Many Christians have an incorrect view about what the Purpose-Driven Network, the Willowcreek Association and Leadership Network are. Many mistakenly believe these organizations are churches, or some form of a quasi-denomination. They’re not. These organizations are businesses and these businesses offer knowledge based products to the church leader / pastor market. These market driven pastors have franchised the Church of Jesus Christ by catering to the customers felt needs. McChurch with happy meal gospel.
Luke 18:8 Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men [are], extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as [his] eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified [rather] than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Parable spoken by Jesus to the religious elite of His day. Today seeker sensitive pastors never even address the simple gospel message that sinners need God’s mercy that comes through the preaching of the cross of Christ. Luke 18:8-14
By Extreme Theology Chris Rosebrough
The reason I am circling back to clarify these points is that yesterday I called on Peter Drucker’s disciples, Rick Warren, Bob Buford and Bill Hybels to issue a safety recall for their entire Emerging Church product line. This type of language seemed odd and out of place to a few people since speaking of Leadership Network, the Purpose-Driven Network and the Willowcreek Association as businesses contradicted what many people assumed about them. Part of the reason for this confusion is that two of these organizations are headed up by men who also happen to be pastors.
Therefore, what I want to do in this post is explain the real nature of these companies so that you can properly understand what these organizations are doing and can properly and realistically scrutinize their offerings in a correct and Biblical way. But, this means that I will need to make some statements that may challenge your assumptions about these companies.
In order to accomplish this task I will put forward a series of ‘theses’ that will help paint a realistic picture of these organizations and their leaders. As basic as these ‘theses’ may appear, many people have not taken the time to think through them and their implications.
- Rick Warren is the head pastor of Saddleback Church.
- Rick Warren is also the functioning CEO of the Purpose-Driven Network.
- Saddleback Church and the Purpose-Driven Network are two distinct entities.
- When Rick Warren is preaching at Saddleback he is functioning in a Pastoral Office.
- When Rick Warren is making decisions about the direction of the Purpose-Driven Network he is functioning in a Chief Executive Office.
- Therefore, the Purpose-Driven Network is a business entity that is separate and distinct from Saddleback Church but it happens to be run by a man who is both a CEO and a Pastor.
- Bill Hybels is the head pastor of Willowcreek Church.
- Bill Hybels is also the functioning CEO of the Willowcreek Association.
- Willowcreek Church and the Willowcreek Association are two distinct entities.
- When Bill Hybels is preaching at Willowcreek Church he is functioning in a Pastoral Office.
- When Bill Hybels is making decisions about the direction of the Willowcreek Association he is functioning in a Chief Executive Office.
- Therefore, the Willowcreek Association is a business entity that is separate and distinct from Willowcreek Church but it happens to be run by a man who is both a CEO and a Pastor.
- The Purpose-Driven Network’s target market is church leaders / pastors.
- The Willowcreek Association’s target market is church leaders / pastors.
- Leadership Network’s target market is church leaders / pastors.
- The Purpose-Driven Network develops and sells knowledge based products to its target market.
- The Willowcreek Association develops and sells knowledge based products to its target market.
- Leadership Network develops and sells knowledge based products to its target market.
- Knowledge based products are concepts, ideas, models, methods and practices.
- Although knowledge based products are not tangible products like iPods and cell phones they are products none the less.
- Knowledge based products are delivered via books, DVDs, lectures, conference keynote addresses, articles and one on one coaching.
- Knowledge based products must be developed just like tangible products must be developed.
- When the Purpose-Driven Network (PDN) holds a conference at Saddleback Church, it is not a church function it is a business conference where PDN’s knowledge based products are delivered to church leaders for a price.
- The business conference also happens to be hosted by the church that Rick Warren pastors.
- When the Willowcreek Association (WA) holds a conference at Willowcreek Church, it is not a church function it is a business conference where WA’s knowledge based products are delivered to church leaders for a price.
- The business conference also happens to be hosted by the church that Bill Hybels pastors.
- When the Leadership Network (LN) holds a conference at a church, it is not a church function it is a business conference where LN’s knowledge based products are delivered to church leaders for a price.
- LN, PDN and WA although they are separate companies offer very similar knowledge based products and services to the church leader / pastor market.
- LN, PDN and WA all sell knowledge based products and services that are based upon and firmly rooted in the leadership, management concepts and theories of the late business guru Peter Drucker.
- Just like McDonalds, Burger King and Wendys all sell hamburgers… LN, PDN and WA all sell Peter Drucker’s business and management ideas.
- Drucker’s leadership theories form the common ground for all of the knowledge based products that LN, PDN and WA sell to the church leader / pastor market.
With these theses in mind, there are several other things that you must also keep in mind regarding my call for the Druckerites to issue a safety recall for their entire Emerging Church product line.
- I am calling on Rick Warren the CEO of the Purpose-Driven Network to take responsibility for the defective knowledge product known as the Emerging Church that PDN helped develop and bring to market.
- I am calling on Bill Hybels the CEO of the Willowcreek Association to take responsibility for the defective knowledge product known as the Emerging Church that WA helped develop and bring to market.
- I am calling on Bob Buford the CEO of the Leadership Network to take responsibility for the defective knowledge product known as the Emerging Church that LN helped develop and bring to market.
