<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d12585839\x26blogName\x3dthe+old+SHLOG+(moved+to+shaungroves.c...\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLACK\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://readshlog.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://readshlog.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-6606949357892583233', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

5/07/2006

$40,000 WORTH OF CONVERSION

What else could have been done with the $40,000?

A small army of Christian men organized the 8th annual Soulstock in Athens, Alabama yesterday. Several thousand people attended the outdoor music festival and funnel cake feeding frenzy for free.

I did not. I attended for $3000.

$3000 paid for a rental van, two tanks of gas, Brian to road manage and book the gig, my manager, three musicians to accompany me, per diem for all of us and a large gift to Uncle Sam. That's a lot of money.

Add to my fee the cost of the gigantic stage, the rental of the field, the crew running the top-notch sound and lighting rigs, catering, bottled water, the cost of artists pricier than I and a preacher - and well, we estimate the total cost of the event at around $40,000.

This money was donated by local businesses who miraculously came together from different industries, different denominations and churches to fund, imagine and volunteer for this annual event whose purpose is to "convert" people.

Musicians play and a pastor preaches. An alter call is given and prayers of contrition and surrender to Jesus are offered up.

Conversion.

And as I participated in the day's events I was at the same time applauding and appalled. Applauding the zeal and unity of the men putting together Soulstock for the 8th year running. Applauding the fun and excellent music in the air mingling with the fragrance of french fries and chili dogs. Applauding the feel of family among strangers believing in the same God. Applauding the small crowd coming forward to pray with counselors, "rededicating" their lives to Christ or praying for Him to save them.

Appalled that $40,000 and all this cooperation was poured into a field and a few hours of music and talking because it was believed by local pastors and concert organizers to be the best representation, the most convincing announcement, of the true of the story of Jesus. It best represented God to man - they thought. It would bring about conversion.

The festival was fantastic. Well done. Well intentioned. It was good. But I found myself imagining great. What would great have looked like?

What if...

What if the churches in Athens, Alabama didn't pay the professionals from Nashville to come in and tell their city, their neighbors, their friends about God in an entertaining way? What if they themselves did the talking with words and actions in a need meeting, mercy showing, peace making, loving way? In a way that let people SEE Jesus and not just HEAR about Him?

What if the churches decided to raise $40,000 to house a clinic offering free medical care three days a week in a shopping strip or church building or house? What if doctors didn't cook funnel cakes or direct traffic at a concert but donated five hours every month to this clinic? What if business men didn't buy banners and concert ads but bought vaccinations and sonogram machines and insulin?

What if the $40,000 went to create a job training program aimed at preparing and educating women and men who want a way out of welfare but aren't qualified currently for jobs that would earn them more than welfare is already paying them? What if child care was provided for single mothers while they received that job training and once they got hired?

What if $40,000 gave a scholarship to a kid who otherwise wouldn't be able to attend college? Or built a home for him to sleep in? Or bought his family's groceries? Or provided counseling for his fighting parents? Or sent him to another country to tell the story of Jesus?

What if $40,000 was given not to Athens, Alabama but to the Church in the Middle East or to some other needy outpost of God's army? What if it fed, clothed, educated and taught about Jesus 104 children in a third world country for one year through Compassion International?

I just wonder if event driven "conversion", as noble as it is and as well as it's served Western Christianity led by Billy Graham and others for decades, converts souls at the neglect of converting entire persons, families and communities - converts minds perhaps without converting neighborhoods, without transforming hunger into nourishment, poverty into life, sickness into health. And I just wonder if we create these events once in a while where Jesus is put on a stage for those outside the Church to see simply because we've forgotten what powerful proof of God's existence and character our all-converting love, mercy and peace can be to our communities every day.

What would Jesus do with $40,000?

We may never know, but what would you do with it? Pretend you have the check in your hand. What does your city need more right now: a concert and a sermon preached by professionals or something else - something locals could accomplish? Where would you spend the money?

We've done good all over the nation. Now, imagine great.

60 Comments:

Blogger GrovesFan said...

$40,000 wouldn't even begin to let me do all I'd like to do, but it sure would help. The current fundraising goal for our city's Women's Pregnancy Center is $40K. Hopefully this will be raised during a walk-a-thon this month. I helped with a baby bottle campaign earlier this year for the same cause. This center provides services, councilling, medical care, etc. for crisis pregnancies. I'd start there.

I'd fund a project for our Worship Arts director's newest cd venture. He's got great things to say and a talent to say it with. I'd fund your next one too. I'd sponsor more kids through Compassion; visit the one I do sponsor; stock our local food pantry and homeless shelter.

In the end though, I don't want to wait until I have $40,000 to start doing any of these things. It only takes what I already have so much of to affect change, and make better the situations of those around me. Start small, but start!

Beth

5/07/2006  
Anonymous Kim Adam said...

Shaun,

My name is Kim and I saw you in Shoreview a few weeks ago. I know one thing my church does that I dont know of any other. Not saying any other does not do it I just dont know.

We have a Fast and Testimony Sunday once a month. It is for all the members. It is regarding the law of the Fast that Isaiah talks about and others. If you want scriptual references I will find them.

Reason I bring that up is we fast for 2 meals or about 24 hours and atleast give that amount of money or what we feel led or where we want to be strethced each month as fast offerings. That money goes to the local congreatations first. To help feed those that are needing as in the book of James and others. To help other who might need medical care in seriousness situations or to clothes the naked and help put have a roof safe shelter overhead.

It is managed by allmost all volunteers if not all and if we can we give some to the church overall to help others over all the world who do not have enough to support their own.

I realize there are more important ways to use $40,00 as we help people come to Jesus Christ they will change their disposition and heart and I have seen it as im sure you have become amazing people as Heavenly Father had for them. But this is a great way to be like Jesus and all the more faith in Christ the members have how this can bless over only 2 meals a month. Let alone what it does for the member if they are fasting and prayer and using it to have there most desirious prayers answered and grow in the Lord.

Also as a sidenote it actually has been medical proven it is healthy to cleanse the body like this once a month.

We can can do so much and Jesus knows it and Satan does too. Lets Jesus led us always in His ways!
KIM

5/07/2006  
Anonymous kim adam said...

Shaun,

Since I posted already I want to share a quick comment about the "event" you particapated in. I think it can be good or even very good but the key is what are you doing with these people who have committed or recommitted their lives to Christ and who get excited there.

If there is no funneling to the local churches and follow up with all these individuals most all will be lost.

They need to be followed up with and nourished and gotten to the local churches and have the questions answered and help them in their walk with the Lord.

If they are left to fend for themselve most of them will be back where they where for the most part.

There is a time and a place for these "events" I believe but only if we have away to capture and strengthen these brothers and sisters after the event.

We also always have to look at are hearts and ask What would Jesus do what would he have me do?

There are good things everywhere but are we to do the most vital and important things to brings and keeps souls yearning for Jesus Christ and a relaionship with him.

I love Jesus,
KIM

5/07/2006  
Blogger GrovesFan said...

The largest sect to participate in "fast Sundays" is the Mormon church. It is required by church law and the money is given to their local wards/stakes. All of their tithes go to the church headquarters in Salt Lake City.

Good idea though as long as it's used for God's good.

Beth

5/07/2006  
Blogger Mustard Packet Pelter said...

What would I do with $40,000?! I'd make a hang out place for youth. Get some good strong Christian college students and parents from the surrounding churches to be mentors and good influences for the kids. We'd hold lock-in's and have a dormatory for kids who are afraid to go home due to their abusive mother or father or brother who's in a gang or sells drugs. We'd give them a hot meal and love. Lots and lots and lots of love.
Oh yeah I can dream.

5/07/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Typed like a future youth minister, Amy. Keep dreaming. You'll do it someday.

5/07/2006  
Blogger Forky said...

Hey! This reminded me of what the Cachinator and I were talking about recently... "Christian Music Day" at Six Flags! Seriously...what sense does THAT make?

I remember my high school days working at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Christian music day was just the same as every other day. Except the girls typically wore less and there were a LOT more obnoxious kids running, screaming, pushing, and making HUGE idiots of themselves.

And what made it really funny is these same kids were usually wearing those "See You At the Pole" and "My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter" shirts. What a swell witness!

5/08/2006  
Blogger Chaotic Hammer said...

Shaun - Wow. I'm a little surprised that this entry has been posted here and hasn't really drawn more of a response. Maybe it's just me that thinks you're expressing some pretty radical thoughts...

The way I figure it, you're not really talking about a concert in Alabama or $40K. Among other things, you're really talking about the whole way we "do church" in America. And I agree that it needs to be questioned, and I agree that some things need to be seriously shaken up. Changes need to take place.

Perhaps I would urge a bit of caution when considering certain areas of this subject (this part is not really aimed at you, Shaun, just general observations related to this topic). Specifically, it would be easy to start looking at everything we have, and everything we do, and say "you know, instead of buying that lumber for a treehouse for your kids, you could have given that money to orphans; instead of buying that Toyota Camry to tote your family around in, you could have bought a Yugo, and given the rest to missionaries in El Salvador; instead of...", well you get the idea. We live in a very materially rich nation, that finds great pleasure in excess, greed and gluttony of every kind. A pencil-pusher could probably sit down and do some quick math, and demonstrate that it would be possible to end all the poverty and ills in the world by distributing the wealth of America to the rest of the world.

