Joseph Iregbu

Purpose Guy

When Pastors Lose Perspective of Their WHY

Some days I feel evangelical. Other days I feel Pentecostal. But everyday, I’m a Christian; saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone and for the glory of God alone.

My faith is my identity and story. I was once a sinner… till Mercy and Grace (Jesus Christ) found me. This is who I am and I’m unapologetic about it.

So when I write and speak about issues in Christian circles, I’m not peeking from outside in. No, I’ve lived and seen these issues up close. I’ve experienced them and, to some degree, have been guilty of some.

They create the dysfunction of pseudo messianism

Over the years, I’ve been blessed to serve at various levels of church leadership and ministry.

But I’ve also learnt that leadership isn’t about titles but the ability to influence hearts and minds to act in a way that is consistent with core values.

And unless surrounded by a credible accountability system, leaders can easily lose perspective of their WHY.

And when this happens, the focus gradually shifts from Christ and His message to systems, events, denominational creeds, personal legacies and of course ‘the man steering the ship’.

This dysfunction is too often a common reality in Christian Pentecostalism, where the man soon becomes a pseudo messiah, granting many access to God’s favour, with Jesus reduced to a means to an end.

When pastors are exalted, given celebrity status and made the centre of attraction (instead of Christ alone), spiritual decline begins to set in and many lose sight of the real essence of the gospel.

This celebrity culture and mindset has robbed the church of much power, setting in motion a great decline of eternal values in our hearts.

They demand respect for personal image

Jesus was never in doubt about His purpose and mission on earth. He never lost perspective and never sought the validation of any. That’s why He said in Mark 10:43-45:

“Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

When pastors lose perspective of their WHY, they end up demanding respect for personal image, rather than focus on their assignment to call many to repentance and build a congregation set apart for Jesus.

The pursuit of the elevation of personal image in ministry is dangerous. And it often begins when we take our eyes off Jesus and start to focus more on perceived success in ministry.

They inspire a culture of fear

This one is sad but far too common.

When pastors lose perspective of their WHY, they create a culture that inspires trepidation and fear among those they lead. And this is NOT true leadership.

There is no holy calling from God that operates on instilling slavish fear.

“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” — 2 Timothy 1:7

Unfortunately, this trend is particularly most visible and rife in Christian Pentecostalism, where leaders assume a ‘god-like’ status.

Wherever you find a fear culture, spiritual abuse is inevitable. And the ruins of such culture soon becomes clear on the lives, experiences and relationships of the led.

Brethren, we are all but men. So let us serve humbly, teach truthfully, lead wholly and, most importantly, live faithfully.

Because in the end, the race is NOT primarily about us.

Please continue to pray for pastors everywhere, for grace to keep their eyes on Jesus to the end.

Don’t miss the latest episode on my podcast: EP65: Everyone Has An Opinion About You. You can also listen on Apple Podcast or Spotify.

Photo by Yannick Pulver on Unsplash

About Joseph Iregbu

From a homeless, near-school-dropout to living a story worth telling. Purpose is my passion. What's your story?

Leave a Reply

Get Regular Updates

Join other readers to get regular updates from my blog for free. Enter your email address to sign up. I won’t spam you. That’s a promise.