Saturday, August 09, 2008

Beware the Yeast of the Celebrities

One thing that concerns me was I see this growing house church movement prosper is the celebrity effect.

When I first stepped into this universe there were a few books out there to help me get my bearings and for those books, and to those authors, I am grateful.

Now I see us selling books into Christian bookstores that are topping best-seller lists, and our annual conferences are selling out early (better get your tickets now before they're all sold out), and our spokesmen are becoming minor Christian Celebrities.

I suppose I fear that, if we're not very intentional about all of this, we risk becoming the thing we fear.

If we really believe in this peer-led, leaderless concept of "being Church", and if we really are convinced that God's Spirit is active in each of us just the same, then I would love to see some of those up and coming, almost famous house church leaders step aside and allow a few "Joe Nobody's" to take the stage and move into the spotlight. It would be great to see us model something different at the highest levels of our movement...something really unique and refreshingly inclusive.

-kg

3 comments:

Like a Mustard Seed said...

I'm so glad you highlighted this issue, as we see it as a genuine concern as well. We've seen that although we might reject the idea of leadership being an office, because it elevates certain individuals above the rest and warps the functioning of the body, it is possible to do turn around and create the same situation, the only difference being that instead certain people are elevated to super-leader status because they've developed a "following" of some kind. I'm glad too that many of the people whose books I've read on house churches did so, because I've learned so much from them, but when you see many of them getting pulled into the sort of jet-setting itinerant-speaker lifestyle that we've seen before, I wonder how different that actually is. It's amazing to realize that it's not a stretch to imagine a house-church-version of all the same institutions that we claim to denounce, the main difference is they're less permanent. You see celebrity replace tenure, book sales numbers replacing attendance figures, large,expensive 'house church conferences' replacing permanent church buildings, and so on. Maybe even the blog/internet world is in danger of becoming the replacement for the old coffee hour after after the service, who knows.... We have to CONSTANTLY question what we do, because the yeast is always growing, always trying to infect the whole...
The old wineskins never seem to want to die....

deaconandusher said...

Usher: Power is a tough thing to deny. Fame is hard to turn away from and the church planter movement is rife with those who seek the following, not the cal.

http://deaconandusher.wordpress.com/2008/08/09/pastor-pastor-oh-wont-you-tell-me-please/

Are Karlsen said...

Yeah, let us have an always on-going discerning dialogue.