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 G-12 and Cesar Castellanos's New Denomination

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
touchadmin Posted - 03/24/2005 : 10:52:25
I have heard from reliable sources that in late December, Cesar Castellanos announced that a new denomination would be forming under him to insure all G-12 churches were keeping the vision for the "governement of 12" pure.

This mandate will bring all publishing, consulting, and networking directly under the control of Cesar Castellanos, who now resides in Florida and is planting a G-12 church there.

Bethany World Prayer Center is no longer working under Cesar Castellanos and this newly formed denomination. I spoke with a Bethany representative yesterday and he told me Larry Stockstill (the senior pastor) and those who help oversee Bethany did not feel led by God to move under the authority of Cesar in this capacity and become a denominational church.

According to the Bethany representative, I was told that Bethany is no longer selling Engish or Spanish resources from Cesar's home church in Bogota. They are working hard to release their own versions of the G-12 materials they have been using for a couple of years.

A formal statement concerning this can be found at:

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

My take on all this, just because I know everyone will be asking me...

Let me say up front that I don't dislike the 12x12 coaching structure. In fact, I recommend it when I am asked to consult with churches who are incredibly healthy--of which I have only found one or two in the United States. This model requires so much member-health and so much wholesale support from staff that it is very hard to implement initially. That's my opinion from the massive failure rate of those who have adopted it without looking hard at their church's health and the existing productivity of their members first.

Now let me turn my thoughts to Cesar's new public decision to form a "denomination:"

This has been brewing under the surface for three to four years, and does not suprise me. It was only a matter of time before he made it public that he wants to have far more control within the churches with whom he associates and supports.

I first encountered a very disturbing trend among churches under his authority when one of my staff members was told by a staff pastor in Virginia Beach, VA that he was sure he'd get in trouble if Cesar found out he was talking to a TOUCH representative, and we most certainly could not do a TOUCH cell ministry conference in his church any longer. Very odd response indeed. We no longer have any sort of contact or fellowship with this cell-based church... we recommend all kinds of cell-based coaching structures Cesar has publicly said over and over that there is only one ordained cell-based model, which is his brand.

Throughout the last few years, we've heard reports from south of the US border of control and decision-making by the home church in Bogota (ICM) as it pertained to whom could facilitate Enounter weekends in local churches, teach the material, etc. We have not heard reports of this from US churches, thankfully. I believe this is a few secondary people who are attempting to extend Cesar's vision to local churches in Central/South America and became militant.

Now just to insure no one gets their shorts in a twist, I would like to publically say the follwing:

1. If you are a G-12 based church working under the authority and covering of Cesar Castellanos and you have not experienced any ungodly control, that's great! I pray your church continues to win souls and disciple them to do the same. But, know that a very large, influential church (Bethany World Prayer Center) is no longer associated with them. You probably already know this though as Bethany was the source for all US churches for training and resources. If you sensed control and it bothers you, I recommend you contact Bethany and inquire as to why they left Cesar Castellanos' newly formed denomination.

2. If you are using G-12 principles outside of Cesar's authority, God bless you as well! Keep reaching people for Jesus and show them how to do the same. I hope it is yeilding all you wanted it to yeild. If it's not all you hoped it would be, then I highly recommend you read an article I just published in the 2005 Cell Group Journal entitled "Choosing a model of cell ministry that fits." It may turn on the lights for you and let you see why it's not working as well as you were told it would or assumed it would.

If you are a pastor looking into the implementation of cell ministry, please don't let this news or this post scare you away... cell groups are a great way to contain and expand the harvest your church may be experiencing through existing relational evangelism. Just know that no cell model (including the G-12 system of coaching) has any "magic" to it... cell-based ministry is rooted in a deep relationship with God and other people... not in a magic number of 12.

With all this said, let me say that I am not going to lock down this thread as an announcement. Feel free to dialog about this issue as many read these forum posts. Lots of readers need to know how pastors around the world have experienced the G-12 model under Cesar or independently.

All I ask is that you keep your posts short and to the point, and please, do not copy and paste long articles from other websites here or I'll remove them. Use the tools within the forum system to point people to web sites. Thanks!

Randall Neighbour
Forum Administrator
6   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
duartegus2006 Posted - 06/13/2006 : 00:45:11
The G12 vision is Awesome!!!My family and I have changed BIGTIME!! I thank my pastor everyday for changing our church from "tradition church" to this G12 vision. I've been in this church for 6 years, I struggled to be a Christian, I tried bearing fruit, I've seen people come make a decsion by the "simple prayer" and then never seeing them again...In this G12 that doesn't happen....I've never been this excited in serving God. Now I can say I'm truly loving and serving God. Our Church is under Cesar Castellano, He's even came to preach at our church...He's awesome.
My pastor doesn't do anything without God first telling him and checking out the fruit.........because you will know them (real serveing and God kind of love Christians) by their fruits! Becuase I've seen the change in my church and people coming to Jesus and staying and they are also excited and serving Him....I will always support G12 and Cesar Castellano anytime....G12 is my life!!!!!!
uriel1919 Posted - 05/02/2006 : 13:48:05
well the topic is totally against Cesar Castellanos, my church just began with the vision and we are having a success. I was not aware that cesar was making his G12 vision a denomination. Which I personally find in a way complicated. But understand that there is a reason, i think that the reason he taking this is because of all the people that are taking his vision and changing it to fit their needs. That is not the original purpose of the vision. I live in michigan so you can't say that i go to his church or that i'm related, but i understand his view and why he wants to be so strict in his leadership. BECAUSE PEOPLE TAKE THE VISION AND WATER IT DOWN. That's not what the vision calls for.
richshome Posted - 11/29/2005 : 13:00:53
Many times God will speak to His people and deliver tremendous revelation to them. We then take that revelation and turn it into some form of legalism or another. The revelation is valid but because we are human we stain the image of that revelation.

All that to say, I believe that Carlos received a genuine revelation from God on how to mobilize the Church but he then took that revelation too far. He took awesome principles and is now beginning to turn them into legalism. We should be praying for him to hear God's voice in this time. He is still being used by God. At the end of the day, he is just a man, like the rest of us, who makes mistakes. Unfortunatley, his mistakes are much more visible because of his noteriety.

Seeking An Audience of One,
Richard Aronson
touchadmin Posted - 08/30/2005 : 14:33:42
A cult is defined as a group who does not believe in the trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as a basic dividing line.

Castellanos' churches may have some cult-like control issues similar to the Shepherding movement, but in and of itself it does not appear to be a cult to me any more than the Shepherding movement was a cult.

Randall Neighbour
Forum Administrator
davidp Posted - 08/26/2005 : 13:01:05
Why is everyone refraining from calling it what it is? A cult!

Previously there were real tesimonies from leaders who had been through hell with this vision that were invaluable to leaders being duped into it. Now where do we send them to see the real truth about it?

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him think.
cdhale Posted - 03/25/2005 : 00:24:22
Similar to you...

I have long appreciated the insights and opportunities afforded to cell churches by G12 and the folks from Bogota. I have also felt very leery of Castellanos, himself. I do not know him, so make no judgment about him, but his actions have always had a sort of "cultic" feeling to me.

I hope all goes well for the new denomination, but I feel sorry for those churches that are being left out in the cold becauser of this action. It seems like the last thing we need is another denomination. I wonder if Jesus weeps...(John 17:20ff)?


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