Addressing Leadership Pitfalls in Africa (Nurturing)

<— Click here for Part 2 Click here for Part 4 —>

“Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” (Act 20:31 – 32).

Want to hear the verse in context? Acts 20
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Address Leadership Pitfalls in Africa Nurturing Acts 20:30 - 32

Christianity in South Africa is a mile wide and an inch deep; this is because, by and large, spiritual maturity is absent in the pews. This is as much a failure of leadership as it is a failure of parishioners. Click image to enlarge.

All too often in South African churches spiritual maturity is expected only of the pastor. He is the one man band who heads the show, does the counselling, takes care of the destitute, visits the scarred and evangelises the masses while the rest of the congregation sit idly by, warming the pews on Sundays, confused expressions on their faces when pressed into service; their leaders having ill-equipped them, ill-enabled them and un-readied them to serve the King’s kingdom as they ought.

The church wasn’t envisaged so. Paul conveys the analogy of feet, hands, eyes and ears each working together for the edification of the church (1 Cor 12:12 – 27). Even the setting aside of “apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers” (Eph 4:11) was not a capricious act but intended for “the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph 4:12).

As pastors we’re to actively seek the maturation of the believers entrusted to our care; the progressive sanctification of our flock. As a nurturing mother will wean an infant from milk to solid food so we as pastors need to have like mind for our congregants. The writer of Hebrews captured the thought by saying, “For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age” (Heb 5:13 – 14a).

<— Click here for Part 2 Click here for Part 4 —>