The Lord asked a certain pastor a very troubling question; “How many of your church members look like you, let alone look like me?” That question reset his heart and helped him to change his approach to ministry. Ministry is raising men after Christ. It is not just playing to the gallery.

Friend, ministry is raising men after Christ. However, people will learn Christ from the person they see physically (1 Corinthians 11:1). Every pastor should be able to say like Jesus; “If you have seen me, you have seen my Father (John 14:7-9).” How many ministers today can say like Peter and John; “Look on us (Acts 3:4)?” Are there spots in your life and character that can limit your boldness before God and men?

Sometimes, in a bid to sound humble, and to avoid being idolised, ministers often make the mistake of saying things like; “Don’t follow me; follow Christ. Don’t look at me; look at Christ.” As sincere as this statement might seem, it also reveals a faulty understanding of ministry. Ministry is representation (John 5:17-19).

A new testament minister represents God, but he does not replace Him (2 Corinthians 3:1-6, Hebrews 5:1-4). If a pastor cannot boldy say; “Do as I do,” he is not fit for ministry. Ministry is “do as I do,” not just “do as I say.” Ministry is representation, not just presentation. If you cannot stand the heat, leave the kitchen.

Pastors and spiritual leaders are always under the strictest scrutiny because of the weight of their assignments before God (James 3:1). A minister should be preoccupied with doing, not just teaching (Acts 1:1). Ultimately, people would not do what you say. They would do what you do. You must not carry a powerful message with a weak life. Your message is as powerful and effective as your life (Romans 1:4, 2 Corinthians 4:10-11, Hebrews 7:16).

As a pastor, you can teach holiness from now till tomorrow, but if you are not living a holy life personally, your members would keep struggling with sin. Who you are and how you live would rub off on the people (John 6:63). As a Christian, be careful who you sit under. Don’t just follow results. Follow Christ-like character. You cannot become like Christ if you have a false representation of Him before you. Selah.

‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria