Celebrity Pastors and Holy Heroes

A transcribed excerpt from Friday morning’s DG staff devotional with John Piper:

Philippians 3:17 shows us four generations of imitation: you ➔ those ➔ us ➔ Christ. So that clearly implies God wants us to find good examples, to watch them, and to be encouraged and inspired.

Yes, it can be sinful and dangerous. And it can be wonderful.

Anytime a preacher is a draw, two things are happening.

(1) There is a carnal attraction to Apollos-like eloquence, or logic, or turns of phrase, or personality that people like. And they don’t go through it. They don’t go through it to God. They don’t go through it to Jesus. They don’t through it to the Holy Spirit, to be broken by him and have their lives turned upside down, so if that pastor died they would have Jesus, and he would mean everything to them. No. They just stop with the preacher. That’s carnal.

(2) But there are other people. A word lands, for whatever reason, that person meets Jesus, and God condescends to make that sermon on that day a miracle. The sinner in the pulpit has miraculously been made the instrument of grace (1 Cor. 3:6-7).

And there is no way to weed that out ahead of time. You cannot put a sign on the church door: “All of you who are coming here for carnal reasons, stay away. All of you who are coming here because you meet God here, come.”

Therefore, it behooves elders watch that leader, rebuke, counsel, and correct, hedge in, and protect that leader from himself. And it behooves the pastor to be reminded that the Day will disclose his work (1 Cor. 3:13).

But don’t be afraid to have heroes. I think that’s why Hebrews 11 is in the Bible. …

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