EVALUATING YOUR MINISTRY FOR FRUITS





"Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” John 15:2

Christianity is not a call to live for self but a call into the Kingdom of God where we are equipped to impact and change our world. It’s a call to impact lives positively. Ironically, we see Christians that boast of five years and above in Christ without anyone or anything to point to as their fruit.

There are two categories of fruits that are expected from every believer; One of which is the fruit of the Spirit that is expected to be reflected from every believer. This is the fruit that comes from within the individual and it is reflected in character. This fruit is spelt out in Galatians 5:22-23a NKJV: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” The main focus of this article is on the other, which is the fruits of our various ministries or services in God’s vineyard.

There should be corresponding fruit, outcome or product for every labour, work, service or ministry that is rendered. It is foolishness to continue to engage in any labour that doesn’t have any fruit or product to show for it. In the same vein, every ministry of every Believer, no matter how small or insignificant it might be, should have corresponding fruit, which is an indicator that the ministry of the minister is productive. Ironically, there are a lot of services or ministries in God’s house today which are “spiritually unproductive” but have turned to mere entertainment, tradition and “religious activities”.

There should be corresponding fruit for every ministry (service) that is being done in and outside the house of God. And being fruitful in ministry is not limited to the five-fold ministry. It is applicable to simple ministries and offices in the house of God like the Ushering, Choir, Protocol, Drama, Deacons, Administrators, Elders, Pastors, Evangelist, Teachers etc.

Someone like Apostle Paul understood this concept, He is one of the most fruitful individual in the New Testament. He wished to visit the Church in Rome and for what purpose? “that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.” Roman 1:13. The Church at Corinth were the fruits of Paul. 1 Corinthians 4:15, 9:2. He had a lot of fruits in his ministry.

Come to think of it, of what use is it for you to be called a deacon or deaconess in the Church without fruit or any record of those you have affected positively? What is the spiritual value of you being a chorister? Who has your ministry or even your christianity impacted? Is it merely for entertaining the congregants?

Many believers are like the fig tree that was cursed by Jesus Christ. He expected the tree to have brought forth fruits, for its leaves were green, signifying that it got all the required nutrients needed for fruitfulness (Mark 11:12-14, 20,21). In like manner, some Christian have gotten enough word of God, revelations and spiritual nutrients from their Churches, yet, there is nothing to show or nobody to point at as their fruits of ministry.

As simple as the ministry of an usher is, it should have fruit that is see-able. Each minister in God’s vineyard should be able to point  and say with certainty that “these are the fruits of my ministry for such period of time”. When a Minister is not conscious of seeing and having fruits in the ministry, such will end up living a life of assumption that all is well, whereas, he is only engaging in a foolish act without being productive.

The end point of every ministry is to affect lives positively. No matter how abstract your ministry might seem like, it must translate to changing lives. Any ministry that only ends in the “air” or in the “spirit” without having an effect in changing a life is only mere religiosity. The sound from the drum of the drum minister must be converted from just sound to having a lasting impact in the heart of the one that is being ministered to, otherwise, it is mere entertainment. Our ministry must translate to becoming flesh in the life of humans.

Every ministry is not towards self but towards another man. This implies that the primary purpose of your ministry is not to make you feel good but to make another man feel good and be transformed. No ministry should be done to satisfy one’s ego. It means that your ministry should be aimed at adding value to another man. Every of your ministrations should be aimed at changing lives.

I wish to state that our ministries as believers are not and should not be limited to the four walls of our Churches. Let’s go beyond the Church. The number of people we can affect in our Church is limited compared to the vast majority of people outside the church. We have more opportunities to affect many people that are outside the Church. Let’s take advantage of our work environment, neighbourhoods, schools and everywhere we go to make our ministry count.

Tips for Having Fruits in Ministry
1.      Strong desire. You must have a strong desire to be productive in your ministry.
2.     Intentional. You must be intentional about having fruit. All your actions must be geared towards that purpose.
3.      Plan. You must have a strategic plan on ground to achieve your aim.
4.      Priority. Make it your topmost priority in life to impact lives.
5.   Fulfil all condition. For you to see fruits in your ministry, you must of necessity, meet all the condition that is required.
6.   Business approach. Apply business approach to your ministry with the expectation of seeing result at the end of every ministry exercise.
7.  Conversion. You must see to it that every spiritual experience or exercise is converted to something applicable to the physical world.
8.      Take inventory and evaluate. Wisdom demands that you take an inventory of how your ministry is faring, whether you are achieving your aim or not. Evaluate the fruitfulness of your ministry once in a while. You can do it monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually.

