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Exposing The Greed In Our Pulpits
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Preaching Like A Rock Star
Confessions Of A Preacher Groupie
PimpPreacher.com New Orleans Bureau 09/03/2012
You don’t have to be a rock historian to know that the legendary band The Grateful Dead had a legendary following. From concert to concert, venue to venue, this army of faithful fans would appear out of no-where just to get front row viewing of their greatest band in world. Despite the fact that I’ve never liked the music performed by Jerry Garcia’s Grateful Dead, even I had to respect his fan base known as “Dead Heads.”
Whenever an artist has reached the pinnacle of their career it’s not hard to understand why some would follow them around the country, but what about when preachers develop groupies? T.D.Jakes would be the equivalent of Jerry Garcia in the world of preaching for his ability to get thousands of Christians to appear front row for all of his performances.
I can remember when I first encountered his earlier concert in the 90’s called The Back to the Bible Conferences – Bishop Jakes was the main act. That night he performed an act titled “We are all Here” which was the one performance that made me want to be a preacher.
Never mind that Bishop Jakes stole the entire conference concept from another church rock star Bishop Paul S. Morton, and Morton stole it from COGIC’s Azusa Street Revival, but I digress. On The Back to the Bible Conference Jakes had a lineup of some of the “Hottest Preachers” of the time period, sort of like a church Lollapalooza on steroids.
Then came the Woman Thou Art Loosed concert tours which broke all attendance records for church concerts as T.D. Jakes packed out stadiums like the Louisiana Superdome, and the Georgia Dome just to name a few. Here is the pitiful part - at some point during the course the concert marketing, the actual preacher became bigger than the Jesus he was going to preach about, and this is my story of how I became a Preacher Groupie.
Confessions Of A Preacher Groupie
Even I got caught up in the whole Man Power concert tour even though I never had an opportunity to attend one in person. I still considered myself a preacher groupie because I purchased every $99, $199, $299 Box Video set Bishop Jakes released. I was not satisfied until I knew I had been exposed to every preacher in his lineup – and I made myself listen to each sermon multiple times. Yes I admit that I was a mild groupie, but none the less I was still a Preacher Groupie.
In the mind of the groupie they fail to recognize that they are in fact worshiping the messenger instead simply absorbing the message. In true groupie form, if you would have called me a “Groupie” back in 2001, I would have said “Satan Get Behind Me” in defense of my idol Bishop T.D. Jakes. Looking back on it I now know that I was a calculated payoff for a preacher that was definitely a much better Events Planner, than he was a servant of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Here’s Why.
We all have gotten caught up at one time or another, but to stay caught up makes you a groupie. Even Jesus seemed very uncomfortable reaching such a high level of popularity in such a short period of time, which may explain why so many scriptures start off with “and when they found him.” Every time I come across a passage of scripture that indicates that the disciples were looking for Jesus, I realize that even Jesus had to get away from them in order to give them time to refocus on the Father.
Groupies are very easily attracted by the packaging of the artist because their senses can be very easily manipulated. Was I manipulated by T.D. Jakes? Yes I was, but it was not all his fault because no one ever sat me down and explained to me that he was just a human. There is a type of groupie that requires an intervention in order to break the spell of fanaticism, but that never happened because everyone around me was also a groupie.
He is just a Human, but in my groupie world he was to ultimate example of a believer. If the truth be told, I didn’t know for sure if T.D. Jakes even believed in Christ, all I saw was his performance.
His performances captivated me, and kept me purchasing every word he said. In my case the event planner was very successful, because I bought product. Even after the simulcast events were over, I still bought the sermon. I continued to buy sermon products until Jakes ran out of new stuff to say, which took him 13 years to hit a creative wall.
It is important that I confess my idolatry first in order to get you to see that it’s not what you did in the past, but what you’re doing now to correct your groupie behavior.
With all of the money I had sent to T.D. Jakes Ministry one would think that he would have a picture of me on his kitchen wall, but I was just another groupie. A nameless face, a ticket purchased, a completed credit card authorization, just another Preacher Groupie.
How Do You Take A Bow In Front Of Jesus?
I would really love to ask Jesus how he felt watching the Woman Thou Art Loose conferences – was he impressed by the whole spectacle? I mean, the entire event was held in his honor right? Regardless of my intended sarcasm you know as well as I do that the Woman Thu Art Loose concert, and every other religious concert since then has been all about The Preachers.
Even at the peak of my Preacher Lust I never traveled across country to see him perform, but I wanted too. What makes a person plan six months in advance, save up $1500, board a plane or drive, just to see someone read the same scriptures they have heard before?
Before you answer that question please allow me to add one more question for any preachers who may encounter this article.
How do you allow a crowd of people to worship your preaching while losing sight of the reason you’re preaching?
As I said earlier – I cannot blame Bishop Jakes entirely because I was So Caught Up like Usher, but let’s talk about the part that was his fault. He liked the praise! He enjoyed every moment that we jumped up and down and ran around the Georgia Dome. I can’t recall Bishop Jakes ever saying “The one that follows me is Greater than I am” not at all, he sucked it all up. Call it spiritual insecurity or even narcissistic, but a humble servant never took the stage during all of those concerts.
What took the stage was a preacher who understood that he could do it better than the majority of the preachers in the country, and the groupies would be willing to pay for it in exchange. I paid for it, you paid for it, even our mothers, and grandmothers paid to see this religious superstar on stage, doing his thing.
But what about Jesus, did he really get the Glory?
Yesterday I tracked down one of those old Woman Thou Art Loose conference tapes on Youtube and it made me call a friend of mine who was in attendance on that particular tape. I asked her if towards the end of the conference did Bishop Jakes still collect an offering after she had already paid the cost of admission, and her reply was YES!
“Oh my God, they did raise an offering at the end, and at least one hundred women lined up to donate.”
She seemed in shock now looking back on it, but I think on yesterday she realized that she was a part of a big scam. After she paid the $1500 to get there, Bishop Jakes and his Band of Begging Preachers still raised as offering, stacking new money, on top of old money.
The “A” List Of Preachers
If you were to ask me in 1999 who was the greatest preacher of all time then I would have probably listed my Top Five starting off with Jakes, and ending with Jeremiah Wright (with a few other Whoopers in between). It’s sad now that I look at myself back then and how I allowed a man to take my eyes off the greatest preacher the world has ever known, The Timeless Jesus Christ.
Here was a preacher that shook up two nations within a three year period, yet we can’t even get one preacher to make a difference in a twelve mile radius. He stood up for the least of us, and provided food just to prove that a Pastor can feed an entire congregation without taking up an offering.
The greatest preacher to ever take the stage had the opportunity to be part of the clique or band, but opted to remain the world’s greatest solo act. This preacher didn’t even have a church location and never built a family life center, but he was a church, and he was a family life center.
As more and more people heard of his preaching abilities and talents, after they experienced him, he practiced crowd control by sending them away. After he healed you, HE SENT YOU AWAY. After he gave you food, HE SENT YOU AWAY. After he cast a demon out of you, HE SENT YOU AWAY. After he raised you from the dead, HE SENT YOU AWAY. In everything he ever accomplished he was always mindful that it was not by his might or will, but the father – SO PLEASE GO AWAY!
The greatest preacher of all times never collected people – he dispersed people. Why? Because Jesus had a fear of God that would never allow a groupie to worship him regardless of the circumstance or the gift they received. He is in fact the Greatest Act to Follow, which explains why we have so many One Hit Wonders.
Ladies and Gentlemen Jesus Has Left The Building
And he called to him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
CHURCH FOLK REVOLUTION