August 17, 2010 in Sovereign Grace Ministries

For those of you who, like me, were basically in the dark about what has been going on at KingsWay, here is one reader’s submission:

About ten years ago, KingsWay’s leadership was considering a church plant to Roanoke. Through seeming confirmations from lots of sources, it became clear to everyone involved that SW, one of the KingsWay pastors, seemed to be the man called to lead this church plant. While SW had a heart for that church (as they say), he himself did not feel a calling to be its pastor. However, because of the “distrust your heart” culture that is fundamental to KingsWay (and all of SGM, although they didn’t say that), he believed for quite a while that he was mistaken about his own feelings, and that he really was called but struggled with unbelief. The other pastors first suggested to him that he was dealing with unbelief on a pastors retreat. To make a long story short SW went to Roanoke without having peace about it in his heart, because everyone around him including his fellow pastors were convinced that he was called to go. Not too long afterwards, however, it became clear to him that he simply could not continue pastoring that church. The aggressive deep-digging in his own heart for a sin that wasn’t there took a very damaging toll on him, and he still didn’t feel like he should be there at all, so he stepped down from the leadership in Roanoke and returned to Richmond with his family. Before they resumed attending KingsWay, however, Gene called a “family meeting” to give the congregation the Official Story on what had happened. He said that SW had been removed from leadership in Roanoke because of major unresolved and unrepentant pride, selfishness and unbelief. Additionally, he had been defrocked as a KingsWay pastor over these same “unrepentant sins”. The congregation was largely turned against SW in a very damaging way. Furthermore, the true story of what had happened was kept a secret. Nobody knew SW’s side of the story except for himself, his wife, some (but not all) of his children, Gene, and one friend that SW had told against Gene’s wishes. Not even the rest of the KingsWay pastors knew SW’s side of the story. 

For nine years, SW and his family were treated very poorly by many of the members of KingsWay, due to what Gene had said about him at that family meeting. SW described the treatment he, his wife and daughter received from KW members as “cruelty.” SW and the one friend he’d taken into confidence repeatedly requested truth, openness and a fair hearing from Gene, but Gene did not do anything or seek out SW in any way. He did continue to forbid SW from telling anyone what had happened. 

At the meeting at KingsWay the other night, Gene acknowledged that all of the above had taken place and confessed his own sin in the matter. He said that in the past year he’d become reconciled with SW and realized the levels to which he’d hurt SW and his family, and been wrong about God’s call on his life. There was no mention of how the reconciliation had taken place or why this meeting was being called.

Gene and the other pastors were conspicuously silent about what had happened to end this nine-year gag order on SW.

Help me out, people…please?

August 16, 2010 in Sovereign Grace Ministries

So, OK – Guy and I have been on our family vacation, with very limited email and internet access.

And for whatever reason, although I’ve corresponded a lot with a number of people from SGM churches all over the country, the goings-on at KingsWay have not been on my radar.  Yet somehow, I keep getting inquiries from people who want to know what’s going on there.

Is there someone (or maybe a bunch of someones) who would be willing – in as much or as little detail as you’re comfortable with – to explain the basic situation at that church?  I’m not asking for “dirt” or names.  I’m not wanting to read “gossip” or speculation.  But it’d be great to be able to make sense out of some of the cryptic comments and questions I’ve been getting via email.



July 19, 2010 in Sovereign Grace Ministries

So, things have probably seemed a bit silent here lately.  But that doesn’t mean that the Sovereign Grace Ministries dramas have taken a break for the summer.  Guy and I have been pretty busy with all sorts of family events, so I haven’t had the time to blog, but I continue to correspond behind the scenes with a number of people who all have their own stories to tell.  Some of these stories may be featured here soon.  In the meantime, here are a few other reader-submitted items for your consideration…

  1. From someone in San Diego comes the following:
    SGM West Coast — or whatever they call themselves — recently had this big “Together” conference thingy here in SD.  All the CA and AZ churches or something like that.  It was supposed to be at the UCSD campus in La Jolla.  We were curious to see what it’d be like, so we drove up there on Sunday morning.  There was supposed to be some meeting at 9, 9:30, around there.  It’s a short drive for us, maybe 10 minutes. 
    But Kris, we drove ALL around that campus and saw nothing and no one.  Well, no one who looked Jesus-y anyway.  (Just some soccer hoodlums playing that most American of games on the birthday of our country.)  There was no signage pointing the way.  They were NOT meeting at any of the main auditoriums, not that we could see, anyway.  It seemed strange to us only because it seemed like they didn’t WANT outsiders to find them.  I mean, if I wanted to go and was new to SGM or considering an SGM, I would not have been able to find them on that campus.  The info out there on the sites was very vague — “at UCSD.”  No address.  No building name.  Nothing.  It’s as if you had to be on their email list and if you weren’t, if you’re an outsider, forget it.  Or if you don’t attend a regular Sunday “meeting,” you would not have been privy to the information.
    Do you think this kind of secrecy is deliberate?  Do they not want “outsiders” attending these meetings?  
  2. Then, another reader wondered if I could post an entry specifically on the subject of NEPOTISM within SGM.  This reader cited personal knowledge of how the offspring of SGM pastors/leaders have been made into leaders, often with little evidence that they are ready for such responsibility.
  3. And finally, many of you have written me to discuss the following video, which came out of the recent “Resolved” conference.  (Jonathan Rourke is on staff at John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church, where, according to his bio, “he serves as the pastor of Mainstream, a fellowship group for all ages.  He is also the elder over administration, conferences, and Logos Equipping Ministries.”)
    Jonathan Rourke as CJ Mahaney from Resolved on Vimeo.