DON’T BE A HERO: How Superman Ruined the Church

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No! It’s a Pastor? 

No one has done more damage to the Leadership Psyche – than Superman.

We’re enamored with the idea that “one man” can change the world. But he can’t. I hear you screaming through your screen, “Jesus did!”.

No he did not – even Jesus had a team.

The secret lie is that, “being a Hero” is a good thing…but it isn’t. We try to do all the work – to “save” our people from the sacrifice – and we ruin them in the process.

Someone needs to preach?

Don’t worry…I’ll preach.

Someone needs to design the logo?

Don’t sweat it…I’ll design it.

We’re $100 away from our missions giving goal?

I’ll give it.

We think we’re helping them, but we’re stealing from them – because we’re missing the point of sacrifice.

Remember this story?

1 Chronicles 21:21-24 21

“David came up to Araunah. When Araunah saw David, he left the threshing floor and bowed deeply before David, honoring the king. 22 David said to Araunah, “Give me the site of the threshing floor so I can build an altar to God. Charge me the market price; we’re going to put an end to this disaster.”

Just some context: A plague has hit Israel, and King David needs to sacrifice to God in order to receive the blessing of peace for him and the people. So he visits a guy named Araunah who has all the resources – space, animals, high ground, etc.

Now here’s where it gets interesting…

23 “O master, my king,” said Araunah, “just take it; do whatever you want with it! Look, here’s an ox for the burnt offering and threshing paddles for the fuel and wheat for the meal offering – it’s all yours!” 

Did you catch it? Araunah tries to be a Hero. He sees the need, he wants to help, so he offers to sacrifice, so David doesn’t have to.

Here’s David’s response,

24 David replied to Araunah, “No. I’m buying it from you, and at the full market price. I’m not going to offer God sacrifices that are no sacrifice.”

In other words, “It means nothing, if it costs me nothing”. 

“Value” and “Cost” have a positive correlation. The more you pay for something, the more you care about it.

My first car for example, was GIVEN to me by my parents, a 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer…brand new. In the first 3 months of owning that car, I crashed into a tree, a parked car, and a gas station (don’t ask).

Now compare that with this – 3 months ago I BOUGHT my first car. The first car I had to “PAY” for. In the inaugural ride my wife left her makeup bag under the seat. Makeup…if melted in the Florida sun, that can ruin your car.

I walked into the house and almost filed for divorce.

(No, not really…but I was upset) 

Why the difference? Because I PAID for that car.

Do you want to know why you’re the only one who cares about your ministry? Because you’re the only one who’s paying for it.

Invite other people invest. Invite other people to pay. If that means you do less and as a result something doesn’t get done, or doesn’t get done with excellence, so be it. You’re not here to build a ministry – you’re here to build people, who build a ministry – that builds people. 

Here are the top 3 reasons why Leaders don’t entrust ministry to people…and my answers to them.

1. “They’re not capable”

…Neither were you when you started, but someone gave you a chance. So give someone a chance. 

2. “I don’t have time to build a team”

Correction…you don’t have time, BECAUSE you don’t a build a team. Like an energy saving light bulb, it’ll cost a lot up front, but save you more in the end.

3. “It’s risky”

…I agree. I’m just glad Jesus took on a risk on Peter the fisherman, and Paul the murderer, Timothy the teenager, AND YOU… the __________ (you fill in the blank).



JJ Vasquez is the Youth Pastor of YX at IEC Church in Orlando FL (@weareyx), there he helps over 4,000 people on a weekly basis get closer to God. He also teaches at Southeastern University (@seuniversity) as the Associate Professor of Children, Youth, and Family Ministry. He is the proud dad to 2 amazing boys, Zane Micah\Justice James, and the super lucky husband of 1 fine woman – Liz. If you ever want to talk Life, Church, Youth Ministry, or Family – you can email him at or hit him up on Twitter @JJLVasquez or Instagram @JJ_Vasquez.