Who are your heroes? Perhaps your heroes are in the entertainment, sports, or celebrity world. Many Christians have preachers and teachers who they really love and follow their ministries. These heroes are a source of encouragement in their teaching and leave an example by their lifestyle. However there are some dangers even with spiritual heroes.
Paul wrote to the Corinthian church warning about hero worship. He told them: “Now I say this, that each of you says, "I am of Paul," or "I am of Apollos," or "I am of Cephas," or "I am of Christ." Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul” (1 Cor. 1:12, 13). He also said to them: “For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase” (1 Cor. 3:4-6). Just as the Corinthians needed to beware of the danger of hero worship we also do today.
The first thing we need to be aware of is that even heroes have feet of clay. Many famous preachers and ministry leaders who had worldwide ministries have fallen in areas of their personal morality. Some have mishandled ministry funds, and some have had toxic relationships with their co-workers. I have met so many of God’s people whose spiritual lives have become shipwreck because their hero has fallen from the pedestal, they have placed them on. Another danger of hero worship is the tendency to diminish the contribution of the faithful little known spiritual laborer in favor of the celebrities. Finally, hero worship can deflect the glory from the real hero. Paul rebuked the Corinthians for giving too much credit to the planters and waterers because God was the One who brought forth the real fruit.
There is nothing wrong with following and enjoying the ministries of our favorite teacher or preacher. But we must always remember that God is our ultimate hero.