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                                                                    Pastor John B. Joseph

Pastor John B. Joseph is the Presiding Pastor of  Lamps of Fire Assembly and President of Jesus Army College. He is also the executive Director of Blazeway Media Int’l. Here he gives you for free his 25 years leadership and ministerial experiences. You will be glad you read each of these Bible school courses.

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You will certainly be blessed by each of the courses. And you will be so kind to share your testimony of the impacts received by dropping a note for him on this website. You can also call him on: +2348030444780; or email: flaminglamps@yahoo.com or josephjohn754@gmail.com.

Thanks and God bless you. Have a wonderful refreshing times here.

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Jesus Army College was founded in the year 1998 to raise Christ’s Endtime Soldiers. It has been a home and regimentary base for all believers who burn with passion for God. If you have been called to take the victory for the Christ in this endtime, you will surely need to download these  FREE Bible College Course Outlines to be better prepared for the work of ministry. The Lord’s coming is nearer and we’ve got to sound the trumpet of His coming to the nations and prepare His bride. God bless you as you study, research and meditate.

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THE COVENANT THEOLOGY {TCT 101}

By Pastor John B. Joseph

Covenant theology, also known as Covenantalism is a Calvinist conceptual overview and interpretive framework for understanding the overall flow of the Bible.

  • It uses the theological concept of covenant as an organizing principle for Christian Theology.
  • Within historical Reformed systems of thought, covenant theology is not merely treated as a point of doctrine or a central  dogma, but the structure by which the biblical text organizes itself.
  • As a framework for biblical interpretation, it stands in contrast to dispensationalsim in regard to the relationship between the Old Covenant with national Israel and the New Covenant in Christ blood.
  • Covenant theology is often referred to as ‘supersessionism’ or ‘replacement theology’ by its detractors, due to the perception that it teaches that God has abandoned the promises made to the Jews and has replaced the Jews with Christians as his chosen people in the earth. However, Covenant theologians deny that God has abandoned His promises to Israel, but see the fulfillment of the promises to Israel in the person and the work of the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, who established the church in organic continuity with Israel {split of early Christianity and Judaism}, not a separate replacement entity.
  • In particular, covenant theology teaches that God has established one, eternal covenant, under different administrations.
  • It views God’s dealings with mankind, from Creation to the Fall of Man to Redemption {salvation} to Consummation {Christian eschatology}, under the framework of the three overarching theological covenants of redemption, works, and grace. The three covenants thought to be theologically implicit, describing and summarizing the wealth of Scriptural records.

THREE THEOLOGICAL COVENANTS

The nature of God’s covenantal relationship with His creation is not considered automatic or of necessity. Rather, God “chooses” to establish the connection as a covenant, wherein the terms of the relationship are set down by God alone according to His own will.

These individual covenants are explicitly described in the Bible. Under the covenantal overview of the Bible, submission to God’s rule and living in accordance with his moral law (expressed concisely in the Ten Commandments) is a response to grace – never something which can earn God’s acceptance (legalism). Even in his giving of the Ten Commandments, God introduces His law by reminding the Israelites that he is the one who brought them out of slavery in Egypt (grace).

  1. Covenant of works

The covenant of works was made in the Eden Garden between God and Adam who represented all mankind as a federal head.  It promised life for obedience and death for disobedience.

Having created man in His image as a free creature with knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, God entered into a covenant of works whereby the mandate was “do this and live” (Romans 10:5, Galatians 3:12). “Like Adam, they have trespassed the covenant” (Hosea 6:7) is the classic reference to the covenant of works; Hebrews 8:6; 9:15; 12:24 the reference that explains God’s work of redemption in the Covenant of Grace.

Adam, and all mankind in Adam, broke the covenant, thus standing condemned. The covenant of works continues to function after the fall as the moral law. Though it is not explicitly called a covenant in the opening chapters of  Genesis the comparison of the representative headship of  Jesus and Adam, as well as passages like Hosea 6:7 have been interpreted to support the idea. It has also been noted that Jeremiah 33:20-26  (cf. 31:35-36) compares the covenant with David  to God’s covenant with the day and the night and the statutes of heaven and earth which God laid down at creation. This has led some to understand all of creation as covenantal: the decree establishing the natural laws governing heaven and earth.

The covenant of works might then be seen as the moral law component of the broader creational covenant. Thus the covenant of works has also been called the covenant of creation, indicating that it is not added but constitutive of the human race; the covenant of nature in recognition of its consonance with the natural law in the human heart; and the covenant of life in regard to the promised reward.

