Thursday, August 14, 2008

One Church

Louie Giglio (preacher) and Chris Tomlin (worship leader) are planting a church in Atlanta.

Sounds awesome.

Some people are upset.

They are concerned because of the potential for Passion Church to "suck up" believers from other churches, folks who may be attracted to Passion Church because, well, let's face it: Louie Giglio and Chris Tomlin are much cooler than what most of us have going in our churches. There is brand name recognition.

And that may (and probably will) happen. That sucks.

1. Do you really think losing people who are interested in the celebrity factor is a loss?

2. I've said it before: If you treat your church like a business, you will treat other churches like competition.

I'm going to be praying more and more churches that center on the gospel and celebrate God-centered worship rise up all over the place. We could use a lot more of them in my city.


Anonymous said...

money money money money.... MONEY...
(churchy churchy churchy churchy.... CHURCHY)

I wonder if Donald Trump has ever considered planting churches...?

The Celebrity Church Planter Apprentice?

I don't know, I kind of like the idea... and then I sort of feel like Judas.... wondering if the thirty pieces of silver was worth it.

But, then I remember, if God isn't in it and it's supposedly about Him, He will bring it down, won't He?

Okay, I gotta go now... the latest Chris Tomlin/Louie Giglio Passion Church Worship CD & DVD & T-Shirt & Devotional & Coffee Mug are now available for purchase.... : -)


Jared said...

Chuck, are you saying they're planting a church for the money?

If so, I seriously doubt it. They're doing fine already with the conferences and the CDs and what-not. All of them, especially the musicians, who may actually be endangering their livelihoods by moving to Atlanta and switching gears.

If anything, planting a church is less lucrative then "solo"-ing. Although I'm sure Passion Church won't have trouble with funding.

I'm not a Passion fanboy, but I appreciate what they do and I think we need more church plants that reflect a passion for God's renown.

Anonymous said...

No, I was making (or trying to make) the point that there are two sides to the celebrity church planting "coin".

But, God knows our/their hearts, and if our/their hearts aren't right, He knows how to handle things when folks profess their relationship with Him, but find a way of proving they really don't. Jim Bakker? Jimmy Swaggart? Ring any bells? It all comes out in the wash, eventually. Many times, in a very good and healing way.

But, there probably will be an economic impact on the surrounding churches... so, it is, in some ways, about money, yes. Spent on planting a church, it prospering and it "sucking up" believers who may be prone to the "celebrity" factor.

Chris & Louie are what they are because often he celebrity aspect is part of the deal when you go that public with your gifts and your faith. : - )

Church plants, in general, are a good thing. Probably need more of them... instead of the mega-church model.

By the way, what's your take on and that whole deal coming out of Oklahoma? They are growing by leaps and bounds and planting "satellite" churches (there's even one in Hendersonville, TN).

So, let's party like it's 19... uh... 2012.... hmmm... well, like Jesus is coming back tomorrow... maybe... or the day after... or you know.... sooner than later.


tam said...

Chris Tomlin was already part of a church plant. He left a large, successful ministry in the Woodlands, TX and moved to Austin, TX to be a part of a team to start a church basically from scratch. You can read the history here: Cruise around the church's website. I think you will find much to please readers of GCC.

Jared said...

what's your take on and that whole deal coming out of Oklahoma?

Don't have all that big a take.
I am not a fan of the video venue route of church reproduction, but that's a matter of my own conscience and convictions, not about what I think is "wrong." (I doubt they really work toward the interest of spiritual health.)

As for LifeChurch in particular: Not exactly my cup of tea. But while I would obviously challenge and probably even criticize some of what they do, the more I look into the motivations and the actual message of LifeChurch, the more good stuff I see.

Thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

Whats the count now? 25,673? different churches and denominations. Everyone has there own spin and own concept, and quite frankly really is irrevelant. If you cant trace your Church back to the Apostles and what Christ has established, your only serving yourself. Just food for thought.


Jared said...

The 25,000 denominations thing is inflated, an urban legend.
But, yeah, I get the point.

Wait -- what was it again?

Does any church not claim to trace itself back to Jesus?

