For many years we have watched a non-stop parade of high-profile Christian leaders who are exposed for one major failing or another with the inevitable and terrible pain and disillusionment for their followers, and the loss of credibility for the broader Church in the eyes of the world who mock such a circus.
And this parade will continue as long as we refuse to face reality and deal with the underlying dysfunctional characteristics of our current church culture:
As long as we honor gifting above maturity. This is the spirit of the world. The world loves gifting, but God loves integrity, servanthood, humility. Gifting does not equal maturity. Just because someone has a genuine gifting of some kind does not necessarily mean they’re mature. If we have to choose, let’s please choose maturity.
- As long as we pursue a “platform,” celebrity status, fame, followers, influence, money. The sad reality is that there is so much money if we can hit superstar status – but, in the end, it will destroy us.
- As long as money is so closely connected to ministry. Of course, the laborer is worthy of his hire, but if we have to be paid to serve God, then (a) we should most definitely not be paid, and (b) we need to get right with God.
- As long as we don’t hold the highly gifted accountable because we’re afraid of “touching God’s anointed.”
- As long as we don’t deal with the brokenness in our lives that makes us crave man’s attention and approval.
- As long as our “vision” does not come from the will of God and genuinely serve the people, but instead is an expression of our own self-serving human ambition.
- As long as we are not held accountable for false teaching, and for prophecies that don’t come to pass. We must be honest, face reality and stop excusing and overlooking the nonsense.
- As long as we focus on building only knowledge and skills in our emerging leaders. We must build deep union with Christ, servanthood, integrity, true vision, accountability – that is real leader development!
Dear Christian leaders, we must please stop following the superstar celebrities. They are not leading us in the path of godliness. We must stop copying them and wanting to be like them. We must stop perpetuating the glittery religious show.
Instead we must get face-to-face with God ‒ far away from the spotlights ‒ and build our own lives in Him in the secret place. We must not just repeat their teachings and copy their “successful” strategies and forms. We must stop parroting their books and sayings. We must know God for ourselves. We must be in the Word and prayer for ourselves. Then our leadership will not be hollow, but it will have life. And only then will we bring true life to others. Only then will our churches come alive and thrive. Only then will we bear fruit – fruit that lasts.
The only heavenly-recognized celebrity is the Son of God. Jesus is the Beginning and the End of all things. And the Church is His – not ours. Those whom God allows to be shepherds must care for His people, not use them. Let’s please stop pursuing fame, influence and fortune. Just please stop! Instead pursue Him.
God is jealous over the centrality and the fame of His Son. He will not allow us to have that place. Our calling is not to compete for fame and fortune. Our only calling is to pursue the Lord Jesus and to be like Him. Then, out of His indwelling life, we must serve Him in whatever way He calls us – whether it’s big or little or nothing at all ‒ whether we’re known or not. That is true Christian leadership and those are the true men and women of God we should follow.
“And He is the Head of the Body, the Church. He is the Beginning, the Firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent.” (Colossians 1:18)