Rock Star Pastors

Jesus Was Not a Rock Star

Saving Leonardo, by Nancy Pearcey was a great book. I took about a month to go through it. Near the very end, she shared a perspective from TV producer Mark Joseph on the problem of the celebrity pastor. Here are her words:

"If you go to a pastor's church where he's a star, you're really there as a member to uphold his arms and help him make a bigger impact for the world (Mark Joseph)." A more biblical model is the reverse, where the leader's role is teaching and equipping lay people to go out and work on the front lines. As Joseph put it, the pastor should be "holding up the arms of the people of his congregation who are then empowered to go and do good things for the world..."

This is one more way of describing servant-leadership or the pastor as "lead servant." In the way of Christ, people do not exist for the sake of the leader. The leader exists for the sake of the people.

In the way of world, followers suffer and sacrifice for the will of the leader. In the way of Christ, the leader suffers and sacrifices for the sake of those who follow.

Ironically, paradoxically, mystically, and beautifully, Christ, who chose NOT to be a Rock Star,

chose the way where he became a Stone of Stumbling, and eventually


on which the Kingdom of God is built.


Maybe this is just an updated way to read the temptations of Christ: Jesus resisted the temptation to be a rock star.

May all who are called to leadership in the church, the mission and the world - do the same.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International