Some are dying to be in church again, some are already feeling reluctant about church resumption, yet others are indifferent.
Some have missed all the “spiritual works” prayers and others have concluded they can survive without it.
Some have missed their bible teachers, while others have grown to become better bible students.
Some have waxed cold in their spiritual giftings, while others are stronger than ever.
Some have missed the fellowship with brethren, while some are yet gone astray.
Some have neglected their relationship with God, while others have improved.
After a break of five months, we all know that things cannot remain the same again.
I have heard a few persons say “let us just continue like this, I am not willing to go back to church”. I think we should not be quick to judge anyone because a whole lot of things sufficient enough to change one’s school of thought have happened. If anyone doesn’t want to return to church it points to the fact that the church has not been a place of solace all the while.
Well, our response to this should be to take this long break as an opportunity to rewind to 1947 and start all over again, retracing our steps to everything we have missed.
If you are among those that think nothing is wrong with the church all the while, then you have been spiritually insensitive.
A lot is wrong; there is gross difference between the CCC of 1947 and the CCC of today. We have missed it in Christian living, in holiness, in worship, in fellowship, in the word of God, in family living, in marriage and children up-bringing.
Painfully some of us have missed it; including choristers, evangelists, teachers, revivalists, prophets, shepherds and the youths. Some among us have even commercialized the Gospel.
We became undisciplined at some point and completely stopped being ethical. We brought the language of the world even to our pulpits and the music of the world into our choir stand. We adopted false doctrine into our prophetic ministry and dangerous men became leaders of the Lord’s flock.
Music has become noisy entertainment, prophetic declaration has become extremely cheap, atrocities know no boundaries among laity and clergy, uncontrolled attention to things that satisfies the body as against things that edifies the church, unethical practices during festivities among many others.
Most dangerous of all is the rampant non-directional sermons that has bored the lambs that Christ specifically requested that should be fed. This has contributed to the lack of interest of the members in Bible Class and sermons; rather they have been more tuned to “spiritual works”.
A lot of our evangelists are still living sinful lives and of course cannot teach others the word of God or lead in the way of God. Some youth instead of focusing on living for Christ as examples, are engrossed with placing the magnifying lens on the errors of our fathers. It is a shame that some of our youth are addicted to gambling and all forms of betting.
It seemed that my beloved CCC over the years have successfully passed across an orientation to her members; that makes a good number to believe they go to the church to receive from God rather than first among all, coming to give themselves to God in worship.
We have to start again as it was in 1947, with the abundant working presence of God among us in signs and wonders, healing, miracles and so on.
We must return to love, prayer, abundance sharing, evangelism, bible study, discipline, ethics, leadership by example and genuine heart after God.
The reason I have decided to put this to pen is that everyone, shepherds and members must realize the true state of the church and the times we are in. As such, we should use this long church break to start all over again even as we re-open Church.
The effect of the lockdown on the Nigerian Church cannot be concealed; rather we should emphasize it for the purpose of penitence and spiritual re-awakening.
I recommend that service should simply follow the laid down liturgy and not be unnecessarily prolonged. It is important for every shepherd to carefully understudy the transformation that has happened to his congregation. Excessive levies and donations should be avoided so as to encourage members whose source of living has been affected by the effects of the pandemic.
Our focus should be on sound teachings; teaching the congregation the word of God and preparing them not only for heaven but to carry their cross and lighten up the darkness of the world. (Matt 16:24, Matt 5:14-16, Hymn 904)
The authorities should put strict measures in place for recalcitrants who unrepentantly bring disrepute to the name of the church. We should return to directional prayers about the kingdom of God and not a focus on human enemies. We should teach work ethics, empower the youth and truly love one another.
Finally, Bible Study must be alive at every parish level, with our interest in the word of God being re-ignited. The Bible must be taken as the final authority of all codes and conducts.
Discipleship should be at the centre of our focus. A deliberate and adequately coordinated biblical education that would not only train but produce Christians that are truly Christ-like.
Ldr Adegboye Samson
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