Donate to RNS

‘Celebrity Pastor’ Is an Oxymoron + Chuck DeGroat

Stories abound of pastors who started to believe their own hype – and ended up capsizing their church and hurting a lot of people. There are spiritual and relational costs to putting leaders on pedestals.

Is there any hope for toxic celebrity pastors?

Stories abound of pastors who started to believe their own hype – and ended up capsizing their church and hurting a lot of people. There are spiritual and relational costs to putting leaders on pedestals.

But celebrity dynamics also are bad for pastors themselves. Many find themselves “alone at the top,” without real friendship and accountability, which can foster various addictions and abuses. In the second episode of our summer series, Roxy and Katelyn are joined by spiritual formation expert Chuck DeGroat, who has counseled hundreds of pastors in crisis. Chuck explains what happens when leaders are put in the spotlight too young or for the wrong reasons, how narcissistic tendencies show up in the pastorate, the deployment of cheap grace, and how ministry leaders can start the inner work to heal – if they are willing.

GUEST:

Chuck DeGroat is professor of pastoral care and spirituality at Western Theological Seminary and author most recently of When Narcissism Comes to Church: Healing Your Community from Emotional and Spiritual Abuse. Learn more at ChuckDeGroat.net.

Listeners of Saved by the City get 40 percent off of Katelyn’s new book, Celebrities for Jesus, when they head over to Baker Book House. No code required and free shipping! Learn more here.

Donate to Support Independent Journalism!

Donate Now!