NETWORK HISTORY

Key milestones in the development of Steve Morgan's Network of Churches

From left to right: Shu-hui Morgan, Steve Morgan, Amanda Paull, and Sándor Paull from the early days of Vineyard Community Church (now called Vine Church) in Carbondale, IL

NETWORK HISTORY

Many members, staff, and pastors within The Network do not have deep context for when these churches began beyond a few often-repeated stories. Most of the founding members of The Network are no longer associated with these churches, and only a small fraction of the current pastors were there "from the early days."

The intention of the following timeline is to clearly and concisely lay out the development of this group of churches. It is not presented to discount the role of God the Holy Spirit in building churches, but rather to list objectively the actions leaders took throughout its formation so readers can discern for themselves what was natural and what was supernatural. We have only included names and events which were integral to the development of The Network as it exists today.

We have done our utmost to ensure everything presented here has been corroborated by multiple witnesses. We have aimed for honesty and transparency. When in doubt, we left it out. If you have knowledge of the events listed and would like to clarify, correct an error, or simply ask questions, please email [email protected]. We thoughtfully consider every suggestion. We will include additional items to the timeline if they affected the development of The Network and are indicative of a larger pattern of behavior.

In addition to footnotes this timeline also highlights questionable behavior or actions. The ! symbol indicates a reference to one of the signs listed in the article "8 Signs of a Dysfunctional Church." We have included links back to the specific behavior involved underneath each section of the timeline. Many of the documents cited on this page are available on our Primary Sources page.

JUMP TO YEAR:

Steve Morgan was arrested in 1987 for allegedly commiting aggravated criminal sodomy against a minor in 1986 while a youth pastor in Johnson County, Kansas (greater Kansas City Metro area)

  • Steve Morgan was arrested in 1987 for allegedly commiting aggravated criminal sodomy against a minor in 1986 while a youth pastor in Johnson County, Kansas (greater Kansas City Metro area). Steve was 22 at the time of the alleged assault.[1] A person close to the situation has reported that the alleged victim was a 15-year-old male.
    • Steve had moved to Kansas after graduating with a bachelor’s degree from Graceland University, a religious university affiliated with the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints.
  • Further details of Steve's arrest, including court records of the charges which were brought against him and his diversion agreement, can be found on the Sexual Abuse Allegations page

REFERENCES:

[1] District Court, Johnson County, Kansas. Kansas vs Steven D Morgan. Johnson County court records, Case number K0053903. www.jococourts.org. Accessed 6 July 2022.

 

  • Steve claims to renounce the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints while attending Central Michigan University[1]
    • RLDS (now called Community of Christ) is a denomination of the Latter Day Saints movement based out of Liberty, Missouri which separated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) denomination after the death of the religion's founder, Joseph Smith

REFERENCES:

[1] Morgan, Steve. "Our Story and How We Do Church", Nov. 2011, pp. 14-15.

 

  • Steve meets Larry Anderson at the Ziegler, IL Vineyard while a PhD student for communication at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. Larry would go on to mentor Steve and encourage him to become a pastor
  • Steve invites Sándor Paull, a 20 year old Industrial Design student at SIU, to visit the Ziegler Vineyard with him[1]
  • Steve leads his first small group

 

REFERENCES:

! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Mystical Manipulation

[1] Morgan, Steve. "Our Story and How We Do Church", Nov. 2011, pp. 5.

 

  • The Toronto Blessing , a charismatic revival associated with the Vineyard Association of Churches, begins in Canada
    • The revival at the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church was characterized by ecstatic worship, religious ecstasy, and unusual religious phenomena, such as "holy laughter" and the spontaneous collapse of worshippers (called "Carpet Time")!
    • The Toronto blessing would have a profound impact on the culture, worship, and ministry of other Vineyard Churches as well as the worship experiences at Vineyard Conferences held throughout the United States
    • Steve Morgan traveled to Toronto to experience these services
    • For more information on the Toronto Blessing listen to Season 1 of Heaven Bent by Tara Jean Stevens from the Frequency Podcasting Network
  • Steve Morgan hears John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard Association of Churches, speak while attending a charismatic Vineyard conference similar in style to the Toronto Blessing
  • Steve claims to have received visions and dreams which show he will convert the people of Carbondale to Christianity, and that those whom he saves will quickly "mature" and go on to convert others!
    • This idea of a "quickly maturing harvest" would become the foundation of Steve's vision for church planting. He will go on to convince many over the coming years to make his vision a reality through tactics outlined in the article "8 Signs of a Dysfunctional Church"

