PromiseLand is not the church for you if…

Most churches are telling everyone how perfect they are for everyone.  I have seen in the last seven years that PromiseLand San Marcos is not for everyone.  I’ve seen people pick churches based on 3 categories:

  1. Culture– What is the style of worship and ministry?
  2. Doctrine – Do I believe what the church believes?  Am I open in the disagreeable areas (is it negotiable)?
  3. Relationships – Do I have meaning friendships with people in the church?

We have had almost 2000 people join our church in the last 7 years and a little over 1000 have stayed.  Some people died, some moved, some lost the faith, and some left our church based on the criteria above.  We have not studied why people left scientifically.  Therefore, I don’t have percentages on how many are in each category.

Recently, I started a list of why people would not like PromiseLand.  Maybe this will scare people off.  Maybe it will draw people in.  Either way, it is reality.  We are not running a corporation that needs to worry about PR.  We are also not interested in bait and switch. We try to put our best foot forward and believe we are a healthy church.

PromiseLand San Marcos is not the church for you if…

  • you are looking for a liturgical church – we do have repetition and traditions in our church, however, we do not worship the exact same way every time and we do not have communion every service.
  • you are looking for a denominal church. Our church is independent, but we agree with a lot of denominations on a lot of things.
  • you are looking for a ‘white’ or ‘black‘ or ‘hispanic’ church – our church is about 45% white 45% hispanic and 10% black
  • you are looking for aquiet church– our worship music is fairly loud with guitar, keys, drums, bass, singing, etc
  • you are looking for an older crowd– most of the people in our church are under 40 years old.
  • you are looking for a politically active church – we have a morally conservative stance on issues and we encourage our people to vote accordingly, however, we do not push or preach many politically charged topics.  We are strong advocates of choosing life.
  • you don’t agree with our statement of beliefs.
  • you are looking for an ‘older pastor’ – I am in my 30s. I am getting gray hair though.
  • you are looking for a pastor with a seminary degree. I have a degree in Marketing from Texas State University.
  • you are comfortable being set in your ways– we will challenge all folks to get closer and move toward intimacy with God.  We encourage everyone to volunteer and serve in some capacity.  Sin is wrong.
  • you do not believe that financially giving is important – We constantly give people the opportunity to GIVE to others in need including: local and international needs.  The church budget is supported by all members being actively involved financially.
  • you want to hold onto grudges – We believe in dealing with issues, resolution, and reconciliation.
  • you want a small church.  Our church is medium sized.  About 750 attend on the weekend, but since we have multiple services, we have about 250-300 in each service.
  • you want a megachurch – We are committing to maintaining personal relationships with everyone and we don’t want anyone to fall through the cracks.
  • you are looking for a specific ministry that we do not offer.  We do not have some ministries that other churches have and we do not apologize for it.  We have what God has given us the resources to do at this time. For an example, see below…
  • you are looking for a huge, active college ministry.  We have 30-40 college students in our weekend services, but we do not currently have a special, separate college ministry night/meeting.
  • you are looking for a regular Wednesday night service.  We have 1 Mid-week service per month (the first Wed). Every other week, we have small groups that meet on a variety of topics and locations.
  • you are looking forward to us making big changes in the future to become like your old church or another church. OR you feel like you have been called to our church to change us culturally or doctrinally.  This is a wrong way to join a church.  Be up front at the beginning if you have a difference and if it doesn’t work out, we can part peacefully.
  • you lean on legalism to get the job done.   Mercy, forgiveness, rehab, second chances abound at PromiseLand.

Having said ALL that, there are many things we encourage, teach, exhort, explain, believe in, etc that are not represented on the list.  The reason they are not listed is because most people believe/agree with them… or at least say that they do. (ex- Jesus is the only way)



About pastorrobin

Hello. I pastor PromiseLand Church in San Marcos, TX. I am married to Erica, and we have 3 kids: Kennady, Jude, and Avery. All little ones! Visit our church site at

Posted on December 8, 2010, in Church Business. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I commented to Erica sharing this post on Facebook, but thought I might repeat the same here to you… this is a FANTASTIC post! I think it would be super beneficial if more pastors were brave enough to write something as straight forward as this. It certainly answers a lot of questions that people probably have and just aren’t sure who to ask.

    p.s. Congrats on the grey hair while you’re barely pushing 40. =P

  2. WOW! That is powerful! I love it! I hope it is read and commented on by many!

  3. love it. you are the best robin. simply the best. great idea to write this.

  4. Say what you mean and mean what you say! Love it….hmm I think we might have some of the same genes.
    I would go to your church…oh yeah I did 😀 Good thing I have grown since then. Love ya’ll and think you have a fantastic work in San Marcos.

  5. Stephanie, don’t make me any older than I am. He is not pushing 40 for a few more years. 🙂
    It was good to see you and your family last night.

  6. So glad my pastor understands that we can’t be all things to all people and that God has a specific niche for our congregation in His Kingdom. I’m also glad that my pastor has sufficient love for God and trust in the mandate that God has given him for our congregation, that he does not feel threatened by public opinion or peer pressure. We follow Pastor Robin as he follows Christ. Amen.

  7. Seven years ago I started going to Promiseland SM, saying i don`t want a young pastor, but after three sunday services, God presence was made clear in the annointing of the sermon from this young man.
    i walked to the front and he layed his hands upon me and started praying, me and Jesus had a little talk with the holy ghost fire all around, it was awesome. I will never for get it, and I thank God for My Pastor Robin Steele whom I love and respect.

  8. wynnel, you make me cry….but it is a good cry…. 😉

  9. Three Words. Courage, Clarity & Confidence. In a world where vague and grey is the norm it is so refreshing to see the courage and conviction to say precisely what PSM is and is not. This is the same simple clarity that God has given you in the pulpit. I love the pure transparency with which you speak. Confidence in what God has called you to, and an even grater confidence in God and His amazing Power to draw men to Him. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  10. And that, Robin, is why I love you and Erica.

  11. Where is the your church’s link on this page, where we can visit and view the service video as they are being performed? Also, I did search on my browser for your church and it brought me to a plain web page that only showed the Promiseland Church hours with no link to the actual church site. It would be good for users to have the ability to go direct to your church site where they could view the Sunday morning church services from this page and from the plain page ( Help us view it.

  12. Sorry, Carl. You accessed our mobile site. You must have been on a cell phone or ipad. We are working on getting our mobile site more advanced. If you were accessed from a laptop or desktop, then you would have seen our full website.

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