This week I finished reading “Bully Pulpit” by Michael Kruger, a book that describes what he calls “spiritual abuse.” This kind of abuse comes from leaders in the Church who lead by intimidation or control instead humility.
The book does a good job of explaining a very important principle in ministry…
We Need Shepherds Not Celebrity Pastors.
Kruger spends time in his book explaining problems with the “celebrity pastor.” This is a dynamic leader who leads to explosive growth within the church. But the ministry is all about him, and his own control over the ministry. They must be the ones who get the glory.
A shepherd is the exact opposite because he only cares about the sheep (Believers). His goal is to feed, disciple, and care for those within the church instead of strengthening his own authority. So, while the celebrity pastor clings to his power, the shepherd gives it away by equipping and empowering qualified men to do the work.
The problem is many churches today are looking for a celebrity pastor instead of a shepherd.
It isn’t hard to understand why churches do this. The celebrity brings lots of attention, energy, and growth to the church. A shepherd does this sometimes, but not usually in as exciting of a way.
Unfortunately, those churches don’t see the Believers who have been destroyed by a leader who only thinks of himself. A few years ago a podcast describing the rise and fall of celebrity pastor Mark Driscoll’s church in Seattle quoting him as saying, “you either get on the bus, or get run over by the bus!’
the celebrity pastor doesn’t care about the mangled bodies behind him….
in fact, he may even be proud of it!
The humble shepherd who plods day in day out ministering to the people may not be as exciting as the celebrity pastor. But he will leave the church in much better shape.