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Jim W

I've noticed quite a bit of this backpeddaling about feeding the sheep ever since Hybels and Willow Creek came out with their findings about mature believers leaving due to the lack of solid, Biblical teaching. Both of the Purpose-Driven churches I used to attend suddenly started pushing deep, meaningful, Bible study time. Neither of them have actually started to teach anything deeper in the Sunday services, but they both have started emphasizing that believers must study and the pastors have started supplying study guides and committing themselves to personal study with any who seek it, as well as on-line studies. I guess, it's true-as Willow Creek/Saddleback goes, so goes the modern church (no matter how much they may deny it).

Carol Jean

Our church is going the opposite direction. You can't ever "tweak" your church enough to satisfy the mysterious powers that be at Willow Creek! After receiving the results of their "Reveal" study, our church was told by the Willow Creek gurus that the church was "mature believer"- heavy and that the "Exploring Christianity" segment was too small and they weren't being served(have low levels of satisfaction with the church services). The church felt compelled to obey. Therefore, it has set a goal of reducing the percentage of mature Christians (20 years +) to 60% to alleviate this "problem." To help facilitate that goal they're adding all kinds of venues to accommodate everyone's personal worship style. Thanks WC!! This whole WC philosophy is insane.

Steve R

I really don't see too much difference between before and after. Check out this quote from his page: "That’s why I scream loudly and look like I’m on the verge of exploding at random points in my sermon every single week, every single service."

Compare this with Titus 1:7-9 which shows the difference between a man of God and a raving nutter: "For since a church leader is in charge of God's work, he should be without fault. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered, or a drunkard or violent or greedy for money. He must be hospitable and love what is good. He must be self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the message which can be trusted and which agrees with the doctrine. In this way he will be able to encourage others with the true teaching and also to show the error of those who are opposed to it."

Sadly, it seems he just doesn't get it!


OK, that was wack. The fact that he tried really hard to look like Joey Lawrence aside, I can't handle being told "the church is for unbelievers." IT ISN'T!! Grrr! "Last week was the last week Elevation existed for you" or something to that effect, is total crap. I'm sure if he's trying to kick the true believers out on the street, it's working. No one wants to be told that they are just chubby pew warmers looking for a church pot luck to gorge themselves at. I know he was referring to spiritual food, but new believers who have never been fed doctrine don't understand what it is to be fed. I know I didn't, when I was raised on an emaciated diet of Church Growth Formula. Now that I get fed a diet rich in expository preaching, sprinkled with topical podcasts every week, I am able to enjoy " the full propitiation of justification by faith" (his quote, and now I understand the meaning and redundancy in it!) I'd be offended, but what's the point. His type are a dime a dozen these days, and it doesn't take a seminary student to see that.


Everyone who has commented here has had great things to say.
Some other observations: this guy is blaming his wife for his rude "sermon" and his foul mood. He's also counting his numbers, as all of his peers do. He's really disgusting.

Jenn W

Carol Jean wrote: "After receiving the results of their "Reveal" study, our church was told by the Willow Creek gurus that the church was "mature believer"- heavy and that the "Exploring Christianity" segment was too small and they weren't being served(have low levels of satisfaction with the church services). The church felt compelled to obey. Therefore, it has set a goal of reducing the percentage of mature Christians"

So, now we're not just ignoring the "mature believer" but we're actually trying to get rid of them too? I'll help do that Carol, run away as fast as you can! Find a church that feeds you with word and sacrament and proclaims the forgiveness of sins every single Sunday! That ought to help their number count!
Aside - What is a "mature" believer? Carol's church calls it 20+. Is that age, or years attending church? We all know 50 years in church on Sunday doesn't necessarily mean that we're actually believers. I've got a couple of little guys that have been there a lot less that believe that Jesus died for the forgiveness of their sins and yes, they believe they're sinners too. Which begs the question - believers in what? The God of hope, love, peace? I'd say you can translate any of those as into the god of works. Or is it the one true God, God the Father, Son, Holy Spirit as laid out in the creeds? I'd hope that they're talking about believers in the latter but sadly I think they're not. :(
Gotta get off my soapbox! I've got to serve my "neighbor" (otherwise known as my very own Wild Bunch!) in my vocation as chief diaper changer and nose wiper! Where our good works really belong - in our vocations!

Will Farel

You truly are worthy to serve in this important ministry of Discernment. Your gifting to serve in this ministry is extraordinary.


"Yes, it’s my responsibility to edify those who already know Christ through my preaching, and to feed and disciple the flock of God. But I’ll always tilt the playing field toward the guy or gal who is far from God. Eternity hangs in the balance for them."

This is simple. He's not focused on the primary purpose of worship, which is the glorification of God through the preaching, teaching, singing, and praising of believers. He believes the primary purpose is evangelism. This is incorrect.

