Upon the news of CJ Mahaney’s leave of absence from SGM (a decision that the board reached based on some recent accusations that went public), Harris preached the following Sunday that “our denomination is being publicly spanked, we are being humiliated and being brought low.” Our denomination means Sovereign Grace’s network of churches. Joshua Harris is pastor of Covenant Life Church, where CJ Mahaney was previously the head pastor before moving to lead SGM full-time.
Apparently, Joshua Harris and the SGM board on which he served could not reach an agreement on what God is doing. In Harris’ mind, God is disciplining not just CJ but the entire network of churches (the denomination). The SGM board, at least for now, views this as an issue with a single leader.
Here is an official statement from the SGM board —
But we [Joshua Harris and the SGM board] disagree on some important matters too. For example, we disagree in our interpretation of this current season of ministry. Is God disciplining all of Sovereign Grace Ministries right now? Josh says yes, and we’re open to that conclusion. But before arriving at that conclusion we would want to walk through a process of evaluating all of SGM, which we have not done yet. It also became apparent that Josh and the board think differently on how best to help C.J. engage with an evaluation, and how the board should exercise leadership as that process unfolds. These differences in our thinking are important and it recently became clear that the other 10 board members and Josh are in a different place on these issues.
It is a mess. May God work all things out for the good of those who love him.