Home Columnist IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU!


by Church Times

One of the realities of life is the fact that man is a lover of achievement. At every level, human beings want to be credited for having accomplished one thing or the other. Even a child loves to be appreciated for having gotten a task done. A simple applause could be a major motivating factor for an adult .In the school of psychology output tends to increase when there is an appropriate measure of encouragement by whatever means.

But is this reality often experienced in the field of Christian service? Of course there will always be the need for encouragement and motivation but the reality is that it may not always come. Sometimes irrespective of the level and quality of service rendered, the minister may not experience a commensurate appreciation. At this point, more often than not, the inner quality of the minister is revealed. Sometimes this poses a strong test or temptation to the minister such that the fibre with which he or she is made of is shown for all to see.

Some of the things that have been noticed overtime in the Christian service are the attempts that even respected ministers have repeatedly made to ensure their protection in event of none or poor appreciation either by their associates or by the people to whom they minister. The basic idea is ‘being in control’ of the entire affair. This explains why the Pastor, Priest or Minister would rather build the Church or Ministry around himself and his household because that would put him in the place of control and not at the mercy of anyone. That would also ‘prevent’ the situation of having to wait for anyone to determine what accrues to him or her at the end of the day.

But it is very important to note the ideal difference between the CEO of an industry and a GO (General Overseer) of a ministry. The bottom line is the issue of control and who takes charge. The CEO tends to pull all the strings in his favour and that of the industry and for that reason he could ‘hire and fire’ at will. And because for him profit comes before people, he would rather sacrifice the latter for the former. But the GO is primarily a servant who does not own anything in the first place. The ministry for him is not a ‘profit making’ venture as within the context of an industry; the ministry is a family in which every individual matters not on the basis of ‘productivity’ but personality. The GO runs the ministry as a servant who must administer the provision of the household to the members according to their appropriate needs unlike the CEO who seeks to make the people discharge their duties to maximise profit and be able to pay, if he wishes, for the service they render.

Well, that is not exhaustive, but it attempts to show what should be in a normal situation especially on the part of the Christian minister. But that seems not feasible at this time as what is apparent is the running of Ministry in a CEO style. Churches and Ministries seem to be turning to industries and losing their family status because the leadership tends to be changing from being fathers with the hearts of servants and would rather prefer to be seen and addressed as captains of industries and Chief Executive Officers. That explains why in some churches or Para-Church institutions, people, especially workers, are not more than what machines are in the industries.

The Christian Minister today must realise that the work of the ministry is not about him or herself. The mentality of a servant must permeate the minds of God’s Ministers today. Among other characteristics is the fact that a servant does not have an achiever’s mentality irrespective of his accomplishments. Because he is living in the overwhelming reality of the fact that he is owned by someone, he is never ‘excited’ by whatever he possesses or achieves ;of course the more he owns the richer his owner becomes because he who owns the servant owns his properties as well.

Therefore there has to be a detachment of the minister’s mind from consciousness of a possessor. That may incite the feeling of vulnerability but there lies divine protection and genuine trust in God. There is rest and joy in the mental attitude that even if after all efforts, commensurate appreciation did not come from people the Lord to whom the service is ultimately rendered neither sleeps nor slumbers. Servant of the Most High, you therefore need not control God’s People or manipulate them and what they own. You need not build the ministry or the Church around yourself and or your family in the name of protection; you need not overload yourself and God’s people with so many unnecessary activities as if that is your source of survival. And even if there is no applause after you have done your best rejoice still because after all, it is not about you!

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