The Seduction of Celebrity

My cyberfriend Shane and I had another discussion on Facebook about the recent news about a popular political US leader and it got me to thinking about the word celebrity. Here is the word according to Webster:
  1. the state of being celebrated : fame
  2. a famous or celebrated person
I have written about religious leaders and their need to be noticed here but I had not really thought much about the desire of other professional people to become leaders for the same reasons. In that post I said: "There is something about public speaking that is seducing." I think that the same is true of celebrity.
Here is an excerpt from something I wrote titled Invisble Ministry:

"The desire to be visible is a dark side of the ministry ... wanting to be seen and appreciated by people is a dark force that permeates much of American church leadership. Many large ministries and churches, as well as small ones, are led by men which have surrendered to the dark side of visible ministry."
I think that some leaders in both the corporate and political arenas deal with similar forces. The seduction of being famous must be an overwhelming one at times.. and I imagine.. once you are famous.. the need to keep your celebrity must be addicting.

The problem with these kinds of leaders is that they attract so much attention to themselves and away from the very issues and constituencies that they purport to stand for. Their need to be noticed seems to detract from their need to be productive. The talk becomes more about their celebrity than their effectiveness.


  1. So true Bob, and within the church, so antithetical to the lifestyle of the kingdom.

  2. The believers I know who impress me most, leaders especially, are the ones who live what they teach and minister more through that than through their words.

    The problem is two part. You have a leader who seeks to be popular and people who grant it.

  3. Grace - maybe the operate in a different kingdom :)

    Mike - good point.. gullible ideologues who vote for candidates who mainly play on their ideology are part of the celebrity politician problem.

  4. Good thoughts Bob - and a challenge for us all.

  5. I agree that the power and celebrity that comes with public office is seductive. I don't think that all of the people in elected office were primarily motivated to serve by power and celebrity, however, I think that too many, if not most, are and all of them poorly represent their constituents.


I love to get comments and usually respond. So come back to see my reply. You can click here to see my comment policy.