REFERENCES:

! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Mystical Manipulation

 

  • Steve decides to plant a church in Carbondale, IL. Larry Anderson supports him in this decision. The Vineyard Association of Churches approves the church plant
  • Steve recruits Sándor Paull for his new church
    • Steve tells Sándor that God told him to ask Sándor if he "wanted to do the things that Jesus did"!
    • Sándor would go on to become a leading figure in The Network, acting as a second in command in recruiting and carrying out Steve's vision
  • Steve accepts a job at Southern Illinois University and uses his position at the school to convert many of his students to Christianity
    • While a faculty member Steve marries Shu-hui, an undergraduate student at SIUC
    • While engaged Shu-hui donates $30,000, "the last of the money her parents had given her for school" to the church plant[1]

REFERENCES AND FOOTNOTES:

! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Mystical Manipulation

[1] Morgan, Steve. "Our Story and How We Do Church", Nov. 2011, pp. 39.

 

Steve Morgan in the early 2000s leading an event at Vineyard Community Church (now called Vine Church) in Carbondale

  • Public services begin for Vineyard Community Church in Carbondale at the Holiday Inn. Average attendance is 47 people.
  • Steve claims his wife Shu-hui woke in the middle of the night and prophesied to him "build a big foundation and you won't have to protect yourself."!
    • Steve interprets this phrase to mean the leaders within the church structure were to become his "foundation." He believes he can ensure implicit trust in the people he promotes by knowing them deeply (knowing all their "junk"). He becomes convinced that this kind of "relational leadership" would protect him from betrayal!!
    • He would later say Shu-hui's prophetic utterance "became words by which I've lived"[1] and would use them to justify his controlling behavior in the years to come
    • Shu-hui does not remember saying these words[2]

REFERENCES AND FOOTNOTES:

! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Information Control

!! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Confession as Leverage

[1] Morgan, Steve. "Our Story and How We Do Church", Nov. 2011, pp. 40.

[2] Morgan, Steve. "Our Story and How We Do Church", Nov. 2011, pp. 40.

 

Members of Vineyard Community Church (now Vine Church) in their first permanent building on S. Wall Street in Carbondale, IL

  • Vineyard Community Church builds a permanent location on S. Wall Street in Carbondale. Attendance is 250
  • Steve hires Sándor Paull as an additional pastor. Ben Powers is hired not long afterwards when he graduates seminary in Chicago. Sándor and Ben are Steve's 1st and 2nd hires for the church
    • Ben is one of the very few Network pastors to be hired after finishing seminary—in the years to come Steve would go on to actively disparage external Bible scholarship and training!
  • Steve further develops his vision for church planting, and begins to groom members to be part of the "foundation" of The Network:
    • Noble Staley begins One Way, The Network's first church plant, in Decatur, Illinois
    • Jeff Miller, Tony Ranvestel, Scott Joseph, and Aaron Kuhnert are all identified as future church planters
  • The phrase "Jesus loves you and Steve Morgan has a plan for your life" becomes a common "joke" at the Carbondale Vineyard[1]
    • Though said in jest, this phrase reveals the reputation Steve was developing for dramatically altering the lives of the people who came under his sway!!

REFERENCES AND FOOTNOTES:

! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Information Control

!! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Mystical Manipulation

[1] Morgan, Steve. "Our Story and How We Do Church", Nov. 2011, pp. 67.

 

Steve Morgan and his family, along with nearly 50 people, moved with him from Carbondale, IL to Seattle, WA to start Blue Sky Church in 2004

