Friday, January 14, 2011

Dangers of Celebrity Status

 Who is more famous in the Evangelical world: Jesus or John Piper?  No criticism of Pastor Piper is intended - I'm just using him as one example. Some folks seem to be paying more attention to their favorite preachers or Bible teachers than to the Lord we all claim to serve. Here's Frances Chan (admittedly rather famous himself) on Celebrity Status and the Holy Spirit :
I have benefitted greatly by hearing biblical preachers via podcast. I’m glad that there is so much solid teaching available. However, I am struggling with the celebrity status that comes from this kind of exposure. It’s not healthy for the preacher, nor is it healthy for those who talk about their ministry heroes so often (I am guilty of this).

In many ways, we are conforming to the pattern of the world. While it is good that people are talking about what they have learned from “Piper, Driscoll, Keller, Chan, etc,” I am concerned about how much we speak those names rather than the name of Jesus. It has gotten to the point where I believe we have taken glory away from Jesus. Personally, I am intentionally trying to mention human names less and speak often the matchless name of Jesus.

All believers have received the Holy Spirit. We must go forth in his power with confidence. God has placed people in your path. You are called to disciple them. We too quickly direct converts toward podcast preachers and neglect our God-given mandate to disciple. We must believe in the power of the Scriptures themselves, and we must trust in the power of the Holy Spirit within us. 
Let’s use the resources God has given to the church at large, but let’s not shirk our responsibility to the local church. Let’s not boast too much of others, and let’s not underestimate what the Spirit desires to do through us.