Furtick gives relationship advice 10

Steven Furtick released this highlight of his recent Impart conference where he downloads his wisdom to pastors and church staffers.

Pajama Pages is happy to provide a translation for you:

I’ve just made a decision in my life that no one human being will take the seat of the throne of lordship in my life, and not one person (and this doesn’t apply to my wife and my kid, because obviously you know that’s a different category) in my life is going to keep me from going to the places that God wants to take me.

Translation: God only wants to take me to really, really neat places. Job is so Old Testament.

You have no idea the relational cost that has to be paid (some of you do, because you’ve paid it) before your ministry can truly grow. And a lot of you have no idea what it feels like to be loved by everyone, but to be known by no-one.

People might not love you, but they sure do love me.

It’s really weird. People come up to me in the restaurant and they’re, like, “Hey, I see you guys are on date night. How did you like the Clemson game Saturday night? I saw you Tweet about that.” And it’s a little freaky; they really know me. And I don’t know them, and I’m trying to have dinner. And usually people are really polite, but still it’s really kind of freaky when you’re, like, “Man, you really know a lot about me,” and I guess I put it all out there, but it’s kind of weird.

I’m really famous, though sometimes I have to talk to little people whom I don’t know.

And what’s more painful than that…

Now think about Jesus. He’s actually invested in these guys and is about to die for them, and they’re sleeping on him. Now think about the relational pain of investing in someone at that level, and then–you know what he says–the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak. And it broke Jesus’ heart.

Jesus should have fired that sorry bunch of losers. I would have.

And the single greatest thing standing between some of you and the level God wants to take you to–the stratosphere he wants to propel you into in your leadership–is your unwillingness to confront one relationship in your life.

I’m already in the stratosphere, so the relationship you need to confront is definitely not with me.

I wish I could take your cellphone right now and start asking you questions.

As you know, I don’t do real good talking to anonymous little people like you, but I’m pretty good with cell phones and Twitter.

Some of you have lazy staff members that you’re keeping in positions that they suck at in the name of loving them. You’re not doing that because you love them; you’re doing that because you love the comfort of the relationship you have with them more than you actually love them.

I still have no idea why Jesus kept Peter around. Evangelist, rock. Huh?

I’m not expecting amens in this session. I’m expecting blank stares.

Especially from you suckers who thought it would be a good idea to bring your senior pastor with you today. Go home and start working on your resumes tonight.

I’m preaching so you’ll delete later, not so you’ll say amen now.

Wow, did I mean to say delete? How did some good advice make it into this sermon? Reset.

I’m preaching so you will be empowered. Look, I’m not talking about being cold and being harsh. If you had any idea how much pain we go through to make sure that if someone ever leaves this ministry we take care of them, and we bless them, and we send them. But the most painful things in my leadership life have not been from critics I didn’t know, but from relationships that outgrew their season and I had to let them go.

I’ve fired so many people I can hardly stand it. Don’t you feel sorry for me?

Here’s what I want to prophetically say to some of you who are mourning over a relationship that God has rejected in your life…

When you have to have to destroy a friend’s career, tell them that God made you do it.

1 Samuel 16:1, God confronts Samuel the prophet who was in mourning over Saul, who wasn’t going to make it as the king. “How long will you mourn over what God has rejected?” How long will you mourn over relationships that God was done with three years ago? How long are you going to keep trying to make it work?

I’m the prophet now, so you shouldn’t read anything into the fact that God solved this problem by having the leader fall on his sword. Absolutely no application there.

Would this be a good time to break for lunch?

10 thoughts on “Furtick gives relationship advice

  1. Paul Oct 30, 2009 12:13 pm

    Heartbreaking, horrible, shocking, and pitiful all that the same time. The bad thing is, this junk he is saying is no lie. I know someone who was chewed up and spit out by Furtick…all in the name of the sacred vision he has. Oh, and God also told Furtick to do it. There was no sin at all.

    Did I mention, this guy had been a good friend of Furtick for many years. It’s very hard to live in a community that Paul tells us to live in Ephesians, the Pastorsals, etc. where if you even flinch in your committment to a “vision”, you are a liability that needs te be removed.

    I hope IMPART was worth the several hundred dollars these pastors payed. I don’t think the people who are about to be hurt will think so.

  2. James Downing Oct 30, 2009 12:55 pm

    Seen it many times. What it lookd like in real life, is if you can’t help Steven get to where he wants to go, you are thrown aside.

