Episode 017

Christian Persecution in Nigeria & Resumé Gaps for Pastors

Jan 25, 2022

Christian believers in Nigeria are standing firm in their faith despite high levels of persecution. Also, Jason Lowe recently offered some red flags for churches as they search for a pastor.

Transcript

Christian believers in Nigeria are standing firm in their faith despite high levels of persecution. Nigeria was recently ranked 7th by Open Doors in their listing of the top 50 countries that persecute Christians.

Watching Boko Haram behead her Christian father and leave her brother for dead in their Nigerian village has strengthened the faith of Manga, who practices Christianity in the deadliest nation for believers.

“Once you are Christian in Nigeria, your life is always at stake. Especially in the northeastern part of Nigeria, most dominant, most populated are the Muslims. The Christians are the minorities.”

Manga’s father was among the earliest victims of Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria in 2012.

“After the attack, the way I practice, the way I worshiped changed. It gives me the resilience to practice (faith) more, to worship all the more,” Manga said. “We prayed the more. We seek the face of God the more. And the Holy Spirit is always there to encourage us.”

Nigeria was home to nearly 80 percent of the 5,898 Christians killed for their faith globally in 2021.

Good News for Today is made possible through our friends at The Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit organization that serves persecuted Christians around the world. Founded in 1967 by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM is dedicated to inspiring believers to deepen their commitment to Christ and to fulfill His Great Commission — no matter the cost. Find out more and sign up for their free monthly magazine at vom.org/goodnews.

When churches search for pastors, it’s a trying time for the church and for those who are tasked with helping the church find their next shepherd.

Jason Lowe, association mission strategist in Pikeville, Kentucky, recently offered some red flags for churches as they search for a pastor.

Here’s a few of his suggestions…

First, are there gaps in the pastor’s resume? Have there been months or even years between ministry positions. A medical emergency, illness or family situation may explain this, but Lowe says the search team should make sure to ask about it.

Another item to observe is if the resume is filled with a pattern of brief tenures. Lowe says he heard of a church that was talking with a pastoral candidate who claimed to have 30 years of experience. They noticed, instead, the candidate had three years of pastoral experience at ten different churches over thirty years of time. He says search teams should make sure to learn why the pastor has moved so often.

Lowe says other red flags are a candidate who is overly critical of previous churches where he’s served or when a candidate is overly concerned about the church’s finances.

Read the entire article that even includes wisdom on how to address these concerns at Baptist Press.com.

You can find more stories at BaptistPress.com.

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