For nearly 20 years (in his role as ‘apostle’ to his movement), Phil Pringle has claimed he is fulfilling a ‘God-given’ vision of planting one thousand churches with an average membership of 500 by the year 2020. To bolster his credibility, Pringle also claimed that C3 was planting a church daily, thus keeping the allusion that God was in control in blessing His ‘apostle’ by fulfilling this 2020 vision – (one could rightly ask the question, how many are planted or are many simply takeovers of existing churches?) In 2014, they were saying, “we are rapidly moving towards the 2020 Vision of 1,000 churches with an average membership of 500 people planted by the year 2020” – a claim they were still making in 2018.
While Pringle is suggesting God is starting a “new chapter” in his movement, it becomes evident very quickly that God has forgotten to finish his 2020 chapter? In this article, we will look at the last unfinished chapter (which was a new chapter back in the year 2000). And with only seven months to go, let’s see if his “vision” is truly from God. Or will it all be “reinvented” (link) – because it never was of God in the first place.
The Final Countdown Part 1:
For almost 18 years (updated), Phil Pringle has been promoting his 20/20 Vision. While we don’t believe his vision is from God, in light of his claim we think it’s necessary to see if Phil Pringle is indeed achieving the ‘vision’ that God gave him? In this article we document Pringle’s emphasis of planting churches by the year 2020. We apologise to readers in advance if what is stressed in this article becomes monotonous. Hopefully, you’ll understand what we’re trying to establish in follow-up articles.
PLANTING 1000 CHURCHES BY THE YEAR 2020?
CHC’s propaganda paper, City News reports (emphasis ours):
C3 Church International, a global movement of over 240 churches was founded by Phil Pringle.
Pringle and his wife, Christine, started C3 Church in 1980 in Sydney, Australia, today, one of the most exciting and influential churches in the Asia Pacific region. Pringle’s 2020 vision is to plant 1,000 churches in 15 regions by the year 2020. This has resulted in a global movement of vibrant churches, which have been birthed as a result of his leadership and vision. Today, Pringle maintains an uncompromised passion to see cities changed by a contemporary, relevant and anointed church.
Source: Annabelle Low, Planted In Hong Kong, City News, http://www.citynews.sg/2011/04/planted-in-hong-kong/, Updated on 14 April 2011. (Accessed 10/01/2012.) (Emphasis added.)
In another article, the CHC propaganda agent reports that the 2020 Vision is “to see 1,000 churches planted by the year 2020”.
“From Aug. 23 to 26, 1,800 pastors, itinerant ministers and full-time church employees from 22 nations gathered at the Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the tri-annual C3 Church Global Conference.
Last held in Hawaii in 2005 with an attendance of 1,100 people, the conference is part of the C3 Church movement started by Phil and Christine Pringle, senior ministers at C3 Church Oxford Falls, in Sydney, Australia. Its vision, termed “Vision 2020” is to see 1,000 churches planted by the year 2020 with an average attendance of 500 members.
Through Vision 2020, the C3 movement has grown from 71 churches in 2000 to over 300 today; from five nations in 2000 to 35 nations today, riding on an escalating momentum of revival around the world.”
(Source: Yong Yung Shin, Go Into All The World, http://www.citynews.sg/2011/09/go-into-all-the-world/, Published on 22 September 2011 at 3:36 pm. (Accessed 10/02/2012.)
C3 Raleigh says,
About C3 International
In 1980, a young couple from New Zealand arrived in Sydney with their family and the vision to start a church.
Ps. Phil and Chris Pringle held their first service with just 12 people attending, but by the mid 1980’s it had grown to over 500 people. They began to start other churches and soon independent churches also joined. As the number grew, the collection of churches became known as the Christian City Church movement (now called C3 Church).
Initially C3 began planting churches around Sydney but then expanded across Australia and then the world. Currently, C3 Church has over 230 churches worldwide – in Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Region, Asia, Africa, Europe and North & South America.
The 2020 Vision is to plant and grow 1000 churches and C3 understands that to achieve this it must connect people to God, connect people to people and empower people for effective, joyful service.
C3 Church in Raleigh is a part of C3 Church International, a global movement of churches started by Ps. Phil and Christine Pringle, with a vision to build 1,000 vibrant local churches with an average membership of 500 by the year 2020.
We believe in faith, hope and love, a bright, colorful, positive and encouraging church atmosphere
a church that the unchurched are attracted to, filled with music, light, supernatural happenings,
vision, purpose, loving people, and great preaching.
We are irreverent, risky, fun, conservative, serious and holy.
We love people. We love each other. We really love God, and He loves us.
To learn about other C3 Churches, visit www.c3iglobal.org.
Source: Our History, http://c3raleigh.ning.com/page/our-history. (Accessed 10/01/2012.)
The description above helps us identify what C3 means by ‘plant’ when they say that Phil and Chris Pringle had “a vision to build 1,000 vibrant local churches”. The concept being articulated is similar to a seed – you plant a seed in the ground and it grows or builds up over time. Likewise, Pringle’s ‘vision’ gives people the idea that C3 plants a few people in a particular location and over time it grows or builds up to be a church. This concept is important for our readers to grasp.
Similar information is recorded on the C3 Winchcombe website:
“C3 Church Winchcombe is a part of C3 Church Global, an international movement of churches started by Ps. Phil and Christine Pringle, with a vision to build 1,000 vibrant local churches with an average membership of 500 by the year 2020.” – Let’s Introduce Ourselves, http://www.c3winchcombe.org.uk/about.html, Accessed 10/01/2012.
We can conclude that there is a template for other C3 churches to use on their websites, communicating that the Pringle’s want to plant and build 1,000 churches by the year 2020.
If we now go to the c3iglobal website we read the following,
“Our vision for C3 Church is to see 1000 Churches planted by the year 2020 with an average attendance of 500 members.” – 2020 Vision, C3 Church Global, http://c3churchglobal.com/cms/2020-vision. (Accessed 14/06/2013.)
Phil Pringle says in his personal bio on his very own C3 Church Oxford Falls website,
“My wife, Chris and I, with the kids and some good friends came to Sydney in 1980 to start a church. We had 13 people at our first service but the congregation grew rapidly and we moved buildings, bought land and built a school. We began planting churches around Sydney, then Australia, then the world; we now have close to 300 congregations in our movement. Our 2020 Vision is to plant and grow 1000 churches and we’re on target to meet this.” – About Phil & Chris Pringle, http://www2.myc3church.net/category/about-phil-chris-pringle, Accessed 30/07/2013. (Emphasis added.)
The C3ChurchGlobal website states:
“C3 Church is a place for life development. Our aim is to maximize people’s potential and help them live their best life.
Our vision is that the Church glows with the Glory of God, that men and women become disciples of Christ, and that they encounter the Presence of the Holy Spirit—they find LIFE!
This is an exciting time for C3 Church. We have a global view and perspective. We know who we are and where we’re going. Jesus said, “I will build my church.” The one Kingdom that will endure and has endured is the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Our true north is the salvation of lost people.
We will continue to plant churches all over the world so God can be found and lives transformed for eternity. By the year 2020, we will see 1000 C3 Churches in cities all over the world.
This is our movement of awesome churches—C3 Church” – Our Story, About C3 Church, http://c3churchglobal.com/about-c3church, Accessed 30/07/2013. (Emphasis added.)
There is a lot that is wrong in the above statement which we will hopefully address in another article. However, it should be emphasised again that Pringle wants to ‘plant’ 1000 C3 Churches all over the world. His 2020 Vision is about PLANTING churches. Not rebranding churches, not converting a person who feels they have a church inside them.
Pringle has centered his C3 movement identity around the vision God gave him of ‘planting’ 1000 C3 Churches. If this is the vision God gave Pringle, you would expect Pringle to remain faithful to it. Our next article will demonstrate that Pringle has been purposely deceptive about his 2020 Vision campaign.
We close with what Phil Pringle says on his official Facebook page:
The official page for Phil Pringle. This page will not ask for any form of donation. If you receive a solicitation, pls contact email@example.com
Phil Pringle is the Founder and President of C3 Church International, a global movement of over 240 churches, and the Senior Minister of C3 Church in Sydney Australia. Phil and his wife, Christine, started C3 Church in 1980 and it is now one of the fastest growing, exciting and powerful churches in Australia. An entire global movement of vibrant churches has been birthed as a result of Phil’s leadership and vision as he maintains an uncompromised passion to see cities changed by a contemporary, relevant and anointed church. Phil’s dynamic and relevant preaching has made him a much sought after speaker in both Christian and secular contexts, particularly in the areas of faith, leadership, ministry of the Holy Spirit, church building and kingdom principles of finance and giving.
My wife, Chris and I, with the kids and some good friends came to Sydney from New Zealand in 1980 to start a church. We had 13 people at our first service but the congregation grew rapidly and we moved buildings, bought land and built a school. We began planting churches around Sydney, then Australia, then the world; we now have close to 300 congregations in our movement. Our 2020 Vision is to plant and grow 1000 churches and we’re on target to meet this!
We’ve started C3 College for Ministry, Creative Arts and Counselling, as well as a television program and Oxford Falls Grammar School, all on around 25 acres at Oxford Falls.
I’ve always been passionate about the arts playing a major role in church to make her contemporary and relevant to the current world. Our Creative Arts stream has developed and graduated thousands of musicians, worship leaders, song writers, graphic artists, dancers, actors and film makers. I myself paint and exhibit around the world. I also love to write, so I’ve mixed these two elements together in books like Inspired to Pray, But God and 24 Hours That Saved The World – The Gospel of John in Art. My other books include Faith, Moving in the Spirit, Leadership Excellence, Financial Excellence, Leadership Files and You the Leader.
My great love is the local church. I believe she is the hope of our world today. When she functions in the power of the Holy Spirit and lives on the Word she will thrive. See you in Church!
Source: Phil Pringle: About, Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Phil-Pringle/181344135208983?id=181344135208983&sk=info, (Accessed 21/10/2013.) (Emphasis added.)
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