Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven? Part 6

Spirit-Led or Purpose-Driven? Part 6

Social Change and Communitarian Systems

by Berit Kjos

This is an important, but unfinished introduction to a very revealing set of links:

Today’s Biblical illiteracy, which is well documented by George Barna, has left churches vulnerable to countless marketing ploys and psycho-social strategies that lure God’s people away from His narrow ways. Cloaked in theological terms and Biblical promises, the new highways become all the more alluring.

Keep in mind, there is far more to the current paradigm shift than meets the eye. For example, behind Saddleback’s mostly clean Christian image hides a plan for global transformation and social restructuring that is hard to imagine. The sophisticated church assessments and data technology that help Christians “discover their spiritual gifts” and prepare for ministry fit right into the communitarian visions of trained leaders and facilitators inside and outside the church.

The new “systems” view of the world focuses on a three-member partnership between the private (corporate) sector, the governmental sector and what’s now called the third or “social sector” (which includes churches).  Each would be made up of managed “systems” — all interconnected through networks, standards and leadership training.  The basic blueprint for these vast networks was prepared by Peter Drucker, the communitarian mastermind behind the “systems theory” of how to manage everything.

Drucker called Rick Warren ‘the inventor of perpetual revival,’[44] and Saddleback Community Church is a starring example of the success of his pragmatic theories.  The following links and quotes expose some of the connections and philosophies that drive the Church Growth Movement:

1. The Drucker Foundation: “The Drucker Foundation worked to realize a vision of the social sector as an equal partner of business and government based on the belief that a healthy society requires three vital and effective sectors working together to change lives. The Leader to Leader Institute will build on the Drucker Foundation legacy by pursuing its mission in three primary goal areas:developing social sector leaders of character and competence; forging cross-sector partnerships that deliver social sector results; and providing leadership resources that engage and inform social sector leaders.”

2The Leader to Leader Institute Vision 2010: “The Leader to Leader Institute will chart the future path for the social sector to become the equal partner of business and government in developing responsible leaders, caring citizens, and a healthy, inclusive society[This is where the small groups and dialectic process enters in]

     “The Foundation will bring the best leadership and management voices from across the world to people of the world with a focus on providing social sector organizations with the ideas and tools that enable them to better serve their customers and communities.

     “The Leader to Leader Institute [the former Drucker Foundation] will realize this vision by… spotlighting social sector innovations and teaching the generic lessons of leadership and management to all three sectors…. Packaging knowledge and experience into tools for social sector leaders in critical areas such as: fund development, marketingvolunteer management[This is where the surveys and assessments of spiritual gifts and talents fits in] collaborationself-assessment, innovation, and measuring results….”


3. Emerging Partnerships: New Ways in a New World: “A Symposium organized by The Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, sponsored by The Rockefeller Brothers Fund [December 1996]….

    “The Drucker Foundation believes that a healthy society requires three vital sectors: a public sector of effective governments; a private sector of effective businesses; and a social sector of effective community organizations [the focus is on large churches]. The mission of the social sector and its organizations is to change lives. It accomplishes this mission by addressing the needs of the spirit, the mind and the body–of individual, the community, and society….

     “As government cuts back social spending, many people expect the social sector to absorb much of the anticipated need for services….

     “The one million nonprofit organizations… that comprise the social sector have only one common characteristic–their tax exempt status. It is their diversity–in mission, philosophy, and community–that uniquely qualifies them to deliver effective services to the community. … We are now talking about a true partnership to build community and produce people who are needed by healthy businesses and a healthy society.”


The large community oriented and purpose-driven churches fit right into the new communitarian model for organizing institutions and monitoring people. That’s why the Rockefellers are involved. 


The Lilly Endowment “a private foundation…that supports community development, education and religion,” has also helped fund the Drucker Foundation. But more recently, it has shown its support for Baptist leadership and pastoral training. Strangely enough, the two — Druckers communitarian vision for the “social sector” and seminary training in community-building — fit together. The article, “Golden Gate Seminary Receives $300,000 Lilly Endowment Grant tells us that the funds would provide “hardware, software, renovations and training needed to fully integrate up-to-date technology” with the seminary’s training program.



This grant makes all the more sense in light of a new partnership between Golden Gate Seminary and Saddleback Church. The Baptist seminary will build a new branch on the Saddleback campus to train church leaders to use the digital data tracking technology needed to meet and monitor community needs around the world. 

