Skip to content

T4G Cribs

What's all this T4G Cribs nonsense?  There's a growing number of these videos.  Just watch the first minute of this one and you'll get the idea:

I'm saying nothing about the men featured.  I am questioning the pedestal on which they're being placed.

I mean the opening credits are a massive turn-off for me.  Am I misplacing my angst here or are these preachers being set up like rock stars?

And the whole series of "come see my study" seems designed to make 20-something hot-prots salivate with envy.  It's aspirational TV.  And it's majorly unbalanced.  We do not need a whole generation of young evangelicals aspiring to this. Where are Dever's congregation members who work hard at their jobs, share the gospel with workmates, teach and pastor their homegroups and serve in countless unseen ways?  Where's their video?  Where are those who pour out their lives for their families and friends in the name of Jesus?  Where's their video?  What are we holding out to people as the epitome of Christian superstardom?

I don't need to see Mark Dever's study.  If I were in his congregation I might want to "consider the outcome of his way of life and imitate his faith" (Heb 13:7).  But the T4G cameras do not need to show us where the magic happens.

This is not where the magic happens.

Am I being unfair here?

.

52 thoughts on “T4G Cribs

  1. pgjackson

    I agree about the study tour. It basically made me jealous of his books and his space, or impressed by his busy ministry schedule. More my fault than his for sure, the darkness is in my own heart, but it does sort of underline the point of what were the video makers after achieving?

    The credits issue is a little harder to judge for me. If you'd not pointed anything out I doubt I would've thought of it as anything but some pictures of some of guys involved in making T4G happen do what they do, which is preach. But I take your point, and wonder whether it's just that the use of image and video, especially in this way, raises the potential for idolatry (since the focus is on the way they look as they preach - whether cool/ authoritative/ knowledgeable/ passionate - easy to go from there to 'man I wish I could be like Johnny P, he's the man!').

    Jus' my thoughts anyways.

  2. Pingback: An Interesting View of T4G « lukefourteenthirtythree

  3. Si

    Watch the Al Mohler one if you want to see excessive amounts of books. I found the extreme number of books to be shocking, especially when we think of those church leaders who have perhaps just one book (the best book, of course), perhaps not even in their mother tongue. We're blessed with English and the plethora of good books in the language and we're blessed with wealth to buy those books.

    If I had a study like any of these, I'd never get any work done. I'd be too busy reading, but spoilt for choice, I wouldn't know where to begin, so read a bit of one, then jump to another that catches my eye, and on and on (a bit like a 10 year old with Sky constantly changing the channel to see what they are missing, or because there's a break, and ending up watching nothing but fragments of shows)

  4. Jason Loh

    Dear Brother and Pastor Glen,

    Warm greetings in Jesus' Name!

    It's good to have found your blog. It's truly *refreshing* in the context of British evangelicalism, oscillating as it is between 'legalism' and 'antinomianism' at the risk of over-generalisation(!) I'm linking your blog to mine so that I can visit it on a regular basis. We have much in agreement. I'm also an Anglican with very strong Lutheran sympathies or rather a Anglican and Lutheran at the same time(!), at least as a lay-member. ;-)

    Keep up the good work in proclaiming Christ and upholding the biblical and reformational truth.

    God richly bless your family, ministry and church.

    In Christ,
    Jason

  5. Heather

    For some reason Robin Leach's Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous came to mind.

    Looks as though we protestants need to be supremely careful to not be engaging in hypocrisy when we point out the misdirected Catholic affection for their pope and "veneration" of Mary.

  6. Glen

    Pete - good to have your thoughts. Very fair minded, thanks for that.

    Si - yes I find simply having words on a single page to be bewildering enough, without having a million books to choose from.

    Jason - thanks so much for the link. I hope we can interact some more.

    Heather - yes I think that's a very relevant observation. I was just reading the other day Jesus' words to the Pharisees in Matt 23. Straight after He says "Let no man call you father" (which is the Catholic temptation) He says "Let no man call you 'Teacher'" - very much the Protestant temptation!

  7. Kevin+

    Uhm, it's called marketing.

