Jump directly to the Content

The Celebrity Pastor Problem Is Every Church’s Struggle

How our ministry policies and practices can push back against entitlement.
The Celebrity Pastor Problem Is Every Church’s Struggle
Image: Illustration by Mallory Rentsch / Source Images: Credit: Tetra Images / digitalhallway / Getty Images

When I became a pastor at New Life Fellowship, my predecessor, Pete Scazzero, told me, “Congratulations, you can’t park in the church parking lot anymore!”

This shocked me, since I came from a church where I saw all kinds of perks and special treatment for senior leaders. I wondered, Shouldn’t pastors have prime parking spots?

Our church in Queens has a small lot—massive by New York City standards—but the point was taken. Pastors aren’t entitled to special treatment; they lead by serving. The parking lot lesson from Pete became one of my most important moments of character formation.

Certainly, this culture of “no parking” can be taken to another extreme, where pastors are not sufficiently cared for, encouraged, and supported. But it’s important to push back against the temptations of entitlement that can come with church leadership.

To be honest, walking to the church building after circling and looking for parking is not fun. It ...

July/August
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
What should Christian leaders do in these anxious times?
What should Christian leaders do in these anxious times?
4 strategic questions.
From the Magazine
My Dreams Had Come True. But the Panic Attacks Remained.
My Dreams Had Come True. But the Panic Attacks Remained.
How I discovered God’s peace and found relief from debilitating anxiety.
Editor's Pick
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
Understanding God and our world needs more than bare reason and experience.
close