I wanna talk about me, wanna talk about I, wanna talk about Number One...

Listen to the first minute or two and it's so clear what this video and at least two of these men are about. You'd have to be highly educated to miss it. Then the last minute or two, it surfaces again. As that patriarch of all things Evangelical, the late Vernon Grounds, said some years back, Evangelicals worship "the bitch goddess of success." Followers of Jesus Christ should have nothing to do with multi-site video venues.

And by the way, Mark Dever pulled in his horns after being whupped by the two alpha-males going two-on-one on him with fangs bared. Try to imagine the good doctor, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, agreeing to be part of this exchange. I apologize for posting it, but some things have to be seen if they're going to be properly condemned. (TB, w/thanks)

Multiple Sites: Yea or Nay? Dever, Driscoll, and MacDonald Vote from Ben Peays on Vimeo.


Vernon Grounds' church just sent out a letter this week. It looks like they've decided church plants don't work for them so they are pursuing a similar model. Instead of multi-sites they are adding on St their present (new) site. The addition will include a chapel where overflow for their four services will

be accommodated via video.

Oh, and they have a Starbucks in the lobby and I understand they will soon be opening the bookstore.

Last year, I decided I would write a recap of the first few minutes of this video...

MacDonald opens the video with a series of questions to Driscoll:

“So, hey, Mark, how many sites at your church?”

“10, hoping to open 11 this summer.”

“Great. And how many services?”


“Yeah, we have 5 sites going to six. 13 going to 15 weekend services. You know, more than 10,000 peoples in both of churches. Hundreds and hundreds decisions for Christ every year, praise God, baptized and here is (gesturing towards Dever) are brother, mentor, theological genius…when his book on church polity came out, I was like, are you kidding me, I couldn’t write…it would take my whole life to write that (Dever talks over him saying: “You never even read the thing, come on, come on, come on”)…I couldn’t even carry it let alone read it—it is so full. You’re like smarter than I’ll ever be. So. But you don’t have multi-site. You don’t even have multi-services. You certainly could fill more if you had them with your amazing gift of preaching and I know people are coming to Christ in your church or planting churches. So, you’ve obviously decided differently than we have decided. We’ll tell you why we are right in a minute but you tell us why you are doing it the way you are.” (00:54)

Dever then starts to present his argument:

“Alright. The word ecclesia in the New Testament means assembly.”

At this point, Driscoll immediately interrupts. He says, “According to…” three times (1:02, 1:08, 1:11), “Oh, come on” (1:05), and “Ah, gosh..” (1:14). That’s five interruptions in twelve seconds. MacDonald quickly jumps in on the fun and says, “even if it means assembly...” (1:14)

Mind you, up until now, Dever has said about 23 words regarding his “position” and still hasn’t been allowed to make his point.

Wait? I thought they wanted to hear why he was doing it “his” way? After all, doesn’t MacDonald have this incredible respect for Dever’s intellectual acumen or was that all just the typical Evangelical flattery? Also, if they are so sure they are “right” why must they act so defensive? Me doth think that the multi-site pastors protest too much.

Anyways, Dever regathers himself and tries again to construct an argument (1:30):

“I, I think that, we have an assembly…what we want to do with more assemblies is have more elders and more preachers. So, we do want to have more people come to Christ…”

And, again, we fail to hear Dever’s entire argument because MacDonald interrupts him (1:38). Sigh. I see what this is. It isn't a conversation or even an arguing. Its a jumping.

Its two on one--an old school jumping. Two men that pay lip service to respecting Dever but immediately team-up in taking an antagonistic self-justifying stance.

>>I see what this is. It isn't a conversation or even an arguing. Its a jumping.

Actually, it's something much more serious and much more awful.


I have a lot of respect for Mark Dever. He focused on Reformed worship: the means of grace. The other two have so much personality involved. The first 1:30 is all you need to see. They should be utterly ashamed of themselves.

The arguments of these two are so facile, that if Pastor Dever had been allowed to form a complete sentence I am sure he could have answered them.

The idea that those who sit under a shepherd who preaches after having spent the week counseling, ministering, dying for his flock are co-dependant on that pastor's "shekinah glory" is just wicked. I would hope that given the opportunity they would repent and ask forgiveness of Pastor Dever and the body at large.

