Sunday, June 17, 2007

Guitar Slingin' Pastors Scare Me

Not only do guitar slingin' pastors scare me, but so do hip-hoppin' pastors...and salsa dancin' pastors...and comedian pastors.

Yeah, they do, and it has nothing to do with their theology...okay, it does have something to do with their theology, but that's not the point of this post. It has to do with them.

What's my problem, you ask?

After giving it up for eighteen years, I've been gigging again for over a year now. It's a blast, a great release on the weekends without interfering too much with family life. The little side income helps, too. I have learned a lot so far, like:

  • "Kids" of all ages can give you undue adulation. I had one tamborine-playing chick tell me she wanted to be a rock star like me. Hah! It was all I could do not to laugh out loud.
  • People can tend to go crazy when you do well on stage. They like you, they try to flirt with you, they want to get your attention.
  • And, if you're not careful, the attention and fanfare can really swell your ego.
I firmly believe that a lot of the contemporary movements of church growth have more to do with these three points than they do with any theology. We live in a needy society where everyone is compelled to make a difference and needs to see the fruits of their efforts. When Pastor Six String puts on that gee-tar and starts playing with the band, he is no longer a pastor (yes, small "p"), he is a superstar. He is a pop idol. He is loved, adored, admired because he is cool. People can relate to him, would like one day to be as fun and influential as he is, and tell him so. He gets exactly what he's looking for. Everyone gives him the thumbs up or the high-five, but he gives them nothing substantive.

I am thankful that my church's Pastors recognize their roles as called and ordained servants of the Word, and do not try to make themselves the main attraction. They preach the word and administer the sacraments, and don't get everyone all caught up in the emotional willy-nilly. They fulfill their vocations, as they should.

If these other pastors want to become rock stars or comedians, they are free to move on to another career, but they should leave it out of the pulpit.


Scottius Maximus said...


I have had these same thoughts but have been unable to articulate them into something coherent. I am quite sure what you have identified is the rule, not the exception. Thanks for posting. Well done.

MyUtopia said...

LOL! Hip hopping-rapping pastors scare me.

Lutheran Lucy said...

Yes, good post Rick! We use to go to a contemporary Lutheran church; however, we are at a Confessional Lutheran church now that focuses on the Word. Our pastors would NEVER allow this contemporary junk,thanks to God!!