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What Daft Punk can Teach Church Leaders

Posted by thethousandmarch on May 26, 2013 at 5:45 PM

I’m sitting here listening to the new album from Daft Punk, which if you’ve never seen them are these guys –

From very early on in their careers they chose to obscure their identity and very few official pictures of them exist. As a result millions of people know their work and recognize their robot alter egos, but only a few thousand people would ever actually recognize their faces. Why did they do this? They have said, “We don't believe in the star system. We want the focus to be on the music. If we have to create an image, it must be an artificial image. That combination hides our physicality and also shows our view of the star system. It is not a compromise.”( ^ CANOE – JAM! Music – Artists – Daft Punk: Who are those masked men? canoe.ca. Retrieved March 6, 2007.) They don’t want to be celebrities; they want the focus to be upon their work, not themselves.


So, what can a pastor learn from that? Hopefully the answer is obvious, but to quote John the Baptist, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). There have always been celebrity pastors and those who raise them above their proper status as servants of God and the Church – for example the whole “I follow Paul, I follow Apollos” deal (1 Cor.) and then the problems with the so-alled “super-apostles” (2 Cor.). However it seems that today the routine pursuit of self-promotion has infected the whole of the American Church (not all the circumstances and pressures which have created the current environment are our pastors’ fault, nor are they all negative in and of themselves).


In the olden days pastors, among other things, wore robes and stood behind pulpits. For many people these practices have fallen out of favor, because all that stuff is thought to be too formal; and if you’re Mark Driscoll you think robes are for girls. But there are reasons for such traditional practices. For one it downplays the personality of the pastor and emphasizes the role. The focus is drawn away from the person and is aimed towards the service performed. Also, it’s hard to tell if your pastor has, or has not, got himself some nice new designer jeans when he’s wearing a robe.


When I preach I want the focus to be upon God’s word, not my wonderful self or my entertaining speaking style (no great danger there for me). I want to do a quality job and use my talents and skills to serve the Church and God’s Kingdom, but like Daft Punk I want people to recognize and be impacted by the work. I want them to be blessed by what I do and recognize God the giver of all good things. I don’t want to be a celebrity. Note: I’m not saying all pastors who serve large congregations are egotistical, or that all who serve small ones are not. Daft Punk is an extremely successful band, and they’ve become successful while remaining servants to the music, rather than their personalities becoming the focus of the art.


Categories: pop-culture, Liturgy, Pastors