Poor Robert Morris. He is getting old and has a hard time preaching the same 35 minute sermon three times in a weekend. Guess we should rename Saturday and Sunday “the weakend.”
Morris began his sermon at the 12:30 Sunday service by confiding with the crowd that he and the elders decided to leave it up to Morris if he will preach at just the 4pm Saturday service and one other or just at 4pm on Saturday. Later in the sermon he confided more that one reason he might not be able to preach on Sunday is because he may be out somewhere else ministering to the Body of Christ. Watch:
I uh, actually, had them, uh not send this service to the other campuses, so I could talk just to you here at Southlake, for just a few minutes at the 12:30 service. And the reason I did is because I wanted to explain to you, uh that uh why you’re not seeing me as much in person. Because I don’t want you to get offended. Alright, or you’re feelings hurt or feel like uh I, uh Pastor Robert just doesn’t love the 12:30 service, anymore. He du.. we never see him. We never see him. ‘Cept at Walmart ya know, so. (laughter).
But, uh, as as I’ve gotten older it seems more difficult to do the same message three times a weekend with the same passion, and burden and intensity that I deliver it with the first or second time. And so I’ve talked with the elders about it. And there are times when I feel like I at the 4 o’clock service that I uh I don’t mean this in the wrong way but that I hit it out of the park or I’m clicking on all cylinders. Ya know, the anointing is strong and God’s saying what He wants to say. And then I come back to speak again at another service and I just think man, I did a terrible job, I just, ya know, it wasn’t as good and I wish they had heard the 4 o’clock message because I feel like the anointing was stronger, I feel like God spoke, I feel like I made it more clear; the principles I was trying to impart. And so the elders and I have talked about it and we decided , ya know uh, we have 24 services a weekend. Twenty-four at five different campuses. And I was doing three live at Southlake, um, and so 21 though, would not be live. I would be on the screen. And it works for 21 of them. Ya know. So we thought, well will it work for 22? Or 23? Well, yes, God can still speak and I think you’ve seen that. And so I kind of make that call every weekend, as to what my schedule is. If I’m gonna be traveling, speaking to pastors at a conference or something like that. And, if I feel like, that by using that 4 o’clock service, you’re actually going to get a better understanding of what the Lord is saying then for me to come back and do it again. Then I make that call. So that’s why I wanted you to know. In other words, you’re not seeing me as much, not because I don’t love you. But because I do love you. You understand what I’m saying? So I’m trying to make the right call. So uh, please, please, I just wanted to come I said don’t send this one to the other campuses. Let me speak specifically to the 12:30 service. And I’m gonna do this in ALL of the other services. Like the 5:45, the 9:00 and the 10:45. Uh, because it’s the same for all the services at at Gateway.
We feel like that we’re making a decision that causes, allows me, to continue to do what God has called me to the Body of Christ, but also allows me to continue to serve as the pastor here. So, that’s that’s why. Does that make sense to everyone? So, okay. So I’m gonna preach live today, but if it’s not as good as yesterday, well y’all just pretend like it is okay? Like if I say something that’s like remotely funny, just laugh. Just AHAHAHAHAHAH ya know, so okay? Make me feel good okay?”
I don’t understand how that anointing thing works. Some days God zaps you with more and some days less? This sounds like a rationale for wanting to preach less at Gateway and travel more. As he discloses later in the sermon, Morris is having a mid-life crisis. Watch:
“Um, I went through another mid-life crisis. And uh you know how I am, I’m just very open with you. In the last few years. Because I knew that God said to me three major things, to, to, try to help the world. Change the world. One was to build a very strong, large Apostolic influential church in the world. That would change the world. And I know God builds the church but He uses people. And so from my part, whatever I was to do. Uh, the other was to be very successful through presenting the Word on television. And of course, Gateway Church is a very large and Apostolic influence in the Church in the world. In the whole world. And our television ministry is, has become very successful and very influential in the Kingdom. The third, was to write best-selling books. And it was specifically to write best-selling books because, ya know, if you write a book and, ya know, four people read it, ya know, then you didn’t really change the world. Let your wife and your kids read it. So, and I was not and there’s nothing in me that wanted to write best-selling books for the financials. There was nothing. Many of you know that I gave away all the royalties to my best book, uh which has literally been millions of dollars that I’ve never touched. I never seen. I’ve given it to the Kingdom. So, that was never my motivation still not my motivation today when I write books. My motivation is to change the world.”
“So, I’ve been saying, for the last few years, ‘God (pause) what I do?’ I mean, Gateway is an Apostolic influence in the world. The television ministry, the books. What I do?’ And on this sabbatical He spoke. That’s how fresh this is, what I’m telling you. He said to me, ‘Son, you have confused goals, with purpose. Yes, you have reached some goals, but you have not fulfilled your purpose’. And He reminded me years ago, He gave me a statement that I wrote down that was my purpose, here’s, here’s my purpose I, just so you can see it. It’s to ‘help people to develop an intimate relationship with God’. Now I know that sounds simple but it has to be simple for me to understand it, okay?
But, that’s what gives me joy. Helping people develop an intimate, not just a relationship with God but an intimate relationship with God. Because I am just as burdened about the believer in bondage as I am about the non-believer. So helping people develop an intimate relationship. And The Lord said, ‘I wanna give you your focus for the next ten to fifteen years. I wanna give you your three focuses, like you have your focuses before, I’m gonna give your focuses.’ Here’s what He told me and I wrote ‘em down, ‘Preaching and teaching God’s Word’ to continue preaching and teaching God’s Word. I love to preach and teach His Word. ‘Two, Inspiring pastors and leaders’. I love to inspire pastor and leaders. I do lots of pastors’ conferences and things like that. Uh, that’s that, um, floats my boat. Or, um, downloads my app, whatever your language is (laughter) I don’t even know what that means. But, um, hopefully that’s not something dirty so I uh just, ‘kay, uh and ‘number three, mentoring the next generation’. And The Lord has said to me, ‘You ree.. you have the influence now to really mentor and you, you, you got to be a part what I’ve imparted you to the next generation. In the next fifteen years this is the focus for you. Mentoring the next generation.’ “
“Now, so I’ve written down my purpose, and how God wants me to accomplish it in this season. Again, seasons has can change. But my purpose….”
Along with the rest of the message, a picture emerges here of a change of expectations at Gateway. It sounds like Morris is going to preach live on Saturdays at 4pm when he is in town. On Sundays, he will be free to travel to other churches and be an elder statesman. He wants to be a pastor to pastors (does that sounds like a former Seattle pastor to anyone?). By making these changes, he will retain the title of pastor (and presumably his salary and benefits) at Gateway but get to expand his horizons as well.
Morris has made a lot of money preaching out of town in addition to whatever he makes at Gateway and at The King’s University. According to the 990 filed by his evangelistic association, he made $324,575 during calendar year 2013. Being more available to the Body of Christ might up that amount. He also gets to use the retreat center whenever he wants.