super star fame game

Somebody once said, “The Gospel came to the Greeks and the Greeks turned it into a philosophy. The Gospel came to the Romans and the Romans turned it into a system. The Gospel came to the Europeans and the Europeans turned it into a culture. The Gospel came to America and the Americans turned it into a business.” And business is booming. Millions of churchgoers file in to buildings each week, line up in rows like shelves at Wal-Mart, and watch the stage. They come for one purpose: to see a show and hear a pastor. – Ed Stetzer

 When I read the New Testament I see a church dedicated, not to a philosophy nor a system nor a culture nor a business – rather, dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ and his people. As soon as we regularize details we lose the relationship dimension. As soon as we institutionalize we lose the interdependence. As soon as we value market strategy we lose the value of Holy Spirit leading.

 Stetzer goes on to say that this kind of environment has nurtured the growth of the “Pastor as Rock Star”. I say that ‘super-stardom’ was not the quest Jesus was on. Nor is it to be the quest of his church.

 Like a horde of persistent, screaming and obsessed ‘groupies’, too many undesirables (people, policy, procedure, products, and personality) are attracted to those in the ’fame game’. This is the underbelly, the dark side of popularity, and it is attached to stardom, like barnacles on a boat.

 O Lord, keep us from the temptation to hope for ‘Rock Star fame’.


About dougjohns

Doug Johns retired from ministry in Canada to devote more time to international work. Right now he pastors part time at the International Baptist Church in Bielefeld, Germany. He is a graduate of York Univ. (B.A.) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div.). Doug is married to Yvonne and they have four grown children plus eight grandchildren. Doug has had significant experience as a Presbyterian Minister in Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and New Brunswick. He has served as Associate Pastor at West Congregational in Haverhill, Massachusetts; Doug is committed to international ministry in Romania; and he has taken leadership in Christian Camping as Executive Director of Camp Fireside, NH; Glen Mhor Presbyterian Camp, Ontario; Timberline Ranch, BC. .... avid baseball fan of the Toronto Blue Jays ... Managed American Legion Baseball Team out of Creston BC in North Idaho League. Doug is a serious runner with many international half-marathons completed over the last 6 years.
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One Response to super star fame game

  1. Heatherly says:

    The article was very eye-opening.

    Reminded that not only world-famous leaders, speakers, and pastors seek “rock star” status. It begins in all of us who aim to serve our God the moment we make our ministry about us instead of Him. Terrifying to see how far down that path we can go.

    Thank you for sharing.

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