There is a trend that formerly Bible-teaching churches has been growing in this heresy out of sight, I’m posting this to warn others. Click the below podcast for a VERY informative conversation about this increasing trend. He who has an ear let the him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.
Signs that your Church is or is using these methods: (this is not an exhaustive or inclusive list)
The following is taken from Dan Southerland’s book: Transitioning and page references are given where appropriate. This is what they’re pushing:
Change your Approach – from “Program Driven” (read: traditional), to “Purpose Driven”
Change your Target – from reaching saved fellow Christians to reaching the “un-churched”. (this is an oxymoron, since church is by definition for the saved. Is “jail” for the “un-jailed”?)
Change your Leadership – Move away from an Elder/Deacon/Board leadership (read: Biblical) model, and have the staff make all the decisions. (IOW, let the people whose paychecks depend on the choices made decide everything. No matter that this may open them up to spiritual attack and make them vulnerable to unethical, even un-Biblical decisions!)
Change your Pastors – From a senior pastor model to multiple pastors. (not wrong in and of itself, but they’re using this to make up a new “board” of directors)
Change your Ministry – From staff doing all the ministry to lay ministers doing the ministry. (again, it’s not bad in and of itself to use lay-pastors, but they use it to increase indoctrination and “group-think”)
Change your Strategy – From no plan to a “Life-cycle process” that is “driven by small groups”
Change your Schedule – Have your services targeted to the “un-churched”, and if you must reach the already saved, do it in a separate service. (Why confuse those poor pagans with true gospel and Biblical teaching?)
Change your Small Groups – from traditional educational groups to “relational” small groups. (This is also used to increase peer pressure to accept wrong teaching, and as a format to “seed” in strategically placed proponents to apply pressure to members to conform.)
Put together a “Vision Team”: A “small handfull of leaders”. Choose mature believers, Dreamers rather than detail people, who are “trustworthy to keep their mouths shut” about your plans until “the time is right for it to be shared”. (pg 77) Work quietly and secretly behind the scenes. (this to me screams that they know people won’t want the changes, but they don’t care – they’re deluded into thinking they know best) It’s preferred that members of the Vision Team are staff, but others can be used if they fit the profile.
Prepare for Vision: 1) Collect information. Do surveys of your membership, your neighborhood “un-churched”, and your community. (My church did the REVEAL Survey bought from Willow Creek) 2) Have a “holy discontent” with the status quo 3) Fast 4) Pray 5) Wait
Be Willing To Let People Leave the Church (aka “Bus theology”): Southerland teaches that the traditional members who are pillars of the church can just hold you back from the changes, and fight your methods. He and Warren are proud of the numbers they’ve chased off. “When you set the vision and stay the course, you determine who leaves” (pg 127) (They don’t care that their new “church” is a mile wide and an inch deep. It’s only the numbers and the money that count in the long run, no matter how much they try to trumpet their desire to “reach the un-churched”.)
Require all members to sign “Covenants” (This is in direct opposition to James 5)The Membership Covenant, the Ministry Covenant, The Maturity Covenant and the Missions Covenant. Mission oath/or objective is required. Everyone is either to find a volunteer job at the church, or is seen as selfish.
Friends, we must remember to:
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1). When your gut tells you something…search, pray, and be obedient. For more study check out: