Tuesday, January 29, 2008

So, You Wanna Be A Rock Star?

Imagine the feeling...

You walk on stage, the crowd is roaring, the smoke machines billow, the lights are flashing, the girls are screaming and fainting all over the place. You are the star of the show. It's all about you! This is your moment to shine! You're about to give the audience the show of a lifetime!

Now back to reality...

What I've described seems to be what some preachers are seeking these days. I've actually seen videos and heard audio clips of certain ministers taking the pulpit while the audience cheers as if Nickelback has just taken the stage. In fact, with some preachers it's obvious, they want the spotlight on them. They want denominational fame. They desire to have all eyes on them and to be the stars of the show!

A few years ago, before I left the Pentecostal movement, I attended a service at a very progressive Pentecostal church not far from here just to see what the buzz was all about. I was amazed at what I witnessed. Though it was a small church just outside of the city limits of a rural Georgia town, it had all the trappings of a secular rock concert. It was a real circus.

They had everything a despiser of God could want: flashing lights, smoke machines, loud music, and plenty of man-centered "praise and worship" that had little to no theology or true reverence for God. It was just awful. One thing that stood out to me was how the preacher was escorted to and from the pulpit flanked by ushers sporting Secret Service type communication equipment. It was obvious that this pastor was much too important to spend any time mingling with the commoners. Needless to say, I never returned...

If you're in the ministry and you desire to be the star of the show and have church services like I described above, let me give you some candid advice. If truly want be cheered by thousands of adoring fans, then Gospel ministry is not what you need to be doing! Go buy yourself a guitar, learn to play it, and then start your own garage band. Maybe if your real lucky, you might be a rock star someday, but whatever you do, don't waste your time pretending to be a minister of God.

God has called us to preach the Word and be a servant in His Kingdom. He hasn't called us to be the stars of the show. Whenever we begin to think we're the stars of the show, we have fallen into a grievous sin. I believe any praise we receive as ministers should immediately be directed to God, we have no right to it. We have nothing in which to boast. It's all about Him. It's His show. He's the Star. He should be the main attraction.

Brothers, we are not rock stars!

photo: from wikipedia


Gordan Runyan said...

Bless my soul, I'll be tazered if I can think of any well known Baptist who fits this description.

Gordan Runyan said...

I've been thinking about this since my smart-alek comment above, and this occurs to me:

If we dial the thing down several notches from "rock star," at the bottom we're really talking about the love of the praise of man.

Pastor, you may not in any way desire the cheers and handwaving, but how much do you eat it up when the old lady tells you at the end of service that you just preached the best sermon she ever heard? How much do you long and thirst for those little nuggets of encouragement like that?

Same, same, says I.

Brothers, remember the wise old preachers' adage: We preach to an audience of One.