Ed Stetzer is Tim Challies guest blogger today. He writes an article called "The Problem with Pastor as Rock Star." Stetzer understand this as a modern phenomena that attends a portion of the evangelical church culture. But it is not new.
I come from a fundamentalist background and see many similarities between Stetzer's descriptions of modern "rock star" pastors and many of the "great" fundamentalist leaders of the past. Though they would launch into a tirade about the term "rock star," they share a celebrity envy with their contemporary nemeses. A few examples will suffice:
The motto of one of the fundamentalist movement's leaders was "Everything rises and falls on leadership." True enough. But the problem is when leadership becomes enshrined.
It was said some years ago among certain fundamentalist compounds that "If (insert the name of a particular pastor) goes down, the cause of fundamentalism will go with him." I say, let it fall if it is attached to a personality.
I get a publication sent to me (how I do not know) that has a "Church Directory" section, feature several pages of church advertisements that list the church credentials ("fundamental, independent, premillennial, KJV, etc) and features a mug shot of the rock star who pastors the church. Stetzer speaks of churches trying to extricate "their identity from that of the pastor’s abilities and personality" when things go horribly wrong. I think they have gone horribly wrong when that situation is allowed to develop in the 1st place.
Stetzer's comments will be seen by some as just one more error with the "contemporary, compromising crowd" (I say that tongue-in-cheek because they would never be where they would read the comments). I submit that it has been an issue long before we had the term "rock star."