Celebrated US televangelist, Pastor Mike Murdock has shed light on some of his experiences in his 57 years of doing ministry.
Murdock gave insight into these experiences during a broadcast shared on his Twitter handle on April 25.
The 77-year-old said he was quite naive as a young minister and had thought the church was all about good people. He however had to learn the hard way as he progressed in ministry.
Making allusion to his background, he said his father painted a perfect picture of who a Christian is.
“My father prayed for about 15 hours every day. He did not talk much. People loved him. He built seven churches across seven cities in his lifetime. My background was so much about the goodness of God. My father was anti-television. He believed television destroys the Jesus life inside of you So I never got my first television until I was 35 years old.
“I never heard my father say anything bad about people. He did not even say bad things about bad people. I really thought everybody was glorious and wonderful when I went to Bible college. I did not know there were evil people in the church too. I loved everybody. I believed in everybody. I believe everybody was trustworthy. In my growing-up years, I heard statements like If you don’t have anything good to say about somebody, don’t say it at all.”
Murdock who is the founder of Wisdom Christian Centre however said he experienced many shocks because he did not prepare for what he later faced in life.
I thought everybody was wonderful. “My life was a collection of shocks because I was not prepared for what I faced,” he said.
He said one of the mistakes he made in ministry is not being adaptive to the protocol of the environments where he went to preach.
“I did not know churches have protocols. I went to a church and I was given some protocols. The pastor told me I was not to create friendships with his church people. I never heard anything like that.” he said.
He recalled he once came to preach in Nigeria and the host pastor spoke to him harshly because he preached for too long. “I was in Nigeria, the pastor of the church I went to preach called me and tongue lashed me that his people did not get home until 2 am the previous night because I preached so long. I was horrified. I had disappointed the host pastor.”
Murdock said he now asked how long he could preach and the pastor said 40 minutes.
He however said the Nigerian pastor was a good man. “He was generous. But I was so distraught because he tore me like a tiger because I preached too long. Every environment is different, their expectations are different.”
Murdock advised that pastors should be courageous to tell guest preachers how many minutes they are expected to preach before they are invited. “I was in Colorado and I was told I had 20 minutes to preach. I was wondering because I flew over a thousand miles just to preach for 22 minutes. “
Sharing yet another experience, he said, “One night I was so obsessed with the coming of Christ. That was my father’s message, Jesus is coming soon. So I began to share with the people about a famous woman who had predicted the end time. I told people about what she said in her book. A pastor walked to me and said she is not from God. The pastor’s face was on me. I was like 22 then.”
Giving further counsel, he said, the itinerant preacher must be able to accommodate the differences in people’s ministries He added that such a preacher must also seek to understand the protocol of his host church so there won’t be a problem.
On finance, he said, “Financial arrangement must be well discussed. Normally an evangelist receives offerings at the close of his message. Sometimes people who love the evangelist can give him something. The life of an evangelist has challenges. He has to create credibility with people he had never seen.”
He recalled how a pastor he loved gave him 300 dollars after preaching for eight nights. “I was shocked. I went to him and asked if that was the entire offering. He told me I had a money problem. I said I don’t have a money problem and that I had bills to pay. He did not ask for me again in 4 years.”
Murdock said he made an inquiry about the preacher and he found out that what he always gave as honorarium was 300 dollars. He said he called Jimmy Swaggart, who had always preached in the man’s church. “Swaggart confirmed to him that the man never gave more than 300 dollars to guest preachers”
While noting that an evangelist must adapt to whatever the situation presents per time, he said, “I was not his staff. He had every right to give me if possible 50 dollars. I have gone to preach in churches where I asked pastors to raise offering for me. And I have gone to other gatherings where I did not receive offering but rather I blessed the people”
He recalled, “I was in a big church of about 200000 people and I was going to receive offering for the pastor. The pastor yelled at me and said nobody else takes offering but me. I flew 8000 miles to preach in the church. He yelled at me like a dog. I had not discussed the protocols of his church.”
According to Murdock, “It is good the evangelist spends time with the pastor and get to know his needs and how you can invest the authenticity of your anointing.”
Money according to him is a proof of honour, the Bible encourages us to honour the Lord with our substance.
He said he has also learnt that people rarely understand at the first instance. What you keep hearing, you begin to understand what you understand becomes your persuasion, which empowers your decision-making. So you must keep repeating that which you want to pass across.”