    If you are in the conference biz (nothing wrong with that, right?) then you try to encourage people (cutomers) to come (buy your product).

    It is an important part of the marketing process to identify your "target market". Theology nerds that have a strong corollary intrest in books seems to me to be a fair summation of the T4G demographic.

    Why anyone would pretend to be surprised by this is beyond my ability to comprehend. After all, I am only a salesman/marketing consultant with 20+ years experience.

    What would you suggest to replace this (very good campaign, imo) with? Some dead tree tracts with J3:16 & and a date & location?

  8. Heather

    "Uhm, it’s called marketing. "

    Exactly.

    And generally speaking, the product is placed prominently within the advertisement so as to grab the attention of potential buyers.

    What's being marketed in the ad campaign?

    The Gospel?
    The men who preach the Gospel?
    The impressive libraries of the men who preach the Gospel?
    The opportunity to be able to sit under the teaching of these men with impressive libraries who preach the Gospel?

    I suppose, in a society where pretty nearly everything is slickly packaged for sale, most would not have any issues with this video. It is well done and does have a certain appeal. I'm assuming the point is to interest people who have a desire to learn about God and it looks like a good lineup of speakers.

    Maybe it's an odd thing to wonder whether we ought to be marketing Christianity in the same way we try to get people to buy cars or theater tickets?

  9. dave

    I was at the last T4G which was good, I feel the concern... they're generous with books. I came home with 25 Crossway books for free... loss-leading marketing which UK publishers could learn from as well as a way of providing good resources - and they were mostly decent books, albeit mostly very new ones. the book shop, the size of a football pitch) had more puritan books than the world has ever seen before...

    I genuinely doubt they want to be celebrity but you feel the danger because its grown from a circle of friends, who on the one hand model good cross-stream relationships but on the other could be rather idolised... it is a leaders conference but a little less flash and a little more low-key whilst being bad markettng for a conference would fit more with the name of it.

    It could be argued they're trying to reach people who wouldn't otherwise come, but the bookishness makes that seem a bit unlikely!

    .. I'd would love to do a video tour of my box-room study if I had the time, its beauty is the way its stacked with all sorts of non-studious baby things and the like (plus quite a lot of books)... there's some fun to have in that.

  10. Paul Huxley

    Now I know why (as a 24 year old upstart) I can't preach like Dever, Mohler, etc. I just need to convince a church to buy me a bunch of massive bookcases and every imaginable commentary. Then I'll be as faithful and successful a minister as these guys.

    In reality, it's been getting on my wick (just a little) lately. I'm pretty sure we had a video of Al Mohler's study for the 2008 conference too, where he explained the thesis of an obscure book CJ picked out at random.

    The 2006 video (very long conversation with the 4 of them) was brilliant, funny, enjoyable and brought a sense of what the conference was all about.

  11. markmeynell

    it is certainly disappointing... i can well imagine the conversation that led to its creation where someone said, 'hey, I've got this great idea...'
    but it is a mistake - its filming comes across as man-centred, worldliness, even if that is not necessarily what motivated Dever or the others into doing it.
    It makes one stop to think, when you realise that Mark's library (and he's someone i actually know a little and respect massively) is far bigger than the library of the seminary i taught at for 4 years in Uganda.

  12. Chris E

    Whilst I'd say all the concerns above bear merit, I think it's worth remembering that the size of the American market, and the relative abundance of land means that a lot of things are much more affordable than over here.

    I mean, I've had US coworkers whose gun room was about half the size of Dever's library. As dave's experience shows, american publishers can promote on a scale that british publishers can only dream about and dever could probably fill a room that size with promotional copies alone

    I shall thank God that I have my - by comparison - paltry library, will be sobered by the reflection that it's still of a size that would have given many medivael theologians pause, and thank God that he ordained the time and place where each of us live.

  13. Mark Heath

    yes, it does seem a bit excessive. makes me want to do a spoof video showing off my rather more modest library of a couple of hundred books, trying to explain what the Left Behind series is doing there ("and this is the false teaching shelf...").

    I've tried to work to a rule of not buying books faster than I can read them in the past few years, and also being willing to borrow books instead of buying them. It actually works as a motivator for me to read faster, since I can "justify" buying a new book once I have finished one.

