy Spirit must rescue us or nothing can be done well.
Market Christianity is pretty much supreme…
I don’t know how it OUGHT to be and neither does anyone else but the market has no boss in free cultures.
“In a nutshell, this is the issue I have with a pastor appointing his successor: he doesn’t trust the people (and by extension God to lead the people) to choose a new pastor.”
Unless you have the type of supervision that MLD described overseeing the appointment process and qualifications of the successor pastor, I absolutely would not trust the people to choose a new pastor. There’s a reason they’re called sheep.
BD just nailed it to the wall…
The anti-pastor /anti-church cynicism on this blog is pretty sad.
Shouldn’t it be normal that a young man might want to serve God and his church as he follows in his dad’s footsteps? Why should there be so much suspicion? I have been part of several churches, both CC and EO, where the son took over as senior pastor after their dad left and in both cases, it became apparent that the son loved God and the parish just as much as their dads did. Why are we so cynical about his possibility?
Why can’t we assume the Horizon folk are happy with the situation? Why must we expect them to grumble? You know, shocking as this may seem to some of you, many people LOVE their churches. For these people, their first impulse is not to be suspicious or to complain but to rejoice in the Lord. Yet such happy, contented people are often labeled sheeple.
As far as who gets assigned the pastor job…. that’s what bishops are for. Most people here would rather eat glass than put themselves under the authority of a bishop.
Paps, we investigate babysitters, for crying out loud. Why wouldn’t anyone want to know the man chosen to serve the people he loves? This has nothing to do with trusting God; this is about passing on a vision, about continuing the work God gave us to do. That is what trusting God is. I have no problem with a church that appoints a pastor by vote or some other means. Likewise, those who disagree with our form of government should not have a problem with my church or Mic Mac’s church. We are simply doing what we REALLY believe the Lord has asked us to do.
he doesn’t trust the people
Paps…not sure you read fyi correctly. He wrote (and you copied) There is NO WAY I would or could entrust them to someone…
The trust skepticism is on the replacement pastor, not the people.
Now, may I ask how would the people in your scenario choose the successor? If they want pastor X, but fyi knows that pastor X has issues that in love he has kept from the majority of the church, what then?
Do the people have tryouts from outside the church, place a want ad and have several Sundays where a prospective applicant is given one message and THAT becomes the decision?
I ask sincerely. You know CC is not congregational, so why would a CC be congregational for the replacement pastor.
I imagine, much like with Brian at CCCM, there are a few disgruntles but the vast majority said Amen and applauded the announcement of who the replacement pastor was going to be once the Board already voted him in. (And that’s how it went down at our place too I might add)
To add to my last @116 (before I split for awhile) I see nothing noble or valuable in some formality vote or process.
I remember when the NFL mandated that teams interview a black man whenever there was a head coaching job available. There are black head coaches, but when a team knew it wanted to hire Pete Carrol then to go through the motions and bring some guy in who had no chance for the job was just stupid. But it made good politics and public theater and Jesse Jackson claimed a victory and raised donations afterwards – but is that necessary or wanted in the local church?
Do we imagine a scene where Mike, the elders and Board of Horizon all get behind one “candidate” but then tell the congregation that they can write-in who they think would be the better choice? And then feel better because at least now the congregation has “chosen” their replacement?
Like a corporate board when they send stockholders a proxy statement to vote on the next slate of directors? Those directors all get in, unless someone like Carl Icahn owns a lot of stock and wants to cause trouble (and in the church that is called a church-split)
Again, I ask this in sincerity. What would be the process for a church like Horizon or CCCM (or the one I pastor) to “let the congregation choose their successor”
Believe me, I listen to you people and have incorporated much I have taken from this blog into our place…but this one…I just don’t see how.
If a pastor spends 20 years with people and can’t trust them to choose their next pastor, that speaks more about the pastor than the people.
They are called sheep. Yes…..Such a derogatory tone to call the ones for whom Christ died. Pastors are to be shepherds to God’s flock – not fleecing it. Calling people sheep is the abusive pastors “get out of jail free card”.
This attitude of “I know what’s good for them, more than they do.”
Sounds like we have a distinction between laity and clergy that’s not far enough from Rome.
Calling people sheep is the abusive pastors “get out of jail free card”.
Hey papiaslogia…I’ll hope the reply delay is you are posting a lengthy reply and that your 2:24PM is not your last word.
but the sheep line was Jean’s.
fyi and I have both commented and I asked you some direct practical questions about what YOU have in mind.
