The church’s leaders are battling for power and domination, some of these church leaders are Rwandese, Congolese, and Burundians. The members were opposed to a new pastor, but the church board insisted that they want another pastor. They debate over their points of view to see if they can come to an agreement. One member from the cohort that opposes the need of a new pastor believes the new pastor is a good man, but he does not feel God wants him as pastor. Other members claim that if he does not become their pastor, they would be without a leader. The members begin to argue over who is correct and who is wrong. They argue that they should obey the leader’s orders, because he understands what God wants them to do. Members become so enraged that they quit the meeting.
The members are divided into two groups, each cohort wants the other to depart. “We need a new pastor,” says one cohort composed of Congolese which supports the coming of a new senior pastor. The church board declares that no one who disagrees with him will be allowed to remain in the church. One of the members claims that she would stay even if it means leaving her family behind. Another member declares that if he is compelled to think one way when God has instructed him otherwise, he would leave with his family. Church members are still upset. “God has instructed me to make all decisions, and I will not allow anyone else to do so,” says the leader. He informs the other members that they must reach an agreement.
A member claims that the leader is incorrect and that God has instructed him otherwise. He recalls how he had a vision of Jesus Christ appearing in front of him, ordering him to quit the church because the church is more political than spiritual. The other members pay close attention as he describes his experience. The leader is enraged and accuses the member of lying. He claims that God has instructed him to make all choices and that he will not allow anybody else to do so. He tells them they have to accept him as the new pastor or quit the church. The member declares that he will not leave and that God has instructed him to do so. The leader informs him that he is mistaken and that if he does not leave, he would be expelled from the church.
When the member refuses to leave, the leader orders the ushers to take him out of the building. The member is escorted out of the building and sits outside. He observes the other members debating what they should do. Some of them want to go with him in protest of what has transpired, but the majority of them want to stay. They claim that they are unable to leave since this church is their home, where they feel protected and cherished. The member sits outside for an extended period of time. He knows he can’t remain, but he has no idea where to go next.
Lambert considers how this church has evolved through time, becoming more political than spiritual. He recalls the pastor as a God-fearing guy who simply wanted what was best for his church; now, he is just another politician with an agenda to pursue. He recalls how the church used to be a place where people were encouraged to develop their own thoughts and beliefs; today it is simply another place where people are expected to accept whatever is stated without question. As a result, he stopped coming to church and began holding Sunday services at his home for individuals who did not agree with the pastor.
All these issues happen due to the benefits pastors get. Pastors’ children school fees are paid by the church. The Pastor is the final decision maker to financial decisions. Pastors are considered and invited to special meetings hosted by UNHCR and Government in the Dzaleka Camp to discuss future plans and agenda UNHCR and Government has for refugees. All these have made pastors and church elders fight for senior pastor positions in churches.
26 January, 2023