  14. Glen

    Thanks all for the comments.

    Just to clarify - I struggle with many sins, book envy aint one of them. I really don't like books. My brain flits around like a moth. It is actually painful for me to sit down and read. The last thing I want are *more* books sitting on my shelf with that accusatory stare- "I'm not just a pretty face you know!"

  15. LittleMo

    The thing I dislike about this is it's appeal to my sin. Not book envy, but rather "success in ministry" envy - a big library and ooo you can see Capitol Hill out the window. What an amazing ministry!
    Which of course, is not how Jesus defines successful ministry at all. I THINK it's probably that they are trying to get people who think that way to come to the conference - it does actually make me want to go, I am ashamed to admit - but is that valid marketing?

  16. Martin Downes

    I loved the C. J. Mahaney video. I think it was the baseball and his self description of being a pastor-athelete.

    Can't imagine any preacher in the UK featuring in a video like this, can you?

  17. Glen

    Martin, yes I think maybe CJ started something with self-deprecating humour that just doesn't work with the more academic types.

    Let me also say that I hope T4G is fruitful and multiplies. But not according to its kind, if you know what I mean. The world doesn't need more conference speakers. And it certainly doesn't need a generation of guys rising up who want to also spend 40 hours in the study and then speak to thousands.

    I think Tim Keller's advice into this context needs to be heard loud and clear: Go to Hicksville, love the people, don't spend more than 6/7 hours on your sermon.
    I paraphrase.

  18. Heather

    "I think it’s worth remembering that the size of the American market, and the relative abundance of land means that a lot of things are much more affordable than over here."
    ******************************************
    Yeah. You guys should remember this. Generally speaking, we Americans are easily spotted because of our tendency to overindulge ourselves when good things are available.

    Our Christianity's certainly been affected by our worldly attitude of "money", "me", and "more (of whatever) must be superior". The human condition of greed and pride exists regardless of ability to satisfy it and often, when opportunity arises, American Christians fall flat on our faces when given the chance to say "I'm content, thanks--but that guy over there has need, so I'll share freely"

    And, even the most godly of men can be tempted to turn simple faith in Christ into an ostentatious show when given the chance. In that vein, it's notable that so many false "health and wealth" gospel preachers are American, is it not?

    I'm not accusing the T4G guys of having evil motivations as I don't know their hearts.

    But please, please don't assume that "the American way" is a good and desirable way for men of the cloth. Paul didn't seem to think so when he wrote to Timothy about being content with food and clothing,

  19. Chris E

    Yeah. You guys should remember this. Generally speaking, we Americans are easily spotted because of our tendency to overindulge ourselves when good things are available

    It's more than the tendancy to overindulge is easier to spot - I'm not saying that is necessarily the issue here, I don't really know the full extent of Dever's ministry - beyond his books and sermons. However in general X% of one's income spent on books in the UK would get you maybe about 1/4 of the the same percentage over in the US.

    American Christians fall flat on our faces when given the chance to say “I’m content, thanks–but that guy over there has need, so I’ll share freely”

    Yes, though on the other hand if the hand-wringing here about the size of libraries in africa was translated into action the British Church could probably transform most African seminary libraries in a matter of weeks.

  20. pgjackson

    Altogether now:

    'I like big books and I cannot lie...'

    Anyway. More seriously. I've looked at the John MaCarthur one and thought it was much better than the Dever one tbh. He just talked about this guy who used to coach him having become a christian later in life. He talks about visiting him in his hospital bed, and the old coach asking what he can do to serve the Lord; JM tells him 'it's not about what you do for Christ, this is his time to do something for you. JM basically then says that if that's the highpoint of his ministry he's satisfied.

    That's what all the other videos should've been about. The extraordinary power of the gospel in the ordinary life of the pastor and his congregation.

  21. pgjackson

    Also, did anyone else find themselves sniggering when, at about 2.15, Dever says 'I do have piles down here'?

    Childish I know. And, if you're out there Pastor Dever, so so sorry.

  22. Heather

    Chris E,

    I wasn't trying to argue with ya.

    Just was pointing out that the American version of Christianity is not necessarily something that ought to be imitated.

    You are right, of course. Our responsibility concerning material wealth is relative.

    As Christ said: For to whomever much is given, of him much shall be required. And to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

    pgjackson:

    Interesting you should say that about John MacArthur because I was a little surprised to see his name on the list after watching Glen's chosen example. His main "drum beat" is definitely "It's all about the Gospel"...

  23. Heather

    "Also, did anyone else find themselves sniggering when, at about 2.15, Dever says ‘I do have piles down here’?"

    !

    Not until you said something. Thanks.

  24. pgjackson

    Yeah, sorry about that Heather. I have a sense of humour problem. :)

    To be honest, imo all of the people involved in this are straight-down-the-line gospel-hearted pastors and teachers, just like John MacArthur. I've benefited from several of them through their preaching and writing. Just a shame some of the videos for the conference (that I'm sure will be excellent) are a little (imo) carelessly thought-through.

  25. Bobby Grow

    You would think with all those books he would've been able to figure Sibbes out; that Sibbes fit the into the "The Spiritual Brethren" and not the "The Intellectual Fathers" (Westminster Divines).

    Are you serious, an Al Mohler "bobblehead" . . . huh?

  26. The Simple Guy

    I don't know who Dever is, and have never heard his preaching etc. So I want to be really careful here.

    But it sounded like he spends most of his life in there. I got claustrophobic just thinking about it. But it did seem like he is investing his time in a few people, who invest their time in people. Probably discipleship there. But then he is a city guy apparently, and I'm just a country bumpkin.

    Had to look up the T4G thing, I hadn't heard of it either.

    I feel like I must live under a rock somewhere!

    Craig

  27. Glen

    They're all good guys (though Ron Frost is more gooder obviously).
    It's just the pedestal I'm objecting to here- the sense that the massively endowed study is 'where the magic happens'.

  28. Pingback: Latest Links | blog of dan

  29. Adam

    Sounds like a whole lot of jealousy.

    I would like to know how many books each have. An actual count. I find it interesting.

    On an entirely different note, I don't like paper books anymore. I'd rather have my books digitized. I can find books faster, read them faster, search them by keyword, and copy/paste for notes on my computer.

    I don't know how many books they have (and it doesn't really matter) but I have probably nearly 100,000 books on my computer, with all of the advantages that come with using digital copies.

  30. Eddie H

    I don't know what to think about this. Eph 4:29 and phillipians 2:3-4 keep coming to mind. Charles Spurgeon had an exceptionally large library / study? Jonathan Edwards was a well read man? John Piper has written more books than most people have in their library.

    It was an interview. I don't know Mark Dever personally but I do know that some of the Godly men that I look to look to Mark Dever.

    I think the original post was fair but I think we have to be careful when we comment publicly about another brother especially when people read this and they walk away with a distorted opinion of a man

  31. Heather

    Eddie H.

    You make a good point.

    Hopefully, my comments were not misconstrued as being condemning of people with large libraries or these specific men who were interviewed.

    My line of thought was mainly concerning how easy it is for those of us watching these men to become enamored with THEM and their speaking abilities, ministries etc instead of being pointed to Christ. It isn't necessarily the fault of the speakers or preachers but is something we all must guard against because of the human tendency toward idolatry.

    There also is a large swath of American Christianity that has been enmeshed with commercialism and superficiality and any ministry can be affected by this to a certain degree. It is wise to be able to sort through any example or teaching in order to discover and hold fast to only that which is good.

    You are correct in pointing out that self-serving motives, mockery and potentially harmful chatter are never appropriate.

  32. A. Amos Love

    Glen

    You write...
    “I am questioning the pedestal on which they’re being placed.”

    Heather writes... on 2 February, 2010 at 5:40 am
    “It isn’t necessarily the fault of the speakers or preachers
    but is something we all must guard against
    because of the human tendency toward idolatry.”

    Heather, what if it is the fault of the speakers and preachers?

    Jesus said in John 5:41...
    I receive not honour from men.

    John 5:44
    How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another,
    and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?