  1. Covenant of grace

The covenant of grace promises eternal life for all people who receive forgiveness of sin through Christ. He is the substitutionary covenantal representative fulfilling the covenant of works on their behalf, in both the positive requirements of righteousness and its negative penal consequences (commonly described as his active and passive obedience). It is the historical expression of the eternal covenant of redemption. Gen. 3:15, with the promise of a “seed” of the woman who would crush the serpent’s head, is usually identified as the historical inauguration for the covenant of grace.

The covenant of grace became the basis for all future covenants that God made with mankind such as with Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and finally the New Testament founded and fulfilled in Christ. {Read Genesis chapters 6, 9, 12, 15, 17; Exd. 19 -24; 2 Sam 7}

  1. Covenant of Redemption

The covenant of redemption is the eternal agreement within the Godhead in which the Father appointed the Son Jesus Christ  by the power of the Holy Spirit to redeem his elect people from the guilt and power of sin. God appointed Christ to live a life of perfect obedience to the law and to die a penal, substitutionary, sacrificial death, the covenantal representative for all who trust in Him.

Some covenant theologians have denied the intra-Trinitarian covenant of redemption, or have questioned the notion of the Son’s works leading to the reward of gaining a people for God, or have challenged the covenantal nature of this arrangement. Those who have upheld this covenant point to Phil 2: 5-11 and Rev 5: 9-10 to support the principle of works leading to reward; and to passages like Psalms 110  in support that this is depicted in Scripture as a covenant .

 COVENANTAL SIGNS AND SEALS

In Reformed theology, a sacrament is usually defined as a sign and seal of the covenant of grace. Since covenant theology today is mainly Protestant and Reformed in its outlook, proponents view baptism and the Lord’s Supper as the only two sacraments in this sense, which are sometimes called “church ordinances.” Along with the preached word, they are identified as an ordinary means of grace for salvation. The benefits of these rites do not occur from participating in the rite itself (ex opereoperato), but through the power of the Holy Spirit as they are received by faith.

Sometimes Reformed covenantal theologians define sacrament to include signs and seals of the covenant of works. The Garden of Eden, the tree of life, the tree of knowledge of good and evil  and the Sabbath are commonly considered to be the sacraments of the covenant of works.

Lord’s Supper: The Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Jesus at a Passover meal, to which he gave a radical reinterpretation. The festival of Passover commemorates the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt – specifically, how the lamb’s blood which God commanded them to place on their doorposts caused the Angel of Death to “pass over” their dwellings, so that their firstborn might be spared from the final plague. The NT writers understand this event typologically : as the lamb’s blood saved the Israelites from the plague, so Jesus’ substitutionary death saves God’s New Covenant people from being judged for their sins. Calvinism has generally viewed the Eucharist as a mysterious participation in the real presence of Christ mediated by the Holy Ghost (that is, real spiritual presence or pneumatic presence). This differs from Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism which believe in the Real Presence as an actual bodily presence of Christ, as well as from the generally  Baptist position that the supper is strictly a memorial commemoration.

Baptism: Paedobaptist Covenant theologians argue that the Abrahamic Covenant is still in force and that God’s covenantal promise “to be your God and the God of your descendants after you” still stands for every believer. The argument that the administration of all (other) Biblical covenants, including the New Covenant, include a principle of familial, corporate inclusion, or “generational succession” is therefore of secondary importance to whether infants should be baptized or not. The familial nature of the Abrahamic covenant is undisputed. Gene 17: 12- 13.

In Acts 2:38-39 the promise is seen to extend to the children of believers as it always was in the Abrahamic Covenant. The Biblical covenants between God and man include signs and seals that visibly represent the realities behind the covenants. These visible signs and symbols of God’s covenant redemption are administered in a corporate manner (for instance, to households — Acts 16 – not in an exclusively individualistic manner. Baptism is considered to be the visible New Testament sign of entrance into the Abrahamic Covenant and therefore may be administered individually to new believers making a public profession of faith. Paedobaptists further believe this extends corporately to the households of believers which typically would include children, or individually to children or infants of believing parents (see Infant baptism here). In this view, baptism is thus seen as the functional replacement and sacramental equivalent of the Abrahamic rite of  circumcision (Col. 2:11-14) and symbolizes the internal cleansing from sin, among other things.

