“Fawning” is generally not a term people use to describe me. Dig back through my blogging history and I think you’ll find that foolishness overcomes fear with some regularity when I write. Where criticism was warranted, I’ve readily dished it up, at times damaging relationships by doing so.
Now, that’s a strange way to launch a post, but I know that when we talk about megachurch pastors, whoever says something favorable is going to prompt some people to suggest that the author is fawning over celebrities. I really don’t think that’s in my heart as I write this post. The men leading large churches in the SBC put their pants on one leg at a time. They are human beings—sinners—who make mistakes.
And yet, I think we are sometimes remiss in failing to note and celebrate some of the noteworthy and positive attributes of the megachurch pastors in our midst. I’d like to take note of a few of those. In doing so, I want to make it clear that I’m talking about a specific subset of megachurch pastors. I’m only talking about those megachurch pastors whose churches are part of the Southern Baptist Convention. And actually, I’m talking about an even narrower group than that: I’m talking about those megachurch pastors whose churches are a part of the Southern Baptist Convention and who themselves regularly attend the SBC Annual Meetings and participate actively in the work of the convention.
I’d like to make a few observations about these brothers:
- They are far less likely, statistically speaking, to fall into disqualifying sin than are other megachurch pastors. It is still shocking and scandalous when one of these pastors falls into sin.
- They are far less likely, statistically speaking, to own a private Gulfstream Jet than are other megachurch pastors.
- They are far more likely, in my observation, to be consistent, thoroughgoing biblical inerrantists.
- They are far more likely, I think, to deliver biblical expository preaching than are other megachurch pastors in general.
- They are far more likely, in my estimation, to be theologically astute than is the median American megachurch pastor.
- I’ve served alongside some of them on convention and entity boards and committees, and I’ve never seen a one of them press his influence in board or committee deliberations, but instead have watched them treat pastors from smaller churches with appropriate mutual respect and love.
So, at the risk of being accused of a “fawning” post, this month of Thanksgiving, I’d just like to say that I’m thankful for the megachurch pastors who are engaged in the life of the Southern Baptist Convention.