Tuesday, October 25, 2022

“He must increase, but I must decrease”

From Michael J. Kruger on "How Not To Become a Celebrity Pastor":
.... Most pastors don’t think they are in danger of becoming a “celebrity pastor” because they miss what a celebrity pastor actually is. They assume that celebrity pastors are, by definition, pastors of large churches or ministries. And since most churches are small-to-medium in size, most pastors figure they are immune.

Let me suggest, however, that this is a misunderstanding of the problem. The problem is not about the size of the church, but the culture of the church. Or, more to the point, it is not about the success of the pastor but the disposition of the pastor.

The celebrity pastor doesn’t actually have to be that exceptional in order to be treated as a celebrity. It doesn’t really matter if their church is 100 people or 1000. They merely have to be the big fish in their own little pond.

After all, athletes don’t have to wait to get to the professional leagues to get a cocky swagger about them. Even a player on the local high school football team can develop an enormous ego from the incessant praise of the little hometown crowd.

So, if becoming a celebrity pastor is a danger for all of us, we are going to need a framework for how to avoid it. And I think the person of John the Baptist provides just such a framework.

From all we can tell, John was immensely gifted. So much so that many people thought he might himself be the Messiah. One could imagine how easy it might have been for John to think he was kind of a big deal. Maybe he deserved the limelight. Perhaps he should get special privileges.

But thankfully, that’s not how John reacted. Here’s some things we can learn from his life as recorded in John chapter 3. .... (more)
Michael J. Kruger, "How Not To Become a Celebrity Pastor," canon fodder, Oct. 25, 2022.

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