How a drunkard helped HIM FIND HIS CALLING
Pastor Thomas Radebe speaks about the challenges pastors face
OVER 20 years ago, a drunkard affirmed God’s purpose for Pastor Thomas Radebe’s life when they coincidently met in the streets of Daveyton in the East Rand. The drunk man said to him that he was not fulfilling God’s purpose for his life. At the time, Pastor Thomas was a 19-year-old who did not know what his next step in life would be and he did not know that he was destined to work for the Lord.
For Pastor Thomas, the incident with the drunkard gave him clarity about where his life should be.
Not only did it give him direction, but it also reminded him that indeed God uses anyone as a vessel of His word.
He now leads the Ekhaya Christian Church in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal.
For Pastor Thomas, finding himself in ministry was a result of affirmations from church leaders and mentors who saw something in him and were willing to help him find his feet.
He acknowledges the influence of people like Oasis of Life Family Church leader, Apostle Isaac Sithole, who has been a great mentor.
“I learnt all I know under Oasis. The church is still a great support to me,” he says.
The motivational speaker, life coach, businessman and author says God's work comes first in his life.
“I am called, so being a pastor comes before all the other hats I wear,” he says.
Pastor Thomas started his motivational talks and life coaching work in 2011 on Ukhozi FM. He has been featured on shows such as Gospel Time, Gospel Classics and KZN TV.
“Motivation gives people hope and that is why it ties in well with my work as a pastor. The church also gives people hope when they go through social ills, while motivation uplifts them,” he says.
He says people don’t need motivation only but they need practical ways of turning their lives around. His passion for transforming people's lives has led him to writing his first handbook, Greatness Is Natural But...
“Everyone is born great, sometimes people do not know this as they don’t know how to tap into it.”
THE TRUTH ABOUT CHURCH LEADERS
Church leaders have the tough task of being role models in their communities, a responsibility Pastor Thomas says doesn’t always meet people's expectations.
“Being a leader doesn’t mean that you have it all figured out. As leaders we aren’t immune to challenges and tests. We go through storms and rejection too,” he says.
He says there are days when he doesn't feel like getting out of bed, but positive feedback from people keeps him going.
He admits that some people have walked out on church leaders because of their mistakes. “We are not perfect human beings,” he says.
Pastor Thomas Radebe says as a pastor, it is fulfilling to know that your work is making a difference in people's lives