When Ministry Success Becomes an Idol

Benjamin Vrbicek | April 22, 2015


I remember exactly where I was when I lost interest in professional sports.

In 1998 the World Cup was in France, and the player to watch was Michael Owen, starting forward for England. He was that country’s youngest player ever to participate in a World Cup. I was 16. Michael Owen was 18. I was in my parent’s basement in mid-Missouri. He was in the Stade de Toulouse in France. I played JV soccer, defense specifically, because I couldn’t score. But Owen was scoring goals against the best players in the world. He was internationally famous. I was moderately popular in my high school.

The players were just as exciting as before I lost interest in professional sports; they hadn’t changed. But somewhere along the way, as I grew up, things had changed for me. My perspective had become twisted. I loved sports because one day I could be a star, or so I thought.

But at 16, I now had the sinking feeling that dreams long cultivated would not be harvested: in two years, I was not going to catch Owen.

All of this came flooding back to me a few months back at the church office. In the stack of mail…


To read the rest of this article, visit http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/when-ministry-success-becomes-an-idol.