Pastor John Gray’s No Good, Very Bad Year

ChurchLeaders | 1/21/2020 | Staff
blackyblacky (Posted by) Level 3
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SO GRATEFUL TO BE BACK IN HOUSTON TO START ANOTHER YEAR OF MIDWEEK MINISTRY! Me and @iamaventergray can’t wait to see y’all TONIGHT! ・・・ Happy New Year to our family @lakewoodchurch!! Our babies are on break from making their usual announcements about when we make it to our other home Houston for service, so we figured we would tell you ourselves along with Pastors @joelosteen and @victoriaosteen!!! We can’t wait to be with you tonight for service! That’s right... Ps. @realjohngray will be bringing the word for midweek TONIGHT!!! See you there at 7:30p.m. CST Or you can watch online at www.lakewoodchurch.com #midweekLife #Lakewood #HTX #isntitawesomethough

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I went to hear my friend pastor @warryncampbell preach outside in the middle of nowhere on an early Sunday morning some months back. I was skeptical. Who has church outside? Who dresses in the same outfits? (Oh yeah I forgot-Ushers, deacons, choir robes, first Sunday outfits-same stuff we do inside the church building) They sang songs I grew up singing in the choir. But they added a freedom and a joy that comes with a revelation of the finished work of Jesus. I was convicted that I was so fearful of....freedom. I could lift my hands outside of a church building and encounter Christ in a new way. Every song, every expression was lifting up Jesus. The message was the same. The messenger was new. And it’s exactly what the CHURCH needs. To watch God use someone unexpected to bring Him glory. Last night I saw an entire generation of young people hear about Jesus while listening to the classic songs of the church-but they were reimagined in a way we haven’t seen. It’s a move of God. No one can question the authenticity of a conversion moment. What I do know is that Jesus Christ was lifted up in beauty, creativity, excellence and liberty. People who would never think about coming into a church facility heard about Jesus through song. The seed has been planted. One plants, another waters, God gets the increase. Thank you @kanyesundayservices and @joelosteen and @jasonwhiteco and @philthekeys and @lakewoodchurch for allowing this expression from a man who has encountered Jesus Christ for real. #JesusIsKing

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During New Year’s Eve worship services at The Relentless Church in Greenville, South Carolina, Pastor John Gray rang in 2020 by acknowledging, “We’re not even supposed to be here right now.” Though the headline-making pastor didn’t elaborate on his megachurch’s plans, as had been expected, he seemed determined to protect his congregation from “people who want to see this church die.”

Gray, who’s also an associate pastor at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, formed Relentless in 2018. Since then his national profile has risen, but the publicity hasn’t always been favorable. Gray has faced criticism for lavish spending, addressed rumors of marital infidelity, and is now embroiled in two lawsuits—one of which involves possible eviction for Relentless. Last week, the Oprah Winfrey Network cancelled the pastor’s TV show, The Book of John Gray.

Gray - Wife - Aventer - Pastor - Relentless

For Gray and his wife, Aventer, who’s also a pastor at Relentless, controversy began soon after moving to South Carolina. Relentless Church reportedly spent $1.8 million on a home for the Grays. The church soon faced financial woes and layoffs, causing Gray to ask the congregation for $250,000 to replace the sanctuary roof.

In December 2018, Gray made headlines when he gave his wife a $200,000 Lamborghini Urus as an anniversary gift and posted her reaction on social media. Faced with backlash, Gray defended the purchase. “Not a nickel, not a penny from this church, Relentless Church, went toward the gift that I gave my wife,” he said in a video posted online. The purchase was possible, he added, because of “resources” he received through his books and TV show.

Life - Moment - Gray - Time - Life

“I have created and been patient my whole life for this moment,” Gray said at the time. “I’m supposed to wait until I’m 70 to live my best life? And my best life is making my wife happy.”

Gray continued:...
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