Pastor Ehinmode stresses on effective ministerial relationship at CAC Hanson Regional Ministers’ Refresher Course

Pastor M. K. Ehinmode

By Boluwatife Oparinde

The contemporary need to work with various kinds of people, as well as the importance of having and maintaining effective ministerial relationships amongst ministers of God in order to have a lasting ministry, has been stressed and emphasized.

Pastor M. K. Ehinmode, the Superintendent of Christ Apostolic Church Calvary Districts' Coordinating Council (DCC), Warri, Delta State, made the stress at the CAC Hanson Regional Ministers’ Refresher Course held from 12th to 13th June, 2022, at CAC Ughelli DCC Headquarters. 

Speaking on the topic "Effective Ministerial Relationship" under the theme, "Challenges in the Ministry: Causes, Prevention and Solution", Pastor Ehinmode described that, "to have a lasting ministry is to have contribution of other people’s effort, time, commitment, dedication and loyalty. In ministry, we must know that the two most important things are the Word of God and people. Relationship is the most important ingredient in the formula of success."

Describing God as a relational being who also created man as the same, the DCC Superintendent also explained that faith revolves around relationship – vertical with God and horizontal with people, and that no one can exist in isolation as ministry is not for lone rangers but for those who strongly believe in the need to work with people.

The clergyman stated the facts about relationships, to include, "after God, the greatest need of mankind is people to relate with. Churches rise and fall based on the level of relationships; To have a true friend, you must first become one. Getting people to like you is merely the other side of liking them. Don’t break a good relationship; you might need it again. If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together with people. People are lonely in life because they spend their entire time building walls instead of building bridges. Do not break a good relationship because of a new one; you might need it again. Close the doors of relationship gently; you may need to go through them again. True relationships must uplift, encourage, inspire, enable and help both parties."

Pastor Ehinmode, highlighting points on how Senior Ministers can relate with Junior ministers, some of which are, "Do not cheat your associate / subordinate. Give them what is due to them. Let the junior share anything that belongs to both of you.Appreciate their efforts and treat them as family. Be sensitive to their personal needs and problems. Use your capacity and power/ authority to fight for them. Help them to get their rights and entitlements.Help them to rise to their fullest potential through refresher courses, workshops, lectures, etc", also stressed that is in relating to a Senior Minister as a Junior or Associate Minister, one must, "Work as unto the Lord not as a man-pleaser (Col 3;22-23). When you buy things for your senior don’t inflate the prices for your personal benefits. Respect your boss; don’t sit on his seat when he/she is not around. Never try to pull down your boss/senior either by your words or actions. The repercussion is always deadly and dangerous," amongst others.

He also urged ministers that in relating to fellow ministers, "Don’t enter into unfair competition with other ministers in order to secure a pulpit or place of honour. Refuse to speak despairingly about the work of either your predecessor or successor. Refrain from frequent visits to a former field/church. If in exceptional cases, you are called back for a funeral or wedding, request that the resident minister be invited to participate in the service. Never embarrass your successor by meddling in the affairs of the church you formerly served. Be courteous to any predecessor of yours when he returns to the field and be thoughtful of any retired minister. Upon your retirement from active ministry, give your pastor loyal support. Don’t gossip about other ministers."

The cleric who counselled that towards higher authority, "We are expected to be faithful to God and the church or higher authority. I.e. Faithfulness in the discharge of our duties; Faithfulness in carrying out instructions and information; Faithfulness in the remittances of dues and levies. We must be accountable to God and His constituted authority. We must never assassinate their characters. We must uphold them in prayers, fasting and intercession. Relate with them with a high sense of humility (Phil. 2:7-8). Relate with them in total obedience (Rom 13:1-2)", also stated that towards previous pastors, ministers should, "Show courtesy and respect to your predecessors. Be happy at his praise being sung. Don’t criticize or make comments that disparage him. If you destroy him, you are destroying yourself. What you say about him in the morning, he will hear about it in the evening. Don’t rush to change his programmes. Put the best construction on both negative and positive comments about him. Honour your predecessor by organizing a befitting send-off service for him. Be his friend and seek to learn from him about the church. Invite him back to speak whenever possible."

On leaving a church/pastorate, the Guest Lecturer presented that, "Give your successor the highest accolades possible. Don’t poison people’s mind against your successor. Stop interfering or hovering around members’ houses. Don’t come back unless invited. Pack up, move out and stay out. Don’t criticise the methods of your successor. Avoid contacts of any kind with members who are in trouble with the church. Remember, God will only ask you for the account of your time there, not after you have left."

The Superintendent encouraged his audience on the principles of a good and growing relationship, expressing that, "Never take advantage of one another. Nothing lasts forever, including seniority. Always remember that whatever you do is a seed you are sowing – you will reap what you sow. Have a friendly disposition - don’t take yourself too seriously. Express your love openly – shake hands with people. Be approachable, available, friendly and helpful. Be considerate of the feelings of others. Listen to others’ opinion. Don’t expect that everyone will accept you. Speak kindly to others. Be an encourager. Never limit others. Be open and sincere (Pro. 18:21)Practise operation BEST. That is, believe in them, encourage them, share with them and trust/train them ( 1 Sam 22:1-3). Be quick to apologise and take correction."

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