It probably wouldn't be economically sustainable, and it wouldn't actually solve near as much as you'd think (and it would cause tremendous fighting and wars over how to distribute it -- and to whom). But that's not really my point -- my point is that God says that we should enjoy the good things He has blessed us with, have thankful hearts, and give generously. He also says that those who are preachers of the Gospel do have a right to make a living from that work (1 Corinthians 9). So we can't really take the full total of all the money spent on a certain event, and make a simple judgement regarding how it could have or should have been spent. Each servant of God will answer to Him for how they made use of the things He entrusted to them.

We are all stewards of something God has given us -- for some it's large sums of money, for others it's a family, or a special talent, or a special skill. And yes, for some it's watching over the treasury in the Lord's house -- taking tithes and offerings, and other resources given for God's work, and using those resources efficiently. And I would be trembling before God if I were in a position like that within the Body of Christ. (I'm already trembling a bit just thinking over certain things in my life right now that I have been entrusted with...)

You're challenging a whole lot of preconceived notions about what we should be doing with what we've been given, and how we should be doing it. You're suggesting that we should be directly affecting individual lives, and not just putting on a show. You're talking about meeting the needs of real people. You're talking about letting God make real and lasting changes in the lives of people, rather than trying to use the same old methodologies, like fighting the negative trends in pop culture with slighly-less-negative trends in pop culture. You're thinking totally outside the box, and I like it. I feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit regarding things I need to do differently, and changes I need to make; but I like it.

5/08/2006  
Blogger Dave Haupert said...

Shaun, as a fellow musician, I often question it all myself. I think of whether all my efforts and hard work to do all this could be used more effectively in other areas. For me, just really getting started at my age (turning 35 this week), it's probably true I could be more effective elsewhere. If it proves to be the case, I'm game to switch. As much as I love what I'm doing, the sacrifices are big enough where it's just not worth doing unless I'm being effective for His kingdom.

But your question in the bigger picture, obviously those ministries all exist. We have a church nearby called Faith Farm, they minister to the local community in many of the ways you mentioned. And they reach a lot of people in the community - as they say, 'a church with the heart for the hurting'. But I believe God gives us diversity in our longings to serve because there is diversity in the need. Not everyone who needs Jesus is hurting financially, physically, etc. Most every day working people who don't know Christ are also needing ministering, and it's these types of events that can reach them. The average middle income Joe needs a high production value to be able to overlook the fact that they are judging Churches materialistically. Of course, like myself, once I came to receive Christ, I was able to look past how beautiful the church building was that initially drew us in the doors, and now attend and volunteer at a church that meets in a High School. Would I have been able to skip that step- I don't know if my materialistic mind would have let me!

So while yes, I can see that money and time may be used differently and even be more effective in reach greater numbers of people. But that doesn't exclude the need to reach those who can't be reached by us in those other avenues.

5/08/2006  
Anonymous jwise said...

Shaun,

I've had similar wonderings over the years about my own church. In hopes of growing attendance, our church spent $2.5 million on a new building. Our attendance grew a little, but we now find ourselves bringing in $24,000/mo in offerings and paying $13,000/mo on our mortgage. I can't help but wonder how many churches are in the same boat.

If we had instead stayed in our "not quite good enough but paid off" building, we'd have over $10K a month to put back into our community. That would be an incredible service! But we fool ourselves into thinking that new carpet and a better sound system will benefit the lost and hurting more than cold hard cash.

Sometimes I feel it's a cruel irony that those of us who see these problems, who dream such big dreams, are seldom the ones who have great resources at our disposal. Maybe it's just because I'm young.

Great post. And great encouragement from grovesfan to start with whatever you've got today.

5/08/2006  
Blogger The Cachinnator said...

I think we veered a bit off topic here. The point is that 40k on an outdated model of ministry is a bad expenditure of funds if the goal is changing lives for Christ. It's not that 40k was too much to spend, it's that any dollar amount is too much if it is spent poorly. No one said that money spent on high production value services is a waste, (I would argue that it is, but another time perhaps), if it is effective ministry. 40k for a festival of, by, and for Christians with a goal of 'conversion' is not funding effective ministry. The model stinks. Just like Forky said, are we funding things that are actually beneficial to the church and Christians today? 'Christian Youth Weekend' at 6 Flags? Seriously? (Though in that case it's probably less a bad use of ministry funds as it is a shameless soulless marketing ploy.)

As for how I'd spend 40k in my city? How about as a challenge for the youth of all the local churches to work together to match it to fund overseas ministry. We've got to teach our children that the world is bigger than their experience. That's just one suggestion.

5/08/2006  
Blogger introriff said...

I would fund a mission to represent the church to those in attendance at the Bonaroo music festival. Just so the guy holding the baby doll on the pole with the sign that reads "Jerry Garcia burns in hell" can be countered with something more positive, truthful, and more accurately depicting the Christian church to fans as they enter the venue.

5/08/2006  
Blogger Seth Ward said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5/08/2006  
Blogger Chaotic Hammer said...

Cach - interesting phrase you used, "outdated model of ministry". It's still pretty much the standard model in the American church today, isn't it? What exactly are you trying to say? :-)

In all fairness to the people at this particular music festival, I think it was a slightly different model than is typical. This time, the promoters and businesses supporting it made entry to the event FREE to the public. So in theory, any troubled soul could hear live music in the distance, wander in from the street, and hear the message, and be given a chance to accept Christ. The typical model for a Christian music festival is that a bunch of Christian people pay money at the door to get in -- and if you're not a Christian in that case, why would you pay money to have people preach to you?

Regarding amusement parks having "Christian Day" -- A few years ago, I took my wife and daughter to the Great America theme park in California. It was a nice family day -- riding rides, eating junk food, walking around being entertained. For some reason, they had a promotional thing that came with our tickets that allowed us to get in again later in the season for only $10 per person or so. We thought that was a great deal and returned a couple of months later -- and it really sucked. The lines were three times as long, we hardly got to ride anything, it was totally overcrowded, mostly with young people. We didn't even realize until halfway through the day that the cause of all this was -- you guessed it -- it was Christian Youth Day, or whatever they called it. They had concerts by Christian bands, and special discounts for youth groups, etc.

Yes, it was just a shameless ploy by the management/marketers of the park to capitalize on Christians. I don't really consider that the same thing as a Christian music festival put on by Christians, because the management at most of these amusement parks doesn't generally claim to be Christian, and is just as happy to have a Gay Day, or a Cowboy Day, or whatever, if that will draw bigger crowds.

To Dave and Seth (and any other Christian musicians on this thread) -- I consider it a good sign, a healthy spiritual condition, that you are willing to listen and to examine your motives and your methods. Nobody should try to limit whatever means the Lord chooses to use to touch lives, and spread the Gospel. I personally would be much more concerned about people in ministry who have closed ears and hardened hearts to the questions Shaun is asking. I hope you will be encouraged to serve the Lord in whatever way He puts on your heart, and will be rewarded for your willingness to submit to His will.

5/08/2006  
Blogger Max Power said...

This isn't really a new concept. Aren't we all haunted by questions like "Is it ethical for me to buy a car for $15k when I could buy one for 10k and give the other 5k to charity"?

There's almost always a better way to spend the money we do but I also know that God doens't consider it wrong to be well off. Or to buy a nice pair of shoes.

And even though the money could be helping people in Darfur, something tells me God is OK with 40k being spent so that people can have fun together for one day. God's OK with us getting together to ahve a good time - even if we don't do an alter call.

The bigger question is what we do when we're faced with an opportunity to help somebody else. How to we respond to a call to pray for Sudan? How do we respond to a call for misisonaries and cash?

I'm not a wealthy man and my personal consicience won't allow me to ever drive a 100k car.

But God's OK with us spending cash to have a good time.

I think.

I kinda think.

I think it's worth thinking about.

5/08/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

I seem to have miscommunicated that the issue is choosing between a concert and charity/releif efforts etc.

Not my intention.

Not the point.

The question at the heart of all this pondering for me is this:

Do concerts and sermons bring about the kind of "conversion" Jesus promises to bring through His Church? What is conversion? Individuals going to heaven or wholeness of relationships, neighborhoods, economies etc.



Now, max said, "I also know that God doens't consider it wrong to be well off. Or to buy a nice pair of shoes."

This is off topic - or off the topic I meant to communicate - but...You KNOW this how. Max? Would you like to pea bargain that down to "THINK."

5/08/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps, someday, we'll actually announce the gospel that Jesus announced, rather than the Campus Crusade version. (No offense to Crusaders...) Events will look a lot different then. And probably more fun.

Until then: They could've spent the money on THIS TOTALLY ROCKING evangelistic tool:

http://www.merrittministry.org/jesus.html

P.S. -- speaking of fests, Shaun, how's about you spend the morning on the radio with me on Friday, May 26 in SoFla? Let's subvert together...

Best,
Brant

5/08/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

I'd love that. Been catching up on your blog and have a post in the can awaiting posting about some of the gems of yours I missed in the last couple months.

E-mail me at shaunfanmail@bellsouth.net and let's do it.

SG

5/08/2006  
Anonymous c long said...

hmmm. check in hand. Honest. I'd pay off debt, so I can afford to offer more than a smile to those in need of only that. I get what you're saying, Shaun. We get so caught up in our big ideas that we overlook the big need all around us.