  3. Paul Oct 30, 2009 1:19 pm

    Furtick’s reference to I Samuel is so out of context. Makes you wonder if furtick even understands how to read and interpret the O.T. Nevertheless, is there anywhere in the New Testament where the Apostles have this attitude towards relationships and people. The only two I can think of one might suggest is Paul and Peter (Peter and eating with Gentiles) and Paul and Mark (Mark abandoning Paul). idon’t think these work because these were issues of sin that needed forgivess and reconciliation. I can’t think of anywhere where we are to sever relationships over issues of a “vision”. Peter and Mark both sinned, and to some extent compromised the Gospel (much worse than compromising a vision). If Paul had furtick’s attitude, they would be done, gone, removed, sacrificed on the altar of the vision. No, instead, they were rebuked, reconciled, forgiven, and loved. Peter goes on to do great work, and Mark writes part of our Scriptures. We are in a community together. We love each other, confront sin, and forgive one another. We labor in love to work through disagreements. We die to each other as we die to Christ. We consider others better than ourselves like Jesus. WE serve on another. People are more important than anyone’s vision. We don’t remove people because they may not completely agree with our vision or idea. If Jesus or the apostles had furtick’s attitude…none of us would be here. I have always had theological issues with Furrtick. This attitude i’m seeing is now showing character issues. This man should not be in the office of pastor.

    • James Duncan Oct 30, 2009 1:23 pm

      Paul, you’re right.

      Although we knew this after the Morgan Solution (TM), this again gives lie to the claim that these pastors are correctable by people on their staff.

  4. Sophie Oct 30, 2009 1:40 pm

    What about his wife? What if one day he doesn’t feel the love and decides that their season has come to an end? Would he quote 1 Samuel to her? Hope not.

  5. Corner Coffee Oct 30, 2009 4:18 pm

    You should probably go listen to the first 30 seconds of the audio on Furtick’s blog.

    What did this person do (or not do) to deserve being let go from employment? Was he a bad employee? Were there relevant philosophical disagreements that couldn’t be reconciled? Was he discouraged from volunteering or attending the church after his termination?

    A church, like any organization, must make the wisest decisions it can in terms of spending money. And because money, like any other limited resource, can’t be wasted, if a staff member’s employment isn’t working out (for whatever reason), it’s a bad financial decision to retain that person indefinitely just because they are your friend.

    Because a Pastor has to lead the entire “flock”, he doesn’t have the luxury of retaining bad financial investments just so he doesn’t hurt a relationship with ONE “sheep”. This is, unfortunately, the tough position pastors must endure sometimes.

    A termination of employment doesn’t have to mean a terminated friendship or church membership. But sometimes, a terminated employee will sever those things out of anger or bitterness. Furtick was making the point (quite well, I might add) that when working for the Lord, sometimes those things happen … and if they do, you have to be willing, as the leader of the whole church, to endure that reaction in order to further the cause of Christ.

    On a related note, how’s my Christianese? I’m a little rusty, but I think I said things in a way you guys can understand 🙂

  6. KeithO Oct 30, 2009 7:44 pm


    “A termination of employment doesn’t have to mean a terminated friendship or church membership”. Sounds a bit naive on your part. Next to personal relationships, a persons job is very much a part of who they are. Rejecting their job is rejecting them. I guess friends can always be friends, but the relationship has to substantially change after your friend fires you.

  7. Josh Oct 31, 2009 8:36 am

    The pastor’s greater obligation is to his church, rather than to his friends. If he won’t replace someone who isn’t doing his job because that person is his buddy, he should resign himself. I have no idea whether SF or PN, in the case of Tony Morgan, replaced their underlings for job performance issues or because they didn’t buy into the vision enough, but the principle of replacing someone who isn’t effective at his job in ministry is sound.

    That said, SF consistently comes across as the most pompous pastor I’ve ever seen. Maybe he’s really a great guy, but he’s had a bunch of posts like this one that make me think he believes all his own PR. His whining about having little people approach him at dinner reminds me of beautiful women who complain about how they’re treated differently because of their beauty, while enjoying all the benefits.

  8. David J Horn Oct 31, 2009 10:25 am

    The simple message is that Furtick does not want anyone to question his vision and ministry. This is yet another message from Furtick trying to stop any form of dissent. To not follow his vision brings a heavy price in Furtick’s world.

    The problem with this type of logic is that these pastors cannot be approached openly. Even when we have the Scriptures with us that openly shine the light of truth upon an error being taught(like the way Furtick was defending Joel Osteen http://davidjosephhorn.wordpress.com/2009/09/15/please-stop-pickin%E2%80%99-on-joel-by-ceo-steven-furtick/ ), pastors like Furtick will close themselves up by refusing to listen because it is perceived as not following his vision. This is not a biblical approach and it creates an environment where the pastor is a supreme pope vs. being accountable to God, the Bible, the elders, and to the church.

    The people who payed hundreds of dollars to hear this message really should demand a refund.

  9. Sophie Nov 1, 2009 12:46 am

    I heard the first 30 seconds and isn’t a little sad that he puts his wife and children before Christ?… It is all a bit unsettling, but I don’t need to go into that, everyone else has for me =)

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