It is always easy to see the fault of Pastors but never see their sacrifices, it is easy to pinpoint where Pastors aren’t getting it right because we aren’t doing anything and we don’t know what it feels like to do what they are doing.
This is not me trying to excuse certain excesses of some Pastors but this is me trying to remind us again of what certain Pastors go through. Of course, it is in the job description of a Pastor but the Bible showed us ways we can make it easier for our Pastors.
One of those days when I was the Diocesan President of Young Anglican Crusaders in Diocese on the Niger, Church of Nigeria, a classmate and old friend saw me and said
“You are now dining and winning with the Bishop… Congratulations!” If he knew what I was going through then, he wouldn’t have added congratulations, he would have dipped hand into his pocket.
That is the mentality many people have towards Pastors and ministers of the gospel. The young guy even asked me how much I was being paid. Most Pastors are not a sole signatory to the treasury of the Church except where there is no good leadership structure. Some Church treasury don’t even have so much of what we expect.
As much as there are Pastors who manipulate people and take advantage of their ignorance, there are lots of genuine Pastors who are going through tough times but appear good on suit because they must not bring you the word in a manner that makes that word questionable.
The young man told me how he has been discussing me with his friends and how they are anticipating that I have an official car soon. Funny! Like seriously? At that level even?
They didn’t know we were the ones putting our life savings on this work.
It is even worse for those of us who teach the gospel as it is and don’t know how to raise money. For some of us, the moment we tell you what we need money for, we close that chapter and never pressure you.
During some of our programs, you would see the building filled to the brim. We carter the welfare of some people including instrumentalists. At that time, I make expenses for some people’s welfare every single Sunday and other days of our meeting. Onlookers usually thought we were doing these things because people were “sowing seeds”.
Nobody was sowing such seeds! If you haven’t given to your Pastor, don’t assume everybody is giving to him. Those days, after meetings that have hundreds of people in attendance, we would count offering money and get disappointed. We get disappointed not because there was no money to use for jamboree but because we couldn’t recover the money we spent so that the next meeting can be easier.
Do you think there has ever been a meeting we had where we got any support that was able to foot the bills? I know we would still have those kinds of flawless meetings but at the moment, I’ve never had any single meeting in my life where people who attended were able to foot the bills for that meeting! Any day I call for financial partnership, people will still talk and say ” Oh! Here he goes… We know he will finally do this!”
You see us do various programs, you see the beautiful pictures right? You see people’s testimonies on how “organized” things we’re right? You see people saying how much they were blessed right? Those meetings are results of sacrifices! Ninety per cent of the bills are usually from my own personal pocket!
Sometimes, we don’t announce some meetings because we don’t have enough fund to foot the bills.
Some meetings have been pushed online till we are able to foot the bills and some meetings have remained in-house till we can comfortably be able to accommodate a number of people. Don’t think all those Queens Hangout, Kings Hangout and the rest are putting food on our table. No! It is taking food from our table.
Every single person that has worked with me knows this; instead of pressuring people to support, I rather take up a job and use my monthly salary on it! If you have been to any of our meetings before, you’ll notice how reluctant we are towards taking offering and how we don’t even make mention of “support this move…” Never ever criticise those who do because it is necessary!
In one of the biggest city assemblies in Asaba, Nigeria, the senior Pastor don’t have a car! Why? He sold his car to support the Church building. About 2,000 members won’t sit under the tree after all and paying millions of naira every year for rent isn’t as easy as ABC.
If you have not been into this thing before, you may never ever understand it. Before you raise your fingers to point negatively on someone, try putting yourself in their shoes!
Of course, there are people you can never fit into their shoes. Am I saying there isn’t any fake Pastor out there who milks people and take advantage of their vulnerability? There are many of them but that’s not the subject of our discussion. There are genuine Pastors who toil all day, cry in the dark, go hungry but come out stronger every time to equip the saints.
This is why Paul wrote
“Elders who do their work well should be respected and paid well, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching.” – 1 Timothy 5:17 NLT
Some translations called it “double honour”. Your double honour may still never amount to their sacrifices. You give them double honour just to encourage them because you can’t pay for the sacrifices.
You truly can’t pay for the sacrifices of any genuine Pastor.