I was invited to the Newtown Assembly of God church in D’Andrade Street, Newtown, a number of times and so I started to visit. However I observed an incident, recently, that caused me to think differently of pastors and leaders of some churches.
How pastors conduct themselves without regard for visitors, observers and may I say also, people who would like to join this faith is astonishing.
In all my over 40 years functioning at managerial levels, I have never seen such an act of inconsideration, disrespect and of no protocol when it comes to dealing with a matter of an in house” nature. From questioning a few persons, this is what ad transpired a week earlier.
I sat in a class that is there for persons who would like to know more of the Holy Bible. The session ended and the female teacher began to pray with the class for a female students’ husband and from all appearances, the spirit of God was revealing what this husband was going through and they were praying against such.
I did not know who the student was or her husband but from all indications, everyone was in agreement with the prayer and then the session ended.
The next Sunday, I was so interested in the lesson from the last week that I obeyed the temptation to stay back after the church session and to my shock and awe, this is what occurred. The same female took over the class and started to teach when she was interrupted by someone who told her that the pastor was coming to speak to the class and so she told us that and took a seat. An elder whom I recognized for years, stood at the front of the class and started to talk about the gifts of the Holy Spirit and what are their purposes and functions.
He then went on to mention the situation of the teacher praying for the student and her husband that previous week and probably revealing secrets in the open class. He said that some people in the class were feeling embarrassed and scared that they might be next. The female teacher whom I recognized too, being in that church for her whole life, after realizing the situation, and probably noting that some persons were in the class that were not there when the situation occurred, and wanting to probably not have these leaders continue to embarrass themselves, asked to deal with it privately. To my surprise the pastor who was at the back came to the front and asked the teacher to sit and then went on to say that the situation happened in the class and should be dealt with in the class.
He said that such behaviour had affected members in the class and also started to ask for students to stand and say what else was wrong, giving them the opportunity to shoot more accusations at the teacher.
He went on to ask if they were having a worship session in the class even though the students said that they don’t have any of that. From the reactions and look on most of the faces of the students, they were very surprised. Some felt bad about this whole confrontation in the class.
End result was that the pastor and elders left the class and then the female teacher burst into tears and then apologized to the class. I asked myself these questions:
1) If it were a secular office, is this how a manager would deal with a front-line supervisor ? In front of all the staff?
2 ) Is there a committee or team for this Sunday school with a leader to whom such a case should have passed before this misguided act of the pastor reached such a level?
3) If the student was offended by the revelations why did she not speak to the teacher and settle the whole issue?
4) Why are some students afraid? Is the class full of hypocrites who want to do as they please outside the teachings of the holy bible and not want God to confront them and their families?
5)Did this pastor and other leaders do any managerial training or programmes in their lives? If so were they paying very careful attention to the aspect of dealing with situations of such nature?
6) Did the pastor and leaders realize that they were now investigating a situation in the open public and at the same time trying to bring disrespect to that teacher?
7) Are these teachers paid in this religious service that they can be subject to such misguided and senseless act of a so called leader?
8) Is there a higher level of authority or board of pastors that can look into such an act of misuse of power?
9) Is a pastor to protect his flock or stand and rip them up?
10) Are other leaders to still support a pastor when he is operating wrong or can they intervene to save further embarrassment?
It is not really a place for people who want to love God and learn more of him and grow spiritually, it’s a place of high hypocrisy and power struggles.
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