MINISTRY ISN’T AN INHERITANCE


By Akin Ojumu

Christian calling isn’t hereditary, it cannot be bequeathed. Spiritual gifts are not inheritable, the Holy Spirit is He who distributes them as He wills. Christian ministry isn’t a corporate entity, a husband cannot hand it over to his wife, neither can a father pass it on to his children.

When our Lord and Savior came to the end of His ministry, He didn’t leave instructions to install his father or mother to take over His ministry. His four brothers – James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas – were never anointed to replace Him. It was unto the twelve disciples that He gave the Great Commission.

Succession in Christian ministry is by God’s appointment and not family arrangement. There are clear instructions given to us in Scripture for the attributes a person must possess to be qualified for the position of a pastor. Being a family member or blood relative of the pastor isn’t one of them.

To be appointed an overseer of God’s flock, Apostle Paul listed the requisite qualifications in his letter to Timothy:

“The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.” (1 Timothy 3:1-8).

Again, Paul repeated the same thing in his letter to Titus:

“This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you – if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” (Titus 1:6-9).

The Church of God is God’s property and not a secular institution. It isn’t a private property that must be run by family members. The man who bequeaths the work of God to his wife or child is adjudged guilty of Lucifer’s sin. Such a person equates himself with God. In his heart, he is essentially saying:

“I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:13-14).

It’s a grievous thing to turn God’s business into a family business. Just as Satan was cast out from the presence of God into Sheol for his hubris, so shall the person who makes himself equal with God by thinking in his heart that the Church of God is his personal estate that he can bestow on his wife and children.

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