THERE has always been uneasy tension between the church and business. In the Bible, there are stories of selfless sacrifice made by individuals for the Kingdom of God. The apostles like Matthew and Peter left their area of training and work to follow Jesus. Peter left his family business of fishing and family to follow Jesus. What was it about this Jesus that made Peter forsake all in pursuit of him?
Divineinsight BY HUMPHREY MTANDWA
With the current economic hardships in Zimbabwe, many people claim pastors/prophets are in it for the money or as an escape route from the current economic woes. For many, the call to ministry is now pursued by those that are classified as lazy or thieves. But this assertion leaves me with questions: what is the role of pastors/prophets in the world and should they be involved in business? If they are not involved in business, how can they make a living?
The charismatic movement of our time has raised wealthy ministers who are not apologetic about their status in society. The Bible speaks of a poor, but wise man who saved his city: “Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man.” The Bible shows how it is easy to forget a poor man despite his great exploits. Could it be God’s plan to raise these rich pastors/prophets?
When you throw in a name like Eubert Angel, Shepherd Bushiri or Alph Lukau, it is hard to ignore them. Is it because they are men of substance? The Bible says money is a defence just like wisdom is a defence. Could it be God’s end time plan to raise wealthy prophets and if they were poor, would the world have paid attention to them?
There are pastors/prophets who are not wealthy and who are even gifted, but yet the world has ignored them. Religious leaders in the past failed to make a distinction between what is spiritual and what is secular. The church in past generations would invariably equate business activity with secular activity and consider it to be a lesser calling in the life of a Christian. They abandoned the marketplace and pursued ministry yet Jesus said we are to occupy till he comes. Can the church be effective if it abandons the marketplace? Can a pastor be effective as well if he focuses on business?
We have ministers like Pastor Chris Oyakhilome who have not declared to be in business yet have acquired great wealth. Many may question such wealth, but if it was solely from church offerings, then every gifted minister would be rich by now. Could it be that they got wisdom that allowed them to prosper and become rich?
Peter the apostle left his secular activity for ministry yet the Bible tells us that Paul remained a tent maker even while he was in ministry. So how can one be able to identify if they are called to ministry like Paul or Peter? Are those that are not in business wrong? The apostles in the book of Acts had to remove themselves from daily activities so as to focus on ministry.
The poor man in the Bible saved the city, but they forgot about him. Can a pastor/prophet change the world if he is poor? I believe it is God’s plan to impact the world through these rich believers.
Apostle Humphrey Mtandwa is the founder of Voice of Triumph in Harare. He has published several books including the Enoch Generation and Theophany. He blogs at www.mtandwa.blogspot.com