SPIRITUAL GIFTS AND ENVIOUS CHURCH LEADERS


“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”(1 Corinthians 12: 7-11)

The Holy spirit has blessed the church with many spiritual gifts. Unfortunately, the church has seen the manifestation of those gifts in a few believers. Many gifted people are sitting idle in our churches because, most church leaders are either ignorant of the existence of spiritual gifts, their functions and benefits to the church and the world at large, or are simply selfish to allow anyone else apart from themselves, their wives and biological children to exercise their such gifting. 

According to the scripture, spiritual gifts were released to the church for the profit of all. Those gifted with the anointing to prophesy, heal, cast out demons and so on are to use such gifting to help others, not to enrich themselves. Church leaders have the mandate to help each believer discover the spiritual gifts the Lord has deposited in him or her and help the person develop and use it for the benefit of the church. Unfortunately, we have seen a few men of God take up this assignment. 

Truth be told, most men of God are deliberately obstructing their followers from exercising their gifting in the local assembly where they belong. Attention is rather given to their biological children who would eventually take over the running of the ministry from them. This has become the trend in many Pentecostal and Charismatic churches where in most cases, a ministry is seen as the business of the founding Pastor. The selfish nature of many men of God has become a serious problem to the body of Christ. It is because of this that many gifted people in our churches are not functioning in their anointing. 

Another problem is that many ministers leading God’s church are ignorant of the spiritual gifts the Holy Spirit has blessed the church with. I once heard a man of God overseeing a big church in Ghana say he was not called to heal, prophesy, cast out demons and so forth. “Those who want such things should go to other men of God,” he added.  In other words, the man of God simply said God did not give him any spiritual gifts. How true is that?  

First off, I don’t agree that God did not give any spiritual gifts to the man of God. He simply failed to see what was given him by the Holy Spirit for the benefit of the church. The Bible is clear that believers in Christ are gifted to to do miracles, including healing.

“These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”(Mark 16:16)

If the man of God mentioned above was truly called by God, the promise in the above scripture is for him as it is for all believers in Christ. His posture shows that he is ignorant of what the Lord has freely given to him. The danger here is, no one under such a minister will have the permission to exercise spiritual gifts. This is not good for the church. 

Again, if a man of God claims that he does not have spiritual gift of healing, prophecy and so forth, does it mean that no one in the church he pastors has it? Can’t someone else prophesy, cast out demons, heal the sick or perform other spiritual works apart from the head Pastor of a church? I ask this question because the man of God we are discussing did not only say that he is not anointed to do such, he said those who want such things should go to ministers with such gifting. This means that the man of God does not believe that anyone under him is blessed with any spiritual gifts. However, that is a lie. He is either selfish or ignorant of the workings of the Holy Spirit. Bottom line, he is robbing believers in his ministry a great opportunity tot bless others and be blessed. That is the case in many churches. What the pastor cannot do must not be done by someone else. 

Some ministers say that the operation of spiritual gifts ended in the days of the apostles of old. Really? I humbly say they are wrong. Spiritual gifts are still very much operational in the church today. Saying that it no longer exists is like saying that the Holy Spirit is no more in the church. But that is not possible. The Holy Spirit is the one leading the church. There is is no true church of Christ without Him. If He is present in the church, His power is also in the church. We see it manifest as spiritual gifts as enumerated in the following scripture. 

“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”(1 Corinthians 12: 7-11)

If anyone says today’s church has not been blessed with the spiritual gifts enumerated in the above scripture, that person is not being truthful. It means the person does not have the Holy Spirit in him or her. I say so because if the Holy Spirit is in someone, the person will surely have the gifts He has released to all believers. He or she will surely see the manifestation of the gifts He has given to the church. 

When spiritual gifts are not manifesting in the church, it means leadership is obstructing the move of God. That is dangerous. This has become a common thing in many churches. Church leaders must understand that the church belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the one He has given the authority to run His church. If He is not in a church, the church does not belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. The leader has stolen the church from the owner. It is for that reason we may not see the manifestations of spiritual gifts in many churches. 