All three of these Druckerite CEO’s bear some responsibility because of their roles in helping to develop and release the knowledge based product known as the Emerging Church. The reason they are responsible is because none of these businesses have put quality control measures or systems in place in order to insure that the knowledge based products that they bring to market and sell to church leaders / pastors are not infected with false doctrine and heresy.
If Pastor Warren and Pastor Hybels want to continue moonlighting as CEO’s then they must take responsibility for the doctrinal safety of the knowledge based products that their businesses are developing and selling to church leaders / pastors.
Rick Warren, Bob Buford and Bill Hybels are the Druckerite “trinity”. All three of these men were personally mentored by the late business guru Peter Drucker and these three men more than any others are responsible for innovating the church by purposely changing congregations from a pastoral leadership model to a CEO / Innovative Change Agent leadership model. All of these innovations were strategically crafted under the careful eye of Peter Drucker. And all of these innovations were incubated, introduced and injected into the church through the coordinated efforts of Drucker’s disciples through their different but intimately connected organizations; Leadership Network, the Purpose Driven Network and the Willow Creek Association.
What many people don’t realize is that the Emerging Church is a product created by and promoted by the Druckerites.
If you don’t believe me then it is time for you to listen to or re-listen to my interview with Doug Pagitt regarding the genesis of the Emerging Church. Pagitt provides us with an expert insiders look at how the Emerging Church came into being and got off of the ground. What you will discover is that without the Druckerites there may have never been an ‘emerging church’. The Druckerites formed, bankrolled and promoted the Emerging Church much the same way a music marketing company might form and promote a boy band like the Backstreet Boys or N Sync.
Why would a supposedly conservative evangelical pastor like Rick Warren want to lend his credibility to the Emergent Church and have his name be directly associated with men like Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt and Brian McLaren? Rick Warren is a Druckerite and the Emerging Church is a product developed by the Druckerites. Rick Warren is in fact one of the Fathers of the Emerging Church. That’s why he lent his name and credibility to the product.
What’s also patently clear is that when the Druckerites spend time and money developing new church business products they spend zero time and money on quality control. Sadly, the Druckerites are so enamored with innovation that they have no systems in place to vet out false teachers and heretics. As a result, Druckerite products may in fact pose a severe safety risk to the church.
Case and Point: I have been saying for almost 5 years now that Brian McLaren is a heretic and a dangerous post-modern liberal. Yet, McLaren has written articles that have been featured at pastors.com. Rick Warren lent his credibility and endorsement to the Emerging Church movement without even so much as a hint that he had any concerns about the troubling doctrine and theology of its leaders. Bill Hybels has invited Emergent Leaders like McLaren to speak at Willow Creek Conferences and Youth Leader Conferences and Bob Buford’s Leadership Network has been promoting and selling McLaren’s books for years on the Leadership Network website.
What does this prove? It shows that there is absolutely ZERO doctrinal and theological oversight when it comes to the Druckerites and the products that they develop.
In light of the fact that Brian McLaren has finally decided to come clean and lay his theological cards on the table in his new book A New Kind of Christianity AND in light of the fact that McLaren has finally admitted that those of us who’ve been saying that he denies the fall of man, hell, Christ’s penal substitutionary atonement, the inerrancy and authority of scripture and Christ’s return in glory to judge both the living and the dead were right all along…
I am calling on the Druckerites, Rick Warren, Bob Buford and Bill Hybels to issue a safety recall for their ENTIRE Emerging Church product line.
I am calling on the Druckerites to publicly repudiate and rebuke Brian McLaren, Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt for their heresies.
I am calling on the Druckerites to remove all Emerging Church products from all their youth groups including any books by emerging authors as well as all Nooma DVD’s.
I am calling on the Druckerites to issue an apology to the body of Christ for failing to put the proper safety systems in place to vet out false doctrine and heresy from the products they develop.
I am calling on the Druckerites to convene a standing theological safety committee to doctrinally review and scrutinize all Drukerite products and methods in light of sound doctrine and a Christ-Centered / Gospel Centered Theology. The decisions of this safety committee must be binding.
This safety committee should be comprised of top theologians and church practitioners who still firmly hold to the doctrines and confessions of the Protestant Reformation. For this committee I nominate Dr. Mike Horton, Dr. Rod Rosenbladt, Dr. Albert Mohler, Dr. Alister McGrath, Rev. William Cwirla, Rev. Todd Wilken, Rev. Ken Jones, Dr. Kim Riddlebarger, Rev. Paul Washer, Phil Johnson and the Rev. Jeff Noblit.
It’s time for Rick Warren, Bob Buford and Bill Hybels to do the right thing and admit they’ve endangered the body of Christ by releasing a doctrinally defective and theologically dangerous product. For the sake of the body of Christ they MUST issue a safety recall for their entire “Emerging Church” product line.
October 2007 – Hybels has now admitted he made a “mistake”. 20 YEARS later and he says it’s just a mistake? Countless souls were infected with his Cross-less gospel. How about taking down his WCA website and him and rick warren making a public apology for all the ministers they mislead all these years?
Does your pastor download sermons instead of studying and praying? Willow Creek Association makes it easy for them. So what is plagiarism?
Plagiarism: The act of passing off as one’s own the ideas or writings of another.
How could any God fearing Pastor commit plagiarism with a clear conscience?
Whatever happened to praying and spending time in God’s Word?
Pastors should be ashamed of themselves for presenting sermons that are not even their own.
Please do some study on the Hegelian dialectic process to see what many churches are doing today for the sake of Church Growth. Most importantly, is it biblical?
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