It is quite interesting reading about the trend of events concerning the Ghanaian Churches in Canada. Gone are the days when ministers are called into the ministry. In our contemporary society, it is just not a calling, but more or less greediness or love of money. What is it that is motivating many so called self ordained pastors to break away from their churches and what can the Ghanaian community do to safe guard members getting trapped with this self proclaimed prophet who has no authority to answer to but themselves. This article will attempt to address some of these issues alerting the community to things to look for when choosing a Church to fellowship.
The Bible gives certain general Characteristics that are true for anyone who is called to the ministry. If a person’s life and ministry does not possess these general characteristics, I personally will seriously doubt the true nature of their ministry. A minister is called and separated by God. The body of Christ made by the elders then confirms this call. We can look at the life of Paul to verify this calling. Paul upon all his knowledge and dynamic anointing did not break away from any congregation. Paul was separated by the Holy Ghost, to the apostolic ministry in Acts 13: 1 - 4. You won’t find anywhere in the New Testament where believers are called and separated into ministry by people. Sometimes God may use people to confirm the call a person already has in his own spirit, but people can’t call or set anyone into ministry. An apple tree, which bears apples, does not eat its own fruit. Others who see the goodness of this tree eat of its fruits and testify to its goodness. In other words, if you are called to be a minister others around you will confirm the call in your life according to the fruit you are bearing.
In Galatians 2: 1-2, we can see the biblical characteristics of a true minister called by God. There are several things to note in this passage. A minister is not above other ministry gifts. In fact, a true minister will submit his ministry to other proven ministers of the gospel, as Paul did and will not be in a rush but patient to be recognized and sent out with the right hand of fellowship. No one knows how long Paul was in Arabia (Galatians. 1: 17), but we do know that Paul had been in ministry at least seventeen years (Galatians 1:18; 2:1) when he went to Jerusalem and conferred with other ministers there. In other words, he was not a novice in ministry; nevertheless, he still conferred with other men of reputation about what he preached. Paul had a revelation to preached to the Gentiles. He submitted this revelation of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to the spiritual leaders of his day. He said, “lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain” (Galatians. 2: 2). If there is a possibility this great man of God could run in vain, there is a possibility that we could run in vain. It is therefore imperative that those who are breaking away and establishing Churches and not only showering the Church offices in Ghana with gifts but with intent to be recognized by them to examine their motives. If Paul needed to submit his revelation to proven ministers, how much more should we? Yet some people who are not even fit to be minister, whose lifestyle are questionable will start a ministry and draw poor souls with them without any accountability. They do not submit to authority yet they want the body of Christ to submit to them because they are now a Pastor.
Some of the problems the Churches face is conflict resolution skills, which are not evident, and this causes individuals to break away. Most of the cases of breaking away I have heard of or read about boiled down to lack of conflict resolution skills on the individuals. I believe ministers of the Ghanaian Churches in Canada should take it upon themselves to find ways and means to educate their parishioners on resolution of conflicts. This will go a long way in helping the present trend of breaking away. If adult could sit down and reasonably resolve their differences, Churches will stay united and I believe this is the will of the Father in Heaven.
The fruit of a true minister is that he has a submitted attitude toward other brethren, including the pastors of the local bodies where he minister on occasion. He is concerned about blessing and building up and establishing works, not tearing them down with questionable teachings, revelations, or rebellion. A minister that is truly called should be interested in building the kingdom and not tearing it down. Anyone who thinks God has called him to be a minister, need to study to show himself approved, grow and mature spiritually, and be faithful as he serves Him in other capacities. If you are faithful to study God’s word and to serve Him right where you are, God will set you into the Body of Christ and promote you as He desires. If you have to tell folks you are a minister and taken up with names and titles then you are probably not a minister called by God. You don’t have to go around telling everyone you are a man or a woman, do you? You are born that way and it’s evident to everyone. The same ought to be true in the spiritual realm. If you are called to the ministry, it ought to be readily distinguishable what you are and what your call is. You do not have to go around telling people what your calling is by giving yourself titles and labels. People will know what you are by your spiritual equipment and endowments. As God prepares you, people will recognize the gift of God in you. God will mature you and prove you before he puts you in positions of increased responsibility. We need to remember that God rewards faithfulness and does not reward offices.
How then can a community identify a Church that is in the will of God? We have to be cognizant that attending a Bible College, a University or a Seminary and obtaining a Bachelor of Theology, Master of Arts or a Doctorate degree does not necessarily make one a minister. Getting a law degree or a medical degree does not make an individual a lawyer or a doctor. One needs to prove him or herself to attain to the office of a lawyer or a doctor. A minister therefore needs to prove himself. The fact remains that entering the ministry is a grave responsibility. That’s why every minister must be dignified and lead an orderly, disciplined life. Does your pastor live dignified life? Source: Rev. John Konu Thunder Bay, Ontario