Maybe your next post will try and answer them rather than insult the pastors who actually HAVE this responsibility before the Lord…unlike some others who will never know this aspect of responsibility for the care of others.
Steve – I have no dog in the hunt for how CC wants to have a new pastor be in charge. From the cheap seats, what Mike Mac did was no different than bunches of others have done. If the Horizon peeps don’t have a problem with it, that’s between them and God.
Heck, they can post “Pastor needed” on Ebay and let it go to the highest bidder – if people support it – there’s nuthin more I can say.
What I would like to see is some sort of plurality of elders elected by the congregation – but that’s my pipe dream. Let a man have his dreams. 😉
And yeah – I know Jean mentioned the sheep line. That term … reminds me.. “That’s all I can stands, cuz I can’t stands n’more!” – Popeye
As far as I can tell, the only model in the NT for the appointment of a pastor is by another experienced elder:
“The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.” (Titus 1:5)
This makes sense, because it would take an experienced elder to confirm the doctrine and character traits necessary to the office of pastor.
Regarding BD’s comment:
“In the end the fruit is born and the market decides. Buys stay, sellers go, fight or wait it out, in the end the person in the pew exercises power right along with the guys up front.”
this IMO represents a form of ecclesial Darwinism. This model might work well in the business world where, for example, the better toothpaste will prevail in the market, but in the church the wreckage is not other companies and brands (or even jobs), the wreckage are human souls and broken relationships.
We (the LCMS) do it with a broader scope of elders doing the selection. An LCMS church can only call an LCMS seminary trained candidate. Along the path of training, probably 50 or more ordained pastors (Concordia U theology professors are ordained pastors and all the seminary professors are also) have come in contact with, trained, evaluated and blessed the candidates progress and eventual graduation – elevation for the position … or have stopped the program and rated the candidate unworthy.
It is from this pool that a church can then make their selection.
If I’m hearing you correctly, an LCMS pastor is already an “elder” before he is called by a church. So, it’s not as though the congregation is voting on whether a person is a pastor, only whether a pastor is a good fit for that parish. Correct? That would seem to provide assurance of sound doctrine and character and also allow for local characteristics.
I should add, that would be for a newbie. If a selection is needed from experienced pastors. we would get a list of recommendations from the district and a couple of other sources.
A new seminary graduate is nothing upon graduation. You need a call, an ordination and an installation to become whatever role you are fulfilling.
So, for a newbie, if a graduate is called, someone [who?] ordains the man?
Once ordained, if the man moves or the church closes, is he still an ordained pastor?
The church that calls ordains and then installs. If we were to call an experienced pastor, we would install as his ordination is already in place.
Wouldn’t you guys do the same. If you called a newbie Wesleyan seminary graduate to be, say an assistant pastor, wouldn’t you ordain him and then install him into the position?
I guess the big question s, who can pastor your church? If there were a big named Baptist pastor who wanted to move to the bright lights of Iowa, could he pastor your church?
“Once ordained, if the man moves or the church closes, is he still an ordained pastor?”
Yes, he is an ordained pastor with no church to pastor. As I said, there are many professors who are ordained pastors. There are Lutheran high school teachers who are ordained pastors.Many would perhaps be adjunct assistant pastors as their local congregation.
The President of the LCMS is an assistant pastor at his church.
I’m not sure, but I believe that when a UMC church has an opening, the Bishop or DS makes recommendations, which are voted on by the Church Council. It is a real vote and not a rubber stamp.
The other good thing, is that the appointment is annual, so if the Church Council is not happy with the pastor, it can request his/her removal by the DS. By the same token, if the pastor isn’t happy, he/she can request a transfer.
What I would like to see is some sort of plurality of elders elected by the congregation – but that’s my pipe dream
So if I hear you..the way the congregation (CC or otherwise) has a voice in the new senior pastor is if they have a voice in the elder Board.
You would be fine with such a previously elected Board showing up one Sunday and saying, Pastor X told us he is stepping down and we decided Pastor Y is our new pastor.
If that is correct, then that answers the question. Thank you. 🙂
It sounds similar to what we do. The leadership board appoints a standing call committee that serves for 2 yrs. If an opening arises, and this could be like we had this past year and a half, a school principal, an outreach pastor and a Director of Family and Youth – they do all the contacts with the district, the Concordia U placement people and others and bring a recommendation to the board and we bring it to the congregation.
