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Author Topic: GCM is GREAT  (Read 77363 times)
Linda
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« Reply #60 on: January 11, 2010, 04:28:33 pm »

Next bit of "research": New Life, University of Michigan!

New Life says it began as a "student group" in the mid-1980's, with the first pastor coming to Ann Arbor in 1991 as a researcher in biochemistry. Since I believe that GCM was started in 1989, this "student group" somehow became involved in GCM after its inception. I wonder how that happened and whether they were affiliated with any other group with the beginning initials GC before changing to affiliation with GCM.

From the web page (linked below), the assumption I would make as a parent reading it (and wondering who my student was involved with) is that a bunch of Christian students on the U of MI campus got together for fellowship 20+ years ago. I would then assume that this group grew and someone with pastoral skills just happened to start school there by the Providence of God and a church began.

From what I know about GCC and how it doesn't tell the full story, I believe that some students and elders were handpicked and sent by McCotter during that big church planting thing they did in the mid-80's. I would further assume that the biochemistry "pastor" was also handpicked by GC elders and sent to school there (a convenient cover for campus involvement). Am I wrong? I hope so.

http://www.nlcweb.org/node/index.php?q=node/5
« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 05:18:36 pm by Linda » Logged

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« Reply #61 on: January 11, 2010, 05:20:19 pm »

Here is a directory of GCC churches as of 2008 and GCM churches as of 2006.
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Linda
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« Reply #62 on: January 12, 2010, 08:14:47 am »

As time permits, I am checking the web pages of the GCM churches on the list that Tom gave me. As we know, the GCM web page distances itself from GCwhatever, by mentioning that the online detractors are not talking about GCM and implying that GCM is a totally separate entity from any other GCgroup. I think I found the smoking gun to that argument.

I wasn't sure what church he meant when he said "University of Texas", so I googled GCM and University of Texas. I came up with Fellowship Church. Here is the link to it's history. Again, it goes way back and mentions "McCotter", but not by name (but as a zealous young Christian leader in CO).
http://www.fellowshipcc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2&Itemid=17

Then, I found this. The smoking gun. This church, identifies itself with GCM, but identifies itself as part of GCeverything. I rest my case.
Quote
Our Associations
Just as it is important for each Christian to be united with others in the body, it is best for the local church to have relationship with other churches.

While Fellowship Church is considered nondenominational, with no outside authority over the church, we are glad to have a great relationship for collaboration and accountability with similar churches throughout the U.S. and in several other countries.

Our closest tie is with GCM Churches, a small group of churches in university communities. We work closely with Great Commission Ministries (GCM) which provides the organizational and fundraising system for our ten full-time staff working with Fellowship as missionaries to college students and internationals.

The larger, worldwide family of churches and ministries in the Great Commission movement which began in 1970 includes GCM Churches, Great Commission Churches (mostly community churches in the US), Great Commission Latin America, and Great Commission Europe.
Here's the link:
http://www.fellowshipcc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3&Itemid=3
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Linda
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« Reply #63 on: January 12, 2010, 08:32:33 am »

FYI, GCM tweaked the page. Here's the link. We are still online detractors.
http://gcmweb.org/who/OthersSay/Questions.aspx

Quote
There is a group of online detractors of the Great Commission movement. They typically identify their complaints with GCM, but their concerns are actually with churches associated with the historic Great Commission movement or with GCM Churches—not with GCM as a mission organization. They misrepresent GCM when they label any church associated with the Great Commission movement as a “GCM church.”

BTW, has any here ever identified our complaints as with GCM? Has anyone here ever labeled all churches associated with GC as being a GCM churches? I always assumed that GCMwarning was a generic term referring to the Great Commission Movement and all their affiliates. Interestingly enough, the one concession in the above statement is that it now states that people have concerns with GCM churches and not just historic GCC churches!

Tell me, GCM people, how can you distance yourself from GCM churches! Or, are you now saying that GCM churches are really under the authority of GCC?
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EverAStudent
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« Reply #64 on: January 12, 2010, 10:52:49 am »

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There is a group of online detractors of the Great Commission movement

It is probably appropriate to keep in mind that Diotrephes had his own "group of detractors," otherwise known as the Twelve Apostles.  Seems we detractors might be in good company.
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BTDT
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« Reply #65 on: January 12, 2010, 04:08:08 pm »

FWIW, I happen to agree with the "tweaked" GCM statement quoted above.