Looking at things from heaven's veiw rather than our earthly perspective will set your head spinning. It's overwhelming to look at all there is to be done just on a local level.

Right now, I'd love to sell my home and use that to pay off debt. Then I'd use that check to off for a country where people are hungering after our Jesus rather than offended by Him.

Carolyn

5/08/2006  
Blogger Loren said...

I think we need to start with defining evangelism. Or at least comes to terms with what we evangelicals have grew up with is a skewed view of evangelism.

A few weeks ago I was with 50 or so church leaders and we got on this subject and there were at least 50 or so definitions, but everyone knew that they had to take what they knew, unpack it, examine it, go to God with it and put it back together so it is more faithful.

I've gone on a bunch of mission trips with spreading the gospel as the main idea, here are some highlights:

1. 10th grade church trip to England, $3,000. Partnered with local pastor and did school outreaches.

2. college trip to Panama city beach Fl. $800. evangelized to drunk people on the beach.

3. Lead a JR high trip to Savana GA, $200. Held back pittbulls as JRhigher's painted inner city houses.

4. Homeless shelter, once a month to play my guitar and sing. Free.

Each of these trips was vastly different with different costs and God moved on all of the (imagine that)...got to run...but I'll finish this up later!

5/08/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think is what the Passion movement's intentions are....not for the music....but to bring Glory to God....any other Passion people out there?!?

5/08/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah there are passion people out there. and they are cashing $40,000 checks too.

5/08/2006  
Blogger Loren said...

So to wrap up my thoughts, I think $40,000 is a cheap way out. To live this Christian life like my Bible says, scares me (and I already "work" for God) I am attached to my american dream, and no I don't think God likes the fact that my net worth could stop people from dying today...so I've personally spent upwards of 5k gallevanting the globe, really to make myself feel better (good news is God still works through my humanity(and I am not coming down on mission trips))

Event evangelism, a week in china, spring break beach evangelism, almost seems like a band-aid...it helps and its good, but (at least for me) there is something bigger than what that band-aid can heal...and hopefully before i die it will be a little clearer, although i am afraid I already know where to start.

Just my hypocritical thoughts...

5/08/2006  
Blogger Loren said...

Alright here are some more, just throwing some logs on the fire here:

not to discredit the mystery of conversion, but there has to be more than repeating some mystical words.

The above seems like fire insurance, aren't we supposed to bring/live in the Kingdom of God here and now, not sing up and wait to die.

How much money have I spent on loving my imediate neighbors?

How does community fit into evangelism, all I ever heard about while growing up was a personal relationship with Christ.

Is converting people you will never see again faithful? Did Jesus do that?


great blogging!

5/08/2006  
Blogger Kerry Woo said...

Shaun,

I have to think the motives of the men behind Soulstock were done with a well intentioned heart and could serve as a launching pad for others to take it to the level others have suggested in the comments with a ongoing practical expression of Christ's love.

With my experience with Promise Keepers, at least in the early days, some men wanted to recreate the "conference magic" - impossible and with lots of logistics - We just have to trust that some left the Soulstock inspired to make a difference; Passion compels college students to do missions, Promise Keepers compels men to start at home.

I like what Gal 6:9:10 says "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."

For a number of years locally in Nashville, the Widows & Orphans Ministry at Belmont Church addressed the needs of single parents with oil changes, Walmart GiftCards for school supplies, and many other expressions of Christ's love - So there are many practical ways to do the little things that add up to changed lives. I saw first hand how 5 quarts of oil could give refreshing hope to a struggling single mom.

Maybe we need more Sarah MacLachlans:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzoNInZ2ClQ

5/09/2006  
Anonymous jwise said...

Shaun, I think the biggest problem at hand is that the American church thinks it's found an easy and cheap way to the Kingdom, and in doing so, has forgotten the cost of discipleship.

No more, "Go and sin no more"; no more, "Repent, for the kingdom is at hand." Now it's "Repeat these words after me, buy my book on your way out, and I hope you enjoyed your latte." We want so much to be "relevant" that we've made a fast-food, dirt-cheap, all-the-pleasure-you-want gospel.

I think the intent of the SoulStock people is good -- to see people "saved". The problem is that Jesus came to save us from Sin and Death... from all evil everywhere. We want others to be saved, but salvation to us is a nice house, 2 BMWs, 3 kids all playing soccer and lacrosse, and a fat retirement account.

I am astonished that we are so quickly deserting the one who called us by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel -- which is really no gospel at all. Evidently, some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the Gospel of Christ.

We've strayed a long way off course, haven't we?

5/09/2006  
Blogger Amy said...

This is an interesting topic, and not a new one.
I think it's wonderful that we question the things we do, and constantly look to better ourselves. The beautiful thing about the Lord is that He uses all our bumbling attempts.
The excess in America still shocks me sometimes. A beautiful new church building often sparks the thought..."starving children in Ethiopia" into my mind. So I think I understand the feelings driving these questions.
Evangelism without a plan for discipleship seems counter productive to me. Ok, this is sort of randomness, but that's what I thought.

5/09/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

The bad news: An Athens, Alabama radio station is linking to this post from their web site.

The good news: A recent survey showed that only three listeners to Oldie's radio own a computer AND know what a blog is.

I think we're safe.

SG

5/09/2006  
Anonymous Shooting myself in the foot said...

40K

So I'd do a concert.

I'd get a local speaker(s) and/or musicians. Ask them to volunteer.

I'd ask the same for equipment, lights, sound, food etc.

Then I'd take the 40K and work with the team that was going to be doing the counseling, I'd pay for their time off of work or any cost they had involved in that as well as the follow up that ensues.

5/09/2006  
Blogger introriff said...

I want to clarify my statement made earlier about Bonaroo, and shed some light on what I saw and felt there as my wife and I volunteered to host a local booth promoting that community. It was free, I didn't get to hear any of the music, and the atmosphere there was not as "bad" as the media had made it out to be. If you have ever been to any secular outdoor concert, I didn't see anything that I had not seen before in a similar event. I was not offended, yet not endorsing or participating in some of the behavior that I saw there either. I wouldn't take my kids, but that is my choice isn't it.

The one and only thing that stuck out in my memory and hurt me to see and hear surrounding the event was this gentleman that I previously referred to preaching his message of "don't go in there, or else!" I don't believe that, I don't believe that some of the people passing this guy believed that he represented the body of the church. However, someone walked away with a more bitter taste in their mouth about preaching and the church because of this guy ranting about something that he didn't have a clue about.

What else I saw there was an opportunity. There were a group of acoustic drummers that just started playing, and a crowd gathered around and was dancing and listening. This was before any of the main event artists began. At events like this, people are there to listen to music. Some really don't care what kind, as long as it is good. This group of drummers playing, was all that was needed to draw a crowd of listeners. It was casual and if people stayed they stayed and if they walked away it went unnoticed. I saw the same outside of the venue areas for such an opportunity to just play, draw a crowd and share Christ with them in song and in between songs right there on the spot. Take it or leave it, peacefully without confrontation and in a format that they are there to "consume" and are paying to see, yet an opportunity to use that media to deliver a sliver of Christ's message to them in a format that they are expecting and are drawn to. That was what I initially saw.

My comments earlier was based on the one thing that bothered me the most, and the potential opportunity that a small group(s) of musicians with a message could make in a few lives if a few decided to listen, and maybe stick around and talk in between.

As we were leaving our post, and the venue, I saw all of the people and common area to setup and witness through song to people who were there to hear music. Instead I saw this guy ruining the possibilty of such a mission to occur with his failing attempt to discourage people from attending.

I can't change people, but Christ can. I can only plant a seed and let the Holy Ghost tend to it from there. I guess I am troubled because of not being able (no guitar in hand) to seize the moment in a way that would have been more acceptable to everyone.

Peace.

-ike

5/09/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just stumbled upon this blog and wanted to join the convo.

Some friends and I have been given the opportunity to participate in the start-up of a (for lack of a better term..)'20-something's ministry' with the intent of 'reaching the lost'

Our biggest concern is that this will turn into a country club for the college-age Christians in our church.

There have been several converstaions regarding how to engage unbelievers....we always seem to settle on one thing: relationships.

$40,000 is no chump change - that could go towards renting a facility downtown to meet in, or sponsoring the homeless youth shelter...or maybe even the intern's paycheck(ha.)

But how much can money accomplish without relationships?

5/10/2006  
Anonymous jwise said...

Anonymous -- well put. A question that I've been chewing on (and perhaps this should become a thread another day at another place/post) is, How much of "teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you" can we do over radio/movies/TV/concerts/etc?

These all seem to be great tools for sparking thought and conversation, but is Jesus more concerned that we're "godly entertainment attenders" or "those who feed the hungry, dress the naked, heal the sick, and fund the needy"?

Early comments in this post suggested that paying $40,000 for a concert was the "easy way out". I agree. It gives the feeling that you're "doing something", without requiring any serious sacrifice.

If a man comes to my home looking for a bed, I can tell him there's a motel a couple miles away. I can feel like I "gave" of my time and kindness to give him directions and wish him well. I feel like I've been a saint. But I think God would be far more pleased with a man who says, "Here's a bed.. here's a meal.. tomorrow we'll start looking for a job for you. Until then, if you wish, this is your home."