Anonymous said...

Well yes... only one or maybe two can identify that claim. But that would get us into a long history and Theology discussion and who has the time. :) I just have witness in the new era of modern american evangelical church that it really involves around whom is giving the message versus the message itself. Who has better worship.. whom I like to listen preach. It becomes more about me and what I like and what the lastest twist and new approach to Jesus. Jesus doesnt need a new twist, new approach, just fall back on what He established and follow that.


Jared said...

only one or maybe two can identify that claim. But that would get us into a long history and Theology discussion and who has the time

Well, not me. But could you share what those one or two are?

The RCC and the Eastern Orthodox?

I share your concerns with the consumer-driven church. Just curious about your theological framework.

Anonymous said...

Yes, those would be the two. My framework comes from those roots. I know for a fact I dont have it all figured out, probably very little. So do relay on those whom have come before me and what they thought. So reading Early Church fathers and followers is where primarliy I get my framework on Scripture interpretations.. The Reformation falied in this regard... it needed to be a reforming of men in the church and not a reforming of theology. I think even Wesly, Calvin and Luther would be saddened in how much has been lost with new wave religion. Though none of this I feel our salvation issues, we all have one common goal, speading the love of Christ. I do feel so much is lost when we dont model what was set before us and constantly bring our own interpretation to it.


Jared said...

I agree with the spirit of what you're saying, but I obviously disagree with your verdict on the Reformation. It very much was a call to return to the fullness of the biblical gospel, and certainly Luther were influenced by Augustine and even earlier church fathers.

In any event, perhaps you would affirm the Reformational call to "always reforming," as the present state of evangelicalism could really benefit from an embrace of semper reformada.

Anonymous said...

I would agree totally with always reforming. We always have to continue to reform, adjust, adapt, change. What we dont have to do is reform intepretations. Find new meanings. They are very clear and laid out for us from those before us. If you want to understand scripture, best you understand history. I am very sure St. Augustine and those prior to him had a much better understanding then we do. great site. I know we all believe we have the discernment of Scripture thru the Holy Spirit. I am one to think the Church has this discernment and Scripture is very clear on backing up this point. If it was all left up to each individual... dont LDS believe they are guided by the Holy Spirit as well working thru the prophet Joseph Smith. We all cant be right.

Jared, thank you for taking the time to discuss this, even though we wont agree on theology I truly appreciate all you do for His Kingdom.


Paul Wilkinson said...

I have no problem with Giglio and Tomlin wanting to do this. The whole concert/touring thing is a young man's game and eventually you've got to be thinking about the future and about the longterm role a local church can play in the lives of people that annual conferences or concert tours can't accomplish.

I have a problem with it being in Atlanta. On the one hand, it can definitely work there; albeit at the expense of other churches (a.k.a. transfer growth). But Atlanta already has a few 'cool factor' church things going on. What about some other more challenging places where they could provide a credible option for reaching the 18-28 demographic where none currently exists?

Jared said...

Paul, those are good points, all.

I think choosing Atlanta has something to do with it being Louie and his wife's hometown.

I also think, and they have said, that Atlanta is a huge city with still lots of unchurched/unsaved. It also ranks as an influential cultural center, so impacting Atlanta can impact other places, as well, I guess.

But, yeah, I think you have a valid point in asking "What about ______?"

Frank Turk said...

Jared --

I don't know anything about you, but this post is gold.

Jared said...

Frank, thanks much.

Jared said...


I am very sure St. Augustine and those prior to him had a much better understanding then we do.

So you're saying that as time goes on, we understand less.

I would want to take 2 Timothy 3:14-17 at its word, and apply no time limits to it.

I am one to think the Church has this discernment and Scripture is very clear on backing up this point.

Disagree. Obviously.
Although I do believe the best theology is done in community.

If it was all left up to each individual...

Well, the authority of "church tradition" relies on individuals proposing and propagating it, and of course individuals deciding to follow it.
Kinda hard to factor out individual interpretation, no matter how you slice the ecclesiology.

The appeal to submit to church authority resonates with me; the call to submit to a tradition bloated with extrabiblical and unbiblical teachings would be a violation of conscience.

