When you see a pastor on television, what is the first thing that jumps into your mind? In Brazil, the answer for many would be, “I don’t trust this person.”
Unfortunately, those feelings aren’t unwarranted. Many television pastors, both from Brazil and here in North America, have damaged the reputation of pastors – taking advantage of their fame for their own financial gain.
“It’s not easy to face this situation, but it’s a Brazilian reality,” said Rev. Hernandes Dias Lopes, Portuguese ministry leader of ReFrame Ministries*.
Lopes wants to restore a positive image of television pastors for Christians in Brazil. In his position, he hosts several online and television shows and currently has more than one million followers across his social media profiles. Lopes recently began hosting online courses for church leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, when it comes to funding such courses, Lopes and his ministry team often find it tricky to ask for support.
“When we ask for financial support from local pastors or churches, or even if I just preach on the topic of biblical stewardship, there is usually a lot of resistance from their congregations, and we lose followers who think we’ve betrayed their trust,” Lopes said. “Pastors here can be very protective.”
While the work of restoring trust in church leaders has been slow, Lopes said he’s encouraged by people like Maria Tereza. Tereza was willing to pay a small fee for the course while partners from ReFrame helped cover the rest.
“I’ve listened to Lopes’ teachings for several years, and this course has been an immense help for me in the most difficult hours,” Tereza shared after completing one of the online courses. “God bless all of you.”
As Lopes and other leaders from the Presbyterian Church of Brazil continue the work of restoring trust in the role of Brazilian pastors, ReFrame Ministries partners with Lopes to help people hear the truth of God’s Word.
*ReFrame Ministries is the new name of Back to God Ministries International