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87 Responses

  1. covered says:

    This is all good stuff. That was MLD tweeting with Joel wasn’t it? I couldn’t agree more with the Miley sentiments. Little girls growing up to be what the world wants leads to broken hearts.

    EM, I loved seeing you yesterday!

  2. Jim says:

    Does calvary chapel do multi site outside of Florida?

  3. covered says:

    Oh yeah, FIRST!

  4. Reuben says:

    The Gospel Coalition is so absorbed in parading what they “do for Jesus” that I here by declare them equal in every way to those who proudly tithe from their spice racks.

    Weep for Miley…

    Anyone remember Madonna of my day?

    Sweet mother of god, that article infuriated me.

    Back to work.

  5. Michael says:


    Skip and Greg do multi-site…I’m not sure who else.

  6. Nonnie says:

    I think I laughed more at Joel Osteen’s quotes than Luther’s responses.

    Osteen quotes remind me of this:

  7. Nonnie says:

    I don’t want to watch the Miley Cyrus video. The photos alone and so much press about it are enough to know what her performance was like. It’s nothing new.. …she is emulating Madonna and Lady Gaga and others before her.
    My heart aches for the young women (like her) being exploited and manipulated…losing their souls to gain the world, and yet the world will eat them up and spit them out. I think of Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, Marilyn Monroe, and so many others…drugs, alcohol, and greedy others who use and abuse them. Honestly, do we really think that Miley Cyrus made up that costume and “dance” routine on her own? She is sadly, being “managed and handled” by people who only care about how much money they can make off her back. They are nothing more than pimps.


    Thabiti’s follow-up. This guy is smart and caring. I always listen to him.

  9. Hmm. Somehow that linked to a comment. Scroll up to read the article, but Thabiti’s interaction in the comments is great too.

  10. Jim says:

    Multi site is a weird phenom. I get it with international celeb pastors like Driscoll and Piper, because we love our celebs. Back in 83 or 84 a group of elders in Florida traveled to CCCM to find a pastor. They brought Malcolm back, and the first CC in Florida was born. It was HUGE. Nine years later, the former head elder plants a church 45 minutes away. He then plants a church 15 minutes north called Calvary Chapel Mebourne-Viera campus. A couple of years later, they build a $5,000,000 building in Viera, to watch a live video of the Melbourne pastor. They now have another campus 30 minutes south of Melbourne.

    These venues are PACKED, and I know a lot of good people who go there. I really don’t get it. The Melbourne guy is an OK speaker, with no rock star persona.

    9000 people need to hear this one guy, many by video? There’s no one else who’s qualified to teach?

    I’m getting old….

  11. Michael says:


    Me too…I don’t get it either.
    Actually, I do get it…but it sickens me.

  12. Jim says:


    A pimp’s greatest fear should be a dad. Unfornuatley, Miley’s dad is a pimp, who sold her to Disney, the massive pimp machine. Drew, Brittney, Christina, Lindsey, and Miley-all severely damaged. All Disney products.

  13. Nonnie says:

    Jim, I agree with your number 10!

    If I were attending a church to hear a guy via video, I would stay in my PJ’s and watch via TV or internet, then I could skype with others who also watched and we could all “fellowship” afterwards over coffee and donuts, from the comfort of our own homes.

  14. Tim says:

    I’ve heard many arguments for them, but I can’t say that I’ve ever truly understood multi-site church campuses. It just doesn’t sit well with me for whatever reason.

    Not that my opinion on it matters in the slightest. We’re a tiny church congregation that would be happy to just fill up our own rented building, much less need multiple campuses to fit everyone.

    I saw the story about the homeless feeding ministry in Raleigh yesterday. Apparently the mayor is standing with the group, so at least there seems to be some hope that not everyone in the city government has lost their minds.

  15. Jim says:

    Nonnie-I do that a lot.

  16. Michael says:


    I added your link to the main article.

  17. Nonnie says:

    And Jim, when they “pass the plate” do you just type: $$$$$ ??

  18. Jim says:

    That’s before the message, so I get to miss that part…

  19. Fusco says:

    I get multi-site.
    It doesn’t sicken me.

    Not all multi-sites are the same.
    Not all use video.
    Some have all live teaching.

    It is actually a quite logical (and cost effective) step for a church with a space issue.
    It is actually a quite strategic step to reach nooks and crannies of a community.
    It is actually a blessing to remove the lid of leadership in a church.

    It’s only bad if you prop up what you do by disgusting yourself with other expressions of church.

    Just my 2 cents.