It's in DOING these things that we train our "disciples". We show our sons and daughters by asking them to participate right along with us. We teach them very little by showing them a movie or singing a song about how great Christian life is.

So again, How much of "teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you" can we do over radio/movies/TV/concerts/etc? I don't mean that rhetorically, either. More chewing...

5/10/2006  
Anonymous jonathan said...

$40K would certainly help this cause...

Magdalene House

5/11/2006  
Anonymous Lori said...

Why do you do what you do? Are you doing it for the true reason you should be? Reaching others for Jesus should be your #1 goal here. Not complaining about how money should be spent! Haven't you heard that music reaches the unreached? A lot faster than opening up church doors reaches them...obviously since there are NUMEROUS churches in North Alabama! Yes it would be well and good to use money for other causes but Soulstock is about reaching lost souls for Jesus! About bringing those who have fallen away from their walk and who need to be brought back. Its about giving glory to GOD! Not to you or to the fact that you spent "so much money." If you are seriously that worried about that money being used in a way you don't seem fit, then maybe you should stop "entertaining" and start donating your money elsewhere. You need to think about what you said and realize how that comes across. I read your blog and do not feel you are a Christian glorifying God with your music. I feel you are someone trying to make a dollar and change the world but you don't want to win souls to Christ!? THAT should be your number 1 goal as a musician...AS A CHRISTIAN!

5/15/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's what you said: The bad news: An Athens, Alabama radio station is linking to this post from their web site.

The good news....this blog is being spread to every person that can be reached in whatever means possible. You are definitely not an artist that is in this for God!

5/15/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot believe what I am reading. I am a 55 year old grandma, and I am appalled at you. Shaun, why did you even come to the concert if you thought it was not the "right" Christian way of spreading the news. I cannot think of a better way to gather young people in mass numbers to hear the word of God. You have no idea how many seeds were planted by this concert. It seems to me that all you care about doing is stirring the pot......not very Christian!!!

5/15/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is my advice to you. You need to quit worshipping the almighty dollar and yourself...God is the One you should be focusing on...all things to GLORIFY GOD...that is what we are put here for...I for one hope and wish that you either change your ways and thoughts or get out of the Christian music business because you are misleading others and showing them what a Christian IS NOT. I can honestly say I am not a fan of yours.

But yet you are still in my prayers...with thoughts as you have written and no telling what actions and spoken words you have shared with believers and non-believers...you need the prayer because YOU and only YOU will answer to God as to why you led so many astray.

5/15/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Thank you, anonymous, anonymous and anonymous for your concern. Sorry I offended. My intent was to provoke conversation about BETTER ways to represent God in our communities while at the same time hailing the SoulFest in Athens a GOOD and well-intentioned way to do so. It is precisely BECAUSE I have played numerous events of this kind that I question whether it is the BEST kind of event to hold or whether an event of any kind is the best use of our time, unity and money.

To answer the question, I payed this festival BECAUSE I believe it is a good event. At home in my own community however, I am involved in better: service, community, paying off the debts of others, buying sonogram machines etc etc. These things I believe would represent the character of Christ and redeem ALL of a community and a person with concern that goes beyond whether or not they escape hell. Salvation is not from hell alone. It is from all brokeness: poverty, sickness, addiction, etc. It is my job as a representative of Christ to preach the salving of all things not just saving from flames. And it is my job to be about bringing this salvation to all people, not just the young music lover.

Unlike your opinion of me, I do believe you three love God and love people. We simply disagree on what salvation looks like and what BEST is. But I'm thankful the gospel is preached in any way it is preached. With an attitude of gratefulness it is certainly not wrong of me to question if there are in fact BETTER ways to go about preaching it: service to those in need in our communities (as Jesus modeled for us) and not just singing and preaching might be part of the answer.

Find an alter call given by Jesus in scripture. it isn't there. Doesn't mean they're bad or useless. Just not what was modeled for us by God in the flesh. What he did was heal, feed, forgive, and then preach to the religious to do the same. Interesting contrast between out version of best and His own. And THAT is all we are discussing here. Nothing was prescribed by me. I'm here to provoke us to think and talk about how we could move from good to best.

Come back any time to join the discussion.

SG

5/15/2006  
Anonymous Nan said...

I have read and re-read your blog as well as the comments under them and keep coming to the same conclusion. You are throwing all Christian concerts into the same catagory with Soulstock. I know each one of these "small army of Christian men" that planned and PRAYED about and brought Soulstock to Athens and I promise you will not find a group of men more dedicated to being in the will of God than they are. I think God's Word makes it clear that we are not all the same part of the Body. The ones called to start these medical clincs, to buy sonogram machines, to participate in charity/relief programs are doing what God has called them to do. At the same time, the men involved in Soulstock are doing what God has called them to do as a group. Each of these men and their families are VERY involved in other mission efforts, other charity/relief programs through their local church or on an individual basis. The mission statement of Soulstock is "To plant the seed of Jesus Christ in the hearts of our youth and to promote a spirit of unity among all who put their trust in Him" as I believe Soulstock truly does. I guess I'm just a little confused as to how you think this is such a waste of money but yet you continue to make and sell CDs and do concerts. Another fact that you may not be aware of is that all money collected over the amount needed IS donated to ministries. They do not keep money from one year to the next but invest it in ministries that do a lot of the same things you mentioned should be done with the money. There is no way you could know everything that God has done to confirm in the hearts of all involved that they are right where He wants them to be. Until HE tells that small army of Christian men otherwise, I have no doubt that Soulstock will continue to exist. If and when He gets ready for something else to happen, it will. Until then, may God continue to use those men and Soulstock to plant the seed of Jesus Christ in the hearts of our youth and to promote a spirit of unity among all who put their trust in Him. To God be the glory.

5/15/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From reading responses here I think something should be said that was left unsaid...the point with any Christian event, whether free or not...its to reach the lost. No you won't reach a lot of them by opening churches and doing what you suggest...music reaches them. FREE reaches them. The message then is able to touch their heart and they are able to get something they didn't have before...a chance to learn about God! That is the point of life! Charity is all good and fine. But none of that matters as long as there are so many people out there still LOST! Any means should be used to reach them...even (gasp) by a FREE concert Shaun.

5/15/2006  
Anonymous Living Life With My Eyes to the Sky said...

SG said: "Find an alter call given by Jesus in scripture. it isn't there. Doesn't mean they're bad or useless. Just not what was modeled for us by God in the flesh. What he did was heal, feed, forgive, and then preach to the religious to do the same."

Ok...yes that is true. BUT even Jesus did not go individually to each and every person and share the plan of salvation...His love...with them...He preached to the multitudes! An alter call is a good way to draw those forward who heard, received, and accepted to allow area churches, pastors, counselors the chance to meet those people and talk with them further. They are not left to fend for themselves with no churches following up on them.

To everyone..just remember...its not all about you, doing good, paying off debts (which by the way SG...I have some...why not pay those off for me so I can do better in my life in reaching others?), its not about what charity you support, or even HOW you reach people...whether it be one on one, music, preaching, missions, etc....its about God. Period. GOD. Nuff said.

5/15/2006  
Anonymous Christian Drummer said...

Why do you slam the ones that came to get a blessing from you. Shaun, c'mon man, think. Sure, you have to take money and you have to use it to properly take care of artists who won't do a concert for free. Do they do this everyday?? No. There are months and months and months of planning and prayer for this. Reaching the world daily should be every Christ followers goal for it is what we are called to do. If this left such a bad taste in your mouth, did you pray and seek God's will before coming? Because honestly, if you had such a bitter reaction then through discernment, you should have seen that this was "a bad deal". Something made you do the concert...or did you just feel sorry for those poor Alabama folks?

They believed that bringing you in, would be a special treat for those who believed and that you would reaffirm them. They also believed that they would use this as a mission to reach those in their backyard that might not know Him. So rather than getting some local band that, while can play and do an awesome job, they did go to you, the professional, so that you could offer your wisdom as a missionary in the field of music.

On the subject of money, yeah, it is expensive to put on a good Christian show, but they believed in you enough to warrant it worth the money. I am sure they would have loved to have spent less and yes, feed another organization...or send someone to college, but that takes us to another issue. Why just one? Was Jesus just talking to one? Did He not say that if 2 or more are gathered in my name that I am with them also? A concert reaches more people and can impact them eternally for Christ. Missions.

If you were concerned about the money and how it was appropriated, maybe you should have chosen to donate your cost of the concert back to the organization and specified that it go to something that you designate.

I bet that if they were able to raise that money and all the artists and all the vendors and everyone said they would give of themselves for free, they would probably take that money and put it somewhere else that would do what you outlined. But they raised enough to get the job done.

On Salvation, yes, people need to be saved and saved from everything...sometimes even themselves. How do you do that? Well there are lots of ways. As a musician, you write and you pray and you write and you pray some more. Then you go to the studio and you record and you pray....and as the process goes on you pray more and more and you pray that somehow this round piece of plastic with aluminum foil in it all wrapped up with data in ones and zeros that costs all of 25 cents to make, some how reaches someone and hits them there and brings them to Christ in someway. You may not be able to reach down and personally speak life to millions, but, on that CD, that piece of material, that someone bought for 14.99, you may have just saved someone from dying tonight and maybe, just maybe when SoulStock decided to do a concert that had music and was free, maybe, that was all it needed to be. You made sacrifices, so did they. We all have to follow what Christ asks us to do. Yours was to be a Christian musician; theirs is a yearly Chrisian concert.