Any church where the operations of the Holy Spirit is not felt is dead. That means that those who worship there are spiritually dead. How can one be alive in the spirit when the Holy Spirit does not operate where the person is? If you are in a church where they condemn spiritual gifts, you are in big problem. You need to get out of that dead church as fast your feet can run.

Away from that, let me speak on churches where spiritual gifts are acknowledged, but only a select few are allowed to exercise their gifting. In many churches, we see the manifestation of spiritual gifts in the pastor or his wife alone. This is very common in the area of healing and prophecy. Does this mean that the only anointed people in the church are the Pastor and his wife? The answer is no. 

It is sad to say that a lot of ministers who flow in the gifts of healing, prophecy, casting out of demons and so forth will never allow someone else in the church to do same. The only exception will be their wives and children. This is because many churches are run as a business enterprise for the Founder’s family. Some leaders deliberately sit on people’s gifting whilst they allow their wife and children to exercise theirs. The idea is to prepare them to take over the leadership of the church when they are no more. To such ministers, the church is nothing more than a family business whose leadership and control must remain in the Founder’s family. So, whilst biological family members are given the opportunity to exercise and grow their gifting, everyone else is kept down.

Truth be told, when a church leader decides to sit on people’s spiritual gifts, he denies them the opportunity to be a blessing to the church and themselves. This act has become a deliberate thing in the church because of selfishness and insecurity on the part of many ministers.

Have you wondered why the only spiritual gift highly operational in many churches is speaking in tongues?

Some men of God have the habit of commanding the congregation to speak in tongues in each meeting(which is unscriptural), but will never allow anyone of them to pray for the sick, prophesy, cast out demons and so forth. The question is, “Why do the same men of God not encourage their church members to operate in other spiritual gifts the same way they encourage them to speak in tongues?”

The answer is simple. Many men of God are insecure. If you are gifted and are not allowed to use your gifting where you are, it is possible your pastor sees you as a competitor instead of a co-worker in God’s vineyard. Those who feel that way see the church as their personal business. Whoever is anointed in the church becomes a competitor in their eyes. Such men of God should understand that the house of God is not a place of competition. We all have distinct gifting which makes the body of Christ complete. Except we all come together and use our gifting for one another’s profit, we will always lose our blessings. 

Many years ago, I went to a prayer camp in a remote village in Ghana to wait on the Lord. The next day, the Prophetess in charge gave me some prophecies. One of them was that my Pastor was having sleepless nights because of me.

“Why? “I asked.

“He says in his mind that his followers will love you more than him because of the way God uses you,” said the Prophetess. I was shocked. I wondered why a pastor I took as my father in the Lord would think like that. Many church leaders are insecure like my pastor. They see gifted people in the church as competitors and will do everything to suppress them. That’s the spirit of envy which has destroyed many ministries. 

Many times in our church, the Holy Spirit puts me aside on many occasions to use someone in the congregation to do His work. I cannot stand against that because I am not the owner of the church. If the Lord can do as He pleases in our church, He can also do same in all His churches because He owns all. What the Lord does in one church, He equally does in another. Unfortunately, most Pastors run the church they pastor. The Holy Spirit is not in charge. In exercising their own authority in the church, many church leaders suppress the manifestation of God’s power in others. That is why we have many people in church, but only a few manifest the power of God. 

God has given each believer a gift for the benefit of the church. You do yours and I do mine and everyone is blessed. But many pastors are so proud, selfish and highly insecure. They are so afraid of losing their honour and high position, they will never allow any church member to preach, prophesy, heal, and so forth. The inability of many pastors to allow the people of God to exercise their gifting.  If you belong to a church where the leader does not allow you to serve the Lord with your gifting, I advise you to quit. This is because on the last day, you will give account of your work. Will you blame your pastor? The ball is in your court. God bless you. 

Source: “Truth be told (TBT) series”

Author:   Apostle Frank B. Ogbu

Head Pastor/Overseer

Champion Grace Eternal Ministries

Ayikai Doblo, Amasaman

Accra, Ghana

Contact us on:

Telephone:  +233 2470 16970

Email: @apostlefrank01@gmail.com

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