Newly consecrated Bishop John Chilimstidya of the Charismatic Renewal Ministries (CRM) has big plans to implement during his tenure. He speaks to us about his vision.
Can you introduce yourself?
I was born John Chilimtsidya from Kantema Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Kalumbu in Lilongwe on August 22 1974. After writing the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE), I enrolled for a diploma in accounting course at Unique Business College in Lilongwe. At the completion of the course, I worked as an accountant. In 1996, I resigned and ventured into business. I was selling (curios) ziboliboli in South Africa. However, in 1999 God called me to His service. The calling was so strong that I could not resist. I left everything and committed my life fully to God’s work.
How long have you served as a pastor before ascending to the current position?
I have served for almost seven years in this church, but in different positions.
How do you feel about your consecration?
I am humbled. It is a big task, very demanding, but since it is a calling, I am not terrified with the title. The same God who chose me will direct my steps.
What has been the secret behind your success?
I cannot claim to have a particular formula. I can simply attribute it to God’s will for me to lead His flock as this period.
What will be your first assignment?
The first project is to build capacity among laymen and other leaders in the church so they know who they are and their roles. They need to be familiarised with God’s work and the church. I believe that if I have a knowledgeable staff, it will be easy for me to discharge my duties with relative ease, joy and efficiency.
Do you have specific projects you wish to implement during your tenure?
Yes, I have a lot of them. I would like to train youths in spiritual and physical perceptions to become vibrant agents of socio – economic development of the church and the society. Besides, it is my vision to establish a primary school in the diocese to contribute towards quality education. Lastly, I am of the view that as a church, we should engage in helping orphans and other vulnerable children, the women and the elderly.
What is the secret of a successful ministry?
Firstly, discipline is no exception. If a church leader is not disciplined, he or she brings shame to God. On the other hand, love should always be a priority for church leaders. This includes love among themselves and the flock as it helps in building the body of Christ.
The reading of scriptures and prayerful life are also paramount to successful ministry as they build people to become Christ – like.