Can Nepotism Destroy A Ministry?

                                                                       Leonard Lovett, Ph. D

     Nep-o-tism =  favoritism and patronage based on family relationship. Proverbs 15:27 “He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house…” There appears to be a correlation between greed and nepotism in ministry. When independent  ministries are founded by a single person and their families, there is a tendency to think of the ministry in individualistic  rather than communal terms.  During the early stages of such ministries the musicians, teachers and staff consists of family. As the ministry expands, family members are replaced at the base and move upward toward the seat of power which is the pastoral office. A common trend is to place one’s siblings near the top in order to preserve family lineage.

It is crucial to understand the dynamics and in some instances justifiable reason this is done. In many instances control is the primary motivation for keeping family at the center and the top of the ministry. To be fair it is not wisdom to hold one’s siblings back who too are qualified to lead. On the other hand it is unfair to advance one’s siblings based on kinship and not qualification. Too often it is the latter notion that prevails. When ministry is viewed as personal property rather than the fruit of spiritual labor, it is driven by greed which is a form of idolatry. Once the ministry is fueled and motivated by greed, there are no boundaries or checkpoints sufficient to contain whatever takes place.

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  Dr. Leonard Lovett, Ecumenical Officer of the Church of God in Christ

Posted under: Black Church, Can Nepotism Destroy a Church?, Christian Forum, Church People or Kingdom People?, COGIC, Denominations, Dr. Leonard Lovett, Greed as Idolatry, Injustice, Public Forum

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One comment

  • ADMIN on October 10, 2014 at 1:44 pm said:

    After reading Charles Morgan’s response on F.B. I thought this comment should be shared with everyone.

    Charles Morgan Can Nepotism Destroy (a) Ministry?
    “A” ministry… Selah!

    Dr. Lovett, as I reflected on your EXCELLENT discussion of “Nepotism,” the singularity of your reference to “A ministry” made me think (as you intend for your readers to do). I thought about the multifaceted dimensions of ministry that are adversely impacted by Nepotism. “A ministry” points us to the proliferation of the insidious ramifications of nepotism. Nepotism transcends innumerable boundaries. Nepotism flies in the face of Paul’s discussion of the Nature of the Body of Christ in Eph 4:7; 11-12 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: KJV

    The insidious nature of Nepotism is far reaching, taking many casualties.

    One casualty is the poor recipient of Nepotism . The one “unfairly advanced based on kinship and not qualification” who lacks the gifts and graces to assume a mantle that was not assigned him/her by Christ. The job is ALWAYS far too large for the unqualified. Paul’s metaphor of the Body of Christ comes to mind. To be sure, the eye could NEVER achieve the task of the ear, nor the ear that of the foot. Paul concludes: 1 Cor 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. KJV When mere humans presume to “set the members …in the Body,” calamitous disaster is inevitable.

    A 2nd casualty is the congregation that has to sustain the multifaceted dynamics of a “ministry,” the nature of which was not ordained by Christ. Paul explains in Eph 4:15-16…Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. KJV The local congregation cannot function as Christ Ordains when it is not “fitly joined together and compacted…” by The Holy Spirit.

    A 3rd casualty is The community at large, that very much needs The LORD’s Ordained ministry, which goes lacking, absent/negated by the imposition of nepotism creating a void where the Body of Christ is so desperately needed. The world needs what the Church has to offer. WHEN WHAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE becomes a counterfeit as a result of nepotism, the world is denied what The True Church offers, which is the Ministry of The Holy Spirit, WHO Works through The Mystical Body of Christ in the earth.

    This is certainly not an exhaustive list of casualties. The casualties are innumerable. Let it suffice to say Nepotism is anti-Christ because it presumes to do that which Christ reserves for Himself alone in Matt 16:18…upon this rock I will build MY church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. KJV TO be sure, when, as you so eloquently discussed, “ministry is viewed as personal property rather than the fruit of spiritual labor,” the multifaceted dimensions of ministry are grievously adversely impacted .

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