Hindrances To Being Fruitful In Ministry
1.      Lack of intimate relationship with Jesus; It is an irony to think that you can bear fruits by your own power. In this system, God the Father is the Vinedresser, Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches who are supposed to remain attached to the vine in other for us to bear fruit. If we refused to abide in the Vine, through personal and intimate relationship, we shouldn’t expect to bear fruit. John 15:4-5.
2.     Poor time management skill; There is a required period of time needed to till every ground for the cultivation of crops in other to see fruit. When you do not give the required time needed to see you through to the stage of fruitfulness in your ministry because of lack of good time management skill, you will not see the needed fruit in your ministry. You must of necessity give a lot of time to your ministry if you must be productive.
3.    Life’s challenges; If you allow the challenges of life and ministry to overwhelm you, you will never be productive. Expecting every condition to be perfect for you to give in your best to your ministry for fruitfulness is an expectation that will never come to pass. You must learn and strive to be fruitful in any and every condition. Challenges should be the stepping stone for you to fulfil God’s will.
4.    Half-hearted service; You will never see a good result on what you have not given yourself wholly to. It’s important you give your whole being to the course you have chosen to pursue if you must see result. There are definitely many other things that are striving to get your attention. Make fulfilling your ministry your topmost priority.
5.      The system and cares of the world; The system of this world is not designed to help you fulfil purpose. As a matter of fact, it is conditioned to work against you and all that is God’s. It is designed to distract you from being productive. If you must see fruits in your ministry, you must overcome the system and cares of this world. You must live for a higher purpose whose focus is above the world system where Christ is seated.
6.    Sin; If you are still enjoying the pleasure of sin, then you are not ready to get result in your ministry. Sin has a spiritual effect on your ministry; it kills your plant, that is your effort in ministry, before it even bears fruit. Allowing sin in your life is allowing spiritual parasite into your vineyard of ministry.
7.      Poor human relationship; A good relationship with people makes your ministry to be accepted by all, which in turn gives you the ground (heart) for the seed of your ministry to be planted for fruit bearing. When you have poor relationship with people in your sphere of life, you are indirectly building a blockage between you and the people you are supposed to affect positively.
8.      Financial illiteracy; In most occasion, money is needed to run a ministry whether it is personal or corporate ministry. This could be a challenge especially when one is financially illiterate. We have to learn to start small with the little we have and grow it big with time. Our finance status is not the issue here, but the wisdom to maximize what we have for greater productivity.
9.    The Adversary, the devil; If you allow the devil or you are ignorant of his schemes, he will destroy your effort in ministry. This does not always come from the angle of spiritual attack but in subtle way which you least expected, e.g. like bringing offence that leads to grudges and bitterness which in turn sever your relationship with men and God.
Signs That Your Ministry Is Fruitful
1.      Sense of Fulfilment; Sense of fulfilment and your conscience bearing witness.
2.  Feedback and Testimony; Feedback from people whom your ministry has affected is an indicator. Testimony of how your ministry has changed them is a sign. Sometimes, praise from people is a sign that your ministry is productive.
3.   Increase in the Church; One of the undeniable effects of every Christian bearing fruit is the increase in God’s Church. This increase includes but not limited to numerical growth, spiritual growth and life transformation.

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain…” John 15:16a.


The Dignity of Labour vs. the Concept of Favour



Lately, I had a meeting with some Christian youths where I asked how many of them love “labour”. Only two hands went up. But when I asked how many of them love “favour”, every hands went up. I understood why they took that stand. This is because of the emphasis on “favour” and the misconception of the word “labour” in our Churches today, while relegating the dignity of labour.

If you have a misconception of these two words, you will be waiting for God to make things happen for you while your counterparts and competitors who are unbelievers, would be working their way to success. That would only confirm the proverb of our Lord Jesus Christ when he said that; “for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” Luke 16:8b.

The concept of favour does not negate the concept of labour; this is one truth you need to accept. You need to work. You have to be diligent in what you do; this is what will open the door of favour for you to stand before kings and great men. For the Scripture says; “Seest thou a man diligent (industrious) in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” Proverbs 22:29.

The concept of favour

Never forget that we are living in a world that runs on laws and principles and not by magic or luck. Just because you are a Christian doesn’t automatically mean that you will enjoy favour when you lack good morals or you are lackadaisical about your responsibilities.

