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Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Learning More about the emerging Passion City Church

Here's an interesting interview in Christianity Today online about the new Passion City Church in Atlanta.   The interview feels a  bit antagonistic and yet I think Louie  handles it well.  It will be exciting to see how an itinerating worship ministry will settle in and make a home for itself in a particular place.  

As you will see in the interview, there is a bit of a cynical edge out there about starting a "Super Star Church." Yes, there is something a bit oxy-moronic about the term "famous worship leader." But when you think about it-- the people they are really trying to reach will have no idea who they are.  It's not as though Beyonce and Lil Wayne are planting a Church. (though that would be great) Knowing these guys, I can assure you they aren't working out of a celebrity mindset. This is about friendship. And for my money, that's how the Kingdom works.  

Think I should send in my resume? I could definitely lower the fame quotient several notches. (i.e. "dork it down")    ;-)  
posted by John David Walt | at 3/04/2009 06:41:00 PM



Anonymous John said...

It seemed fair-handed. The questions they asked were legitimate questions to ask of such a venture, I thought. I would have asked the same questions.
It's intriguing that they are holding once a month for a few months, then taking a break, and really not trying to go weekly until over a year from now.
That in and of itself is different from most church starts. I thing the notoriety/fame of the founders allows them some extra freedom in that regard. Most church starts desparately try to build momentum and a viable crowd to launch with.

In this case, they can draw a crowd more easily because they have some built-in name recognition, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But it does save them some of the stress that most church planters have to undergo, and I know several.

7:54 PM EST  
Blogger Bryant Manning said...

I feel as though the idea for the church is something that Louie feels strongly that God is calling him to.

I see and resonate with JD's point in the interview feeling a bit...antagonistic...as if something that Louie has done is affecting the church discipleship in a somewhat negative way? If anything, the work that Louie, Chris, David, Charlie, Matt, and more have done have expanded what churches are and can be doing.

Over dinner tonight, my family and I were having a discussion about what it is that makes people go to church. We helped plant a church nearly 8 years ago that has done nothing but die since it existed. It's quite a thought to think that maybe having some "big names" become involved in the church might spike a bit of...passion (ha!)...in the congregation.

I think the call that Louie has is well thought out and I am eager to see where it goes. After all, if passion was just a once a year conference that we went to...it may inspire some...but we would be back to the spiritual high that we got from summer camp in 8th grade. I think this church could help inspire faithful discipleship inside of a larger congregation than many of our poor churches struggle with. I think God wold be on board :-)

...as if I could speak for him.

10:41 PM EST  
Anonymous Scott L. said...

I saw an interesting story on NBC national news about a church in Willow Creeks back yard that gives away every dollar they take in to the poor and marginalized--locally, nationally, internationally.

They have no building. The pastor collects no salary. They have no office. Looked like they had 200-300 in worship. No Sunday school and major programs. Worship and small groups. They showed the pastor working out of a coffee house and the band rehearsing in someone's home.

What would it look like if the guys did something like this. Could you imagine? Think of Northpoint without the buildings, hundred's of staff members and all the overhead. 10-20 million a year to give away. 10-20 million a year to pour into redemptive ministries in the city.

Now that would be radical. And not just another Northpoint Buckhead campus.


12:12 AM EST  
Blogger John D. Palmer said...

We were studying Hosea last night. One of the more famous quotes from this prophet "they sow the wind and they reap the whirlwind". The context of this quote being that Israel had forsaken the Covenant that they have with God by forgetting their history and embracing their captors ways, even selling their own people into slavery.

One of the struggles I have the "Passion" events and "new church" movements is how close they tend to be to losing the story of faith in Jesus Christ with the Story of the "movement". I think the "Passion City Church" will have this same struggle.

I don't know Louie Giglio, Matt Redman and Chris Tomlin at all outside of their music. I do know they are celebrity even outside the hallowed halls of the "upper crust Christian Ghetto" that is the seed bed of their celebrity. Intentionally or not they have manifested an industry, a commerical model of faith developement. I have no doubt that whatever "Passion City Church" will become, it will be successful. It will impact the Greater Metropolitan Atlanta Area. What I hear in the interview is that it is being manifested out of a Call to ministry from God. So as Louie says the issue is one that we should take up with God. They don't claim to have all the answers only the obedience to respond to what they believe is a call from God.

I'll confess envy and pridefulness. I envy them that they have the resources to enter such a venture. I am prideful enough to internally doubt their real motives and to be all to willing to critique their seeming lack of concern for those that might fall through the cracks in their endeavors. The pharisee in me waits to pounce on their first stumble, mishap, contreversy. I am despicable with my mumblings and grumblings. I pray God forgives my pettiness.

I pray for the "Passion City Church" whatever it will be. That it doesn't lose itself in the precarious place it begins. That is does what its founders say it is going to do.

10:16 AM EST  
Blogger ed said...

I thought the interview was fair minded. If there was a feel of skepticism in it, perhaps it was needed. I love the music of David Crowder, Chris Tomlin, Charlie Hall, et al, but not convinced that will make for a successful church. Also the idea of meting together once a month for a while then taking a break before beginning to meet weekly is not considered the "best" plan for launching a new congregation. I truly hope and pray for Louis that it takes off. And if God is in it and it is truly GOd's vision it will.

2:31 PM EST  
Blogger Kendra said...

Since moving to TX, the Lord has shown me the amazing extension of a church that commits itself to one another and to the nations. We have so many young people come for training programs. But those people don't stay, typically. The younger generations have a drive for movement. They come, learn, and go. They are the ones who come to the elders about planting churches, leaving for missions and building teams, etc. I love their hearts. Our church isn't phenominal by any means. We're so simple and "Texas." But understanding the nature of the younger generations, and having experienced the great creativity and willingness within them, I see such fertile ground for a ministry by Louie and them in Atlanta.

While I am a little apprehensive to the draw of "celebrity," I have to consider what I am seeing in biblical, Christ-centered churches where I live. Who are we to be a such a part of God's work?! I feel honored to be a part of my church because God is there. Not because of who we are or that we have big names - just that God makes His presence known among us.

I really don't have a reason yet to dissect their methodology...no red flags for me yet with PCC. Only the popularity factor, but that's just an area to pray - for God's mercy to help people focus their hearts where they need to be in the midst of it.

10:13 PM EST  

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