Rich Wilkerson Jr. has become famous for his ministry at Vous Church (short for Rendezvous) in Miami that was financed by his father’s large congregation. Wilkerson Jr. preaches a new version of the prosperity gospel that assumes God not only “blesses” us with riches but God wants us to have fun. He is also well known because of his many connections with celebrities. A reporter to his church noted that he had never been to a religious space that felt so empty.
Why this story matters for church leaders:
No one wants to take shots at the cool new church, but there are real challenges and drawbacks to celebrity culture and churches that focus too much on production we need to consider.
- Token Service: The author of this piece accuses Wilkerson of token generosity that doesn’t actually address real needs. How can churches do better at identifying and serving their communities?
- Celebrity Pastors: Is there a danger of churches building themselves around their larger than life pastors? How does this hold these churches back even if they attract large crowds?
- Fun vs. Taking Up Your Cross: How do we respond to Wilkerson’s message of blessing, prosperity, and fun in light of Jesus telling us to take up our crosses?
Are there warning signs or red flags in this story that help you see your ministry with greater clarity?
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