Young Pastors Need Good Mentoring

Young Pastors Need Good Mentoring

It has become alarming the rate at which young pastors pass on suddenly, raising questions on the development. This publication sought some answers from a respected opinion on leadership and mentoring, Archbishop Idem Ikon. His incisive thoughts on leadership and current developments in the Body of Christ make an interesting piece…

Akwa Ibom State Christian community has experienced some shocking deaths of some young pastors in recent times. Could this have anything to do with lack of mentoring?

Unfortunately, we see the demise of young pastors. But we have more deaths of young men who are still physically walking the street but spiritually dead. We should bother more about those who have died spiritually, it is more pathetic than the physically dead.

For those young pastors who have died in their prime, I would use the term, foolishness; it is lack of knowledge of how things work that is responsible for these deaths and unfortunately the young people still do not want to learn. However, if you watch the trend from Genesis to Revelation, you will find out the third generation is always getting into issues because there is a disconnect from the progenitors and whenever there is a disconnect, the drama continues.

A lot of us, older generation, had mentors. I had a mentor and I have been mentoring people, we have seen a lot of young people passing through our hands. Given this background, I can say, ‘Yes, a lot of deaths of young pastors are occasioned by lack or improper mentoring.’

What advice would you offer younger ministers?

In the natural realm, fathers look for sons. In the spiritual, it is the other way. Fathers actually brought you to the faith, he also teaches you as you grow, but we quickly disregard someone who brought us into the faith; we shouldn’t.

The man who brought me into the faith, I was going back to him each time to report back to him how I was faring. The Songs of Solomon 3:4 says: “I had gone but a little way past them when I found him whom my soul loves.”

 What I did was to get a lot of mentors who had what I looked for. I submitted to Archbishop Benson Idahosa, I tithed to him, I visited him and told him everything about my life; I opened up to him like I would open up to a lawyer and doctor; without trying to defend myself when I was talking to him. If you cannot get a father figure, get an older friend that you can confide in on anything about your life and relations. You must not be defensive but say exactly what it is like.

What future has the church in view of this development?

The first thing I taught and practised all my life is to raise the next phase of ministers, men and women who can replicate you. If you survived those ones, raise the next generation. The business of a pastor is to preach himself out of business. This means teaching people all that you know. Jesus said, ‘All that my father has given to me, I have given to you.’ So the responsibility we owe the young ministers is to empty ourselves. There’s nothing to hide from anybody; give out everything. The secret is this: the more you give out the more you get. When you empty out yourself, you make space for God to fill you up.

A vocal minister said the fire that the Prophet Elijah commanded to fall was actually sent by Satan and not God. How about this, and he has many followers?

People are going to follow who they want to follow. But we follow God; we follow what Jesus is saying. For instance, when Elijah the prophet was in the cave, there was a fire but God was not in the fire. There was an earthquake but God was not in the earthquake. This tells you that there are many Holy Ghost earthquakes that God is not there. But there was a still small voice and you cannot hear that when you’re in the crowd, because the voice is so still. If you want to hear God, leave the crowd and be alone. “For in quietness and confidence shall your strength be,” Isaiah 30:15. So, you go away from the noise; there’s also internal noise arguing with your mind. You got to wipe your mind completely of what you think you know and leave it a blank page and let the Holy Spirit write for you what you need to know.

And when you get it, don’t be arrogant, compare notes; find out from others because there’s nothing new under the sun. For instance, I don’t agree, from all the logics I have found, that Matthew would have written; “Baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost.” Why? Because Matthew was a Jew and Jews believe in one God. This has troubled me for years, but recently I came across a study that suggested that it (original manuscript) said, “Baptizing them in my name.” How authentic this is, nobody knows but as a pastor you have to be careful how you pass comments on such issues.

God made us in his likeness but today we want to make God in our likeness, because we think God is like us. No, God is God. So, in particular, the fire that Elijah requested to come down, was it God or Satan that sent it?

What have you been preaching? That God sent it!

Both Jesus, Paul, also Peter said that at the close of the age – the end time –there will be so many doctrines of demons. My advice to people whenever you hear a wrong teaching: go back to the Bible, read the entire whole story, don’t read just one verse because that’s mutilating the scriptures. Read the story as a novel and find out who said what, who did what. Let me answer it this way also: who created evil?

According to the scriptures, God created the waster to destroy.

Who introduced Job (as the righteous man who eschews evil)?

It was God who said to Satan, have you seen Job…? What did Job do to God? He was just a righteous man. If you look at Hebrews 5:6 the writer of Hebrews said, “Leaving the elementary principles of Christ, let us go unto perfection and leave behind the doctrines of baptisms. 

Paul said, I rather glory in my infirmities…but who preaches that today? When God sees a man who is completely submitted to him, he will strip him of all the monies he has, then tell him to go into the world and preach the gospel. And if you know whose you are, you will go closer to him and say, ‘Father, I thank You because I’m ready to begin the journey.’

When some Samaritans attempted to hinder Jesus, James and John said to Jesus, “Let’s call down fire on them just like Elijah did. Jesus said, No, you don’t know what kind of spirit you have.”

Now, when you are a prophet of God, your words don’t fall to the ground without fulfilling what you intended it to do. Sometimes it is not because God is well pleased with it but for his son, he said, I have found someone whom I’m well pleased in. it doesn’t also mean that men of God are controlled by Satan (as per the calling down fire by Elijah). Micaiah the prophet told Ahab you’re going to die and all the other prophets disagreed with him.

Now, replace the word prophet with preacher; we have different preachers, and different churches. One other preacher got up recently and said, ‘If someone doesn’t win election, cut off my hand…’ different preachers, different congregations. So, we have many preachers who will never preach the word of God but preach for money.

Quest News 24

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