Home > Uncategorized > Running Out of Authors To Recommend

Running Out of Authors To Recommend

I’m running out of pastors, authors and ministries I can wholeheartedly endorse.

Whether it’s James MacDonald’s weekend antics at John MacArthur’s conference, or MacArthur’s tirade against Pentecostalism itself; I find myself having trouble finding a team to back.

The latest to come under the microscope is Charlotte, North Carolina’s Steven Furtick, author of Sun Stand Still and Greater, and pastor of Elevation Church. Both books have been reviewed here favorably, and I have many times linked to Elevation sermon podcasts. I enjoyed the books. I enjoy his preaching style. Dare I say, I’ve learned a lot from his ministry.

Steven Furtick House

But the local NBC News affiliate in Charlotte is concerned about the house the Furticks are building as well as the inaccessibility about how it’s being paid for, or Furtick’s salary. You can watch that report by clicking here.

Steven Furtick Board of Overseers

And while the salary information is not forthcoming, there is also a concern about who sets that salary: In contrast to (founding denomination) Southern Baptist Convention policy, none of the board are from the church or even live in the immediate area, nor are they elected by members of the Elevate congregation. You can watch that report by clicking this link.

The board of Elevation consists entirely of pastors from other megachurches.

While this isn’t a “watchdog” blog, I respect these two writers who strive to hold church leaders accountable, in particular The Wartburg Watch. You can read their pieces — don’t miss the reader comments — at this link, this link, and this appeal to people to stop giving to rich pastors.

The WCNC-TV story also has raised the broader issue of megachurch pastor compensation, as seen in this item, which appeared yesterday, about Perry Noble, who is also listed above as a board member of Elevation.

…Thinking Out Loud exists partly to celebrate the good that is taking place in various corners of the (capital C) Church. But as I stated at the outset, I’m growing rapidly disillusioned with the very ministries I so much want to endorse.

At Disciple Dojo, there’s a great piece which summarizes both sides of the issue. But in conclusion, the writer calls this week’s events “a tempest in a teapot” which I feel understates what could be the unraveling of Steven Furtick’s ministry.

And then, just to make it more interesting, blog readers there are asked to make a $10 monthly contribution.


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. October 25, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Thanks for linking to my piece over at the Dojo. Just to clarify, I am not a pastor of a church with a steady income and the ministry of Disciple Dojo exists solely through the sale of the resources and artwork I produce, as well as monthly support from readers and friends. Before taking a shot at me in such a less-than-charitable way (“monkey see monkey do”), it would’ve been nice if you’d inquired directly about my ministry…as it has generated enough income over the past 4 years to keep us just about at the Federal poverty line. 😉

    I’d be happy to discuss any of this with you at your convenience and can be reached readily via http://jmsmith.org/contact

    • October 25, 2013 at 11:37 am

      I thought long and hard before I wrote that; and I do recommend the article, so I didn’t really consider it taking a shot. I just thought it was rather ironic.

      I’ll delete the line you quoted though. (It was late at night.)

  2. October 25, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    No worries. I can see where you were coming from. I appreciate you editing it and I have no ill will at all.

    Yes, there was a bit of intentionality to posting the reminder about needing monthly donors to keep things going. But if someone’s not familiar with Disciple Dojo’s ministry overall and how it’s funded I can understand them raising an eyebrow at the final request for support in a post about finances. That’s why I linked to the support page which explains what all resources are included whenever anyone decides to become a supporter as well as the legal financial status of Disciple Dojo as an L3C organization. As I said on your other blog comment section (reposting for those who may not have seen it there):

    “…unlike any pastors or churches involved in what may or may not be potential financial shenanigans, I’m happy to provide any financial information about Disciple Dojo requested. It’s an important issue for sure and I know that I give up the right to get defensive whenever anyone wants to scrutinize my ministry or lifestyle. For what it’s worth, Disciple Dojo currently receives about $250 per month spread among half a dozen donors. I’d love to see that increase exponentially and would be lying if I said I didn’t. But I pretty much suck at fundraising, so I have to put a plug out there every now and then. 🙂

    Again though, thanks for reading my post and I hope this entire conversation spreads among the body of Christ in a way that sharpens us all in how we use our finances, regardless of what those finances may consist of.”

    Blessings from the Dojo and may we all continue strive for faithful stewardship!

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