I’m beginning to think that almost every social media complaint that begins with “The Church”, actually means, “The Pastor”.
Part of the problem is what I call the “inversion” of Christianity. Physical churches are meant to serve as training grounds that equip saints for the work of the ministry, in the world. Instead, they seem to have become central bureaucracies that hoard talent and resources inside the church. Nowadays, Christians bring their gifts to church and then, churches centrally dispense those gifts on their behalf, through the Pastors.
So, when we say, “Church doesn’t do something”, we actually mean, “The Pastor doesn’t do it”, since local churches in Nigeria are “undemocratic”.
The thing is, no one really stops Christians from doing anything. We collaborate every day in business and in life. Therefore, we should stop waiting for our Pastors’ permission to make an impact. We should stop resenting the fact that a Pastor is not using the money we freely donate, on societal issues. It was our money in the first place. We can deploy it where we like. We should stop outsourcing compassion, giving and social responsibility to the church and then start complaining about it. I believe that the “physical” church was originally designed to be a place of teaching, fellowship and power. It is NOT the administrative arm of God’s government. The PEOPLE who make up the church are.
On the issue of money and Pastors – I don’t know if there is any New Testament model, where the Pastor solely allocates excess funds for his personal and exclusive use. Paul, who designed the popular administrative model for the church chose not to, even though he could. Jesus chose not to. So, I wonder where we got the sense of “It’s their right”, from.
To those who quote that we must not muzzle those who work, it is instructive that in that analogy, the cattle and the workers are never better fed than those they serve. Soldiers never get entangled in administration. Teachers never compete with or dominate their students. They equip them for greatness and delight in them graduating and moving on to greater exploits.
There is so much intellectual property that the Pastor legitimately owns and which he/she can profit from. Pastors own the copyrights to their teachings. There is so much goodwill that they possess. There are freewill gifts and remuneration that they have access to. They can be rich if they choose to be, and if they deem money to be essential to their happiness and family prosperity.
It always strikes me as amusing that many of our Pastors began ministry as teenagers and young adults. They were exactly in the same shoes that members of their youth congregation are in now. They used to be frustrated by how church was being managed and desired something fresh and new. Sadly, they have now become the establishment. Like Nigerian politicians, they are sensitive to criticism and have a tendency to look down on the young and to hold on to power.Christians need to stop outsourcing compassion and social responsibility to church. Click To Tweet Many Pastors began ministry as teenagers. Now, they are sensitive to criticism, look down on the young and hold on to power. Click To Tweet