On celebrities and pastors…

13 Oct

There’s an interesting exchange going on regarding the idea of “celebrity” pastors.

Thabiti Abyanwile challenges us to make sure we define our terms properly.
Carl Trueman responds by warning us not to get so wrapped up in semantics that we ignore the actual problem.

I happen to resonate more with Carl Trueman’s perspective on this particular issue, while agreeing with Thabiti that we should be careful not to slander people. I am less concerned about the definition of the word celebrity however, than I am about the growing misunderstanding surrounding the word pastor. It is becoming very common to think that the word pastor is the exact same as the word preacher. While I would never want to minimize the importance of preaching, I do want to maximize the importance of shepherding.

When we look at the ministry of the apostle Paul, it is clear that one of the ways he taught was through teaching and preaching, but another way that he taught was through life and example. How often does Paul call on the church to “imitate” his life? And to “imitate” his life, you would have to actually know how he lived beyond the fact that he wears a suit and tie and preaches on Sunday mornings!

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One Response to “On celebrities and pastors…”

  1. Joe Lima October 13, 2011 at 7:36 am #

    Carl Trueman is right. Semantics is a huge problem with what I term cerebral christianity. For example, semantics argues about whether love is duty or whether love has an emotional component to it. While semantics debates this “deep” thing it seldom gets on with any type of loving. Semantics is in love with its own perceived brilliance and arguments. Semantics does not like being wrong, that is why it is semantics.
    While preaching is a large component of being a pastor, it does not follow that a preacher is a pastor. A preacher may just be a preacher. He may even be a “celebrity” preacher…LOL

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