For me, of course.

This is a been there, done that for lots of us, including you, I'm sure.
Thanks for the kind words.


Christopher Lake said...

To the anonymous commenter who mentioned the "25, 673? different churches and denominations," I have an honest and serious question. Where are you going with this train of thought? Are you pointing us away from churches in the vein of the Protestant Reformation, and back to the Catholic or Orthodox churches?

I ask, because I am a former Catholic convert who once thought that, in the Catholic Church, he had found "The True Church, established by Christ and carried by forward His apostles." I was wrong. I had to go back to the Bible, and away from Catholic apologetics, to realize it though.

A church can only truly be "traced back to the Apostles and what Christ has established" (in your words) *if* that church faithfully holds to and teaches what God has given us in His word, the Bible. The Catholic Church contradicts essential teachings of the Bible in more than one area. As I have studied the theology of the Orthodox Church, I have seen that sadly, the same is true there.

I don't claim to have perfect theology; neither does the Protestant (Reformed-leaning) church of which I am a member. However, I also don't claim to belong to the "One True Church." I belong to a local church which is simply striving to be true and faithful to what the Bible teaches.

Historical arguments about which church was the first, or which one can be traced back most easily to Christ and the apostles, are secondary to the question of, is a given church holding to and teaching what the Bible truly teaches?

Reformed Protestantism has many issues and many things to repent of, but the doctrinal teaching is far more true to the Bible than what either the Catholic or Orthodox churches teach in essential areas. To be clear, I'm not making any statements about the salvation of individual Catholics or Orthodox people here. Their churches do teach serious falsehood though, on justification, man's depravity and God's wrath against it (speaking of the Orthodox Church here), and other matters.

Anonymous said...

Well, I will respectful disagree. I dont want to take up Jareds Blog space with Apologetics as well. Regards to Justification a Protestant view vs lets say RCC or Orothodox view are very similiar, just spoken it a different langauge. Other then that nothing in either of those faiths contradicts biblical teaching and when to the contray are supported biblically. So the falsehoods you claim to left I would confidently say you didnt completely understand.

Again.. thank you for the dialogue and this forum.

His Will

Christopher Lake said...

His Will, thank you for your respect to me in our disagreement. I do return it sincerely.

I believe, with humility and confidence, that through attending RCIA classes, reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church and books of Catholic apologetics, and with my personal study of the Bible, I understand what I left behind in the Catholic Church.

In Reformational Christianity, I have found the Bible, and the Gospel that is in the Bible. Sadly, I never found either of these things, explained and taught in an accurate way, in the Catholic Church.

Lord willing, I will continue to study the Orthodox Church, not with an eye toward conversion to it, but in order to understand its teachings better, in light of the teachings of the Bible.

Thank you also for the dialogue. I truly wish you God's best on your journey through life.

nhe said...

Jared do you know where in Atlanta? I'm wondering if it will be close to where I am - Giglio's old church - North Point, is about a 50 minute drive.

Giglio has earned his stripes speaking at Youth Conferences, just as Andy Stanley did. I don't think it's really a celebrity factor. A lot of people who were influenced by Giglio when they were in high school will go to his church - just as folks have with Andy Stanley.

I think that Giglio is immensely talented, but Andy Stanley is far more substantive.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Christopher for that.

God's Graces thru your journey as well And a journey it is. Keep questioning, keep asking, keep learning and in doing that you will find the fullfillment God wants for you.

I after tons of reading, praying, and learning have truly embraced what was left for me in the RCC.

I guess I find myself so fullfilled in my discovery, I just want to share. Since none of what we have discussed separate you and I from the love of Christ, all I can pray for is what you had mentioned, that we keep our eyes open and hearts open to the journey we are on that is full of His Grace

Good day Christopher

holtzhouse said...

Interesting dialogue. The views on Justification from a Protestant position vs a RCC are not even remotely similar. This was at the crux of the Protestant Reformation. Salvation by faith alone through grace alone, in Christ alone, for the glory of God alone, by the authority of the scriptures alone. The just shall live by faith.