Linda, I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on this. As far as I can tell, GCM has taken a good, solid direction. I'm not saying every GCM church is problem-free - no denomination or association can claim that. But I feel comfortable with them, and will not condemn them or their associated churches without just cause.  IMO, playing "the six degrees of Jim McCotter" is not just cause.

GCC/GCAC, I'm not so sanguine about, based on things they continue to teach and do, at both the national and local level.

-B-
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BTDT
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« Reply #66 on: January 12, 2010, 05:06:07 pm »

New Life says it began as a "student group" in the mid-1980's, with the first pastor coming to Ann Arbor in 1991 as a researcher in biochemistry. Since I believe that GCM was started in 1989, this "student group" somehow became involved in GCM after its inception. I wonder how that happened and whether they were affiliated with any other group with the beginning initials GC before changing to affiliation with GCM.
As I understand their history, the original UMich church was an "Invasion '85" team, but pretty much fizzled out. Mike Pape (the biochemist) and Steve Hayes (the full-time pastor) re-energized it a few years later. I'm guessing that, being a college church, it made more sense to be under the GCM umbrella. 

I think you'll find a somewhat similar situation with the University of Maryland.  A team from Columbus planted a church at UMd, and it eventually developed a big community ministry.  For a while the two (campus and community) were 2 parts of the same church (along with a budding "international" ministry). Eventually the campus and international groups were spun off on their own.
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Linda
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« Reply #67 on: January 12, 2010, 05:12:32 pm »

What I noticed about the statement on the GCM site was that it says that the problems people have are not only with GCC churches, but also with GCM churches.

Quote
They typically identify their complaints with GCM, but their concerns are actually with churches associated with the historic Great Commission movement or with GCM Churches—not with GCM as a mission organization.

I was surprised to read that since it comes off sort of critical of GCC and GCM churches. They are definitely trying to distance GCM from the churches.

The issue is not so much the six degrees of Jim McCotter (or one degree as many of the cases are), but rather what the current leaders believe. Do they go through the GCLI training and go through all the hoops that GCC pastors do. Things like that. I find it hard to believe that they could possibly do those things and say they have changed. That's all.
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AgathaL'Orange
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« Reply #68 on: January 13, 2010, 03:14:29 pm »

Another facet of the weirdness is that GCM employees may work at a GCC church UNDER the authority of the GCC church.  It seems to me that GCM wants to separate itself from GCC, but doesn't have the guts to really do it.  Or the power to change the involvement of it's missionaries with GCC. 
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« Reply #69 on: January 17, 2010, 09:14:45 pm »

It seems to me that GCM wants to separate itself from GCC, but doesn't have the guts to really do it.  Or the power to change the involvement of it's missionaries with GCC. 
I think you have it, right there. Great insight, Agatha; thanks for sharing it.

Tonight, I read the posts from the last week or so.  I think it's clear that GCAC hasn't changed after all, or maybe "the old guard" regained control, who knows.  If I were GCM, I wouldn't want to be even remotely associated with all that.  I'd change my name, pull my people out of GCAC churches, and not look back.  That may be asking a little much of them, though.
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« Reply #70 on: January 18, 2010, 04:12:25 pm »

"potato - potahtoh" they are all the same   Roll Eyes other wise why would GCM minstries be associated with GCM churches or are they associated with other 'denominations' also. Campus Crusade and Navigators personnel attend a variety of churches
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Coffee
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« Reply #71 on: January 25, 2010, 01:20:55 am »

I went to Riv for close to 8 years and if it wasn't for 4000 miles of distance would still be going there. I would be happy to provide any info you think would be helpful to this. Riv is one of the healthy GCM churches. I was intrigued when I stumbled across this forum, then shocked by what some of the GCx churches have been doing/are teaching. Having come from an unhealthy church in my childhood, my cult radar is pretty fine-tuned, and I can't ever recall having any warning bells going off in my head at Riv. The first service I went to, when I was seeking a church, was about hate and how women, throughout history, have been victims of hate and repression. I was so impressed with the way they handled the teaching, that I kept coming back; it was both biblically sound and historically accurate. As a historian, that was important to me. I grew more spiritually at Riv than I have at any other time in my life.

