Israel cried out, “Give us a king!” (1 Samuel 8:6). Against his will, God gave his people what they wanted. A real superstar. Saul was the handsomest and tallest man around (9:2).

That didn’t work out very well, did it? It never does.

Hear the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Christian leadership. Bonhoeffer shares timeless truths that are painfully fitting for an evangelical culture that continues to be enamored with large, visibly successful ministries and big-name church leaders:

“Every cult of personality that emphasizes the distinguished qualities, virtues, and talents of another person, even though these be of an altogether spiritual nature, is worldly and has no place in the Christian community; indeed, it poisons the Christian community. The desire we so often hear expressed today for ‘episcopal figures,’ ‘priestly men,’ ‘authoritative personalities’ springs frequently enough from a spiritually sick need for the admiration of men, for the establishment of visible human authority, because the genuine authority of service appears to be so unimpressive.” (Life Together, 108)