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I remember CJ Mahaney speaking at the NewFrontiers Brighton leaders conference a good few years ago – maybe 10 – and asking three questions:

1.  Who are your heroes?

2. Who are your children’s heroes?

3.  Who would your children say are your heroes?

CJ went on to pull apart the inconstancy in what we profess to believe  as Christians and how we often contradict that  belief practically.

Since that time, I have been increasingly aware of Christian hero worship.  Elevating guys with big ministries to hero status and disregarding those who although working faithfully with their hand to plough for many years, just don’t cut the mustard.

I was reminded of this earlier in the year when I went up to London for the Men’s Convention at the Royal Albert Hall.  Mark Driscoll was speaking and one of the main reasons that I went along with Rico Tice, author of Christianity Explored – two big ‘heroes’ of mine.

However the guy that really took my breath away – I confess, I don’t even know his name – was someone that came onto the platform to share briefly.  He couldn’t walk too well and to begin with, I could only see his side profile from the right hand side.  However, when he faced the front, it was clear to see that he’d had some serious reconstructive surgery undertaken on the left hand side of his face.

He began to share his story how God had called him to one of the African nations and to begin with he used business trips to get into the country and work there.  Soon he and his wife felt that was not enough, and so moved into the country.  After a number of years ministering there, their home came under attack and one of there staff was killed trying to prevent the attackers gaining entry to the compound.

Quickly he and his wife decided to open the door and let them take what they wanted.  As he went to open the door, he was blasted by a shotgun through it, taking away half his face.  They then gained entry and raped his wife.  The couple were brought back to the UK and he went through 2 years of surgery and rehabilitation.

So what happened when they were back on their feet?  They caught the next plane back to Africa so they could continue the work God had called them to.

For all Mark Driscoll and Rico Tice have given to the church and I am grateful for what they have done, I have to guard my own heart and be careful that I am honouring their ministry, but not elevating these men for the wrong reasons.  I enjoyed reading Mez’s related post a while back and the points that he made about how we would regard Noah’s ministry by today’s standards.  Challenging.

It’s easy to elevate others by criteria such as ‘bums on seats’ or ‘books written’ and not by a life laid down or a heart surrendered.

I constantly have to remind myself that I am playing it to an audience of One.  All else is worthless.

Leading a church of thousands would be fantastic, publishing the next ‘hot’ evangelism course would be wonderful, but I long for the heart that loves the lost even more than my own life.  I think that’s called ‘being Christ-like’.