    When they take the “Title” “Pastor”
    aren’t they NOW receiving honor from men?
    And putting themselves on that dangerous “Pedestal?
    that will bring to life, as you said,
    “the human tendency toward idolatry.”

    When they make these videos about themselves
    aren’t they NOW receiving honor one of another?
    And saying, look at “me”, come and hear “me.”

    Seems to me that...
    “Titles” become idols.
    “Pastors” become masters.

    Where, in the Bible, did “pastor” become a “Title,”
    a profession, a paid postion, an idol?

    What about “titles?” Don’t “titles” seperate bretheran?

    Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person,
    neither let me give flattering titles unto man.
    For I know not to give flattering titles;
    in so doing my maker would soon take me away.
    Job 32:21

    Don’t titles become idols?
    Don’t titles make us a name?
    And cause walls of seperation?

    Don’t titles say, I am, you’re not?
    Don’t titles say, we are, they’re not?

    Baptist, Lutheran, Assemblies of God ---- separation.

    Reformed, Evangelical, Charismatic ---- separation.

    Clergy – Laity,
    Leaders – Followers,
    Shepherds – Sheep.

    Causing walls of separation.
    And some will lord it over others, yes?
    Isn’t that the beginning of spiritual abuse?

    Pastors = exercise authority = lord it over = abuse = always

    Didn’t Jesus make himself of no reputation,
    and take upon himself the form of a servant
    and humble himself? Php 2:7

    Don’t titles make a “reputation?”
    whether you want it or not?

    Good morning “Pastor.”
    What just happened?

    Didn’t Jesus say; I receive not honor from men?
    If someone calls you “pastor” or “leader;”
    Is that receiving honor from men?

    Don’t “titles” create honor whether you want it or not?

    I am also questioning the “pedestal” on which
    these speakers and preachers have placed themselves.

    Doesn't the Bible say that "Jesus" should be lifted up.
    And "He" will draw all men unto Him.

    Peace and Love

  33. Heather

    A Amos

    I am of the perspective that Godly leaders are those who "lead" primarily by humble example. They are to be servants, following the example that Christ set.

    Really, I agree with your assertion that this business of "protestant popery" is one area where Christianity still needs to be reformed.

    I've actually said some similar things as you on other sites and it tends to be offensive to those who carry titles that designate a "leadership" position. The "under-shepherds" can sometimes get confused as to whose sheep they are tending--Yes?

    My comment about it not "necessarily" being the fault of the speakers was intended to relay my understanding that men who sit on pedestals are usually enabled to sit there because we encourage it . Often, we are ignorant of what the Bible says a leader should be, so we don't know to hold our pastors and "bishops" and "deacons" accountable to Biblical standards. Other times, we just get caught up in a personality cult type of worship.

    Ancient Israel decided it wanted a human king behind whom the people could rally. 1 Samuel 8 gives a sobering account of what the cost of following a man would be. But, the people insisted that is what they wanted--so, God let them have their way along with all of the unhappy consequences.

    Saul was not a good king but the problem was not initiated by him. He was simply set in place in response to the insistence of the people. They asked for it. They got what they thought they wanted and the downslide of the kingdom is recorded for all to read. Even David wasn't a perfect king.

    In order to be able to properly deal with the issue of leader-worship, it is prudent to first remove the log from my own eye to be sure I am not part of the problem...

    This is what I was thinking when I said that it is not "necessarily" the fault of the leaders.

  34. A. Amos Love

    Heather

    Thanks for the response and expanding on your thoughts.
    I’ve appreciated your previous comments on this post and
    thought; “ah, someone with a similar relationship with Jesus.“

    “Robin Leach’s Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous came to mind.” ;-)

    “What’s being marketed in the ad campaign?” ;-)

    The Gospel?
    The men who preach the Gospel?
    The impressive libraries of the men who preach the Gospel?
    The opportunity to be able to sit under the teaching of these men
    with impressive libraries who preach the Gospel?”

    Seems to me, the last one, lifting up these men, so I can sit under them. Ouch! ;-)

    “Maybe it’s an odd thing to wonder whether we ought to be
    marketing Christianity in the same way we try to get
    people to buy cars or theater tickets?”

