How Would Paul Address Today’s “Celebrity Pastor” Culture? – 1 Corinthians 3

From my reading in 1 Corinthians 3 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

Largely because of the internet and the Christian book industry there has been a rise in “Christian celebrities.”

Often these are pastors with over 5,000 members in their church who are extremely gifted at writing and teaching. Also some especially gifted writers who have little to no ministry experience can become famous if they are gifted enough at speaking and writing.

I have caught myself becoming a “fan” of several celebrity pastors.

At some conferences I’ve even had chances to meet some of my “heroes.” I would get nervous as if I was meeting a rock star or sports star.

Even though the expression of this phenomenonm  is very modern and western, a similar thing was occurring at the Church in Corinth.  Some people considered themselves followers of Paul and others followed a leader named Apollos. Here’s how Paul addressed the issue.

After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.” 1 Cor 3:5-8

Celebrity pastors are first and foremost servants of God.

These men have been given a lot of influence, but at the end of the day GOD is the one who gets the glory for whatever good comes from their ministry. Unfortunately, some of these celebrity pastors get sucked into the marketing machine and as I have heard someone say,

“They start with a  message that needs an audience, and they find themselves with an audience that needs a message.”

These men endure a lot of criticism and pressure because of their fame.

If God has promoted them, their fame is not a bad thing, but an opportunity to be used for God’s glory. I have seen good examples of men using their influence well.

Unfortunately, there are those who do not handle the influence well. Their popularity often grows faster than their maturity and they end up falling morally or just do stupid things.

One thing that I have noticed about being famous is that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be!

If it is something that God wants to give you then use it well but don’t pursue it unless you are ready to suffer! This is also an encouragement for those of us who are not famous and have thousands at our churches.

God is the one who makes ministries grow.

It is not up to us to make the seed of the good news grow we are to simply plant and water it and see what happens! This frees us up to just obey Jesus and leave the results to him. He can raise us up when we want.

In the mean time we should seek to be faithful with the ministry we have been given and pray for the celebrity pastors to use their fame to glorify God and not themselves!

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About David Worcester

I am the founder and director of a campus ministry at San Diego State called Challenge. I am also serving as an ordained elder at Mission Trails Church. I love speaking and writing about college ministry, gospel appointments, and practical ways to live out God’s Word! I am also passionate about: leadership training, learning, missions, church planting, surfing, hiking, sports, photography and traveling (So far I’ve visited 23 countries & all 50 states). I’m married to Jessica Worcester who I fell in love with while doing college ministry together and we have a two year old son named Samuel. I graduated from from the University of Oklahoma (OU) with a degree in Film & Video Studies. And I received my Masters in Theological Studies from Gateway Seminary. I am an ordained minister who loves speaking and writing about practical ways to live out God’s Word in life and ministry.

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