Dear Fellow Young Christian Ministers
Modesto Manifesto 1948: A Lesson For Young Ministers Of The Gospel
In 1948, at 30, Billy Graham and his lieutenants met in a hotel in Modesto, California, and agreed never to meet, travel or eat alone with a woman other than their wives, and to keep honest financial records to avoid rumours and suspicions of sexual and financial misconduct.
Many ministers and ministries today are associated with one scandal or another; people have openly accused ministers of adultery, rape and even homosexuality: ministers have also been accused of money laundering and embezzlement. There are actually all sorts of accusations: from staging miracles to manipulations. Unfortunately, some are true.
This post is not a judgemental one; I just wish that we could all learn from Billy Graham how to conduct ourselves as ministers of the gospel and more importantly, as representatives of Christ. As a minister of the gospel we’re automatically public figures and all eyes are on us; how we live and conduct ourselves determines people’s response to the gospel that we preach.
One verse that has guided me for many years is Romans 2:24 which says, “For ‘the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,’ as it is written.” I would really hate to be the one to make the world blaspheme the name of my God.
Apostle Paul said to give no room to the devil. Apostle Peter talked about “having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.” We should always be mindful of the fact that a minister of Christ should be blameless, having a “good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” There will be temptations and traps, we mustn’t allow ourselves to be victims; let’s live for the glory of God; let’s minister with a pure conscience. Amen.
Pastor Chinaemerem Ibezim
Able Ministers Chapel