U.S.—As more women come forward to accuse megachurch pastor Bill Hybels of inappropriate conduct, the nation’s churches have started to think that maybe having an idolized, larger than life celebrity pastor accountable to absolutely no one to lead God’s people might actually be a terrible idea.
Churchgoers around the country started questioning whether lifting up a fallible man’s word as gospel truth in order to train tens of thousands of people each week was in fact a biblical model after all.
“It seemed so right for a few decades there, but now, I’m not so sure,” said one former member of Willow Creek Community Church. “Like it was pretty cool that we could go to church and hear a slick sermon from a well-known, dynamic speaker, without worrying about whether or not what he said was biblical. But I dunno. I’m just not 100% sure it’s in the Bible after all.”
Many churches have reportedly started to consider having a plurality of qualified, biblically trained, non-celebrity pastors instead of putting one guy up on a pedestal and hoping he doesn’t use his absolute power to exploit church members and destroy the church’s testimony in the community. They’ve also begun checking a pastor’s character and qualifications against the standards laid out for a pastor in the New Testament, rather than simply allowing someone to teach because he gets visitors to come to the church week in and week out.
“I know it’s pretty revolutionary, but we’re gonna give a biblical leadership model a shot,” said one pastor in Michigan.