I was reading Morgan Guyton’s blog post asking if Christians can transcend celebrity culture. I resonated with that weird feeling of being not-quite-famous. I’m usually at a conference center, where people are looking at my colored leader’s nametag, trying to figure out who I am, while looking over my shoulder, to see if there’s someone more important behind me. Sometimes people figure out who I am and say, “Tribal Church! You’re Tribal Church.” Then 5 seconds later, “You’re so much shorter in real life.” And I wonder how I could be shorter than a one-inch avatar.
Occasionally the Century editors sit down to talk with experts in magazine marketing. They sometimes tells us that we need to do more with celebrities--feature a celebrity on the cover of the magazine, for example. No, they're not pressing us to feature Brad Pitt or Lindsay Lohan. What they have in mind is featuring the celebrities of our world, that is, the celebrities of the mainline Protestant world. We usually respond: "But mainline Protestants don't really have celebrities." When the experts look doubtful, the editors look at one another. "Well, we might come up with a few living semi-celebrities--but that would take care of only two months worth of covers."
"It seems to me the mainline churches are set up institutionally not to generate celebrity-status people, whereas evangelical churches, which are likely to be independent and have an entrepreneurial minister, almost breed celebrity status."