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The Celebrity Pastor & the Divinity Student

The influence of the celebrity "prosperity gospel" pastor extends beyond theology and includes an approach to ministry.

or abilities they have been granted.

Our new pastors need to know that the church must not be confused with a fan base. Without question, ministry can seem like a reality show. The lives of pastors and their families are perpetually put on display for public consumption. Every aspect of their lives will be picked apart and analyzed. But however difficult, pastors must resist the temptation to use their image, their families, and their churches as the primary basis for either experiencing revelation or evaluating the gospel. We must be able to say with Paul, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). We don’t want to seek the spotlight that should be reserved for the person and work of Jesus Christ. We follow a Savior who was, after all, often both broke and brokenhearted.

The reality-show obsessed world we live in does not usually recognize righteousness when they see it. They tend to want a star they can vote for and a leader they can admire for being as successful as any baseball player or character on Jersey Shore . For that reason I will not consider it a failure if none of our graduates ever sit across from Oprah or lead a church so large that it used to be a sports arena. After all, the first and last time Jesus was put to a vote, the people picked Barabbas.