I have observed a strange trend in Christianity here in Nigeria – it appears the ‘anointing’ of a pastor is automatically transferred to his spouse upon marriage. Rarely do you see a church poster advertising a pastor’s service without his wife standing majestically by his side. Perhaps this explains why the wives of most ‘prophets’ assume the role of ‘prophetess’ in their respective churches.
Going beyond the issue of marriage, many Christian ministries tend to be run like a family business. The pastor’s brother or cousin often heads a church branch and his son is usually primed to take over the ministry. The question is – what role does the Holy Spirit play in the apportioning of such godly roles? In the Bible, Jesus’ 12 disciples were not his blood relations. The prerequisite for the Holy Spirit using you is your openness, willingness and availability – not your blood connection to someone else called by God.
My reason for this musing arose last week whilst watching Emmanuel TV, the television channel belonging to Prophet T.B. Joshua. I was impressed to see Joshua had ‘raised up’ three ministers – two males and one female – who were prophesying, healing and delivering people in The SCOAN. None are his direct relations and two are not even Nigerians!
Someone by the name of Chomba Chongo made this apt observation on Facebook, which actually sums up my musings on this issue: “What I love so much about Prophet T.B. Joshua’s way of ministry administration is that the man completely obeys what the Lord instructs him to do. He has not run to impart the anointing on his biological children, his wife or his very close relatives and friends, so that he can have a hereditary ministry empire – as is a trend by some ministers. Rather, he listens to the will of God. Little wonder then his is a team of supernatural men and women of God with maturity, humility and servitude to God.”
If God is really at the center of our ministries, we should question why key roles and responsibilities – especially in spiritual matters – tend to be assigned to direct relatives or close compatriots of the pastor. He who has ears to hear, let him hear…
Tina Johnson writes from Lagos, Nigeria