Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bread Crumbs?

Get out your tinfoil mind-defense hat and go to "A Little Leaven" and look at this article and the imbedded video:

Now go click on the "this church" link in the article and you will find the church that put on this sermon series. If the link doesn't work, here is their website:

The iLife sermon series was put on in 2007 by "Crosspoint Community Church" in Decatur, AL. Here is a statement that I read earlier this year from their website (my emphasis added):

Crosspoint is an independent, bible-based inter-denominational Christian church. Were made up of people with various religious backgrounds at different stages of their spiritual Journey. Some people at Crosspoint have been Christians for many years, others are just beginning to find what it means to have a real realtionship with God. Others are seeking to find out who God really is. This means regardless of your background, you will feel welcome and have opportunity to get involved at Crosspoint.

Crosspoint is a member of the Willow Creek association of Churches. We associate with and recieve training and support from other churches around the country. These affiliations provide not only training and resources, but also accountability for the church and its leaders. This also gives us freedom to build a church for our generation that meets the spiritual needs we have, in a context that is both meaningful and biblical without the constraint of denominational politics.

[Remember their Willow Creek association and their distain for the "constraint of denominational politics". We'll come back to that.]

When I found this stuff, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (LCMS) had the following picture on their website (

The following text was included with the iLife image:

Upcoming Message Series

Many families are running on empty. They feel hurried, and scattered, and have little hope that life can be any different. How about your family? Would you like to bring your family back together and back to life?

It’s easier than you think…Jesus said, “The secret of the Kingdom of God has been given to you.” (Mark 4:11) It’s time to discover what we’ve already been given.How to Bring Your Family Back to Life

May 11 How to Bless a Mamma's Heart

May 18 How to Help a Child Grow Up with Jesus

May 25 Spiritual Warfare: 101

June 1 How to Bless a Teenager

June 8 From Generation to Generation: A Legacy of Life

June 15 Dad: Leader of Spiritual Adventures

June 22 How to Release Life into Your Family


Do you see the iLife logo from A Little Leaven that I got from an LCMS congregation's website that I visited while at a district church growth conference? Read the titles of the sermon series and tell me if you think this is similar to the "Crosspoint Community Church" series that was put on in Decatur last year.

"Crosspoint Community Church" sounded familiar. There is a "Crosspoint Community Church" in Katy, Texas. They are LCMS, too. Here is their website (Note: if you enter the address manually in the address bar, make sure to type in ".org" and not ".cc" or you might go back to the other Crosspoint Community website in Decatur):

Both "Gloria Dei" and "Crosspoint Community Church" (the LCMS one) were at that Texas District M2C conference earlier this year which was nothing less than a big inter-denominational, Rick Warren love fest. The key presenter at that LCMS church plant meeting was Phil Stevenson who is the "General Director of Evangelism & Church Growth" of the Wesleyan Church.

I also remember seeing and talking to Mark Schaefer and Patrick Miller at the M2C conference in 2008. They are from Water's Edge. If memory serves, they helped out at the M2C conference. I only mention them because they are on the list for the youth gathering we have all been talking about.

While you are at the youth gathering site, you might see another familiar church from the M2C website you just looked at. According to M2C, one of the presenters at the 2007 conference was St Paul/The Summit, Ft Worth. I was not at that one, but I am pretty sure it was the same sort of stuff that I saw this year in Tapatio. If I remember correctly, The Summit was also at M2C in 2008. Not to be outdone by Water's Edge, the Summit sent a speaker to this youth gathering, too.

That brings us to Kari Jobe. She is from Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas. Gateway is a non-denominational church that denies Real Presence, but Kari managed to get on the list of speakers at the LCMS youth gathering. You can find the head pastor of Gateway Church, Robert Morris, giving a glowing testimonial on this church growth website that cuts through all the buzz words and calls church growth what it is: "churchmarketing101". It isn't about spreading the Gospel. It is about marketing... and not even marketing Jesus. It is marketing YOUR church.

Kyrie Eleison! Jesus come quickly and overturn these tables in your temple!

While on "churchmarketing101", does another name on that tesimonial list jump out at you? It's none other than "Next Gen Pastor" Darren Whitehead of the mega-church Willow Creek. And we come full circle because Cross Point, Decatur (where I first saw the "iLife" logo) is a Willow Creek association member.

The book being marketed on is used by Rick Warren to push his theology and is included in Relevant Magazine's "Relevant Leader's Pastor's Tool Kit". And if you look at where author Richard L. Reising is based... surprise: Dallas, Texas.

I feel like a kook just assembling these observations together in the same place. Why does all this fit together so cleanly? What am I supposed to think of this?

Someone please come on here and explain to me how I am totally misreading all of these coincidences. I really really really want to believe that I am way off base and my line of reasoning is faulty. I left the Purpose Driven movement for a good reason. It draws people into a building, burdens them with works righteousness, and then spiritually starves them to death.

Please tell me that this is not going on in my district. Please tell me how this is baseless and I am acting off of guilt by association.

Is this layman tilting at windmills?


Christopher D. Hall said...

Um... I don't think they are coincidences. We were supposed to read Warren's Purpose Driven Church at the Seminary, and by-and-large it was received enthusiastically by many. A few complained about the lack of emphasis on the Sacraments, but that was about the only objection that was raised.

Again, not a coincidence. Welcome to the new Synod.

Mike Baker said...

TREEBEARD: The ents cannot hold back this war. We must weather such things as we have always done.

MERRY: How can that be your decision?

TREEBEARD: This is not our war.

MERRY: But your part of this world! Aren’t you? You must help. Please. You must do something.

TREEBEARD: You are young and brave, master Merry. But your part in this tale is over. Go back to your home.

PIPPIN: Maybe Treebeard’s right. We don’t belong here, Merry. It’s too big for us. What can we do in the end? We’ve got the Shire. Maybe we should go home.

MERRY: The fires of Isengard will spread. And the woods of Tuckborough and Buckland will burn. And... and all that was once green and good in this world will be gone. ...There won’t be a Shire, Pippin.

Thursday's Child said...

Nope, you're not imagining a thing.

The Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

I agree with T.M. and Pastor Hall. You're not imagining anything. BTW, Jefferson Hills is doing a similar series also...and they don't shy away from their admiration of Crosspointe (the nonLCMS) at all.