Credobaptist Covenant theologians (such as the Baptists Benjamin Keach, John Gill, and Charles Spurgeon) hold that baptism is only for those who can understand and profess their faith, and they argue that the regulative principle of worship, which many paedobaptists also advocate and which states that elements of worship  (including baptism) must be based on explicit commands of Scripture, is violated by infant baptism. Furthermore, because the New Covenant is described in Jer. 31: 31 – 34  as a time when all who were members of it would have the law written on their hearts and would know God. Baptist Covenant Theologians believe only those who are born again are members of the New Covenant.

 

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I know you have been blessed. I long to hear your testimony about the impacts of these training series, kindly drop a note for me on this website. You can also call +2348030444780; email: flaminglamps@yahoo.com or josephjohn754@gmail.com

MINISTERIAL ETHICS {MIE 102}

By Pastor John B. Joseph

Principles of moral ethics are ministerial virtues all men of God must to cultivate. The ethical morale is a dexterity we must skillfully put on as habit. How? As gospel ministers, we should take heed to do the followings:

  • Wisdom Application: Apply divine wisdom and discretion in dealing with the opposite sex who are not his close relations. E.g.
    • Never must you counsel or pray with member of opposite sex in a place that can be suspicion.
    • Should not counsel anyone on sexual and gynecological matters unless his/her partners is present.
    • Should not seek for intimate relationship or detail information.
    • Should be careful in giving any a lift.
    • Should not be so familiar with any female member to the extent that she cook and wash for him.
  • Confidentiality: A minister should treat as top secret any official or personal information given to him by the church or individual, unless instructed to do so by the concerned. Confidential matters must not be divulged even to your spouse.
  • Monetary Discipline: Do not borrow money from church members, church workers or juniors in ministry. It can lead to contempt, indiscipline and strife. Acts 20:33-35, I Sam. 12:1-5.
    • Never borrow or spend church money for personal projects or benefit.
    • Church money may detect like any other church officers, but not by the pastor, his associate and assistant. Full time ministers should strictly steer clear of church fund.
  • Courtesy: Accord yourself with honour and respect in all your dealings and relationship. E.g. never be involved in immoral jokes, excessive jesting, lying, curses, abuses, swearing, boasting and fight. Jms. 38-9; Prov. 15:1; Eph. 5:3-4.
  • Feminine Rectitude: Female minister/worker should accord to herself great nobility by her attitude of uprightness and self-restraint. E.g.
    • Should sit with ‘close-up thighs’/crossed legs.
    • Should be a mature believer who has overcome the vanities of worldly adornment but who rather places her emphasis on inner beauty. (1pet. 3:1-6; Isa 3:16)
    • Should be model for others in outlook. I Tim. 2:9; I Pet. 31-5; Prov. 31:30.
  • Presentation: Ministers ought not put on mere underwear, short, pant, or towel in the open, and in front of an opposite sex, even when ‘Agbada’ is top’. Learn godly mannerism in the way you present yourself.
  • Submission: Respect and honour for senior ministers in the staff-line must be a dignity well upheld by all minister. It is rebellious to disobey his order, put-up arrogant attitude against him or speak rudely to him.
  • Politeness: Senior ministers should also treat their subordinates as honoured vessel, regard them as important, and rebuke them in love and not with sharp, cutting language. They deserve to be handled with politeness and ‘brother – partner’ dealing.
  • Work Attitude: Let others, especially your subordinates, see in you the right service virtues of discipline, punctuality, diligence and prudence to emulate. Also:
    • Let them know the importance of working hard when it is time to work, and that of good relaxation in the hour of rest.
    • Learn to commend and reward their efforts with good words and sometimes with gifts.
    • Have witnesses among them when handling critical issues or major projects.

THE PRIVATE LIFE OF A MINISTER

  • Diligently work on your marriage as to make it a source of inspiration and blessings to others, and to the ministry. Prov. 18:22; II Cort. 6:14; Eccl 4:9-12; Eph 6:1-4, Tim. 3:4-5; Titus. 1:6.Take good care of your family. I Tim.58 (Read also Isa. 58:7; Gal. 6:10).
  • Never allow domestic affairs & responsibilities to hinder your ministerial commitment.
  • Do not abuse your body with lack of rest, gluttony, starvation or uncleanness.

