One of the (many) reasons I don’t follow sports is that the players seem to change teams so often. For instance, I used to enjoy rooting for the Red Sox, but that was at the beginning of this decade before they won the World Series– I couldn’t tell you who plays for them now. I also really like soccer and even watched much of the FIFA World Cup in 2010 hoping that America would do well. But when the Cup comes around again, I know I’ll be mildly disappointed to not see some of the same players that were on the American team last time around. Apart from sports, I hated that Terrance Howard was replaced by Don Cheadle in the Iron Man movies (even though Cheadle did an excellent job); I thought CSI should have stopped when Grisom left the show; the Newsboys don’t really feel like the same band they once were- regardless of how good they sound.
The point is, I like consistency.
My concern is that I’m not the only one who likes consistency– which isn’t a pleasant thought when we think about the “face” of Evangelicalism today. Recently many pastors have either stepped down from their roles or taken more of a background position. In the same vein, some (like John Stott and Charles Colson) have died recently revealing the fact that in the next few decades we will see many more leave their work here for eternity with Christ (to their gain!).
It is my prayer that our love of “celebrity pastors” wont go so far that we stop when they stop. I don’t want to love consistency so much that it discourages me to worship and serve my Creator above all things. I want to gain what I can from listening to godly teachers and grow because of it.
Pray for faithfulness
This goes for our local “non-celebrity” pastors as well. If your pastor dies- stay faithful. If he moves- remain true to the Church. If he falls into sin- love him to repentance and trust in Jesus.
This serves as one more reason to trust in Jesus, remain faithful to His Church, and focus on His calling. Eventually, all of these men will die, but the purpose of the Church remains the same regardless of what that Church looks like. It’s true that the face of Evangelicalism in America is changing– indeed it will never be the same– but if we truly are looking to the author and perfecter of our faith, we can keep in step with the changing times and remember what Jesus said to Peter: “If it is my will that he (John) remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” (John 21.22)
We remain with Christ even if all around us die, leave, or sin. And we can only commit to this because of Christ’s commitment to faithfulness in us.
If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful– for he cannot deny himself. — 2 Timothy 2.11-13