Questions that Need to be Asked to Dave Harvey Regarding The Great Commission Collective

Dave Harvey is the President of the Great Commission Collective. There are a great number of questions that this blog has for him. This post is a list of those questions that hopefully start to ask questions about the Great Commission Collective and its health. 

“The best scientists and explorers have the attributes of kids! They ask question and have a sense of wonder. They have curiosity. ‘Who, what, where, why, when, and how!’ They never stop asking questions, and I never stop asking questions, just like a five year old.

Sylvia Earle

“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.”

Voltaire

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

John 14:23 NIV

Dave Harvey

This blog would like to ask a number of questions to Dave Harvey who is the President of the Great Commission Collective. Previously Dave Harvey came from the Sojourn Network which is based out of Louisville, Kentucky. Dave mentored Daniel Montgomery of Sojourn who brought him on the Network. If you want to read more about Daniel Montgomery you can do so in, “Why Daniel Montgomery Left the Sojourn Network in Louisville, Kentucky and the How the Shadow of Mark Driscoll Hangs Over Neo-Calvinism.” Below are a number of questions and observations about the Great Commission Collective (GCC) culture, leadership and misconduct. This blog believes there is some dark stuff that will come out of GCC and that is due to the culture of Harvest Bible Chapel/Fellowship.

  • While a GCC church does not mean that the GCC has any “ecclesiastical authority” over the church. Each church reserve and retains the notion that it is locally governed, autonomous congregation that is in a relationship with the GCC for certain programmatic purposes. Yet within that relationship the network has some limited, if any, influence or power over the individual churches. The question is, in what way can or does the GCC express that authority? 
  • Let’s consider this line of thinking. If a church or better its leaders are found to have themselves in a sinful, abusive, unbiblical, ungodly behavior; whether in treatment of some of its members or even toward its follow leaders, or even if you discover that GCC leaders have done some kind of of unkind, harsh, hurtful behavior; would there be any steps of discipline, confrontation, possible censure or accountability taken by the GCC leaders? What is your process? What is your commitment to that kind of correction or confrontation if needed? 
  • Have there been any of those types of incidents (not necessary to give actual names or situations) since GCC has founded? Have there been any incidents that have happened in the recent past(prior to GCC starting, as HBF churches) and there needs to be an accounting for those actions? Much like the idea of being “above reproach” – if GCC found out about past behaviors by a church or its leaders would they address those past encounters and ask (or better insist) that it be dealt with?
  • What would be your process for handling it? Is it a board matter? A staff, specifically the President or pastoral care director matter? Who has authority to address matters? Who would you talk with? How extensive would your discussions go? Would you “take people’s word” or actually speak with all parties involved? Do you think that is important?
  • What if a proper response is not provided from the church/leader being addressed, an excuse given, ignoring of the admonishment or admission occurs and no change, apology or repentant action followed; is that acceptable and what would you do? Could any church ever be removed from GCC for that kind of behavior or refusal to act?
  • What if it this violation occurred in a GCC Board members’ church or by a GCC staff member? How quickly and definitive would your leadership be demonstrated in this matter? Immediately, made a priority, deal with it when you have you time, or would it drag out for months?
  • GCC is a “self-governing” agency and network, how do you govern ungodly behavior inside the organization or will you just look the other way? What do you think self-governing means? What are “conflict of interests” in this regard and how do you plan to avoid it?

 

One thought on “Questions that Need to be Asked to Dave Harvey Regarding The Great Commission Collective

  1. The Great Commission Collective is nothing more than a networking resource for pastors, many of who learned and practice church leadership DNA from James MacDonald.

    I attend a former Harvest Bible Fellowship church that converted to Great Commission Collective and dragged its feet to distance itself from Harvest knowing for a long time about Pastor James. Our church has a public appearance of welcoming questions about church governance, leadership and finances, but privately the questions are ignored or when pressed are responded to with diversion and lack of transparency. Any inquiry appears to be taken as a threat to more or less a corporate run structure. We have seen this happen when other church members and staff inquire. Many have quietly left the church, the walking wounded and disillusioned.

    Great Commission Collective gets (I believe) 5% of our tithes, but seems to invest little to nothing into actually equipping the churches beyond a few principles that are more or less mantras to repeat over and over. They have a slick website and message, but we have yet to see any real tools or substance to actually help volunteer ministry leaders and members in our churches. Sure, the pastors and wives have met in a tropical location to be refreshed, worship and have training, but the optics of that look like James MacDonald and his African safari.

    So in Great Commission Collective’s mindset building up the pastors is the primary way of equipping the church. Definitely truth in that, but there is a serious danger there. One thing that is emphasized is pastor care, putting pastor health and marriage first. Good, but when we hear things like “none of you will ever understand what it is like to be a pastor, the weight we carry.” that’s the exact same rationalization that James MacDonald reportedly used to justify all sorts of spending and actions. It’s the same DNA. So you have the pastors of our churches consoling each other to do whatever necessary to preserve themselves. That’s not a church equipping organization, it’s a pastor support group using our church money.

    Great Commission Collective is a group of pastors who unfortunately absorbed a lot of bad culture and DNA from Chicago and are honestly inept at leading an organization that truly equips churches (more than just pastors) and also can’t be the accountability since they are the very pastors that run the churches.

    I’m also wondering why if Great Commission Collective is the church planting / equipping arm of our churches why other church planting organization partnerships are being formed like with the Southern Baptists. Partnerships are good, but if Great Commission Collective is so great and awesome at equipping our churches, why do we need other partners? There are monetary incentives involved. Where is that money coming from or going to? I’m not going to ask, because I will be shut down by the church corporate power structure, and there is no one they are accountable to. Maybe it would be better to see GCC abolished and just have the churches run by SBC?

    And seeing Great Commission Collective chose Dave Harvey without clearing up his Sovereign Grace connection and his alleged emails about sexual abuse coverup just seems like an insanely bad choice, poor judgement. If he was above reproach, then make that known so he can be cleared and so the GCC churches can be strong without fear of another top leader being exposed.

    We continue to pray for our church and leaders despite the things we see, but it continues to be very troubling. Why stay? Because of the ministry work and Christian community in small groups despite the leadership issues.

    Interested to know what other GCC churches are looking like. We have heard of the exact same leadership issues at at least 2 others.

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