    And this one stands out to me.

    “And, even the most godly of men can be tempted to turn
    simple faith in Christ into an ostentatious show when given the chance.”

    Have seen this happen, over and over, with those who seemingly
    had a relationship with Jesus and a “simple faith in Christ.”

    Before long the loving, humble, servant like...
    “Pastors” become Masters. And their “Titles” become idols.

    Along with all those little extras that come with “Titles.”
    Power, profit, prestige, recognition, reputation, etc.
    All those things that Jesus spoke against. Yes?

    Also appreciate your use of 1 Sam 8.
    They refused God’s “Leadership” for that of a man. Ouch!

    I’m to be, a son of God, “led” by the Spirit,
    Not by a man.

    Tried that... Ouch! Much pain and tears.

    You write...
    “I am of the perspective that “Godly leaders”
    are those who “lead” primarily by humble example.

    “Godly Leaders?” Hmmm?

    Didn’t Jesus tell “His disciples” in Mat 23:10
    NOT to be called “leaders.”
    For you have “ONE leader” the Christ?

    And all “His disciples” called themselves “servants.”

    None called themselves “Leaders.” None? None.
    None called themselves “Servant/Leader.” None? None.

    Be blessed

  35. Heather

    A Amos.

    Perhaps you may be uncomfortable with my use of the term "leaders". I do understand that the Bible is clear that there is only one Head of Christ's body.

    But I also see that God raises up men who will be obedient to His calling--those to whom He gives various burdens and gifts and responsibilities which are meant for the edification of the church and to bring honor to Christ.

    They "lead" without having to grab glory for themselves and, like John the Baptist, they will say, "He who has the bride is the bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom who stands and hears him rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Then my joy is fulfilled."

    A true friend of the bridegroom leads people to the bridegroom rather than behaving like the Pharisees who loved having people be dependent upon them.

    I suppose we could wrangle about terminology. But it bothers me a lot when I watch others go around in circles because someone didn't like the way another person used a particular word--especially, when all the fluff is stripped away, it is found that they really do agree.

    In Christ.

  36. A. Amos Love

    Heather

    You write...
    "A true friend of the bridegroom leads people to the bridegroom rather than behaving like the Pharisees who loved having people be dependent upon them."

    Yes!!! We are to "lead" people to Jesus. NOT be "The Leader."

    You write...
    "I suppose we could wrangle about terminology."

    Well if "wrangle" means..
    As an intransitive verb, to bicker, or argue angrily and noisily.
    You're correct, and I would guess we're mostly in agreement.

    When you use "leader" I NOW know where your thinking is after reading the above quote.

    But for most folks, when the word "leader" is spoken, they see
    a Pastor, in a pulpit, preaching, to people in pews.

    Their eyes are on a man to "lead" them and teach them
    and NOT on Jesus.

    So, with you, I really don't want to "wrangle."

    But, if you're willing, I'd like to give you my take
    on the word "leader" and how it has damaged many.
    Both "The Leader" and those being "led."

  37. Heather

    "But, if you’re willing, I’d like to give you my take
    on the word “leader” and how it has damaged many.
    Both “The Leader” and those being “led.”"

    I do believe I can see what your concern is as there is a pretty standard concept of leadership that has formed within the mainstream church. Sadly, it mirrors much of what the world believes "leadership" should be :(

    And the thing is, worldly people need a strong and forceful external ruler to keep them in line because dead hearts result in lawlessness. In contrast, the Holy Spirit should be providing Christian unity of purpose even when we are not all of the same level of maturity. We are to be known for our love and concern for one another in spite of having no visible boss barking out orders.

    I've no objection to your sharing your thoughts as long as Glen doesn't mind.

  38. A. Amos Love

    Heather

    Really do appreciate your understanding
    and the ability to put it into words.

    "We are to be known for our love and concern for one another in spite of having no visible boss barking out orders."

    Give me a few minutes...
    I too hope Glenn doesn't mind.
    This post is about "Pedestals"
    and how "leaders" wind up on them.