Favour is not free. Favour comes after you have done the best; through diligent in whatever you are doing. You enjoy favour from your costumer when you are good at what you do. Favour does not come by confession alone, but by diligence and by following the principles of life.

One of such principles that guarantee favour is showing kindness and courteous. This will make people to love you back and show you favour where necessary. To confirm this Proverbs 3:3-4 reads; “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.”

I don’t just believe in favour, I love favour and I do experience favour. However, maturity has taught me that favour is not free. There are conditions that put you in the place of favour and one of which is being industrious at what you do. I don’t enjoy favour just because I am Gavin. No! It came, either directly or indirectly because of the input or impact I have made to a persons or a system. You too can agree with me that every favour you have ever enjoyed came as a result of a seed you have sown which might be seed of kindness or labour.

The concept of labour

On the other hand, labour is not a sinful act neither is it a bad word, as some suppose. Labour is not a result of the fallen nature. Actually, work was instituted by God even before the fall of man (Genesis chapter 1 & 2). The fall of man only made the nature of work to be more difficult. So, the call to labour is not a call to frustration but a call to be co-creator with God.

Every student that has ever succeeded in his or her academics will attest to the fact that they had to labour hard in their studies to achieve the feet they got. Without corresponding hard work, success is not guarantee. It is when you’ve put in the required effort that God comes in to bless the work of your hand, thereby making you to experience favour before men.

Labour is what makes a man. The end result of any venture is not actually what makes a man but rather the process that he went through to achieve that result. Completion of the process of preparation is what opens the doors of favour and opportunity. Esther had to go through the rigorous process of preparation and purification before she got the favour of the King Ahasuerus. Cutting corners in the name of walking in favour is not good for anyone.

Paul made it clearly that he laboured more than all the apostles. 1 Corinthians 15:10 reads;  But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace (favour) which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace (favour) of God which was with me.” The results of his labour are shown in the book of Acts and his letters are all as a result of his industriousness.

For those that suggest that Believers shouldn’t labour, they should understand that the word labour appeared more than 87 times in the Bible. Few of which are:

“…wealth from hard work grows over time. Proverbs 13:11b NLT

Hard work always pays off;” Proverbs 14:23a MSG

“The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour. Proverbs 21:25

“There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.” Ecclesiastics 2:24.

“Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” Ephesians 4:28.

“For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.” 1 Thessalonians 2:9

“And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.” 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13.

“Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” Hebrews 4:11.

All the above Scriptures are pointers to the fact that we should be hardworking and serious with whatever we are doing if we must become successful in our endeavour.

Jesus Christ understood the concept of labour that is why He prayed the Father to send in more labourers. Matthew 9:37 “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers (not people that are only depending on favour) into his harvest.”

God is not a respecter of persons. God only respects the laws and principles He has put in place to govern the earth. That is why the Scripture speaking about God, reads; “for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” An unbeliever who labours hard in his course would succeed more than a Christian that is lazing around; but only expecting favour.

We should stop lazing around with the wrong mindset that we are not expected to labour hard. For you to succeed and enjoy favour in whatever you are doing, you must of necessity work hard and become the best in it. Let’s become industrious in whatever we have decided to do in life.

HINTS TO ACHIEVING ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE



What is excellence?

Excellence is the quality of being outstanding or extremely good at what you do. It is a conscious develop attitude or habit over a period of time. It is not a trait that is inherited but one that is developed. That is why you could find a man that has excelled in all his endeavours but his children are failures, you also find a reverse of the same case. This is because the trait of excellence cannot be transferred by blood, but it can only be learnt and developed. This goes to show that you can excel in life whether your biological parents are successful or not.

Excellence doesn’t imply perfection, but it’s only a walk towards perfection. And it has a price tag which is sacrifice. Excellence is never achieved on a platter of gold. You don’t achieve excellence just by being indifferent to things that concern you. Excellence is a spirit. Excellence should be developed to become a habit which is exhibited in everything that one does.

Achieving academic excellence

You can apply excellence in every of your endeavour in life. One aspect of life that demands excellence is in the aspect of academics. I believe everyone can excel academically if they desire it and if they know how to achieve it.

One of the first steps to achieving academic excellence is having the right motivation. Why do you want that degree? What is your drive? What do you want to achieve with that degree? If you can answer these questions rightly, you would not need anyone to compel you to study or put in your best.

Let us have some tips that would keep us focused and motivated in achieving academic excellence.

