Thursday, 03 May 2012
Rob Bell and Francis Chan are two notable figures as it relates to shaping the theology of the American church. Both men are phenomenal communicators, in preaching sermons, creating videos, and writing books.
Both men left the churches they founded, stepping down from their pastoral role. Both men did so after writing bestsellers and speaking at the nation’s largest church conferences. I’m not making a judgement here, just pointing out observations regarding their similarity. I was at the Catalyst conference three years ago when both Bell and Chan spoke at the event. Both can hold a crowd of 30,000 in the palm of their hands.
So both men left their posts in their respective churches, one for television after becoming a Christian celebrity and one citing the need for obscurity after becoming a Christian celebrity.
I don’t doubt that these transitions are part of what God has in store for each man.
However, many have loudly and publicly doubted and questioned their intentions.
We don’t much worry ourselves with the pastors leaving ministry each year from burnout. You don’t read many blog posts or news stories about the pastors leaving ministry each year from moral failure. We don’t pay much, if any, attention to the pastors outside of the Evangelical speaking circuit and besteller lists.
Just a thought…Maybe we are fueling the burnout with our obsession over famous pastors. Maybe we are fueling the ministry burnout epidemic by the unnecessary pressure we place on pastors as a result of our misguided concern with celebrity pastors.
I also have a theory on the unnecessary pressures for pastors to become producers rather than shepherds, but that’s another post for another time.Have any thoughts to share about this?