Father son drama; Andy and Charles Stanley

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Father son drama; Andy and Charles Stanley

Postby Stephen Fox » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:19 pm

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Re: Father son drama; Andy and Charles Stanley

Postby Ed Pettibone » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:27 pm

Ed: I think there is some stuff here that speaks to the situation with the Charles and Andy

Any one here who can guess who penned these words, hint they where written in 2005.

I have seen seminary students over the past decade making a significant move away from
an interest in doctrinal matters. Theological issues which were matters of lengthy discussions in
the past, such as soteriology, pneumatology, and eschatology no longer incite great student
interest. One recent event in a seminary Theology class illustrates this anti-doctrinal spirit. In
the midst of a Systematic Theology class that was discussing a theological issue in some detail,
one student exclaimed in frustration, “I didn’t come hear to learn all this theology. I came here to
learn how to grow a church.” The topic of the discussion that day was the bodily resurrection of
Jesus Christ.
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Re: Father son drama; Andy and Charles Stanley

Postby Sandy » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:17 am

Ed Pettibone wrote:Ed: I think there is some stuff here that speaks to the situation with the Charles and Andy

Any one here who can guess who penned these words, hint they where written in 2005.

I have seen seminary students over the past decade making a significant move away from
an interest in doctrinal matters. Theological issues which were matters of lengthy discussions in
the past, such as soteriology, pneumatology, and eschatology no longer incite great student
interest. One recent event in a seminary Theology class illustrates this anti-doctrinal spirit. In
the midst of a Systematic Theology class that was discussing a theological issue in some detail,
one student exclaimed in frustration, “I didn’t come hear to learn all this theology. I came here to
learn how to grow a church.” The topic of the discussion that day was the bodily resurrection of
Jesus Christ.


Let's see....Andy Stanley? Well, he and Joel Osteen. Supposedly, the younger Stanley's church is right behind Osteen in numbers, though Lakewood counts their attendance cumulatively, rather than by a weekly average attendance. And neither one of them would have enough baptisms to be listed in the top half of any Baptist state convention.

I don't think any seminary in existence today teaches church growth according to the methods used by churches like these to grow. Turning resources toward inwardly focused ministry programs to attract people who are already believers from other churches has virtually nothing to do with the church function of evangelism, which is how Southwestern was teaching church growth when I was there back in the 80's. Bill Hybels at Willow Creek even figured out how to make money by packaging and selling Willow Creek's discovery of the fact that they were adding members at other church's expense, but that as their worship attendance increased, the number of baptisms dropped substantially. About two thousand people attended the conference where that information, and their solution to the problem, was shared. The problem is that they shared their solution before they actually put it to the test to find out whether it would work or not. As it turns out, it didn't.

Just from observation, it seems that the main motivation behind growing congregations into mega churches is that it is an easier path to semi-celebrity status in the media world of the book and video business, putting out a product that people are willing to pay for, in addition to generating a large salary so that the pastor and his family can live in the style to which they've become accustomed. The churches aren't evangelistic because there is no discipleship taking place in the "let me help you feel good about yourself" message that comes from the pulpit, and those who attend go to take out rather than put in. How would they get any theology from an hour a week, three times a month, if most of the congregation actually attends that often?
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Speaking of which

Postby Stephen Fox » Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:14 pm

Where is Ed Young's former right hand man Jim Deloach these days?
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Re: Father son drama; Andy and Charles Stanley

Postby Ed Pettibone » Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:25 pm

Ed: Sandy I think that when you say "... it seems that the main motivation behind growing congregations into mega churches is that it is an easier path to semi-celebrity status in the media world of the book and video business, putting out a product that people are willing to pay for, in addition to generating a large salary so that the pastor and his family can live in the style to which they've become accustomed" You are being too general and overly cynical about the motives of Mega pastors. I have known a few who never wrote a book nor went on a cruise entered the video business or drew an exorbitant salary. In deed there are those who seem to fit your description.
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Re: Father son drama; Andy and Charles Stanley

Postby Sandy » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:47 pm

I know too many mega church pastors not to be cynical about this. The odds are that there probably are a few who aren't building a personal empire, but you might not run into one in a lifetime. I don't see a model for this in scripture. There's not much Biblical guidance for forming an opinion about whether a pastor's sermons and writings are the intellectual property of the church to which he has been called to serve, or whether they are his "work product" and thus he can receive the proceeds from their packaging and sale.
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Re: Father son drama; Andy and Charles Stanley

Postby Ed Pettibone » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:24 pm

Ed: Sandy 25 to 30 years ago I may have agreed that "The odds are that there probably are a few who aren't building a personal empire, but you might not run into one in a lifetime" and then I read Joel Gregory's Too Great a Temptation. Also for a long time I asked "Can any thing good come out of Bob Jones University and then I met Jim Holbrook when he pastored McGregor BC in Fort Myers Florida and built it into a Mega church. McGregor was not my ideal church nor was Holbrook an Ideal pastor for me. But I do believe he was sincere and honest in his attempts to follow the leading of the Holly Spirit, given his early training. I believe Jim Henery honestly tried to keep FBC Orlando Christ centered and did reasonably well at it considering the wild growth of the fantasy land that grew up around them. And I believe that he would have actually "expanded the SBC tent" had he been allowed to do so by those in control at the time.