As for Faithwalkers and HSLT (i think those were the letters), I don't recall ever hearing about either one. I did attend Ignite one year. It was good; music, fellowship, teachings, all were good. I have heard of LT, but it is not heavily promoted, and in the last few years I can honestly say that I'm not sure that it was even mentioned. Riv had always promoted itself as a GCM church, for what it's worth. Though in the last few years, there has been little mention of GCM that I can recall.

Riverview works with other community churches for outreach events like food drives, etc. It's not an exclusive church, rather one that seeks to work within the community. They are involved in many community drives, from the local AIDS network to Shared Pregnancy drives. The philosophy is that we can best show Christ's love by letting His love shine through us.

I don't know exactly what you are looking for in regards to your research, Linda, but I'd be willing to help out in any way. Though I no longer attend, I remain close friends with many current attendees.
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« Reply #72 on: January 25, 2010, 02:00:20 am »

I'm doing the research on each GCMC church, it may take some time. I'll start with Riverview Church in MI. Here is a link to the history.

*Had to delete the link to post*

My point: By their own admission, while Riverview may be a GCMC (or whatever initials they go by now) church now and not a GCC church, as far as I can tell from reading the history, the elders there are still appointed by each other in a chain that is directly traceable to McCotter. Therefore, it is impossible to separate GCC from GCM unless, at some point, all ties (leadership and otherwise) were cut. Correct me if I am wrong.

I'm not sure that I can correct you, just give you some insight. FWIW, I hadn't heard of McCotter until I stumbled on this site, so I don't have a clue what the chain that is directly traceable to McCotter is. I do know, that when 2 of the more recent pastors were ordained, it was not a surprise to anyone. These two men had much ministry experience within our church, and it has always been my understanding the the ordination is patterned after the early churches with discipleship and spiritual guidance, see Acts. (I can actually see how this could be bad if your leadership is unhealthy.) One of our pastors had left (on good terms, still comes back and visits) and it was natural that he should be replaced. We don't have a lead pastor at Riverview. I don't know if that is the same as with other GCx churches. FWIW, when people have asked what Riv is, my response is that we are a nondenom evangelical church with a loose affiliation with the  missions organization GCM. As for seminary experience for pastors, it is neither necessary nor discouraged.

As for calling our leadership elders... well, we don't at Riv. Our "elders" are our older church members, and not necessarily life Riv attenders or in ministry or leadership positions either. Our elders are not appointed, so I assume you are talking about actual pastors.

Feel free to ask me anything you wish. I can tell you that Riv has not heavily promoted its GCx roots in all the time I've been there. It's always been a loose affiliation.
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Linda
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« Reply #73 on: January 25, 2010, 06:05:56 am »

Hi coffee,
I'm glad your experience was good. My "research" consisted of looking at the churches that I was told were GCM churches (now GCMC churches) and seeing if they were connected to GCC churches. The GCM web page and Tom Mauriello had led me to believe that GCC churches and GCMC churches were not connected. (He was not understanding that the GCM in gcmwarning.com stood for Great Commission Movement and thought it was Great Commission Ministries, so was bothered by the title of this web site and put a disclaimer on his web page calling people posting on this site "detractors"). The point of my simple research was to show that GCC, GCM, and GCMC churches have the same shared history and practices.

Riverview was the easiest to connect to GCC because they give their history on their web page. (If you know the history of Great Commission and the names and places of the men, you know from the statement on their web page that that they were actually a GCI church plant, but then GCI changed its name to GCC. So Riverview was a GCI, then a GCC, then a GCM, and now a GCMC church--I may have missed a name change or two). However, through all the name changes, the history remains the same.

Quote from: Riverview's web page
In the Fall of 1977, a church-planting team from Ames, Iowa moved into town to start a college church on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. The idea was to use homes and university classrooms as meeting facilities, and pour energy and resources into people. The two leaders, Dave Bovenmyer and Larry Clemente, desired to help college students come into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and then to disciple them in their Christian walk.

That church planting "team" sent from Ames, Iowa was sent by founding self-appointed "apostle" Jim McCotter. As far as I have been able to tell Riverview has not separated itself from its history and the line of leadership continues. The whole chain of authority started with McCotter. He "appointed" Dave and Larry to be "elders". They, in turn, appointed other elders and the chain continues to today.

