Loyalty in ministry – by PASTOR FOLAMI FAWEHINMI

The first thing I wld like to say to this August gathering is that loyalty is not TAUGHT. Loyalty is CAUGHT!!!!


The word “loyalty” has been abused in ministry.

What we hear is you have to be loyal to me.

“I am the one God ordained not you. So as Elisha was loyal to Elijah you must be loyal to me”. That is what we commonly hear.

It becomes a coercive loyalty at that point as opposed to influential loyalty.

The former is detrimental to success in ministry.

Definition of loyalty.
Steadfast in allegiance or duty

So, the issue for discourse today is : how do pastors engender the followers’ steadfast allegiance?

Before we fully delve into this matter, let us consider the following scriptures first.

Slogan for loyalty: Matthew 7:12 – do unto others what you want others to do unto you.

Esteem each other better than yourself. Philippians 2:3-11.

Seek the good of others. 1 Corinthians 10:24

The first thing we need to realize is that there is leadership vacuum in the world today. God was concerned so much about this that He made a proclamation in
Ezekiel 22:30 of looking for a man…but found none!

In Isaiah He was again on the look out for a leader to send. Thank God this time around Prophet Isaiah quickly bailed out mankind! Isaiah 6:8.

Such is the dearth of leadership.

Unfortunately, God will always need leaders who will be the extension of His hand on earth. Till now, His eyes are still searching to and fro the earth seeking for ready and willing leaders. The problem is that, the qualifications for the vessels God uses in His kingdom are tougher than what obtains in worldly leadership. Brother Gbile Akanni once made a very pointed but very remarkable statement on recruitment for Godly leaders. He said in God’s army, there is nothing like “an emergency sanctification”. One that is quickly put together to usher a man into leadership position. He went on to say that neither does God follow human criteria such as good looks, physique, and academic acumen, but a good heart. To him a good heart will comprise of the following virtues:
– integrity
– honesty
– blamelessness and
– purity.

An example here is David who was referred to as “a man after God’s heart”.

How God picked David as a leader is also instructive. Let us look at 1 Samuel 13:14 to see what God had to do to pick Hs leader and particularly, what was uppermost in His criteria before he was chosen …”the Lord hath sought Him a man after His own heart, and The Lord hath commanded him to be captain over Hs people…”

The expectation of God of His leaders is that they should be CAPTAIN over His people. The leader must not be a dwarf. He must challenge himself to grow DAILY. Otherwise, he will engender followership familiarity occasioned by stagnant growth in grace, in knowledge, in purity and in power.

Leadership is a high call.

Before we leave this overview, let us consider how Jesus exemplified leadership and what he expects his leaders to do.

Matthew 4:17-19

Jesus said to them follow me and I will MAKE you.

There is a following and there is a making.

Leadership is about turning men to who God wants them to be. Psalm 23:1,2.

Until there is a making you have not led! So if I am leading I must be producing changes in the followers.

The prodigal son came back home to be made something. Luke 15:17-19.

Transforming them into something better is the goal of leadership. Not just about producing result.

So, I submit that what God expects from His leaders is TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP.

Hear how Laurie Beth Jones summarized Jesus’ leadership prowess:
“One person trained twelve human beings who went on to so influence the world that time itself is now recorded as being before (B.C) or after (A.D) his existence.”

“This person worked with a staff that was totally human and not divine…..a staff that in spite of illiteracy, questionable backgrounds, fractious feelings and momentary cowardice went on to accomplish the tasks he trained them to do. They did this for one main reason – to be with him again” ACTS 4:13.

This was influence at work. They would want to be with him again and again. Do you command this kind of followership by influence?

Ponder on this.

To be a great leader, you can’t but be laden with emotional intelligence. Jesus was a master in this. Emotional intelligence is a great virtue that we all need to imbibe in order to have committed and great followers. A leader needs increased EQ – Emotional intelligence Quotient to do well in leading the people.

Simply put, Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. The four skills needed to do well in EI are:
1. Self awareness – the ability to identify your own emotions and know what makes you tick.
2. Self management – the ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving. Putting your momentary needs on hold to pursue larger and more important goals.
3. Social awareness – the ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and understand what is going on with them.
4. Relationship management – this taps into your abilities in the first three emotional intelligence skills. It is your ability to use your awareness of your emotions and that of others to manage interactions successfully.

Hear this amazing discovery: people with the highest levels of IQ outperform those with average IQs just 20% of the time; while people with average IQs outperform those with high IQs 70% of the time. This anomaly shows that high IQ is not always the source of success. The discovery of EQ or EI served as the missing link in this rather confusing find. According to Travis brad berry & Jean Greaves; scientists realized that there must be another variable that explained success above and beyond one’s IQ. The critical factor discovered is Emotional Intelligence EQ.

Thus, emotional intelligence goes far beyond empathy. Empathy is putting your feet in the shoes of others in order to feel what they feel and thereby be more tolerable in handling their plights.

Jesus demonstrated emotional intelligence so many times. His EQ mastery can be summarized into 3 parts :
– strength of self mastery – he said “I Am”, he stuck to his mission, he believed in himself, he had internal anchors, he felt a sense of destiny, he is keenly aware of his resources amongst others.

– strength of action – he saw everything as being alive, he had a plan, he saw things differently, he formed a team. He was bold, he took one step at a time, he took the long view amongst others.

– strength of relationships – he gave them a vision of something larger than themselves, he beheld them, he was open to people and their ideas, he treated them as equals, he spent lots of time with them. He loved them, he defended them, he acknowledged in public and in private, he believed in them amongst others.

The summary of his EI mastery is as encapsulated in John 15:15-17. He said I no longer call you servants but friends. That is the height of emotional intelligence. Friends pour into each others emotional bank account.

True friends don’t hurt each other. True friends are loyal to one another.



Matthew 25:14-30

Successful leaders believe in accountability.

When I say, “Leaders hold people accountable,” who comes to mind? Followers right?


Authentic leaders think of themselves, as well as others, when they think of accountability.

Authority without accountability is abuse.

Accountability begins with leaders, not Followers. If you want accountability from others, become accountable to others.

After you become accountable, expect accountability.

Reality about accountability:
You might try to impose accountability, but you can’t buy or force it. Accountability that elevates performance is freely embraced. Anything other than a person holding themself accountable is de-motivating coercion.

“Go into every interaction with those who work for you believing that you are as accountable to them for your performance as they are to you for their performance.” Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat

Leaders are accountable to followers for the following:
– Attach their job to the broader mission of the company.
– Explain how their job fulfills strategy.
– How people interact.

Additional ways leaders can be accountable to followers:

Every employee would leap for joy if they heard their leader or manager say, “I’m accountable to you for my listening behaviors.”

Create environments where people can bring out their best.

One-way accountability is arrogant. Mutual accountability is the rave of the moment.

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