When Image and Talent Trump Character and Experience

I have noticed a trend in churches that is becoming more popular, that is the trend of making the “face” of the church (pastors and platform personalities) more appealing (muscular, fashionable, slender, etc.) and valuing that more than having proven character and experience. The church has developed a Hollywood mentality. Preachers, worship leaders, and other key leaders have to be hot and sexy while having some kind of ability to do the job. That sounds funny, but it’s true. Who wants a fat guy with several years experience or an old guy who has a great track record with church growth?  Nobody! Let’s look for someone with more energy and little to no experience because our church wants to be cool. The sad part is that committees made up of the most popular people in the church (or those who won the beauty contest) decide who the next church staff member will be. They poll the congregation for an age range, number of children, etc. and God is not even consulted. These committees often contain those who aren’t very committed to the church. It’s sad, really. What benefit or harm do these decisions have on the church?

The power and popularity get to the heads of these leaders who are promoted before their time. God honors humility. Scripture says that God hates a proud look, yet arrogance in ministry infects traditional and contemporary churches alike.

These inexperienced leaders are looking for the next best thing. Your church will just be a resume builder for them. They’ll hang out at your church for a couple of years until a better opportunity comes along. And you’ll wonder why.

Their inexperience will create unnecessary drama if you choose not to mentor them. Give them free reign and they will think they own the place. I have seen guys like this go into an associate role of some sort only to think they should be running things. Just because a guy looks hip with his guitar and skinny jeans, that doesn’t mean his heart is pure.

They will assist your church in taking the focus off Jesus. You want your people to come to your church because the preacher is awesome, right? Maybe because the band rocks? As good as those things are, they amount to nothing if Jesus isn’t the hero of the day or the star of the show.

I know you want to grow your church. I hate to burst your bubble, but you can’t. “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it” (Psalm 127:1). Jesus also said in Matthew 16:18 that HE would build HIS church. You obey God and let Him do the building. Then give Him all the glory and humbly take your place as His servant.

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7 thoughts on “When Image and Talent Trump Character and Experience

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  1. Amen, brother. God is shaking His Church, removing the chaff, the Laodiceans. The members of His overcoming remnant are partakers in the fellowship of His sufferings, and persevere by relying on Him. Having habitually died to self throughout the fiery trials He has brought their way, they will manifest His glory at His second coming, and will not be hurt by the second death… (Rev. 2-3)

  2. I disagree that this is the state of “the church”, but I agree that it is very much the case in many churches. I know churches are looking to see which formula worked for the church that seem to have it going on. Yes, many are trying to adopt Hollywood, meanwhile the Holy Spirit has probably long left the building. ” If the foundations be destroyed, what shall the righteous do?” Psalm 11:3

    But I too am dismayed at the state of many churches and the church as a whole because we have lost our salt, our influence. I qualified the statement because I believe that there are some churches who are trying to align themselves with the scriptures. We need to pray.

  3. Sounds like personality instead of spirituality as the criteria for leadership. No wonder then they face crisis later on because they didn’t go by the Word of God.

  4. Yes. I don’t make a regular diet of TBN but I definitely see that many of their “preachers” probably have hair and clothing stylists on their full-time payroll.

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