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    It’s Getting Nasty in Grapevine.  Ed Young, Jr. the Target of Local Media Investigation

    It’s Getting Nasty in Grapevine.  Ed Young, Jr. the Target of Local Media Investigation

    It's been a joke that I've heard for many years... Ed Young and his notorious Hummer.  But it's not the Hummer that is causing Ed problems (at least locally) these days, it's the alleged private jet that he's not telling anyone about...

    Why do things need to become so complicated and non-transparent?  Why the need to set up so many companies and identities?  And why the skirting around questions when they are asked?  Many have fallen over such things.  I hope Ed is not the next.

    More here...

    Todd

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    1. CS on Wed, February 10, 2010

      I know that most people here don’t care for the discernment pages hosted by Chris Rosebrough, but one of his latest series of posts illustrates the grave problems with Young and money.  I recommend giving them a read:

      http://www.alittleleaven.com/2010/02/ed-youngs-admissions-are-more-damning-than-the-original-news-story.html

      http://www.alittleleaven.com/2010/02/inside-ed-youngs-parsonage.html


      CS

    2. DS on Wed, February 10, 2010

      Surprised you posted this without including the response from Ed and two of the board of directors of Fellowship Church. Here is the link for anyone interested: http://www.edyoungblog.com/2010/02/moving-on.html

    3. Kirk Longhofer on Wed, February 10, 2010

      Hey Todd.  A few reactions, from the perspective of crisis management and public relations.

      First, the story itself was pretty weak.  It rested on a single interview with an anonymous person who clearly doesn’t like Fellowship Church. 

      Lots of rather inflammatory language, and unsubstantiated statements, including stating that attendance has declined at Fellowship.  I haven’t been there in about six months, but the last time I did make it to Dallas, the auditorium was full on both Saturday night and Sunday morning.

      Their interview with an SMU expert was interesting.  He stated that the church should own the intellectual property created by the Senior Pastor.  He called it outrageous that the Pastor would want to control that.  Well, he may not like it, but it is pretty common and accepted practice.  Sermons become books.  Do you think Max Lucado has ever used sermons to flesh out an idea that eventually became a book.  Do you suppose Rick Warren used the phrase ‘purpose driven’ in a sermon before the book came out.

      Who owns the IP rights to that is more correctly part of a discussion of employment terms between the church and the Pastor. 

      It’s the same with questions of compensation.  You may not like the fact that a Pastor makes a lot of money and can afford a big house. I, personally, try to be pretty careful about attaching motivation to actions I observe.  Discerning fruit is one thing.  But there’s also that whole judging thing.

      The only REAL question raised in the entire story was that of the airplane.  That was addressed by Ed and two of the members of his Board of Directors at Fellowship over the weekend.  Sort of.

      They indicated, but did not state directly that the plane is leased.  They said that the board approved of the use of Ed’s use of private aircraft, for much the same reason that corporate CEO’s make use of them.  Their time is quite valuable.  To leverage them, and to take care of their health and family lives, a judgment is made that the expense of corporate aircraft is justified.

      Again… a decision for the Fellowship BOD to take carefully.

      My counsel for Fellowship and Ed Young?  I have no idea what is actually happening behind the scenes.  I don’t know if there is actually a problem or not.  Based on what I’ve seen and read this was a bit of a hatchet job by the television station.

      I do know this.

      It is time for a season of radical transparency for Fellowship.  Do not allow this wound to fester.  Open books.  Open meetings.  Open minutes.  Over communicate and over disclose.  There should be virtually nothing under wraps.  If a reporter wants to know how much you make, get in the Hummer, and drive over and meet with them. 

      Not at least meeting with the reporter in this case was a mistake.  It carries the appearance of impropriety, and not a little bit of fear of disclosure.  That is like chumming the water for a reporter.  On the other hand, sitting down with them, off camera at least to start with, and talking about all of their questions will disarm all but the most rabid of reporters.

      Radical transparency and telling the truth, even when it might not be comfortable is the only response going forward that will keep this from becoming a millstone around the neck of the church.

    4. CS on Wed, February 10, 2010

      DS:

      The content of that video seems even more condemning than the news story, between the talk of all of the wealth, property, and investments that Young really possesses.  I again recommend reading Rosebrough’s analysis of Young’s finances and full disclosure.


      CS

    5. Naum on Wed, February 10, 2010

      1. I watched Ed Young’s response/defense to his congregation of this TV report (which I will concede was one-sided and a ratings inspired hatchet job) and the squirrelly defense troubled me more than the news story — sort of non-denial denials, with irrelevant marker comparisons (i.e., Young’s claim that compensation less than other similar statured pastors), etc.…

      2. Bigger concern of what message is sent to unbelievers — it confirms their cynicism about the hypocrisy of popular Christian leaders. A Christ follower myself, I certainly cannot see Jesus (homeless, with no possessions/coins) pattern modeled here. Not decrying his wealth as he’s entitled to it, though again, doesn’t look like Jesus to me. Worse, the outbreaks of these types of pastor stories is going to continue to incite the charge to eliminate religious tax breaks.

      3. Outside a few located in his inner sanctum, I wager that Young’s staff isn’t compensated at anywhere near that rate and a great deal of the “intellectual property” championed by Young & supporters is due in large part to their “service” efforts.

