SUNDAY 30 JULY, 2017.
CHALLENGES IN MINISTRY PART 2
Internal Wrangling/Division: this will bring about unnecessary argument. It does no good. Arguments bring distraction, waste of time and resources. In such arguments, there are divisions. I Cor. 3:3-4: “for where there is envy, strife and division among you…for when one says I am of Paul and the other I am of Apollos…” Where internal politics, tribalism and favouritism are practiced, the work of God is hindered.
Visionless Leadership: Isa. 9:16, the leaders of the people mislead them and those they mislead are swallowed up. Prov. 29:18, where there is no vision, the people perish. When a leader lacks direction, focus and purpose, there can never be a discernible progress. In a Church where anything goes, nothing really goes. This most times result in internal crises, chaos, breakaways and stagnation.
New Generation Churches: These Churches are posing a lot of challenges to our Church. The gospel of “Come as you are” and “it doesn’t matter” is attracting most of our young ones. These ones come to Church on Sundays and attend the week day activities there. This results in reduction of number that attend our mid-week services, bible studies, prayer/tarry nights, etc. There is need to re-strategize in our Churches.
HOW TO OVERCOME THESE CHALLENGES:
Some people may recommend things like: Identify challenges/problem area, Confront – escapism is not an answer, Use experienced and faithful people, Teach for example, tithing, generous giving, Prayer and fasting, Depend on the Holy Spirit, Update yourself regularly, Study the Word of God for guidance and direction, Live Holy life, Don’t be partisan, Work according to ministerial ethics, Be subject under authority. However, I consider these four more critical to overcoming challenges. They are prayer, fasting, studying of the Word of God and dependence on the Holy Spirit.
Child of God, remember what the Bible taught us: Zerubbabel this mountain must be levelled, (Zechariah 4:7). Prayer is a mountain leveler. No matter how tough a situation may be, through prayer things could receive solution to the glory of God. How often do we pray? Jesus taught us the importance of prayer, Mark 1:35. Every challenge could be overcome by prayer. If a situation becomes adamant/stubborn then fasting should be employed. How often do we fast as individuals or group? Think about it!
When we read the Word of God, certainly it gives us insight, direction to things and events around us. For example, if you are working and you feel people are opposing you so that you will not succeed, when you read the Bible quickly you will remember the great opposition by Sanballat and Tobiah against Nehemiah, (Neh. 4:7-9). You can also remember the plot of Haman against Mordechai and the Jews, (Ester 5:9-end, Chapter 7). Yet, at the end God gave victory to His children. Therefore, Paul will say to Timothy: “study to show thyself approved …” (2 Tim. 2:15).
The Holy Spirit is a comforter and a great intercessor. No matter the challenge that may come our way, we need the comfort of the Holy Spirit and also the weaknesses we have in ministries notwithstanding, He will be there to intercede for us before the throne of grace. Therefore, we need Him in order to overcome ministerial challenges whether in the urban or rural setting.
VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,