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As more people claim to be “spiritual” more than religious, what exactly does that mean?

28 Mar

While in Johnson City, Tennessee, I began a conversation with a shuttle driver named Jeff.  He asked me why I was in town.  I explained I was speaking at a church, and said that he “hoped it was full of the Spirit.” 

I began asking him about his studies.  Jeff shared about his major, and what he wanted to do when he was done with college.  He was more than eager to talk about his life experiences, and how they had shaped him.  He was extremely articulate, and well-read in various philosophies. 

Here is the rest of the article, and what I learned that day.

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources.

Clayton Jennings – Hating on His Haters

21 Mar

Last fall, news broke about the Indiana-based Evangelist Clayton Jennings.  According to reports, Clayton had been involved with several women sexually all while preaching the gospel.  These reports are most clearly reported by Pen and the Pulpit.

After not one but six women came forward with similar stories, you might think that it would slow down this man’s social media empire and speaking schedule, but apparently there is no stopping him.  (Apparently, there is no stopping this lion, or Bentley as he often refers to himself.)

Clayton went on the offense recently against those who have written about him.  He calls them Haters – among other things like wolves and fake Christians, and my favorite a “Honda Civic.”

Clayton Jennings - haters

You can watch his Spoken Word – here.

I wrote about him once – here.  So I guess that means I am one of those “bloggers who can’t do real ministry – living in their mother’s basement.” There is much that I could say about this video, but I think that his work speaks for itself.  Oh, so much that I want to say…

but I will exercise a little self-restraint.

I do not know Clayton.  I am not driven by hate for him.  He clearly has great personal charisma to attract such a following.

I do not truly know his story, his inner motivations, or the current state of his soul.  I will not attribute his work to Satan, for statements of this type when the individual steps into the role of judge are extremely dangerous.  So while avoiding coming to those conclusions, there are some things that Christ-followers should reflect upon.

Some might feel that writing on Clayton’s life is nothing – but gossip – and putting down someone else for no reason.  There are several reasons why this story should be shared.

  • Because of the nature of the sin. This was not one accidental sin or a mistake.  This was a season of life living in full knowledge and complete disregard to his hypocrisy.  He was preying on victims before and after preaching on the stage. 

  • Because of the abuse of spiritual power to force others to do things that were against their beliefs. 

  • Because of the current lack of authority and accountability.  Clayton has removed himself from all authority and his own church community revoked his license to preach (Which although extremely significant in its message, this action only removes his state license to marry people).  While this doesn’t affect his speaking tour, it does speak volumes, about the concerns his home church had about this man. 

  • Because he currently lacks a “ministry” location. He no longer works at a local church.  His support comes from a vast social media empire which is what supports him.  This is why when he was apparently called to close down his social media empire, Clayton refused.  There is too much to lose for him.  The only way to remain connected to these people is through continuing to feed them his brand. 

  • Because his income is based on speaking the gospel.  I don’t believe Clayton has another job, but I assume that he lives off his speaking, ads, donations, and t-shirts.   

  • Because the deceitful mess of the human heart and how repentance and reconciliation requires community, accountability, and time.  Public figures needs time out of the spotlight and away from the stage to truly walk through mistakes, and refocus their lives. 

What is important:

  • To call Christians to question the “Celebrity Pastor” trend.
  • To warn Clayton’s followers (Currently 217k) of his past abuse of spiritual authority. I am not a social media expert, but I am sure steps have been taken to seclude his followers from the news.  Maybe he should truly #telltheworld.
  • To attempt to recapture the authenticity of Christianity.  No matter how popular you are, how eloquent you sound or how pretty you look.  Authentic messengers are so crucial in today’s world.

Here is a up-dated bio.  Enjoy.

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd does not currently live in his mother’s basement, but would not judge anyone who does.  He is close to 40, and drives a Nissan Sentra.  He is not concerned about his number of Instagram followers.  He does not make any money from blogging, nor is he concerned about how many “hits” this article will receive.  He is a survivor of spiritual abuse, and has seen how spiritual authority and power can ruin even the most dedicated of Christ followers.

 

 

Fostering Virtual Faith: Is online community real?

14 Mar

As the internet has become more apart of our lives, discussions have been around for years about the possibility of a virtual church.  Here is an article that speaks about a truly virtual church, and how it desires to reach out to Millennials.