  20. Michael says:


    Duly noted…

  21. Fusco says:

    Let me give you an example. This is a conversation I had 2x yesterday, with pastors from 2 different churches. Both churches were founded in the last 10 years. Both rent shared space. Both church have grown to over 200 people and maxing out there space. Both have 1 Sunday service with no option for a 2nd. Both don’t want to buy or build something and neither want leave their current locations because of the impact they are having on their immediate surrounding. Both were “we can’t grow anymore” or we have to move.

    I said, well there is a 3rd option.
    Sure you can chose to cap your growth. If the Lord wills.
    Sure you can move and buy or whatever.
    Or you can multi-site.

    I said what if you did a 2nd SUnday morning gathering, at a different location.
    Either the senior/lead pastor can teach it or you can video it, or you can have another teaching pastor teach it.

    You can keep your present locations
    and reach other parts of your community incarnationally.

    It allows not 1, but 2 people to lead worship
    It allows not 1, but 2 teachers (or more velocity for the same studied for message)
    It allows not 1, but 2 people to pastor the community
    It allows not 1, but 2 people to lead the children’s ministry
    It doubles the # of servants to do all the ministries.
    So how is it really bad?

    Now, what a lot of churches are doing now, because of all the operational mess that starting a new church can bring, they are sending out their church planters as campuses of the sending church. In that way, they don’t have to worry about accounting, graphics, kid’s ministry ciriculum and the like because they already have it from the sending church.

    This is why there are over 5k multi-site churches in America.
    So for me the reasoning isn’t idolatrous nor selfish, sometimes it’s just the best option available.

    It’s a lot like people not understanding LeBron, D Wade and Bosh all joining the Heat. The older generation didn’t get it , wouldn’t do it. But they wanted to play together and share the ball and win championships. Multi-siting can be that way, but I realize that many folks don’t get it and don’t like it.

  22. Michael says:

    I’m on my way out the door…I’ll respond later if the community is still engaged.

  23. Tim says:

    Honest question here…

    “It allows not 1, but 2 people to lead worship
    It allows not 1, but 2 teachers (or more velocity for the same studied for message)
    It allows not 1, but 2 people to pastor the community
    It allows not 1, but 2 people to lead the children’s ministry
    It doubles the # of servants to do all the ministries.”

    Wouldn’t 100% of that still be true if a group was simply sent out to plant a new church? Couldn’t the sending church *still* supply children’s curriculum, accounting services, etc., as the new work gets on its feet?

    I guess I don’t understand the distinction you’re drawing here between church planting & multi-site.

  24. Fusco says:

    You totally can. But many churches chose not to.
    The autonomous 70s and 80s said do it yourself.
    But this generation is choosing to do it together.
    Even at great distances and across state lines even.
    The amount of money it costs, adn the energy just to incorporate adn do the IRS paperwork is also part of this.

    Sometimes it is better to stay together than be autonomous.
    So when some churches are sending out campuses instead of chruch plants.
    Some are doing both.

    I’m just trying to add some ideas about multi-siting that may not be considered otherwise.

  25. Multi sites – isn’t that a denomination?

  26. Tim says:

    Thanks. As I mentioned earlier, it’s not something even remotely in our sphere of thinking (for lack of need, if nothing else)…but I have been curious as to what goes through the thought process of the congregations that do it.

  27. I don’t think most people would be against a new campus that had a live pastor and such. I do think the problem comes in with video campuses.

  28. Muff Potter says:

    Beating the war drums again? Warships converging in the Eastern Med.? Gearing up for another conflict? We need to stop sticking our nose where it don’t belong cuz’ sooner or later it’s gonna get bloodied.

  29. Now, autonomy does bring up another question. If I don’t believe in denominational hierarchies (and I don’t), then the idea of setting up another campus, even with its own pastor would violate my conscious if there was another church “over” the new campus. I could see doing this as a means to plant a new church. Maybe have a set time period where that campus will assume more and more control until they too were an autonomous congregation.

    Interesting thoughts.

  30. Ricky Bobby says:

    I’m sure the Rapture Crowd is on full-tilt right now with Syria, Russia, China making noise, with Iran threatening Israel and the US looking like we’re going to press Syria hard.

    Eschatology is my weak spot (probably b/c it’s even less quantifiable as any other subject in the bible)…but I think I have some of the basic Premillenial Rapture Crowd positions down…

    OK, we’re supposed to have a Battle of Armeggedon and it’s supposed to happen, according to quite a few Rapturistas, north of Israel and somehow Russia and China are supposed to be involved, no?

