By Naneka A. Hoffman
Church leaders in Liberia particularly bishops and pastors converged here on Sunday, 12 November to celebrate International Pastors’ Day, focusing on the work they do, as servants of Almighty God.
The celestial occasion held in the Harvest Inter-Continental Cathedral on Tubman Boulevard brought together several top church leaders in Liberia, including the President of the Liberian Council of Churches, Bishop Dr. Samuel Reeves; host Bishop Wolo Belleh of the Harvest Cathedral; Bishop George Harris of the Philadelphia Central Church, Bishop Rev. Oliver Kpan of Life Tabernacle, Rev. Jenkins Peal of El Shaddai Ministry, and Vision Bearers, Mother and Bishop Sam Oroge.
Bishop Reeves is also President of the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention and Senior Pastor of the First Providence Baptist Church in Monrovia.
Bishop Harris explains that pastors are shepherds of God’s people, citing St. John 10:11 when Jesus says “I am the Good Shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
However, he underscores that pastors should have older pastors over their lives for mentorship in the work of the ministry. “If you are a pastor, who is you pastor?” He asks.
The Bishop says he is of the conviction that every genuine pastor needs a pastor over his or her life, saying “you can never be a leader if you have not learnt to be a servant.”
He further emphasizes that a pastoral function is a spiritual gift and that no one takes upon himself the office, while urging pastors to take care of the flocks God has placed under the ministry.
“It is not about you but your people; what kind of food are you feeding your people?”
Dr. Samuel Reeves of the First Providence Baptist Church says it is important that pastors know their calling, noting that “You must be sure that you are called by God.”
He describes such calling into the pastoral office as a vision from God, but quickly points that in today’s dispensation, many pastors don not want to take up time to grow. He says no pastor ought to beg for bread, as God is able to supply his needs.
But Pastor Jenkins Peal thinks there is a conspiracy against pastors, as some people, he says believe they are weakening or literally beggars.
On the contrary, he insists that pastors are honourable people and they must be respected like lawyers and doctors.
The vision bearer of the International Pastors’ Day in Liberia, Bishop Sam B. Oroge of the Grace Churches Worldwide says everyone who stands behind the puppet to say thus says the Lord is first, a pastor, and that a pastor gives birth to several others and that person understands Ephesian 4:12 as a theologian.
He says this he knows biblically by calling, training, and commission, noting that everyone who is leading the church today, stands somewhere behind a puppet, speaking and they will not allow the pulpit to go extinct.
Commenting on the celebration, Bishop Oroge says he has a dream that was born out of the courage of his conviction and activated by the burden received from the Lord that a time and a season will come when every servant of God will have a reason to rejoice. Editing by Jonathan Browne