SUNDAY, JUNE 12, 2011.
RESUSCITATION OF THE CHURCH’S TEACHING AND PREACHING MINISTRY III
Now there seems to be a missing link. The church leaders seem now to be distracted. The apostolic habit as found in Acts. 2v42 seem to be momentarily put aside. Among avalanche of distractions affecting the work of teaching and preaching is the modern craze for wealth and attempt to display such vain glory. Sir C. I. Eziezo was right in his book: The Guideline for General Administration of the Anglican Church pages 87-88, for he had posited thus:
Events in our churches across the nation show that some of our church leaders are no longer exemplifying godliness and financial probity in their public and private conducts as expected of them.
Unwholesome celebration and display of wealth and personal possessions have become the order of the day. This can be seen by the way and manner the church workers especially the clergymen compete in display of expensive cars and ownership of multiplicity of personal vehicles. The women folk, the Clergy wives vogue for expensive clothes are unprecedented in the history of the church. This trend must be checked if the leadership is to retain her credibility before the member of the church.
The maintenance cost of these vehicles indirectly falls back to the church and affects the churches’ budgets negatively, despite the fact that it is not the responsibility of the church to bear the cost of maintaining such fleet of cars, since the expenditure are of personal nature.
Some church leaders are becoming more materialistic than the members of congregation who they are supposed to direct a right in line with the biblical injunctions. To achieve their material tendencies, they now engage in one form of corrupt practice and another. It is no longer strange these days to hear of clergymen embezzling church fund, running into thousands of naira because of this rat race to get rich at all cost’.
C.F. II Tim. 4v10; I Tim. 6v7-10
Other distractions to the work of teaching and preaching of the gospel include but are not limited to the following:
ü Quest for power (position, posting, preferment etc)
ü Lust of the flesh
ü School Run
ü Over attachment to secular job (maybe for retirement purposes).
HINTS TO RESUSCITATE TEACHING AND PREACHING
1. Make it your goal to make disciples
2. More time to be devoted to bible study, Preparatory Class, Sunday School, Monday Class, Confirmation Classes, MU & WG Preparations, BB & GB, Classes for AYF, EFAC, Churching, Weddings, Post Ordination Courses, etc.
3. Bible study should be participatory in nature
4. Help people apply the bible to their daily lives
5. Take time to teach on issues and subjects that people are facing in their daily lives.
6. Use illustrations to help your points come alive and to help people understand and apply the message.
7. Always teach and preach
8. Preach the bible – in season and out of season (II Tim. 4v2, II Tim. 3v16)
9. Don’t preach your opinions
10. Spend time praying and hearing from God about what to preach.
11. Take time to study – ‘apt to teach’ (I Tim. 3v2, II Tim. 2v24)
12. Make time to fast.
13. There is need to depend more on the Holy Spirit.
14. The curriculum in our theological colleges should be well structured to take care of emerging issues – globalization, ICT etc.
15. Modern ministers should be ICT compliant.
16. We need continuing education by way of seminars, workshops or conferences to update.
17. The Church should make funds available to assist those who are interested in biblical studies.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY
1. In the light of Luke 18v22 should the church discourage part time/tent ministry?
2. Which should come first, ordination or training?
3. How can a pastor personally update himself in order to be relevant in the church’s teaching and preaching?
4. What is the role of the Holy Spirit in sermon preparations?
5. Discuss extensively Acts 2v42… they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching…?
The church of today really need to ground people in the word of God. Teaching and preaching are essential ingredients for the achievement of such objective. It behooves therefore the minister of today wherever he finds himself (local or urban) to ensure that the flock is well taken care of. For if we cease to take care of them by the quality of our teaching and preaching, the church next door will give them pasture. The mandate given to us by Christ still stands: ‘therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always to the very end of the age’. Mtt. 28v19-20.
VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Retreat Centre,