Saturday, February 6, 2016
ARE YOU NOT AT FAULT ALSO?
Dearly Beloved, ARE YOU NOT AT FAULT ALSO? “The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock”’” (Ezekiel 34:1-3 NIV). In less than a month of my sojourn in the United Kingdom, I have discovered many pathetic things about the western world. One of those things is the decline in the number of people that go to church, especially the absence of youth in most of the churches. Many church buildings have become empty and been sold because of this. This has been a great burden to me, and I always ask pastors here what they are doing to bring back the youth into the church. Just of recent, I discovered that I have been asking the wrong question! I met a lady in her early fifties who told me that the last time she went to church was when she was sixteen. I asked her why she stopped going to church and she told me a bitter truth about the church here: the church has become institutionalized and the church leaders are not living by example. She cited some examples of the atrocities that the church leaders were doing then which are becoming worse even today. One of such atrocities she emphasized is the fact most of the church leaders are getting richer at the expense of their congregations. She pointed out that the youth here will continue to abandon the church because the people of the church are not practising what they preach. I had no option that day than to agree with her because I know that she was saying the truth. No wonder, many people (especially the younger generation) are no longer interested in the things of the church. The indictment of the church leaders by this white lady reminds me of the leaders of the people of Israel in the time of Prophet Ezekiel (see Ezekiel 34). The Lord indicted these leaders because they were self-centred. They did not care about the people that they led. The people were suffering under their watch while the leaders continued to live in affluence. This made the people to wander away in search of care. God was not happy with these leaders and promised to hold them accountable (see verse 10). Are you a church leader? Are you not at fault also of this indictment? Are you not self-centred to the detriment of people you are leading? Do you care about your congregation? Can your congregation follow your example or you are expecting them to just be following your messages? Do you attract people to the church or are you driving them away from the church because of your way of life? Well, if you are just a member of a church, the infamous way of life of your church leaders should not drive you away from the church. Jesus Christ is our ultimate role Model. He should be your standard (see Hebrews 12:1-2), not any church leader no matter how highly placed or respected. In His service, Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Prayer Point: Lord, help me not to mislead the people you have entrusted into my care.