We visited Idlewild (sp) in Tampa when it was still floating around from one rented facility to another, before they built their first first multimillion dollar campus. In my judgement they offered - offer great CHRISTIAN entertainment and clean social activity but their theology is thin. Yet from my observation they are an exception to you charge about megas being built on sheep stealing. Indeed some folk from other churches seeing their growth
wanted in on that. But they did not steal any churches members, the met p received needs that where not being met at other churches. And in reality most of their growth came -comes from people who have never been committed to any church. Tony Dungy's attendance there when he coached the Tampa Bay Bucks, didn't hurt them either. Yet I feel there is a Lot of ego demonstrated any time a church starts multiple campuses, and flying the "Pastor" from one to another via helicopter. Before my wife became a pastor and I had a choice :wink: , my general rule was I am not interested in a church which is to big for the pastor to know who I am. Back when I was still a SBC loyalist I made the mistake of joining one of those in my home state of Indiana just because it was SBC. After a short while began church hoping. And was better know by the pastor of the First Baptist which was an ABC-USA church of around 200 members.

My point is you can not really judge a church or their pastor by their size.
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Re: Father son drama; Andy and Charles Stanley

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:29 pm

Sandy I'm typically critical of mega-churches too and resonate with what you are saying. But I know there are exceptions to the rule one of them being Adam Hamilton the Senior Pastor of Church of the Resurrection in Leewood, KS. It isn't a church as big as Andy Stanley's ut with a membership of over 19,000 it certainly qualifies as a mega-church.

I've been very impressed with Hamiltons ministry and leadership as well as his willingness to risk his own position by discussing tough theological issues and takes stands for his faith.

The mega-church model isn't my favorite model of the church. But I do think there are pastors out there who are trying to do it right.
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Re: Father son drama; Andy and Charles Stanley

Postby Chris » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:20 pm

Sandy wrote:..there probably are a few who aren't building a personal empire, but you might not run into one in a lifetime. I don't see a model for this in scripture.


This reminds me of show business!
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Re: Father son drama; Andy and Charles Stanley

Postby Sandy » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:07 am

A lot of it is show business. The rates that many of these churches pay for musicians is incredible. I was shocked to discover that some churches pay their praise band members enough to be "full time" employees, so that they can be available for mid-week events, because it isn't acceptable if the church hosts a conference or has mid-week events, for the "quality" and "look and feel" of the worship presentation to be different from what it normally is. I know one local church with about 1,500 in attendance on Sunday that sinks a half million dollars a year into their worship and media ministry and that's all inwardly focused. It includes the various stage settings that go along with the themes of the pastor's sermons, the t-shirts and logos for the sermon series, the props, slides and images that go on the projection screens, the whole show.
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Re: Father son drama; Andy and Charles Stanley

Postby Ed Pettibone » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:30 am

Ed: So Sandy, what do you think the secular world spends on entertainment?
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Re: Father son drama; Andy and Charles Stanley

Postby Sandy » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:33 pm

Ed Pettibone wrote:Ed: So Sandy, what do you think the secular world spends on entertainment?


Quite a bit, but that's not a valid comparison. I'm not going to church to be entertained, I'm going to worship. There's a vast difference between those two concepts.
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Re: Father son drama; Andy and Charles Stanley

Postby Chris » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:48 pm

Sandy wrote:...that's not a valid comparison. I'm not going to church to be entertained, I'm going to worship. There's a vast difference between those two concepts.


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Re: Father son drama; Andy and Charles Stanley

Postby Ed Pettibone » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:17 pm

Chris wrote:
Sandy wrote:...that's not a valid comparison. I'm not going to church to be entertained, I'm going to worship. There's a vast difference between those two concepts.


A M E N ! !


Ed: I also go to church more to worship than to be entertained. But yet I appreciate well done music and drama, Dance and even comedy all of which can be both worshipful and entertaining with careful planning. Most folk who stay home on Sunday are watching TV to be entertained more so than to worship if you provide some good entertainment at church they may come for that and at the same time learn the value of worship.
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Re: Father son drama; Andy and Charles Stanley

Postby Haruo » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:12 pm

I attended the Eucharist at Church of the Apostles yesterday afternoon prior to the Beer & Hymn Night at Church of the Beloved. The congregation at COTA (and I think at Beloved's) is on the young side, and I think it is the successful melding of participatory worship with something akin to entertainment (drama, anyhow) in the liturgical approach taken is part of what attracts these folks and keeps them coming back. (COTA is a joint ELCA/Episcopal outfit; last night's Eucharist was put on by the Episcopalians, and was actually filmed by a crew from the Head Office or whatever TEC calls their Vatican...)
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Re: Father son drama; Andy and Charles Stanley

Postby Sandy » Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:12 am

I certainly appreciate elements of a worship service that are "well done." It demonstrates that there was some forethought and prayer that went into the preparation, and that those involved take it seriously. Somewhere there is a line that is drawn between leading a congregation into a worship experience, which is what I see as the responsibility of worship leadership, and entertainment that, in and of itself, aims at an emotional reaction worked up by the look and feel of the medium, rather than an encounter with the Holy Spirit that happens when God visits with a blessing. Neil Cole, in his book Organic Church relates a story about a group of Korean Christians on a visit to an American mega church who were quite impressed with the dramatic effect of a worship experience, but could readily distinguish between one that was "worked up" by music and a manipulative speaker, and one which was visited by the Holy Spirit. True worship is not about how you feel when you leave, or what you got out of the service. It takes place when you know that God was pleased with what you attempted to do for him.
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