The spectrum is wide when it comes to opinions about “celebrity” Christians. There are those who believe there is a place for such a standing in the midst of a culture that adores its celebrities. The argument would go something like this. If everyone is going to choose a celebrity to “Fan,” then they might as well have Christians to “Fan.” Others see the notoriety many Christians celebrities command to be incongruous with the Way of Jesus. Still others contend every Christian leader runs the risk of being a celebrity in his or her own context. I have read Ed Stetzer wax eloquent in this vein.
I saw a “Tweet” about a blog post offered by Mark Driscoll. He titled his piece, “The Crisis of Conference Christians.” Prejudiced by my awareness of the ever popular Driscoll, I immediately considered the irony. It is not that Pastor Mark does not make some good points. He does. And, those who imbibe until tipsy on the social offerings he highlights should indeed be held responsible for more hearing than doing.
What struck me was that after leading his church into mega-multi-site territory, spoken at numerous conferences, and admittedly hosting a few events of his own, he now writes about those who are filling up their spirituality from the well he helps to produce and propagate.
Driscoll concludes his piece offering options for these “Conference Christians.”
As I see it, conference Christians really only have three options. One, they can repent of attending too many conferences and pour themselves out as servants in a local church rather than consumers at yet another conference. Two, they can continue to attend conferences but mainly for the purpose of growing as a humble servant-leader with new passions and ideas to implement in their local church. Three, they can now start discussing why they disagree with this critique, which will give them something to do until conference season kicks up again in the fall.
Tying his options in with his suggestion these “types” appear as addicts (#3), I could not help but think that battling drug use more often requires a two-pronged approach. My law enforcement friends do not shy away from charging “users” with their violations.” But, they also go after the producers. Him who helps produce the very celebrity culture attracting large followings is at the same time critiquing those filling up the seats in the celebrity culture he helps create. Irony?
Now what was the last conference I attended . . .