A quick follow-up on Tony Morgan 14

I just re-read Perry Noble’s explanation of why Tony Morgan was leaving and noticed this passage:

Our approach to leadership and the execution of the vision were slightly different…and while we DO agree on most things there was a slight disagrement on the methodology of as to how execution of the vision was to take place.
As a part of the discussion yesterday Tony said that he didn’t want his style of leadership to hinder our church. [Emphasis added]

What caught my attention was the emphasis on slight. If we’re to take Noble at his word, it’s remarkable that a slight difference was going to be enough to hinder the church and require a resignation.

We hear from Noble and leaders like him that the church must sell out to the leader’s vision. Now we have some idea just how dogmatically Noble takes his own vision. (Perhaps his vision is his blind spot?)

That’s a brutal work environment. Do you think the other members of the leadership team got the message?

14 thoughts on “A quick follow-up on Tony Morgan

  1. Albert Apr 22, 2009 11:53 pm

    From conversations I’ve had with staff at Newspring, this seems to be almost a mantra of Noble’s and the rest of the leadership team. I know of one particular person who quit their position because of the amount of emphasis placed on the “vision” of the church and the strain it placed on the environment.

    I would even say that the importance of the vision extends into the congregation. My questions to members regarding motives or methods of the church and it’s evangelism are often met with responses that leave little room for variation or dispute. “This is the right and best way” was one particular response I received. This definitely is not a healthy environment for the staff

    And they question the “cult” accusations…

  2. Anonymous Apr 23, 2009 8:45 pm

    This is ridiculous. You question someone who leaves when you haven’t talked to them in person. Albert who have you talked to. There are people on staff that go to school at AU talk to them. One AU’er works in the office of Noble, I doubt she would say its cultish or the vision is hammered in.

    Duncan, you have used this platform as simply a tool to bash NewSpring and Noble. Check the tags on the side. Do you really think this brings Glory to God? Not at all! Its humorous that you even think you know what you are talking about when you take snippets of sermons, blogs, and twitters. Tell the whole story from now on.

    Maybe from now on Duncan you can tag Jesus a little more instead of NewSpring/Noble because it appears that NewSpring and Noble are your idols according to your tags.

    • James Duncan Apr 23, 2009 9:24 pm


      Like I told Simply Amazed, it’s an awfully compelling argument to have anonymous guests tell the host to just go away. As for telling the whole story, that’s what hyperlinks are for. If you don’t like what I say, just click the little colorful words, and you can read Perry et al.’s ideas without me bothering you at all.

      Look, I welcome NS supporters participating on the blog. Can I just ask that when you participate in these discussions, that you get past the “Shut up, he explained” approach? The blog is here; it’s been archived by Google. If you don’t like what I’m saying, tell me why I’m wrong about the content, not that I’m wrong for just typing.

  3. Anonymous Apr 24, 2009 10:26 am

    You are wrong because a) the vision is not a mantra. b) if you haven’t been in the work environment, how can you call it brutal. an argument based off of assumption is barely an argument. If you read the blogs without the hatred for Noble you can see he was looking out for Morgan. He wanted Morgan to be fulfilled in his job.

    If they both knew that he was unfulfilled because of a slight difference (slight meaning one did not believe in oh democracy when the other believed in dictatorship.) however this slight difference was something that kept Morgan from being fulfilled then why wouldn’t it be mutual. Noble wants his employees to be fulfilled as much as they want to be fulfilled in their job.

    Did you read that Morgan’s family would be taken care of until he found what he needed to be doing. That sounds like such a message that Noble was sending. That someone resigned and the church is helping them out until he finds where he is fulfilled. Man I am shaking from fear because of that compassion Noble had. Tell the whole story because that was in the blog also.

    And you never answered my quesion, how is that idolatry working out for you?

  4. James Duncan Apr 24, 2009 10:51 am

    Anon, you appear to have said that in order to be fulfilled at NS, you have think exactly like PN.

    Did you mean to say that?

  5. Albert Apr 24, 2009 11:01 am

    I would like to request, as a personal favor, that proper punctuation be used from now on. It makes posts easier to read.

    @ Anonymous

    In answer to your first question, I spoke with an employee who had been working at the church for several (5?) years. She quit her position and pursued another career direction because she felt that when the direction of the church preempted her personal ideas and creativity. For example, when she questioned a project she was working on, her idea was immediately dismissed because it wasn’t “part of the vision.” I take this to mean that anything that isn’t “part of the vision” has no place in the church.

    This sounds awful close to what we read on Morgan’s and Noble’s websites. The problem with arguing about this topic is that we do not know what exactly the slight difference was. Logically, if it resulted in the dismissal (voluntary or forced) of a key leadership person, I question the slightness of the difference.

    I assume that you are a member. Has the leadership informed the congregation why Morgan is leaving? Besides the obvious “slight difference.”

    Also, I was the one who said the concept of the church vision seeming like a mantra, not JDuncan….please don’t attack him on that.

  6. Albert Apr 24, 2009 11:11 am

    Thank you. If you are going to grade me on punctuation, I would expect the same from you on here.

  7. Tommy F. Apr 24, 2009 11:32 am

    @ Anon: You wrote: “Morgan’s family would be taken care of until he found what he needed to be doing. That sounds like such a message that Noble was sending. That someone resigned and the church is helping them out until he finds where he is fulfilled. Man I am shaking from fear because of that compassion Noble had. Tell the whole story because that was in the blog also.”

    This is called a severance, which accompanies a dismissal. NS wanted TM to leave so badly it paid him to. At least you’ve called NS what it apparently is: a dictatorship.

    Slight difference? Please. If the difference was slight, then why the rush? TM would have stayed if the difference was slight. Would you quit your job over a slight difference? Ace gave him the boot, and paid him to not come back.

    That’s an odd use of funds over a slight difference: “Here’s some money. Let me buy you a steak. Don’t come back.”

  8. Anonymous Apr 24, 2009 12:08 pm

    @TommyF you don’t know how badly NS wanted Morgan to stay so don’t say that. This resignation resulted from months of prayer. No one… NO ONE wanted Morgan to leaved because everyone loved him.

    You’re right it is a dictatorship Jesus Christ… Not Perry Noble is the dictator of NewSpring Church.

    There was no rush in Tony leaving. Thats why it took months to decide. Also he is at Catatlyst West Coast now with Perry and the SMT team. So it obviously that bad. Check twitter on that.

    If I wasn’t fulfilled in ministry yes I would quit. If wasn’t doing what I was called to do and there was no where for me at the church you bet I would quit. The church hated it. It was one of the hardest things Perry went through. Stop pinning it on him.

    Also, Ace is not his name. Like I mentioned on a different post. Someone gave him that. Its inappropriate to use against him.

    Paying him not come back is incorrect. Actually since he is the only one in the family that worked, Noble and the SMT wanted to make sure that he wasn’t left without the necessities in life. A severance package has an end date. This is until he finds out what is next. It is a little different. He didn’t get the boot.

    @JDuncan in order to be fulfilled at NewSpring you do not have to think just like Noble. Do not twist words. Also I just find it funny NewSpring and Noble are so much larger. Do you ever blog about Jesus and what he has done in your life. Or do you only blog about your hatred towards Noble.

    @Albert excuse me. The vision is not a mantra. It is a vision. The slight difference led to an agreement basically. Morgan wanted to resign and the SMT understood. Not forced.

  9. Tommy F. Apr 24, 2009 1:25 pm

    @ Anon: “If I wasn’t fulfilled in ministry yes I would quit. If wasn’t doing what I was called to do and there was no where for me at the church you bet I would quit.”

    If NS loved him so much and didn’t want him to leave, then why is there no place for him there? Why didn’t they ask him to stay until he found a more fulfilling spot elsewhere?

    Option A: serve NS even with a slight difference of methodology. Option B: leave, here’s some $.

    Literally, they are paying to keep him away. It was rushed. It would be much simpler to have him stay until he found another ministry spot. And it would have been much, much easier to say: “As of June 30, 2009 TM will be leaving to go …” Rather than: effective immediately, we are paying TM to not come back to work next week. We don’t want him to, but he must. We are so sad. Boo hoo.

    Of course, they’ll play nice, but really — c’mon. The same thing occurred with Dustin Willis in 2005. A “slight” difference in vision led NS to pay him to leave. He didn’t want to leave, but they paid him to.

    Again, all of his over a slight difference? I suppose you are willing to believe anything NS leadership tells you, even how un-credible it sounds.

  10. Albert Apr 24, 2009 2:00 pm

    To understand what is going on here, I think we need more information. So again, I’ll ask…

    @ Anonymous,

    What has the church leadership been telling the congregation about the whole situation? Are you using the same words they are–“a slight difference,” “Mutual decision,” etc?

    This whole situation seems like the leadership isn’t telling the congregation or the blog readers what exactly is going on. Isn’t that a responsibility of the church leaders, to inform members and, in NS’s case, the community, what is going on inside closed doors?

  11. James Duncan May 7, 2009 10:39 pm

    We may have discovered the source of the controversy. Morgan titled his new book, “Killing Cockroaches.” Perhaps Noble wanted him to call it “Murdering Spiders.”

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