In his book ‘Top 10 Qualities of a Great Leader’, Phil Pringle’s promotion page at the back of his book says:
“Today, Dr. Phil Pringle oversees the approximately 1,200 churches that make up Christian City Church International throughout the world, a significant proportion planted directly from Christian City Church Oxford Falls.” - About the Author DR. PHIL PRINGLE, Top 10 Qualities of a Great Leader, 2007, pg. 227.
Phil Pringle has expressed continually in his 20/20 Vision that he wants to have 1000 churches with an average of 500 members. In 2007, 120 churches may have been believable. However, our below article reveals that C3 is willing to inform that it has roughly 243 churches registered within it’s own movement:
C3 Has Roughly 243 Churches Globally
The above misleading information in his book may have been a typographical error. However, there is suspicion to his wild claims. This is a following statement Pringle made in his 9AM, morning service, October 2010 (emphasis mine):
“You know this last couple of months we were in Bali, like two months ago. Might be less than that. Six- FOUR WEEKS!? I can’t believe that. Ok. Four weeks ago. And they told me there that there were forty eight people from Myanmar, eight people from Jakarta and two churches we were planting and that added up to fifty eight churches. And I said, ‘Wow! That’s astonishing!’.
And I came back here and another brother who’s working up in Indonesia, said he’s just met a group of pastors who want to become part of what we are doing and are just hanging out to do that. And that was thirty six churches. And then Simon came back from the European conference and he met a guy in Bulgaria who has sixteen churches. And he wants to hook in as well. And so in the last like six weeks, we have grown by nearly a hundred and twenty churches in the whole movement.
A hundred and twenty- a hundred and twenty churches. And that’s besides starting Hong Kong and a few other places we’re planting churches as well. Now you know, I remember when I said like, ‘Church, isn’t it amazing? We are planting one new church- growing by one new church every three days’.
Now I said that to you about six weeks ago. And I said, ‘I’m looking forward to the day when we are gonna be growing by one church a day’. And you all sat there ‘n said, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah! Pastor, nah. Don’t get too excited. I mean as if that’s ever going to happen’. Well it’s happened right now in Jesus’ name. That’s just in four weeks time!” - Phil Pringle, (43:43-52:46), Sunday, 9am Morning Service, Christian City Church Oxford Falls, 24/10/2010
To validate his prophetic title and to motivate his congregation to give money in his giving sermon – he clearly distorted information. Readers should observe that Phil Pringle uses the word ‘planting’. When a church is planted – this generally means that an existing church or an individual Christian (with a small group) starts a new church in a physical location from scratch with whatever resources they have available.
To say the C3 church have physically started 120 brand new churches from scratch, is wrong and incredibly misleading. They are REBRANDING other churches and not planting churches. Worse still, Pringle seems satisfied to believe that if pastors or individuals are interested in joining his C3 Global movement, that’s worthy to be worded a church plant.
Pringle needs to get something straight: ‘forty eight people from Myanmar’ plus ‘eight people from Jakarta’ plus ‘two churches’ does NOT add ‘up to fifty eight churches’.
This is not only an exaggeration but deliberate manipulation with facts, numbers, words and events to elevate his status as a prophet and to get people to give his ministry money. He is purposely confusing his congregation in this message.
What’s more appalling is that Pringle gave this false testimony and said that it ‘happened right now in Jesus’ name’. Christians need to understand the severity of this. Phil Pringle decieved people to give his ministry money and to elevate his personal platform as prophet before men ‘in Jesus name’. Phil Pringle publicly used the Lord’s name in vain to give a false account and to deceive Christians.
What’s VERY peculiar about this above distortion is the total number of so-called ‘churches’ that joined his movement: 120. Again consider in his book ‘Top 10 Qualities of A Great Leader‘ the exaggerated number of churches that he oversaw in his movement was 1,200. First there is a false claim of 1,200 churches followed by the above false claim of 120 churches. Coincidence? In May this year in 2011, Phil Pringle made the claim he has nearly 500 churches worldwide (emphasis mine):
“And people – we want to bless them and do all we can, plant more churches, send out more people to plant churches all around the world … There are like nearly five hundred of these [C3] Churches out there and the reason it happens is because of couples like this. The couple there who said, “You know what? We’re going to send in this break-through tithe”.” -Phil Pringle, Ps Phil Pringle: Financial Excellence Part 1, http://www2.myc3church.net/videos/ps-phil-pringle-financial-excellence-part-1, 22/05/2011.
You can watch him say it on C3ChurchWatch here, (video 2 at 1:16):
Phil Pringle Financially Fooling & Fleecing People (Part 1)
Phil Pringle is also exaggerating – in fact lying to his congregation. The context of this sermon is to make people become tithers at the end of the sermon. Pringle is trying to convince people to give their money to his ministry by proving his church is successful in church growth. These are just some of the many things he has said in regards to how many ‘churches’ he’s ‘planted’.
