Sometime at the end of the year 2020, my Senior Founding Apostle at Victory Fellowship Church in Bulawayo, gathered his Senior Assembly Pastors and reminded them that in 2019, he had prepared the leaders to be Braver, Bolder, and Smarter for 2020. Then he had told them that 2021 would be a year where leaders will have to do what “your heart says.” It’s not what you Look at and think you See, it is not what you want to Hear that will matter, the important thing is what is settled “in your heart”.
In the previous year (2020), the Senior Apostle had stated You are; Braver and Bolder than you (Think); You are; Stronger and more Courageous than you (Imagine). You are; Smarter than you Understand and than you (Realize). So during the whole Year, the Senior leaders were guided by this theme and they encouraged the congregation throughout the Covid-19 pandemic with messages from such thematic areas. The congregation pulled through with an attitude filled with Bravery, being Bolder and Smarter in 2020. He went on to remind his leaders to continue to emphasize these things as the challenge of the spirit comes afresh saying,
“So this is to be a new year (2021) of Action and Direction for all of us. Say goodbye to the ruts, the Covid-19 and all the hardships, lost opportunities in business, in lost schooling and everything else that you experienced in 2020.”
He told the leaders that 2021 would be “a time to fall down on your knees, so you can rise up to walk with a heavenly step, because Jesus is the, Repairer of the breach, the Restorer of streets to dwell in.” Isaiah 58:12 (ESV)
The Senior Apostle raised the bar higher and said this theme still applies as it did in 2020 as it shall in 2021. What is the Word and the Spirit saying, because most of us, Look, See, Hear but have no Heart (Understanding or Discernment, Perception) of the Spiritual things that the Lord is saying to us or directing us to do. He said that he believed that if we hold steady to what the Lord has shown us, He will reveal what is next.
The Apostle drew his leaders’ attention to look at some of the promises and the challenge for 2021. Here’s the word of the Lord for us as the Victory Family.
LOOK, SEE AND HEAR put to heart in 2021. Ezekiel 40:4 (AMP). And the man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears and set your heart and mind on all that I will show you, for you are brought here that I may show them to you. Declare all that you see to the house of Israel”. He also read Matthew 14:14 (AMP). When He went ashore and saw a great throng of people, He had compassion (pity and deep sympathy) for them and cured their sick.
The Apostle shared the Matthew 14:14 scripture by saying that Jesus here lays down three principles to success in our walk with Him. Firstly, Jesus saw the great multitude. Secondly, He was moved with compassion. And thirdly, He healed the sick.
The first point he expressed was that as a leader, one must Look so you can See the need. We cannot as leaders be or have the answer to a problem unless we first become aware that the problem exists. Jesus said lift up your eyes, and look on the fields. Missionaries and Servants go to foreign fields because they have seen the needs of the people. Businessman open stores where there is a need for the product. As a result, Jesus came to the earth because He saw man was lost. We were or are like sheep without a shepherd. The big question is what are you looking at and what do you personally see for 2021?
The second point he drew his leaders’ attention to is that Jesus was moved with compassion in response to what He Saw and Heard. God feels for mankind. His heart is tender towards us. He is easily touched by our infirmities. He has promised never to leave us and His loving kindness, goodness, mercy and grace are extended to us continuously. For God so loved the world that he gave (John 3:16). When Jesus saw the need for eternal life in the rich young ruler who came to him, the bible says that Jesus loved him (Mark 10:17-27). What will you personally do with what you See and Hear in 2021?
The third point was Jesus did something in response to what he saw and heard and felt. He healed the sick and broken hearted, He delivered the oppressed and He fed and taught the multitude. God did something about man’s spiritual bankruptcy; He gave his only begotten son to die for us. He redeemed us and gave us the best chance to live this life here and here after eternal life with Him.
The story of the Good Samaritan is a perfect example of the three principles. The two religious people refused to see the need and therefore we’re not moved to do anything to alleviate the man suffering. The good Samaritan however was willing to look at the need. He was tender in his heart and could be moved with compassion which resulted in him caring for the suffering man.
Enough of the Victory Fellowship theme for 2021! The reason I shared the Victory theme was to lay a foundation to what I intend to express my personal opinion on what is awash in the social media with regards to our Christian leader(s). The nation woke up to shocking and very sad news. We learned of the passing on of the Honourable Senator and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Dr Sibusiso Busi Moyo. Dr SB Moyo a gallant son of Zimbabwe, a decorated soldier of the liberation war of independence is alleged to have died from Covid-19 related illness. He was a very humble and non-assuming cadre. We will all remember him for what he did for the nation of Zimbabwe especially his role in the November 17th 2017 announcement. May His Soul Rest In Peace!
