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.
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.
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.