I worked at Joyce Meyer Ministries full-time
My colleagues. Period. Hands down, some of the most talented, friendly, and FUN people I've EVER worked with. I still have lasting friendships with a large number of them. Most, if not all, have gone on to greener pastures and are doing quite well.
The actual location in Fenton is second to none. Some might say it's too nice and could be considered a temple built to honor the MILLIONS the ministry brings in each year, but it was certainly a nice place to work nonetheless.
The pay seemed lower than expected industry wide in the area of St. Louis, but, when you look at the total compensation package, it was on par with the rest of the area.
For the most part, we got what we needed technology wise and rarely, if ever, went without a tool or license we needed.
The type of work we did was awesome from a challenge and creative perspective. The way the projects were ran and ultimately ended... see the Cons section about that.
If the "Advice to Management" comments from this and the other reviews were to be heeded, I'd recommend this place in a heartbeat. Until then, AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE.
Where do I start? From the week I started I knew some people were going to be trouble to work with. I assumed it was just an abrasive personality or maybe a bad week. When I still felt that way a year in, I knew something systemic was wrong. My direct manager was treated like an unwanted step child. Until he was ultimately removed from duty, he was constantly berated and undermined. Once a new manager was promoted from within, things went from bad to terrible at light speed. The terminations started shortly thereafter for what I'd consider ridiculous or even in some cases, illegal reasons. Unfortunately, the details aren't going to get typed here for fear of retribution.
If they weren't just firing you, they were colluding behind your back to get you to quit by talking down to you, purposely twisting conversations and facts, or plotting scenarios to trap people in as well as straight up lying about facts. They would create issues that didn't exist like walking with a coworker meant you were talking about management negatively. Or going to lunch with the wrong people only to come back and be literally yelled at behind closed doors. Constantly being bullied with passive aggressive threats and having "Matthew 18" rammed down your throat all the while letting middle to upper management absolutely off any hooks under the guise of "business operations".
After you figured out how to navigate those treacherous waters, you started to realize your reputation was being created/damaged without your involvement. People (who were always unnamed) would "say things". You never heard what they said or who said it (even though that was literally against their Matt 8:19 rule).
When you were on a project you were typically dictated to as to the technology, requirements, etc. but it was always communicated in a vague and generic way. At first you thought maybe they were giving you some latitude to be creative. WRONG! They did it so they always had an escape route and of course, some underling to smoke with a bus.
Senior management in IT would conduct witch hunt after witch hunt. The management in project management was just as bad if not worse. How can you possibly keep your job as a manager/director when you literally have people QUIT THEIR FIRST DAY!? Sure, a few bad hires here and there, but the sheer volume of turnover was indicative that the management was either incompetent at hiring or managing. Either way, that's grounds for removal. Management would routinely run a project into the ground, blame the PM on the project then take it over themselves. Once the project started going poorly again, they’d blame team leads. For example, the project to rebuild the ministry’s public website had at least 3 team leads in one year. They were either demoted or fired. We saw a lot of really seasoned, technically expert employees come and go battered and bruised. To this day, I maintain contact with numerous ex-JMM employees and we all tell war stories about this and that. Ultimately, we’re all better for having left.
I wish the problems stopped in the IT department but, sadly, no, they don’t. The Media division is headed by management that spends a lot of their time travelling and on TV. That in and of itself isn’t bad, but who runs the place while they're gone? That’d be the marketing department. They'd spend way too much time arguing with designers and developers over ridiculous things like how many pixels away a button should be, or the exact color of some text. At the end of the day, good management will provide a clear vision and get out of the way and let the people they hire do the job their experts at. When you would get management to finally discuss even the simplest designs, it’d take weeks if not months to decide and be redesigned over and over. I'm certain the significant time off, ski trips, and "work travel" were huge contributing factors there. All the while, the clock is ticking down on the deadline because, “it’s already in print and on the TV show”. If I had a dollar for every time I heard that…. There were numerous project we ended up working 2-3 days non-stop to deploy. This happened about once every 2-3 months. Working from 8a-10p was regular for some weeks. Oh, and since we were salaried… no pay. Comp time??? PTO??? Rarely happened unless my direct manager just did it himself. We worked tirelessly to build the new website and get it deployed even though all the technology staff advised numerous times that it was a sinking ship and it’d be better to cut the losses and rebuild it correctly. Those conversations took place well over 5 years ago and still… to this day, after spending MILLIONS of donation dollars, the site has yet to be finished. Even after some of us worked 100h weeks for months on end to deploy the broken new site, we got a few days of PTO and a 5% bonus (taxed at 40%).
I can tell you first hand, being negative about ANYTHING (including recommending against a design or technology) is essentially hanging yourself. Even if you’re right about the suggestion and they don’t agree… it’s your fault and surely you will take the fall.
At some point, the board of directors and/or donors need to step up and see just how much money gets wasted on poor management like this. From millions of dollars for a busted CRM to more millions on a busted website to millions on employee turnover… at some point, they’ll have to realize the issues and correct them. Maybe if they created a department that oversaw resources… you know the human resources that work there rather than just the department that hires and fires people JMM would ACTUALLY be one of the “Best places to work in St. Louis”.
Advice to Management
You have a heart for hurting people. It's just as important to look inside your own house as it is to clothe, treat, and feed the children in Africa. Time to clean the wolves in sheep's skins in management. These are the people controlling YOUR vision, YOUR ministry.
Proverbs 27:23 "Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds,"
Hebrews 13:17 "Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you."
The leaders you have placed in authority over your flock don’t live up to those verses. Do the right thing and at least check out these numerous claims.
I worked at Joyce Meyer Ministries full-time (More than 3 years)
The mission at JMM was a driving force through difficult projects. It helped me stay centered and appreciate my work. I loved my coworkers regardless of their department. The facilities and grounds were also top-notch. Both pay and benefits were competitive for the area.
C-level IT and project management routinely broke trust and mislead us. Management frequently re-worked the bare-minimum project proposals into unsupportable messes. The admins were then blamed for the unworkable solutions and punished with on-call rotations from hell. I also observed dishonorable negotiations between management and multiple vendors (misleading, sharing quoted pricing, etc)
HR seemed to be powerless to resolve the employee abuse and manipulation, unable to stop the multi-year IT witch hunt that saw IT staff quit or fired, turning over 2 or 3 times in 5 years. We had an amazingly talented team that has been destroyed through scheming. Several of us were transferred to other departments to launch a new website, under the guise of producing a better product by directly with the creatives. IT management let it be known that it was part of a plan to let the creative departments fail so IT could save the day and take back control.
At the end of the day, everything seemed like a power-struggle.
Advice to Management
Replace IT and project management leadership with effective leadership that will be honest with both JMM leadership and their employees.
I worked at Joyce Meyer Ministries full-time (More than 3 years)
The People -- I worked with a lot of really great people, and developed life-long friendships. These people are all non-management employees.
The Healthcare -- 100% coverage for me, (They do not cover spouses who work -- even though they tried to claim otherwise in the benefits review), and my children.
The Security -- As a previous reviewer mentioned, the security team is to die for.
SD Manager -- This guy is fantastic. He cares. Unfortunately, I believe that will be his downfall. He cares too much. I've not met the new manager, but I've heard really solid things about him too. Great middle management in IT.
The CEO -- In my entire time at JMM, I believe that I actually saw the CEO a whopping total of 1 time. He didn't introduce himself by any means, because he doesn't have time to meet the peasants that allow him to ski 9 months out of the year. All decision making had to come from the CEO, so nothing ever got accomplished here because he was never around.
The CIO -- Everyone is terrified of this man. I do not get it. Worst decision maker that I have ever worked for. (I would have liked to say "work with", but you can't work with this guy. You are ALWAYS wrong.) He is a liar, he is a manipulator, and God forbid you turn your back for even a moment... He will stab you in the back faster than you can say Matthew 18. This is a man that would not cut it as a Mid-Level Manager in any other company. Especially in St. Louis, people know who he is. Recruiters have actually called me and said, “We can get you out from under the thumb of [Name]”. Everyone knows who he is, and everyone knows what he is. Do not even attempt to correct him on anything. Do not attempt to present an idea that goes against his. Do not attempt to cross him. You will be eaten alive.
Project Management– The only way to get anything through the dictatorship over this team is to use the back door. Nothing gets done correctly, everything is rushed, and if it’s not done right, it’s your fault. The worst part is that everyone knows it. People outside of IT have claimed that project management treats everyone like children. We are always talked down to in meetings. We are always made to look like the bad guy in front of customers. MULTIPLE people have quit within a week of working with this group. The turnover in IT/PMO is at least 10 times the amount of any other department at the ministry. That in and of itself should be a warning.
