A Letter to Phil Pringle of C3 Church

Dear Pastor Phil Pringle,

Just yesterday I found myself watching the following video.


If you ignore the intro graphic and overlaid text, which are clearly from someone who does not appreciate your ministry, what is left is a video of you giving the Presence Conference attendees some pointers on engaging unsaved people in worship.

I say ‘unsaved’ (or ‘unchurched’, whichever) but to be fair, this was not clear from the video. It could have been that you were speaking about disengaged Christians although that seems a stretch from the way you portrayed him sitting in the back pews not really wanting to worship and leaving before the altar call etc.

You said a couple of things in this video that left me with some questions.

1. Would you agree that part of a Pastor’s role is to organise the seating so as to “shame” an unbeliever into worshipping God and giving money?

2. Do you stand by your statement, “I can bring revival to a person’s life by sitting them somewhere,” as accurately describing what you believe? “Revival” is a pretty strong term. If by revival you mean “a reawakening of saving faith” then you must admit, it sounds quite Finney-esque for you to say that you can “create” that. Maybe you meant “revival” in a lesser sense.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for answering these questions.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Isaac Lee
Hobart, Tasmania

P.S. I have a very small blog which I hope to post your response too. Please indicate if you do not wish this to happen.

4 thoughts on “A Letter to Phil Pringle of C3 Church

  1. I'm pretty sure this clip is being taken out of context and that it is deliberately cut in a way that makes the clip appear to say something other than as was intended by the speaker. I have not heard the teaching that this clip is from but I don't think the clip would be a major part of it. Even though he may not come across very clearly I think the speaker is basically saying that passion and engagement with corporate worship can be contagious amongst Christians. If he is saying this I believe that also (Proverbs 27:17, Hebrews 10:25).

    As he is speaking to a Christian audience and referring to the thirst of the people next to them rubbing off, I would say he is not speaking about people who are not Christians but rather disengaged Christians. I've been to the church he leads and they don't "seat" you as much as the fill up certain sections first, so the congregation is seated together. This seems to be for practical not just atmospheric reasons. I don't mind if people are shamed into worshipping God though, as long as they worship Him in the end. A Christian should be ashamed if they hold back worship from God.

    I don't think that the word revival is being used in the way you think it is either. It is merely being used as a way of saying "more passionate about God", rather than to describe a sovereign move of God. This is common in pentecostal circles and the people who are listening to his message would understand the language he is using in the context he is using it.

    The c3churchwatch website is a dodgy one. They lack the courage of their convictions by being up front about their identities. They do not teach or practice the whole counsel of God. They nitpick and take peoples eyes of Christ and onto petty issues. I believe that they know exactly what they are doing when they take things out of context and that they lack the intelligence and discernment to achieve what they wish to achieve. They are so caught up in bitterness that they attend the church services with the purpose of criticising. Do not use them as a source because they are evil (Proverbs 6:16-19). If I received a letter that used a clip from that website I don't think I would respond.

    It would be good to view the full message, I am pretty sure that it will view the heart of someone wanting to serve God and encourage leaders.

    1. “The c3churchwatch website is a dodgy one.”

      I have to admit that I would never set up a website like that one and there is a limit to how much “discernment” you can partake in before you overdose.

      Having said that, you may be applying a double-standard. Did you really read everything they have written on their website? Or did you “get the flavour” by merely sampling a few posts and then making an informed judgment? There’s nothing wrong with that. You don’t have to know everything a person has ever taught to be able to say there’s something wrong there. That’s what you did with c3churchwatch, so it is not completely unfair to do the same with Phil Pringle. This single clip would not be enough to say anything much but I have listened to numerous sermons by Phil Pringle and I think I “get the flavour”….

      I agree that the word “revival” is used loosely here, and the crowd knows what he means but I am pretty confident that he was not talking about disengaged Christians. We shall see. Or not….

      Christians don’t need to be ‘shamed’ into worshipping God. It’s manipulation, pure and simple, it may be well intentioned but that is what it is.

      I can’t seem to pin down the full message, and I agree the context would be helpful.

  2. Hi Isaac,

    I’ve been trying to find the video associated with this post but it appears to have been killed on YouTube quite recently, due to “Copyright Violation”. I’m wondering whether there is a way that I can get access to it? I was keen to link a friend to it so that he could see this sermon fragment, it’s quite significant I think.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *