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.

December
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Coming and Going
Coming and Going
Two leaders. One mission. Two very different strategies.
From the Magazine
No One Took Christ Out of Christmas
No One Took Christ Out of Christmas
Let’s dispense with our worries that Christmas as we know it isn’t Christian.
Editor's Pick
The Worst (and Best) Passage for Generosity Sermons
The Worst (and Best) Passage for Generosity Sermons
The widow’s mite story is about more than her sacrificial giving.
close