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Why Christians should not depend on pastors for their spiritual growth

Unsplash/Francesco Gallarotti
Unsplash/Francesco Gallarotti

Pastors are responsible for preaching and teaching the Bible to educate and inspire church members.  One of the major functions of pastors is to nurture baby Christians to maturity. In other words, pastors are often thought of as being responsible for the spiritual growth of Christians.

Unfortunately, today, many Christians are not growing spiritually because of the kind of spiritual food that they are receiving. One of the major challenges in Christendom currently is spiritual malnutrition. As soon as anyone comes to Christ, it is expected that such a person should start growing until the person becomes mature and starts exhibiting Christ-like characteristics.

In Africa, the profession with the highest number of quacks is the clergy. Many of us are not trained formally or informally. Many go into ministry when they have failed in businesses or lost their secular jobs. There is an abundance of churches in every street in all our major cities and towns with churches established by those who are biblically ignorant. Are these the pastors that innocent Christians should depend on for their spiritual growth?

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The most appalling aspect of this scenario is that so many of these pastors are not interested in the spiritual growth of their followers. They tell people what they want to hear, excite them and encourage them to sow seed with the promise that they will become rich. Sinners are no longer rebuked in churches and even unconverted members are now comfortable in churches. The rich are given preferential treatment to the extent that seats are reserved for them in the church.

The spiritual growth of every Christian is very important and should not be entrusted into the care of another no matter how anointed or knowledgeable such an individual may be. Every Christian must be responsible for his or her spiritual growth. We should develop such intimacy with Christ that we always recognize His voice (John 10:27). The pathway to Christian spiritual growth is to follow Christ and be discipled by Him.

We also need to embrace the Holy Spirit and rely on Him to help us grow spiritually. In Him there is no deception, no wrong doctrine, no falsehood and no ignorance. He is the one who is perfectly suited to guide us into spiritual maturity. “But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true — it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ” (1 John 2:27).

We need spiritual solid food, not just milk (Hebrew 5:13-14). Most of our churches are experts in dispensing spiritual milk and only a few attempt to dish out spiritual solid food. The omniscient God knew there would come a time when men would water down and pervert the Gospel and gave us the Holy Spirit who lives in us. There is no teacher like Him.

The author of the book of Hebrew enjoined us to initiate spiritual growth by departing from the elementary doctrines of Christ and striving towards maturity (Hebrew 6:1-2). That cannot happen if Christians rely exclusively on the errant teachings of popular pastors. It can only happen by an absolute reliance on the Holy Spirit.

Oscar Amaechina is the president of Afri-Mission and Evangelism Network, Abuja, Nigeria. His calling is to take the gospel to where no one has neither preached nor heard about Jesus. He is the author of the book Mystery Of The Cross Revealed.  

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