These are perilous times. The Twitter toppling story of Ese Walters is a raw reminder. She claims she was manipulated by her then pastor into a torrid affair. In London.
The response to the allegations was torrential. Amidst the ensuing hullabaloo, certain questions arose.
What is a christian girl or guy to do? Should you stay away from church altogether? Should you treat all pastors like conmen? Should you join the Pastor-phobia and pull down men of God?
I think not.
I think Pastors are part of God’s plan for the church.
Here I aim to share steps that have helped me, over the past 22 years in the faith, to have a good witness about pastors. Feel free to share your own tips. 🙂 We learn everyday.
1. Realise that Jesus is your Saviour.
Pastors will come and go but if you have accepted Jesus, He is Forever.
Don’t trade that Lordship for anything.
Compare any pastor to the standard of Jesus. Of course, as humans, we err, but the Pastor should be pressing towards that mark.
Not pulling away from it. And claiming immunity.
The Apostle Paul said : Imitate me as I imitate Christ.
Any Pastor that says he is exempt, is a fraud.
Believe in the Lord, then his prophets.
The Lord first, Author and Finisher.
2. Read your Bible.
Some people feel that the name-all-blame-all style Ese Walter adopted was necessary to ‘ warn other girls’.
The Word of God has been given for–showing us truth,exposing our rebellion,correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way.
If you don’t want to be the next victim of abuse, you have to know what the Bible says.
You have to know that there are people that preach the gospel for their belly.
You have to know that hundreds of years ago, Hophni and Phineas, Eli’ sons, abused their religious office. And slept with a lot of women in the process. Some ‘Pastors’ are wolves dressed like sheep.
You have to realise that there are some that call Him ” Lord, Lord” but have no part in Christ.
And you must not allow any of that to bother you.
Be as wise as serpents but as harmless as doves.
3. Ask God For A Good Pastor.
The surge of fake pastors just tells me there are real ones. And that the real pastors are very special . Have you ever seen a fake N3000 bill? Of course not. There aren’t any, because there aren’t any real N3000 bills.
The fake tell you the real exists.
Ask God to give you a pastor. He promised to give you ‘Pastors from His heart that will lead you into knowledge and truth.’
Believe that and ask for it in faith.
4. Test All Things.
You have seen the man or woman that will teach you and help you grow.
Now, you have to test the person and only submit if you are sure. Testing and trusting are gradual processes.
You have to give yourself time and only act on what the Word of God shows you.
Don’t rush into personal contact.
Don’t get familiar.
Don’t commit any sin. Remember you are only to obey parents(or any leader) in the Lord. If it is wrong don’t play along.
Watch the way they treat people. Off-pulpit; especially their spouse and children. Watch how they treat people that aren’t very rich and important.
Listen to the promises they make and watch to see if they keep them.
Check if he practices what he preaches
He that is faithful with little will be faithful with much. And vice versa.
Test before you trust.
5. Get Referrals.
Of you are in a strange town and you need a church home, ask. It is better to ask about a pastor/church BEFORE you get hurt.
A good pastor will have a good witness.
Ask on Twitter/Other social media.
Listen. Learn where you are safe and where you might soon be sorry.
6. Love Your Pastor.
Agape love, don’t do unto them as you would want done unto you.
Pray for them. If anything about them bothers you (everyone is growing), pray.
Pray against sexual temptation.
Pray for provision,prosperity and protection.
Don’t tempt your pastor, or let them tempt you.
Don’t wear them out with inconsiderate requests.
Give to your pastor. The Bible says, pay those who teach you the word.
You may not have a private jet, but a N200 and a thank you note go a long way.
I know, because I used to pastor.
But that’s a story for another day.
Bioduned: Abused/ manipulated by an authority figure under the guise of Religion.
Esewaltered: Exposed for committing adultery abroad.