The Vertical Leadership Cohort Illustrates the Evangelical Industrial Complex. Plus Why is Luke MacDonald Teaching/Coaching?

Vertical is offering a Leadership Cohort that is being held at Harvest Bible Chapel Elgin. The cohort takes place four times a year. Its half way to being completed. What is troubling is that Luke MacDonald is one of the coaches in the cohort. Why is he teaching after the Harvest Bible Chapel scandal still unfolds? Better yet why this Worship Cohort by Harvest as this scandal continues to unfold? Harvest is in no condition to teach people about worship. 

“I don’t care half so much about making money as I do about making my point, and coming out ahead.”

Cornelius Vanderbilt 

“Making money is certainly the one addiction I cannot shake.”

Felix Dennis 

Keep me safe, Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
    protect me from the violent,
    who devise ways to trip my feet.
The arrogant have hidden a snare for me;
    they have spread out the cords of their net
    and have set traps for me along my path.

Psalm 140: 4-5 NIV

Luke MacDonald can be seen in this picture. 

This was sent to me the other day and this needed to be looked at in detail. Vertical Worship is holding regular cohorts, even as the Harvest Bible Chapel scandal is unfolding. Lets get into the weeds. 


What is the Vertical Leadership Cohort? 

The Vertical Leadership Cohort is actually held at Harvest Bible Chapel at Elgin, Illinois. Its a two day event held four times a year. Its costs $2,500 per worship leader, which does not include lodging or airfare to Chicago. There are books and study materials given plus a group dinner at each cohort every Thursday. In order to be eligible this is what is required: 

  • Be currently leading worship in a church.
  • Be endorsed by his/her church Leadership.
  • Submit a reference from his/her Lead/Senior Pastor.
  • Have graduated from college, or have 2+ years vocational worship leadership experience.

They have already held two cohorts this year. The first one occurred on January 17, and 18, 2019. The cohort included the following. “Intensive includes: Worship Leader and Senior Pastor Relationship / Leadership in Worship / Assessment of skill / Philosophy of Worship / Service Planning.” The second cohort took place on April 25 and 26, 2019. That included the following material. “Intensive includes: Pastoring, Shepherding and caring for your team and volunteers / Recruitment and Auditioning / Working with Production teams // Biblical Soul Care / Personal Spiritual Inventory.” The third cohort takes place on August 15, and 16, 2019. That cohort will focus on, “Intensive includes: Song Writing – the why, the how, the now / Theory and practical class from experts / Practical Writing Session / Song Evaluation / Creating and Maintaining a Songwriting Culture at your church.” The final cohort takes place on November 7 and 8, 2019. The subject of the last cohort is as follows. “Intensive includes: Maintaining a Worship Culture, Next Steps of Ministry, Presentation of Worship Philosophy and Original Songs.” 


What Coaches Are Involved? 

The cohort leaders over the year are as follows. 

  1. Andi Rozieris a worship pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel Elgin. He has been involved since July of 2001. You can read more about him at his biography page at Harvest.  Andy Rozier according to my research knew that James MacDonald had allegedly groped Anne Green. You can see that Tweet above. I wrote about the Anne Green situation in, “Anne Green Explains how James MacDonald Inappropriately Touched her on a Flight to California on the Mancow Muller Show. What About Female Worship Leaders Such as Lindsay McCaul, Meredith Andrews and Others? Did They Deal with Sexual Misconduct?
  2.  Eddie Hoagland is the lead pastor of worship and production at Crystal Lakes campus. He also is on the Harvest Church Leadership Team. He has been at Harvest since May of 2010. 
  3. Sean Curran came from a Christian rock-pop band that has since disbanded. Called Bellarive it broke up in 2017. 
  4. Paul Baloche is a well known worship artist. He was the worship pastor at Community Christian Fellowship in Linsdale, Texas for 25 years. He was written at least 15 worship albums. 
  5. Luke MacDonald is one of the coaches involved. I will get into him down below. 
  6. Kathryn Scott is from Northern Ireland. She has a relationship with the Vineyard Worship. She has released three albums. She and her husband serve in Causeway Coast Vineyard in Northern Ireland. 
  7. Jason Ingram was born in West Virginia and wrote music for a number of artists to include Bebo Norman and Point of Grace. He has also co-wrote songs for Tenth Avenue North. 
  8. Rory Noland directs a ministry called Heart of the Artist Ministries. He served at the music director for Willow Creek in South Barrington for 20 years. He then became the pastor of worship at Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows. 
  9. Jake France is the worship pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel Niles Campus. 
  10. Jon Egan is the worship leader and song writer for New Life Church in Colorado Springs. This was Ted Haggard’s old haunt. He co-founded the Desperation Band which is associated with New Life Church. 
  11. Jon Guerra is a worship leader that released material through Essential Records. He is also associated with Vertical Worship. 
  12. Jon Callado is a worship leader at Harvest Bible Chapel Elgin. 
  13. Lauren Smith is the worship leader at Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows. 
  14. Kyle Smith is a worship pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows. 


Does This Cohort Explain Paul Baloche’s Behavior Earlier in the Harvest Bible Chapel Scandal? 

Earlier on in the Harvest Bible Chapel scandal I noticed that Paul Baloche was quite defensive and defended James MacDonald and Harvest. I was baffled when I saw that happen on Twitter. It wasn’t until I did this post that I really began to see how intertwined Paul Baloche is with Harvest Bible Chapel. In many ways it allows him to make a living and their conferences and albums help support them. Consider the following information. In October of 2016 Paul Baloche released “Your Mercy.” Now consider the links to many people at Harvest who helped write the songs that helped Paul Baloche publish the album. It includes Andi Rozier, Meredith Andrews, and Jason Ingram. Is the reason why Paul Balcohe earlier on been supportive of Harvest in the scandal  because he needs Harvest to use his music so he can make money off it? Plus does he need Harvest to push his material at conferences and cohorts like this one? With everything that has happened at Harvest Bible Chapel why would Paul Baloche continue to support them? It comes down to one answer…money. Christianity is a business for Paul Baloche and he, like everyone needs to make a living somehow. As such he makes money through the church.  


The Tweet of the year by the Mega Church Pastor

Why is Luke MacDonald Preaching? 

That Tweet up above by Mega Church Pastor about buying Luke MacDonald a lifetime subscription to Pornhub made me laugh. I think that should be nominated as the Tweet of the year. But seriously in the notes that came out recently they said that none of the MacDonalds would have access to Harvest. If so than what about this worship conference. Was Harvest Bible Chapel lying when they had their business meeting the other day? Is it possible for Harvest Bible Chapel to tell the truth. But here is the other question that bothers me. Why is Luke MacDinald teaching and preaching? To my knowledge he hasn’t made things right or owned his mistakes. Shouldn’t he be doing that first? Why is he coaching at this worship cohort? He is in no condition to do so, not after the Harvest Bible Chapel scandal that took place and remains ongoing. 


The Evangelical Industrial Complex is All About Money

Harvest Bible Chapel is the last organization that should be hosting a cohort like this one. Its the last one Luke MacDonald should be teaching at. Harvest Bible Chapel Elgin is in no condition to be spiritually able to hold a cohort. Too much is happening at Harvest and too many problems still are coming from the organization. The Paxton Singer cover-up is gathering steam and taking off. There is more to the story of Harvest at Harvest Christian Academy. If there is one thing Harvest can teach the world its how to cover up allegations of criminal behavior. How to cover up a pastor who is sexting a child. And how to cover up Jeff Parham’s embezzlement.

What you are seeing in this cohort is the evangelical industrial complex at work. This cohort is about money. Lots of money and the ability to make more. The more people who show up the bigger the cash revenue. This is about how some places can cash in on the worship movement. If Harvest really wanted to worship God they would come clean about Paxton Singer. They would come clean about all the issues and not let bloggers like me or people like Jessica drag it out on the internet or Twitter.  This cohort is about money and its time for events like this to stop. The evangelical industrial complex really needs to come to an end.

4 thoughts on “The Vertical Leadership Cohort Illustrates the Evangelical Industrial Complex. Plus Why is Luke MacDonald Teaching/Coaching?

  1. Plus Why is Luke MacDonald Teaching/Coaching?

    Because he is Highborn of the Great House of MacDonald, Heir Presumptive to wherever his father sets up the Iron Pulpit.

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