With the senior year men of Clearnote and Reformed Evangelical Pastors Colleges this morning, we were discussing Iain Murray's Evangelicalism Divided.
This is one of the most important books for any officer of Christ's Church to read today. In it Murray exhaustively documents the history of the herding instincts of men like John Stott and Jim Packer who chose to acknowledge as "Christians" and to make common cause with fellow British Anglican churchmen who denied the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Birth, and the substitutionary Atonement (for instance). Then Murray exhaustively documents the rotten fruit of their terrible compromises.
We discussed why Martyn Lloyd-Jones refused to go along with such betrayal of the Church, warning against it when men like Stott and Packer were such promoters? One student said he thought Stott and Packer wanted to protect their clout whereas Lloyd-Jones was willing to lose his.
Which took me back to the Wired piece on Klout I read last night. It's a web business that rates men on the basis of how many they influence or lead--hence the name "Klout." The author, Seth Stevenson, starts out by reporting that the perfect Klout score is 100. Justin Bieber's Klout is 100 and President Obama's 91. Influence and leadership, you know.
Officers of Christ's Church are constantly choosing whether to keep or lose their Klout...Those who love Klout gain tall steeple churches and book deals and conference honoraria. Those who love the Church lose Klout and tall steeple churches and book deals and conference honoraria. Jesus warned us to watch out when all men speak well of us. Maybe that translates to a Klout score above 50?
Not to worry; Klout gives me a 14. At 40, Michael Foster is in dangerous territory. At 42, Kevin Jackson is playing with fire. At 38, Brandon Chasteen better watch out. Ken Pierce is over the top at 52; clearly it's time for an intervention.
Klout also reports my True Reach at 8. Klout reports, "True Reach is the number of people you influence, both within your immediate network and across their extended networks." Well that would be me influencing myself and my wife, Mary Lee; and then I guess my chilluns Heather and Joseph and Michal and Hannah and Taylor. There's room for one more. I'm guessing it would be my eldest grandchild, Jonathan. He's so very respectful and concientious.
That's eight and that's it! No room left for our dog, Kenya. My influence is kaput.
Stevenson ends his piece with this:
We might not wish to glorify a metric that deems a teen pop star more influential than the leader of the free world.
In the depths of my personal bout with Klout status anxiety, I installed a browser plug-in that allows me to see the Klout scores of everyone in my Twitter feed. At first, I marveled at the folks with scores soaring up into the seventies and eighties. These were the “important” people—big media personalities and pundits with trillions of followers. But after a while I noticed that they seemed stuck in an echo chamber that was swirling with comments about the few headline topics of the social media moment, be it the best zinger at the recent GOP debate or that nutty New York Times story everybody read over the weekend.
Over time, I found my eyes drifting to tweets from folks with the lowest Klout scores. They talked about things nobody else was talking about. ...The un-Kloutiest’s thoughts, jokes, and bubbles of honest emotion felt rawer, more authentic, and blissfully oblivious to the herd. ...no brand would ever bother to advertise on their channels. And yet, these were the people I paid the most attention to. They were unique and genuine. That may not matter to marketers, and it may not win them much Klout. But it makes them a lot more interesting.
My advice to our students was to run from clout. Refuse to join the herd. Stay away from the conferences with 7,000 attending. The very thing they claim is what they lack: leadership and influence. Unless, of course, one best judges leadership and influence by how many people say you have leadership and infuence. Plus they're boring.
Thinking about it, I guess it's a compliment for Baylyblog to be your guilty pleasure.
But if you want to be a serious church planter, you need to get to work on your Klout. A good score is the sine qua non of succcessful church planting. Phil Henry's doing quite well at 46 and some guy named Rae Whitlock who's apparently one of my FB friends is extraordinarily influential and leaderly at 68! Really, if he's that high up, can he be a true Christian? I finds myself wondering, I does.
Klout reassures me Doug Wilson has no Klout at all. I believe it. You should have seen him on the campus here at IU.