By Francis Akin-John
“Giving no offense 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 honour them for the great and sacrificial work they are 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 your church.
It started in the middle 80s, when churches that want to expand by all means begins to appoint, ordain every Ade, Ada and Adamu into pastoral positions. There was no more considerat-ions for Gods calling into the ministry. By so doing, many who have no business or grace to shepherd GOD’S people found themselves in this stressful work and they mess up big time, and 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 had been lots of nauseating financial, sexual and leadership scandals by pastors that lowers the sacredness of the pastoral office. And no denomination or church is spared from these scandals. From Cape to Cairo, Johanessburgh to Juba, Lagos to Los Angeles, Abuja to America, the church is reeking with lots of scandals that has made the public to lose great respect for her pastors. The scandals of one pastor rubs off on the rest of us all, because the public believes we are all the same.
- Abusive tendencies that hurts people. Pastors in denominational and independent churches have pract-iced and continues to practice fin-ancial, leadership, administrat-ive, doctrinal, counseling, pro-phetic and family abuses that has deeply hurt people and broke their trust and respect for the pastoral institution. Too many people have been hurt by the church 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 ministry. The more reason there is so much in-competence, 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 the respect of people.
- Scriptural discipline is lacking in churches.
Respect for pastors is very low simply because those who sins 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, sexual sins are not removed from ministry but rather transferred to another town,church and place to continue in their shameful activities, thereby bringing hurts to to others and reproach to the name of Christ.
- Jesus has been dethroned from His Church.
Today, it is man, 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 philo-sophies, 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, small wonder that many fall away like pack of cards when they get disappointed in their human idols.
N/B. My books: Grow the Pastor, Grow the Church; Healthy Leaders, Healthy Churches; Your Image is Your Growth; Healthy Local Churches Today, and DiscipleShift Today, can help to restore godly respect to Pastors and churches.
You can buy them from www.amazon.com or any Bible Wonderland Bookshops nation-wide.