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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
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More Sad Fruit of the "Moses Model" of Church Ministry

The Phoenix Preacher reveals the annual (and not public) budget of an unnamed Calvary Chapel.

The figures are pretty staggering.  The pastor's annual salary is 320K, plus 30K annual vacation allowance, a 50K annual retirement contribution, $550 monthly auto allowance, a 750K life insurance policy, plus stuff like auto maintenance, cell phones, book royalties, etc.  The weekly church attendence is about 3,000 (Calvary Chapel's do not have church membership) and they have substantial revenues.

What a church pays its pastor is that church's business.  The problem is the budget is not approved by the church--the members do not even see an annual budget, nor do the people know what the pastor is being paid.  The budget was approved by a "board" of the pastor's choosing (personal friends who live far away, and who conduct church business meetings over the phone, and do things like approve budgets, etc.)

Caveat emptor!  If you go to a church like this, and don't vote with your feet, well then, you get exactly that for which you ask.

Since many pastors are tempted to so the same (if they could), God places us in a biblical (Presbyterian) form of church government so that the pastors are accountable to the elders (consistory or session) for their life and doctrine, and so that all things are done decently and in good (i.e., biblical) order.

Meanwhile, like most Reformed and Presbyterian churches, Christ Reformed Church will hold an annual congregational meeting (ironically, ours is this coming Sunday).  We will elect elders and deacons from among the congregation, men who do things like prepare an annual budget (including my annual salary and benefits) which is, in turn, presented to the congregation for their approval.  This is a very public activity conducted by the church and its members.

If you are in a church where the "Moses Model" rules the day, don't be surprised by what happens in the shadows.  Ask that all things be done in the open, so that there are no secret budgets or "board members" who are not members of the church.  There is a reason why Presbyterian and Reformed church government has well-defined church orders (constitutions) and well-tested rules of procedure.  We are all sinners who need checks and balances, pastors included.

Under the "Moses Model," pastors and their boards operate in the dark and do as they please--including the passing of budgets like the one described above.

Reader Comments (4)

The "Moses Model" as described seems a misnomer. In Dt 1:9-18. Moses tells the people to choose leaders from their own tribes (qualifications for office are given: Understanding, wise, known in the tribe) -- not from strangers of some far-away place) and he will make these elected men their elders -- seems a little like Presbyterian church government to me -- not some thinly disguised dictatorship.

When I read the first few paragraphs I thought, I will never cross the door of church like that. I am a member where law and gospel are preached, the sacraments are administered and where pastors and regularly elected elders guide the church, and we all know where every cent goes (and it's not even a "Presbyterian" church!)
February 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDB
Pastor Kim, here's an update.

Rather than identifying their template as the "Moses" model, Acts 29, Soma, Doxa, even Calvary Chapel, replace the "pastor" title with "vision casting celebrity leader". To be fair, the networks don't actually state the word "celebrity" but that is in the business plan of the "evangelical industrial complex" (EIC).

The "vision casting leader" receives (downloads?) messages from God and imposes the supposed message on the "giving units" er, um, congregation. The church calendar is a recurring menu of life change topics: January = new life goals, February = relationship & sex themes (coinciding with Valentine's Day), Easter = renewing our earthly life in light of Jesus' resurrection, taught as metaphor; Summer is "financial freedom" classes - tithing is stressed so emphatically, many Leaders declare "your children are sick because you've not given the first fruits by prioritizing your giving". (I recently heard Robert Morris teach the congregation to withhold paying their mortgages and give to God first!) Summer season continues with movie application sermons. (You did know Star Wars is part of the gospel message?) Then during Christmas - we learn to overcome the "manger experiences in our lives".

The most important task of the vision casting leader is to redefine Christianity by allegorizing the Bible (if/when used - which is a rare moment) and "narcigeting" the Text to be all about the leader and/or the flock. The leader must write books regularly, (building his brand) and insist the church teach from his curriculum exclusively.

The celebrity leader must also host pastor-training conferences, where he can appoint himself a national/international authority on how church is done and what is taught. Celebrity leaders from all the networks, network regularly - speaking at each other's conferences, lending supposed credibility. Themes of social and moral improvement abound. Recruiting trainees to join the cause is very important because they not only pay tuition, but will soon uphold the bottom to middle rungs of the pyramid scheme (replacing the disillusioned losses or expelled dissenters.)

Remember, the larger the conferences, the more campuses, the better. Doing the math, notice the multi-revenue streams flowing to one, main Leader or "fuehrer" with plenty of money to buy a parliament of associate leaders and their "church plants" which are really franchises that send back royalties to the Mothership. All the leaders sign a "non-disclosure" form so they can be assured of their six figure salary even if the Fuehrer is ousted or leaves.

Finally, don't worry if the Leader needs help in maintaining the franchise. There are coaching companies (usually owned by one or a small band of successful celebrity leaders) that offer every imaginable teaching tool, public speaking training, church growth and business consulting.

We are far past the Moses-model, Kim. It's more like Aaron's Golden Calf Academy.

: \
February 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRobin
Robin, your description is both accurate and disturbing. That is also the creepiest website I have seen this week.
February 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDSz
They all look like clones. That is creepy, indeed.
February 6, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHB

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