Alleged sack of 40 pastors by Bishop Oyedepo: Concept of pillars and caterpillars Niyi ADEBAYO (II)
Niyi Adebayo, founder and Lead pastor, True Worshippers Revival Global Ministry Incorporated, opposite College of Health Sciences, LAUTECH, Poat area, Ogbomoso, in the part two of his article, titled, “‘Sacked’ Winners pastors: Humble appeal for redeployment,” he brings to conclusion his views on the alleged sack of 40 pastors by Bishop David O. Oyedepo, founder and Presiding Bishop of Living Faith Church Worldwide, over low generation of revenue, appealing that the men be considered for redeployment.
I made the first post to address the action of the pastor who went public on social media with his sack. I promised to make one more post to air my view on the action of the leadership of the Living Faith Church. I advise you read the posts without prejudice. It will make more meaning to you if you have read my first post on the subject matter.
MY FINAL SUBMISSION
I have met the man of God, Bishop David Oyedepo only twice in person and those two times were during his ministrations as a Guest Speaker at Bishop Francis Wale Oke’s Convention in Ibadan. On one of those occasions, he arrived later than expected. After apologizing for his lateness, he told us the reason for coming about one hour behind schedule. He was out on his usual road-side evangelism and there were lots of converts in the motor park where he went to share the gospel. That testimony was one of the hottest parts of his message on that day that hit me so much…
Reading Bishop Oyedepo’s books and listening to him, you know about his passion, views and ideals for ministry. Listening to him once or twice, you would be able to know his takes on church administration, pastoral ministry and ministerial principles.
KNOW THIS: Before you sign up to be on the ministerial office of any church or ministry, take time to study the minister, the ministry, vision, mission and strategies of the commission. Don’t join a Church ministry because it’s popular or it’s breaking frontiers. It’s deeper than that…
Most of these churches would teach and train their potential pastors for six months or more before they are sent on the field. You will read their modes of operations and be given detailed conditions of service, to say the least. Before you sign up, find out if you can flow with the tradition of the ministry and if you carry the grace to meet up with the demands of their ministerial offices. Don’t be driven by unbridled ambition and unguarded zeal.
Let us separate emotions from reality, many young pastors who troop to take full time ministerial offices from these big churches didn’t receive clear direction for their pastoral calling. Some just want to be in popular organizations, identify with the popularity of the overseer and possibly scout for which church is paying the highest salary and allowances. This is just a casual, professional and secular business approach to ministry. I repeat, ministry is deeper than that. We need to understand the scope and the seriousness of our ministerial callings and the peculiarity of each denomination before we sign up wherever.
LET’S NOT MIX THIS UP: All doctrines must feed into the scriptures. Any doctrine that runs contrary to the Bible is absolutely heretic no matter who is involved. Bible is the source of true doctrines. However, denominations are different in tradition and leadership styles. There’s no way we can have uniformity in traditions, liturgies leadership styles. Church is Christ’s made, denominations are man-made (most times, under God too).
The Anglican Communion, RCCG, Winners Chapel, Christ Life Church and many others engage the ‘Posting Approach’ to assign Pastors to parishes. The Baptist Denomination believes in ‘Call System’ where each local church has guided autonomy to invite any Pastor of their choice; trained in any of their seminaries to lead them. The style of relieving pastors of their works also differ by denominations…
To say the leadership of the Winners Chapel is wrong in her decision to release those Pastors is to take from the commission one of her traditions. We were not there when Bishop Oyedepo was recieving this style from God and we won’t be invited when God will examine him.
I may comment on doctrinal errors but I hardly comment on traditional complications because no denominational tradition is totally perfect. Besides, traditions change with time. They are subject to periodic reviews. For instance, Deeper Life Bible Church has officially embraced christian drama. Anglican Communion now permits baptism by immersion side by side with sprinkling. The Baptist now uses Convention President instead of General Secretary. I’m sure you also know more. If Jesus is the ONLY Object and Centre of worship, soon things would improve.
HUMBLE COUNSELS TO YOUNG MINISTERS
Please, do not sign up for the ministerial office or calling you don’t have grace for. Be careful about this ‘I can do it by faith’ thing. No doubts, faith is sacrosanct to our walk with God and our works for Him. BUT, *faith can only possess what grace makes available*.
Know your borders in ministry and don’t you cross it. If you cross your borders in ministry, you enter into blunders. If God calls you to ‘sweep,’ He will provide the broom but if you decide on your own to ‘cut grass’ instead, He will allow you to look for the cutlass yourself. Jehovah will not fund a vision He didn’t initiate. Be sure it’s the Lord who is leading. If the grace on you is to work as an associate helper in the ministry or to start a mission church or a discipleship centre for God, do it. It will definitely be challenging in the beginning but grace will show up if you can be dedicated, prayerful, skillful and focused.
WHAT DO WE SAY TO WINNERS CHAPEL ON THIS MATTER?
I know that staying up is more difficult than getting up. The Living Faith Church is a very big organization and wouldn’t want to come lower than what she’s known for. We are not in the position to know if those pastors were warned before being released.
Since the organization is big enough, we can only plead that those among them who show loyalty to the vision of the commission be redeployed to serve in any of other sectors of the church’s establishment such as Covenant University, Landmark University, Faith Academy and others that I don’t know of. This is a humble plea. Granting this concession will help a lot. It will be a different case if any of them isn’t willing to accept the secondment. They can continue to serve God in lesser capacities in the church while they still work in other sectors of the commission. This will help sustain their respective families.
WERE THEY SACKED FOR NOT GENERATING MONEY?
The church doesn’t run like ordinary business of life. The church of Christ is the bride of Christ with a sole mission of soul winning. However, salvation is free because Jesus paid for it but gospel (taking salvation to the unsafed is costly)!
If any of those pastors were to be the ‘founders’ of their respective churches and eventually couldn’t meet up with rent of hall, utility, pastor’s accomodation and lots more, wouldn’t they have shut down on their own? I have seen so many in that situation who had to wind up by the force of lack.
More members mean more chairs, more furniture, higher welfare, bigger facilities; more expenses. People out there hardly think about this. They think the only thing that increases with improved membership is income! I have been there and I can tell you they are wrong! The church spends money and we should not look in the direction of the unbelievers for funding. Zion won’t be fed from Babylon! Money to run the church will come from the church. The headquarters will help for some years but will expect each parish to be self-sustaining after a while. So, I don’t think it’s all about money! If the church balances numeric growth with spiritual growth, it will result in structural and material growth for the assembly on a short run; all things being equal. The members won’t need long sermon or fund raising service to give to the course of Christ.
CAVEAT: The ways and manners of appointing people into various ministerial offices need some sorts of caution. I said that with every sense of responsibility and humility. The ways some denominations choose church leadership are not consistent with the provisions of the scriptures. Availability and suitability are not the same. Status, talents and material possession shouldn’t make us look away from spiritual qualifications. I don’t mean to say that anybody is fit and good enough for God’s assignment on merit but some fundamental bedrocks should be carefully guided. This seems to be a disease hitting hard on various mega ministries. If this trend continues, we are yet to witness more sordid opera!
I’m sure some of our fathers in the faith would agree that the way they entered into ministry many years ago is a far cry from what we are seeing now! We shouldn’t mellow down the essence of spiritual weaning and incubation before exposure into ministry. Let them not tolerate for our generation what their mentors didn’t tolerate for them. We need more stringent policies now than in their own days. The line between the church and the world order is becoming thinner by the day.
VMay the good Lord help us all.
I wrote for mature mind. Deep calleth unto the deep. It takes people of the Kingdom to understand the matters of the Kingdom_.