Addressing Leadership Pitfalls in Africa (Feeding)

<— Click here for Part 1 Click here for Part 3 —>

“The elders which are among you I exhort … Feed the flock of God” (1 Pt 5:1 – 2a).

Want to hear the verse in context? 1 Peter 1:1 – 2a
What is this about?

Address Leadership Pitfalls in Africa Feeding 1 Peter 5:1 - 2

The Gospel isn’t complicated but it is so easily diluted instead of distilled. This photo was taken of a Rhema “Bible” Church’s signboard a few months ago (I’m not the photographer but the picture is in the public domain). It reads, “yes, YOU can___________*” with a sub caption of “*with a little help from GOD” It’s a play on the slogan popularised by Barak Obama and is inline with Prosperity Gospel teachings. Click image to enlarge.

It is a travesty that South African pastors are ill equipped to exposit the Word of the Lord and edify their flock. Pulpits around our country turn a blind eye to the proliferation of doctrinal inaccuracies and heresies. The Zion Christian Church, with “10-15 million members” (Wikipedia 2010a) 1, teaches that “senior officials in the ZCC … can use the power of the Holy Spirit to perform healing” (Anderson 1999) 2; Rhema Bible Church, with a “45,000 strong congregation” (Wikipedia 2010b) 3, continues to propagate the Prosperity Gospel (Carew 2001) 4; high profile pastors lobby for the recognition of same sex unions. Our pulpits are no longer anchored to God’s Word but rather the fleeting philosophies of the world.

For this reason our Shepherds need to feed their flock sound doctrine. Paul’s words to the young elder, Titus, echo in my head, “be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers” (Titus 1:9), and his commission to his protégé, Timothy, ring out, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ … Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Ti 4:1 – 2).

The early church converts were characterised by their unquenchable thirst for sound teaching. Luke records that they “continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship” (Acts 2:42a). It must be so with our congregations. Much of the focus of pastors needs to be spent in preparation for preaching and teaching so that when the church leads it will do so with the banner of our Lord Jesus Christ and the immutable, infallible, sure and trustworthy Word of Holy Scripture at the forefront of the procession.

Feel aggrieved? Imagine God’s dismay.

<— Click here for Part 1 Click here for Part 3 —>

Olievenhoutbosch outreach: Leadership Void (Part 5)

<— Click here for Part 4 Click here for Part 6 —>

In Olieven, Bible studies, Jesus Film showings and other outreaches are marked by a glaring absence of committed men.

In Titus Paul stresses the importance of appointing elders as protectors, feeders and leaders of the flock. He reserves this office for men. Therein lies a problem for this church plant. Biblically qualified male leadership is in short supply.

A spiral of social degradation has robbed the church of a generation of suitable male shepherds. If autonomy requires a plurality of elders then training followed by time is going to be needed.

<— Click here for Part 4 Click here for Part 6 —>