The Rise of the New Bishops

Who has chosen the new crop of celebrity church leaders—the people or the publishers?

After reporting on Rob Bell's tour last month, Chad Hall has been wondering about the influence of young Christian leaders like Bell. Are these "new bishops" the result of a generation searching for leaders outside traditional church structures, or are they a product of publishers and slick marketing?

I've been thinking lately about how influential a few leaders are in evangelical Christian America – especially among younger Christ-followers. Such leaders exercise a tremendous amount of influence on the thought and practice of other church leaders. I've come to think of them as the real bishops of today.

Just like the earliest church fathers, today's bishops earnestly seek to discern what faithfulness is and then dispense their discernment among followers. Oh yes, and just like the old bishops, the new ones sometimes disagree and dispute what it means to be faithful and the dispute can carry over to their followers (as an earlier post re: Rob Bell and Mark Driscoll demonstrated).

So what ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Enter our "Addicted to Busy" Giveaway!
Enter! Win!
Enter our "Addicted to Busy" Giveaway!
We're giving books away. One of them should be yours.
From the Magazine
Replanting Can Work. A Church Just Has to Die and Rise Again.
Replanting Can Work. A Church Just Has to Die and Rise Again.
How one East Tennessee congregation took a leap of faith and witnessed a resurrection.
Editor's Pick
Should We Still Be Called ‘Evangelicals’?
Speaking Out
Should We Still Be Called ‘Evangelicals’?
Maybe there's a better name in our polarized and politicized times.
close