Additionally, I have been watching Furtick for a while, and he typifies the latest trend in forsaking things like doctrine, hermeneutics, and theology in favor of being active and having a lot of motion. He says:

"That’s why I’m so basic sometimes, rather than parsing Greek and demonstrating exegetical competency ad infinitum."

When he speaks of things like this in his sermons, as included in the video, he does so with such disdain and mocking that it makes me wonder what value he holds for those especially-important activities.

Sorry, I see no repentance here.




Thanks for the time and effort you put into this blog. I have really benefitted in so many ways from it and your others blogs. Having grown up in a church who dabbled (and continues to dabble) in this seeker-sensitive stuff, including the Rick Warren nonsense, I can really appreciate your take on it. In fact, your blog was instrumental in getting my parents to see where their church had been heading. They are now the longest-remaining members in that church, so for them to leave it and join a solid, confessional church would be nothing short of a miracle. But I forwarded the stuff you wrote about Purpose-Driven churches, and they were very receptive! I can't tell you how happy I was to hear that. I continue to direct them here, and to pray that they realize what they're missing.

On that note, I've started a blog of my own, attempting to chronicle the different approaches taken by the various evangelical seeker churches versus a confessional Lutheran church (i'm at Holy Trinity now). I'd love to hear any insight and comments you may have. http://solagratiasolafide.blogspot.com/

Thanks again Chris. God's blessings on all that you do.

P.s. I'm also really excited about Pirate Christian Radio. It makes me really miss hosting a radio show of my own! I'll be faithfully tuned in every day.

Jeff T.

There's almost nothing wrong with what he's saying - it's the tone of the delivery that's missing the mark. Kind of like... this blog.

The dude's a young pastor who's passionate about reaching the lost - how about we cut him some slack and encourage him to keep kicking down the gates of hell, instead of playing the role of the 2 grumpy old guys on "The Muppets". Yeeeesh...


Regarding your comment . . .

You truly are worthy to serve in this important ministry of Discernment. Your gifting to serve in this ministry is extraordinary".
Posted by: Will Farel | July 25, 2008 at 06:12 AM

Are you serious? Worthy? Did you actually write that? His gifting is extraordinary? WOW!
Chris, are you there? Are you reading this? If so, you should 'correct' Will? It would be the honorable thing to do.


Pirate Christian radio? Can you change the name? Or is it appropriate?
Is that the message of Pirate Christian Radio? Piracy - an act of robbery or the unauthorized use of another's production. Is that how you want Christian Radio represented?

Just wondering.

Will Farel


You clearly have no gift of discernment... Read this call to ministry and open your eyes to the need of Discernment ministries like Extreme Theology and Pirate Christian Radio.

Patrice Stanton

Of course his website is "STEVEFURTIK.COM." Heaven forbid it'd be something like "SAVINGTHELOST.COM," "KNOWCHRIST.COM, etc.

Chris Rosebrough

Dear Anonymous,

Yes, I am all about EXTREME theology and Piracy.

I want to STEAL souls from Satan's kingdom with the EXTREME message that "Jesus of Nazareth IS the ONE TRUE God in human flesh, He died for the sins of the world, rose victorious from the grave and is coming again to judge both the living and the dead."

I know it is offensive but may God judge me ever so severely if I ever abandon this EXTREME THIEVERY.


Steven Furtick is a close personal friend of mine. I ministered side by side with him for 3 years, and then moved into his position when he was called to start Elevation. Personally, I could tell you a ton of things that I disagree with Steven about, but he is one of the most biblically solid believers you'd ever meet. I suppose you could say his delivery is wrong, and I'd agree in some cases, but knowing him personally, knowing his beliefs, his heart is in the right place.


I think what a lot of people are confusing is that he doesn't mean that ALL churches are for the unbelievers, he says that Elevation Church was created for the unbelievers. As someone who wasn't brought up in a church, going to a "typical" baptist or protestant, or whatever the heck they're calling themselves (which isn't anywhere in the Bible), people are scared off by the ritualistic and legalism of the church. Elevation was created with a vision to bring people far from God, to be filled with the life of Christ. For people that haven't been around church, it's a very comfortable environment to be in. Besides, you take one sermon that's meant to light a fire under people to get them to volunteer at your church and give back to the community, not just be a taker, and twist it into something bad.

All of Christ's churches serve a purpose. If someone started a church that only did rap worship songs, I'd think that was great (even though I can't stand rap music). Do you realize how many people would attend a church like that and eventually be saved? We should all appreciate each others gifts and realize that things we want don't work for everyone.

Don't you get it?!?!?! His approach, abrasiveness, whatever you want to call it, is what some people NEED to get them out of a spiritual rut! And if you don't believe in him or what he's doing, don't go and don't listen, but don't ruin it for people who could actually be saved through this church. Besides, how many commentors out there listened to his other sermons?

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