Why respect for pastors is very low today – Part 2
Jesus has been dethroned from His Church. Today, it is man and not Jesus that is being lifted up in most of our churches. Christians in churches can defend and die for our G.Os, but cannot do same for Jesus. Pastors today run their churches according to their own philosophies, and not the teachings of Jesus. Many modern pastors don’t like the life and teachings of Jesus, and do all they can to sidetrack Him. In fact, all the attention is on pastors, and Jesus is relegated to the background. Little wonder many fall away like a pack of cards, when they get disappointed in their human idols.
• Secular tendencies have taken over. Respect for pastors is very low today because most churches have resorted to secular methods, styles, branding, swagger and management to run a spiritual entity. Educational degrees, packaging, dressing swagger and deception have turned the spiritual house of God into secular pursuits, where carnalities and flesh reign supreme. Thus, when people see the shallowness and hollowness of our packaging, and discover that the Holy Spirit is not there, our respect takes a great tumble. Pastors have tried to command respect by investing in big titles, big chairs, big garments, big buildings and big pockets, yet our respect scales continue to look downward because we are not what God says we should be.
• The Word of God is mutilated and twisted for our own gain. Majority of modern pastors lacks the true knowledge of the Word and will of God. Biblical illiteracy is very high in today’s church. Erroneous teachings, practices and biblical mutilations are very rife in today’s pulpits. It seems the only scripture we know is only about giving, praying against the enemy and making quick monies. We even use prophetic words to hoodwink, make merchandise and deprive people of their hard earned money in the name of first born redemption, family deliverance and prophetic liberations. Small wonder pastors no longer amount to anything in the eyes of the society.
• Idolatry of the world reigns supreme in our pulpits. What shall I say about the idolatry of the world by modern pastors, in the name of “God has blessed me and I must show it to the world?” We love this world and must enjoy it as much as possible. We live for ‘things’ and are ready to cut corners, just to have them, not minding the image we are projecting to the world. We acquire and run after perishable things of the world at the expense of our eternal souls. We lay our treasures here on earth, where moth and rut corrupt them and are not different from sinners out there.
How can they continue to respect us, when they see no difference between them and us?
• The healthy FEAR of the Lord is not in our hearts. The holy writ says the ‘fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,’ but that is no more the case with us. The fear, dread and holy awe of the Lord is no more in our hearts, which is why a pastor can defraud, steal, get drunk with alcohol and shortchanged his office, members and still mount the pulpit to preach on Sundays. That is why a pastor can rape his daughter, take money from armed or pen robbers and still go around to preach and pray God’s blessings upon people, projecting what he is not. And when his secrets are discovered, he blames it on the devil, thereby bringing shame to the name of Christ and the holy office of a shepherd of God’s flock.
• Years of neglecting true discipleship. Most churches only focus on numerical growth to the utter neglect of spiritual growth of the converts. People are not taught to grow in the Lord, and become Christlike in their daily lives. Therefore, we have Christians who are babes, carnal and unstable in the Lord. They are disciples of their churches and G.Os, not that of Jesus. And since the Christians of today are the pastors of tomorrow, we have carnal, ungodly and spiritually destitute people becoming pastors in droves. And their unchristlike lifestyles have brought shame and disrespect to the gospel of Christ.
Undiscipled pastors will always walk and work in the arm of the flesh. To bring respect back to the pastoral institution today demands genuine repentance from pastors and churches. We need to apologise to our nation and society. Each pastor must return to God for transformation of heart and life. Some pastors need to quit the ministry, because God did not call nor grace them for this tough job. Pastors must start building spiritual character over charisma. We must return to the Bible, Holy Spirit and fruits of the Spirit afresh. We must go back for training, retraining and continuous training in ministry matters. We must stop bringing every Dick, Tom and Harry into ministry.
We must run our churches in biblical ways and principles. It is then and only then that can we see God’s revival, and the society will respect pastoral institutions again. Ultimately, you don’t demand respect; you earn respect by your lifestyle and actions. So, each of us will have to prove to society that we are true. It is only then you can start to earn their respect again.
Dr. Francis Akin-John, Church Growth Consultant,
Growth Centre, 6/8, Mukadaz Close, Off Palace Way, Iyana-odo B/Stop, Isheri-LASU Road, Lagos. 08023000714 email@example.com Twitter: @bolaakinjohn