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PROJECT TOPIC: THE CHALLENGES OF MINISTERIAL RESPONSIBILITIES AND ITS EFFECTS ON THE MINISTER`S HOME

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  • Background to the Study

The people serving in God’s vineyard are often called Pastors, Ministers, Shepherds and others. These titles are given based on their duties to the church. Ministers of the gospel are belabored with many activities and responsibilities that take much of their time, energy, and life. Since the minister or pastor must devote his time to preaching, teaching, feeding and nurturing God’s flock; it behooves the church to ensure they are highly respected and well-paid. Many ministers have thrown themselves wholly into God’s work that their needs are totally forgotten. Often times, Pastors are tired yet joyful. They are discouraged yet constantly refreshed. Of course, it is indeed their calling but sometimes need financial support for personal and family needs which is common to every human.

A ministry is a way to serve the church and community. The most well-known type of ministry is serving as a pastor, but there are many other ministry opportunities for people.

In the New Testament church, leaders were required to demonstrate faithfulness at home before they were considered eligible for leadership. Too often many consider leadership to be so important that it is worth neglect of home life. This gets it backward. And it’s dangerous because it’s built on the assumption that “without me, God’s church cannot survive.” But God says, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). It is God’s church and all must give an account on the last day of how he/she steward their marriage, parenting, and family. Many pastors struggle with expectations by church members of their spouses or children. Others struggle with finding time for their families. The dangerous practice of becoming all things to all people, and conforming to roles which are not real, can all have a devastating effect on their homes.

Most pastors love their callings. Most pastors enjoy most of what they do in ministry. And most pastors wouldn’t change their role if they could. Still, many pastors have ongoing challenges and struggles. Most of the world hears about the few pastors who make huge salaries. The reality is that the majority of pastors struggle financially. Most often, expectations of pastors can be unrealistic. Pastors are often expected to attend multiple meetings, to visit countless congregants, to prepare sermons with excellence, to provide ongoing strategic leadership, to conduct weddings and funerals, and to be involved in the community. Many pastors do not know how or when to say “no.” And many are not good at delegating, or they really do not have anyone who can handle some of their responsibilities.

Of a truth, the home is the means of communicating the essence of Christianity, of bringing meaning and purpose to life, then it follows that a well-ordered family is a powerful evangelistic agency. The minister`s family is expected to stand as representatives of Jesus, keeping God’s law in an unbelieving community. A well-ordered, well-disciplined family tells more in behalf of Christianity than all the sermons that can be preached anywhere. The greatest evidence of the power of Christianity that can be presented to the world is a well-ordered and well-disciplined family. The pastor or minister whose family is in chaos is extremely destructive to the life and health of the body they are ministering to and to the witness to the world.

If the pastor is in a way is a builder of the body of Christ, and if in the building process he neglects the basic building blocks, then the structure of his church is sure to be faulty and the building itself weak. Thus the basis for building a strong church is the pastor’s own family. The serving ministers are expected to strike a balance between ministry and their homes for effectiveness. Therefore, this study aims at investigating the challenges of ministerial responsibilities and its effects on the minister`s home.

1.2    Statement of the Problem

Homes (families) are under attack, especially ministers` families. Many church ministers have given up their jobs to rely on the meager church allowance to look after their families. Some are too busy with church duties to cater for their children in desperate need of their parents’ attention and guidance. It is really disheartening that many have completely left their families’ providence to God’s mercy. One would wonder when these men spend quality time with their wives and children, between officiating the main services on Sunday, weekly services on Wednesday, then the weeklong fellowships, choir practices and private prayer sessions.

It is discovered that many ministers, as their ministries grow and along with them responsibilities to the church, seem to gradually replace their family responsibilities with the ministry demands. When they are not conducting a general service, they are away on church duty or helping the congregation with personal issues of family, finance and faith. The wives, like in the case of the lady with her two starving daughters, are left to cater to the families alone while at the same time portraying a positive image of their husband, the minister.

Many disgruntled spouses have decided not to be involved in any way in their spouses` ministries, which should signify her resignation to their faults. This is a sign that on is yet to satisfactorily balance ministry with family responsibility. Many ministers make declaration of commitment to ministry. Does he mean that if his wife and children are dangerously ill but the weekly church business meeting needs him to run smoothly that he’ll leave his family in their need in order to be at the meeting? Or does he mean he will choose hard ministry assignments, maybe even in dangerous places that will make family life more difficult? These are just a few possibilities, and there are endless other options along a spectrum of family first versus kingdom first. Thus, this researcher would like to answer the following questions:

What is ministry?

What are the known ministerial challenges?

What is the biblical perspective of minister’s homes?

What are the effects of ministerial challenges on ministers` homes?

How can ministers strike a balance between ministry and their homes?

1.3.      Purpose of the Study

This study is concerned with the implications of ministerial welfare in Christ Apostolic Church in Osun State. It will attempt to:

  1. Discuss the concept of ministry
  2. Enumerate ministerial challenges
  3. Expatiate on the balance between ministry and the home
  4. Highlight the effects of ministerial challenges on ministers homes in C.A.C, Oke Aanu District, Modakeke, Osun State
  5. Recommend and suggest ways of balancing ministerial responsibilities and their homes.

1.4       Significance of the Study

This research work will be of immense benefit to the following:

  1. Church leaders, council and administrators will be able to build and improve on the welfare of their ministers or pastors.
  2. Ministers at different levels of operations will be able to identify the effects of their ministerial responsibilities on their homes. This will enable them make amends where necessary.
  3. Upcoming and young ministers will be enlightened on the challenges of ministerial responsibilities. It will clear from their minds all the misconceptions and myths associated to the work of ministry.
  4. Future researches will have a handy reference tool for further related researches/studies.

1.5       Scope of the Study

Although, the work of ministry presents with myriads of challenges at all levels and places, its effects cannot be overemphasized. This study is confined to the ministerial challenges and its effects on ministers’ homes using Christ Apostolic Church, Oke-Aanu District, Modakeke in Osun State as a case study. However, the results of this study would be useful to all ministers in Christ Apostolic Church worldwide.

1.6       Research Procedure

This section focused on the procedures used in carrying out this research. It described the population, sampling methods, instrumentation and date analysis technique.  To a significant degree, completing a successful research depends on having a clear defines purpose and access to useful data pertinent to that purpose. Certainly, various problems require different strategies. This study is a descriptive research; therefore a survey design is used in carrying it out. The procedures include:

  1. A detailed review of related literature including previous research work, authoritative Christian journals, articles and the Holy Bible.
  2. Consultation of LIFE Theological Seminary Library and other private libraries for useful data collection.
  3. Questionnaires were administered to respondent for collection of necessary information for this study.

1.7       Limitation of the Study

During the course of this research work, the researcher encountered challenges such as time constraint and difficulty in getting information from respondents. However the researches endeavored to present a valid report.

1.8       Definition of Terms

The following words are defined for the purpose of this study:

Ministry:

It is an activity carried out by Christians to express or spread their faith, the prototype being the Great Commission.

Ministerial: Relating to a religious minister

Challenge: A test of somebody`s abilities; a situation that tests someone`s abilities in a stimulating way

Home: home or domicile is a dwelling-place used as a permanent or semi-permanent residence for an individual or family

   


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