I recently read a blog concerning Superstar Pastors and I began thinking about some of the observations that I have noted in recent years. It all seems to come down to a statement I read many years ago about how you can tell if a group is a cult or not. The question was, "Does it point to Jesus Christ, or to the leader of the group?" I believe that this is the same question that we need to ask concerning leadership in our churches.
Here are some questions that I believe need to be asked. Is the pastors name more prominate than the church name? Are their billboard ads with the pastor's picture on them? Is the picture or name of the leader the top feature of any publicity coming out of the church? Are the laity involved in the leadership of the church or is it top down leadership with the pastor and a hand picked set of elders or leaders making all the decisions?
Recently while attending a meeting at a church in another city I found something that appeared to be a shrine to the pastor. In the foyer, there was a display case with pictures and momentos of the pastor and his life from childhood to the present. Talk about your "graven images."
Does it point to Jesus Christ? Just a comment from the side of the road.