If you are wealthy professional, Gateway Church in Southlake, TX wants you.
According to Associate Senior Pastor Bobby Bogard, Gateway has been given a “grace lane” by God to consider rich professionals as the bullseye for their recruitment efforts. Bogard told this to a group of pastors in January 2017 at the Linked International Network of Churches Equip Conference. Watch:
Gateway Church will be 17 years old this Easter. We’re a spirit filled Charismatic church without the weird or the goofy. I’ve seen the weird and the goofy, believe me. In my charismania days. Um, we have over 30 thousand in attendance on a weekly basis. That’s six campuses., with 26 services. I say all that to say this, big is not always better. Big is not better. But what we are at Gateway Church is we’re healthy and I wanna talk to you about healthy church. We’re healthy in so many different ways. And health is probably one of the main ingredients of our success. In all of the growth that we’ve taken place we’ve remained a healthy organization and a healthy church. A healthy ministry. A healthy people. A healthy staff. Healthy pace. And so, part of our secret sauce is that we’re healthy. Our goal is to become healthy, not to fill buildings with people. Because here’s the deal. If we can become healthy, we will see people filled with God, and then the principle of ‘healthy things grow’ right? So that’s a value that we hold. Healthy things grow. And so church growth is really a byproduct of a healthy church.
Number two is people. We’re all about people. That’s our slogan, it’s been our slogan from the very beginning. I’m gonna drill down to some of this in just a minute. I wanna fly by on a 30,000 foot view, okay? But, we’r e all about people. And the reason we’re all about people is because God’s all about people. Am I right? And so if we’re all about people because God’s all about people, it’s because we know God loves people, and if God loves people we need to love people. But how many of you know, sometimes, in our journey we love Jesus with all of our heart. Right? It’s just some of the people He hangs out with that we have a problem. C’mon somebody? And so, God loves people. I love what Johnny shared, man. I love the fact that John Maxwell is passionate about a million souls, because souls are people. People have problems. People have issues. People have transition. But God loves them in every season of their life. He never turns himself away from people. And so, if you help people, God will send you more people, because God loves people. I’ll say that again. If you love people and you help people, God will send you more people. Why? Because God loves people.
And so as we, as we, look at health, and as we look at people, there are some considerations that we go after in preparing ourselves to be healthy and to love people. And that’s number one is:We’re always asking ourself, who is are target? Who’s our bullseye? Do you know who your bullseye is? Your bullseye, not that you’re not gonna reach all people, because we’re gonna reach all people. We’re gonna be all things to all people, to reach all people. But there’s something that God has gifted you with. There’s a Grace Lane that you have. And that Grace Lane is directed to a bullseye. And who is your bullseye? Who are the people God’s called you to reach?
And so, as we look at our bullseye, God has called us, to reach professional people. That’s our bullseye. We’re still gonna help the down and out. We do it every week. We’re still gonna help single moms. We do it every week. We-we’re still going to uh, look and help marriages and blended families. We’re gonna work through their issues. But our bullseye is the business professionals. Matter fact, in one of our depart- we have a whole department that’s built towards reaching business people. I’m talking about people with influence and large capacities of wealth. That’s our bullseye because we feel like that’s something God’s graced us to do. And if we can reach our bullseye, it will create a ripple, if you will, so that we can reach the others more effectively.
Church Growth via Targeting Rich People
Bogard said these things in January 2017, the same month the church co-sponsored one of President Trump’s inaugural galas. January 2017 is also the same month that I reported that Gateway church started charging youth group kids $2 for pizza and water. In January, a Gateway youth leader went on Facebook to beg for donations from members to help pay for pizza for kids who couldn’t afford it.
Last month, Gateway began laying off staff (as many as 20-30%) and stopped paying some worship and tech staff. Bogard told the pastors’ conference Gateway was healthy but didn’t mention the layoffs and program reductions. However, Bogard did disclose that Gateway has a whole department geared toward reaching “people with influence and large capacities of wealth.” I wonder if anyone in that department got laid off.