“Southerland tells pastors, “You will be criticized. It might as well be for doing the right thing.”[xxxi] From what he writes, one must conclude that he really believes that making the church a community gathering place for religious consumers rather than a gathering of the “called out ones” is the right thing. He really believes he is like Nehemiah sent by God to rebuild Jerusalem. He really believes that people who hunger for gospel preaching and Bible teaching are the enemies of God’s vision. If your church has bought the Purpose Driven franchise, your pastor probably does too. It is a sad, harsh reality, but you have lost your church. It’s very unlikely that it will ever again be a gospel-centric church.”
The above quote is from Bob DeWaay quoting Southerland’s book, Transistioning, Leading Your Church Through Change
It’s a Saddleback recommendation for pastors.
Another paragraph sounds EXACTLY like our situation.
The vision includes the process of removing people who oppose becoming Purpose Driven. This book is very revealing.
” “What Happened to My Church?” Reading Southerland’s book will help people whose churches have changed from gospel preaching and Bible teaching churches to “seeker” churches understand what has happened to them. Southerland characterizes those who resist this transition as “leaders from hell” who are of the ilk of Sanballat who resisted Nehemiah.[ii] It is clear that Pastor Southerland is convinced that he is like Nehemiah on a mission from God (i.e. to convert the church to being a Purpose Driven seeker church) and that all who resist are misguided, have evil motives, or are just unwilling to change because of their being caught in traditions.”
Yes, we were considered the Sanballats. The pastor even said to our friends in our former church that he “felt like Nehemiah” when he met with us. He said he has his Ezra, probably someone telling him he’s right to attack as he has. Yep, we are just in the way of power, in the way of change. Love that scripture twisting, don’t you?
We are free and we pray more will follow us. I pray actually that somehow God will give grace and mercy and will free the old “Bible” church of this movement. It would take a miracle from God to do so. When the pastor says, ‘jump” they jump. At least they don’t use koolaid in communion.