    However, isn’t the Anti-Christ and the Devil supposed to wage war with Jesus and his Army in that battle? Or are there a couple different versions of Armaggedon…one where it’s Israel getting attacked by the World and another where it’s the Anti-Christ and Devil vs. Jesus etc.?

  31. If Israel still had a role in prophetic history, that would be one cool scenario. But they don’t.

    Why do we still call him Anti Christ? Hasn’t it been revealed that he is Nicolae Carpathia?

  32. Muff Potter says:

    Ricky Bobby @ # 30,
    You ain’t just a woofin’ dude! I betcha’ Hal Lindsey, Chuck Missler & others will be in full-tilt-boogie mode for the rapture any minute now, and how you gotta’ get right with Jesus or get left behind.

  33. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, LOL! That’s right!

    …you better say the sinner’s prayer quick, or you’ll be “Left Behind”!!!! 🙂

  34. Ricky Bobby says:

    I think if all the Rapturistas actually disappeared out of the blue…it might, ironically, usher in Heaven on earth, LOL 😆

  35. Jim says:

    The lapdogs have spoken. Done deal…

  36. Nonnie says:

    Re: the measles in the Megachurch.

    I’m sorry for the kids suffering measles and truly hope everyone gets over it quickly and without lasting harm. However, I did get giggle a bit when I read that the pastor of the church is the daughter of Kenneth Copeland.

  37. jamesk says:

    It’s illegal in GP to give out anything to the homeless from your vehicle. I am a law breaker.

  38. jlo says:

    Is Britt Merrick still doing multi campus?

  39. I like Britt Merrick. His podcasts saw me through some difficult times in 2007.

  40. Jlo,
    Yes, last I listened they still were.

  41. Calvary Community in Phoenix and Calvary Tucson both are multi-site.

  42. RAPTURE READY…would somebody please tell me why I even clicked on that link? On second thought, don’t answer that.

  43. jlo says:

    Derek, I like Britt also, been to Reality Carpentaria a couple of times. And he used to guest teach at my old church a lot.

    The people at Carpentaria are very warm and welcoming.

  44. That’s another thing that contributes to the “celebrity pastor” image. I don’t know if others do it but these CC guys crisscross the country to make “guest staring” appearance at other CC churches. Why is that?

    Why aren’t the assistant pastors allowed to take on a Sunday morning? Do the guest pastor’s collect a fee? Who pays the travel expenses?

    I have been at my church 7.5 yrs and we have never had a guest pastor.

  45. Well, the Miley twerkfest will have a ripple effect for at least one more news cycle but in the meantime we finally know the answer to the question, “what rhymes with ‘hug me'”?

  46. Ixtlan says:

    Its prevalent in evangelical circles. The whole process feeds the cult of personality, speaks of elitism and implies that the assistant pastors don’t have the goods to hold the masses for one Sunday. It has become an expectation of which much of the body has grown accustomed to without asking the important questions that you raised.

  47. Steve Wright says:

    There is a difference though between a Sr. Pastor leaving his church on Sunday to go speak at another church – and a guest speaker who is not a Sr. Pastor somewhere, right?

  48. brian says:

    This is vintage bob, and he has leveraged this shtick for decades. My opinion I wish I had his gall, I dont think I could do such deceptive antics. That alone shows me as an apostate. Bob does two things that assure he is in the will of God, He generates revenue and he, Generates revenue. That alone assures his status, to those Pastors etc try not generating required revenue, Judas would be shown more mercy then you. I get that I really do. Do you buy this routine, this magic spectacle I have far more respect for the tribal magic voodoo rants then I do for our tribe. We should know better. But I also agree the bottom line is the only factor that should be monitored. I always agree with that the bottom line. Basically how much revenue is taken in. That is always and I mean always number one two three four five ……….bazillion. That is the end all and be all economics. God loves economics.

    Bob can turn a phrase and bob can instill an apologetic but what bob can do that is the most holy by far, bob can raise revenue, that alone assures God’s blessing. From the cheap seats and this is an aside what a very strange religion I really mean that what a strange faith.

  49. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    It would be handy if Miley were not a subject at all because Cyrus can’t possibly be less annoying than her dad was twenty years ago. A century ago Rite of Spring scandalized Paris so it’s not like artists and musicians weren’t trolling for attention a century ago (and anyone who’s read even a little on Stravinsky and Ballet Ruses will know they were absolutely trolling for attention). As laments about Miley Cyrus being a pawn in some evil sacrificial system go, didn’t South Park get to that in their episode about Britney Spears?

  50. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    For those who don’t/won’t watch South Park, yep, all the way back in 2008.

