I was out for a meal last night with some friends who don’t go to church and they asked me are there superstars in church circles and do they get “God groupies” I loved the concept and said there probably is.
In Christian culture there are spiritual superstars. Actually we’ve always had it after all Jesus Christ, as Andrew Lloyd Webber so kindly puts it, was a superstar. From Wesley, Whitefield, Spurgeon, Lloyd George etc there has arisen the aura of the spiritual gift person the superstar. We do need leaders of a generation and the men mentioned before hand where all significant leaders and pioneers who progressed the faith onwards, but there weren’t many of them!! You don’t have to look far today to see that most major streams and denominations have them most churches even have there little superstars, you know the sort of person I mean mighty anointed platform men with a deep aura of spirituality hanging over their lives.
Thankfully I have had the chance to meet and get to know a few of these men and most of them aren’t that spiritual and don’t think of themselves as superstars. Of course you will always find the occasional church leader who is a little self important, and appears to demand more respect than your average person but they really are occasional. Most great leaders have huge quantities of humility which is one of the reasons why God blesses them so much.
The idea of spiritual superstars has not been created by the Spiritual Superstar but by us and our pandering to the culture that we live in. We are surrounded by stars on TV, Video, Sport, cinema, the Internet, newspapers, we are sold a constant diet of the great and the good. Stardom is the in thing and its growth this century has been phenomenal.
It has troubled me why God allows this to happen and the other week some one said to me in reference to this whole subject that in the book of Samuel God says “they wanted a king so I gave them a king”. The people get what the people want!
It’s no wonder we quickly canonise and idolise people in church because most of them are good, but I just can’t help feeling a little bit uncomfortable with some of the monsters we create. I once heard a guy say I’d die if I couldn’t preach, this is sort of superstar I mean, preachers are gifted men and we need them but many would accomplish much more if they carried the ethos of “I’d die if I couldn’t disciple someone” and don’t dare try and tell me that when you preach you are discipling loads at once that can’t be true, you are inspiring challenging, motivating and teaching but discipleship is all about relationships and relationships are not conducted with a 100 people from three feet above them, but day to day on the ground living life together.
Another reason we give the Spiritual Superstar their status is because they have pioneered and done something big. As we have already said our culture says big is beautiful and we exalt the Spiritual Superstar because God has anointed them and shown favour on them and they have seen large numbers
God spoke to me in the bath once whilst I was washing my penis! this is what he said “it’s not how big it is it’s what you do with it” obviously this wouldn’t go down in the prevailing culture of consumerism that says the more you have the better you are, the bigger it is the better it is.
And then I am struck with the tension that I want growth, I want to see what we do get bigger, I want the kingdom to expanded.
Jesus would never have been viewed as the Spiritual Superstar A yeah he’s done a few big events but he seems to have lost his way he’s really only got 12 totally committed people, I’ll go find another larger ministry.