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Mariners Church seems to have lost their identity as a nurturing local congregation and appears to be changing into a media brand, all the while neglecting its attendees. It wasn't that long ago that the whole weekend volunteer team became disillusioned and walked off. They've had close to a dozen staff leave the preschool over toxic leadership (allegedly). Elders and long term volunteers are leaving. Long standing bible studies and communities of people were kicked off campus. Too many good men and women are getting cancelled, silenced and pushed out of the congregation. This megachurch has become a mega bummer for many people. In its wake, Mariners Church has broken communities of believers and damaged hearts strewn all over the place. Has their pride overwhelmed their ability to love their church family well?

This site is for you to share your voice! You don't have to feel run over by Mariners anymore. If you have experienced behavior that doesn't fall in line with Matt 22:37-40, you are invited to share your story here. Many know how damaging and hurtful this unkind, toxic and abusive behavior can be. Tell Your Story! People Do Care About You!

If you want to see our church abuse resource page CLICK HERE

A Church Lost at Sea, Part #2

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Roger Roger

A Church Lost at Sea, Part #2

Post by Roger Roger »

Yes, I am saying that Mariners Church stands on a perverted version of the gospel and does not follow the Truth of Matthew 22 as it should. It is evident that the previous senior pastor and elder board didn't have a clear vision for this church so they hired a guy with a book or two and a business background. They lacked biblical discernment, vision and maturity.

We've already established what Jesus tells us are the two most important commandments and how everything in the scriptures hangs on this truth. Love God and from the fruits of that relationship love others as yourself. You cannot ignore or explain this away. Jesus tells us it is the most important, the foremost command. It needs to inspire everything we do as a Christ follower period. So let's contrast that with Eric Geiger's book Simple Church and his leadership style.
Instead of looking to the bible for inspiration, he believes that his research is more informative than biblical instruction or God given inspiration. We are to believe that his research was accurate and interpreted in such a way as to surpass the supremacy of the bible. The core of his research is to simplify the church and the path of discipleship to his liking not God's instruction or example. He cherry picks what he likes and doesn't like biblically and asks us to rely on him and not God for our truth. Again, He puts himself above God in this book and then disregards the command to love one another as you love yourself.

When he started his tenure as senior pastor at Mariners Church, he began by letting go of many of the staff and then went through and kicked off the church campus long standing bible studies and communities of people who depended on these resources. He just told them to leave because "his research" said this was best for our church. Many of these people were the ones who tithed and toiled to build up this church over the years, yet that was unimportant to the latest folly of Simple Church. He didn't care about their hearts, their need to be in community and to be in loving relationship. He cared about obedience to his folly; his control over people not God first and then His people. Him, Ego, Self.

I met a consultant that he brought out to speak to the staff about all the changes and cancellations of different communities of people. The consultant said that they readily expect that about a third of the church will reject the changes and leave. Another third will stay regardless of what they do and the last third will fluctuate as they burn out the remaining volunteers that don't want to lose their community. So, ultimately about half of this last third will leave too.

I cannot imagine that anyone of Spiritual maturity and that possess God given compassion would buy into this philosophy ever, but Mariners did. How is this loving people when your goal is to run off or frustrate folks out of the church just so you can build a production line discipleship program and live the foolishness of Simple Church? These long standing communities were life lines for these folks and consisted of relationships that were developed over years. These were the folks that built this church, served for years and committed their lives to its success. Now, you've broken their church family, brought disillusionment, isolation and loneliness on them. You have turned your back on them. You really disrupted the lives of these folks and hurt them deeply. Yet on Mr. Geiger's whim, they are eliminated, cancelled and forgotten. Am I overstating; maybe embellishing?

Well, upon his arrival to Mariners, the weekend services were run by a very popular director/pastor. She was loving and caring toward her volunteers. They loved her and she loved her volunteers back. It was a one of those healthy communities of believers you are lucky to find once or twice in your life. However, she found out that she was getting let go by Mariners when she saw her job posted on the Mariners open positions website. Her departure devastated the weekend volunteers and the vast majority of them quit serving at Mariners (90%+ of the whole weekend team quit) and many of them left the church over it. Quite a few of them had served for 10 years or more. I know a few that had 20 plus years of service. Yet they found it to heartbreaking to stay at Mariners after losing their pastoral relationship, volunteer community and the support it provided.

Is this loving others as yourself? Mariners and the followers of Simple Church are trying to tell you that God would be proud of their actions. I tell you that I don't know that God and this doesn't align biblically either. It is wrong, based on man and goes against God's foremost commandments. Why would you allow anyone who denies or rationalizes away God's most important commands to speak into your life or influence you? Why would you give them your resources? Find a church that lives these foremost commands.

One of the most popular online reviews of Simple Church put it this way,

It just strikes me as an unnecessary book. It points church leaders in the wrong direction—statistical research. Rainer and Geiger simply use their research to make a number of points that vary from helpful to banal, but what they don’t point to as the foundation for the church is the faith once entrusted to the church, the eternal Word of God. Read a book that will.

Graham Shearer

Here are a few scriptures for you to marinate in, ponder, pray over and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal more truth to you about what has been shared here.

Colossians 2:8 tells us, "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ."

2 Corinthians 10:5. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.