  51. Ridllebarger precisely stated my problems with Rick Warren in that article.

  52. Jim says:

    From the Clergy-depression link:

    “Furthermore, the study found that pastors’ sense of guilt about not doing enough at work was a top predictor of depression”

    Later: “pastors can proactively take steps to bolster their mental health—by taking vacation and Sabbath time….” Wow.

    The most unhappy people I know are men who draw a check without earning an honest living. I’m not broad-brushing, because I know very hard working pastors, govt employees, and union workers.

    I also know pastors who think their job is to hang out by their pool and read books, and many, many miserable govt/union guys who constantly gripe about their no work jobs.

    Men were made to work. After the fall, work became hard.

  53. Jim has an interesting theory. The pastors who are depressed are the ones who sit by pools and read all day.

    Somehow I doubt it. Probably more like the ones who work 80hrs/week for peanuts. Probably ones who preach two many funerals for dead children. Maybe pastors who work their butts off, but the congregation always assumes they are sitting by the pool reading. That would surely depress me.

  54. Jim says:


    I was quoting from the article, and giving my opinion based on personal experience regarding mens mental health and work. I did mention that I know some very hard working pastors, yes? Their congregations do not assume they’re sitting by the pool.

  55. It’s just the judgemental nature of the comment Jim. Maybe pastors are depressed because they have a tough, thankless job?

    No, it’s because they are scumbags who sit by the pool all day.

  56. Jim says:

    OK Josh. That’s exactly what I said. I also invented the quotes from the article.

  57. Steve Wright says:

    A long time ago I saw a study on depression (which I have mentioned here before) that spoke of three categories of workers who seem to have higher than average amounts. They are commission-only salespersons, housewifes/stay at home Moms, and pastors.

    What the three have in common is chiefly that they set their own schedules. They have as much work (or more) as any other job, but it is up to them to get it done. In addition, all three are not directly paid for their work – in the sense of the cause/effect nature of payroll.

    It was an interesting article, and it was actually written from the insurance world of actuarial tables.

    As an aside, I have been two of those three, and am married to the third. 🙂

  58. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, last Sunday I taught the first half of Romans 4 – on the liberty of the grace of God.

    i can relate to Matt’s post in a big way.

    The response was overwhelming. I saw people REACT facially/emotionally out there in the congregation (which does not typically happen). To hear they are accepted 100%, no matter what they do (or don’t do).

    I’m sure some here might disagree (especially with my baptism example I used)

    I’m looking forward to continuing and getting into chapter five where Matt is writing from.

  59. I just disagreed with your assessment Jim. That’s all.

    I think pastors get a bad wrap. I think there are millions of anonymous pastors who work hard, but they are decried because of the few that have the luxury of not working hard. And even that is judgmental. I’m only assuming they don’t work hard. Not like I follow them around or anything.

  60. “To hear they are accepted 100%”

    Realizing this 5 or 6 years ago completely changed my life. I’m glad you are teaching this to your congregation.

  61. Jim says:


    One in nine workers in the US were self employed in 2009, according to Dept of Labor. This is my tribe, and while there are high levels of stress, I don’t see a lot of depression.

  62. Jim says:


    What was my assessment, other than I think that men who work hard are mentally healthier than those who don’t?

  63. PP Vet says:

    Same rule for pastors as for most other jobs: If you are not having fun, something is wrong.

    “Fun” can mean, for example, a deep sense of personal fulfillment that compensates for the downsides, such as having to deal with humans. 🙂

  64. “I also know pastors who think their job is to hang out by their pool and read books, and many, many miserable govt/union guys who constantly gripe about their no work jobs.

    Men were made to work. After the fall, work became hard.”

    Hints my next comment:

    “Jim has an interesting theory. The pastors who are depressed are the ones who sit by pools and read all day.”

  65. Preaching funerals for babies must be a blast.

  66. Nonnie says:

    Steve W. “To realise I am 100% accepted!” Yes. I first heard that concept from Brennan Manning in the Ragamuffin Gospel. (after being a Christian for over 15 years) As Josh said, it is truly life changing, to finally begin to understand that I don’t have to “apply spiritual cosmetics” to attempt to make myself “attractive” to God. I am His…He chose me, and He loves me. That is the beginning step to serving Christ in love and freedom, rather than serving Him because I felt I had to live up to some arbitrary standard. I am so glad you are preaching this! Your congregation is blessed!

  67. Jim says:

    Josh, you can read my comments as selectively as you like. It was not a broad brush statement.

  68. Steve Wright says:

    Jim, I said (or more properly, the actuarial study I referenced said) nothing about being “self-employed” – that is not at all the same issue.

