One on One with Pastor Aniel Barbe

Pastor Eric Jean-Bruno Aniel Barbe, a native of Mauritius, was elected as an Associate Director of the GC Stewardship Ministries department on October 8, 2017. He is interviewed by Pastor Hiskia Missah.

Q.You have a passion for the human mind; what fascinates you about it?
A. The human mind is the most valuable resource available in any given society and for the Church. When it is adequately trained and used, lives are transformed and partnership in God’s mission grows to a higher level.

Q. How did the Lord lead you to study theology? How did you feel being called to the ministry?
A. At the age of 7 or 8, inspired by my local church pastor, I realized that I could only enjoy an accomplished life if I served as a pastor. However, I had to struggle with a speech impediment from childhood. I was seriously stammering. Twenty-three years ago, when I started to serve as a pastor, my tongue was freed. Since then, I’m living my life’s dream of sharing hope. Thankful, so thankful!

Q. Were you surprised when you were called to stewardship ministries for the first time?
A. Upon my appointment as an officer of the union, the Church leadership realized that stewardship was a major concern for our territory. I volunteered to lead in changing the situation. I found It very effective to merge stewardship teachings with my administrative responsibilities. Very soon, the union qualified to become a union conference, and in the meantime, I was asked to focus solely on stewardship for the division territory.

Q. How has working with Stewardship Ministries affected your life?
A. I have learned much about managing my personal finances and developed an acute repulsion to debt. By implementing a sacrificial partnership with God, I’ve experienced new joy, blessings, and a more profound sense of life’s purpose.

Q.What do you believe should be the first goal of a local church stewardship director?
A. His or her responsibility is to mobilize all segments of the church to grow in faithful partnership in God’s mission by leading the maximum number of people to practice a God-first lifestyle. It is unfortunate that some local churches do not fully appreciate the decisive role assigned to this ministry.

Q. Why is the local church a school for ministry?
A. From my personal experience in Mauritius, I firmly believe that the local church is the level of the Church that impacts the life of members the most. This setting facilitates interactions between the leadership/experienced members and young/new members. The bulk of my learning happens through copying and coaching. In my local church, I learned about and tested my gifts. Questions and mistakes were allowed. The local church is the first “university” to ministry.

Q. Isn’t stewardship far more than mere money?
A. The call to stewardship embraces all aspects of life; it is my all-in response to God’s all. All church ministries are geared to facilitate the transformation of believers into stewards of everything. At its inception, Stewardship Ministries was assigned the specific task of educating members in the management of God’s given resources.

Q. How pertinent is a church ministry that focuses on finances?
A. We are redeemed to live an abundant life (John 10:10); managing finances is associated with personal spirituality (Matt. 6:21), and resources make a difference in the fulfillment of the mission (Luke 8:3).

Q. How can we encourage faithfulness in giving among church members?
A. Faithfulness in giving does not occur in a vacuum. It is not mere coincidence that a group of believers becomes known for their generosity. Some factors, when present in the local church, are conducive to faithfulness: growing spirituality, mainstreaming of stewardship education, the building of a trustworthy atmosphere, and empowering members in creating and managing resources.

Q. What dreams would you like to fulfill in your position of GC STW Ministries associate director?
A. Whenever a local church or other entity has a conviction that God is inspiring them to participate in His mission in a given way, availability of financial resources should not be the blockage. My wish is to contribute to the development of a pool of stewardship/GodFirst educators worldwide, to create this new reality.

Learn more about Pastor Eric Jean-Bruno Aniel Barbe here.