Dallas Jenkins, Recent Member of HBC Executive Leadership Team (XLT) Speaks

Early this afternoon, shortly after we published our response to MacDonald’s “indefinite sabbatical,” Dallas Jenkins, a former member of the Executive Leadership Team (XLT) at Harvest Bible Chapel posted the following statement on his Facebook page.  Mr. Jenkins is probably the second most high profile figure at HBC in recent years, due primarily to his work in the film industry.  He resigned from Harvest Bible Chapel at the end of 2017, at the height of HBC severing its ties with Harvest Bible Fellowship (now known as the Great Commission Collective).

While we would disagree with certain aspects of Mr. Jenkin’s assessment of the unfolding events at HBC earlier this morning, it is strong statement and worth considering particularly in light of MacDonald’s confession today and the mixed signals beings sent by the HBC Elders.

“Because I worked at Harvest for 8 years and was on the executive leadership team my last couple years, I’ve obviously been paying close attention to the chaos of these last few months. I still have close friends there, and all four of my kids attend the school, so it’s been quite a back and forth journey with God to know if I should say anything publicly (I want to watch my son graduate). Many of us who’ve left Harvest have moved between the “guilt of wanting to speak up” and the “wisdom of remaining silent.” I’ve tried to let God be my guide in it, but I’m sure I’ve been wrong as often as I’ve been right. Harvest has released this statement below about their next steps. I believe their statement is true, and most of the actions being taken are healthy. One of them is that outside “conciliators and organizational consultants will guide us through an objective and comprehensive review process.” I believe this is a healthy step that could potentially bring about the healing and restoration they are seeking.

However, James included this sentence in his own statement: “I am grieved that people I love have been hurt by me in ways they felt they could not express to me directly and have not been able to resolve.” Because this statement is public, I feel a public response is fair, especially because it refers to many people, including me. Many people, including myself, HAVE in fact expressed their hurt, concern, and disapproval directly to James and to elders. And not only have countless people been hurt, many have expressed seriously damage from verbal and emotional abuse. The fact that “they have not been able to resolve it” is because it has continued. For so many of us, it’s not a matter of “personal grievance” that can be resolved by a meeting or apology. It’s a matter of wanting to stop what we contend is a habitual pattern of abuse and manipulation that has existed for decades.

I’ve experienced God’s redeeming power in my own life and heart—His extraordinary and limitless grace that breaks us down and corrects us first, then faithfully and beautifully puts us back together, making us more like Him and glorifying Himself in the process. That is the gospel we preach, and I believe Harvest is taking a strong step in that direction.”

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27 thoughts on “Dallas Jenkins, Recent Member of HBC Executive Leadership Team (XLT) Speaks

  1. I have been vocal (via Twitter @ex_harvest) in my support of former leaders speaking out. Doing so has certainly come at a higher price for some men than for others.

    With respect to Mr. Jenkins, his statement yesterday was cautious. Notably, he choose to applaud the Elders, rather than call them to fulfill their Biblical duties. (Not a great move, esp in light of today’s outrageous actions from the HBC Elder Board). Jenkins’ opening paragraph is more about himself than about the situation. He’s rationalizing a bit re: why he hasn’t spoken up sooner. Before this statement, I didn’t know that he has four children at Harvest Christian Academy. For those who don’t know, HCA is inside the Elgin campus building. I can’t speak to the degree with which he interacts with HBC leaders and staff, but I’m hard-pressed to imagine that he has not had multiple opportunities for face-to-face confrontation, following his departure from the staff. I made an earlier comment (see below) that gave Mr. Jenkins “credit” for using irony with his allusion to RT Maldaner being barred from his child’s graduation. Maybe it’s irony or maybe it’s a flippant excuse. I’m not sure.

    The only “charge” against James that Mr. Jenkins levels is that James didn’t listen to him and other people when they brought concerns to James. There’s a notable lack of specifics. We know that Mr. Jenkins was on the XLT. Is he trying to avoid specifics in order to step around his own complicity? I hope not, and I want to give him the benefit of the doubt. But I also don’t want to say, “Oh yay! Dallas Jenkins has spoken!” and pretend that the content of this statement doesn’t raise many questions. Interestingly, he also invokes “the royal we” (“for so many of us…” “we contend” -). I thought this was his statement alone. Who’s “we”? I don’t see other names at the bottom.

