By WILFRED JIBRIL
If there is anything I detest in the lives of some ministers of God, it is laziness. It is unfortunate that these ministers who are supposed to be shining examples to all and sundry are a disgrace to the Head of the Church, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
How else does one explain a situation where some ministers have decided not to engage in any secular work under the guise of being called into full-time ministry? Agreed, the Lord called some ministers into full-time ministry, but such a calling does not rationalize sheer indolence.
I believe very strongly as ministers that we should strive to earn a decent living rather than depend on people for our upkeep.
Methinks we should borrow a leaf from the exemplary lifestyle of Paul the Apostle who engaged in tent-making to keep body and soul together despite being one of the greatest apostles.
As a Christian, the former Saul of Tarsus was unique in the sense that he was directly discipled by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in Acts 9.
And as an apostle, he did unparalleled exploits in the vineyard of the Lord. He wrote 13 epistles that comprise almost one-fourth of the New Testament.
According to Holman illustrated Bible Dictionary, approximately 16 chapters of the book of Acts (13: 28) focus on his missionary labours. He is considered the most important interpreter of the teachings of Christ and of the significance of His life, death, and resurrection.
He committed his entire life to soul winning. In the course of winning souls for the Lord, the Bible records that he suffered many shipwrecks, imprisoned and flogged several times.
The monumental achievements of Apostle Paul notwithstanding, the man of God never depended on his converts for his upkeep.
He frowned at laziness and implored ministers of God to look for jobs to do to eke out a living. In his second epistle to the Thessalonian brethren, Apostle Paul had this to say: “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread” (II Thessalonians 3: 10-12).
Yet some still loaf around, claiming that they are full-time ministers who should not do any secular jobs. It is because most of them are idle that they find it extremely difficult to preach the truth.
They have to deceive their congregation in order to survive. It was pretty easy for Apostle Paul to preach the truth of the gospel to his converts because he was not depending on them for any financial handout or recharge cards as some ministers do today.
I understand that in some assemblies, ministers pester the lives of well-to-do members with unnecessary demands. They inundate their members with calls, asking for recharge cards and other gifts.
They only visit the rich in the Church while the poor are on their own. This should not be. Ministers of God are occupying exalted positions and must not do anything that will tarnish the image of Christ.
I have always told those who care to listen that ministers, who are genuinely called by God, will be taken care of by the Head of the Church, the Lord Jesus Christ. My confidence is bolstered by I Thessalonians 5:24 which says. “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it”.
I gathered that some of these ministers organise crusades and use the proceeds to buy flashy cars at the expense of their members.
They forced themselves into full-time ministry against the will of God; hence they engage in unscriptural practices to survive. It is not every Tom, Dick and Harry that is called into full-time ministry.
If you are not called into it, it is certain you will go against the will of God. That explains why they commit unpardonable mistakes in ministry.
If we have not heard the voice of the Master very clearly, telling us to go into full-time ministry and we decide to do so because of joblessness, we are bound to fail.
In our contemporary times, there are ministers of God whose ministries have recorded monumental successes even though they did not start as full-time ministers, but as time went on and their ministries started growing, the Lord saw the need for them to create more time to attend to the needs of His flocks.
Examples of such ministers are Pastor William Folorunsho Kumuyi, Enoch Adejare Adeboye, Dr. Daniel Kolawole Olukoya, Pastor Lazarus Muoka and Bishop David Oyedepo, among others.
Lest I get misconstrued, there is nothing wrong in any member rendering a helping hand to a minister of God, but the point I am making is that such giving must be done willingly and cheerfully as the Master Himself commands in Luke 6:38: “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again”.
Apostle Paul, by the Spirit of the Lord, spoke in the same vein in II Corinthians 9:6&7: “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly, shall reap sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver”.
If your giving to your pastor is not cheerful, but born out of compulsion or deception, then it will not attract any reward.
In fact, it has no record in heaven. If your pastor has to deceive you to get any money from you, such money will not attract any blessing to the giver. We must learn to give scripturally to our ministers if we must be blessed. Don’t allow any minister to put you under unnecessary pressure to give anything to him/her.
An Igbo woman was a victim of a false prophetess, an Urhobo, from Delta State, who told her that her mother was a witch and that God said she should avoid her.
And this woman foolishly avoided her mother until she met a man she wanted to marry.
The man took her through the Bible and the Lord used him to reconcile her with her mother. This prophetess hypnotized her and extorted so much money from her in the name of God.
Obviously, no true minister of God will do this. God has a way of taking care of His ministers. May we not fall prey of ravenous wolves masquerading as ministers of God in Jesus’ name. AMEN
Pastor Wilfred Jibril can be reached on 08037831431 and via email@example.com