The Celebrity Ministry Today
By Pam Perry
Has “next level” living caused some Christian folk to get it twisted in terms what it means to look better? Should ministers look like “rock stars” and “centerfolds?”
Oh, I’m not hating – but I am concerned. Too much of anything will spoil you and make you rotten to the core – especially if you’re not grateful. Too much media – too much TV, too much press, too much exposure, too much fame, too many “fans.” The American Idol syndrome is alive and well in the church today.
Christian media has really mushroomed and has created a new culture of “preacher celebrity.” Which is dangerous – because along with celebrity comes E.G.O. (Edging God Out) symptoms.
What are the symptoms?
Fans. Yes, fans that flock and just want autographs to so they can brag to their friends. And preachers stopping and actually giving autographs!
Believing your own press. Not knowing what’s real and what’s just good marketing material.
Not acknowledging the blessings that come from God and letting an attitude of “entitlement” creep in. (“I’m supposed to have a limo, jet, 10 first-class tickets for me and my entourage”)
Treating others badly. This is the biggy. Ministers are servants. When does the servant become more important than those whom they serve?
In the scriptures, Jesus says, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me.” I wonder if Jesus came back today would He be encouraged or discouraged by the state of ministry today – too many ministers seem to covet the gospel spotlight instead of seeking to serve.
Everyone seems to want fame and fortune – celebrity ministry is attracting more people to become “preachers” – but recent research says that church membership overall is on the decline. What’s up with that?
I am a publicist and I believe in marketing – putting your best foot forward and getting people “out there.” But I’m afraid that with those in ministry today there is too much emphasis on the superficial stuff and not the real substance.
Preachers and ministers need to practice more humility today. Let them rest on the promise that the meek will inherit the earth – not those who can draw the largest TV audience.
Yes, you must have a good package on the outside – but it’s the interior (the Message) I’m called to market. My mission is to market the MINISTRY MESSAGE so that more hear the gospel.
I can’t market a product that doesn’t deliver. That’s false advertising – no matter how good the ad looks – if it is not delivering on its promise – I’m not buying it!