The Skinners: We are slowing down not retiring

Gary and Marilyn Skinner talk to the audience about power, sex and money. PHOTO BY ESTHER OLUKA

What you need to know:

TWO CENTS. Recently, Watoto Church founders, Gary and Marilyn Skinner spoke about their retirement, love life and ministry. This was during the church Friday sessions dubbed: Power, Sex and Money at Watoto Downtown. Esther Oluka brings you a few extracts from their respective speeches.

Pastor Gary Skinner’s take
“I will be making 65 years in November. When that time comes, I do not want to be standing in the way of the next generation. I do not think I will ever retire from Watoto Church but my role will change from being a primary leader to a primary servant. My wife and I will probably slow down and work less.”

His meaning of success
Success is not determined by the size of one’s bank account, one’s house but, serving God and people as well as being faithful as a father and believer. Now that is success. Money or material things are not success.”

On dealing with temptation
“There are really many good looking women in the world and some of them, when I look at them, I go…wow! I mean, I’m a man. Some of them dress in a way that I would want to look twice. That is life.

However, I look at every one of those women and think that if I had a relationship with any of them, would that make me happy? Wouldn’t it hurt Marilyn? What will my children think if they found out that their father was with someone else? What about my grandchildren? What would they think?

So for a sexual fling, you would have to be stupid, and sometimes guys are stupid. But in such circumstances, I keep telling myself, if I went ahead and had a relationship with any of these women, how would I feel in two weeks’ time?

If I want the attraction to go away, sometimes I wonder what she (the woman) smells like when she goes to the toilet.
Anyway, I have come to a conclusion that there is no other person in the world who can satisfy me except my wife, the one God already gave me.

Power, sex and money (The 3Gs) “My three Gs stand for: - gold, glory and girls. Don’t touch the gold, don’t try and take the glory and stay away from the girls. Most leaders fall because of one of these areas. They will get tempted in any of these. When you start getting a big impression of yourself, listening to what other people say about you, believing and taking in that, you will become proud and start taking in the glory.

Before you know it, you will start saying, you deserve something and start taking the gold, and before you know it, you are on the girls and you end up in trouble.”
“Stay humble and keep yourself pure. Be contented with what you have.”

What about the on-going wrangles in the church today…
“It is a shame and unnecessary. People should repent.”

Pastor Marilyn Skinner says
On success
“Success will never be measured by the things one has including car, clothes, and phone. Success is rather measured by the legacy one leaves behind.”

Cost of discipleship

“When we came to Uganda many years ago, it was expensive. We had to let go of our respective families. My mother was unhappy that we moved to Uganda. She had three grandchildren and I brought them to a country where they were killing people at the time.”

“My mother hardly spoke to me for years. Unlike today, Uganda was not safe in the past. It was not a country people would run to. People wondered what we were doing here.”

“Even the American ambassador came and told us to leave because it was so dangerous. You could not even buy sugar or toilet paper when we moved here. We had to use banana leaves.
For those who have ever travelled to the Western world, they will know that the electricity never goes off, the water is always there, you are always safe and secure but we decided to leave all that for a higher calling.”

What has sustained their 43-year- marriage?
• On June 1, 1974, I made a covenant before my parents, friends and God and made a promise that I was going to stay with Gary for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness or in health, through all life circumstances.
• But do you know what? There were times I wanted to give up wondering if I had made a mistake or married the wrong man. Because I fear God, I’m determined to keep that covenant (vows).
• When many people get married, they misinterpret love for a feeling. They think that they would be happier if they loved someone else. Love is a choice. When I wake up, every day, I’m determined to love my husband.”


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