    In short, I hope we hear more from Dallas Jenkins. And if we do, I also hope that he doesn’t “play it cool”–like a two-pronged approach was his strategy all along. That would be unfair. The reality is, he played it safe here. I won’t speculate why.

  2. For all his criticism, it was James MacDonald that took a chance on Dallas at a time when no one else would. In fact, should be thanking James for all those years of support. Yet I don’t here any of that here. I know Dallas, spent one-on-one time with him here and there. He’s not as innocent and he would make himself out to be and he has a pretty inflated ego. My suggestion to him would be to take a look in the mirror first.

    1. Here-here!
      But do you hear any of that here?

      It’s hard to pull out your narrative. So, to clarify, are you saying that anyone James took a chance on should be subject to abuse? Added to that, if one was lucky enough to get one-on-one time with James that any abuse experienced is ok – like a trade-off or something?
      It seems to me you also make an assumption that Dallas thinks he’s innocent in some way. I don’t see this. Furthermore, you judge him to have an inflated ego.

      My suggestion would be for you to take your own advice.

      1. I’ve been around Harvest for about two decades and have gone in and out of some of those inner circles. I tend to know more that goes on behind the scenes than the average member. With that said, what Dallas said is only one side of the story. I know he’s keeping out other details to put himself in a better light. Dallas is not a bad guy, but while he’s taking the speck out of James’ eye…well… Plus,If you know Dallas better please speak up and let me know, I’m all ears!

        Dallas was given plenty of power, cash and flexibility in his position at Harvest. A lot of people put A LOT of money into his films. His last major one, The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, was a HUGE flop. Dallas even admits that publicly. His personal stock as a director was dropping like a rock and he became a financial liability. So reading the writing on the wall, Dallas stepped down before he would have inevitably been let go. Okay, so no big deal. Things like that happen and people quit before they get fired, it happens everyday.

        However, it’s interesting that if he felt so abused by James (and I’m not excusing James at all) so why did he never make this issue public until now??? It’s his job as an executive leader to reign in abuses! Yet, he was a silent until now? So you have on the one hand James’ verbal abuse, and on the other hand Dallas saying nothing about it the whole time he was at Harvest. Trust me, if Dallas had more success with his films while at Harvest and Harvest was willing to keep supporting him, Dallas would never had said any of this. Too bad Dallas never spoke up publicly while receiving a paycheck from Harvest. It all rings empty now.

        1. The Least Of These January 19, 2019 — 12:15 pm

          If you’re friends with Dallas on any social media platform, you will know that he has not been supportive of JMac for some time. If you have ever been in an abusive situation, you would know and understand the power the abuser holds over those they abuse. There are threats, demeaning, devaluation, insinuation, grandiosity, fear… who knows what James used to keep everyone in line?

          I can tell you from personal experience that my husband served close to XLT though not actually ON XLT, in security on one of the main campuses. When we heard the sermon about severing ties with HBF and that James was continuing this path on his own, we thought this was way out of line. Delusions of grandeur. So the Elder staff of HBF wants to understand what’s happening with their contributions and you severe ties? And do your own thing?!? What makes you think you can do that legally? Same thing with Pastor Seacrest’s termination. Sick.

          When he and his Small Group members starting asking some very serious questions, they were immediately and personally messaged by their SG leader and also a close pastor friend telling them to cease and desist or face action by the church. WHAT?!? Since when is the church not accountable to answer such questions? Since when are members in good standing at the church not allowed to ask these questions when we are contributing financially, physically and prayerfully to our church every single day? I’m so saddened by this situation. I introduced my husband and children to this church, to James, to many of the XLC. We were married there. My husband was baptized there before we got married. This church was like a sanctuary for my family for years. So hearing all of this come down after we were rebuked and felt the need to leave after that, I’m just appalled. I’m embarrassed. When did God get taken out if that church? When JMac built a pyramid in the lobby of RM? I seriously don’t feel like this man or his remaining XLT are saved. They teach it good. PREACH. But if all you’re doing is talking to itching ears, and not walking the walk, the Lord is going to have a lot to say. Clearly, He’s already begun to say it.

