The Celebrity

Celebrity pastors, not from God?
I’ve written about this before, but I’m seeing it pop up the last couple of weeks and thought to reflect again.

Our culture loves the idea of “celebrity,” and this notion has impacted the church a lot more than Christians like to admit. We have own celebrities – worship leaders, musicians, and pastors – and these carry more weight with the average Christian because they are celebrities.

The notion of “celebrity pastor” is not new, we’ve had it for centuries, but it’s so much easier to promote oneself this way in the post-Internet world. Do a nicely produced podcast, get a crowd to hear our sermons and live stream it, then write books about the secret to our success and people will say, “Wow! God’s blessed you.”

But what if it’s not a blessing? What if the idea of the celebrity pastor isn’t an idea from God at all? What if it’s a lie, bent on tearing the whole body down?

And what would happen if Christians decided not to feed the cult of celebrity, even in its gilded Christian form? Would that change the church on the local level?

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  1. “Don’t call me a zero
    I’m gonna be a hero
    Like Phil Esposito or the Kennedys
    I’ll be incorporated
    And I’ll be imitated
    And overrated, but that doesn’t bother me
    All the jaws will drop
    And all the girls will scream
    And there will be commotion when I show up on the scene
    All that you will see is a celebrity…”

    (Lyric excerpt: Celebrity – Barenaked Ladies)

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