DEMANDS OF CONSECRATION

Your consecration as God’s vessel demands the following of you:

  • A judicious use of time. Plan your time, your duty or weekly schedules and always work to time.
  • Pure and Practical Devotion: Devote your morning hour to prayer and study. I Tim. 4:13; Acts 6:1-4.
  • Servant Leadership: Servanthood is the concept of the Christian ministry. Ministry is all about service not rulership. Therefore we are to serve God, the church and others. The one who faithful serve others is the one for the exalted honour Christ’s kingdom.
  • Love: Love should be the basis of our relationship and the way of our service to Christ, the church and brethren.
  • Self-effacement: Humility, meekness is the key to promotion, honour and nobility in the kingdom service.
  • Truthfulness and Loyalty: faithfulness and accountability of stewardship are all that mark the servant for reward and glory
  • Change: One’s ministry may not necessary remain the same e.g. Philip started as a Deacon but ended as Evangelist. God may even add up to your existing calling, if he so chooses.

 PRINCIPLES OF KINGDOM ECONOMY

A. POVERTY                                      

Poverty could either be a condition or curse. Major causes of poverty are Sin (Prov. 28: 13, Jer. 5:24-25; Hag. 1; 5- 7); Idleness (Prv. 10;4, 12:24, 19:15, 22; 19); Tightfisted (Eccl. 11:1-6, Prv. 11:24-25, Lk. 6:38, Gal. 6;7, 2 Cort. 9:6); Curse (Zech. 5: 1-4, Mal. 3: 8-9); Disobedience (Deutr. 28: 16-19); Ignorance (Prv. 3:5-6)

Pains of poverty include disgust (Prv. 14:20, 19:7); disregard (Prv. Eccl. 9: 15); disjointing (Prv. 19: 4, Psm. 38: 11); denial (Prv. 19:7); desolation (Lk. 16:19-21); destruction (Prv. 10:15); death (

You must disallow your unfavorably background to hold your destiny down to the ground. You can break the curse of generational poverty (11 ki. 4:1); break the fallow ground (Hosea 10:12), free your life from generational stagnation (Deutr. 1:6, Exd. 14:14-15)

 B. PROSPERITY

  • Jesus tasted poverty that we might be rich – 2 Cort. 8 : 9.
  • God is rich unto all who trusted in Him – Rom. 10:12, Philp. 4:19;
  • We are to seek and trust God, not riches – 1st Tim 6:17
  • Many God’s covenant people in the Bible were richly blessed by God, materially: Abraham (Gen. 13:12); Isaac (Gen. 26:12-13); Jacob ( ); Joseph (Gen. )
  • It is the will of God to prosper His own – Jer. 19:11, Psm, 37; 3-4, 25; Gen. 27:28-29, Deut. 28:1-12; 3 Jhn 2, Philp. 4;19)
  • We must beware of greed and of gathering wealth outside the way of God – (Highly detrimental) – Prv. 1: 32, 13:11, 15:27, 20: 21; Psm. 37:1-2, 7, 10, 16-17; Deut. 25:13-16; 1st Tim 6:8, etc
  • We must seek God trustfully for the blessings of true prosperity: Psm. 118

Divine Giving Habit

  • God is the greatest and finest Giver of all time. Jhn 3:16; Job 33: 4; Psalm 27:1; Isa.55:5, Acts 2: 38.
  • He generously gave His only begotten Son to the world He loved as a seed, and today He is raising many glory-sons
  • It takes real love to become real giver. So God commanded us to love Him first and above all, and to love others as we love ourselves. Love is the power for generous giving.
  • He commanded us to give because He has pleasures in our prosperity. Psm 35:27; Lk. 6:38
  • He then gave us the power to make wealth – Deutr. 8:18

-Gifts and talents are God’s giving endowments for profit making. You make them viable by employing them to serve people and generation}

He expects us to learn the habit of generous giving.

  • Generous giving is a learn-able habit. You and I can learn it first by understanding that all things belong to God {I Cor. 3:21-23}
  • By catching up with the revelation that we are joint heirs with Christ- this depicts that all that He has are ours and vice verse .Psm 8:17
  • By the choice of being a revelation giver and not reason giver.
  • By using the key of cheerful giving to controlling our financial destiny. You can invite the supernatural dimension into your financial future by simply giving God what is in your hand. {I Ki. 17:8-16}
  • By employing the basic kingdom economy principles, we are to better our lots in life

The way of Habitual Giving

  • He commanded us to seed sowing in His Kingdom Economy Manual: Gen. 8:2; Gal. 6:7; 2nd 9:6.
  • He demanded tithing- (Matt. 23:23, Mal. 3: 8-11); Kingdom investment: (2 Cor.9:6, Matt. 6:33, Acts 20: 35); Charity deeds to God’s special people such as ministers, orphans, the poor and widows – (Gal. 6: 6-10; Job 31: 13-20, I Cor. 9:6-12); Giving to all children of God- doing well to those of the house-hold of faith –(Gal. 6: 6-10)
  • He instructed us to care for our family and friends- .

