The danfo driver is a menace on Lagos roads. He has only one consideration on the road: pick as many passengers as possible before the end of the day. He drives like he cares nothing for his own life, much less those of his passengers and certainly not for other road users. He will do 0-100 in the twinkle of an eye and do 100-0 in one jerking, shuddering stop. For the danfo driver, there is only one rule for the road, get the passenger first and at any cost.
A lot of pastors do ministry exactly like the danfo driver. Every other church is viewed as competition for ‘passengers’ (members), and all rules can be, and are broken to get them into his own ‘bus’.
But why do danfo drivers compete so recklessly for passengers? They do it because they are actually independent operators concerned only about their personal bottom line.
You will notice that organized transportation systems like you find in developed cities don’t have buses competing for passengers. This is because all the bus drivers are working for the same employer, and only need to show up at their assigned stop to pick the passengers who are there at that point. They don’t try to out-maneuver other drivers to pick up passengers. They actually rather work as a team.
If indeed your church is a vehicle for people to get to heaven, why are you in such a fierce contest with other vehicles here to serve the exact same purpose? Why, if you work for the same employer are you not able to just do your part like timed bus service drivers in organized cities?
Apostle Paul responding to this danfo driver mindset that was rife in the church at Corinth wrote, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase” I Cor 3:6. Pastors with the danfo driver mindset aren’t happy to just plant and move on. They will fight every Apollos who God has sent to water your life, even if all God sent them to do is plant.
The question to answer is, why do some pastors want exclusive rights to the fellowship/followership of a believer? For many, it is simply that, like the danfo driver, they are working for their personal bottom line. If such a believer completes his journey to heaven in another bus, they perceive it as a personal loss; a double loss actually in the form of reduced income, and diminished bragging rights about how many services they pack every Sunday in their record sized auditorium.
Pastors with the danfo driver mindset view ministry as a franchise they have purchased, and which they can mine, deploying shenanigans that even ponzi schemers will envy. Of course, many are not even aware that this is what they are doing because “the deceitfulness of riches” that the Lord spoke about is a very real thing.
But if a man really is labouring for the reward that the Lord gives, then such a “servant of the Lord must not strive”(2 Tim 2:24 ) for Paul the Apostle left us this word through the Corinthian church,
Now, he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labour. 1 Cor 3:8