Life Coach Jesus & The Winner’s Circle

There is a notable trend in the modern church today…

It’s a shift away from the blatant prosperity “God wants you to be rich” teaching towards this modified variation of it: “God wants you to be cool and successful.”

People feel cooler because they attend a cool church with a cool band and a super-cool pastor who hangs out with loads of really cool people.

There’s no need to always be talking about money – that’s passé now.

Instead, we emphasize success because everyone wants to be successful. Our sermons are like seminars given by a hipster life coach. Sort of like the Yes seminar scene in Jim Carrey’s Yes Man movie. Big signs in the lobby declare, “Yes to victory!”


I’m pretty sure I’ve been in that church before.

So now we have “life coach Jesus.”

Jesus makes us cool and successful and popular – because that’s what Jesus does, right?

Jesus is always hanging out in the winner’s circle.

Once in a while, He does visit with the riffraff – but only to lift them up and out of the boring, pitiful, uncool life they’ve been living. That’s what Jesus does. He saves us from being uncool and unsuccessful and brings us into the winner’s circle with all His superstar followers.

Life coach Jesus gives us loads of tips.

Tips on how to have a successful marriage and raise successful kids.

Tips on how to dream bigger and live the dream now.

Tips on how to win friends and influence people.

Tips on how to have a rock-solid body.

Tips on how to succeed in business.

Tips on how to manage money.

It’s all right there in the Gospels – tips from life coach Jesus.

His disciples followed His tips and they became super cool and super successful. Their marriages were pretty much perfect. Their children were angels. Their businesses blew up and the disciples became moguls. They were living the dream…

Well, there was one exception. Judas.

Judas resisted life coach Jesus. He didn’t believe popularity or power should be pursued. Judas felt like there were too many tips on how to be a success. He wanted to spend less time in the winner’s circle and more time with the riffraff – the uncool and the unsuccessful people.

That’s why Judas didn’t make it as a disciple. He just didn’t have the internal drive to become someone significant.

The other disciples chose a replacement for Judas – a popular, good-looking, wildly successful guy named Matthias. Now everything was settled in the winner’s circle. They were all world-changers. They were legendary.

In fact, these disciples were so successful, they all became life coaches too. They hosted seminars and conferences with big banners that said things like “Yes to victory!” and “If you can dream it you can do it!”

I guess there’s an important lesson here…

Don’t be like Judas. He wasn’t cool or successful.

Instead, always pursue popularity and power, success and coolness – because that’s what life coach Jesus wants for all of us.

What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree?

Check out yesterday’s “Does Jesus _____?” and Tuesday’s “The Christian Label on People & Places & Things.”

I am a husband, father, pastor, leader & reader. I love God, love people & love life.

16 Comments to Life Coach Jesus & The Winner’s Circle

  1. Judas—– (cross out that name, insert JESUS) felt like there were too many tips on how to be a success. He wanted to spend less time in the winner’s circle and more time with the riffraff – the uncool and the unsuccessful people.

    I’m thankful it’s not about growing bigger, better, faster. Sometimes the way up is the way down. To stoop lower and to serve. It’s not always glamorous or picture worthy- but it’s real. Real people we care about and love. Real people we want to share life with us. Reminds me of Jesus.

  2. Christopher Kueny

    Was this a message that you copied? This message sounds NOTHING like you. Not only does this message sound phony, but it preaches popularity and circles. Our church does NOT preach or practice this which is what drew me to stay in the first place. Please expound on this because as it stands right now I am stuck with a single thought in my head… WTH? Excuse my french.

    • Brian Dolleman

      Chris – this series of posts is called “Myths, Urban Legends & Other Religious Baloney”- your WTH response is right on.

      • Christopher Kueny

        Oh good. Sorry I haven’t had access to my email so I was out of the loop. I am so relieved. Thanks for staying real. It’s refreshing to find that in the church.

        • Brian Dolleman

          it’s possible I didn’t make it absolutely clear that I’m being sarcastic – I totally love your reaction, not catching my sarcasm. kinda wish you had used the actual acronym though…

          • Christopher Kueny

            No, got the sarcasm after your first reply. The acronym was actually a cleaned up version of what my actual first reaction was. Lol. I liked this experience, I guess you did teach “The Agitator” a few of your tricks afterall.

  3. Spot on. Really like this post. Does Jesus hang out with people who finish second, third, or dare I write it… Last place?

    I sure hope so.

    I’ve felt His presence when I’m feeling down and out as well as on top of the world.

  4. This is sarcasm, right?! Jesus hung with the lowlifes and was accused of being one himself. I have noticed this trend in the church and the lie that “if its unpopular, its not God will” has creeped in. Lord save us from ourselves.

    • Brian Dolleman

      Ryan – the title for this series of posts is “Myths, Urban Legends & Other Religious Baloney” – so, yes, it is very much sarcasm.

  5. All the success and coach stuff is 100% as long as you the following. Got to get rid of a lot of the Bible. The beatitudes would be the first to go. All those verses about being a servant probably wouldn’t survive. But in the end I would have a real cool albeit thin Bible.

  6. Great post, Brian. The attempt to make the gospel into a message of worldly success is something I keep banging on about on my blog. I’ve just reblogged and linked to your post.

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