“In fact, some of the parts that seem weakest and least important are really the most necessary.” 1Corinthians 12:22 (NLT)
John Entwistle died on 27th June 2002. Who is John Entwistle you may ask? He was the bass player for the legendary British rock group, The Who.
Aging baby boomer rock fans like myself will grieve his passing. I recall listening to “Won’t Get Fooled Again” to psyche myself up before every M.C.E. (SPM/Grade 17) exam paper. Ignorami who want a taste of The Who’s music can check out the theme song of the popular TV series, CSI – “Who Are You”.
But even rock fans may not remember Entwistle. They tend to associate The Who with lead guitarist/song writer, Pete Townshend, he of the twirling windmill guitar playing style. Or vocalist Roger Daltrey. But few remember John Entwistle. Which is sad because he is arguably the best rock bassist of his generation.
There would be no Who without John Entwistle. The fact that we remember Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey is another reminder that we tend to remember those who are more flamboyant. Or more spectacular. Entwistle faithfully played his bass in the background.
“During his rock career, he was known for playing without emotion, in stark contrast to the wild antics of the other band members, lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist Pete Townshend and drummer Keith Moon” The Independent
A crucial member of the group and a faithful contributor to the group’s success. But away from the limelight.
Did he feel any pain that he was a more “unknown” member of the group? It happens all the time. We associate Microsoft with Bill Gates. As though he makes Microsoft work all by himself. A minute’s reflection will make that thought ridiculous. Microsoft is where it is because of the contribution of numerous individuals. Yet there seems to be a human tendency to highlight the hero. The superstar.
I only regret that this behaviour is very much in evidence in the church as well. Just look at how we market out events/meetings. “Come and hear the gifted healer/teacher/writer/speaker.” As though significant ministry is first and foremost the work of spectacular individuals.
My bible tells me that ministry is an outflow of body life (1Corinthians 12:12-26). Indeed we are specially told that the “weaker” members of the body are more important(v.22). And if there is anyone who deserves any glory it is the Lord Jesus Himself.
I guess we do need models to inspire and encourage us. But we so easily cross the line and embrace a culture of fame and superstars. Superstars in the kingdom? How odd. I thought we were all sinners saved by grace.