I was listening to someone in a restaurant the other day and when I heard they were talking about church, my ears perked up. Ok, I was eavesdropping.
But I couldn’t help it when I heard one of them say, “Yeah, all mega-church pastors are selfish, ego-driven, show-hounds.” I thought, how odd? How is it they know all mega-church pastors in the world? And in addition to that, who are they to make that kind of judgment?
So let me say this. I’ve been and am a mega-church pastor by most people’s definition. I’ve known many of them. And here’s what I’ve found. Most pastors of growing churches (ultimately growing churches become large churches and large churches become mega-churches) are good, dedicated men and women. They’ve sacrificed years to go to college and seminary and many, graduate school. That translates into seven to ten or more years. They’ve paid for their education. And what do they get in return: a pressure-cooker job whose failure rate is off the charts.
And yet feeling called by God, men and women will go, plant themselves in one place, love, give, and sacrifice for the cause of the gospel and people, to help society be lifted by the power of concepts like redemption, reconciliation, restoration, and renewal. Year after year after year, for low pay and little recognition they take the brunt of jokes and the full force of the ire of really messed-up, sometimes crazy people who raise the level of expectation beyond anything anyone could ever be expected to achieve.
Pastors of growing churches – you can call them mega-churches if you wish – are good people; godly people. There are a few bad apples among us, but they are soon or eventually weeded out. Those who prevail over time are good people. We need to love them, praise them, and lift them up. Recognize that pastors of large churches, growing churches, have an impossible task that can only be accomplished through the power of Jesus Christ. The next time you hear someone categorizing, pre-judging, or tearing down a pastor – your pastor or anyone’s pastor – step in and defend him. Yeah, you may offend someone, but sometimes people need offending. They need their assumptions challenged and exposed for what they are: lies and innuendo.
I for one am proud to be a pastor, and most of the ones I know, I am proud to know, yea God! But not all pastors, mega-church or otherwise, are selfish, ego-driven show-hounds. They are good, godly men and women; humble servants of a noble cause. And without them our world would be a much darker, sinister place.