HR -- As other reviewers have mentioned, HR is full of great people, but they are really just a smokescreen for the COO. It's unfortunate because the COO is scared of the CIO. Joyce Meyer has written something like 70+ books... She could write at least double that with the complaints that have been submitted to HR and ignored. The COO will not act on the complaints, because he has no spine. The most unfortunate part is that people really do like everyone in HR. The employees are all top notch people. They will lie to you, and they will manipulate situations, but that is definitely coming from above. I do not believe that the HR employees purposefully manipulate people.
The Website – If donors only knew how many millions of dollars have been spent trying to build a new website they would immediately stop donating. JMM always preaches about how they are open with their finances, and they release the annual financial report every year, but that report does not tell the whole story. Not even close. The CEO either doesn’t know, or doesn’t care, how horrible this project has been. It’s taken over 5 years of development, multiple project managers, multiple team leads, multiple Web Management changes, multiple vendor changes, and it is still not complete. The only consistency on this project has been the CIO who makes bad decisions and the Project Management Office which dictates everything. Maybe it’s time to move on from these people and you can finally have the website that integrates with Facebook.
One more HR con -- Sweeping things under the rug. I have read every single review on this site. Every single one. The responses "The Executive Team will review this" or "Looks like you had an abnormal experience" are absurd. If you got every single member of IT (and most employees outside of IT who have to deal with PMO or IT) in a one on one situation with the COO or CEO, each one will tell you the same story. This is not just a couple of disgruntled employees looking to bash the ministry. I love what Joyce Meyer MInistries stands for. I love the work that Joyce does. I love the people that I worked with. I am not just a disgruntled employee. I want to see the ministry succeed. The only way to do that is to fire the problem. There will be no success until those situations are cleared up.
Advice to Management
DO THE RIGHT THING. Clean up shop. Remove the problems. Give HR the ability to make changes where they see fit. Force the CEO, who takes a hefty salary, to show up to work. Don't allow him to sit on the slopes 9 months out of the year. Show Dave and Joyce that you care about what they started.
Also, quit acting so delusional? Quit trying to make people believe that the management that has folder complaints against them are really great people who are trying to help the ministry succeed. These people, as many have stated previously, are wolves in sheeps clothing. "We believe this is exemplified by every employee at every level..." Do you really believe that everyone posting here is just a bunch of disgruntled employees trying to bring the ministry down? The only people bringing down the ministry are those who allow the sexual harassment, the classicism, the sexism, the cronyism and the nepotism to continue.
I worked at Joyce Meyer Ministries part-time (More than 10 years)
We enjoyed traveling to each city that Joyce was having her conferences and meeting as well as being an extension of Joyce and Dave, by meeting people and speaking words of encouragement to those who came to the products table. We also enjoyed the relationships we made with some of the team members.
After working with them for 15 years we were let go, and when we asked why first we were told due to budget cuts, when I found out my supervisor hired his son as well two other people we were given yet another excuse, when I asked for a letter for the ministry I was given a letter which said we were not doing our job. I have documentation proving that was not true. We were told that on our final trip we would have a get together with the rest of our team to say our good-byes, that never happened.
Advice to Management
The people Joyce and Dave have given the responsibility to run the ministry they don’t have a clue on how to be a good manager, they have no regard for the people working under them who are afraid to say anything for fear of loosing their jobs, no one is allowed to speak to Joyce or Dave because they are told the must go through the chain of command, as a result Joyce & Dave have no idea how their workers are treated of how what they think. I honestly believe that these unskilled upper management people are going to take this ministry down the wrong path.
Some of the best people I've met
Great intelligence in their IT department among workers
Rewarding work, but there are some obvious flaws in doctrine
Unbelievably bi-polar management in virtually all areas of the company
CEO who lists his hobby (Co-founder, Song Writer / Fuzed Worship) first on his Linked In profile (can you say "priorities mix-up?")
Once the curtain is pulled back, the truth behind corporate spending on "outreach" becomes very disappointing.
Petty in-fighting between C-Levels on a daily basis
"Kingdom Building" has become a "double entendre" there
Advice to Management
Leadership at JMM needs to do just that-lead. Replace the CEO, CIO, CMO and their direct reports. Clean house in IT management (your HR department knows it needs to be done, all the way down to the recruiters and assistants). Stop firing people for manager's mistakes. Either choose to practice grace with employees, or don't, but don't make it a game with them, spouting about Matthew 18 and doing the right thing, when management is so clearly exempt from such practices that it smacks of hypocrisy. Ask yourself, "What would Joyce...I mean Jesus...do?"
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