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Before reading profile blurbs and endorsements from Brian Houston’s books, we would encourage readers to ask some questions.
- What is the biblical role of a pastor?
- Does Brian Houston actually fulfil the role of a biblical pastor?
To help answer the first question, we think this article will help answer your question.
This article will be looking at how Brian Houston likes to be represented. We would like to warn readers that we do not endorse Brian Houston’s books below. They are not Christian in their application nor are they Christian in the way Houston attacks God’s Word for his own worldly agenda. If you go through our archives, you can read some of the content in ‘You Need More Money’. We will examine ‘Get A Life’ and his other books in later articles.
BRIAN HOUSTON’S PROFILES
It is interesting to observe how Houston likes to present himself to the world and the church. You will note Houston likes to be considered a “sought-after” speaker for “leadership conferences” and wants “to see people fulfil their God-given potential”. Is this what the role of a pastor is meant to be? Is this what the bible calls the pastor to preach? Is this the gospel?
Here are some profiles Brian Houston has about himself.
“Brian Houston and his wife Bobbie, are the founders of Hills Christian Life Centre in Sydney, Australia, the home of Hillsong Music.
As one of Australia’s leading and most sought-after speakers, Brian travels extensively, addressing leadership conferences and churches throughout the world.
His passion to see people fulfil [sic] their God-given potential in every sphere of life has made him popular with all age groups and backgrounds, with his television program, Life is for Living, broadcast in over 30 nations.” – Back Cover, You Need More Money: Discovering God’s Amazing Financial Plan For Your Life, Alken Press: Smithsfield, NSW, 1999.
In contrast to the last profile blurb, Houston omits some above details in his “Revised Business Edition” of ‘Get A Life’ (republished in the same year as ‘You Need More Money’):
“Brian Houston loves life. As one of Australia’s sought after speakers, he has a passion to see people fulfil [sic] their potential in every sphere of life.
A respected church leader, popular motivational speaker and skilled communicator, Brian travels extensively, addressing leadership conferences throughout the world.
His television program Life is for Living is broadcast in over 30 nations, and his ability to mix humour with a strong, clear message draws him to people of all age groups and backgrounds.
Together with his wife Bobbie, Brian oversees a thriving Christian ministry in Sydney that is is impacting the lives of thousands of people every day. Diverse and broadbased, it ranges from training and equipping students at the Hills Leadership College to dynamic community centres that employ professional doctors, a psychologist and financial consultant. The music and teaching resources of Hillsong Australia are distributed to every continent and the annual Hillsong Conference is one of Australia’s largest, drawing thousands of delegates from around the globe.” – Back Cover, Get A Life: Principles For Success and Enjoyment In Every Area Of Life (Revised Business Edition), Brian Houston Ministries, NSW, 199.
You would note this time he omitted ‘churches’ in the second paragraph. Since he is appealing to ‘business’ people, Brian Houston has instead chosen to show what he thinks the world might want to know about him. He specifically has in mind the business world and the area of self-help. Is this the type of person that a bible-believing pastor is called to feed? Does Brian Houston know what is in his job description laid for him in the bible?
On the opening page of ‘Get A Life (Revised Business Edition)’, Brian Houston classifies his book under the following categories:
“1. Conduct of life. 2. Life skills. 3. Christian life. 4. Self-help techniques.”
His endorsements in this particular are also revealing.
As a Christian pastor, you would generally seek endorsements that give you credibility as a faithful and reliable bible teacher. Not so with Brian Houston.
In fact, what he actually publishes in his endorsements reveals he has no clue what the guidelines are for a biblical pastor. There is no endorsement in his book ‘Get A Life’ that gives his teaching biblical credibility. Instead, we get the following:
Jonathan De Jong
Founder, Fantastic Furniture Australia
“This book will change your life. Brian will challenge you to believe in yourself. You will achieve more and go beyond all you dreamed your destiny could be. Read Get A Life and it will teach you how to obtain life in all its fullness.”
DDB Needham Worldwide Advertising
“Get A Life is a must if you find it challenging to balance every area of your life, progress and actually enjoy the journey. Brian Houston challenges you to not just get by in life – but have a life that is truly successful. Brian shares single-minded and simple challenges that will help you overcome, progress and grab all of life’s opportunities. He highlights the ‘robbers’ of life, such as negativity. Brian applies what he writes and enjoys his life to the full. Get a copy and get a life.”
Parliamentary Secretary for Work Place and Small Business
“I have no hesitation in endorsing Get a Life. From my experience, one of the greatest dilemmas facing humanity today is their lack of personal significance.
Brian Houston’s presentations and management style are a model for anyone wanting to absorb the theory, practise and ethics of excellence, effectiveness, quality management and team potential. He is an inspiring speaker and uses real life examples which captivate his audience whether they are self employed, looking for work or CEO’s of large organisations.
Get a Life is an inspired book which encourages people to go for their highest with confidence. It also warns of the traps which can sabotage potential. I highly recommend this entertaining and persuasive answer to life’s problem.”
Chairman: Jireh International Pty Ltd
Master Franchise – Gloria Jean’s Gourmet Coffee Australia
“Brian Houston has written a remarkable book, Get a Life, in which he outlines how to fulfil your life’s potential. Brian shares vital keys straight from his heart and experience. There are some things we need to grow into and other things we need to overcome. The result will be fulfilment of your dream and vision. He puts into practise, in his own life, all that he has written in this book.
I have no hesitation in recommending this book to all those who want to rise up and excel in all facets of life.”
Owner and Managing Director of Interclean Australia Pty Ltd
“Full of great insight and practical wisdom. This is a wonderful book that captures Brian’s spirit. It will convince you that there is more life out there to obtain Brian [sic] will challenge you to take responsibility in the basic areas of your life. He’ll inspire you to look further and run the race of life well.”
Don Cooper Williams
Director of Marketing
SAP Australia and New Zealand Pty Ltd
“This book epitmosises Brian Houston’s philosophy and beliefs. A fresh, radical view that needs to be embraced by all who desire to be leaders or aspire to a life of ‘better things’. I recommend it to today’s business person who is looking for substance in a sea of motivational mediocrity. Great stuff!”
If you think Brian Houston is a pastor, think again. He clearly has chosen to portray himself as a relevant public motivational speaker and a life coach and walk down this dangerous road away from his role as a biblically trained pastor. This is incredibly dangerous and helps provide an explanation why Brian Houston has no clue how he is to read or preach from the bible correctly.
If Brian Houston wants to merge the two – then he disqualifies himself before God as a shepherd of God’s people. If on the other hand he wishes to be seen as a pastor, he needs to put down the motivational talk, turn his back on the world and remain in the biblical guidelines of how a pastor must function. If he wants to be a motivational speaker like Anthony Robbins, we are happy for him to pursue this career if he does not continue behind the pulpit.
Please pray that Brian Houston can distinguish the difference between these roles and make his decision carefully. The more he blurs these lines, the more people will perish in their sins due to receiving a watered-down gospel.