How do you want people so sing "Welcome Home" from their heart or just to sing it? And those that have never heard it. Shouldn't that make an impact? What if you didn't come to this festival? What if that was the only time someone could have received a blessing and that song was the way to do it? Shaun, its not just words, and you know this

But neither of you are limited to just one just that and that should be understood too.

Post to my post if you want to talk about this by email. I am not here to attack you but from one musician to another, I am here to chat if you want to...

5/15/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Nan said…
“You are throwing all Christian concerts into the same catagory with Soulstock”

I say…
Can you show me where I did the throwing? I did not intend to lump SoulStock in with all concerts given by Christian artists. I regret that misunderstanding on your part and/or miscommunicating on mine.

Nan said…
“I know each one of these "small army of Christian men" that planned and PRAYED about and brought Soulstock to Athens and I promise you will not find a group of men more dedicated to being in the will of God than they are”

I say…
This is precisely why I’m surprised at the negative response by Athenians to this post of mine. Because they love God and love people, and because they want to do what is best to bring heaven to earth, I believe they should welcome public discussion about what the best ways of doing this may be. Defensiveness on their part – and I don’t know that comments here represent their feelings on this issue – would seem to imply that they are interested in doing what’s always been done and not asking from time to time if there is better out there for them to be about doing in their community.

Nan said…
“The ones called to start these medical clincs, to buy sonogram machines, to participate in charity/relief programs are doing what God has called them to do.”

I say…
We were all called to do these things. Loving the least in society as if they were Christ Himself is a Christians desire and duty. It is not for some to do but for all. The verse about the body you quote is not referring to specialized service to the non-Christian world but to specialized service to one’s once community of Christians called the church. In other words there are certain activities within the church reserved for specific individuals and that is the focus of this verse. It is in the midst of a discussion on gifting by God for the benefit of the congregation – the Body. We are ALL “called” to meet the multiple needs of the least in society. No exceptions. That does not mean we cannot have a concert as well. Which is why I called the festival “good”. It was. It is. The post was about asking what is best.

Nan said…
“The mission statement of Soulstock is "To plant the seed of Jesus Christ in the hearts of our youth and to promote a spirit of unity among all who put their trust in Him" as I believe Soulstock truly does.”

I say…
That is a wonderful biblical mission statement. Mine is: “To provoke and inspire Christians to increasingly know God and continually make Him known across the street and around the world by thinking and living like Christ alongside others in a community of Christ followers.” Now, that’s also biblical and good. But HOW our missions are carried out daily has to be constantly examined and discussed with other believers so that we do our missions in the best possible way. I accept anyone’s opinion or questions regarding the way I carry out my mission. It should be noted, however, that the mission for SoulStock as told to me by two of the organizers what that SoulStock is an event where “we want different churches to come and worship together.” That alone makes for a different kind of event than what I experienced.

Nan said…
“I guess I'm just a little confused as to how you think this is such a waste of money…”

I say…
Woe. I never said that or thought it so I can’t answer the question. The post was about very good versus ASKING what might be better or best. No one called the event a waste. It was not.

Nan said…
“Another fact that you may not be aware of is that all money collected over the amount needed IS donated to ministries. They do not keep money from one year to the next but invest it in ministries that do a lot of the same things you mentioned should be done with the money.”

I say…
Fantastic! I asked two volunteers if they ever collect more money than they can use and they told me they didn’t think so. I said but what if by some miracle that happens. They said they did not know. It’s great to know now. Good to hear.

Nan said…
“There is no way you could know everything that God has done to confirm in the hearts of all involved that they are right where He wants them to be.”

I say…
I didn’t say I could. I don’t think I do. Again, I have never said this event isn’t good and doesn’t have results. It IS good and it DID get results. What I did in this post – or tried apparently poorly to do – was use this event as an example of one approach to evangelism and then ask if there is a better way. That’s all. I never intended to offend those at this event or cast doubt on the intentions of those involved in it’s planning. I love the men who planned this event. It is the best event of it’s kind. I’m wondering if there are other or even better KINDS of evangelism for the time and money spent. I tried – and this I did effectively – to use this event and my questions about what might be better to get folks thinking about their own towns and the kinds of ministry they could be doing there. As I do not know the hearts of those creating this event you do not know my heart in creating this post. I regret that my heart meant on thing and my fingers typed another. I obviously did a horrible job communicating what I intended. For that I am deeply regretful.

Anonymous said…
“the point with any Christian event, whether free or not...its to reach the lost.”

I say…
I have been making music and teaching professionally for a decade now. I can confidently say that FEW Christian events have as their aim the direct communication of the gospel to non-Christians. This is a misconception that keeps evangelistically minded folks sending money to Christian radio stations of course but they know that while there are stories of non-Christians coming to Christ through Christian radio and Christian concerts, it is not the rule but the exception. This has happened at my shows but it is not my focus. My focus is on provoking Christians to fulfill the great Commission themselves – to know God and then make Him known – themselves, without professionals, stages and lights. Every Christian is a minister. Billy Graham once said that if Christians would share their faith with those around them he wouldn’t need to. I’m trying in my ministry to provoke us all to take Mr.Graham’s job.

Anonymous said…
“Charity is all good and fine. But none of that matters as long as there are so many people out there still LOST!”

I say…
I understand your point in that ALL poverty in the world comes from the poverty in the human soul. All brokenness comes from the busted human heart, I say this from stage most nights. But yet the mission of Jesus, from His own mouth at the inauguration of His public ministry was, “"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." (Luke 4:18-19) The sign of God’s “favor” or salvation wasn’t a sermon, though Jesus preached to the religious looking for the Messiah’s coming, but healing, freedom and release from poverty. This was good news not just or even primarily for the soul but for the whole person. God’s bringing of shalom – wholeness – the whole person was the salvation Christ came to preach. Only when we reduce this salvation to a future Heaven and an escape from Hell do we choose to major on the sermon and the alter call and minor on salvation from poverty, sickness and bondage of all kinds. An alter call prayer is only one dimension of the salvation and power of God. It is skewed NOT to think of ending abortion, feeding a family or building a home as something other than salvation. It is the salvation Christ came to bring – Good News!

Christian Drummer said…
“Why do you slam the ones that came to get a blessing from you”

I say,.,,
I did not intend to. That was not my aim. Again, I have no disrespect for these men and their event. I praise God he used it. I am simply asking if it is the only way and the best way of doing evangelism. I am provoking us to think about the scope of salvation and how to bring that to our communities as a non-event driven ministry. Obviously I have miscommunicated this. You all, I am assuming, are intelligent people, so the only explanation for this venom now heaped on me is that I’ve earned it by typing unclearly. I apologize for that and hope these answers clarify somewhat for you.

I will gladly answer any other questions you have in hopes of making peace.

Thanks for the chance to do so.

-Shaun

5/15/2006  
Anonymous Lori said...

From what I'm reading you are back pedaling fast. You DID make remarks about Soulstock and the cost that had to be paid out for you to come and how that money should have been used differently. I do not doubt you love God but you seem to have a misconstrued way of showing it and showing your Christianity. You are all about the weak, meek, poor people but its not about that. God called us to reach out to EVERYONE in whatever means necessary. Music is one avenue. A free event is an excellent avenue. Yes "Athenians" are getting perturbed because your original remarks/blog came off as saying you felt put out by having to pour $$ into your trip to Athens when you feel that money should have gone elsewhere. Be careful with your choice of words next time and you will not have this kind of reaction. As it is you have already put your foot in your mouth (maybe unintentional but its done nonetheless). And from what I understand this isn't the first time you have said something in the wrong manner...as a Christian you are to reach out and share the gospel but you are also not to lead people astray which is what you seem to be doing (in my opinion gathered from what I have read here and from what I understand you have said at other times).

From my reading your post originally and drawing my thoughts together about what you said it was immediately evident that you thought the festival was good BUT you felt it was ineffective use of time, money, and effort. Others have apparently drawn the same conclusion about your remarks from reading your statements.

I hope you are able to reach others in a good way somehow but maybe you should stick to singing. As it stands I will not be purchasing any CDs of yours or attending any events you will be at simply because I do not feel my money should help support you in any way since I do not agree with a lot of your views.

God Bless and Good luck.

5/16/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

I think other people in Athens have drawn such conclusions - people are obviously close to the people putting on SoulStock and to those attending it. I've not had a "complaint" about this post from anyone else - that I know of. As far as my having said things in a wrong manner before...I am human and do make mistakes. Posting at least once a day for a year now I'm bound to have have made a mistake or two. Not sure with mistakes you're referring to.

Again no one has quoted me - no one has copied and pasted a line from this post here in the comments - as saying anything negative about this event or those putting it on. I did no such thing. I believe I could have said things better. I live and learn. I apologized for not being clearer. But I've expressed my intent for this post over and over again. And yet you guys continue to insist that I've attacked and been "put out" when there are NO lines in this post cited as evidence.

What's interesting to me is how the argument of effectiveness only seems to be applied in one direction here. You guys have argued that because SoulStock works I shouldn't have questioned if there is a better model for public evangelism. But this post has generated excellent discussion and been read by almost as many people as attended SoulStock and impacted many of them to serve in their communities. Yet, IT can be questioned. Do you guys not see the double standard in this? What I've said is that I, and those with me, wondered out loud if there was a better way. We've grown up in church - all of us - and two of us have been Southern Baptist ministers for years. One of us is a third generation pastor. We've taken the ministry classes. We've done the church staff thing. We're not talking from a lack of experience here. Add to that that I've been playing events like SoulStock now for six years. I've had enough experience with this, given such events a chance and then some long enough to formulate some questions about it all. Can I not ask those questions here and try to answer them with other people who've grown up in church and love their communities and are looking for ways to "impact" them?

Or is it that I asked those questions about YOUR event that angers you so? Imagine if there were a post about some other event somewhere else in the world. Would you be so angry with me? Or are you too close to this situation to give me the benefit of the doubt?

I'm asking you to. I don't know how else to say it guys. I intended no harm to SoulStock. No one has quoted a single instance of me saying anything negative about SoulStock. It's not there in this post. I have nothing negative to say about the event or those creating it. IT IS GOOD. What is best?


SG

5/16/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really think we're all striving for the same thing here and we're letting Satan take our eyes off that. He is the one "winning" here, not all of us with different views on how the gospel is to be shared. The way I see it, we all have to be accountable to God...not each other... with what we do concerning our time and our money. Let's not let the enemy be the one that comes away from this with the victory.

5/16/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Appalled that $40,000 and all this cooperation was poured into a field and a few hours of music and talking because it was believed by local pastors and concert organizers to be the best representation, the most convincing announcement, of the true of the story of Jesus. It best represented God to man - they thought. It would bring about conversion."

No, you didn't come right out and say that what was done was wrong but this is just one instance where it was inferred. "Appalled," "a few hours of music and talking," "it was BELIEVD," "they thought." You have to see how this came across to the people that are just reading the words and not knowing your heart when you wrote them. That's the whole trouble with blogs and such....all we get are the words. I just want you to see how those words could be taken in the wrong way.

5/16/2006  
Anonymous Lori said...

Anonymous that quoted SG....Amen and Thank you!

"You guys have argued that because SoulStock works I shouldn't have questioned if there is a better model for public evangelism."

That is not the argument here. The argument is that YOU said that money that you spent should have gone elsewhere...this has nothing to do with whether or not Soulstock works but about your complaint about how money is spent...if you feel the money was misused or should not have been used for this event, you should have thought about it and prayed about it beforehand, researched the event, and deemed the money to be used in a different manner and not come to Soulstock. Go back and read your original post with an open, unbiased mind and see what conclusions you draw.

"$3000 paid for a rental van, two tanks of gas, Brian to road manage and book the gig, my manager, three musicians to accompany me, per diem for all of us and a large gift to Uncle Sam. That's a lot of money.

Add to my fee the cost of the gigantic stage, the rental of the field, the crew running the top-notch sound and lighting rigs, catering, bottled water, the cost of artists pricier than I and a preacher - and well, we estimate the total cost of the event at around $40,000."

And you felt the need to itemize each cost and the manner in which it was presented showed us that you felt it was a waste of money and it was a burden on you.

The original message you are trying to make clear...that $40,000 could be used for so much in other places to evangelize, convert, teach, heal, help, lead, guide, love, etc...Yes, that message is there and yes money is needed for that and yes good points have been made on all accounts regarding that issue and yes we are called to care for and lead those people (all people)...but thats not the issue....You then complained about the cost and how the money seemed to be used ineffectively. That made the original point you were trying to make become a lesser subject here because it seems this event was a burden to you. It seems like you are more concerned with $$$ than with the message the people at any free (to the public) music event would receive(again, that opinion I draw from reading your blog...and the statement quoted above).

"I've not had a "complaint" about this post from anyone else - that I know of"

Have you been reading the responses? While there are several comments, there are also several complaints as to the issue with $$ and Soulstock.

Everyone makes mistakes. We are all human. The point...think before you speak (or write) and make sure what you are saying will be taken the way intended.

5/16/2006  
Anonymous Christian Drummer said...

"I am simply asking if it is the only way and the best way of doing evangelism. I am provoking us to think about the scope of salvation and how to bring that to our communities as a non-event driven ministry. Obviously I have miscommunicated this. You all, I am assuming, are intelligent people, so the only explanation for this venom now heaped on me is that I’ve earned it by typing unclearly. I apologize for that and hope these answers clarify somewhat for you."

Well of course you want to find new ways to reach the lost, but you have to bring the Gospel to the People. Sure, why not go the the places that no one goes and reach those people that no one sees, the ones that no one talks to. I agree, I believe if you are a Christian...a True Believer you would never ever give up the opportunity to witness and minister to anyone and everyone who asks for it. You must also watch your motives and check them with what Jesus asks of us. If this were just a money pit that then those are the wrong motives. If we play to just Christians, then we are preaching to the choir and we get that nod of "I know what you mean" but even in that moment, you have to cut into the quick of everyone and ask them to evaluate their life. For me, it is about sharing with everyone.

Is there another way, sure, go for it. As Christians we have to find new ways to reach people. If satan can come out of the darkness in the form of beauty that kills, then we as Christians have to try to come up with ways to first, identify the enemy and then come up with ways to combat satan's evil.

So sure, yeah, 40 grand would go to any number of things. But for a concert that reached those that just came for a concert and then heard you shake their foundation as you said you were there to do, then, yes the money is justified because, you should have come to do the work you said you would do....

No matter the cost....

Guys we can agree to disagree all day long...many of our responses were generated to do what you were asking...biggest question why...and I think that has been answered. But I think for me, I just wanted to come in and say what Christian Festivals usually are supposed to be for.

Absolutely, people are unscrupulous and many have no morals, and yet, they put on a "Christian Concert" but have no intention of seeing the lost impacted. To those people, don't put on the event...but even in that, "God uses cracked pots" and he will work in mysterious ways.
So then what do you do? So let's say that for some unknown reason you are in the same bill as Collective Soul and they say..just do your thing...don't change...and you have 1:30 for it all. Do you turn that opportunity down, or do you pull out all the stops to reach anyone and everyone? For me, absolutely.

I don't mean to speak in venom, but I also, like you, want people to dig down and think about what is being said and how does all of this Glorify our Creator?

In all things do everything you can to bring Glory to God...Dig down deeper to ask the questions that you don't want to ask and fight for everyone that do not know about Christ and then fight all the more for those that do and have strayed....for they are on a darker road than most of those who do not know Him.

5/16/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Non-Christians in America over age 18 generally do not come to "Christian" concerts/events or listen to "Christian" radio stations.

This is just one reason I believe there are better models of evangelism, including, but not limited to, the model given us by Jesus of ministering to the whole person relationally.

More later.

5/16/2006  
Blogger Brody Harper said...

I read this post when it first was on here and found it difficult to respond to simply because of the basic question that Shaun was throwing out. "What does great look like?" I think that is a fair question. No, I don't live in Athens, Alabama. No, I wasn't immediately (or now) offended at Shaun's comments about what "great looks like". From what I can tell, Several "anonymous" people have turned this into a Shaun Groves bashing post, because they don't want to hear that the event they are involved in may not be what the 21st Century American Church needs most right now. Isn't that the question or is there some translation that I haven't read into enough to understand?

Shaun asked, "What does great look like"? Does "great" look like SoulStock? If you think so, then post that. Shaun never once said it was a waste of money, waste of time, waste of resources, or anything like that.

To me it seems several people are expecting and hoping for pats on the back after a long day of music and fun, and are getting offended when the truth of the matter looks them in the face. Do I think festivals are a waste of money? In most cases, no. I believe they serve a purpose that reaches the "church" on a broad scale. I grew up going to festivals and summer camps and always left with the "camp high" ready to take on a world of sinners, until I was home for a week, and the "Jesus songs" were not stuck in my head anymore and I was back to my old self. Does that make it a waste of money? I don't think so. But what really mattered, (and I think everyone on here bashing Shaun needs to think about) is that relationship with a strong believer that kept me walking upright and keeping me accountable.

I dare say every single person on here that has declared to "never support" Shaun and "not be purchasing any CDs of yours or attending any events you will be at simply because I do not feel my money should help support you in any way", need to stop and realize that at some point in your life you were reached out to by something other than a Christian Music Festival. That may be the place that you were saved, that may be the place that you choose to minister now, but at some point there was a relationship that affected your life strongly for Christ. It's the relationship that Jesus wants with us and wants us to have with others. Shaun never said that music festivals were bad. He never said that SoulStock was bad. All he asked was, "does the Church of the 21st Century need something more?" And I believe it does.

My advise to everyone on this post getting their holy-noses bent out of shape, because someone doesn't think everything they do is amazing, would be to look at the bigger picture of things. Step back and realize that Shaun is not (and wasn't) accusing you of failing. He was simply asking if there is more that could be done.

This is my first time responding to this post, because I don't have an answer. I don't know what I would do with $40,000. What I see here is a musician who has been blessed enough to do what he loves for a living, and blessing people all the while. I also see a minister who, at the sake of putting his reputation and profession on the line, is asking if the "Church" as a whole could be doing more for Christ. I also see a bunch of people taking it personally, and lashing out because they aren't getting the pats on the back that they think they deserve.

I think what Shaun asked was a perfectly valid question and the first several responses thought that also.

