Jamal at “illuminate” has written a very good post called “Cliques, Celebrity Leaders, and The Disease of Hierarchy.”
In his post, Jamal warns against “following” certain people because of their celebrity status, even Christian celebrity status. These people could be popular church leaders, authors, conference speakers, or even bloggers.
He offers three warnings at the end of his post:
1. Beware of ‘selective associating’ and ‘selective name dropping’
2. Beware of giving false honor and respect to those on the leadership ‘stage’
3. Beware of comparing yourself to others, & stop comparing your brothers and sisters in Christ to one another
I want to continue Jamal’s discussion by adding one more “warning” to his list: 4. Beware of “following” people that you do not actually know.
What am I talking about? For 99.9% of us, we do not actually know the big name authors, church leaders, conference speakers, or bloggers. We know what they’ve written or what they’ve said, but we do not know them. We do not know how they actually live; we only know what they SAY about what they live.
By the way, I’m not saying that these people DON’T live in a way that honors God. I’m simply saying that we do not KNOW how they live.
Also, for those who find themselves in the Christian spotlight, I offer this additional warning: 5) Beware of presenting yourself as an example to people with whom you do not actually share your life.
God has placed people in our lives already who can offer good, real, living examples of what it means to follow Jesus Christ. These are the people who should influence us the most as we follow Jesus Christ ourselves.