Leading Change with a New Leap in Social Responsibility Evangelism

Pastor Idowu Iluyomade

Churches in developing economies are stepping up on their role in Social Responsibility Actions. The Apapa Family of Parishes, which includes over a 1000 parishes in Nigeria, Europe and the USA,  is part of The Redeemed Christian Church of God – one of the largest Pentecostal fellowship of Churches – and is making bold moves in Social Responsibility initiatives as it plans this Sunday 5th June 2011 a special Crusade which merges ideals of Social Responsibility and Holy Ghost Revival.

Pastor E.A. Adeboye will be ministering to hundreds of thousands at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos in Nigeria and over 50,000 hungry poor souls will be fed, clothed and helped to receive a perhaps more practical ministration – alongside the word of God which we pray ushers in a city wide Revival. The theme for the Crusade is “ Leading Change

A Cancer Screening and Treatment Centre will also be opened as part of several initiatives in the Redeemed Christian Church of God which includes weekly feeding of the poor and hungry, free medical and other services and educational endowments and empowerment programmes for those who urgently need help to get back on their feet.

I John 3[18]  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

Nigerians – a people blessed with a thirst for God and wealthy natural resources – are praying, as President Jonathan is sworn in for a new four year term of leadership, for a revival that transforms the hearts of men to seek God afresh and see the healing of a nation which over the years has been plagued with mind-boggling corruption, inept leadership, weak governance institutions and an overwhelming decay in infrastructure.

Pastor Idowu Iluyomade the Pastor-in-Charge, speaking for the family of Parishes noted  recently in the Punch Newspapers:

“Our main focus right now is Christian social responsibility because we believe that every organisation has an obligation to give back to the society and over the years, people know churches as organisations collect tithes and apart from some of the big orthodox churches that have done quite a lot in the society, Pentecostal churches, not many of them have been impacting on the society as such. So that is the thrust of the RCCG now, and particularly the Apapa Family. We believe that we should be involved in solving the social needs of the society and in that mode, sharing the love of Christ. So that is the heartbeat of the church right now. We believe that the church as change agent, should take the lead to sensitise and galvanise and challenge our nation’s spiritual, business and political leaders to be new champions of the new Nigeria. …

Through the years, through various programmes by the church, we have impacted various sectors of the society. We’ve done a lot of work in the education sector, but the major initiative is the cancer screening and treatment centre. From the statistics that we have, between 100 and 500 Nigerians are diagnosed every year with all manners of cancer and we believe that is one of the ways our church can contribute to complement what the government is doing. The government can’t do it all alone. The centre will be highly-subsidised and equipped with top of the range equipment. Right now, we have acquired a property in Surulere, it is being refurbished; the equipment are already in and we’re believing God that on June 5, Pastor Adeboye will dedicate the centre. It is going to be a full-fledged diagnostic centre and our plan is that wherever Apapa Family is represented in Nigeria, there will be each of these initiatives that we have started. “

On June 5, 2011, at the Apapa Family EXCEL Crusade in Tafawa Balewa Square, Pastor E.A. Adeboye will minister on the theme “Leading Change”.  As other interest groups traditionally outdo themselves in fawning adulation and undeserved praise singing of status-quo, many observers are praying this leap will also be the advent of a new enlightened advocacy and better positioning for the church in Nigeria as a catalyst for improved governance, leadership accountability and social harmony even as a new chapter in a fledgling democracy unfolds.

 

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“Things are about to Change” by Gbile Akanni

There was a famine in the promise land!
Things were hard and everyone was affected!
Yes! But not everyone decided to leave the land like Elimelech.

This is not the kind of famine that kills everybody or flushes everybody out. This kind of famine simply brings a spate of suffering . . . a difficult but endurable hardship allowed of God to test the faithfulness of God’s man, especially those whom He is considering for glory and leadership. He sends this kind of famine to find out who will hold on to God’s promise, stay put and be true to God’s commandments in the face of hardship or who will leave in search of relief, comfort and convenience outside of the will of God.

And it comes to all of God’s people in one shade or the other. There was a famine in the days of Abraham, there was another famine in the days of his son Isaac and there was yet another famine in the days of his grandson Jacob. All three encountered their different season of suffering, hardship and difficulty and all three responded differently. This period of suffering or hardship you are going through is not strange neither are you strange for going through it. It’s your own time of famine and how you respond determines your future.

Concurrently, in the time of these famines, God normally allows for there to be food, pleasures and convenience in a nearby land of disobedience. When this kind of famine comes to Israel, there’s always corn in a nearby Moab or Egypt. In order to be a real test of individual faithfulness, God never fails to leave a “tree of good and evil” within reach of his beloved man that is only made “out of boundaries” by clear instructions and commandments. Elimelech decided to take the easy way out, so he packed his bags and baggage, picked up his wife and two boys and headed out for the country of Moab.

This decision not to endure the famine was borne out of an individual’s response to endurable hardship; a selfish, self-seeking expedition. “I’m checking out, whatever happens to everyone left behind is their business, this is my chance to escape and have a breath of fresh air!”

Whatever be the cause of the famine, either of national punishment for forsaking the Lord or just the normal seasonal and cyclic phases of famine and plenty, it never lasts forever. God will soon visit His people in sending them Bread. God never punishes His people to the extent of extinction, he never forgets to remember mercy! If we endure and walk with the Lord, we will still prosper in the land though it be a time of famine.

So, there was a Boaz!, a near kinsman, a contemporary . . . . who remained behind in God’s Bethlehem Juda. He endured the hardship, “roughed the suffering” and continued planting in famine. The result? He became “a mighty man of wealth” in the same land from where Elimelech ran.

The decision to run was personal, it was individual even though he could have been influenced. It was “a certain man” that went to sojourn, it was “he” and “his” wife and “his” two sons. It was his decision. It is a man that takes the decisions for the family, it is a man that takes the lead, it is a man that determines the future and destiny of his household. That is usually the case, that is the way God ordained it.

Unfortunately, it is never “he” alone that bears the repercussion of “his” decision. Many times, his wife, his sons, his posterity . . . . all partake of the fruit of a man’s wrong decision or indecision. In the end, Elimelech lost it all . . . his life, his two sons – his two opportunities of perpetuating his lineage and becoming famous in Israel. Only his wife escaped the cataclysm and returned to tell the tale of woe.

I don’t think you should take that journey! Whatever it is, if it is in response to a sense of being squeezed and choked by economic hardship or some other environmental hardship. I don’t think you should change your job, if it is only for greener pastures sake! I don’t think you should pack out of your husband’s house or abscond and leave the household simply because some pressure have come to which you have no answer.  I don’t think it will augur well in the end, if you leave the man of God you were posted to serve under while waiting for when the Lord will visit you. Don’t leave that Church, no matter the hostility of the Pastor!  Don’t leave your duty post because there’s a famine!
Famines are short-lived, it will soon be over. God will soon visit you and send you corn and wine and you will eventually dip your foot in butter! Think of tomorrow, think of posterity, think of your testimony!

(By Gbile Akanni – Originally posted in www. Livingseed.org  “An Individual response to hardship”)

Beloved of God, stop, think and pray! Things  are about to change. The Recession will soon be over.  it will soon be over.

 


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