To the "Anonymous" person who posted:

"Here is my advice to you. You need to quit worshipping the almighty dollar and yourself...God is the One you should be focusing on...all things to GLORIFY GOD...that is what we are put here for...I for one hope and wish that you either change your ways and thoughts or get out of the Christian music business because you are misleading others and showing them what a Christian IS NOT. I can honestly say I am not a fan of yours.

Seriously??! Did you get offended because you were at Soulstock and were converted and totally disagree with what Shaun asked? Or were you involved in putting on a cool concert and are now offended because your judgment was questioned?

To the "Anonymous" person who posted:

"No you won't reach a lot of them by opening churches and doing what you suggest...music reaches them. FREE reaches them."

What a load of garbage! How many times is a FREE CONCERT used to reach people in the book of Acts? Funny, I remember Jesus saying, "Go and make disciples” not "Say it's free, and trick people into becoming disciples". That was just a dumb comment, I'm sorry.

Lori you said:

"From what I'm reading you are back pedaling fast. You DID make remarks about Soulstock and the cost that had to be paid out for you to come and how that money should have been used differently."

Shaun never said the money "SHOULD" have been used differently. He simply asked COULD it have been used differently. That's a big difference. And after reading this over and over, I haven't seen him "backpedal" once.
He is defending himself restating the same things he said earlier that have somehow offended the State of Alabama.

It amazes me that this much time and effort is being spent on a BLOG post that has offended a group that put on a concert. I'm sure the festival was great. I'm sure there will be another one next year, (most likely minus Shaun Groves), and that will be great too. But what if someone read this and begins to think differently? What if someone realizes there may be a better way? What if someone spends from now until the next Soulstock talking to their neighborhood about Christ? Would it be worth it? Or should we just put on another great show next year?

brody

5/16/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off Brody, no one is personally "bashing" SG. We are upset about HIS WORDING (if you would go back and actually read some of the responses you will see that most of the upset is caused by HIS WORDING (which he has since apologized for).

Secondly...
"Several "anonymous" people have turned this into a Shaun Groves bashing post, because they don't want to hear that the event they are involved in may not be what the 21st Century American Church needs most right now."

He wanted discussion on what people thought needed to be done...he got it. People will never agree w/ one another on any topic, much less that one. No one is bashing him because of not wanting to hear about the event not being what is needed...go back and read ALL the comments closely and you might see...its about his WORDING in talking about the cost...if you will see most say that YES there are areas of need and that as Christians we are called....but it was the way it seemed (by HIS WORDING) that he seemed put out or burdened by having to put forward that money to come to this event.


"need to stop and realize that at some point in your life you were reached out to by something other than a Christian Music Festival."

No, personally it wasn't a Christian Music Festival. I have only been to a couple and those were recent. MY FAMILY and CHURCH reached out to me. CDs reached out to me. Radio reached out to me.

"Seriously??! Did you get offended because you were at Soulstock and were converted and totally disagree with what Shaun asked? Or were you involved in putting on a cool concert and are now offended because your judgment was questioned?"

I was not at Soulstock this year due to personal family circumstances, I was not involved in it at all. I know it is a free event which draws thousands of people in and entertains with music and fellowship w/out having to worry about paying to get in. For those of us who suffer w/ financial problems, yes that is amazing.


"What a load of garbage! How many times is a FREE CONCERT used to reach people in the book of Acts? Funny, I remember Jesus saying, "Go and make disciples” not "Say it's free, and trick people into becoming disciples". That was just a dumb comment, I'm sorry."

How in the world can you compare today's issues and economics and the fact that it costs $$$ to do anything, including going to concerts, with thousands of years ago??? I know A BUNCH of people who have become Christians now because they were invited to an event like Soulstock, it cost them nothing, but a seed was planted, questions were asked and they have since turned their lives around! How in the world can YOU say that is bad?!? Did you read the rest of that comment? Apparently not or you wouldn't have taken that out of context. As you say about my comment...that was dumb but not on my part, on YOURS.

You apparently have never been affected by something like Soulstock or any concert of that sort where it DOES reach people. You are totally missing the point that was being made previously and I will not take any more time trying to explain. There is obviously no getting thru to some that are oblivous to real people who get affected by these events. You don't just have to go out and reach the poor and the lame. There are those people that Soulstock and other similar festivals reach (even the lost). I hope you get to experience the real thing one day.

5/17/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

I've said all I can and honestly feel the disagreements have gone as far as is healthy. We disagree. I worded things poorly. The end from my perspective.

But let's move forward with a discussion of what is best.

Let me ask a serious question of those who attended and support SoulStock and events like it for the purpose of evangelism: Why would a non-Christian who does not attend church choose to come to a "Christian" event starring a pastor and three Christian musicians they've likely never heard of? My guess is that such a person is more often than not invited by a Christian? Am I wrong in that assumption? If I am not, then I am wondering this: Why does that Christian friend invite their non-Christian pal to a "Christian" event like SoulStock so that they can be told the story of Jesus by a "star" or a "professional" INSTEAD of telling their friend about Jesus themselves?

Again, there is nothing wrong with hearing about Jesus at an event. Events like Billy Graham Crusades and church services are powerful tools in God's belt. But for a year before Billy Graham comes to a town he sends an advance team in to tell local Christians not to wait for him to arrive to tell their friends about Christ. he tells them to do it themselves. And he says publicly that if Christians would take that advice there would be no need for his crusades. NO need. Not LESS need, but NO need. He wants to be put out of business by Christians doing evangelism on their own.

This is "best" to Billy Graham.

So, that is a sincere question I have. I want to understand the other perspective on all this. Why use an event to attract non-Christians when 1)Non-Christians in a post-modern and post-Christendom era are NOT attracted to our subculture events and our "stars" and 2)probably (PROBABLY) only attend because a Christian brought them and 3)Christians make better witnesses to their friends than the pros do? I honestly want to know the answer from your perspective. That is the crux of my having real reservations - not yet convictions - that events like SoulStock are not the MOST effective means of public evangelism.

SG

PS. I started reading Mark Driscoll's book "Confessions of a Reformission Rev." today and it begins with a chapter on the models for doing ministry fifty years ago versus today. SoulStock fits to a T the fifty years ago model - effective because Christianity was still influential in culture, Christendom was alive and well. Today, he argues, event ministry does not work BEST because Christendom is dead. Non-Christians over 18 do not come to our events anymore. Mark Driscoll's church Mars Hill in Seattle was voted as the eighth most influential church in America last year by...I forget, but the point is he's more authoritative - and more harsh towards event ministry - than this singer-songwriter/pastor is.

5/17/2006  
Anonymous Dana Pool said...

Shaun,
I am sorry for all the negativity everyone's comments have caused in our christian fellowship with each other. I am the wife of one of the men dedicated to this event named Soulstock. I think all these discussions are going down a dangerous path, and we should ALL take a deep breath and start praying for peaceful words and thoughts on the subject. We are only hurting each other at this point, and nothing productive can come from that. I am sure your intention was to provoke prayer and challenge us all to work to carry out God's will for our lives, and we are getting sidetracked by furthing these debates. I can only say that I, like Nan, know each and every man and person involved, and we all ONLY want to do what glorifies God. I wish you could be told all the miracles we have experienced by being involved in Soulstock. We would all love to share them with you, all you have to do is ask. They are an amazing tribute to GOd and his love for us all! I am sorry this has turned into a bad experience for you. To my knowledge, we have never had that happen before, and I pray it never does again. Let me assure you we will listen to your music and your words of ministry, both now and in the future. We wish you well and hope God continues to use you in every action you take.
The only thing I would like to suggest is maybe before you posted your comments it would have been great to have talked to someone you worked with in Soulstock to let them know you had convictions on your heart about these matters. I think many Athenians were caught off guard and became defensive simply because we had no idea we were going to be caught up in this great debate. Another reason for the defensiveness is because we all love and cherish each other, we pray daily that God will show us what to do to serve him , and if Soulstock is not it, then we don't want to do it!. Again, I and my husband respect your opinions and we wish your ministry to grow in the Lord. May God bless us all, and use us to further his kingdom by all means necessary.
Dana Pool

5/17/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Dana, your kindness is refreshing. Thank you for giving me grace I don't deserve. I obviously wronged you and everyone affiliated with this festival, though unintentionally. Intention doesn't matter at this point. You've been hurt and I'm very sorry for that.

This has not turned out to be a "horrible experience" for me. Far from it. I honestly have no idea where you and others are getting the idea that this was a terrible event I my eyes or a bad experience for us. The event was good, the best of it's kind I've ever played. I've said this before. Please believe me.

This festival is merely the most recent experience of mine in the Christian subculture, in a long line of experiences extending beyond my years in music all the way back to my childhood, that have built up in me to the point of making me ask, "Is there better?" I read a lot. Maybe too much. I've seen a lot of the American Church. Definitely too much. And I am convinced it is incontrovertible that Christendom - the era of Christianity being respected by society outside the Church - is dead in America. In some rural ares it is not. In college towns it definitely is. In large cities it has been for a generation. The fact is, and this is common knowledge taught in seminaries and accepted by ministers all over this country, non-Christians are not attracted to "Christian" activities and events. They did not rent Left Behind. They do not go to LifeWay when they need a book to fix their marriage. They do not call a pastor when they need recovery from addiction. They do not choose to attend conservative Christian universities. They do not buy Shaun Groves CDs. There are exceptions of course but they are very very rare.