The next link sheds additional light on Golden Gate Seminary’s postmodern orientation:

4. Church Growth Scholar Advocates Radical Change in New Millennium: (By Cameron Crabtree) “The evangelical church in North America must undergo radical change with new kinds of leadership in order to fulfill its redemptive mission in the postmodern context of the next century, a church growth scholar told conference participants at Golden Gate Baptist TheologicalSeminary.

“‘This ongoing process of dying in order to live should not unnerve us if we are reading the scriptures right, for crucifixion followed by resurrection is at the very essence of the ministry of Christ,’ said Eddie Gibbs, professor of church growth at Fuller Theological Seminary.

     “Speaking during the annual meeting of the American Society for Church Growth at Golden Gate Seminary’s Mill Valley, Calif., campus, Nov. 12-14, Gibbs warned churches must embrace transitions or ‘forfeit the possibility of exercising a transformational ministry within changing cultures.’

     “In the shift from a modern era emphasizing rationality and unified progress to a postmodern era characterized by pluralism, ambiguity and relativism the church is facing a context in which former concepts of self-identity and purpose are being challenged.

“‘The church itself will need to go through a metamorphosis in order to find its new identity in the dialectic of gospel and culture,’ he said. ‘This new situation is requiring churches to approach their context as a missional encounter.’

“He said the cultural changes with which church leaders must grapple are: -Global. “There is nowhere to run to.” -Rapid. “There is no time to reflect.” -Complex. “There is too much information to absorb.” -Comprehensive. “They affect every area of life.”


Did you notice how the second paragraph puts the crucifixion into a new context? The current “metamorphosis” of the church has nothing to do with the crucifixion! Instead, it adapts the heart of the gospel to a human agenda, putting God’s unchanging Word into a postmodern context. As Pastor Warren does throughout The Purpose-Driven Life, it contextualizesBiblical truth, using it to validate its message rather than to preach the Word.


To “embrace transitions” churches must embrace Georg Hegel’s dialectic strategies. This process, embraced by Marx, Lenin and Stalin, uses the tension between opposites (thesis andantithesis) to create synthesis and prepare people for change. This dialectic process involves continual social change following a pre-planned purpose. 

Look at some of the history behind the psychological strategies that prepare church leaders to build churches that complement the envisioned 21st century community:


The History of Faith at Work: “But a change was on the way. In the first place, the new leadership was open to change. … Smaller groups allowed greater openness and emotional intimacy. In that environment new procedures developed.

     These procedures were partly the outgrowth of the Human Potential movement and related behavioral principles and processes. Transactional Analysis with its emphasis on personal O.K.ness, the National Training Laboratories with their interest in honest and open encounter, Parent Effectiveness Training which argued for seeing the child as a person, Esalin, Gestalt and a host of other workshops, laboratories, strategies and training centers — all put the total human being at the center and pleaded for a greater awareness of personal growth and identity. …

      “Under the leadership of Faith at Work, and with some funding assistance from the Lilly Endowment, a series of clergy conferences was held in the spring of 1970 in six American centers: Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Chicago, and New York…. The result was the Leadership Training (Development) Program which was launched with another grantfrom the Lilly Endowment in the fall of 1970….


      “The objectives of self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-delight, of group building, and of discerning gifts governed the institute program. Here as elsewhere there was an effort to fuse Biblical faith with insights from the behavioral sciences.” Rom 12:2


Bob Buford, the founding chairman of the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management (now titled “Leader to Leader Institute), made his management strategies available to Pastor Rick Warren and Saddleback years ago. Among the sermons offered for sale at Pastor Warren’s website, www.pastors.com, is a 1997 sermon credited jointly to Rick Warren and Bob Buford titled, “Leaving a Legacy.”

Buford left his top role at the Drucker Foundation to found Leadership Network, which seems to serve as a virtual arm of the Drucker Foundation offering management theories, training and technology to large churches around the world. Through its global network of large churches, Buford has been bringing Drucker’s management structures to pastors and church leaders around the world. His website, leadnet.org, tells us more:

5. To Everything There Is a Season: “Leadership Network moved to Dallas and has grown to be a primary resource to which 21st century congregations and church leaders turn for information, innovation, and networking. Under Brad’s leadership, our services expanded to include networking the next generation of church leaders through the Young Leaders Network and theTerra Nova project. We launched the Leadership Training Network that has focused on equipping and releasing the laity in ministry and service. Our large church forums have grown to include urban as well as suburban churches and a new network is focusing on missional church leaders who are pioneers in community transformation.”