After considering the information presented, Phil Pringle is either:
1. having difficulty knowing if his movement consists of 243 churches, nearly 500 churches or 1,200 churches. Or Phil Pringle is…
2. making up whatever number of churches his movement has, to justify his motives and appearances; to assure audiences that his false prophetic utterances are true; or to groom or appeal to his audiences to give his ministry money. Either way, either option is highly problematic. Does evidence suggest that the second option be the more correct conclusion?
Edit (09/01/2012): Someone observed a typographical error. This has been fixed.
At the MyC3Church website, Pringle’s profile reads:
“Phil Pringle is the Founder and President of C3 Church Global, 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.” - www2.myc3church.net/aboutphilpringle (Accessed 10/01/2012)
Google informs us that that Pringle’s profile was edited/published on the 19th November 2008.
We would also like to point out our article here:
What Are ‘Christians Against Poverty’ (CAP) Doing At C3?
They say of Phil Pringle,
‘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‘. – http://www.capaust.org/news.php?action=show&news_id=189 (Accessed 10/01/2012)
Google informs us that this CAP web page was edited/published on the 14th December 2008.
From C3 Church North City Hamilton we read:
“Pastor Phil Pringle is the Founder and President of C3 Church Global, 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.” - http://www.c3churchnorthcity.com/videos.html (Accessed 10/01/2012)
Google informs us that this C3 Church North City Hamilton web page was edited/published up on the 21st April 2009.
We were also informed by C3 North Melbourne’s blog that,
Pastor Doctor Phil Pringle A.O.M. shares his vision for 1000 churches in C3 Church international. There are currently around 250 churches and we are part of the 2020 vision… - http://northernconnections.wordpress.com/2009/11/03/do-you-see-it-1000-churches-500000-members/ (Accessed 10/01/2012)
This C3 Blog informs us that this post was created on the 3rd of November 2009. It was not edited.
Now comes the leap year. If you look at the C3 Church Davenport website, you will read,
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.
Google informs us that this web page was edited/published up on the 20th of April 2009.
If you look at the old C3 Bono Website, we are informed by Pringle that he,
… 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… - http://web.archive.org/web/20100619130947/http://www.myc3church.net/node/103 (Accessed 10/01/2012)
From wayback.com, we find this information was published on the 27th of April 2009.
If you go to MyC3Church.net and click ‘Church Online – watch archive’, the profile of Phil Pringle will read:
Pastor Phil Pringle is the Senior Minister of one of Australia’s fastest growing, exciting and powerful churches. 1980 saw Phil and his wife Christine arrive in Sydney Australia from New Zealand, armed with faith and a vision to build a contemporary, vibrant church that would grow and impact a city for Christ. Today, 31 years later C3 (Oxford Falls) is one of Australia’s largest churches with over 5,500 members. Pastor Phil has always projected the vision of planting new congregations, especially in major cities around the world. Today, Dr Pringle oversees the approximately 258 churches that make up Christian City Church International throughout the world. - http://www2.myc3church.net/0603116pmpp (Accessed 10/01/2012)
Oddly, Google records that this information was edited/published recently on the 19th of December 2011.
As we have seen, C3 does not have the tendency to round down. All this is rather important information. We have found that Pringle and the C3 movement have been promoting that they have had over 240 churches since late 2008 (there may be earlier dates than 19th November 2008 that record C3 having over 240 churches). However, now it’s promoted on their website that they have approximately 258 churches with a massive jump of nearly 300 churches in between.
Growing from just over 240 churches to approximately 258 church sounds like realistic progress. However, this does not excuse Phil Pringle from distorting church statistics for personal gain.
Edit (08/02/2012): There is further proof that the quote from Phil Pringle’s book ‘Top 10 Qualities of a Great Leader’, is NOT a typo. There is also visual proof of this quote in the book ‘Top 10 Qualities of a Great Leader’ in GoogleBooks. See the thumbnail below. Access link here: http://books.google.com.au/books?id=rJDrhB-05twC&pg=PT237&lpg=PT237&dq=&source=bl&ots=qonOxFbqSN&sig=1FOuYTiqfJ6j2YS_gza22Q87A4g&hl=en&sa=X&ei=uCUxT92SOa6SiAfBwLyYBQ&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false
This information is another of his books, ‘Dead For Nothing?’. Access link here: http://books.google.com.au/books?id=2qWhZyGuCMIC&pg=PA143&lpg=PA143&dq=source=bl&ots=ZrUGYZSaDK&sig=54HYbHLXipMdy3mceY2liHFz3aY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=QEcxT4nJIqzwmAW3t4DkBQ&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false
This reprinted version of ‘Dead for Nothing’ on GoogleBooks, says it was published in 2003. ‘Top 10 Qualities of A Great Leader’ says it was published in 2007. Four years leaves plenty of time for issues to be addressed. Why was this serious ‘typo’ not addressed?