    I've found Jesus to be the best "leader" and "Teacher."

  39. A. Amos Love

    Heather

    As you can tell I have this thing about "Leaders."

    Some being “Leaders” means some are “followers.”
    And we have seperation. Some become "greater" then others.

    I have seen the dangers and abuse of "Titles," of "Pastors," and of "leaders."
    Spiritual abuse for both the "leader" and those “being led.”

    My experience with “leaders” and being in “leadership” shows me...

    Everyone who assumes the position of “leader,”

    No matter how loving, eventually...
    No matter how humble, eventually...
    No matter how much a servant, eventually...

    Will “exercise authority” and “lord it over” God’s precious sheep.

    That’s “always” the beginning of “spiritual abuse.”

    Leaders = exercise authority = lord it over = abuse = always.

    AAhhh! Now "Servant/Leaders."

    Can't find that term in my antiquated KJV Bible either.

    That sounds real good.

    But every “Servant/Leader” I’ve ever met
    “eventually” assumes the postion of
    “Leader” over all the lowly “servants.”

    Because “eventually”...

    “Servant/Leaders” = lord it over = abuse = always.

    Jesus tained His disciples to be “servants,” NOT leaders.

    Jesus in Mat 23:10 told His disciples “NOT” to call
    themselves master/“leaders”
    for you have one master/"leader” the Christ.

    King James Version -
    Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

    The Interlinear Bible -
    Nor be called leaders, for one is your leader the Christ.

    Phillips Modern English -
    you must not let people call you leaders, you have only one leader, Christ.

    Today's English Version -
    nor should you be called leader. your one and only leader is the Messiah.

    The Amplified-
    you must not be called masters (leaders) for you have one master (leader) the Christ.

    Jesus told His disciples not to be called "leaders" and none did.

    Ro 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ,
    Php 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ,
    Col 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ,
    Tit 1:1 Paul, a servant of God,
    Jas 1:1 James, a servant of God
    2Pe 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant

    His disciples all called themselves "servants,"
    none called themselves "leaders." None? None.
    None called themselves "servant-leader." None.

    If Jesus instructed “His disciples” NOT to call themselves leaders
    and someone calls themself a "leader"
    or thinks they are a "leader;"

    Are they a "disciple of Christ?"

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice;
    and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Voice- One Fold - One Shepherd.
    If Not Now; When?

    Be blessed.

  40. A. Amos Love

    Heather

    I’ve also spent time "ministering healing" to those who
    have been abused by those who "thought they were leaders."

    Folks who've been **burnt,** ** burnt out,** ** kicked out,**
    or **crawled out** of "the religious system"
    with it's leaders, submission to authority, tithes and offerings,
    and other "heavy weights" put on folks shoulders.

    Just try telling a “Senior Pastor” you disagree with him. Ouch!

    I also spend a fair amount of time with pastors,
    "so called leaders," who can't do it anymore.

    Trying to please the denominational leaders,
    the congregation and it's leaders, his family,
    and of course Jesus.
    Who is often relegated to last place. Hmmm?

    So many masters, that's tough; Yes?

    Preaching every week... and it better be good, being the CEO,
    the team leader, councilor, smiley face. etc. etc.

    If "pastors" (as we see them today) are of God?
    He's not taking very good care of His shepherds; Is He?

    This is info from a website helping burned out Pastors.

    PastorCare offers support and encouragement for pastors and their families.
    At PastorCare we care about YOU and we want to help.

    http://www.pastorcare.org/PastorCare/About_Us.html

    According to the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership (2007)
    • 77% say they do “not” have a good marriage.
    • 71% have felt burned out or depressed.
    • 70% do not have someone they consider a close friend.
    • 40% report a serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month.
    • 38% are divorced or seriously considering divorce.

    According to the Ministering to Ministers Foundation...
    • Over 1600 pastors in the U.S. are forced out of their positions each month.
    • Nearly 1 in 4 pastors experience a forced termination at least once during their ministry.
    •Only 54% of pastors go back into full-time church related positions.

    Think we might have a problem here?
    70% of pastors are depressed or burnt out. Don't have a close friend. Hmmm?