1.      Know and believe in yourself. The first step towards achieving excellence in your academics is to know yourself and believe in what you can do. Have confidence in yourself and your inherent ability.
2.      Know your limitations and weak point: Know your weak point and limitations and work at it. For example, if you are an engineering student but you are poor in mathematics; that is a weak point that would affect other of your courses. Work on improving in mathematics.
3.      Know your strength. Know yourself, your worth, your built, strength and abilities. Everyone have something that puts them at advantage. Look critically into your life and check what you have and leverage on it.
4.      Set a target. Have a goal in mind. What grade are you targeting in that course? Do you have all it takes to achieve that? If not, go work at getting all it takes to achieve your target. When you set a target, you brace up yourself to achieve it.
5.      Know what it requires. You need to know what it takes (the cost and sacrifice it requires) to achieve your goal. Does it require you get a new book? Does it require that you increase the number of hour of studies? Check it up and give it all it takes.
6.      Prioritize your activities. Set things in your life in order of importance. What priority have you placed in achieving that degree vis-à-vis other activities that are prone to eating up your time? Check it up and place achieving that degree a top priority and you will see that you will succeed.
7.      Discipline yourself to study: this is a conscious control over your life and lifestyle. You have to be in control of your life and not leave it to chance. You can not achieve anything in life without self-discipline. You should not wait for an external force to push you to do what you ought to do.
8.      Stay Focused. Focus all your time, energy and resources in achieving that goal. Give it all it takes to achieve your aim. Don’t allow anything to take you off course.
9.      Manage your time. Manage and organize your time in such a way so as to achieve maximum return from it. Understand your peak period and leverage on it. Do away with every form of time wasters.
10.  Keep right association. Keep right company that would spur you to achieve excellence in your academics. Never associate with friends that would waste your time or divert your focus.
11.  Prepare early. Prepare adequately and early for your test and examination. The saying that, “proper preparation prevent poor performance”, still holds true today. You can achieve much if you prepare early.
12.  Depend on God’s blessings. Never forget nor neglect the God factor. Trust God to crown your effort with success.

Beware of the following attitude

1.    Indolence. Laziness and idleness attitudes must be avoided. To achieve success you must negate laziness. For hard work is a major requirement to achieving success.
2.    Procrastination. What must be done must be done in the right time. Avoid the habit of postponing doing things that makes for academic excellence.
3.      Stupidity. Avoid doing things or indulging in things or acts that would jeopardise your chances of achieving success in your academics.
4.      Nonchalance. A nonchalant attitude is one that is indifferent about important things. When one is nonchalant about his or her studies, he is bound to fail. You can’t be unserious about your studies. For you to achieve academic excellence, you must take achieving that degree very important.

HONOURING OR WORSHIPPING THE MEN OF GOD




If there is anything that has been abused in Christendom today, it is the word called “honour”. Many have crossed the line between honouring men of God to worshiping them. The apostles that worked with the Lord had limitation to what they received from men in the name of honour, so as not to direct men to themselves but to the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 10:25-26, Acts 14:13-15). Even, Angels in their celestial state refused to be worshipped (Revelations 19:10, 22:8-9), but today, reverse is the case.

There is no denying the fact that God has set an order for us to honour Him and also to honour those He has put in authority over us which include but not limited to our biological parents, rulers, our bosses and our spiritual leaders, etc, because of the roles the play in our lives. This is commanded irrespective of whether the person in authority deserves it or not. Because at the long run, every one of them will give account to God about their stewardship to you and the honour they’ve gotten from you. Therefore, there shouldn’t be room for rudeness and insubordination to them.

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. Hebrews 13:17.

It’s important to note that honour is not only befitting to those in authority alone but to all men. In 1 Peter 2:17, the same honour that is said to be given to kings was also said should be given to all men. It reads: “Honour all men…  Honour the king.” This is to show you how God looks at all men with the eyes of equality.

To honour is to prize or fix a value upon a person with the value God the Creator has placed on such. Worship on the other hand is an acknowledgement of allegiance to a superior being which is solely to God Almighty. Honour entails treating with respect, love, truthfulness, courtesy, encouragement, appreciation and loyalty. It also entails praying, which is one of the great way you can honour those in authority according to the Scripture. I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority…. 1 Timothy 2:1-2a.

One of the major differences between honour and worship according to the Scripture is that, honour is made for everyone but worship is strictly to God. Besides the fact that worship is only to be ascribed to God and not to any man, there is a thin line between the acts of honour and worship especially in this New Testament era whereby Tabernacle (Old Testament) kind of worship no longer applied. And we must be careful to know this line so as not to cross the boundary.