Did you notice the word “missional” again? It was used in the earlier statement by Eddie Gibbs, professor of church growth at Fuller Theological Seminary who spoke at the Golden Gate Seminary. Let me repeat his explanation: “‘The church itself will need to go through a metamorphosis in order to find its new identity in the dialectic of gospel and culture….’This new situation is requiring churches to approach their context as a missional encounter.'” In other words, the dialectic process (facilitated small groups) must synthesize (blend) the two opposites: “gospel and culture.”


That’s wrong! Jesus Christ, our Lord, made a clear distinction between the two. He tells us to be “in the world” but not “of the world.” God’s holy gospel and the world’s corrupt culture are incompatible. They cannot be synthesized! [2 Cor 6:12-18] God’s people must not conform to the unholy world. Yet the dialectic process is driving both Saddleback and other compromising churches further from the truth and closer to the world. [Romans 12:2]


In the past few years, the postmodern vision of the “missional Church” has spread underground like a cancer. One of its “missionary centers” is Regent College in Vancouver Canada, former “home” of  Professor Eugene Peterson, author of The Message:

6. Congregational Resource Guide [Regent College, Vancouver]: “With the current decline of mainline churches in our pluralistic culture, the ‘professional’ pastor has become ineffective and must give way to the ‘missional’ pastorEffective Church Leadership defines and lists the major resources of a missional pastor-leader. The reader will find practical help with the four central tasks of a missional leader: helping people rediscover power in the whole of their lives; helping people become communities of reconciliation; helping people discover meaning in everyday life; and helping people discover how they can make a difference. The missional pastor helps church members discover who they are now on the mission field, their specific mission tasks [that’s why they must “discover” and “develop” their “spiritual gifts”], and the central convictions about ordinary life in light of the gospel. The author gives practical insight into how pastors and key leaders can transform themselves and their communities of faith into vibrant and true mission outposts. A plan for pastoral evaluation and an evaluation worksheet are included.”

The next two links show the same collective “transformation” — based on the same psycho-social strategies — in a secular context. Both articles are written by Rick Smyre, President ofCommunities of the Future. Both indicate the need to motivate the masses to accept the planned transformation. The standard process for motivating people is embrace this collective change is to exaggerate the gap between the current crisis and a lofty vision of an ideal future. In the Purpose Driven Paradigm it would be the gap between a current inadequacy and the noble purpose or vision of future perfection. The worse the present condition — and the higher the envisioned goal — the greater the gap and the more powerful the motivation to change.

7. Building Capacities For Community Transformation: “All local communities are faced with the need to prepare themselves for a constantly changinginterconnected and increasingly complex society. This article emphasizes the needs to develop webs of learners throughout any community who have the capacity to understand the impact of trends of the future and who work in parallel to community strategic planning….

“Without developing new capacities for transformation, communities will continue to try to improve existing ways. It is important to be aware that incremental change and the old ways of doing things no longer work….

“Until an individual sees the need for change, no true change can occur because of the struggle and commitment that is necessary. In addition, until a community environment allows people to be open to new ideas, there is no safe haven for thinking differently. Finally, until local communities begin to see value in talking about ideas, there will be resistanceto real change. …

“No longer fixed and rigid with standardized rules, a pattern of dynamic and constantly changing connections require a change in our human consciousness….

Transformational change reflects a change in the very essence of the institution, concept, method or technique….

“Focus on building a core group of community leaders who have a passion for learning. The potential for all communities of the future is to evolve an overall framework of innovation by developing small networks of learners.”


8. Rewiring a Community’s Brain for the 21st Century: Aligning the Cosmic Dance: “The Principles of Transformational Learning. …Leadership in general will move from top-down direction, prediction, and control of outcomes, to the natural idea of facilitating and motivating diverse people in methods of adapting to changing circumstances….The idea of ashifting context of information will become the new environment of learning. All people will need to become adept at adaptation…. A futures context requires that the idea of a ‘mindset’ be discarded and replaced with the concept of ‘mindflex.’ All learners will need to become comfortable with rethinking, reorganizing, and redesigning….

“Those who are able to understand the changes in context brought about by the transformation of change will be capable of vitality in a dynamic society….

     “Be open to new ideas of any kind. Filter those that do not resonate with an understanding of a new reality. One of the greatest obstacles to learning within a constantly changing society is the need for certainty. The idea of certainty of outcomes will be replaced with the idea of continuity of principles. [Naturally, Biblical absolutes will seem obsolete. They won’t “resonate” with the new understanding of reality.] Certainty of values will be the glue that holds communities together. It will be important for all education and learning to search for, emphasize, and bring to consensus a family of values [such as tolerance, unity, inclusiveness]….

