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What are the qualities of church leaders?

Zimbabweans are groaning under the yoke of a faltering economy. Salary delays and banks queues are the order of the day. The levels of poverty and hunger worsen every day. Clerics like Shingi Munyeza, Evan Mawarire, Tudor Bismark and Tom Deuschle have spoken out against some policies and proposed solutions, especially the impending introduction of the bond notes, but to no avail. The nation heed calls for a stay away last week just to register its anger over failure by government to redeem the economy after years of failed policies and empty promises. Though we are yet to see the results, we take comfort in their courage and willingness to stand up, not just for the faithful, but for everybody else in this nation. I want to believe they are also praying for this nation as the word says in 2 Chronicles 7v 14 :  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.



While serious leaders are grappling with issues of hardships, one self-appointed church leader and “prophet” Passion Java was arrested during church service recently to answer charges of stealing trust property. Passion is accused of holding on to Chido Pamela Mangi’s Toyota Chaser vehicle, which vehicle he had given his word to return after a month but failed to do so. Another follower Tatenda Kangai claimed a 51 inch television from the same “prophet”. Passion launched his ministry by telling people their ID numbers and performing other miracles that mesmerised the faithful. While the allegations against him are serious, Passion seems to downplay the two cases. He wants people to believe that it is a smear campaign against him.

He is reported to have tried to convince the two to consider “seeding” their property, a clever way to deprive them of what they worked for. Many people have been duped in that clever way by materialist modern day prophets.

While people are free to choose churches and submit to the leadership, Passion’s conduct calls on us to remind each other of the qualities of good church leaders. The scriptures in 1 Timothy 3 v 1- 13 reads:

Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.

In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.
A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus. [NIV]

May the faithful be guided accordingly. His grace is sufficient.

l Feedback: cmabasa@standard.co.zw

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