      4. What’s the average American salary? 40-50K? Unemployment 10%, underemployment ~20% and those age 25-54 especially hit (1 in 5). Then contrast to mega-pastors with 1M+ homes, living life of luxury, jetting around the world, playing with gadgets and toys most Americans can only dream about…

    6. Todd Rhoades on Wed, February 10, 2010

      Sorry, DS… I hadn’t seen the response from Ed and the church.

      Todd

    7. Mason Stanley on Wed, February 10, 2010

      I’m not sure if any of you are in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and know who Brett Ship is, but we must consider the source.  In 2008 Ship broke news in two different stories, first uncovering faulty pieces to under ground natural gas piping and actually had national regulations changed because of his findings.  As well as uncovering grade chaning scandal for a Dallas high school which cause the school to loose its 2006 and 2005 state championship titles.  Ship was awarded top journaling prizes for both stories

      Recently Ship has had no major stories.  In fact it seems he is swining for the fence on every ball that gets tossed his way.  In a recent interview with Mavericks player, he addressed the issue of the players gf being taken away in cuffs after the player specified the interview was for basketball questons only.  I know it is his job as a reporter to ask the hard questions, but he isn’t even a sports reporter, he was there for the “scandilous” story.

      I’m not trying to take anything away from Ship and his abilities, but I am saying that even Jeter went through a slump and swung at any pitch that was close.  I believe this to be one of those swings at a pitch that look like it could be the one, becaus he has been hitless since 2008.  So we must consider the source, we can all tell the former employee is someone who has a grudge against Fellowship and Ed Young, Ship is a reporter looking for a homerun those two elements combined together make for one great blog discussion!

    8. JOB on Wed, February 10, 2010

      “First, the story itself was pretty weak.  It rested on a single interview with an anonymous person who clearly doesn’t like Fellowship Church.”

      Maybe he doesn’t like “Fellowship Church” because of what he eperienced and has good reason and chose not to suffer in silence The question to ask is was what he saying true or not.

    9. DS on Wed, February 10, 2010

      CS… I read through the links you posted and my opinion after hearing Ed & the Board members speak is different than that of Rosebrough’s and yours. I’m not trying to persuade you or anyone else for that matter. I just wanted to make sure that readers hear both sides of the story.

      Todd… No problem. Just wanted to make sure that the latest word from Ed & FC is also represented here.

    10. jud on Wed, February 10, 2010

      Is Ed Young still “above reproach”?

      It is reaching if your answer to that question is “yes”.

      I believe it is a HUGE conflict of interest for a man to be employed as a full time pastor of a church then turn around and create a quadry of books, speaking engagements, travel etc. that clearly conflict with your position as PASTOR for which you are being very well compensated for. Then you have the church foot the bill for a private jet and a lavish parsonage.

      This is repeating itself all over the country.

      The amazing thing is how people are loyal to the point of overlooking such aggregious error in judgement not because they actually KNOW THE PASTOR but because they are charmed to the point of hypnosis by his personality and or talent as a speaker.

      Again I ask. Is he above reproach?

    11. JR on Wed, February 10, 2010

      Todd, I’m surprised at the way you approached this, not even posting the response. This story was ginned up by WFAA for sweeps week. I don’t always agree with everything Young says or does, but there is really no evidence of him doing anything much different from many other mega pastors across the country. He has sold a lot of books and resources. He lives in a big house. A lot of the money made through his media has benefitted the church.

      I agree with those who say that a modest lifestyle is more impressive, but unless and until there is actually some evidence of of wrongdoing, people need to give him a break.

    12. JOB on Thu, February 11, 2010

      I think most will miss the real lessons that need to be learned from this story,  and they aren’t about private planes and million dollar homes.

      Here is what concerns me most,

      1) A former staff member agreed to speak to the reporter only if anonymous, muffled voice, face blacked out like he was ratting out the mob.  Why?  Maybe we get the answer to this based the response given by one of the board of directors.

      2) The second board of director really, quite frankly, made me mad.  He felt the need to alert the audience that this report was not just an ATTACK on the Young’s but an ATTACK on the entire Fellowship Church.  First of all I don’t see anyone attacking anyone, secondly even if they are “attacking” why is it necessary to be so combative.  Not everyone sitting in a large audience like that is a mature Christian and understands what love your enemies means.  I think I know why the staff member needed to be anon.

      3)I know for a fact Ed Young/Fellowship Church sent press releases to the media last year during his sex experiment series.  He seemed very happy with the exposure then, what about now?  This idea that the media is the church’s friend and the church should use it for it’s advantage should be reexamined.

    13. Darrell on Thu, February 11, 2010

      “Do not receive an accusation against an elder unless there are two or three witnesses” still stands. 

      The kind of living I see in some of these pastors sickens me, when people are starving… but that’s a matter for someone to go to the elders of the church with, not the media.

    14. Mark Brooks on Thu, February 11, 2010

      I have a trip I have to take next week.  I wonder if Ed will let me borrow the jet?  It’s church related.

    15. jud on Thu, February 11, 2010

      The mantra of the seeker church is to not only critique the traditional church, poking fun at it routinely, but to “remove the barriers” that lay before the lost and Salvation.

      Perhaps the greatest barrier for my lost friends is TRUST. Televangelists and their dealings with materialist trappings being a huge part of this.

      So. I’ll ask again, Is Ed Young above reproach?

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