Church, Leadership

Dear S.A Pastors, I Have Something To Say

By Adolf Mathebula

“If you were born with the ability to change someone’s perspective or emotions, never waste that gift. It is one of the most powerful gifts God can give—the ability to influence.” ― Shannon L. Alder

I do not know if I should do the “greetings in the name of Jesus Christ” ritual or lead you in some small prayer before you read this. What I want to communicate here is going to leave some of you a bit offended and wondering. Some of you won’t even care because you are not a real pastor anyway – nor are you even concerned about how a pastor should be; because you think that a certificate hanging on your wall validates or justifies your ministry.

First, let me make it clear that I have strong sentiments about the Church leadership – of which I do not hesitate to make clear when I feel it is necessary. I really don’t mind if I keep offending Christians while doing so. Personally I am tired of fake Christians wanting to control God’s people and get them to accept things that have nothing to do with Christianity.

I am not the type to listen when people say “touch not my anointed” when Truth and justice is concerned. The people of God shouldn’t be exploited in the name of Jesus. Many people who quote that verse don’t even know what it means and to whom that Bible passage was referring to. They don’t even know where it is in the Bible. Most just do it to keep people in fear.

Secondly, I do not approve of any pastoral Church leadership structure that is not in plurality. Nowhere in the Bible was the pastoral ministry encouraged to operate and flourish in the hand of one person; because it can’t. Church leadership is supposed to be in plurality. Even Moses at a point in his journey needed 70 other leaders to help him lead the people of God properly. There are certain things you just can’t do them alone and you need to accept it.

Thirdly, when I say “Dear Pastors”; I mean those who have accepted the call of God; are doing their best to be in the will of God and to preach the Truth of the Scriptures. I am not talking about people who became pastors so they could make money or because it was the easiest career to get into. I am talking about people who are anointed by God for the office and have a relationship with Him.

“Senior pastors cannot be those who think they can do everything but are willing to let a few people help them. Rather, they are those who know they can’t do everything, don’t want to do everything, and are not willing to do everything; they welcome others to come along-side with their gifts in order to form a powerful team for Christ.”  ― Sue Mallory

Now that we have that out of the way, let me get to the root of my message.

Dear Pastors; Give People Something to Do or They Will Leave Your Church.

If you have not yet noticed; there is rise in people who do not feel the need for the local Church; they feel that it is not necessary to go to Church anymore. That you can just sit in front of TV and you will be in Church. They feel that as long as you pray every day and read your Bible you have no need for the local Church. This can be justified sometimes – because to be honest; some people have had bad experiences being in Church. Most of these bad experiences are the results of the decisions taken by some of you pastors. The issue is clear; many people do not feel many pastors are doing what the Bible teaches or feel they are needed in Church.

Some are just tired because since they’ve came to your Church they have never done anything other than sit and listen to you talk every Sunday. To be honest, at a point it gets boring. That is not what God expects of Christians. God wants His people trained and released into the community to work and win the souls of people for Him. Educated people don’t have time to sit and listen to one person talk week in and week out. At a point they get tired and find something ‘better’ to do with their time.

Give people something to do in the Church. Do you have a training strategy or some service that is aimed at training Christians? If not, why are you not doing it? The kingdom of God belongs to the people; give them something to do and watch the Church grow.

Dear Pastors; Encourage People To Pursue Their Talents Outside of The Church.

It’s okay for Christians to have degrees and a good education. The world and the Church are in need of educated people. The next generation of Christians is going to be full of some very educated people. You need an educated Church because an educated Church has influence on different institutions in the country. You need Christian artists, lawyers, web developers, accountant, doctors and cleaners.

Encourage your people to pursue being business persons. Having an educated Church is great in the long run. It gets rid of poverty and complains about tithes and offerings in the Church. It also gives the Church a good position of influence in the community.  Not everyone is going to be a prayer warrior or some prophet. Nor do you need a prophet for everything; sometimes all you need is a good graphic designer.

Some who feel called and want to be pastors; encourage them to go to a Bible school for training. The recent strange things happening in the Church in South Africa are a sign of untrained pastors and we are really tired of it. Which brings me to the next point:

Dear Pastors; Stop Giving a Serious Platform to Untrained Young Pastors.

“The real power and test of our ministry (calling) is not in the pulpit or public arena, but in our private lives, our home.” ― Bernard Kelvin Clive

When I say untrained; I mean young people who woke up one day and decided that God has called them and convinced you about it. You know nothing about them; you have no idea how they became Christians or what is their definition of Christianity. But just because this guy comes to all the Church’s services and has done some wonderful things you believe he deserves to be some sort of a pastor in your Church and you actually fall for it.

I warn you; you will have a lot of problems to deal with in the future. Yes, allow them to work and assist; but never ever give an untrained person a position of authority. Most of these young people have a lot issues and will still have them 5 years from now. I know this because I am young. Trust me when I say this; we have issues.

Train and watch them work; evaluate and keep on testing them. Take your time do not rush. There is no need to declare someone a pastor just because they preach well. Who said they need a title anyway?  I prefer to be called Brother Adolf.  Even if I get called that until I die, I will be fine with it. Christianity is about doing; not positions or titles.

Do not ordain anyone in any serious position in the Church without having spoken to God enough about it. I repeat; young people have issues. You will be there thinking the guy is perfect not knowing there is some things he needs deliverance from. I repeat; young people have issues.

“Youth ministry is not about getting things accomplished – only the act of God can bring about the transformation we seek. Youth ministry is about participating deeply in young people’s lives as we await, together in suffering & joy, the coming of God.”  ― Andrew Root, Unlocking Mission and Eschatology in Youth Ministry

Dear Pastors; We Are God’s People.

It is time to start viewing people as being the property of God and not your property. Just because people are willing to pay tithes and offerings in your Church it does not mean you own them or they cannot be good Christians elsewhere without you. It is time to start valuing people as they are not for what they can give.

Once you start treating people God has given you as your source of income and a tool to build yourself some small empire; you are creating an environment that’ll drive people out of the Church. People are not stupid. If you are doing wrong; people will rebel.

I want to make it clear to you that Church members do have the Bible in different versions; we do study and read it. We are educated and know what Christianity is and what it is not. Just because few people can’t see through you it does not mean the rest cant.

Be authentic and preach what is right. The people are not much what you should worry about; it is God you are working for/with that should worry you; are you doing what he approves or not? Christians belongs to God that includes you the pastor.

This was not as bad as you expected right? I really care about the pastoral office and I wish it could be treated with respect and dignity. I may be speaking from some arrogance and ego that is hidden somewhere deep inside my heart but I believe the words I have expressed here are worthy of much considerations. After all; I am youth. We can all write so much (I will always continue to write) but at the end of the day it all goes down to this: are we doing what God approves? Are we doing what the Scriptures say we should be doing? If not, we should consider our ways.

Thanks for reading; let me hear your thoughts and sentiments on the topic.