In today’s news of Megachurch Pastors Behaving Badly, we turn our attention to Gateway Church in the north Dallas area.
It is no secret that most of American evangelicalism looks to the wealthy upper/middle professional class as the engine that drives its growth, and has shaped itself around the priorities, needs, interests, and desires of this class. Yet few if any churches would ever state this intention as baldly as associate pastor Bobby Bogard of Gateway Church did when addressing a conference of church leaders earlier this year. Courtesy of Warren Throckmorton, you can watch his speech or read a transcript of his remarks. Here is a money quote:
We’re always asking ourself, who is are target? Who’s our bullseye? Do you know who your bullseye is? Your bullseye, not that you’re not gonna reach all people, because we’re gonna reach all people. We’re gonna be all things to all people, to reach all people. But there’s something that God has gifted you with. There’s a Grace Lane that you have. And that Grace Lane is directed to a bullseye. And who is your bullseye? Who are the people God’s called you to reach?
And so, as we look at our bullseye, God has called us, to reach professional people. That’s our bullseye. We’re still gonna help the down and out. We do it every week. We’re still gonna help single moms. We do it every week. We-we’re still going to uh, look and help marriages and blended families. We’re gonna work through their issues. But our bullseye is the business professionals. Matter fact, in one of our depart- we have a whole department that’s built towards reaching business people. I’m talking about people with influence and large capacities of wealth. That’s our bullseye because we feel like that’s something God’s graced us to do. And if we can reach our bullseye, it will create a ripple, if you will, so that we can reach the others more effectively.
Bogard mentions that Gateway has a whole department dedicated to reaching business people. This post, also from Warren Throckmorton, provides more detail on those efforts.