Ministry Journey Blog

Thoughts on Ministry

04 Apr

The problem of Christian Celebrity

Posted in Uncategorized on 04.04.12 by Merlyn

I continue to argue that the world has changed the church and not the other way around. As one of my college professors and mentors, Tony Campolo said ‘the church is the taillight of every social movement.’ The church reflects the world far more than it reflects the kingdom. One example of this is Christian celebrity. Whether it is a mega church pastor like Bill Hybels, a youth ministry superstar like Doug Fields, a sports star like Tim Tebow or any other celebrity in a religious or secular field; it is hard to discern the difference between how Christians approach these and other celebrities and those who are not Christ followers. As a church we tend to idolize, sermonize about and point to Christian celebrities. Pastors and other church staff desire to be known, speak, write several books and have large ministries. These dreams along with Christian celebrities have become idols. Looking at the Kingdom narrative and the life of Jesus, you do not see much value on these things. Surely Jesus attracted a crowd, but was that because he was a celebrity? Jesus’ church had 12 active members with many irregular and inactive members. Only once was Jesus afforded a celebration, on what we know as Palm Sunday. The disciples were not at all celebrities, most were common men with a few exceptions, and even those exceptions were not celebrities. One who had a lot of clout before following Jesus was the one who went on to betray him. While there is value in honoring and celebrating public figures who sincerely share and live out their faith, we have most certainly gone too far. Instead of seeking to be like Christ we compare ourselves to celebrities and others who seem to have been more successful around us. This is idol worship and it’s a distraction that Satan just loves to have his way with. At the end of the day, there is Christ and then there is everyone else who all happen to not be the Christ. Sure we must honor those who have had success, those who genuinely serve, those who work hard for the kingdom and many others, but in the end the things that matter the most is our love for God, others, and self and our ability to be faithful, not because of the results we hope to garner, but because we trust God with our whole lives.



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