…of the Church. Scott hits the ball out of the park:
We cannot seem to get beyond the love affair we have with celebrity culture. Even in a climate of anti-heroes we are easily infatuated with the cult of personality. It is a sad fact that very few people who pretend to speak for the average Joe have ever lived like him. Few of our leaders can truly understand the crushing grind of a lifetime of thankless labor for insufficient money. They do not know what it is like to only have two weeks of vacation a year. They are, after all, on a book tour, or “ministering” in Thailand and conferencing in the Bahamas.
UPDATE: Jordon Cooper steps into the batter’s box after Scott and knocks another one out of the park. (I’m not sure what’s with my baseball analogies.)
The church is a lot like NASCAR, it markets and sells those that are successful. The stories of success are what is needed to sell books, book people into conferences, sell DVDs, or have people come to your church. While there is a lot of talk about faith and God’s blessing, there is an entire industry out there that is selling the opposite message, it is about speaking, leadership, vision and they have the tools to help get the church there and I think we have bought into that far more than we will ever admit. To sell those items, they need a face and a story to share and depending of the product, they partner with those that people resonate with, kind of like George Foreman and his grills.
Some people in the church seek out celebrity status while others it just happened to. Those that seek the status will quote whore themselves to irrelevance and keep releasing the same book with a different cover and a couple new stories again and again. Others will be stuck with it because at a certain point they captured the imagination of a people. I don’t blame them and I don’t even blame the industry that produces them. Their bottom line is the bottom line and for decades have been producing all sorts of crap. The people I blame are those of us who are looking for the secrets, the easy way out, the success, the glory, and will pay $295 for a one day seminar with them as they tell us what they wrote in the last three books.