Being a single male preacher often raises eyebrows of suspicion and concern among congregation and the outside world. Tons of questions are asked on the potential challenges he is likely to face daily as single sisters flock into his office for counseling. How is he holding up? How is he balancing his spiritual life with his emotions?
Addressing these challenges, Apostle Joshua Selman who is upholding the single hood status at the age of 41 gives single male preachers tips on how to deal with single sisters while following through God’s call in their lives.
The Plateau born clergyman is a renowned Nigerian preacher, televangelist, and the founder of Eternity Network International (ENI), whose ministry hosts the popular programme, KOINONIA.
In an interview, Below are his words :
“The issue of dealing with sisters is not limited to whether you are married or not, it is only minimized when you are married. I think the key to this is values and principles.
” I believe that there are few ladies who get up intentionally to want to destroy you but we(Single male preachers) have to understand that the devil uses the vulnerability and the compassion of both the leader and the people involved.
“Once you are emotionally connected to people especially when you know about their background or what they have been through, you understand the perculiarity of their dealing due to their openness to you at some point.
“Naturally, you will be soft hearted towards those people( especially the single sisters) and even when they misbehave, on the lens of what you know about them, you will express alot of compassion. Now, this compassion can become dangerous, that is why you must balance it with values.
“Values here refers to visitations, counsellings, ecerter. Single male preachers should not just invite sisters to come to their houses to help them cook. These actions may not be sin but you maybe near Sodom.
“The bible says when Lot left Abraham, he did not go into Sodom but he stayed near Sodom, but by the time Abraham came to rescue Lot, Lot was in the middle of Sodom. So, sometimes, it is important to just have standards and values as a single pastor.
“I believe when you have values and you are strict on it, even though many people may misunderstand you, but eventually you will overcome more of the temptations.
“It is more dangerous today because of the present of social media. The devil is out there to see how he can discredit ministers and bring people down through these avenues. The key is to set a very strict values.
“For instance, you can decide not to councel single sisters alone. I believe there is a bit of balance we need to put in addition to what we know to be the communication of the grace of God. Because, if we don’t consider
this, the devil may take advantage of. If the concept of the grace of God is not properly understood, it can be damaging.
“Pragmatically, you are also a psychological being, so sometimes , creating some of these standards will help us. If you are living with a lady for instance, that you are not married to. You don’t have to do anything wrong for it to destroy you. The psychological tortue of the imagery you are giving room to will frustrate your prayerlife, will frustrate your concentration, will frustrate alot of things.
“Generally, my encouragement for we young ministers and most espeacially , people who are single is to trust God for grace.
“The next point is to be visionary, vision helps people to stay on course. Lack of vision
is what sponsors distractions. If you are excessively idle, you will end up picking your phone and watch vidoes that you are not suppose to engage your spirit with.
“Another key is to build a community of like minded people. Having a kingdom community, helps you sustain kingdom values. Working in isolation is very dangerous, a community life create a healthy system of check and balances.
“The next point is practice periodic retreat. I am shocked that people can be busy for a very long period of time in ministry. I dont mean a weekly retreat or a period of two hours or so. l mean a heart felt retreat from the depth of your heart, where you stay
“When you are with God, dont tell lies, dont go to him as a man of God. Go to God sincerely so that God can point areas you need to work on. The key of being sustained in ministry is to be truthful to your self. Don’t go to God as a colleague in ministry .
“Go to God with an open heart, tell him to search your heart truthfully. Anything God tells me, whether I have proof of it or not, I believe it. Even though God calls me an armed robber, I will still believe him and ask him to show me mercy before I dissappoint myself.
“When God speaks, some of what he speak may not be in your “Now” but there is a possibility that is enshrined in you like a DNA, so you kill it before it destroys you in the future. The key is honesty and transparency. “