We also learnt with saddened and heavy hearts the loss of yet another big name in the arts industry. Piwai Dzuda, who is formerly the Marketing General Manager for StarFM and co-owner of Urban Africa Advertising Agency and husband to Julie Makaza Dzuda who recently won the Businesswoman of the year for Megafest Northern Region Awards. We will remember him for his presentation of the Gospel hour on ZBCtv. He passed on from Covid-19. May His Soul Rest In Peace!
The other sad news is what has been awash on social media about Dr Shingi Munyeza who has publicly confessed to have fallen from grace. Dr Shingi Munyeza is a businessman, pastor and a member of President Mnangagwa’s Advisory Committee. I have high respect for his leadership and character in the community. The main problem with the majority of our global world today is that there is limited leaders with character which is central to whom we are. Character is what kind of people we are. Character is placed at the core of the circles because everything else a leader does flows from this inner reality, integrity, commitment, working together, communication, care and concern. These attributes reflect the character of a man or woman in society. The aspect of character – Unhu – (Ubuntu), stems from “I am because we are. I can only be a person through others are full of honesty and integrity” (character). Allow me to opine that character has become a rare commodity in this globalized world. A leader’s character is supposed to shape the culture of one’s family, organization and subsequently the public opinion about the organization. The truth of the matter is that a person’s true character is revealed by what s/he does when no one else is watching. The character is the backbone, the fulcrum, that binding matrix or the very nerve centre of a person. Am sure Dr Shingi Munyeza has what it takes to be a leader that he is. Romans 3:23 reminds us, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
Dr Shingi Munyeza publicly came out and made the following statement for the benefit of his character and the greater Faith Ministries family and the wider Kingdom of God’s family.
Indeed what has befallen our brother is very unfortunate and should not have happened. I personally condemn it in the strongest of terms I could have in my vocabulary. I know many brethren have reached out to him and are walking with him. But there are those that are called Christians and are part of the Christian Army, big as it is, (the Christian Army), is the only army on record to finish off its wounded soldiers, Or destroy its soldiers when they are down. My prayer to all of us is that instead of going all over our brother, let us stand with him. (I am not gagging people to voice their concerns, I have no right to do so). But as we criticize and blame let us remember that this is the time to speak love, to show love to a brother who has fallen from grace. We have looked, seen and heard what Dr Munyeza has done.
Dr Shingi Munyeza is not seeking your sympathy. He is seeking your forgiveness as Galatians 6:1 reminds us that “Brothers, if someone is caught in a trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him with a spirit of gentleness. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”
If I may ask? How many of us can have this courageous character to go out there on social media and confess as he did. We all know that the social media is brutal and ruthless. Most so called men of God have done so (cheated/adultery) and continued to grace those pulpits and pretended that it is business as usual. This Dr Shingi’s incident is exactly the same story of the woman caught in the act of adultery – (John 8:1-11). For me, Dr Shingi has been very exemplary and been true to himself. He did what a man needed to do after falling from grace.
As we look, see and hear can we be like Mary the mother of Jesus Christ (Luke 2:19) who kept and pondered on these things and hid them in her heart. I know people are open to express their opinions and by the way, this is a free a country where freedom of speech is in abundance. As we proffer our thoughts, criticism, and the like, let us remember that we are human beings prone to sin BUT thank God for his grace. I encourage those men and women who understand that what has befallen our brother can happen to anyone to pray for our brother. Pray for the traumatised daughter (Nomsa) that went on social member to confront her Daddy. Pray for amai Munyeza. Indeed the family will work out all this through counselling. And as Christians let us support the family. The enemy came and wreaked havoc, let us stand with the Munyeza family for the sole reason that Dr Shingi confessed his sin. He will rise again. We urge him that he “can rise up to walk with a heavenly step, because Jesus is the, Repairer of the breach, the Restorer of streets to dwell in.” Indeed You Need Me, I Need You and Someone out there Needs Us. May the Lord help to restore the family and bring understanding to the Christian body. I would like to thank the Faith Ministry Presbytery team for upholding the character of the Church. God bless you all.
———(Tomson Dube is a pastor in a local city church and the University Chaplain at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST). He writes this article in his own personal capacity as a leader and a voice to the nations. You can get hold of Pastor Tomson Dube via e-mail on [email protected])