“Nothing can destroy fruitfulness faster than ungodly leadership—men and women who use positions of authority to manipulate and exploit people instead of serving their growth in Christ. This results partly from people who want to lord over others and partly from people who would rather follow a pastor, author, or other influential person than develop their own relationship with Jesus. We can’t ignore this danger under the guise of preserving Christian unity. Bad leadership needs to be recognized and resisted. Don’t allow anyone to curtail your own obedience to Jesus in the name of loyalty to a man or his institution. Rather find godly men and women whose hearts are more concerned for your fruitfulness, than their own. There you’ll find leaders after God’s heart.”
Wayne Jacobsen, “In Season: Embracing the Father’s Process of Fruitfulness”
“Jesus explicitly taught in Matthew 23: 8-11 that the only person who rules over Christian communities is the Lord. He is our Teacher. He is our Leader. He is our Instructor.”
Wade Burleson, Fraudulent Authority: Pastors Who Seek to Rule Over Others
C.J. Mahaney, fresh off his controversial return to the stage of the T4G celebrity worship festival, instinctively sensed there is a growing resentment to his prideful refusal to recuse himself from the national Christian conference scene. (Indeed, one may rightly wonder, based on 1 Timothy 3, why he still occupies a pulpit!)
Faced with a rising tide of pastors who appealed for his removal from the T4G stage and the organization; negative national and local press coverage; a SNAP protest outside the KFC Yum! Arena the day of his scheduled speech; a groundswell of impassioned and emboldened bloggers standing with the victims of sexual abuse and against Mahaney, and thousands of offended evangelical Christians taking to social media to voice their complaints, Mahaney knew he needed to act swiftly to shore up his base of loyal church members.
Lest you doubt how critically important the humble narcissist viewed this task, it should be noted that he took to the pulpit of his run-away church plant in spite of having a head cold and four other pastors on staff who could have preached.
Undoubtedly His Humbleness didn’t have his usual “hours and hours, and hours and hours and hours” of time required to prepare another sermon that would “serve his members well,” therefore he rolled out his well-worn sermon on how to make your pastor happy. (Note -this audio below is from a different sermon, I frequently use it to illustrate how Mahaney attempts to make his followers believe he is a hard worker worthy of their deepest respect and highest esteem .)
I heard Mahaney’s “Happy Pastor” sermon years ago at Sovereign Grace Gilbert when we were graced with an appearance of His Humbleness. Actually, His Humbleness made an informal nationwide tour of sorts years ago when he was still on the Sovereign Grace Ministries throne, the purpose of which was to browbeat all the rock-throwing peasants into submission to their local leadership team of Pastor’s College graduates by utilizing the very sermon he so skillfully delivered this past Sunday. As he said in this sermon, it is not an easy task to deliver this message to your own congregation, so Mahaney graciously took the task upon himself those many years ago. (Not to be ignored was the fringe benefit of adding to his already attractive salary through the expected honorarium Mahaney collected from each local church he preached in, but I digress.)
Mahaney effectively combines browbeating with flattery as he cajoles the proletariat to submit themselves to their pastors, the men to whom God has entrusted your very souls!
I have heard this sermon four or five times now, all preached to different audiences. Every time Mahaney flatters his audience with the same comments he made to his church – basically praising them for being such a joy for their pastors to lead, a congregation that doesn’t need this sermon preached to them as a corrective measure because they are already so joyfully submitting to their leaders, etc. Is Mahaney being honest with his listeners or merely offering insincere flattery? If he is being honest, then why is he preaching on the subject?
I have done my readers a favor by wading through the sniffling thespian’s sickening forty-five-minute performance to splice together a much more endurable nine-minute highlight recording. If you have the stomach, listen to the master manipulator at work:
I’ve got news for you, we can look at the history of Covenant Life Church, (Mahaney’s former “dearest place on earth,” prior to his leaving in a huff to his new “dearest place on earth”) and indeed at the history of the entire Sovereign Grace Churches denomination, over which Mahaney at one time reigned, and see the fruits of Mahaney’s application of Hebrews 13:17; it doesn’t take an Einstein to determine something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
What Mahaney is preaching is regurgitated and repackaged 1970’s Shepherding balderdash. It was exposed as an unbiblical movement back then, and it needs to be exposed again today.
I would urge members of Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville to flee Mahaney’s clutches. As Galatians 5:1 states: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” My experience and the experience of thousands of former Sovereign Grace members is you will not realize until you have left a Sovereign Grace church how enslaved you really were.
Listen to this refreshing sermon by Wayne Burleson for a view opposing Mahaney’s.
Freedom is out there my friend. Be bold and go for it!