  3. Hey when I have my reconciliation meeting with the peacemakers can it be in Naples?
    Can I stay at the new mansion? The bunk house as it’s called?
    I mean the campaign is called the Closer campaign? I want to get closer to the sun and warmth.

  4. GCC board just made an official statement re James
    In light of the Harvest Bible Chapel Elder Update today regarding James MacDonald, we want to make our stance clear both to our member churches and to the larger Christian community.

    What is needed in the situation at hand is true, heartfelt repentance by James and for the Elders at Harvest to fulfill their biblical responsibility. We hope that a long-term, indefinite sabbatical will help this to occur but believe it is only possible if the plan described is completely void of manipulation and avoidance.

    In keeping with our past private statements to Harvest’s leadership and to our pastors – The primary issue is not reconciliation or peacemaking, it is repentance. A peacemaking process, while helpful for personal and relational reconciliation, is not the approach to address failed governance, biblical disqualification, and a toxic leadership environment.

    Our hope and prayer is that the HBC Elders will shepherd James toward the proper care of his soul and a genuine repentance evidenced in the months to come. We will continue to pray for all involved.

    The Board of Directors,
    Great Commission Collective

    1. Praise the Lord. May more and more people/organizations continue to speak out.

  5. Thank you Dallas for your courage and honesty.
    By his comments he confirms this abusive behavior behind the scenes and is a voice for the oppressed and abused. God bless you and I pray for a flood of truth and healing to come from God.

    1. Good. I’m glad more people are speaking out. Someone who commented on this site said we should all fast and pray. I think we should. Let’s all fast and pray.

  6. Thank you Dallas!! The inner sludge of intimidation has coated almost everyone in leadership even extending out to elders at other campuses (
    Naples) harvest grew a crop of male leaders that think telling people to not talk, telling people to leave is ok. Unless every elder resigns Harvest needs to fold!

    1. Jackie Alfirevic January 16, 2019 — 4:39 pm

      agreed

    2. agree

      1. The Least Of These January 19, 2019 — 12:19 pm

        Amen!

  7. There isn’t a chance in Gehenna this is genuine. Take a look at HBCNaples Instagram account. James is preaching every weekend from January through March. Frankly, it’s tiring listening to the lies and deceptions. If James was truly repentant, he would see his own unworthiness of even stepping near a pulpit until this was long behind him and relationship were either repaired or on the mend. #liarliarpantsonfire

    1. Yep!!! Demand James steps down everywhere!

      1. agree!

  8. Mr. Jenkins Facebook post = THE explicit GOSPEL of grace! (Christ’s righteousness imputed to us and not because of anything we’ve done to earn it or deserve it) And how cool is his submission to progressive sanctification and the living God being glorified as He conforms us to the likeness of the Son. (Romans 8:29)

  9. If James is going to continue to preach as planned in Naples what step have they taken?

    If James Still holds the role of senior pastor and the authority that comes with that as stated in the by laws what step have they taken?

    It seems to this Christian that the only step that’s been taken is to repackage exactly what’s already been going on In more apologetic terms.

    I still however feel a massive disconnect between James assessment of the situation and what’s really been going on for years

    I see no legitimate changes in the leadership structure or the preaching Calendar

    Current elders

    One of you is God’s man. You know who you are. The time has com to break the ranks and stand for Jesus Christ

    I’m praying for you.

      1. I do not know which one you are, but God does. Praying for you 2!

  10. Good for Dallas. Hurt but not so hung up by his hurt that he can’t allow God to do His work. Definitely a different perspective then most. Seems like he isn’t looking for his pound of flesh. Good for him.

    1. As he stated “ he wants to see his son graduate”. If I recall correctly, in a previous post, a father was ousted from entering building and seeing his son graduate because of his expressing his views.
      Mr Jenkins is cautious.

      1. Yep fear and intimidation across the board in that church!!

        1. agreed

      2. He’s using irony by making an allusion to what happened to RT Maldaner and Dan Haskell. Not saying he doesn’t have that concern, but Dallas Jenkins is no stranger to skillful use of rhetorical devices, I can tell you that much. 😉

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