Super Star Christianity

super-star-2“Super Stars” have their place in the Body of Christ.  Ummm…wait!  That’s not true!  But why, then, do we measure ourselves (and others) with the “excellence” standards we do to decide who are the best, most usable, for the “cause of Christ”?

Let me start over.  God has gifted everyone with exceedingly important talents and callings.  Everyone.  You.  Me.  All.of.us.  But the standards we so often use on ourselves and others is right out of a Western cultural playbook.

Don’t get me wrong.  This is not a blog post about bashing the culture or the organized church.  It’s more of my attempt at a “reality check” in which I hope you will be encouraged to be everything you’ve been created to uniquely be…especially, if you feel ungifted and under appreciated.

There’s nothing wrong with recognizing wonderful accomplishments of those who have achieved and are achieving those feats of ministry that are very public and visible.  Their God given talents are wonderful and have a great purpose in God’s Kingdom…….as do the far less visible daily routines of the majority.

watch-gears-very-close-upI recently had an “inner picture” (vision) during worship on Sunday morning.  It was of the gears of a watch.  Big gears.  Little gears.  All sizes and shapes.  One of the thoughts (I believe from the Holy Spirit) that I had was, “Without every gear functioning, regardless of size or shape, the others will not turn.  All the gears have equal importance.

This is where some will say, “Yes, I know that’s truth!”  Then why do some of you –  that quickly say that – truthfully think your part is a lesser important part?”  Or, why do you secretly strive to be more like those who are more recognized than you?

I’d like to answer that. 

It’s because we, as a people (in general and in the church) have drank the poison kool-aid.  We’ve watched the laud and honor for super stars in the world…

But, we’ve gone to church on Sunday and seen the same thing played out.  Again, I’m not church leadership bashing here.  All churches aren’t like this…

But, the big sexy one’s are. 

Of course we know…don’t we…that our culture has taught us that the biggest bang for the buck is the key.  That’s what most new pastors strive for…numerical growth.  That proves their success…doesn’t it.  And growth…well…there won’t be growth without “excellence.”

Let me be quick to add:  i am not the slightest against large numbers when the increase is truly the hand of God.  

3d-man-with-question-mark-icon-84212896But my serious question is this.  Does the exciting presentation the congregation sees – in any particular church service – translate to the people the thought, “I’m important, valuable, usable by God, too?”  The high quality imagery, the powerful speaking, the professional musicianship from pretty people in the latest fashions create something.  Not all bad.  But, remember we, in western society, are very visual in how we learn.

Thrown together visuals, rambling disorganized speaking, and the quality of music that only a mother would luv (tolerate) is not my point. 

But I believe we’ve sought out and given place to what we call “excellence” when we would be much further ahead if we insisted on the top priority being an excellence of anointing.

When “excellence of anointing” is the engine that runs decisions, then a false sense of success is not created among the folks of the congregation.  God’s gifting has a way of elevating everyone in their uniqueness. 

Find the areas that give you the most satisfaction in living.  Discover and delight in the mundane and the miraculous.  Live each day with the desire to be a positive influence and support in your specific sphere of influence…whether that is at home, at work, in the community, et al.   Find your peace and do it with all your heart knowing that the more visible people would have a sh@* hole to live in if you didn’t keep the toilets clean.

And don’t forget…the highest excellence is measured by the quality of your character as you carry out whatever tasks and functions is your place “at this time” or forever.

Somebody once told me, “I just am not comfortable being in front of people.  But, I enjoy helping do whatever needs to be done.”  (btw…this person was one of my church leaders)

You.Sir.  You.Ma’m.  You.Are.Beautiful.  Just keep getting better at whatever you like doing and let an ever increasing excellence of character shine.

Gary

  • Leigh Timbrook

    I freakin’ love this Pastor G! And I love the vision with the time piece and all of the intertwining parts. All equally important, no matter the size. It is only together that they make the clock work,

  • gle1244

    Thanks, Leigh. I’m also looking forward to reading your blog-o-sphere gems. You’re an important gear, too. Better than saying you’re a tool, right 🙂

  • Steve Baker

    What a great article, Gary. All the parts of the Body of Christ work together for the good of the Body of Christ. Find your part and do the works that God performed beforehand for you to walk it; and do it. Your superstar part might be preaching God’s word or it might be feeding the poor (or maybe even taking out the trash. We all have out part. We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God has chosen for us beforehand that we should walk in. Seek His face.

  • gle1244

    Thanks Steve. If we could drop the western cultural superstar mentality, we would all find greater fulfillment in our own “poetry”…which is the Greek word for “workmanship” btw.