#Admin 2024-01-17
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‘And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, Arise and eat, and he looked and behold there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and Eat for the journey is too great for you” And he arose and ate and drank and he went in the strength of that food for the forty days and forty nights to Horeb, The mount of God’. (I Kings 19)

So, to discuss a sustainable ministry, we must talk about a sustained minister. Elijah, the prophet was sustained by God for ministry, and it was after God took care of him that he gave him instruction to anoint Hazael, Jehu, and Elisa to sustain the ministry. Jesus too was sustained by constant communication with God, through prayer and contemplation. Paul too, (2Cor.11:23-33;12:1-10) despite his hardships, he was sustained. Prophet Jeremiah too suffered so many persecutions but was sustained in his ministry (20:7-18)

Therefore, to have a sustainable ministry the following and more should be considered:

There must be a Focused Ministry

You can’t sustain what is not in existence. Every minister in our context, priest, must define their ministry and stay there. Elijah was a prophet and he never struggled to be a teacher or an evangelist. He stayed in his ministry; God met him and empowered him for “his ministry”. What is your gift, what is your talent? cf. Eph. 4:11-13; 1Cor. 12:1-11; 12-31. Know your gift and be consistent in arears of your strength rather than fluctuating based on the opinions of others.


‘Study to show yourself approved unto God…’. (2Tim. 2:15) When we stop learning, we start dying. One cannot afford to remain static. The challenge of the pews becoming higher than the pulpit is very real. Your messages (in terms of content and delivery) must constantly improve, your conduct of worship, your dressing, your spoken words, your movement in worship, your comportment must always be of


acceptable standard. You must take seriously your sermon preparation which must be original, both in content and style of delivery. There is no need to try to copy any other person. You must constantly develop yourself; you must be yourself.

Beware of Greed and Selfishness

Ecclesiastics 5:10 “whoever loves money never has enough, whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.” Greed and selfishness has killed many ministers/priests and ministries. It hinders sustainable ministry, dear priest, take care of it before it destroys your ministry. There are too many instances of vicars who refuse to share with curates or younger priests, asking them to wait for their turn. This is not right and must not be encouraged. The person you cheat today might be your superior tomorrow. Justice, fairness, and equity in our relationships should be our standard.

Develop Good Relationships

This involves your fellow clergy and the congregation. You must be deliberate about this, make good effort to ensure that there is a cordial relationship between you and your clergy brothers and the congregation you are leading. Treat people with respect today because you might need them tomorrow.


The bible says in Philippians 2:5-7: ‘having this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant being born in the likeness of men.’

Our Lord Jesus Christ though in the form and likeness of God humbled Himself and shared in our humanity. This was an important aspect of His person and ministry, and we must follow His example for a sustainable ministry. We cannot arrogate to ourselves what belongs to God, for all glory belongs to Him. Humility helps in our interpersonal relationships and putting others first is exactly what Paul admonishes us to do, by not thinking too highly of ourselves. (Phil. 2:3)


A good character helps sustain the priest in his ministry and helps convince people of the sincerity of the priest. (Eph.4:20-32) Are you honest? Are you straightforward? Can you be trusted with money? Are you easily angered? How are you with the three Ws; Women, Wine and wealth? All these issues are fundamental


to the ‘success’ (though I prefer to use the word faithful) ministry. Good character traits are pleasing to the One who has called us and are critical to having a sustainable ministry. Whatever we are character wise will be discerned by those we minister to, and this is an area we must all prayerfully work on to improve.


A good and constantly improving prayer life anchors our ministry on the One who has called us to His service. He alone it is who gives the wisdom, discernment and all that is necessary for the sustainability of our ministry. Jesus said: ‘Abide in me, and I in you: as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.’ (John 15:4) We know from scripture that ministry is never smooth sailing, but we also learn from scripture that in good times and bad, praying without ceasing assists us to remain faithful to the end.



Thank you for listening.



Rt Revd. B. C. Akinpelu Johnson

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