Serving in the church ministry is a great calling because God has apportioned gifts to his congregation in preparation for his Kingdom. However, while serving in the ministry, church leaders should be cognizant of the lurking challenges. According to my understanding of Mathew 7:21-23 not everyone will enter the kingdom of heaven even if they confess that Jesus is Lord. In the Anytown Community Church case study, the ministry faces the dangers of faking the ministry to please the church members (Willimon, 2016). Pastor Ann has dedicated herself to the church ministry at the expense of her family. According to Ephesians 5:22 and Proverbs 31:27, a wife should purpose the husband. The two books stipulate that a wife should be of noble character and be faithful to their family's concerns (Willimon, 2016). Pastor Richard acknowledges that Pastor Ann dedicates herself to the ministry of children to escape family troubles. As Christians tasked with the obligation of tending to the flock of God, we should not evade our problems but confront them and pray that the Lord provides a solution. Furthermore, fellowshipping with other church ministers affirms our faith in God and act as a support system for each other in the journey of faith. Unfortunately, the Anytown Community Church leadership is worried about financial risks instead of preaching the true gospel that does not hide behind lies and the ministry.
The church leaders should have noticed the following "red flags." Firstly, the leaders should have been alarmed by Pastor Ann's complaint of being tired. Moreover, when the church recruited personnel in the children's ministry, the recruits complained that Pastor was very controlling and never entrusted them with real responsibilities. Likewise, Pastor Richard was aware that the relationship between Pastor Ann and her husband was strained as evidenced by the phrase that the children in the church are "her whole life." Furthermore, the leaders should have been cautious of Pastor Ann's behavior of playing nanny roles and organizing parties at her home.
The church leaders should have emphasized the need to maintain a balance between family life and the ministry (Petersen, Thomas & Whitesel, 2010). Pastor Ann should have played her role as wife at home and should not have been carried away by her willingness to participate in the children's ministry. Unfortunately, she was not true to God and to herself because she hid behind the power of the church to avoid family duties. On the other hand, Pastor Richard and the other church leaders drowned in hypocrisy because they were hesitant to address the challenges the church encountered through the ministry of Pastor Ann. Unit 4 raises a very interesting question; "Are we using our authority as leaders in the church to foster fullness of life for others, or do we conceive of our leadership as getting others to do what we want?" The Anytown Community Church leadership was deceptive to the ministry because they were concerned about losing finances if Pastor Ann was removed from her position. They were also concerned about losing some of the church members. However, the Gospel of God teaches that church leaders should not be guided by cultural norms on how to evaluate the ministry (Dawn, 2001).
Dawn, M. (2001). Powers, Weakness, and the Tabernacling of God. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans.
Petersen, B., Thomas, E., & Whitesel, B. (2010). Foundations of Church Administration. Kansas City, Mo.: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City.
Willimon, W. (2016). Pastor: The Theology and Practice of Ordained Ministry. (Revised edition). Abingdon Press.
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