    In fact, I don’t think any of the three categories I mentioned are properly described as self-employed. A pastor certainly is not, nor a housewife, and some commission salespersons might be, most aren’t as they are likely selling for a certain corporation (someone who can and will fire them if they don’t do a good job).

  69. PP Vet says:

    Very nice First Things take.

    Whatever the Bible asks us to do is good for us and will make us better people

  70. Jim says:


    I understand. I’ve been commission only sales, and I’ve been self employed. They share the “set your own schedule” feature.

  71. I was self employed for 15 years and for the past 2 I work for the man. I was much happier self employed… even when we were paying $1,400 month for our own heath insurance and $800 a month for our phone bill.

  72. Steve Wright says:

    Look, it’s not my study. In over 20 years in the insurance industry I tended to see the actuaries usually knew their stuff. But I did not add my comment to start (yet another) argument. Just to point out that being a pastor per se, may not be what is unique to the depression issue – but rather what the job entails that is similar to two other fields.

    Pastors are NOT self-employed. Housewives are not EMPLOYED at all (if words matter). Most (not all) commission only salespeople are not self-employed either (and here I am not talking about someone who sells retail or otherwise has to show up at the office at a set time each day). Nor was the study about independent contractors and the like that may or may not know how much business they have in a given week.

    All of my commercial insurance clients were self-employed (even if legally organized as a corp, partnership, LLC). I would not deal with Boards – just owners, because you can keep those clients for years and Boards will shop around each year to save a few bucks. I dealt with the owners only, who called the insurance shots each year.

    The dry cleaner or donut store owner is self-employed with a very structured (and repetitive) time schedule each day. In fact, finding a few minutes to talk to such self-employeds is rather challenging.

    Other businesses may have more variety during the day, more flexibility in the schedule, but I could still count on the guy being in the office at a certain time, leaving at a certain time. Of course, I would also learn when he or she was using that self-employed freedom to coach the kid’s Little League team, or take an extended vacation that is not as easily available for the person who is not their own boss.

    In fact, to MLD’s point – self-employeds are probably far happier than most – (not that depression is simply the opposite of happiness either). Seems like a lot of people dream of being self-employed, and many work hard to achieve that as a future goal. Be your own boss.

    Apples and oranges.

  73. jIM @ 68 – I quoted you like you quoted the article.

  74. Jim says:


    I’m friends with a lot of pastors. My point is that a man is geared towards hard work, and if he, no matter what his vocation, is lazy, or has a job that does not require hard work, he is more apt to distress. My apologies to everyone who comes here just dying to be offended.

  75. Josh,
    I never thought Jim was accusing all pastors.

  76. Jim says:

    I just thought that portions of the article were funny. The relation between the top indicator and the prescription reminded me of some people I know. Josh doesn’t know them, and I wasn’t accusing the people he knows of anything.

    There are a few of us here, myself included, that really seem to enjoy arguing far too much. I KNOW I’m messed up, but what the heck is wrong with you guys? 🙂

  77. I have my days.

  78. Steve Wright says:

    Jim, so much of it is the medium.

    Plus, I think all the arguing is proof we really are family. 🙂

  79. I didn’t claim that Jim thought all pastors were like that, I just disagreed with his take. His take is typical of the common take on pastors. They are bad guys. I think that is so far off, its hard to even imagine. So, when I see an article that says pastors are depressed, I think, yeah, I understand that. And I feel for them, because they have a tough calling.

    Others say, “of course they are depressed. They have it way too easy!”

    I just don’t get that mindset.

    I thought I had made myself clear the first 40 times, but now I’ll let it go.

  80. All you have to do is go to “the other blog’ to see how easy it is to miscommunicate and be misunderstood.
    Had to go there to apologize for not being clear enough here on another thread.
    Gonna have to put more thought into communicating.

  81. London says:

    So, anything good happening in anyone’s life lately??

  82. Nonnie says:

    I just spent a week with missionaries from all over Europe. I met some incredible people…they love Jesus, love the people they are serving. Some had deep trials and we cried and prayed together, some had stories that made us laugh, some told of events that took our breath away. All of us worshipped and praised the missionary God who sent His Son to preach the Good News and to dwell amongst us…… and we are humbled that we could be called children of God and ambassadors for Christ, to carry that Good News to others. I have come away from my time with them refreshed and encouraged.

  83. ( |o )====::: says:

    A new digital painting in the works!

  84. covered says:

    Thank you Nonnie. It is such a blessing to spend time with those who are able to serve outside of their home full time. It seems as though God reveals Himself in ways that we sometimes take for granted.

  85. Nonnie says:

    Covered, amen.

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