I don’t think I’m a curmudgeon. But there are days…
Over the past few days as I’ve logged into an online bible to track my daily reading, the first thing that shows up are various reading plans.
For some reason though, the one that has been highlighted lately is wrecking my head. Some cool looking guy in a t-shirt (he even has his name on his t-shirt…how cool is that!?!). He has his baseball cap on backwards, (but oddly enough he doesn’t have any visible tatoos)…I’m not sure exactly what the message is…
“Look, I’m cool and I read the bible! You can be too.”
“See, look, Christians can be cool too!’
Since moving to Ireland I have intentionally tried to avoid the Christian Pastor celebrity of month
cult club, so I have no idea who this person is.
But it got me thinking back to my time in New York. Every so often a new celebrity pastor would burst onto the scene. His (always a he) church was experiencing incredible growth. His books and blogs were full of incredible insight that you could try in your church and maybe (not) experience the same stuff his church is experiencing. Oh, and not only is he speaking at all the big conferences this year, but his church is also hosting one…get your tickets now!
It all looks so perfect and glossy.
And then the stories came out. Substance abuse. Abuse of power. Affairs. Inappropriate relationships…The house of cards comes crashing down.
To be fair, not all of them…but enough where it should be a cautionary tale for the next group of cool pastors wanting to headline the next big Christian conference.
In the denomination I was a part of, the big superstar pastor/leader in our region just quit one day. We were told God was leading him to go sell farming equipment. (Seriously). A couple years later a guy from another part of the country, unaware of the cover story, says at a training conference that we know what it is like to lose a leader to infidelity. That room got really silent, really fast.
The veneer is really nice to look at…we just have to make sure people don’t look beneath the surface…cuz there seems to be a lot of, well, stuff that isn’t Jesus underneath.
On the bus into the city this morning, I was going through my Twitter feed and saw this…
We talk the talk of servant leadership but we walk the walk of “Gentile rulers” who “lord it over” others
While the story itself, was not of interest to me personally, the tweet summed up the frustration I feel every morning when I have to see some uber-cool guy trying to tell me something about his incredible new
biceps bible plan.
If there were changes that I could make in the church…this would be near the top of my list.
(the photo was taken at Chester Cathedral in England)