      “Establish experiments and receive feedback…. Focus on collaboration among diverse people and ideas and allow them to combine in different ways… ….Develop a new system of evaluation to judge the systemic integration of core competencies, the ability to ask appropriate questions, and the ability to connect disparate ideas in continuous innovation. …Build webs of learners throughout an organization and community. Understand that the subpatterns of change will demand a new concept of individual learner…. The ideas of ‘learning webs’ will be added to Peter Senge’s popularization of the idea of ‘learning communities.’”


Let’s go back to Bob Buford, founder of the Leadership Network. Buford gave Peter Drucker an amazing compliment in the dedication of his book, Half Time. He called Drucker “the man who formed my mind.” Honoring his mentor, Buford helped fund a 2002 documentary on Peter Drucker’s long life. It was aired on CNBC in 2002.

In 1998, Buford wrote chapter 7 (“How Boomers, Churches, and Entrepreneurs Can Transform Society”) in a “Drucker Foundation” book titled The Community of the Future [http://www.jossseybass.com]. In it, Mr. Buford wrote:

“There are three major sectors in American society: the government, which ensures compliance with laws and allocates resources; the business sector, which proves jobs and fosters economic development; and the social sector, which addresses social and existential needs (“existential” meaning the making of personal choices in the context of a free society). All three sectors must do their part if we wish to create… healthy, socially functioning communities in the twenty-first century. …

“For if we cannot learn to live with each other in vibrant, fully functioning communities, then we will soon have everywhere what we already have to a large extent in the inner city, which is anarchy. And anarchy quickly and inevitably gives rise to tyranny, whether on the right or the left.” (page 35)

The Community of the Future, introduces Bob Buford as “founder of Leadership Network, a nonprofit organization that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship among leaders of large churches and parachurch organizations….  He has held leadership roles with the Young Presidents’ Organization and the World  Presidents’ Organization and has been amoderator of executive seminars at the Aspen Institute.”

The Aspen Institute gained a moment of public fame shortly before sweet little Elian Gonzales was sent back to Cuba some years ago. Because the little boy’s mind had been corrupted with American thinking, the six-year-old had to go through a mind-changing re-entry process at the Aspen Institute. His little friends were transported to the temporary “school” so that the small facilitated group and the dialectic process could wash his young mind of individual thinking and retrain him in collective ways.

Founded in Aspen, Colorado, but linked to the British-based Tavistock Institute for Human RelationsThe Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies (AIHS) calls itself “a global forum” which “seeks to improve the condition of human well-being by fostering enlightened, responsible leadership and by convening leaders and policy-makers to address the structural changes of the new century.” This training center for a global army of psycho-social change agents works through offices in Germany, Japan, Italy and France as well as the United States. Its manipulative and transformative conferences are usually held in Aspen or at the beautiful Wye plantation in Maryland .

The AIHS website summarizes its mission and policies in nice-sounding words that few would challenge. For those who look deeper, they reflect the socialist vision of the master-minds behind the world’s sophisticated mass psychology and manipulative consensus process — well indoctrinated men and women determined to crush all hindrances to their quest for a new world order: not quite capitalism, not quite socialism, but Communitarianism or the Third Way. Ponder this statement on its program page

“The Leading Change seminar is both intellectually challenging and immediately practical. For example, research indicates that as many as 80% of all change initiatives fail. A major factor contributing to the high failure rate of change initiatives is a natural, deep-seated resistance to change within an organization. Throughout this seminar, senior executives consider the nature and sources of resistance to change and how to overcome them. They explore ways of making the organizational environment receptive to ongoing change and ensuring that beneficial changes become embedded in culture and practice.”

In 1976, the AIHS published A New Civic Literacy. It offers a glimpse of the philosophy taught and touted at its global conferences — one that shows alarming sympathies with the manipulative education strategies used by Fidel Castro’s team of Communist trainers. The author, Ward Morehouse, writes, 

“Experimental activities should be undertaken  to see to what degree formal learning experiences can shape the world views of Americans so as to make those views more compatible with (or at least less resistant to) adjustments in behavior and attitudes necessary to cope more effectively with problems of interdependence….  

“The kind of educational transformation for which we have argued in these pages will not come easily. Changing complex social institutions in any fundamental way requires unlimited quantities  of sweat and almost certainly some tears, if not blood.”[2]

In light of the above agenda, it’s not surprising that the Aspen Institute is funded by globalist foundations such as the Carnegie Corporation, The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (once headed by Alger Hiss) and the Ford Foundation.

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