The Next Church Reformation or Revolution Has Already Started, But Did the Man Who Reported the ‘Riot’ Caused by Pastor Wayne T. Jackson in Detroit Pull a Martin Luther and Symbolically Nail ’95 Theses’ to the Prosperity Gospel Church Door?

Here is what happened last Sunday at New Era Church in Detroit where Pastor Wayne T. Jackson was the guest speaker:

Wayne T. Jackson, pastor of Great Faith Ministries International in Detroit, is being blamed for sparking a church “riot” after he asked for attendees at a predominately black church meeting to give an offering of $1,000 each.

After hearing his request, the congregation at New Era Detroit went into an uproar. The church is located in a largely impoverished area and the congregation was understandably incensed at the request.

Zeke, one of New Era’s church leaders, spoke to Fox 2 News about the incident. “The situation is bigger than Wayne T. Jackson,” he said. “This is about black churches and black pastors who live a lavish life on behalf of the people and they’re not giving back to their community.”

Jackson reportedly “said if you don’t have a thousand dollars then do three hundred. And if you don’t have cash then we have an ATM machine.” Zeke continued, “This guy has network churches, fancy cars, I mean million dollar houses and there’s babies in this community that are going without food tonight.”

This appears to be a spontaneous situation—one of those moments when people get fed up with the abuse, the hypocrisy, and the phoniness. A time when people get tired. Is the regular guy, identified only as Zeke, the one who will spark a mass exodus out of the hypocritical, phony, entertaining, money-grubbing, so-called prosperity Gospel churches around the world? Maybe. But he will not be the beginning of the revolution.

The reformation or revolution of house churches has already been afoot for the past ten years. The little blood-washed born-again ones have been slowly but surely marching out of the big, slick, can’t-touch-the-pastor, high-way robbery churches for some time. They are not mad at anybody. They haven’t tried to pull anybody else out. They didn’t say anything bad about the pastor. They were just fed up with being a part of something that has no resemblance to the early church. By the thousands, they have slowly and quietly been meeting in house churches or small Bible-based churches that nobody knows about but God and Jesus Christ. These are gatherings where you can shake the preacher’s hand, if you want to.

Advice to so-called mega-church pastors:

  • The gig is up. Down-size now voluntarily or you will down-size involuntarily.
  • Get rid of your damn Rolls Royce. Excuse the word ‘damn’. I just get carried away — kinda sorta in the spirit of the rioters at the church.
  • Get rid of your mansion and help your poor church members.
  • Shock your members by shaking their hands and waiting at the back door to greet them instead of slipping out the back door like you are the president.
  • Start attending all prayer meetings again and stop delegating the prayer meeting to someone else.
  • Take less meetings and stay home with your people more.
  • Start visiting your church members in the hospital again.

You may not see it, but the next reformation or revolution has already started. To steal a phrase: Get ready! Get ready! Get ready, Preacher!

–Luke Jeremiah