There are lots of churches in Nigeria, and each one has a pastor. On second thought, each church has multiple pastors.
So you can do a quick guestimate on how many pastors are likely to be in Nigeria.
Every church and its minister tends to have a specialty, or “ministry”. While some focus on healing, others on prosperity, salvation, deliverance, breakthrough, holiness, revival, miracle, the list is endless.
The bible lets us know that people are given different gifts and ministries. It also gives instruction on how each ministry should be executed.
Everyone is free to associate and fellowship with any Church of their choosing. They are also allowed to subject themselves to whichever minister or Pastor they believe will lead them properly.
If I may ask, what is the job of a pastor?
Before you enroll your children in a school, won’t you research the school? Know their strengths and weaknesses? Decide if the benefits are commensurate with the fees you’ll be paying?
Same way, before you place your life under the ministration of one pastor, you need to know if he is the Pastor for you.
A Pastor is basically a Shepard. Whatever you think a shepherd is supposed to do to his flock, that is what your pastor is supposed to do for you.
Feeding with spiritual meals that are nutritious, and not just delicious. Providing shelter from the elements of life that would normally wear you down.
Giving moral and emotional comfort and reassurance. Guiding your path, so you don’t fall into danger or harm. Rest, refreshment, renewal.
The pastor does this using a combination of the rod and the staff. They are at no point expected to flog you with any physical rod. Or bodily rod too.
Instead, they use their word, and Christ’s word to comfort and chastise you as necessary.
A pastor that only comforts you without chastising you is a sugar daddy or mummy. And a pastor that only chastises without comforting you is a brutish dictator.
Neither of them will provide a conducive environment for you to thrive.
Ministers change, ministry change, you also change. If when you came under a pastor, they were the perfect fit for you, all is well.
If at any point you get uncomfortable with their doctrines, you discover their word is no longer satisfying for you, or you can tell that you need something different, then you need to leave that ministry.
You might have changed in status, mental space, spiritual standing, and you need a shepherd that is accustomed to taking care of a flock you have grown to.
For example, if during your days of being single or engaged, you attend a church that focuses on marriage and relationships. After being married for ten years, if your church is still the same one that focuses on marriage, you might be due for a change.
Your needs are now different. Spouse, children, career, in-laws, family, business, you need a pastor that is in the same headspace as you.
This does not mean your previous church or pastor is bad or immature. It simply means you need a change. The shepherd doesn’t care for the lamb and the ram the same way.
And if at any time, you start feeling that you know better than your pastor, it is time to leave.
You knowing more than your pastor doesn’t mean you have become proud. Don’t let anyone tell you that you need to pray for forgiveness for daring to think or feel that.
It simply means your pastor has done a great job of pouring themselves into you. (Not physically. If they ever try that physically, call the police.)
They have emptied themselves into you and now, you need a new source of refilling.
Why I keep saying the pastor you are “under” is simple. The shepherd and the flock are never equal. The sheep that feel it is equal or greater than the shepherd should just as well go cater for themself.
If you can’t submit yourself to your pastor, then they shouldn’t be your pastor. As long as they are your pastor, you are under their authority. And if you ever feel they are abusing that authority, you need to exit yourself.
The Church you attend and the pastor that leads you plays a key role in how your life progresses. If you are in an environment that lets you flourish, your life will be a beauty.
This is not saying one pastor’s method is wrong or whatever. What is meat to Peter might be poison to Paul.
Some people love a disciplinarian, a military drill sergeant, while others prefer a Father Figure. Or Mummy Wa.
A disciplinarian should also know how to show love, just as a Father Figure should know how to discipline.
Just as you are unique, every pastor is unique. The same way you might not eat every meal you come across, that is how you won’t settle into every church.
Long story short, not every pastor can be your pastor.