CHURCH BUSINESS: Between the preachers and leaders
By Oludare Mayowa
The church today is filled with preachers who are not conscious of the demonstration of leadership in their actions. When you listen to some of them, you will be tempted to ask God that; ‘let thy kingdom come now’ because of the near excellence of delivery of their messages.
Many of them know the scripture from Genesis to Revelation and have a word for every circumstance and situation.
These are preachers who can dwell on a verse of the scripture and translate into volumes to teach a particular scenario and come up with examples to justify certain prognosis.
Leaders on the other hand are the people who take the time to demonstrate the scripture through their lifestyle and allow their deeds to speak more than their words.
Leaders are those who lead their followers from the front and show them how to do things rather than telling them the how.
These are the people who make a lot of differences in society and advance the growth of whatever organisation they are called to lead.
Now that we can distinguish between the two, the question then should be; can the two characters be found in a personality?
My answer to that is yes and examples abound in our climes today of some of such personalities within the church who are leaders and preachers combined and are doing great exploits in their sphere of influence.
The challenge the church has today is that such stocks are daily depleting and the yearnings for such are equally growing in proportion.
The reason being that many preachers are motivated by pecuniary gains from their activities much more than the influence they can bring to bear on their followers.
The reason why we have so many charlatans on the pulpits today is because many preachers have mastered the acts of preaching in a manner to galvanize their followers to do more of their bids than God’s will.
Such people are manipulative and exploitative and in most cases, their desire is to maximize the benefits while their ultimate goal is to accrue more rewards for themselves than the church.
I must, however, admit here that it is not all preachers that fall into this category of being manipulative and exploitative; some are merely not able to bring themselves up to the level of leadership probably because of certain inherent weaknesses they are unwilling to let go.
I knew of a particular preacher who was one of the best in his time, worker of miracle through the power of the Holy Spirit and whenever he preached back in the days; people always sensed the power of the spirit.
The personality was being propped up to take over the leadership of one of the country’s first indigenous Pentecostal movements back then, but all was ruined by his weakness which overrides his powerful preaching ability.
His ministry was destroyed by his lacking of self control and inability to engender the trust of his followers because of certain inherent weakness he held unto till he breathes his last.
Such preacher can be found in Prophet Eli mold, who had the promise of God and was truly committed to the word and desire of God for His people, Israel, but lack the leadership quality to lead his children in the way of the Lord.
In almost all the cases of business failure across the globe, poor leadership qualities are largely responsible.
Growth of any kind is driven by leaders who are ready to lead from the front, rolling up their sleeve to do what they expect their followers to do and showing them how and not telling them the how.
At this stage, the church in Nigeria is in dire need of preachers who are able to combine their ability with good leadership traits.
The church needs people who are not motivated by the gain but by the passion to do what is right at all times to advance the cause of the gospel, and not because of personal gain but for the gain that will accrue to the kingdom work.
The church business is to do the will of the father, which can be easily encapsulated in two clear words; evangelizing and discipleship. Any other activities going on in the church which does not have its primary focus on these two words are mere waste of time and resources meant to profit men and not the gospel.
This is the reason the church needs more of leaders than preachers, more of willing hands to pay the price than those who want to reap the gains and more of kingdom builders than reapers.
The reason why some organizations within the fold are not willing to set a clear succession programme is that the preachers at the helms are more concerned about personal gains and their legacy of wealth while they care less about the advancement and perpetuity of the kingdom’s work.
They are more worried about what will happen to the wealth they have accumulated through their preaching than the legacy of leadership structure they ought to build.
This generation is yearning for preachers who can combine their elocution skills with leadership quality to advance the work of the kingdom. They need leaders who are pathfinders and torchbearer at the same time to lead them to the next wave of the gospel.
The church is attracting the opprobrium from many today because of the activities of those preachers who have not been able to transform into leaders of men and materials for the advancement of the gospel. Because of people who are not modeling Christ through the demonstration of power and the humility exhibited by Jesus while on this part of eternity.
The challenge that is confronting the church is that some of those who seem to be in the limelight today are not representing the kind of leaders that the church requires to effect the needed transformation.
The story of the collapse of one of Nigeria’s biggest banks in 2014 was very instructive in the sense that it speaks to the kind of prevailing scenario in some church organisations today.
The bank which was later bought over by a smaller bank was led to its ruins by its leader who drained power from people around him in his effort to perpetuate self rather than empowering people around him with the eyes on the big picture.
We need less of preachers who continually limit the best people around them, hold tight to their pulpits and personalized it to the extent of relegating those who should help them to achieve more because they see others as threats.
The church needs less of preachers who lack the integrity of the word but rather promote themselves than the gospel.
This generation is more advanced in knowledge and exposure and they need much more than words from the pulpits but leaders who will demonstrate and bring the word alive through their lifestyle.
Until the preachers within the fold can readily tell their flocks like Apostle Paul told his followers “follow me as I follow Christ,” the church will remain limited in scope and the thirst by this generation for spiritual rejuvenation will continue to go unquenched.