“Heroes must see to their own fame. No one else will.” ~ Gore Vidal
It’s strange being a Christian leader in today’s rock star culture. It’s hard to know what to say about yourself, or whether to speak about yourself at all.
The Christian church, particularly in the West, is enamored with fame, and many of its leaders have mistaken being well-known for being Divinely-anointed, and personal charisma for the presence of God on their lives. Particularly in the Protestant stream of the Church, we have stumbled into a celebrity culture in Christian leadership, but with little or no clear criteria for what qualifies one to join the ranks of the elite, other than the capacity to grab the public eye.
For many faith leaders (including most of my coaching clients) this current love affair with fame in the Church has created a challenging conundrum around the quagmire of self-promotion. As Christ followers, we are called to avoid any self-aggrandizement, to let “another praise you, and not your own mouth” (Proverbs 27:2). We are taught the Way to Life is not through glorifying self but through glorifying God. So it’s clear on the one hand as leaders we should not be seduced into self-promotion, no matter how often or strongly the social media experts tell us we must.
There are no loopholes or workarounds for this. Not even the “humble brag.” That’s simply not the game we’ve been called to play.