I have had the privilege of working with quite a few nationally known speakers and musicians in ministry over the past several years and have discovered something very disconcerting: Ministry and celebrity have apparently become synonymous in our culture and an entitlement attitude has infiltrated the Body of Christ.
I am very disappointed and discouraged when I encounter renowned “Bible teachers”, authors, gifted speakers and musicians who have taken on the entitlement attitude and arrogance of Hollywood celebrities and expect to be “served” rather than serve and minister to those they say God has called them to.
Even in church or Christian camp settings I have seen missionaries, preachers, and ministry leaders treat brothers and sisters in Christ, not to mention guests or strangers, rudely and with disdain, demanding they have a certain type of water, their favorite newspaper, or that they be waited on as if they were some sort of Christian royalty. You would be shocked and most certainly recognize some of them were I to name them.
Last time I checked the Bible was pretty clear about how we are to treat others.
Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Romans 12:9-10, 16
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
And especially for those who minister:
25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.
26Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave– 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
But just as I am discouraged by what I see in some, I am blessed and humbled by the godly example of others who I have been privileged to work alongside in ministry who live out the above verses both on the platform and behind the scenes.
Men and women like: Dallas Holm; Liz Curtis Higgs; Angela Thomas; Dr. Richard Allen Farmer; Kim and Tony Bolton; Dr. Linda Mintle; Michelle Pillar and Sheri Rose Shepherd to name just a few.
I personally have observed these men and women put ministry first before money, prestige or fame. They were humble and gracious and a joy to serve as they served others. Taking time and caring for those who came to listen and be blessed by their gifts and knowledge.
I pray that as I minister to those God calls me to that I will remember Whom I am serving and remember that we are ALL sinners in need of a Savior. Rom 3:23…Everybody’s poop stinks, no matter who you are or what your gift is. To my friends, family, and ministry partners, PLEASE never let me forget that “I ain’t all that” and that my GOD is the reason why I am called to SERVE others…and may I learn and follow the example of those I have mentioned as we all follow CHRIST!
GO TEAM JESUS!!!!
19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God.
Wonderful reminder, Marlene! And the scriptures you posted…I think I need to post them in my office as a daily reminder of what mindset and heart approach are vital in being successful a “servant”. Ministry =Service Minister = Servant
This is absolutely true. I also have worked in the inner circle of a couple Christian ministries and have found the “celebrity” element disturbing. I also find that many new church pastors have this mentality–always thinking bigger and wanting celebrity. It’s quite sad that Christianity has created their own celebrity class and now many teach that it is Biblical–a spin off of the prosperity gospel. Good post. Thanks!
I totally agree with you! I’ve found that with doing our small Women’s Conference at our church. Speakers who “demand” a certain amount of money. Or insist that they are important because they speak along side (certain famous speakers). I’ve found that the ones who come on a “love offering” basis end up getting far more then they anticipated because they weren’t expecting that amount from such a small group.