What’s fame got to do with it? Far too much, at least when it comes to Christians supporting certain ministers of the gospel, according to Dallas mega pastor Bishop T.D. Jakes.
“I am so sick of this Hollywood spirit that has overtaken the church!” he told his congregation.
On Sunday, April 8, while promoting an upcoming worship service featuring largely unknown guest ministers, The Potter’s House leader expressed displeasure over the amount of focus placed on preachers’ popularity.
“We do not have to have big names to have a big move of God,” he said. “I got filled up with the Holy Ghost by somebody that didn’t have no name at all.”
But nowadays, “no name” preachers—those who are not exposed to the masses through national media and large preaching platforms—have trouble attracting crowds and filling up the church pews.
Furthermore, the rise of the mega church has crippled some leaders who are considered “small time” or ineffective if their membership has not reached thousands.
Research shows, in 1960, there was 1 mega church for every 7.5 million Americans. In 2010, there was 1 for every 200,000 Americans, and growth is continuing.
In the minds of many, bigger is better and more popular means more powerful.
But Jakes disapproves of the “only-follow-the-most-popular-preachers” model and is inviting lesser known speakers to address his congregants.
“I was saved for years and didn’t see anybody who was on TV,” he said, adding, “We gotta put this Hollywood spirit out of the church and go back to moving in the power of the Holy Ghost. “
Last June, he celebrated 35 years in ministry with appearances from his friends, Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry and a host of other celebs. His mass appeal, however, did not come overnight. He often speaks of his early days, dealing with sparse crowds, small offerings, and lack of general support from the public.
A far cry from his humble start, in 2001, Time Magazine named Jakes “America’s Best Preacher,”comparing him to Billy Graham.
His own reputation aside, he continues to give honor to the biggest name of all: Jesus.