Perry Noble, pastor of Newspring Church, who is well known for his controversial decision to open his 2009 Easter service with the AC/DC song “Highway to Hell”, today is hosting his 2012 Newspring Leadership Conference (NLC). This one-day event boasts many familiar names, as the speaker schedule includes James MacDonald, Steven Furtick, Matt Chandler, Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Jud Wilhite, Judah Smith and of course, Perry Noble.
CRN General Editor Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries has noted that there appears to be a new evangelical magisterium forming, a group that seems to include many of these same familiar names as they appear together at various conferences or preach at one another’s churches. These men also consistently endorse one another’s books, to the point where one can nearly predict who will be praising the book before it is even published. For example, Furtick and Groeschel have both lent praises to Noble’s upcoming book, Unleash!, while Groeschel, Noble and MacDonald have each endorsed Steven Furtick’s recently released book, Greater. James MacDonald’s latest literary effort, Vertical Church, boasts the endorsements of Craig Groeschel, Perry Noble, Steven Furtick and Matt Chandler, among others.
All of this simply aids in demonstrating the reality of the formation of this newest group of leaders in evangelicalism. The origin of this magisterium may perhaps be traced back to the first Elephant Room conference, which was hosted by James MacDonald. NLC host Perry Noble participated in that event, thus ensuring his future inclusion in this group. The 2012 Newspring Leadership Conference appears to simply be perpetuating these leaders as they continue to gain influence in the evangelical world. With concerns of worldly pragmatism and even the preaching of the heretical Word Faith gospel, Christians ought to be concerned by this growing influence. While fidelity to the Word of God continues to receive lip service, often it seems that such faithfulness is not displayed in practice by many of these leaders. Christians, then, ought to consider this latest slide down the slippery slope as yet another reminder to be good Bereans (Acts 17:11), testing all things they hear, even those emanating from the mouth of an evangelical celebrity, against Scripture.