Do you ever feel like church has become a performance? Ben Kirby, founder of the viral social media sensation PreachersNSneakers, tackles the growing problem of pastoral wealth, consumerism, and (wannabe) celebrity, helping struggling believers who want to live a more genuine faith find a way forward.
What started as a joke account on Instagram has turned into a movement. Through this provocative project, the founder of PreachersNSneakers is helping thousands of Jesus followers wrestle with the inevitable dilemmas created by a culture obsessed with image and entertainment: pastors wearing Gucci sneakers and carrying Louis Vuitton bags while their churches grow more and more obsessed with celebrity and fame.
In PreachersNSneakers: Authenticity in an Age of For-Profit Faith and (Wannabe) Celebrities, the author boldly confronts many of the difficult questions plaguing countless Christians’ minds, such as:Should pastors grow wealthy from religion, and why do we get so angry when they do?Is it okay to stoke envy among others with curated “lifestyle” images on social media?Do we really believe that divine blessings are monetary, or is that just religious wallpaper to hide our own greed?Is there space in Christendom for celebrities like Kanye and Bieber to exist without distorting the good news?Is it wrong for someone like this author to call out faith leaders online and leverage “cancel culture” to affect change?
PreachersNSneakers will navigate these challenging questions and many more with humor, wit, candor, and a few never-before-published hijinks. Each chapter will explore the various sides of the debate, holding space for readers to make up their own minds. The book will doubtlessly become a staple for church small groups, college ministries, and book clubs, emboldening struggling believers who want to live a more genuine faith.
After all, the Lord works in mysterious colorways.
PreachsNSneakers is an Instagram account I follow and fine rather interesting, so when I saw this book I knew I had to read it.
Although the tone is somewhat lighthearted and fun the subject matter is one I have wrestled with and wondered about.
Not only does the author deal with some tough questions about celebrity pastors and celebrities who claim Christianity, it also deals with the prosperity gospel that many of these pastor pedal. Like Jesus will make our lives all better if we just sow into our faith, which could be with money or doing the “right” things. Yes, I bought into this lie for years.
The author also brought up something I do. Which is post on Instagram. What is my point in posting my fun family vacations? Am I trying to make people jealous of my life, in which case I am could be causing people to stumble on the commandment not to envy. Something I definitely need to examine.
A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.