I was privileged to serve as an assistant pastor some years ago. One day, I received visitors in the persons of my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. And my sister-in-law, who has since grown to become a mother of at least two children, said, “Wow! It must be great to be a pastor. You get to sit up front, and enjoy so many privileges and respect.” In like manner, many think that dignity, respect, the front row seat and privileges is all there is to the ministry, but there is much more. The word ‘ministry’ means service. And service is basically a practice of giving of yourself and your ability for the welfare and betterment of others. No leader can serve without giving himself.
In the words of Josiah Gilbert Holland, “God give us men a time like this demands. Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands! Men whom the lust of office does not kill, Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy, Men who possess opinions and a will, Men who love honor; men who will not lie.”
As a Leader in God’s House, God has placed you in a position to determine the efficiency of your church’s workforce. Like the changes that occurred in the Banking sector, you can bring about a great change in your ministry. The only snag, however, is that you do not have the advantage that Dr Soludo has. You cannot make church workers deliver quality spiritual service, and most especially the volunteer workers who form the bulk of your ministry’s workforce.
Your workers form the helps ministry or spiritual workforce for your ministry. Their God-ordained duty is to provide you relief in the work through their spiritual service so you can fulfill the vision God gave you. This service could be professional, manual, financial or social. But it must be free-will, and not by compulsion. According to Exo 25:1-3, “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: "Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering.” This is God’s way of preventing certain excesses we see in society which discredit the due honour of ministry leadership as we see it today.
To get persons who are not paid to serve willingly, ask yourself: Why would anyone want to give quality service in this church for free? They would as a pay-back for your contribution to their lives. Jesus said in John 10:11, “The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”
Before people give anything to you, there’s got to be something they see they can benefit from you. So, lead the way. Be a giver to your people by doing all you can humanly possibly do [within the scope of your Calling and anointing] to make sure they get God’s best. You must be a standard and an example in giving yourself. Pray for them without ceasing, look for things that will build them in all areas. Be a bit more about their personal relationships with God. Give them enviable leadership. Don’t give instructions that are fashioned chiefly to your advantage. When you make rules, obey them. In the words of ancient Solon, “He who has learned to obey will know how to command.” And please be nice enough to explain whenever any action appears questionable. Make the church a family they are proud of introducing others to, and a home they look forward to coming to. Be the leader they are proud to be associated with.
Tope A. Banjo, is a Minister and Trainer whose work develops You to ‘Achieve Your Goals and Fulfil Your Vision’ in Church Workforce, Small Business Start-Up and Personal Development. He is the Founder of Vision Builders, a published Author and the producer of Nigeria's foremost Workforce Training Bulletins, The VISION BUILDER and TRAILBLAZER. You may see Vision Builders’ Training Programs AND easily download current and past editions now from: visionbuilders.wix.com/buildyourvisions