The terminology as to whether a practise should be described as worship or honour is not the contention here. The problem is this, anytime we ascribe God’s honour to humans, we’ve crossed the line into idolatry; that is the worship of man. God alone should be given glory, praise, adoration and power. (Revelations 4:11, 15:4, Nehemiah 9:6). For God is sovereign overall including every minister of the gospel, regardless of what their title or relationship to you might be. God will never share His glory with any man including a Pastor, Bishop, General Overseer, Apostle, Teacher or whoever.

“I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” Isaiah 42:8

In today’s Church, the act of honouring spiritual leaders has been perverted. There has been a subtle migration of honouring spiritual leaders to worshiping them. It’s a thin line that has been crossed; God’s position in this regards is lowered while His ministers are being elevated to the position that was supposed to be solely for God.

A case whereby a congregation gives glory to their man of God for the great things he has  done, forgetting that God does not take second place neither does He share His glory with any man including your pastor who is being worshiped. This is coming from the fact that men are focusing on the messenger rather than the God of the messenger.

When men of God are perceived as being invincible and infallible, they are prone to be worshiped rather than being honoured. Such a man is only being setup for failure and the people that do that will be disappointed in the long run.


Nobody should expect any minister of God to be perfect. However, reverse is the case today; when a spiritual leader is used of God to do great miracles, his followers are tempted to view him as invincible, infallible and to be worshiped. At such point, a genuine minister of the gospel should help his followers by pointing them to God and not to himself or herself.

There is definitely a need to honour and appreciate ministers of the gospel for their public and private labour of love for the course of the expansion of the kingdom of God. They should be encouraged for they also face diverse challenges and fiery spiritual battles in the course of their ministries. They need to be encouraged either through loyalty, gifts, being prayed for, etc. We should not add to the burdens they are already carrying but rather make the burden lighter.

Mere kneeling, applauding and bowing to a minister of God does not necessarily imply that you are worshiping them. This is because we have diverse cultures which have such practices and acts imbedded in their tradition as a show of respect for elders and those in authority. For example, the way of greeting elders by the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria, West Africa; the younger men prostrates flat on the ground. Bowing down while greeting is part of the Chinese culture. These might be similar to a form of worship in the Old Testament, but the state and focus of the heart is the determining factor whether it’s worship or mere honour.

Where such an act can be connected to worship is the motive and effect of such an act. It’s the focus of the heart at such point. Take for instance; when you kneel before any man and in your heart you are viewing him as your “alpha and omega”, as if your existence and miracle depends on him, then you have crossed from just honouring to worshiping. When you see or put man as God without seeing the true God, then you have started worshiping the man.

You have to ask yourself these questions:
  1. Is your focus on man or God?
  2. Is your action exalting man or God?
  3. Are you pointing people to man or God, by your actions?
  4. Is man or God been glorified by your action?
  5. Is your testimony glorifying man or God?
  6. Is your faith based on a man’s word or on God and His word?

In honouring men of God, healthy boundaries should be placed. Even when you are giving honour with a pure motive, you should always ask yourself if the person that is receiving the honour would be able to handle it, so that your honour won’t get to his head. Man’s personality is fragile; help your pastor by not giving them honour that will drift them away from the way. It is dangerous for them and for you too.

Honour, but never worship any man; for we serve a jealous God and woe to that man who takes God’s worship.

For more clarity on this subject, read article on my blog titled 18 Signs that shows you are worshiping your Pastor rather than God.



THE FALLIBILITY OF THE MEN OF GOD




Before 1870 AD, no Pope was considered fallible. Even before then, Pope Adrian VI said It is certain that the Pontiff ... may err in those things which pertain to faith.” Similarly, Pope Paul IV said “I do not doubt that I and my predecessors may sometimes have erred.” These were men that were sincere to themselves and to the world; they understood the frailty of the human nature, the tendency of humans to err.

The infallibility of the Pope is a dogma in the Catholic Church that states that “when (the Papacy is), in the exercise of his office as Shepherd and Teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church.” This implies that the interpretation of the Scripture by the Roman Pontiff who is the Pope is and should be held as the accurate truth, void of no error as it relates to moral, doctrine and the Christian faith.

In 1517 AD, Martin Luther the Reformer led a protest against the authority of the Papacy on issues bordering on Church malpractices and the interpretation of the Scriptures especially in matters that concerns the basic tenets of the Christian faith, thereby challenging the ‘Infallibility of the Pope’. Down through the line, the Reformers, which were also known as the Protestants, gave birth to what is now known as the Pentecostal, Charismatic or/and Evangelical.

