I’ve discussed the Celebrity Pastor, but now I’d like to talk about their groupies. That’s right, the church goers who follow the pursuits of the Celebrity Pastors just like fans follow their favorite stars from movies, TV, music and sports. The Christian Celebrity Groupies want desperately to align themselves with famous pastors and self-promote instead of serve faithfully.
The Celebrity Groupies only volunteer for ministries at church that will either give them contact with the pastoral staff, or will promote their own ministry or personality. If the serving need is behind the scenes, forget about it. The groupies need to rub elbows with influential people, not change diapers or direct traffic. They want to sing or play on the worship team, take over a small group or teach a class right away, or have some other ministry idea they want to promote instead of first becoming a part of the church community.
If you pay attention, you’ll see and hear it pretty often. They love to name-drop and make it sound like they are close friends and worked extensively with a famous pastor or ministry. If you have a guest speaker at your church, they will be the first ones to grab them immediately after the service to start networking and promote their ministry, blog, cd or whatever they might be trying to sell. These ministry groupies are always talking about some worship leader or Christian musician who they worked with in the studio, or a pastor that they “sat under” at some period in time and expect others to be impressed.
The Groupies are also the types that don’t stay at a church very long if they’re not given some type of leadership position, are allowed to be on stage, or don’t have the pastors’ ear for their ideas and suggestions. Their affection may change from one celebrity to another like the flavor of the month. They often don’t produce very much fruit for the kingdom.
If you are a pastor and see these types of people in your church, you can do your part by not giving them as much attention. You could treat everyone in your congregation the same, and purposely seek out those who are on the fringes, who may be shy or introverted, or serve quietly. You could try to get feedback and opinions from those that serve faithfully in ministries that don’t get a lot of attention. You could recognize a groupie early on and not let them try to bully their way into your inner circle.
But sooner or later, they’ll be moving on to their next pursuit. Hopefully, they don’t leave too much damage behind them.