Hero worship is a problem in our society. Even worse, hero worship is a problem in evangelical Christianity. The reliable Vaughan Roberts issues a prophetic warning on the phenomenon of personality cults in his book Authentic Church. Drawing from 1 Corinthians 3-4 he writes;

“We copy the world in its obsession with personalities, dividing into parties which gather around different Christian gurus whose teaching is exalted almost to the level of infallibility. Those who attach themselves to other leaders can be seen as enemies, even though they are fellow Christians who believe exactly the same as us on all the fundamentals of the faith and worship the same Heavenly Father. Sadly, membership of the same Christian family can be seen as less important than membership of the same faction.

Sometimes the leader is to blame for promoting such adulation by drawing attention to himself and encouraging and unquestioning loyalty from his followers; but often leaders placed on pedestals are as uneasy as the apostle was when people said, ‘I follow Paul.’ He was horrified a the thought of Christians gathering around him rather than the Lord he served.

To counter their immature, worldly thinking, he outlines a truly spiritual understanding of Christian leadership that never allows mere humans to take center stage. Churches should value not those who are the most flashy, with impressive gifts and personalities, but rather those who are faithful in fulfilling their charge, and point to the master, not themselves. (39-41)”

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