Tag: Superman

Superman Is Not A Pastor

20140531-103247-37967393.jpg

Superman isn’t real.

Neither is Batman, Robin, the Hulk, Aquaman, Spiderman, or any other “Super-Hero”. There IS such a person as Bat Boy, but no one’s ever called him a hero.

Fantasy! Pure, unadulterated fantasy.

I’m not condemning such activity as falderal. I’m only using America’s obsession with superheroes to make a point or two.

Point #1. People who spend most of their time living in a make believe world do not function well in the real world.

A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty. (Proverbs 28:19 NLT)

Fantasyland is a great place in which to escape, once in a while. Entertainment can be a great way to relax and recharge one’s batteries. Temporarily. Not permanently.

Point #2. It seems to me, maybe you haven’t recognized it, the superhero phenomenon has found its way into the church.

Pastors, evangelists, and teachers are looked upon by many as supermen and women, able to tackle any and every problem that comes their way.

Oh, and let’s not forget the worship leaders. Many have been elevated to the superstar status (even though they have not sought such a position or status). Whenever Lex Luthor or the Riddler begin causing havoc in the church, all our superhero needs to do is don their cape and the enemy flees.

Of course people need to esteem their spiritual leaders highly, for their work’s sake. But leaders aren’t heroes. God never intended for them to fight our battles FOR us, but WITH us. Leaders lead as people walk and work with them.

When is the last time you ever saw Superman ask someone for help? “Relax, Lois, I can handle this.” “Jimmy, put the phone down. I don’t need the national guard.”

I’m concerned for our spiritual leaders. Especially our pastors. With a nation obsessed with fantasy movies, fantasy games, fantasy football, fantasy, fantasy, fantasy; is there any wonder people expect their pastors to be perfect? And that only adds pressure to the lives of those who don’t, and can’t, measure up.

I don’t believe I have ever read a DC comic book that has a pastor as the super dude.

I’ve lost track of how many pastors have committed suicide within the last year, but there have been many. “Successful” pastors with large ministries have finished their lives before their course was completed. I am NOT speaking of them in a disparaging manner at all. I AM trying to speak of the pressure and deep spiritual warfare they have to endure.

And treating them like a superhero doesn’t help.

Superheroes have to live in fantasyland. They could not survive in this real, nasty, ugly world. Yes, they knock the snot out the villains in Metropolis and Gotham City. But bring them into the world you and I live in and they fall apart.

Fantasies limit what can be accomplished in the real world. “They who chase fantasies end up flat busted and broke.”

It’s time to help our pastors.

I have written a book called “How to get the most out of your pastor”. It’s available @ amazon.com, as a Kindle eBook. One of the main reasons I wrote the book is this: if we will support our pastor as the scriptures instruct us to, God can minister to and through the leader as he said he would.

As I said, it’s time to help our pastors.

Help them to understand we don’t expect them to be our hero. We don’t look to them as our deliverer. We already have one. His Name is Jesus!

When we want a hero, we’ll go check out a movie or read the comics.

Otherwise, we’ll live in the same world as our pastor, upholding them in prayer and supporting them in every way possible.

Like allowing them to burn their Superman suit, and be real.

Unlike Superman.

Take Off That Red Cape!

20121225-222137.jpg

Clark Kent, that mild-mannered reporter for the Daily Planet, was quite a man. He could do all the things Superman could do (because that’s who he really was), but didn’t do anything unless he was wearing his big “S” and long red cape.

Wonder what the deal was. I mean, when he learned of trouble, especially if Lois was involved, he’d find a closet or phone booth, take off his glasses, remove his suit, and voila! He’s Superman!

But why couldn’t he fly, hit people, lift buildings, and dazzle Lois while wearing his “reporter” clothes? He was the same guy, he just looked different. Was it that people wouldn’t receive his help if he didn’t look like a superhero? Would people say, “who does he think he is? Why, we know his parents and they aren’t anything special!”

I don’t really know, but maybe it had something to do with public perception and expectations. Everyone had their idea of how a superhero should look, dress, talk and act. Maybe the adoration and praise from his adoring fans helped give him the super powers he demonstrated. And maybe, just maybe, he longed for the worship of others; he needed the worship and praise of others to help him get through life.

Pastoring, preaching, ministering is usually non-eventful. Most preachers DO NOT ” ring the bell” with every message they preach! Most weeks, even the busy ones, can be mundane and repetitious. Make phone calls, hospital calls, study, pray, visit Sister Ima Complainer and Brother Noah Good, mow the lawn, clean the church…week in and week out. So tempting to look for something, anything, that will put some “wow” into the ministry and get a larger audience (I mean, adherents). Never mind that the work they’re doing IS making a difference; no, they want others to know how super they really are.

Have you noticed how the churches in America are so competitive? Who are they competing with? Their brothers and sisters in Christ. For what? More people. Sound like a great thing? Keep in mind most “church growth” is really saints moving from church to church. Why do most move? They’re looking for the guy in the red cape that can put on the best show in town!

I suppose that’s a natural thing, eh? But the Apostle Paul didn’t think it was a commendable trait to act “naturally” or “carnally” (1 Cor. 3). He told the Corinthians to quit putting one person above the other and, instead, look to Christ. He said believers should be “spiritual” people.

Regardless whether or not people expect to see me in a red cape, I must remember who I am with or without the cape. God didn’t call and anoint me to put on a show, win people’s approval, sell the most tickets, or even leap tall buildings in a single bound. Now, He may have me do it now and then; but you can be assured He won’t have me changing in a phone booth before I do! He won’t have me pasting on a special smile for the cameras, practicing my “anointed gyrations”, or anything else just to make the next “show” more exciting than the last.

I am who I am in Him. And He made you who you are in Him! He is our strength and power. He’s all we need! So take off the red cape and comb your hair! Get rid of the cute little curl; that one that makes you look like that certain super guy.

Maybe when the American church decides to quit idolizing the ministers, and the ministers stop seeking and feeding on the praise and worship of the people, God will really "put on a show" that will change lives for eternity!

May we see Him demonstrate His speed, power, and ability…amen.

%d bloggers like this: