Pastors, in my opinion, tend to be the most influential people in the society. They lead a massive congregation and most people follow what they teach or rather tell them. In Kenya, we have encountered a lot of scandals concerning pastors, from sex scandals to theft and being materialistic.
When I was young, I remember most of the teachings were about helping out the needy (neighbor), loving them and visiting the sick and the people in prison and so on. I grew up knowing having a good heart and doing good will get me to heaven.
Let us take a look at the modern scenarios. Most pastors teach about how rich and successful you will become, (success does not mean being rich). Even when they pray for you, it will be for you to get lots of money.
When you walk through the streets of Nairobi or anywhere in Kenya, you will meet countless homeless people; people who live under a dollar. These people are poor, and most of us pass them every day. They did not choose to be on the streets or be poor I believe, but they never get any help.
Look at today’s churches; it like a competition of which church is the biggest and has a larger congregation. We give offering and tithes in church because we want to thank God for all that he has done for us. I hear the more you give the more you get, but again, tenda wema nenda zako. I hear people say “our pastor doesn’t have a big house, what will people think of this church”. In fact, I heard two guys arguing about their churches. One person said “our church is much better because our pastor drives the latest Range Rover in town.” The other person said, “Nah…. Ours is way much better because our pastor lives in a mansion in Kilimani worth 100 million.” I think you can figure out where I am going.
With all this happening, I then pose the question, why do we have so many needy people in the streets yet our pastors are getting richer as days go by? I am not against pastors being rich, not at all; all I am saying is that it should not be a priority.
With the influence of pastors, I believe the number of needy people in the streets will reduce. There is no point in making someone extremely rich and yet the same person says we should help out other people who need us the most.