THE BIBLE contains greater messages for church leaders. And such messages must boldly be preached and taught in love to encourage, instruct, comfort, edify and keep ministers faithful to God and the church. Such messages must also be preached and taught for believers to have adequate knowledge about their leaders and to enable them make informed choices and decisions.
There is no doubt that some pastors resent corrections. Should this be the case? Are church leaders above corrections? We know that, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
It is clear from the scriptural verse above that ministers of the gospel are not above being instructed in righteousness even though they themselves preach and teach other believers. This is because a minister can be tempted to sin or stray from the sound knowledge of Christ. And in such situations, it is required that they return to our God when they are instructed to know the truth in love.
As many pastors as Jesus Christ loves, He rebukes and chastens to make them zealous and repent. King David repented when the prophet Nathan rebuked him for committing adultery and murder. However, the apostle Paul stated boldly that any church leader who would persist in wrongdoing should be exposed to serve as a deterrent to others (1 Timothy 5:20).
Paul wrote again to Timothy reminding him that, “If any…does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing…” (1Timothy 6:3).
You see, when we carefully consider the attitudes of most pastors today, you agree and attest to the fact that many have been overtaken in pride, a sin which causes the downfall and destruction of kings, princes, prophets and priests. Indeed, many have been led astray to forsake the right way of the Lord, adopt titles, positions and introduce doctrines and practices which have no basis in Scripture. These things are being done out of the influence of the spirit of pride.
Therefore, any pastor who teaches the Disciples of Christ placed under his care to clap or strike their hands in prayer is proud because he does not humbly follow the Lord. If Christ and the foundational apostles never clapped their hands while offering prayers to God the Father, but lifted their hands in prayer, we Disciples of Christ today have no reason to do anything contrary unless we are proud.
Any pastor who plants a church and mounts its signboards with his photos to advertise himself as if he is the owner of the church is proud. It is scripturally incorrect and administratively improper for a pastor, a mortal man and servant, to build a church around his name. The church belongs to Christ so it must be built around and in the name of Christ Jesus as it is written, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ…” (Colossians 3:17).
Any pastor who refuses to read the books or listen to the teachings of other pastors is proud. Any pastor who makes his congregants kneel or bow to him is proud. Any pastor who puts on biblically unapproved priestly garments to distinguish himself from his congregants is proud. Any pastor who sits in a meeting exclusively to be recognized and revered is proud. Any pastor who preaches about money more than Christ Jesus is proud and straying.
Moreover, any pastor who does not decrease and make Christ increase is proud. Any pastor who takes interest always in officiating weddings, but asks his associates or assistants to see to the baptism of believers is proud in the sight of God. Any pastor who is concerned about the beauty of a church building far more than the beauty of a believer's soul is proud and straying from the sound knowledge of Christ.
Any pastor who imitates something he sees another pastor doing without seeking the will of God concerning it is proud and demonstrating a poor relationship with God. Also, any pastor who does not regularly teach and introduce Christ Jesus as the Owner of the church he oversees is proud. Any pastor who does not study to show himself approved unto God so that he can rightly divide the Word of truth is proud.
Any pastor who pays money to be ordained in order to be placed in a ministry office and receive honourific titles is proud. Any minister who pays money to be consecrated a bishop, or apostle thinking that the office of a bishop or apostle is superior to the office of a teacher, evangelist or prophet is proud and ignorant.
Finally, any pastor who personally lobbies to be introduced and recognized at public functions is proud. Any pastor who flaunts his cars and mansions in the media to boost his self-esteem is proud. Any pastor who cleverly puts in place some systems to command respect is proud. Any pastor who cannot stand correction and competition, or appreciate the promotion of his associates is proud.
By James Quansah