  • Attendance at Vineyard Community Church in Carbondale grows from 300 in 2001 to 700 people by 2004
    • Steve sends out two more church plants:
      • Jeff Miller plants ClearView Church (now Foundation Church) in Bloomington-Normal, IL
      • Ben Powers plants City Lights Church in St. Louis, MO
    • At a pastors' conference, Steve hears The Vineyard Association announce a new "fast plant" program to encourage pastors who had successfully planted a church to "do it again"
      • The church planting program includes an incentive to pay a portion of the lead pastor's salary along with $50,000 for startup expenses (Steve and Blue Sky would be paid $250,000 by Vineyard over the course of 2 years)
  • Steve appeals to an internal team gathering for people to join him in moving from Carbondale to Seattle to plant another church by sharing supernatural visions and dreams he claims to have received.
    • He does not mention the Vineyard Association's new "fast plant" program or their incentive to provide his salary at this meeting!
    •  In one oft cited dream, he crosses a river full of fish representing followers and then goes over a hill to see the Space Needle in Seattle. This was taken as a sign to go to Seattle. A private painting of this dream was commissioned and is now hanging in the lobby at Blue Sky Church in Bellevue, WA!!
    • Around 50 people answer the appeal and agree to be part of the church planting team
    • Steve announces that he is giving the proceeds from the sale of his Carbondale home to hire a children’s director at the new church.
    • Steve institutes strict dating rules for all who accompany him on the church plant[1]!!!
    • Anyone who is caught dating would face the threat of expulsion from the church once in Seattle!!!!
    • In Seattle, Steve forbids members of the church planting team from getting tattoos, smoking cigarettes, or consuming alcohol[2]
  • Steve describes the transition of leadership of Vine Church to Sándor Paull as difficult because he was "giving people to another person"[3]
    • His language implies "ownership" of the people of the church, as if they are transactional objects to be traded between pastors. This language of control and ownership continues to this day

REFERENCES AND FOOTNOTES:

! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Information Control

!! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Mystical Manipulation

!!! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Demand for Purity

!!!! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Control of Who Exists

[1] Morgan, Steve. "Our Story and How We Do Church", Nov. 2011, pp. 48.

[2] Morgan, Steve. "Our Story and How We Do Church", Nov. 2011, pp. 90.

[3] Morgan, Steve. "Our Story and How We Do Church", Nov. 2011, pp. 82.

 

For many years ClearView Church (now Foundation Church), the second church planted out of Carbondale, met at the Castle Theatre in Bloomington, IL

  • Steve Morgan decides to leave the Vineyard Association and create a "no-name network of churches" taking with him all the churches he had planted from the Carbondale Vineyard[1]
    • Vine Church in Carbondale, IL
    • One Way Church in Decatur, IL
    • City Lights Church in St. Louis, MO
    • ClearView Church in Bloomington-Normal, IL
    • Blue Sky Church in Seattle, WA
  • Steve agrees for Blue Sky to pay back $250,000 given by The Vineyard Association which had been used for a portion of his salary and for startup costs for Blue Sky. By 2007, Vineyard is repaid in full
  • Each Network church begins forwarding a percentage of its monthly giving into a newly established General Network Fund, which is controlled by Steve and a select few Network leaders
    • Prior to leaving Vineyard these funds were sent to the Vineyard Association. The General Network Fund operates without the governance and accountability which the Vineyard had previously provided
    • The Network does not announce this budget change to church members. The General Network Fund continues to collect a percentage of monthly tithes from the local churches into perpetuity
    • Eventually the fund is used to pay the salaries and travels of the Network Leader (Steve Morgan), his assistant, and Network worship leader (Chris Miller)
  • Two Primary reasons precipitate Steve's decision to pull out of the Vineyard Association
    • Vineyard churches were uneven and inconsistent in worship, preaching style, and culture. Steve did not want to associate with churches which did not practice "our values of doing local church"[2]!
    • Vineyard USA had become an egalitarian movement[3] (meaning leadership of those churches believed women and men were equal within the church) while Steve believed women and men should have strongly defined roles based on gender (this view was called complementarianism).
    • Steve would go on to champion complementarianism within The Network after leaving the Vineyard Association. Women were removed from leadership roles, including local church board members and small group leaders (unless the groups were solely comprised of other women). For all small groups led by a married couple, the man's name would be listed first in all communications. Wives were instructed to be subservient to their husbands and take on non-leadership roles in the church!!
  • The shift in theology and denominational identity is minimized at team meetings in which the pastors at the churches claim the unique worship and culture of The Network is one of a kind, and that it would be extremely difficult for members to replace!!!
    • Steve's mentor within the Vineyard continues to warn Steve that his approach was too inwardly focused and that there was danger in training people that his way was the only way to do church
    • The phrase "ruined for life" becomes a common boast of acceptance among pastors and members who become convinced there is nowhere else they could go to experience God!!!!
  • Steve tells Tony Ranvestal he cannot continue to mentor him if he remains in the Vineyard Association[4]
    • Tony was identified as a church planter by Steve in 2000. He had moved out of Carbondale and had become a pastor at the Vineyard in Champaign, Illinois where he was sent out to plant River Vineyard Church (now named Clear River Church) in West Lafayette, Indiana

REFERENCES AND FOOTNOTES:

! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Sacred Science

!! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Doctrine over Person

!!! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Control of Who Exists

!!!! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Loading the Language

[1] Morgan, Steve. "Our Story and How We Do Church", Nov. 2011, pp. 118.

