Why respect for pastors is very low today – Part 1
“Giving no offence in anything, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God…” II Corinthians 6:3, 4. It is no gainsaying, but a true fact that respect for pastors by church members and the society is at very low ebb today. Pastors have become the butt of jokes everywhere. Wealthy people don’t respect pastors because they believe that every pastor has a price and can be bought with money. The society at large sees most pastors as ‘money monger’ and that church is a commercial venture. At every turn, aspersions are cast at the church and the name of our Lord is dragged in the mud, due to the misdemeanors of big time, popular and famous pastors. People plot, plan and work against pastors through wrong accusations and the press and social media is daily awash with fake, cooked up stories of pastoral sins and evil deeds. It was not like this 35 years ago, when I got saved. Then, there was high respect and honour for pastors.
We looked at pastors as junior Jesus, because of their Christlike lifestyles and honoured them for the great and sacrificial work they were doing. What happened and why this evil trend today? Well, our research has uncovered the following reasons:
• Becoming a pastor is no longer by God’s calling, but promotion and appointment by the church. It started in the middle 80s, when churches that wanted to expand by all means began to appoint, ordain every Ade, Ada and Adamu into pastoral positions. There were no more considerations for God’s calling into the ministry. By so doing, many who had no business or grace to shepherd GOD’S people found themselves in this stressful work and they messed up big time, and are still messing up. If God did not call you into this work, His power will never back you up. You are simply on your own, and you will cut corners to meet up with people’s expectation of you.
• Scandals upon scandals by pastors. In the last 25 years, there have been lots of nauseating financial, sexual and leadership scandals by pastors that lowered the sacredness of the pastoral office. And no denomination or church is spared from these scandals. From Cape to Cairo, Johannesburg to Juba, Lagos to Los Angeles, Abuja to America, the church is reeking with lots of scandals that have made the public to lose great respect for pastors. The scandals of one pastor rub off on the rest of us all, because the public believes we are all the same.
• Abusive tendencies that hurt the people. Pastors in denominational and independent churches have practised and continue to practise financial, leadership, administrative, doctrinal, counselling, prophetic and family abuses that have deeply hurt people and broken their trust and respect for the pastoral institution. The church has hurt too many people and they have stopped attending any congregation today, though they still retain their CHRISTIAN Faith.
• Trial and Error ministry by most pastors. Sad to note that majority of modern pastors have little or no training for the ministry. The more reason there is so much incompetence, ineffectiveness and gambling with the souls of people under their care. Untrained pastors will surely lead people astray. Half-baked pastors will waste the souls of many people in hell. I make bold to say that one month, two months training or seminar will never make a pastor to be spiritually, ministerially healthy to lead people to heaven. Incompetent pastors will never earn people’s respect.
• Scriptural discipline is lacking in churches. Respect for pastors is very low, simply because those who sin or abuse their position and office are hardly disciplined by the church. Things are explained away and covered with the proverbial carpet. Pastors, who are cut red-handed in drug abuse and sexual sins are not removed from ministry, but are rather transferred to another town, church and place to continue in their shameful activities, thereby bringing hurt to others and reproach to the name of Christ.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org