So preaching an evangelistic message on a Christian radio station, while good and true, isn't the best way to "reach" a non-Christian audience obviously. Putting a tract on the bathroom seat in a LifeWay store also, good perhaps, but not best. Giving away Left Behind dvds, good maybe, but not the best way to introduce non-Christians to Christ. And, logic and my experience follows, that holding an event featuring four people a non-Christian has never heard of and a sea of Christians as an audience might not be the best way to represent Christ to non-Christian adults.

I realize now I should have just said this - if I should have said anything at all - and asked if everyone agreed, instead of using SoulStock as an example of good that might not be best. I should have asked the questions and never mentioned a town or a price tag or the faithful men putting this event together.

Dana, I deeply regret not handling this differently - not because I think most people reading this post were offended but just because Athenians were. I've received e-mails from SHLOF readers who think you guys are nuts for getting angry over this. Only the anonymous folks many of us suppose are from Athens seem to be upset. But that doesn't matter. You feel wronged and I have to admit I fully understand why. I didn't but I do now. And I promise you I have no negative feelings toward any of you. SoulStock is the best event of its kind. And that, more than anything else, made me wonder if the method employed at SoulStock is best. Seeing event evangelism done very very well convinced me most that it doesn't work best. As well as you guys put this thing together, if event evangelism in America today worked, there should have been hundreds of people coming forward at the alter call. But there weren't. Some came and I'm thankful for that but if that method was best, in a city the size of Athens, I would have expected greater numbers. The point? Even the very best even evangelism does not work best in America today. And SoulStock is the best I've seen.

There was unity across denominations. There was top rate sound, staging and lights. There was clear presentation. There was great weather. There was good food. There was great promotion. All the pieces were there as well as the Spirit of God. And it did not do what would it would have done had this been 1950.

1950 is no more. We have to find new ways of evangelism made to reach a post-Christendom America.

I'm at a crossroads, Dana. I have no record deal as of recently. I have opportunities to do numerous things with the rest of my life. I'm willing to go anywhere and do anything for any pay or none at all. And I'm scared. I'm scared because I realize that doing ministry the way I've always done it, they way I've learned to do it, doesn't work best. I'm scared because I have more questions than answers about what it is we're supposed to be doing to bring God's kingdom to earth. I can't sleep some nights because of the mix of anticipation and confusion about my future. And so I selfishly come here every day and provoke people to talk, partly in hopes of getting some answers to some of these questions I have.

My mistake was thinking about my quest for answers, getting feedback for this idea of spending 40K and time and talent differently, instead of thinking first about how I would feel about this post had I been an organizer of SoulStock. I couldn't be more sorry for that. Please forgive me.

You and I, Dana, are motivated by the same thing it seems. We love God and we want to serve Him the best we can. We want other people to know Him like we do. But I was so busy figuring out how to love Him best that I didn't make it abundantly, unquestionably clear, that I love you and SoulStock. But you have been kind to me anyway, Dana. You are the type of person, I'm guessing, who is a walking evangelism tool. A city full of people like you is the greatest representation of God there is - greater than any musician or preacher.

All this reminds me, Dana, of a fiasco early on in my career. A reviewer posted a mixed opinion of one of my early shows on a message board somewhere. My "fans" got angry and laid into the guy in spite of the fact that he did have kind things to say as well and the "bad" things he said happened to be true. I found out about the public spanking and posted on that board an apology on behalf of my supporters. I thanked him for his honesty and explained why I performed that particular night the way I had. And I offered him a free ticket to my next show in his area. We still talk today. He helped me become a better performer actually.

My point is that no one from outside of Athens has been as upset with my post as your supporters in Athens - posting as anonymous - have been. (I have a policy of deleting Anonymous comments, by the way, but made an exception because I wanted you all to have the ability to be heard as newcomers unfamiliar with that rule of mine. And, honestly, it's nice to have bad feedback for a change. I get tired of being kissed up to.) I suspect that you, Dana, and others actually organizing this event and trying to figure out what it is God wants you all to do on His behalf in Athens welcome questions like these and may even rethink SoulStock for at least a second because of this post. I suspect that there is less anger from SoulStock organizers than from SoulStock fans. It's good isn't it to be loved enough to be fought for?

All this to say, I welcome the spanking I've received from your fans. And I understand why I got it. I didn't make myself clear enough. And it makes the kindness from you, Dana, that much more refreshing. Thank you for your understanding at a time when others think I deserve less and gave it to me. I truly hope this is behind us now. I certainly have learned from this experience and I hope you and yours have too. That was the point all along. I just never envisioned the lessons we'd be taught.

My hope is that we'd seek truth before peace and peace before everything else. And may we all discover what is best in God's infinite wisdom, not our own.

Thank you,
Shaun

5/17/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Shaun,
Let me clear up something I did not say properly.. when I said you had a bad experience with Soulstock, I only meant the aftermath, not the concert itself. I was backstage during the day, and I saw that your and your friends and family had a good experience during the concert. I am sorry, I have should have made that more clear. Anyway, let me say a few more things.
I will have to agree with you on several points. The one thing I know to be true is that all members of Soulstock do appreciate your opinions on anything to do with our ministry ( and it is a ministry). We pray for input and guidance to make us more effective in God's work. I don't know who the anonymous people were, but I know that they are defensive out of love for us, and I am sorry their words were hurtful. Thanks for your understanding on that matter.
Shaun, I will be praying for you and your future. I can't imagine what goes through your prayers and thoughts about your future. I know firsthand how scary it can be when you aren't sure what God wants to do with you next. I do sense that your heart is in the right place, and you will answer His call, whatever that may be. You have a gift that is hard to find, in that you are full of God's love and as long as that guides your every move, he will use you in great ways.
Again, thanks for the kind words about the men ( and families) of Soulstock. You may be glad to know that your comments about "best" ways to evangelize have been said to us in the past, and we take them all to God in prayer. Please know that if God ever decides to do something different with Soulstock, as hard as that would be for these faithful christians, then we will be obedient. These workers come from all walks of life.. doctors, musicians, city workers, pharmacists, students , etc. Each and every one of us are involved in more that just Soulstock's ministry, We are foreign missionaries, youth pastors, foster parents, volunteers for food pantries, clothes closets, and the list goes on and on. I don't tell you this to brag, only to assure you that we share your heart for reaching everyone, especially the downtrodden. In that, I know we share the same heart. I believe you were a Godsend to us for many reasons. The most valuabe lessons I have ever learned come from "spankings". Please let me know if there is anything I can help you with in the future, and know that I am praying that God will continue to use you in a mighty way.
In Christ,
Dana

5/18/2006  
Anonymous Nan said...

As I keep coming back to your site to read comments, which by the way some have been extremely and unnecessarily rude, one thought keeps coming to my mind. All I can figure is maybe it's from God and I need to bring up this point. Billy Graham himself has made the comment that 80% of the "church" is lost. These are the ones that WILL attend events like Soulstock because they are in church and they are familiar with the "stars" that come. Maybe this is one purpose for Soulstock...to reach out to that 80%. I know both of my sons as well as myself walked the aisle at church at a young age only to realize years later that we never really were saved....that all we did was walk the aisle. Maybe because a friend did, maybe because a revival speaker made us scared. But whatever the reason, we have to face the fact that MANY in our churches are coming to realize they don't really have a relationship with Christ. These are people that will come to Christian events, or listen to Christian radio. If I were one of the "church people" that came to a personal relationship with Christ through an event, I would think it worth it, whatever the cost. Again, like Dana, I am sorry that some of the comments made were not voiced in the way they should have been.

5/18/2006  
Anonymous Nan said...

As I keep coming back to your site to read comments, I keep having the same thought. All I can figure is maybe it's God and something I need to bring up. Billy Graham himself has said that 80% of the church is lost. Maybe that 80% is who Soulstock is reaching. I know that both my sons, as well as myself, came to a realization that when we were younger we walked the aisle at church and got dunked. That's it. No conversion, no relationship...although we still went to church and still did all the "church" things. We were under the assumption that we were ok. Until the Holy Spirit convicted through some thing or person that we really didn't KNOW Him...we knew all about Him. Praise God we do have a realtionship now that allows us to serve our Saviour, our Father, our Friend. This 80%, these are the ones that WILL attend events like Soulstock. These are the ones that are familiar with the "stars" that come. I have to claim what God says "so is my word that goes out from my mouth. It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." That's all we want. Whether it's to the professed unbeliever, or the church member that doesn't truly have a relationship with Christ. Like Dana, I apologize for comments made that were unnecessarily rude. I know my Father's heart must be breaking over his children fussing about how His work is carried out.

5/18/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Great thoughts, Nan. We want the same thing. What is the best way to accomplish it? I don't know. But I'm asking. Thanks for your apology. It means a lot.

5/18/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was this the best use of $40,000 is not really the question. The question is "how did this group of men in Athens Alabama manage to get 20 or so churches of different denominations to agree to do anything together"? We need to contact the organizers of this MINISTRY and find out how they put their differances aside and concentrated on trying to fulfill what they believe is God's will. If christians would spend more time trying to work together instead of arguing about insignificant issues and denominations then most of the worlds problems could be solved.

6/19/2006  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home