Feed my lambs... Tend my sheep... Feed my sheep.

Now, the best way to it is by air dropping water, medicine, grain and shelter into their pastures. Sure, some will drown from too much H20 or lie parched as the benevolence misses them; others will die due to antibiotics being prescribed for the flu, buy how are you to know what the sick need; the slow will not eat and many will not make it in the barn. Leave the consequences of this model to the scabby hired hands, the star will be in the big house on the hill.

al sends

Pastor Dever was in the position the prophet of the Lord finds himself in not uncommonly: there are the successful ones right before him, outnumbering him, mocking him, and he has nothing but the Word of God. They breathe forth lies (Repent, Pastor Driscoll, Pastor MacDonald!) and Pastor Dever should have called them out. If he did, though, their anger would quickly come out: You arrogant! You uncharitable! He may even lose the "friendship". But the Lord is testing him: Who does he fear? Woe to him unless he clings to the Word of the Lord!

Watching this bad exchange was strengthening for me for when I am in this situation. Thank you.

I pray to God for revival in the Church such that when someone says that a TV screen is a more effective and godly pastor than a real man, everyone understands how horrible that is.

Well, that was disgusting. And it revealed so much about these mens' ideas of the Church. As you said, it as all "I...me...I...". Makes me all the more upset about this happening my own backyard: http://orangecounty.marshill.com/

I was listening as other people were watching, and I thought it was a joke.

I am reminded of something a Presbyterian pastor I met on a flight to Baltimore said; pastors love big churches because it gives them a big name and a big paycheck. Members love big churches because they don't need to have the pastor over for dinner and risk him getting to know them and confront their sins.

The latter is, methinks, part of the "much more awful" thing our gracious host notes, and al seconds. Listening to the full video, I was wanting to yell that out--how do you megachurch guys shepherd the sheep?!?

Having been part of a church which in its heyday had a rollcall of two and a half thousand - a very big church in a country like mine - I can endorse Bert's comments. Wholeheartedly. Since then I haven't been part of a church with more than about two hundred adults on the active roll.

Pastoring can be done well in the large churches, but not by the senior pastor; he delegates it all to the assistant pastors, and gets on with the ministries of Word, Sacrament and Administration. Anything to avoid having to deal with the sheep ...

Watched it again. Ugh. The spiritual pride is so thick with McDonald and Driscoll you could cut it with a knife. I wonder if Dever ever really believed they cared what he thought?

Would someone please translate this-I assume it came out of the interview?

The idea that those who sit under a shepherd who preaches after having spent the week counseling, ministering, dying for his flock are co-dependant on that pastor's "shekinah glory" is just wicked. I would hope that given the opportunity they would repent and ask forgiveness of Pastor Dever and the body at large.

After watching just some of this video, I am beginning to understand why Mark Driscoll's elders dragged him in after those comments about effeminate worship leaders. It's not that the comments were unjustified, but Driscoll seems unable to keep a control of his tongue, or pen (James 3:1ff), and that is not good.

As usual, disagreement with this view welcome.

James MacDonald's biz model is lucrative. Money has a way of controlling behavior and directing theological farming. Think Monsanto, creator of GMO seeds that produce most mass produced veggies and animal feed & producer of Vietnam's Agent Orange. Some pastors are drawn to mass produced farming methods that produce fame and financial riches. Others, kinda like your local natural farmer, are drawn to quality, healthy & good-n-tasty produce. I don't know about you, but I prefer eating food from a pulpit where I can see the calloused hands of the farmer that's tilling, I mean preaching, and he personally knows the seasonal produce I need to be eating.

NOTE -(Check out Chicagomag.com Feb 2006 noting James MacDonald's 1.9 million new posh pad.)

David if you skip ahead to the 4 min mark or so Pastor Driscol is extolling the benefits of his model of Church planting where he "preaches" via video 75% of the time freeing up the local elders to pastor. Pastor Dever asks him something like "does this build people too much into you?" Pastor Driscol answers that it is just the opposite. He is not even there while Dever's people see him all the time and have to get close to his Shekina Glory. They were joking, but their humor belies their true thoughts of this man. as I said wicked.

al sends

>>>>I see what this is. It isn't a conversation or even an arguing. Its a jumping.

>>Actually, it's something much more serious and much more awful.

A justification for sin?

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