Your success or breakthrough in the ministry depends on how loyal you are to God, to the constituted authority and your leaders.
Note: There’s always a quest in every man (everybody), to be great in life. We always look at our fathers of faith/ our leaders on how they became great, whatever we saw or learnt from them, we took the steps but the major key we are missing is “Loyalty”. Learning from Elijah and Elisha scenario, Elisha was loyal to his boss to the extent that he was ready to follow him to anywhere, to any length even when persuaded by the master to stay behind, he refused because he was so loyal.
What is Loyalty?
According to Oxford English Dictionary, Loyalty is the quality of being faithful in your support, while American English Dictionary says Loyalty is faithfulness or devotion to some person, cause or nation.
Loyalty is faithfulness; not just avoiding temptation (but that too), but being faithful in all of your promises, keeping your words, following through on your plans and sticking with your partners till the end. Loyalty is steadfastness; knowing you can rely on each other.
Importance of Loyalty
1. Loyalty is The Principal Qualification for Every Minister
Many inexperienced persons may likely think that the more gifted they are, the more qualified they are for the ministry. Experience had shown that only the faithful and loyal people in church are most qualified to be leaders. The bible teaches us that the cardinal requirement for breakthrough in your ministerial assignment as a leader is faithfulness and not anything else. “it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful (loyal, consistent, dedicated, devoted, trustworthy and dependable). I Cor. 4:2
2. To Fight The Trick or Scheme of The Devil
We all understand that the devil is an expert at destroying the church from within. If you are a minister, called of God and doing the right things, the devil will have very little opportunity to fight against you from outside. Like Jesus said “… the prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in me” (John 14:30).
You will realize that Satan often does not have the occasion to launch deadly attacks against you from outside. Jesus was saying that though the enemy was coming after Him, he did not have any ground to destroy Him. There are many anointed preachers in this category, satan has no basis for which to overcome them, so he has to use someone from within. In the case of Jesus, it was a traitor (Judas) whom satan used. You need to understand this, any unfaithful (disloyal) servant in the church/ministry is easily to be used by the devil. Let’s strife to be loyal (faithful) to God who called us, to authority of the church and to the cause in which we are being called. II Tim. 4:5-8
3. For The Love of God to Fill The Church
The ministry is supposed to operate with the power of love, unity and teamwork, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if ye have love for one another” John 13:35.
To minister as effective leaders, you need to exhibit the love that Jesus spoke about. People are attracted by love. When they see leaders who flow in genuine love, they are attracted. You must never forget that your church members are not blind, neither are they deaf. They can see and feel disunity and discord when it is there. One thing every Pastor must know about sheep is that they drink from still waters. If the water is murky and rough the sheep will stay away. You see, they are not sure if there is crocodile in the water. “… He leadeth me besides the still waters” Psalm 23:2.
Whenever there is treachery and distrust, your church members become scared and wary and stay away.
4. To Have a Large and Successful Ministerial Team
You need to understand; one man can only do so much; one Pastor can only be at one place at a time. He can only minister until his strength (which is limited) is exhausted. Because of this, anyone who want to extend his ministry and bear much fruit has to learn to work with many other people. These people are the team we are talking about.
However, it would be better to work alone than with a team of disloyal, disgruntled, disunited, disaffected people. In fact, it is not possible to have an effective team with such a people. You canonly achieve as much as you can because of the people with whom you work.
5. To Reap Our Full Reward
Those who benefit from the blessings of success are the faithful and loyal ones. One day we all hope to hear those famous words; well done, good and faithful servant. Those who stick with you through difficult times are different from those who came in when everything is working well. Jesus Himself told his twelve disciples that they would be treated differently from any other famous minister. They would have a special kingdom and their names would even be written on the foundations of the New Jerusalem. “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles…” (Rev. 21:14)
Even some of the great men of God we know today will not qualify for this special reward. Jesus gave a reason for this special reward. They had been loyal to Him through the most difficult part of His ministry. ‘Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations…. I will appoint unto you a kingdom… (Luke 22:28,29). As you can see loyalty is most appreciated in hard times. In the good times everybody seems loyal.
Seven Lessons on Loyalty
- Loyalty demands full persuasion. Luke 23:2 & 11:15, Acts 24:5-6.
- Your Loyalty must be to the Authority. I Cor. 11:1
- A loyal person does not withhold information. A loyal person is open to his or her senior about whatever is going on. I Cor. 5:1
- Loyalty is based on principles and not emotions. Many people operate by feelings and emotions rather than by a set of principles.
- Loyalty will cost you relationships and friendships. Everything has a price. Education has a price. Even your salvation has a price. Loyalty also has a price. To be loyal to someone means you cannot be loyal to everyone. Loyalty will cost you relationships and friendships, your loyalty to Christ means you cannot maintain some of your old friendships. James 4:4
- Loyalty may cost you physical things. Moses has to choose between being loyal to God or to Pharaoh. His loyalty to God cost him everything. Moses may have become the next prime minister of Egypt but his loyalty cost him his citizenship. He lost it all because of Christ (Hebrew 11:24-25)
- Loyalty demand analysis; whenever your identity is tested, you will have to analyze many things in order to stay loyal. An analysis is a detailed study or interpretation of the information set before you.
Principles of Loyalty in The Ministry – II Tim. 4:9
Some of the final words written by the apostle Paul under divine inspiration dealt with the subject of loyalty and particularly the loyalty and disloyalty of certain preachers to himself. One of Paul’s last request before his death was for Timothy to bring his cloak and books and try hard to come before winter. There was a friendship between Paul and Timothy, as well as the loyalty appropriate in a real friendship. Therefore, loyalty in the ministry should be learned, even if it is learned late.
Here are principles of loyalty that ought to be followed by people in the work of God.
- When a man has been invited by a pastor to join the paid staff of the church as his assistant, his primary loyalty (other than to God) is to that Pastor. Acts 16:3
- An assistant pastor (or associate evangelist) should support the positon, person, and policies of his superior before other people.
- Loyalty is a positive quality and not simply a negative one. Phil. 2:22, II Cor. 9:23
- All preachers should give every other preacher the benefit of the doubt. I Tim. 5:1, I Cor. 13:5
- Any preacher should show grateful respect for every preacher who helped and trained him in his early years. Heb. 13:7
- Healthy fellowship between preachers is always based upon the truth.
First and second Timothy teach ministerial loyalty. It is not only the Lord of which Timothy ought not be ashamed, but also of His prisoner, the Apostle with whom he had been associated for so long. II Tim. 1:8. It was not only loving this present world of which Demas was guilty, but also forsaking Paul. II Tim. 4:10. The spiritual man is loyal in the proper sense of loyalty. But there is also an inappropriate, perverted land of loyalty that is unspiritual.
Rewards for Being Loyal
Biblical models of loyalty and their rewards
- Joshua was loyal to Moses and became the next leader – Joshua 1:1
- Ruth was loyal to Naomi and she was able to make a name. Ruth 1:16-17
- David was loyal to Saul, even when Saul was trying to kill him and he became king of Israel. I Sam 24:8-22
- Elisha became the next prophet because he was loyal to Elijah. II King 2:1-14
- Timothy became a bishop of Ephesus because he was loyal to Apostle Paul.
As ministers of the Gospel, it’s expected of us to be loyal to God, to the constituted authority and to the ministry we are committed to, let us strife in all our endeavors at all cost to be loyal both in hard times and good times. Heaven is counting on us.