Bishop T.D. Jakes, the founding pastor of the 30,000-member The Potter's House in Dallas, Texas, shared in an interview with a mainstream media what he hated most about megachurches. It's the cult of personality surrounding their pastors.
"There are pastors whose ego demands that type of adulation," Jakes, who is also a bestselling author and film producer, told The Huffington Post in an interview while promoting his new book Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive.
"It's the part of ministry that I hate," Jakes said. "I hate it because from the inside out I see myself as quite normal. The pressure to live up to all of your expectations frustrates me."
Jakes explained that he liked himself before others knew him. "See, I didn't need you to know me to like me; I liked me alone. So, I don't need all of it, I kind of shy away from it. I don't like to go out in crowds to be accosted by masses of people and sign an autograph. I can handle it, but I don't need it."
He said he likes "simple friends, simple places, even simple food, doing simple things."
Jakes added that his mother is from Alabama, his father is from Mississippi, and he was raised in a country and then lived in West Virginia. "That's life to me."
However, Jakes stressed that megachurches are not monolithic.
None of the megachurches are alike, so you cannot make general statements about them, he said, adding that a megachurch is defined as one that has more than 2,000 members.
The size of the church shouldn't define the pastor, though, Jakes added. "I'm the same guy that pastored 50 people on Easter Sunday. I didn't turn into some kind of creature when they became 5,000. I can show you my tapes then and my tapes now; the message is still the same."
It's just the management that needs to change when a church grows, he explained.
On prosperity preaching, Jakes said while he believes God blesses people financially, that's not the message the communities need to hear.
Jakes also said criticism doesn't bother him too much.
"I don't care what people say. I'm almost 60 ... you reach a certain stage in life you can't manage people's minds about you; they can hardly manage their minds about themselves. So I don't spend a lot of energy refuting what someone wrote or said. I'm so focused on my purpose that I don't have time to respond.
In his new book, Jakes outlines how to re-discover natural aptitudes and re-claim the wisdom of past experiences. "When attuned to divinely inspired instincts, you will become in sync with the opportunities life presents and discover a fresh abundance of resources," says the book description. "Knowing when to close a deal, when to take a risk, and when to listen to your heart will become possible when you're in touch with the instincts that God gave you."