My point with this and all GC churches is that whether or not you have heard the name Jim McCotter, people need to know that all men in leadership at GC can be traced to him and his faulty assumption that he was somehow appointed by God to be the founding apostle of this movement and that all under his leadership had to obey him without questioning and commit for life. All men in leadership have been hand picked by a pastor to be placed "under" that pastor and participate in the "secret" (meaning unavailable to the average Joe Christian) GCLI teachings. All men in leadership are taught that leaders speak for God and are ALWAYS to be obeyed.

Bottom line: All GCwhatever churches have a faulty beginning in McCotter and a shared history. The example we were given by a pastor helping us sort this out is that it is like a shirt that is buttoned incorrectly. The only way to get the shirt buttoned correctly is to go back to the place where the mistake happened and start over. I have yet to hear any GC church take a stand against the faulty teaching of McCotter, so any "correcting" they may think they have done has been merely cosmetic. They haven't gone back to where the problem started and fixed it.
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« Reply #74 on: January 25, 2010, 06:49:45 am »

I can tell you that Riv has not heavily promoted its GCx roots in all the time I've been there. It's always been a loose affiliation.
Hi, Coffee -- thanks so much for posting. If you've read this thread, I'm sure you've seen that there is a range of opinion on this topic.  I still feel that I have a fundamental difference of opinion with Linda.  I strongly believe that people and churches associated with the "historic" GC movement can change.  Not all of them have chosen to do so, but some have.  I was heavily involved with a church that has done so (Valley Brook in Maryland).  The three pastors that led the change (and eventual leaving from GCAC) were closely involved with McCotter while he and they were in Maryland. Yet, they saw the problems and made a hugely positive change, in themselves and in our church.  (OK, yeah, I know -- it was God that made the change.  But change they did.)

I see it like a dysfunctional family. The deck may be stacked toward the continuing of the dysfunctions, but if the kids recognize it, they can work to make their own families better, and their kids can do the same, and so on.

I'm really happy that you hadn't heard of the "old GC" past, and that your radar didn't light up at Riv.  Smiley
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« Reply #75 on: January 25, 2010, 06:52:21 am »

(He was not understanding that the GCM in gcmwarning.com stood for Great Commission Movement and thought it was Great Commission Ministries, so was bothered by the title of this web site and put a disclaimer on his web page calling people posting on this site "detractors").
That really explains the current wording on the GCM web site, that the "GCM" in "GCMwarning" is referencing the (historic) Movement and not necessarily the current GCM.
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Linda
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« Reply #76 on: January 25, 2010, 07:35:48 am »

Quote from: BTDT
I still feel that I have a fundamental difference of opinion with Linda.  I strongly believe that people and churches associated with the "historic" GC movement can change.
What is our fundamental difference again?! I never said that I don't think GC churches can change.

Quote from: BTDT
The three pastors that led the change (and eventual leaving from GCAC) were closely involved with McCotter while he and they were in Maryland.
Interesting. Three churches left GCAC. I didn't know about that.

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« Reply #77 on: January 25, 2010, 08:10:11 am »

What is our fundamental difference again?! I never said that I don't think GC churches can change.
Then I'm probably misunderstanding some things that you wrote. You've written "all men in leadership at GC can be traced to him and his faulty assumption" and similar things.  I've taken that to mean that, as long as the leadership line can be traced back to McCotter, then those churches are faulty unless they've publicly and completely severed ties with GC.

Interesting. Three churches left GCAC. I didn't know about that.
I was referring to one church with three pastors.  Others may have left GCAC, but I'm not aware of them.
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Linda
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« Reply #78 on: January 25, 2010, 08:23:09 am »

Quote from: BTDT
You've written "all men in leadership at GC can be traced to him and his faulty assumption" and similar things.  I've taken that to mean that, as long as the leadership line can be traced back to McCotter, then those churches are faulty unless they've publicly and completely severed ties with GC.
Tell me, how can a church that hasn't severed ties with the past and current teaching of McCotter (which involves obedience to leaders in ALL things and commitment to the church--meaning GC church-- for life) be a healthy church?
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Linda
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« Reply #79 on: January 25, 2010, 08:57:36 am »

Quote from: BTDT
I've taken that to mean that, as long as the leadership line can be traced back to McCotter, then those churches are faulty unless they've publicly and completely severed ties with GC.
Also, assuming that the current leaders saw problems with the past and changed, where did they get the right to even be a pastor? Where does their authority come from?
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