BATON ROUGE, La – With the dizzying series of scandalous sexual, moral, ethical and theological cliff dives by prominent church leaders, a welcome and much needed attempt to address it by Pastor Larry Stockstill of Baton Rouge, LA. From Charisma:
Is the church in crisis? When it comes to integrity among leadership, Larry Stockstill thinks so—and he wants you to do something about it.
Larry Stockstill, pastor of Bethany World Prayer Center in Baton Rouge, La., is calling church leaders to do more than just talk about living right. At the Summit on Integrity, a one-day gathering of ministry leaders, he’s urging them to commit to a lifestyle of integrity that encompasses every area of private and public life.
Amid an increasing number of high-profile church scandals, Stockstill is partnering with Ministry Today magazine and the new Ministry21 Network to invite leaders to a daylong discussion on Nov. 16 in Lake Mary, Fla., on how church leaders can combat the sliding morals found in the ministry world and take a stand for righteousness.
“Isn’t it time we come back to the purity of a Billy Graham, whose ‘Modesto Manifesto’ kept him free from sexual embarrassment, numerical exaggeration, financial impropriety and vicious divisions for more than 60 years?” Stockstill says. “Why is the American population less inclined to follow spiritual leadership than ever in our history? Why does the credibility rating of spiritual leaders rate below ‘used car salesman’ and thousands of leaders drop out of the ministry annually? It’s time we confront the spiritual, moral and ethical decline in the body of Christ.”
No, its way past time. However, there are some things about this that leave me with questions:
The cost to attend the conference is $200 for Ministry Today readers, and $100 for Ministry21 Network members. Lunch is included in the price, and spouses can attend for free. The event is limited to 200 people.
And why only 200 people? Out of the thousands of at risk church leaders?
Stockstill said it himself:”thousands of leaders drop out of the ministry annually”. (our bold). And his church seats 10,000 so I dont understand this. Perhaps someone can enlighten me on why if there are thousands of pastors and leaders with integrity issues (which I believe there is), why with all the abundant resources you have at your disposal would you hold such a conference and limit it to 200 people who have to pay $200 each?
The announcement says the summit will feature “discussions on financial integrity, sexual and relational purity, personal character, and other integrity-related issues that apply to personal, family, corporate and even the national arena. Along with receiving personal ministry time, church leaders will be invited to sign both the Statement on Integrity, which will be released to the public, and a more personal Remnant Covenant. This written oath is based upon Stockstill’s book The Remnant, which has been distributed to more than 150,000 leaders in the U.S. and overseas, and argues that “accountability in standards of church discipline, finances, media, Internet, travel, counseling and appearances can revolutionize the present climate of suspicion and loss of influence presently characterizing ministry leadership.”
Not another “covenant document“. I would suggest that Pastor Stockstill revamp this and send personal invitations to Bishop Eddie Long, Bishop Jim Swilley, Bishop TD Jakes, Juanita Bynum, Pastor Jamal Bryant, George Bloomer, Benny Hinn, Paula White, Marvin Sapp, Paul Crouch, Dr. Bobby Jones, Tony Compolo, John Styll, Bishop Charles Blake and others who are responsible for some of the problems with integrity in the church. See if they will accept and come to learn. Additionally, the price should be drastically reduced and open to at a minimum 2,000 pastors and leaders and take away the “club membership” feel to it.
I have mixed feelings on this. What do you think?