I was relating with a minister of the gospel recently. He bears the title of an apostle. In my characteristic manner, I teased him about his title, adding that I am merely a pastor and I hope to be an apostle someday. His response got me thinking; “Ah, forget the title. I just looked for something to scare people and make them respect me. That’s why I took the title of an apostle.”

Friend, there is no entitlement in title (1 Timothy 3:1). This was the statement I heard from a major minister of God in our country years ago. As a teenager that year, the statement immediately gave me the right perspective about ministry. I decided I would not pursue the title of a minister but the life of a minister. Truly, there is no entitlement in title.

Title does not add anything to you. It actually exposes you without knowing (Zechariah 3:1). Title identifies you before men and the devil. Title gives men something to expect from you. But will they get what they expect (Acts 3:5)? When you call someone a lawyer or doctor, you would normally expect a professional contribution from him. What if we call someone an apostle? We should expect the signs of an apostle (2 Corinthians 12:12).

Titles identify you before the enemy. This is the aspect most people do not understand yet. Like the sons of Sceva, if you boast of a false gift or title, you might be endangering your life without knowing (Acts 19:11-17). Most battles that a lot of people are facing today can be linked with the titles they have falsely taken up. Titles attract battles, but you would need mantles to deal with battles.

It is better to pursue mantles than to pursue titles (2 Kings 2:8-15). With the right mantles, men will recognise and respect you. If you carry the right mantle, men will give you the title that they have identified with your mantle. Anyone can call themselves whatever they like, but it will take some processes and sacrifices for you to get the right mantles (2 Kings 2:10, 3:11)

Don’t be a cloud without rain (Jude 1:12). Don’t be a false or fake representation of what people call you (Proverbs 25:14). Just as we have quack doctors today, we also have quack ministers; those who bear titles without mantles. When you carry what your generation needs, they will give you what they carry; honour, respect, resources, etc. (Galatians 2:9). Always remember this: it is better to be underrated than to be overrated (Proverbs 12:9). There is no entitlement in title.

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