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Church Run Like A MLM

Some churches are run on a system very similar to multi-level marketing (pyramid selling). Many levels of authority and the new guy at the bottom is answerable to one person on each level. Where does this idea come from, is it remotely scriptural?

Moderator - It comes from the pit of Hell. I come across a church that was run this way and could not believe it.

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 ---f.f. on 6/7/06
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It sounds like an Amway group....
---NurseRobert on 4/28/08

As far as I know MLM is just the newname for pyramid selling which was made illegal many years ago in the u.k. The types of churches described in the original question are similar to churches with cell groups and some do have cell groups but they are not one and the same things. Different ideas get adopted by different churches so that some who were at one time not doing something now do it and this 'shepherding'(I call it interfering) process has been adopted by several churchesnow.
---Sara_Hassocks on 4/28/08

1st pyramid's are illegal, MLM is not pyramiding. A pyramid is like GM, president, VP's, management, middle management, etc.

MLM you tell your story to people,(witness)gather and study,(small group, cell) help them tell their friends and on and on. That is how the church grew in Acts. If you read it out about 300 disciples mentored the 3,000 on Pentecost. 10 per deisciple. Very MLM
---dan on 4/28/08

Just to stir the pot... Show scripture for huge buildings, incorporated conglomerates, building funds/bond programs, ministries that not only ask for overhead money but promote it as a virtue, tax incentives sought from the government, political involvement, and much more we take as normal today.
---mikefl on 4/27/08

Just out of curiosity, how do people feel about the Salvation Army and their military titles for various servants? I personally love what they do (and boy do I like to shop there lol) but have never been too sure of this "ranking order" thing. What do you guys think of it?
---Mary on 8/16/07

I wonder if the original poster was referring to the "Cell Church" phenomenon? This is not MLM (in the financial sense), just in the heirarchical organizational sense. It seems to have been popularized by Paul Yongghi Cho's mega-church in Korea.

I recently read an article that such organizational structures cause psychological changes in the participants - it gives them mentalities more like "soldiers in an army".
---Mark on 8/16/07

This is accountability/shepherding partners.
Exactly what we've been talking about.
Cult, just like the emergent church so many want to be a part of.
---Ted on 8/16/07

Are they actually selling a product or is this a template for administration?
---Andrea on 8/15/07

Yes, many churches would not be in agreement with the apostle Paul in how he recommended that churches be run. Philippians 3:19, I Corintians 9:18. Research church hhistory. Donations were given to the poor of the church and to traveling missionaries. And hopitality was encouraged towards all members of the Lord's body.
---Debby on 8/15/07

What you are describing is a cult, with the love of Money as its god.

The first concern of the Church should be prayer, in refrence to Jesus Words of indignation, "My house is to be a House of Prayer!!
---Marcia on 8/15/07

geez - never saw any of this stuff in any of my churches?
---Andrea on 8/15/07

Well, I learn something new every day. I have never heard of a church run like a pyramid.
---shira on 8/15/07

You're joking!! That is not even remotely Scriptural.
---Helen_5378 on 3/23/07

Sorry to hear the controversy with MLM in churches. It doesn't have to be that way. I know plenty of bivocational pastors who handle their second job just fine. They don't pounce on their members to get their business. My prayer is that this manner of life would be present in the MLM organizations within our churches. After all our life is about serving God as we serve the people He loves.

Ced Reynolds - The Entrepreneurial Pastor
---Ced_Reynolds on 7/5/06

They literally prey on and wear out Pastors by their endless dramas because they refuse to listen, grow up, or even pray before they call. Just a few minutes with the Holy Ghost will reveal to you whether your situation is critical enough to make that call. Many of these people get mad when they hear that the Pastor is with someone else. It's ridiculous.
---Linda6563 on 6/8/06

He was to handle the big things while the captains handled the small things. If the captains couldn't handle the dispute, it was to be brought before Moses.

Equally as sad as the MLM system is the "leech system". In other words, folks who won't let anyone but the Pastor minister to their needs (unless it is a financial need...then they will take it from anybody).
---Linda6563 on 6/8/06

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The only Bible principle I find for anything close to this is when Jethro (whose name means excellence) told Moses to appoint captains over tens, captains over fifties, and captains over one hundreds to settle the small disputes because the people were wearing out the "pastor (Moses)" by their endless disputes. Moses, instead of being for the people Godward, was having to sit as judge in front of an endless line of standing people whose whole lives were nothing but murmuring and complaining.
---Linda6563 on 6/8/06

Wow f.f.! I would rather have a personal relationship with the Pastor myself than to have to go through all that. You know what I think? I think this is a world system in use in the Church because so many people are afraid of true intimate relationships.
---Linda6563 on 6/8/06

2. When I say 'everything' I mean everything. Members are to seek advice and guidance from the one above them about how to spend their money, whether or not they should go on holiday, change the car, go to college, take a girl out, marry etc. They expect you to tell them really personal stuff and to abide by what they 'advise' you to do. Some leave quite early on but others stay for years. I feel that by then they are brainwashed as much as those in cults are.
---f.f. on 6/8/06

In these churches a newcomer is 'befriended from day one. The befriender becomes their 'mentor' who wants to know everything about them and expects them to ask his advice on everything before acting. BUT this mentor also has has a mentor, to whom he must go for advice, ever since he was the new guy and his mentor also has get the drift. This goes right up to the top person (whoever that is) in the church, who, in effect, has control and gives permission (or not) to everybody about everything.
---f.f. on 6/8/06

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