Uganda Sunday Monitor, Saturday, August 4, 2007

How to be a pastor

After the recent expositions about some church leaders, it has become clear that Pastoral work and Christianity as a whole is a huge pillar to Uganda’s economy. Just as a form of encouraging economic development, John K. Abimanyi gives a few guidelines to follow if any one is interested in starting, maintaining and prospering a church

Start from scratch
Do not wait to build a 10,000-seater auditorium to begin a church. The back yard garage at home can do for starters. If you follow the instructions below to the dot, you will upgrade to a palace church in no time.

Prosperity gospel
Above all, make it clear from the start that the only way to get a thing from God is by constant, sincere, and faithful tithing and sowing. The flock should know that God knows exactly how much they earn and will punish them when they give him less than a tenth. Preach about getting rich and prospering.
Do not talk about sin and hell because people do not like being blamed for the slightest sin they commit; rather, they want to listen to the promises of prosperity that God has for them.

You need a loud, sharp and hoarse voice. 21 century church is not conducted in whispers. Thus, you should be able to scream the lungs out to the masses all sermon long. It shows that you are an authority on what you are preaching. You should also be able to quote a few Bible verses off the cuff without turning the pages of the bible.

Regular concerts
Organise regular music and dance extravaganzas facilitated by dynamic bass boost sound systems. It is the only way to attract this day’s youth to your church. You can also include youth conferences where you talk about sex, abstinence, marriage, and relationships from as many perspectives as you can create.
They love hearing such talk and will never get tired of it. You would also love to have a mass choir, probably run by your wife or daughter, where the boys and girls meet to socialise during the practice. This will keep the youth satisfied and once you have today’s youth, you have tomorrow’s leaders.

Unique personality
Have a unique personality. You ought to have a few vices that you were saved from. Occasionally, remind your church that you were once a murderer, or a thief but you were saved and are now cleansed. The flock will easily associate with you because you have been where they are.

Drive high powered SUVs with personalised plates. You would particularly want to drive a Humvee. This would show that you are a General in God’s army. It helps to spread the word and show how God has blessed you. You do not need to be a good man to be a pastor. Do not let your promiscuity, witchcraft, lust, and theft stop you from serving.

The parking yard
After getting the church venue, gather up a few cars to park around your church on Sunday morning while you conduct your service. People feel secure going to a church that is attended by trendy looking people. All those that do not have cars, and they are really many, will have hope that within three months of attending your church, they will be driving as well.

So let them come and fill your bags with ‘seed.’ Words of caution though, do not pack Toyota Corollas a.k.a. kikumi and Toyota Coronas a.k.a. kibina at your venue because the people may think that your congregation is made up of special hire drivers only.

Gad for God
You need a good English accent. You must be able to pronounce the word ‘God’ as Garrd. That way, you give the congregation the feeling that you are learnt about the white man’s language; and that only builds their confidence in you. You should at no time refer to the Holy Spirit as that; rather, call him Holy Ghost; pronounced hurly gawst.

Hire a few people to give testimony once in while. This will send the message that things are working in your church and keep people anxious and ‘sowing.’ Do not worry about how to get the people to do this sacred job because many Ugandans would love to do such a thing. If they can sell the most private of their body parts for a couple of coins, then they can sell off their conscience for a little more than that.

People who matter
Hang around people who make things happen in your society. It helps to say words like, “while I was with the President the other day…” during your sermon. Your flock will know that they are in secure hands because you even command attention from high people. People like L.C.5 Chairperson, the President and his wife, and many of the kind. With this, you can never go wrong even if you blander with a prophecy or two.


Ps 1:1-3

1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.