This year a lot of controversies and dirt have been unearthed from our places of worship. For a long time, the public perception of the ministers of the word has been, “greater, perfect, holy individual.” The pedestals will fit them in cause more harm than good to them, “Over many years of constant pressure, opposition, challenges, and attacks, accompanied by my personal turmoil over my father’s evil, many people have asked – “How do you continue to get up, cope, and keep going?” And now we know the answer. I haven’t coped very well at all. I openly admit that alcohol has been no friend and I am determined to relegate it to my past,” Brian Houston in an apology email to his congregants.
The pastor penned down an emotional and open apology to his congregants and family. Taking account of what has happened and still sharing his faith and hope for the future, “And of course, first and foremost, to my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for Your amazing grace and forgiveness. Thank you that when we “confess our sins, you are faithful and just to forgive them.” (1 John 1:9) This is not the way I imagined it to end. I believe the future is still bright for Hillsong Church, as you remain knit to Jesus, His Holy Spirit, and His Word. Better days are coming as you continue to lean into His Kingdom on the earth,” the email further read.
The bubble is even greater in African churches where some congregants go further to treat their ministers as “demi-gods.” While the others hold on them on the pedestal it’s even more pressure for the “celebrity” pastors, how they remain grounded, “It is important for any person in leadership not even just talking about the men of the cloth as we call them. To have a group of people who know you away from the position. Now for me as a pastor, it is important to have people I can interact with, men I can interact with, who don’t necessarily see me as pastor James but who know just James. Men I can be honest with, hang around with, and just let loose with. Without having the fear of what will they think of me and say about me. With a group of people like that it brings stability in your life, to be honest, no one is superman we all go through challenges,” Pastor James Okumu.
It’s important to love, respect, and appreciate your pastors. But don’t be part of the pressure they go through on “perfectionism.” No one is immune to sin, but we can avoid the temptations together!