The Loyal Associate

Bola Akin-John Taal: Engels

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Let me start this introduction by quoting a Bible passage found in Psalm 12:1 "Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men". This is an apt scriptural description on the issue of associates and assistants.

Finding a loyal, faithful, teachable and available associate is a rarity today. It is like looking for a coin in a heap of sand. But that should not be the case and this is the reason for this book.

In my over a decade of teaching, training and empowering church and ministry leaders across Nigeria, Africa and the World, I have seen it first hand and experienced it personally, the havoc and damage disloyal, disgruntled and double-faced associates can do and are capable of doing.

Much of the crisis, problems, tumult and church breakaways being witnessed in so many churches and ministries today are the direct outcome of wrong associates. Too many associates - associate pastors, overseers, deputy president, personal assistants and assisting team of leaders have brought much heartache, tears, pains and sometimes, destruction to the work of their leader. The situation is so bad that many leaders are now afraid of trusting anyone as associate.

Firstly, we don't know how to really follow. Many who are in leadership positions today lack the skill to really be good followers. Many who did not follow well are now demanding good fellowership from those under them. How ironic!

Many leadership schools, institutes, schools of ministry and conferences are criminally silent on how to be good and loyal associates. Majority of the teachings are only tilted on being the number one person in your church or organization. Unfortunately, they fail to realize that in God's mathematics, you will never be a good number one until you are first a good number two.

Secondly, many who should still be following are already leading. My experience with many young Pastors and leaders confirm this assertion. Too many that broke away to start churches and ministries shouldn't have done so. They would have been much more fulfilled in serving the kingdom of God better if they have remained as associates to good leaders. And their good support and useful contribution would have made some good and potential leaders better ones in the body. We all need to realize this truth. Not all of us are to be number one - the topmost leader. God has never designed it that all of us will lead from the front.

Thridly, most times, it is better to be number two in God's plan than to be number one in your own plan. The stagnation and retrogression of many once thriving ministries are the direct outcome of this mistake. Many churches and ministries are going under after initial euphoria of a great start simply because the founders are not designed, prepared spiritually, physically and emotionally for such monumental leadership responsibility ahead of time. It is such people we refer to as 'accidental overseers' today.

Fourthly, many associates have made shipwrecks of their lives and future due to their unholy actions against their leaders. Many have incurred curses and backwardness due to their ungodly antics while they were associates. Many are going about struggling with life and ministry as a repercussion of their disloyalty to their former leaders. Even some have died or left the ministry entirely as the fruit of what they sowed while they were associates.

Finally, we need to urgently address the issue of disloyal associates in the ministry. Not that this problem is peculiar to the church alone - it is there within the government establishment, business circles and the society in general, but it is much more pronounced in the church within the last couple of years.

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