Text: 1Timothy 3:1-16
Church leadership is one of the most problematic areas of the church today. Before now, men of God and their families used to be a model to the people around them. A man’s affirmation to be a Reverend, a Pastor or preacher was enough to attest to his integrity. Their lifestyles commanded respect because it was honourable. Sadly, the story is different now. A look at some of the qualities shows that he should be blameless, a monogamist, sober, hospitable, patient, not greedy, a good father, well versed in the faith, not double tongued, not a drunk.
Blameless life places a preacher above board. He practices what he preaches and lives a shinning exemplary life for others to follow. Many questions have been raised recently over the dealings of the people who occupy church leadership positions. The amassing of wealth for personal aggrandisement is what has brought about the present CAMA regulations upon churches in Nigeria. The requirements of a church leader as seen in the reading here upholds hospitality, and not given to covetousness. Why would leaders in charge of God’s people take so much care of money that they fall victims of the pride of life which bible warns against. They begin to store their treasure on the earth for the moths as against storing it in heaven. Their church members go hungry, naked, confused without any help from the communal wealth of the church. Instead pastors and bishops find ways to drive the best cars, live in mansions and send their children overseas for studies. We should be ashamed of ourselves.
How does churches these days give back to their members. In the old testament the poor were also part of the beneficiaries of the tithes. If we are still collecting tithes now, how is it being used? In the new testament, the apostles received gifts from members and shared it equally to all that had need so that no one lacked anything. Is it not the same bible that we are still reading today? The issue of the filthy lucre in churches today brings tears to the eyes and this has been the bane of most churches. Very many church crisis were as a result of money laundering and other related financial issues.
Womanising is another evil found among pastors. Being the husband of one woman at a time has been the timeless instruction of God from the time of Moses. Today men have interpreted their own bibles and found out ways to approve divorce even for ordained ministers and also make sexually perverse people church leaders. The lesson is very clear. We must all note that whether we are occupying leadership positions or not, the same qualities are demanded from each and everyone of us. We can only mock ourselves. God cannot be deceived.