(Striking A Balance)
– Pastor Bimbo Animashaun
I have been constantly inundated with the question above over and over again by young ministers who have been COMMANDED and INSTRUCTED by the spiritual authority over them not to listen to any other preacher or teacher.
And most times, I can sense fear, worry and intimidation in their enquiry because they feel they aren’t sure whether it’s right or wrong, and for some, they know it shouldn’t really be exactly but they can’t place their hands on it.
Now, to be very frank and candid, it’s not correct to say a young minister can’t listen to other preachers or teachers.
Ministry gifts as designed by Christ, the Head of the Church, and structured in the New Testament, are meant to actually EDIFY THE SAINTS, – Eph.4:11-12 (Plural); not just a SAINT (Singular).
Rather than threatening people and intimidating them, I think people just need to be guided – that’s the essence of spiritual leadership.
We’re all products of influences and no minister is a monopoly of Grace and Anointing.
A minister is insecure if he has to tell his folks that they can’t listen to any other person. No!!!
And sometimes in a bid to vent that insecurity, he uses the techniques of manipulation, intimidation and control which are not consistent with the Spirit of Christ.
Like I said, FOLKS ONLY NEED TO BE GUIDED especially where there’s a fiducial relationship that makes such instruction expedient.
First, everyone should belong to a local church where they’re constantly fed and nourished spiritually.
You can’t say you don’t have a local church to which you belong and that what you only do is to listen to men of God randomly – YOU’LL BECOME CONFUSED.
Second, as a young minister, when it comes to listening to other preachers and teachers, you may need to put relationships in your life in a proper perspective.
Paul never said the Corinthians could not have other teachers they listened to but he made it abundantly clear that despite the possibility of having other preachers and teachers, he was their spiritual father.
1 CORINTHIANS 4:15-17
15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.
17 F5555or this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.
Paul didn’t tell them not to listen to other teachers but he said even though there could be that possibility, THEY SHOULD FOLLOW HIM.
Now he didn’t stop there; he then went ahead to show them the example of his son in ministry, in the person of Timothy, as one who was a faithful follower.
So, where is the balance here? You can’t say you only listen to other preachers and teachers but you don’t listen to or follow your Pastor, Shepherd or Spiritual Father.
I believe that point is clear Sirs and Mas? The Bible tells us that wisdom is profitable to direct – Ecc.10:10, so we need wisdom here.
Third, sometimes random listening and followers tend to lead to confusion if you’re not STRATEGIC with it.
While you have the latitude to get blessed by other preachers and teachers, the brutal and bitter truth is that THERE ARE PEOPLE YOU SHOULD NOT LISTEN TO because apart from the fact that they sound unscriptural, they’re always 1000 miles apart from the vision of God for your life.
This is where proper guidance comes in. There are people that if you continually listen to them, ALL THE VISION OF GOD in your spirit will get eroded and fizzled out – it doesn’t just click with the mandate of God upon your life.
Therefore you should practise what I call “SELECTIVE HEARING” i.e. listen to those ministers whose words feed your spirit and stir the well of your own grace rather than just jumping around to follow everyone.
On this, Paul gave a stern warning to the Galatians:
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; BUT THERE BE SOME THAT TROUBLE YOU, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Here, we see Paul wielding the big stick. He was very firm that there were people the Corinthian folks could not listen to. Why? Because those guys perverted the Gospel of Christ.
So, as shepherd, I have the right to raise alarm to my folks not to drink from a polluted fountain but I don’t have the right to tell folks (whom Christ died for) not to get blessed by other precious ministry gifts in the Body of Christ.
Therefore, for a young minister, the issue here is to be discerning and also selective.
Have a father over your life that you drink from constantly, and then through spiritual sensitivity, discern other preachers or teachers you drink from (most times they aren’t too much) and finally, don’t get hooked by whatever is incompatible with the plan of God for your life.
By and large, we may not be able to tell people not to listen to other preachers or teachers.
Ministry is not a secret cult. Folks only need guidance where necessary.
A minister should be secure in his calling. There’s no need to seek control through intimidation.
The FOLKS OF CHRIST can be blessed by THE MINISTRY GIFTS OF CHRIST.
We only need BALANCE and avoid EXTREMES. The Body of Christ is bigger than one single individual.
Yes it is!
May the Lord give us understanding!
I trust this made little sense Sirs and Mas?
Jesus Makes All Things Beautiful!!!