SUNDAY, MAY 2, 2015
IS IT TRUE THAT THE HIGHER IN PREFERMENT, THE LOWER IN SPIRITUALITY?
It has been established that preferment particularly in the Anglican Church whether as a Canon or as an Archdeacon is the prerogative of diocesan Bishops. To that extent, no Priest contests the issue; it is the Bishop and the Bishop alone that decides that.
Interestingly, Bishops have revealed that most times when they prefer some of their Pastors; it is a way of encouraging them to do more in the work of ministry. Beyond infrastructural development, they also pay attention to their spirituality as well as that of the members of their congregation. When a Church is aglow with the things of the spirit, it gladdens the heart of Bishops and Pastors who help to achieve such are not easily overlooked.
However, the average expectation of members of the congregation of those preferred is that such elevations would spur them in things pertaining to spirituality. But if we think deeply, is it really so? What are our current experiences of some pastors so preferred?
Quietly frankly there are some Pastors before preferment came their way, where known to be ‘gim gim brothers’ (filled with the Holy Spirit) in carrying out the task and mission of the Church assigned to them. Indeed, they were not easily distracted by the lure of office and its appurtenances. In fact, it could even be said that they were focused, patient, honest, humble and faithful in serving the Lord and His Church to His glory.
But wait a minute! Something that could have boosted the spirituality of these Pastors now seems to be a sort of dragnet to their life and ministry. Attention now seems to be paid to office and its position rather than on the spiritual aspect. Possibly, it is in this dimension that some people feel and think that the more people go up in preferment, the less likely they are to be in spirituality. This may not always be true for there are some Pastors really by reason of God’s anointing and His grace in their lives have won souls unto the Lord. We have scores of testimonies in the Communion to buttress this fact. That is to say those who receive preferment rather than slow down have increased in their spirituality to the glory of God.
Therefore, it is our candid opinion that people who receive preferment should not allow it to eat up their spirituality. We need to take a clue from Jesus our perfect example in the work and ministry of the Lord as He gives us this incontestable admonition: ‘my meat is to do the will of Him that sent me and to finish His work,’ Jh 4v34. Yes, let the zeal of God’s work consume the elevated!VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.