“Promoting self under the guise of promoting Christ is currently so common as to excite little notice.” – A.W. Tozer
Been a while since Mr. Tozer has left the earth, but his words still ring true. This could easily turn into some rant about the celebrity culture in Christianity or the placing leaders on pedestals thing, but that’s been discussed ’til death and I don’t know if that will ever change. It’s human nature. Perhaps I should make a Golden Calf t-shirt and wear it as a visual aid if I ever speak on this.
When it comes to issues of the heart combined with ministry, things like jealousy, unhealthy competition, greed, and entitlement just seem extra ugly. It’s par for the course in society; among brothers and sisters in Christ it feels so much worse.
So does anyone NOT want to be a best-selling author, world-renowned leader, or chart-topping worship leader? I’m sure there are folks that genuinely wouldn’t care for that sort of thing. They don’t need worldwide recognition…just maybe some recognition within their denomination…or their city…or their choir…etc.
But what do you do if you genuinely don’t care for being Super-Christian but know you have something good to offer? Should we really shove our anointing under a lampshade in the name of humility? I think we can value “hidden-ness” without idolizing it. I’m not famous, I don’t want to be, and I don’t think I could handle it. But on the other hand I know God has given me something that can help others. My solution: serve the needs of your sphere of influence, whether it’s your church, a handful of churches, a region, a denomination/movement.
As a worship pastor, I didn’t write songs for people in England…I’ve never been there. I wrote for my church in New England. I didn’t launch a global worship conference, I launched one for the Northeast U.S. where I live. Sure, I tried to do everything with excellence so others outside my sphere of influence could benefit, and some of my stuff has “grown wings”. But to quote my friend Pastor Joshua Finley, “There is no such thing as obscurity in God’s sovereignty.”