Paps @ 118
Well stated—some do hear and some simply dismiss it or turn it into something else.
Jesus and His bride, the church: so all who are in Him are anointed and have the Holy Spirit within them. Not just those have founded for laid hold of the leadership.
Sheep—-are not those in leadership also sheep. Some need to be led more than others, but all needs to be quick to hear and slow to answer. For the Holy Spirit guides the entire church body, not just a few.
“Not just those who have founded or laid hold of the leadership”
“this IMO represents a form of ecclesial Darwinism”
I don’t know if you coined this yourself, Jean, but IMOFWW, this had me rolling in the aisle. Beautiful, yet ever so sad, and true much of the time.
I didn’t say it was holy or good … I said it was true
You are probably right about me being more bent than the congregation in SD, yet sometimes people in congregations have been under manipulation so long they don’t know they should be bent e.g., MH…
Once it reaches some type of severe state, which is almost impossible because of the tactics employed to silence, take fyi attacks as an example, yes I could have written 500 to 5000 words to make the truth seem more loving because it is not easy to correct without it seeming harsh in this format, even so people are being exploited whether they know it or not. Maybe it’s loving to point out some of these things to them and those participating in it, we can all learn right?
The things going on in evangelicalism is effecting the entire body of Christ even in the LMS and eventually maybe MLD will recognize it, so it’s not just a SD or even a CC issue, Steve said it was an example for other CC’s, that could effect many.
If the CC apologist wanted to call for more transparency and church succession plans perhaps he could have said that without using Horizon as the example for the reasons already stated plus others.
I would have written sooner, not just to run off other posters, but had some baby seals to club and work on a church web sight for MLD to critique, Not.
You bring up a good point, nepotism in the church seems to be a problem when more qualified people are over looked for various reasons e.g, control, money, security and the church is treated as a family franchise like they are from the family of Aaron.
There is another side also, sometimes it seems children take over ministries and they are not qualified or even interested until they realize what a good gig it is and get the call, some reportedly pulling in .5 to over a 1 million a year plus corporate benefits, and teaching and practicing some real unbiblical stuff.
Should this be pointed out?
On the Progressive Christianity article –
I thought a Progressive was someone that thought the scriptures may or may not be inerrant but not necessarily relevant for today (the 21st century) and could be very inclusive to new ideas e.g., gays, woman in leadership positions (progress) and social issues are very important, basically pragmatism.
Whereas a Liberal did not believe in inerrancy or at least some large portions of scripture.
As opposed to an Evangelical who believed in inerrancy and scripture was the final authority on faith and practice.
And Fundamentals basically the same as an evangelical but practices a stricter separation doctrine.
Is there any metric or fundamentals to being a Christian or is any profession enough?
Steve Wright #96 I loved reading about your son and his commitment to the church. Thank you for sharing that profile.
Thank you, Paige! Feel free to facebook friend me if you desire…that’s where I “brag” on him typically. 🙂
I’m a member of Horizon and want to share with you that I am very excited about the stated transition we are going through. We know there are folks who are crushed about pastor Mike’s pulpit announcement. We are grateful for pastor Mike’s years of hard work. Because of him, MANY men and women internationally have had ministry opportunity doors open wide for them to walk through (think church plants, para-church ministries, orphanages, radio programs etc.). This can be said for many other pastors/leaders (re: providing ministry opportunities) but I’m talking about my church . Pastor Mike is a leader of leaders. Maybe in the early years of Horizon (I was not around then) he was around the congregation more? But it appears that he teaches most Sundays and is out doing conferences or behind the scene ministry helping people and pouring into others during the week. He isn’t around for the Horizon sheep anymore. Just an observance. He has a team of people who are around for the sheep.
This is where Philip has been flourishing. He is there at the services and during the week. He is available to the people locally. He and his wife are part of people’s lives. They are connected. He knows the Horizon congregation. He genuinely loves our congregation. You can see it. Mike knows this and has acknowledged it from the pulpit.
My church friends and I are so grateful our church still being taught the bible. People are being saved. People are being discipled. Yes, it does look different at Horizon then how “it used to be”. There are new people who are being given chances to serve and try new things. People’s lives are changing positively.
Just wanted to share. I have no complaining to do about pastor Mike changing his role, stepping aside, or whatever. I know he will continue to do amazing things and have wonderful opportunities. Leader of leaders. It completely makes sense he is changing his role.