Planetshakers City Church is one of the fastest-growing AOG churches in history – and is the kind of church that you can be comfortable to take your unsaved friends to.
With church services that look more like U2 concerts than sermons and energetic preaching, it’s an exciting place to be.
But as reported by planetshakersinsider increasingly, working out where the hype ends and Jesus begins is becoming more difficult.
There are some elements of the current church culture that, if left unchecked, promise to turn cancerous as the church grows…
- A lack of genuine pastoral care for Christians facing faith-related difficulties within the church;
- Relatively small numbers of small groups within the church;
- A “swallow-and-follow” church culture that has led to fraud by core leadership staff going on unquestioned;
- An emphasis on fashion and personal looks among young church-going women, rather than a focus on the spiritual;
- Sermons that spend more time focussed on the weekend’s football action than Jesus Christ;
- A focus on the quantity of church-goers and number of “decisions for Christ” ahead of any focus on the quality of faith.
- A overall desire to “beat the previous best” – with each event, sermon, everything requiring more of whatever it is that it could possibly get more of.
- And more…
Unfortunately, with a church culture that discourages any sort of feedback, as it views questioning and constructive criticism as divisiveness, communicating genuine concerns and working towards positive improvements within the church is all but impossible for a lay church member. As a result, this blog was born.
EDIT: Several people have commented “surely it’s better to approach Planetshakers leadership privately and/or in-person”. I agree – this would be a much better solution.
But frankly, I’m scared to – not because of lack of confidence, but because Senior Pastor Russell Evans has (on numerous occasions, and quite plainly) said that he is not interested in receiving feedback, and if anyone doesn’t like the way that Planetshakers is run, they should find a new church or start one – even going as far as asking people to get out of the church and not come back.
Planetshakers feels like a rock concert.
A mosh pit for Jesus was jumping with teenagers in rapture and a balcony of Planetkids went off for Christ. Music blared from the stadium sound system while the screen seduced us with slick videos edited with ‘‘subliminal images”.
The crowd leaves believing they had been moved by God and touched by Jesus. Instead they had been seduced by slick video packages and had their emotional desire for love, community and certainty met by manipulation.
As editor of this blog I am concerned that the concert experience is creating nothing more than ‘Dancefloor Disciples’
Compare the following songs:
Planetshakers – Let’s Go
Lets Go (stylized, #LETSGO) is a live album from Planetshakers. Integrity Music released the album on September 11, 2015. They worked with Joshua Brown, Russell Evans, and Mike Pilmer, in the production of this album.
Note the date of release for ‘Shut Up and Dance’ months prior.
Planetshakers – Get Up
Planetshakers – Endless Praise
Shut Up and Dance with Me
The Band ‘Walk on the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance” premiered on the radio station 101 WKQX in Chicago on June 22, 2014. It was released digitally as the lead single from Talking Is Hard on September 10, 2014.
It was released in the United States as a free single on iTunes on November 11, 2014.