[2] Morgan, Steve. "Our Story and How We Do Church", Nov. 2011, pp. 103.

[3] Ranvestel, Tony. “River Vineyard Church Team Vision Meeting”, Transcript of August Vision Meeting, Aug. 3 2008.

[4] Morgan, Steve. "Our Story and How We Do Church", Nov. 2011, pp. 104.

 

A church service at Blue Sky's first building in 2007 in Bellevue, WA. Bellevue is across Lake Washington from Seattle.

  • Tony Ranvestel pulls River Vineyard Church in West Lafayette, IN out of the Vineyard and joins the "no-name network." The church is renamed Clear River Church
    • The primary reason given for this change was over the issue of complementarian theology. Tony teaches at an internal team meeting that men "have the primary calling of authority and leadership" [1]
    • Tony unilaterally and abruptly disqualifies a previously trusted teacher in the church without consulting the board, barring her from preaching based solely on her gender
    • (More context surrounding Tony's abrupt theological shift and subsequent affect on the members of the River Vineyard (Clear River Church) is available on the primary sources page)
  • Attendance reaches 400 at Blue Sky Church in Seattle, WA in 2010
  • Attendance reaches 1600 at Vine Church in Carbondale, IL in 2010
  • Vine Church plants 2 more churches, bringing total number of churches in The Network to 7
    • Scott Joseph plants High Rock Church in Bloomington, IN in 2008
    • Aaron Kuhnert plants Brookfield Church in Athens, OH in 2011
  • One Way Church in Decatur, Carbondale's first church plant, is shut down permanently on recommendations by Steve and Sándor
    • Noble Staley moves back to Carbondale to be a staff pastor
  • Annual Network Conferences are held at Vine Church
    • Summer conferences become an unspoken yearly requirement for all leaders in The Network!
    • These events are created for the purpose of "getting newer people at the church to go further in their commitments [with the church]." [2]
    • Steve uses these events to identify new leaders and will create dramatic spiritual encounters with young men whom he will later promote within their churches!!
  • A check for over $1 million is sent to Blue Sky to a new entity called "The Network Church Planting Fund"[3]
    • The Network Church Planting Fund becomes a shared resource of the Network and has a governing board including Larry Anderson and Steve Morgan
    • Local churches apply for funding for church planting candidates and, if the candidates are accepted, hire them as pastors with their salary paid by the Church Planting Fund for a period of time, usually three years. After that time pastors are expected to plant churches in other cities[4]
    • Candidates for these funds do not know they are being considered. Steve meets them during Network Conferences or other meetings to gauge their "leadability," and discusses afterwards with the nominating pastor
  • Pastors are asked to stop cashing out their retirement accounts for church offerings as it became obvious the practice would lead to financial ruin

REFERENCES AND FOOTNOTES:

! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Demand for Purity

!! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Mystical Manipulation

[1] Ranvestel, Tony. “River Vineyard Church Team Vision Meeting”, Transcript of August Vision Meeting, Aug. 3 2008.

[2] Morgan, Steve. "Our Story and How We Do Church", Nov. 2011, pp. 182.

[3] Morgan, Steve. "Our Story and How We Do Church", Nov. 2011, pp. 116.

[4] Blue Sky Church. "Network Church Planting Fund Brochure", BSC, [circa 2011-2012]

 

Steve Morgan prays for a young man while on the floor during worship. During the Toronto Blessing revival of the 90s this kind of spiritual experience was called "Carpet Time"

Conferences and retreats would become the primary pipeline for pastors to draw young men deeper into The Network by creating supernatural experiences. Pastors would seek out young men who reacted during the ecstatic worship services. Many of these men would begin to be groomed for leadership within The Network.