    That's who is running the show. “Pators?”
    That's who is abusing God's sheep.

    1600 pastors a month, that's 18,000 a year, leave or are pushed out. Wow!!!
    That's a lot of broken hearts, disappointments, feelings of failure, pain, abuse.

    Hmmm? Today's “Pastor/leader,”
    is this a “Title” or "position" in the scriptures?

    In the Bible, How many people... have the title pastor?
    In the Bible, How many people are... referred to as pastor?
    In the Bible, How many people are... ordained as a pastor?
    In the Bible, How many congregations are... led by a pastor?

    There’s a lot of hurting folks.

    Jesus heals the broken hearted and binds up our wounds.

    Thank you Jesus...

  41. Heather

    A Amos,

    Those statistics aren't very attractive, are they?

    I believe I see your point. And, considering your experience with those who have been wounded by the leader mindset, I think I can understand your reaction to my use of the term.

    My husband and I have seen abuse, and burn out and pushing out, too. It is startling to see how certain pastors we've known have reacted when they perceived that their authoritative position was being challenged.

    James' warning concerning "many teachers" (3:1) has weighed heavily on my heart and do wonder whether we are seeing fallout that has resulted from either ignorance of or disregard for the Scriptural pattern we have been given.

    That said, I will reference Paul's words in 1 Corinthians, Philippians and 1 Thessalonians as he encouraged readers to "be imitators" of him as he followed Christ.
    In light of what he wrote at the beginning of 1 Corinthians about the "I am of Paul" debate, he was obviously not trying to gain a personal following.

    What I understand him to be doing is to, through word and example, motivate believers into desiring an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus. It seems as though he is encouraging his audience to grab hold of Christ with everything they had--in the same way Christ had grabbed hold of them first .
    In that sense, Paul was "leading by example" even while occupying the position of servant.

    For this reason, I don't feel it is wrong to use the term "servant-leader" in connection with this concept. I suppose, though, I should be careful as others can understand my meaning differently than I intend.

  42. A. Amos Love

    Heather

    Enjoyed the conversation. And your insights.

    As you wondered about James' warning about "many teachers,"
    these folks who are "celebrities" and "wannabees" would be wise to "take heed."

    Jesus made Himself of no reputation. Yes?

    "Pedestals" are dangerous...
    For those who are on them and have a reputation.
    For those who aspire to be on them and gain a reputation.
    For those who look to these folks and lift them up to "Guru status."
    Buying their books, CD's, going from one conference to another. Oy Vey!
    Some have written book after book, more words than are in the Bible.

    Didn't Jesus say, "If I be lifted up." Yet, we continue to lift up man.
    "My sheep hear My voice." Yet, we continue to want to hear a "man's voice."

    I’ve found Jesus to be the best “leader” and “Teacher.”

    Seems you're really into the churches in Rev. (I took a peek)
    Lot's of work and blessings I'm sure.

    Rejoice in your journey. It's all working together for good...

  43. Roberta

    Who knows, maybe John (Reformedispy) MacArthur is right and the greatest Greek scholars (Google "Famous Rapture Watchers"), who uniformly said that Rev. 3:10 means PRESERVATION THROUGH, were wrong. But John has a conflict. On the one hand, since he knows that all Christian theology and organized churches before 1830 believed the church would be on earth during the tribulation, he would like to be seen as one who stands with the great Reformers. On the other hand, if you have a warehouse of unsold pretrib rapture material, and if you want to have "security" for your retirement years and hope that the big California quake won't louse up your plans, you have a decided conflict of interest - right, John? Maybe the Lord will have to help strip off the layers of his seared conscience which have grown for years in order to please his parents and his supporters - who knows? One thing is for sure: pretrib is truly a house of cards and is so fragile that if a person removes just one card from the TOP of the pile, the whole thing can collapse. Which is why pretrib teachers don't dare to even suggest they could be wrong on even one little subpoint! Don't you feel sorry for the straitjacket they are in? While you're mulling all this over, Google "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" for a rare behind-the-scenes look at the same 179-year-old fantasy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Twitter widget by Rimon Habib - BuddyPress Expert Developer