Jump directly to the Content

The Dangerous Pursuit of Pastoral Fame

Conflating ministry and celebrity is bad for our churches and our souls.
The Dangerous Pursuit of Pastoral Fame

As my chiropractor was working me over yesterday, she was asking about the reading I'm doing for a degree I'm working on. After I rattled off the titles and subjects of a number of leadership books, she said, "Wow, what are you going to do when you are finished with school—rule the world?"

"Actually, I'm moving in the opposite direction," I said.

And I am trying to mean that. Genuinely.

Over the last few years, I've thought long and hard about "my platform" as a pastor, a writer, an occasional speaker. And as I've done so, I've come to the conclusion that there is a danger to my soul in pursuing more exposure, more name recognition, more money to be made from thinking, writing, and speaking about ministry issues. Especially while I am still in full-time, paid ministry to a local community.

I want to be clear, though: I have no issue with writers/speakers who sell lots of books, go on speaking tours, and generally promote their works ...

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.

September
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
GETTING THE PROS, NOT THE CON
GETTING THE PROS, NOT THE CON
A guide to getting the most for your money.
From the Magazine
Dallas Willard’s 3 Fears About the Spiritual Formation Movement
Dallas Willard’s 3 Fears About the Spiritual Formation Movement
Could we miss the whole point?
Editor's Pick
Pastors in Pain, Christ Can Redeem Your Suffering
Pastors in Pain, Christ Can Redeem Your Suffering
After many difficult years in ministry, I lost the strength to pastor. But Christ met me in weakness.
close