  • Blue Sky plants Hills Church in Pullman Washington, bringing total number of churches in The Network to 8
    • Hills is the first new church in The Network not sent out by Vine Church in Carbondale
  • Steve lays out Network-wide standards on when and how church plants will replicate themselves within The Network[1]
    • Church planters must only use Network-approved methods for church growth, small group structure, worship, preaching methods, etc and not "reinvent the wheel"!
    • Pastors  must be "home-grown" (converts from within the Network)!![2]
    • Steve's "build a big foundation" philosophy requires all pastors to have confessed "all their junk" before coming on staff!!!
    • Churches can be awarded grants to hire future church planters from the Network Church Planting Fund (managed by Steve Morgan)
    • Churches must reach 500 in weekend attendance before planting another church, and, upon reaching that milestone, should plant a church every other year[2]
    • The sending church must "give sacrificially" every other year to send out church plants—a suggested $250,000 is to be donated from members of the congregation. This suggested amount would increase in subsequent years. Some plants would have offerings in excess of $500,000
      • Pastors in The Network begin teaching more often on financial giving to "encourage" the congregation to "give sacrificially"!!!!
      • Church members are encouraged to cash out retirement and downsize homes to fund future church plants
  • Pastors are instructed to "carefully watch" others' lives and doctrine so that all people within The Network "keep the unity of the Spirit"[1]
    • The phrase "unity in the spirit" would give continued license for pastors to replicate Steve Morgan's coercive behaviors and manipulative leadership!!!!!
    • The controlling leadership Steve demonstrated with the Blue Sky team spreads throughout The Network:
      • Tattoos were not allowed[3], yoga was forbidden, dating was tightly controlled by small group leaders, certain medical treatments and practices were banned, drinking alcohol was strongly discouraged or forbidden outright, parents' choice of education options for their children was heavily scrutinized, etc!!!!!

REFERENCES AND FOOTNOTES:

! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Sacred Science

!! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Information Control

!!! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Confession as Leverage

!!!! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Doctrine over Person

!!!!! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Demand for Purity

[1] Morgan, Steve. "Our Story and How We Do Church", Nov. 2011, pp. 118-121.

[2] Blue Sky Church. "Network Church Planting Fund Brochure", BSC, [circa 2011-2012]

[3] @•••<name redacted•••. "I have 0 doubts what Steve Morgan thinks about tattoos. #cnsc13." Twitter, 28 June 2013, 10:05 pm, twitter.com

 

Steve Morgan at a Conference in 2013. The pastors and board members behind him are, from left to right: David Chery, Scott Joseph, Steve Dame, Dan Digman, James Chidester, Justin Major, Tony Ranvestel, and Kendall Lane. - photo from Facebook

  • Ben Powers is unable to continue leading City Lights Church in St. Louis, MO under increasing mental and emotional distress brought on by years of difficult church planting and confusing, prophetic leading by Steve Morgan. He is persuaded by Steve to return with his family to Vine Church in Carbondale, IL!
    • Jeff Miller, lead pastor of ClearView church in Bloomington-Normal, moves to St. Louis in 2013 to replace Ben at City Lights Church. Justin Major, associate pastor at ClearView, becomes lead pastor
    • Ben Powers departs The Network altogether in 2014 to avoid further spiritual abuse and accepts a pastoral position at Calvary Church in Saint Peters, MO
    • After Ben leaves pastors in The Network disparage him in teachings and exhort others to always obey their leader, unlike Ben!!
    • Ben was a pastor in The Network for 14 years
  • Blue Sky Church conducts a $13 million renovation on its building in Bellevue, WA
    • Attendance grows to over 800
  • A majority of Network churches stop posting weekend teachings online for the public!!!
    • Previously public resources are now accessible only to members who have passwords to access them
  • Membership requirements for Network churches become much more strict, requiring 20 hours of classes and a written agreement for ongoing time commitment!!!!
    • An extensive series of Membership Bible Training classes, which were developed internally by The Network, are required. These classes become the only Bible training endorsed by The Network
    • 10% tithe becomes mandatory for all members
    • Prospective members must sign an agreement that they will attend a small group and follow their leader
    • Longtime members are required to participate in new requirements or lose membership!!
  • In 2015 Clear River Church in West Lafayette, Indiana becomes third church in The Network to begin planting churches
    • Oaks Church in Muncie, Indiana becomes first church plant not sent by Vine Church or Blue Sky Church
  • The Network grows to 13 churches by 2015

REFERENCES:

! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Doctrine over Person

!! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Control of Who Exists

!!! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Information Control

!!!! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Demand for Purity

 

Steve Morgan purchases $1.5 million estate northwest of Austin, TX with tennis courts, a pool, and a longhorn cattle ranch which he operates as a side business