Ironically, the same points that the Protestants objected to in 1517 AD are now being repeated by some Pentecostal and Evangelical Church of today. There is this unspoken but profound belief that whatever a man of God says is void of error and should be taken as a sole truth coming from God Almighty. It should not be questioned or subjected to scrutiny and verification. This has come to be because of the imaginary high position that some ministers of the gospel have placed themselves or they have been placed by their followers. This has given rise to mass duplication of heresies and spiritual error; all these because men have refused to acknowledge their limitations.

I am not suggesting that man through the help of the Holy Spirit cannot give accurate interpretation to the Scripture in matters that relates to doctrine and the Christian faith. What I am suggesting is that every Christian should learn to verify and cross examine whatever any man of God says to them or practise as doctrine. Know God by yourself. Study the Scripture by yourself. You can achieve this feat because you have the same access to the same God and the Holy Spirit dwells in you.

In our world today, especially in the Pentecostal and Evangelical settings, you will find many ministers of the gospel who indirectly claim sole ownership of Christianity and the Church, the body of Christ! They believe they have the prerequisite to dictate how the music goes in Christendom. With such position, it’s my opinion that we are only repeating the errors of history - the errors of the Church that caused the Great Schism and the Reformation.

Every human is capable of error. Jesus Christ was exempted because he was conceived of the Holy Ghost and not of an earthly father. Being born again, Spirit filled and Word loaded does not exclude any man from error. This is given to the fact that men are still putting on this flesh that is frail. The moment we accept this truth, the easier it will be to embrace the advice of Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:12 (MSG) which reads: Don't be so naive and self-confident. You're not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it's useless. Cultivate God-confidence.

All ministers of the gospel are humans, and all humans make mistakes, irrespective of the genuine men of God; they are also fallible. However, that does not negate the fact that they are called into the ministry. Human mistakes should be condoned, but spiritual errors, wrong interpretation and application of the Scriptures and doctrinal errors should be considered as falsehood and be discarded. Every believer must be on the watch against any form of falsehood in the Church especially from respected clergymen.

In Galatians 2:11-14, Paul withstood Apostle Peter when it seems Peter was living a double standard life despite the fact that he was supposed to be an elder of the Church. This implies that not even the first apostles were excluded from getting things wrong.

One of the great strategies of the devil against the Church is to strike the Shepherd so as to scatter the sheep. Take for example, if a leader of a Church of 5,000 members makes spiritual error in the interpretation and application of the Scripture, he will successfully lead his 5000 congregation into error. This is the strategy the devil has been using for ages and he has been successful with it simply because leaders have refused to acknowledge their imperfection, and their followers so venerate and dignify them as beyond the ordinary- divine and free of making errors.

Leaders in the Church of Christ must acknowledge their limitations as humans. They must know that they are mere men, susceptible to errors. Any man can fall anytime. Any man of God can veer into heresy anytime. That is why Apostle Paul wrote by the Holy Ghost:

Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don't think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Romans 12:3 NLT

Down through the history, great men of God have come and gone. Many started well but ended poorly.  If you are a student of Christian history and biography, you will agree with me that most of them failed in one aspect or the other. Most of them started well but later veered into error and heresy. This has given birth to the different sects, denominations and cults in Christianity today.

Most of the Israelites who followed Moses out of Egypt to the Promised Land might not have been aware that there was a bridge between the relationship of Moses their great leader and God, after he struck the rock for water rather than speaking to it. Likewise, you might be surprised to find out who you call your spiritual father or mentor has already missed it and he is already working in disobedience before God. Just like King Saul, some of our great ministers that started well; the spirit of God has already left them!

Every Christian must also acknowledge the fact concerning our Christian leaders and mentors. Thank God for their great achievements, but don’t be fooled that because of their spiritual great feat they can’t err. We must know that our leaders are not all-knowing or all-powerful, but they have weaknesses. That is why it is good to always scrutinize and evaluate our spiritual leaders’ views of scriptural interpretation, not with the eyes of being judgmental, but with an open mind so as not to be led into error.

This should compel us to have a direct and personal working relationship with God the Father, through His Son Jesus Christ, according to the Bible and not connecting our faith on any man of God or any denomination, sect or Church. We should let our faith be based on God’s original word rather than what one Pastor, General Overseer, Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Bishop, Reverend or Teacher says.

For the veil has been divided; you now have direct access to God.

This is Apostle Paul’s own confession: “We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete… We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!” 1 Corinthians 13:9, 12 MSG.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...