The Rev. Sion Gough Hughes, pastor of a Protestant church in Melbourne, Australia, was surfing the web a couple years ago when he happened on a Facebook page that challenged his understanding of his calling. 

Continue reading

Building Your Men’s Ministry Leadership Team

7 Mar

Group of men - churchI came across this article this past week, and wanted to pass it along to my readers who serve regularly in Men’s Ministry.

So you’re a men’s ministry leader in your church, and you’re wondering about ways to help the ministry move forward. Consider this fact: One of the keys to a successful, growing ministry is a quality leadership team. It isn’t enough to have just one man who can see where God is going and can help a group of men get there. You need other men serving alongside the leader. Where will you find the men to make up your ministry leadership team? They are probably right under your nose…

Here is the rest of the article by Lifeway.

 

Adulting: Runner-up “International Word of the Year”

19 Jan
All the words from Flickr via Wylio

2013 Grahamm Campbell, Flickr| CC-BY-SA| via Wylio

Each year, the Oxford English Dictionary names an international word of the year.  This title is awarded based upon the word’s use during the past year, and how it reflects “the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year.”

This year’s title went to post-truth (read what this means).

One of the shortlisted words (considered, but not chosen) was…

adulting nouninformal

The practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks.

The Urban dictionary defines it as the process of doing grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups. (Source)

Various hashtags on the subject are also used including:

This word is often associated with the struggle of millennials to grow up.  Books and blogs have exploded on helping them overcome their apparent delayed development.  Here at More Than A Beard, we believe it is important for young adults to know that manhood goes beyond facial hair.

EA Resources teaches three developmental tasks which equip individuals to successfully transition to adulthood – which we call the E-VACuation Plan.

Here are three links that overview these three main developmental tasks.

David - Prof 2If I can help equip your parents and adolescents as children transition into adulthood, please contact me at gdavid@earesources.org.

Is anyone questioning the megachurch, “Satellite” campuses, or Celebrity Pastors?

4 Jan
Willow Creek Church from Flickr via Wylio

© 2012 Mary Fairchild, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

I was recently at a conference, and was struck by a conversation with a youth pastor.  While introducing himself, he was explaining his role, and spoke with pride how his church which already had several satellite sites was now acquiring another large congregation and its own set of satellites.  Apparently, the two megachurch pastors had been friends, and the retiring pastor asked his friend to take over his congregations.

This young man spoke with such excitement about this conglomeration of churches displaying God’s power.   He spoke with such confidence about this obvious proof of the presence of God.

He did not seem to understand that…

I listened with dread.

I listened with sorrow.

He definitely did not even imagine that I might question the megachurch movement with its satellite campuses and celebrity pastors.

As men build kingdoms and brands through the business of the church, few people seem to question the megachurch movement with its satellite campuses and celebrity pastors.

I have written on a few recent celebrity pastors (Mark Driscoll, Tullian Tchividjians) who have fallen (but may someday return).

A few writers and speakers have been brave enough to speak up, but their words have not been heeded.  I recently came across an article that I wanted to share with you by Skye Jethani.

You know something is cooking when both Relevant Magazine and the Together for the Gospel conference are talking about it. The issue I’m referring to is celebrity pastors. Rachel Held Evens’ recent article in Relevant, “When Jesus Meets TMZ,” seeks to explain the rise of celebrity pastors within evangelicalism. (A panel at the T4G conference will address the same topic in April.) Evens’ article does a good job of outlining our corrupt human tendency to make our leaders into idols–a temptation evident from Christianity’s earliest days (see 1 Corinthians 3:21), and which has marked every era of the Church. Before Osteen, Warren, and Driscoll, there were Moody, Spurgeon, and Whitefield. Celebrity pastors are not new.

Here is the rest of the article.

 

What are your thoughts about celebrity pastors and the western church?

 

 

Another Celebrity Pastor Fail – Clayton Jennings

1 Jan

The Christian Post released a story about the Indiana Celebrity Pastor – Clayton Jennings who has gotten into a lot of trouble.  Having recently returned to my homeland of Indiana, I had only heard bits and pieces from relatives about this gifted and talented evangelist who had connections with my childhood church.   Continue reading

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