African Preachers and Ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ have a lot to learn from Billy Graham’s example.
For many becoming a Pastor or a Prophet is not about serving others but being a master or a demigod to be served.
They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.(Matt. 23:4)
Church members are made to think that the men and women of God are super humans and in most cases this becomes the genesis of abuse of power by the men and women of God who are given presidential treatment. A taste of unbridled power which quickly gets them drunk and corrupt. For indeed, as Sir John Dalberg-Acton said “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority.”
African church leaders have a lot to learn from the excellent leadership example of Billy Graham. The concept of fatherhood, the art of dedication and most importantly being morally pure and devoid of sexual scandal.
Megachurch pastor Greg Laurie has credited the late Billy Graham’s evangelistic success to his “personal life of obedience and purity” and dedication to being a “lifelong learner.”
However, the trouble with some African church leaders is that they think they know it all, they are not lifelong learners. One only has to look at the obvious obsession to give themselves titles. They are quick to assign themselves big titles, such as, Doctor, Professor, retired this and that in an attempt to gain gravitas. This is a folly and a big fault with African Church leaders. It is not the title that you prefix before your name that wins souls to Christ Jesus. So stop this nonsense. (Senior Prophet, Eagle eye prophet, Seer this and that and all these wrestlers type names and military ranks).
There are servants of God who are doing great work out there because they are willing to learn from honourable exemplars like Billy Graham.
Greg Laurie, the pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship who has preached to 4 million people and led more than 400,000 to the Lord, told Onward Christian Radio that Graham, who passed away on Feb. 21 at the age of 99, inspired him to be a “voice to the current generation.”
“I have such a deep affection for him,” Laurie said. “He was more than a great evangelist to me; he was a father figure, and one I had the deepest admiration for. My life and ministry has been deeply impacted by Graham. He was a very approachable, accessible person, and when you were with him he gave you his attention. He always had a genuine interest in people and was the same person both in public and in private.”
I would argue that this is what we lack in African church leaders (proper father figures who are not money hungry leeches sucking the congregates dry). They want to be feared, they want to rule with unquestioned authority). They want to seclude themselves from the people they lead. Only to be seen on the pulpit or on social media bragging about their latest cars or private jet to a poverty stricken audience.
Being a father figure is a concept yet to be understood by most of these young prophets especially who have assumed the role of being spiritual fathers before they have even mastered the art of being biological fathers.
If you describe someone as a father figure, you mean that you feel able to turn to that person for advice and support in the same way that you might turn to your father.
But some of the church leaders have now taken up “The-Godfather” mafia type of fatherhood in which they offer spiritual cover to only those who pay seed offering.
There is much to learn from the example of Billy Graham who indeed was a father figure, a man of honour, a man who commanded respect not because he called himself by a catchy name, he was simply Billy Graham.