  • Steve Morgan leaves Seattle to plant Joshua Church and moves Network offices to Austin, Texas.
    • Inspired by Steve's message to give everything up for God, 63 people, many of which quit their jobs and sell their homes, join him as part of the new church!
    • Steve purchases $1.5 million home Northwest of Austin, TX. The home is 5,774 sq feet and sits on a 20 acre estate with tennis courts, a pool, and a working cattle ranch[1]
    • Steve begins operating JT Longhorns as a side business from his ranch. He had contractually forbidden all pastors and staff in the Network from operating side businesses. Steve's role in The Network precludes him from oversight and accountability for these types of decisions.!!
      • Note: The JT Longhorns site was scrubbed of all data mentioning Steve, but we have archived it here
  • Sándor Paull leaves Carbondale to plant Christland Church in College Station, Texas, less than two hours from Steve
    • Christland Church is the 11th church to be planted out of Vine Church in Carbondale since 2001
  • The Network grows to 18 churches in university cities throughout the United States
    • All churches planted by 2017 have been sent out by Vine Church, Blue Sky Church, and Clear River Church

REFERENCES:

! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Mystical Manipulation

!! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Sacred Science

[1] "Home Value: Price and Tax History."Home Listings for •••<redacted for security>•••, Leander, TX 78641, Zillow.

 

  • City Lights Church in St. Louis, MO, leaves the Network after pastor Jeff Miller refuses to obey Steve Morgan's mandate for "unity in all things"
    • The "Unity in All Things, Great and Small" doctrine is formally introduced at the Network 2017 Fall Pastors Retreat, and introduced to all Network leaders at the 2018 Network Leadership Conference[1]. Jeff challenges Steve’s demands of absolute obedience in all matters, great and small.!
    • Steve expects Jeff to resign as Lead Pastor of City Lights. Jeff refuses.!!
    • Steve tries to fire Jeff, but is unable to because of City Lights' bylaws. City Lights' board votes whether to oust Jeff as pastor and stay in the Network, or keep Jeff and leave The Network. Without a unanimous vote to oust Jeff, Jeff remains in his position and City Lights leaves The Network
    • Three staff members (two pastors and the kids director) loyal to The Network leave City Lights, which begins to reorganize as an independent Christian church
    • Over the next year ClearView Church, led by Justin Major, changes its name to Foundation Church and all mention of Jeff Miller is scrubbed from its history!!
    • City Lights Church and Jeff Miller were part of The Network for 16 years
  • Steve Morgan consolidates power of The Network through the Network Leadership Team in response to City Lights leaving The Network
    • The Network Leadership Team becomes the governing body responsible for hiring and firing pastors within The Network.
    • The Network requires all local churches to adopt new local by-laws which acquiesce to The Network by-laws, and which allow The Network Leadership Team to amend local churches' bylaws "as needed"[2] !!! 
    • Local church members were not made aware of these changes!!!!
    • Read more about how the Network Leadership Team undermines the local churches and creates conflicts of interest for board members in the article "How Are Network Leaders Held Accountable?
  • First international church plant, Roots Church in Taipai, Taiwan, is planted by Nelson Liu from Blue Sky Church

REFERENCES AND FOOTNOTES:

! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Demand for Purity

!! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Control of Who Exists

!!! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Sacred Science

!!!! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Information Control

[1] Paull, Sándor. "Followers Should Obey Their Leaders in All Matters," 2018.

[2] "Network Leadership Team Operating Bylaws," 2018, Article V, pp. 11

Steve Morgan preaches on a Sunday at Joshua Church in Austin, TX

  • The Church Network grows to 25 churches by 2021
  • Brian Schneider attempts to plant Stoneway Church in Reading, England but struggles to begin Sunday services due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other delays
  • By 2021 a number of employees are on The Network's payroll which comes out of the General Network Fund (paid for by a portion of tithes from all churches within The Network)
    • The employees who are paid out of the General Network Fund (or partially out of the fund) include Steve Morgan as The Network Leader, Steve's executive assistant, Chris Miller as Network worship leader, and James Chidester as Network Counselor who is available only to pastors. James keeps a side business as a sports psychologist under the business name Austin Sport Psychology.
    • Steve continues to deny The Network is a centralized organization, despite it operating in practice and spirit as an entity under Steve's explicit control, funded by its member churches[1]!
    • Unlike the Church Planting Fund (which is funded by donations[2]), the existence, stewardship, and underwriting of this General Network Fund is obscured and not freely known to most Network members!!

REFERENCES AND FOOTNOTES:

! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Sacred Science

!! Signs of a Dysfunctional Church | Information Control

[1] "Our Network." Joshua Church Online, Joshua Church, www.joshua-church.com/about/church-network.

[2] Blue Sky Church. "Network Church Planting Fund Brochure", BSC, [circa 2011-2012]

 

FURTHER READING:

NO ACCOUNTABILITY: Read about how The Network’s leadership structure undermines local churches and creates conflicts of interest for board members