Prosperity Principles

Let’s examine the ten basic principles of God’s Kingdom economy here:

  1. Principle of wisdom – wisdom is the principal thing, without it nothing actually works out. We need the wisdom to envision, plan, execute the plans, and carry out effective supervision, and successfully manage success and prosperity. {Prov. 3: 13-18; Dtr. 29: 29; Gen. 41-43}. Wisdom brings riches, honour and nobility into your life: Riches and honour are with me…” (prov.8:18)
  2. Principle of debt reduction {Prov. 22:7, Psm 13:8, Rom. 13:8; Matt. 18:23-35}
  3. Principle of tithing – tithing has been in practice among God’s covenant people over 430years before the law was given, and God introduced it in law to proof the heart of Israelites whether they love Him or those blessings He has given to them{Mal. 3:8-12, Gen. 14:8-20, Matt. 23:23}
  4. Principle of loving God: As said above, God included giving in the law not because He was poor. He wanted to try the heart of His Israel whether they truly loved Him or Mammon. He did the same when He commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. We would have to prove we indeed love and have delight in God. {Gen 22:15-18, Psm 1: 2-3; Prov. 3:1-10}
  5. Principle of diligence: To be lazy and indolent is to volunteer for a impoverishing. Be hard working. (Prov. 10:4, 12:24, 13: 4, 21:5, 22:29}
  6. Principle of investments: invest in yourself, employ your God giving potentials to serve your generation and make profit thereby. {Matt 6:19-21}; also invest in things of eternal value, invest in God’s kingdom {Matt 6:33, 24:35, Acts 4: 32, 37, 2 Pet. 3:10; Hag.1:6}
  7. Principle of relationship: strengthen your relationship with God and with men. Habit and relationship often dictate connection and favour. Be holy to God, and be true and honest in all your relationship and interactions with man. Psm 1:1-5, 35:24, Prov. 10:22, 13:21-22, 3:9-10..
  8. Principle of Word confession: You must know, meditate on and believe   God’s word and promises. God’s provisions are in His promises. Know His promises, confess and possess them for your provision. { Josh 1:8; II Cor. 4:13, 2 Pet. 1: 2-4}
  9. Principle of faith–seeding: You need faith to plant bountiful seed for bountiful harvest. {Gal. 6: 6-10; II Cort. 9:6}. To wield your shield of faith take care of these two things:
  • One, become seed conscious and not need{Matt 13:3-8, Gen. 3:15, 8:22, II Cor. 9:8}
  • Be a wise sower, planting your seed on a good soil. {Matt. 13}Note that churches with evil doctrines, anti-Christ postures such as homosexuality, denial of Christ virgin birth, abortion legalization, etc. aren’t good soil.
    1. Principle of diversification: You will have to diversify your business and distinguish your product for distinction to stand out in the market and earn comfort.

 

C. POWER FOR WEALTH

  1. Divine Presence – Gen. 39: 2-3, 7-9, 23
  2. God’s Word – Psm. 1:1-3
  3. Potentiality –
  4. Hard work/diligence – Prv. 22:29
  5. Service to man & to God- Exd. 2325_26,
  6. Obedience – Isa. 1: 19
  7. Tithing, Sowing &Giving – Mal. 3:8-11; Lk 6:38,
  8. Praise and appreciation – Psm 67: 5-6, Jhn 4: 23-24

Get my books online: All my books are now available in multiple eBook formats, and while some are free, other attract just a token. Get your copies here: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Belovedjohn.

I know you have been blessed. I long to hear your testimony about the impacts of these training series, kindly drop a note for me on this website. You can also call +2348030444780; email: flaminglamps@yahoo.com or josephjohn754@gmail.com

THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH (TCC 103)

By Pastor John B. Joseph

 A. THE CHURCH

WHAT IS THE CHURCH? – (Ekklessia) Acts 241-47

  1. The Church (Ekklessia) means “the called out ones”. – I.e. an assembly or gathering of believers. It is not a building but all that are born again. It has to do with community of people “called out of darkness into His marvelous light”.
  2. The church does not include devotees of Christian cults or other religion groups; it does not include even the non-redeem church goers.
  3. The church is the body of Christ on earth; God’s dwelling place; the pillar of truth and the “golden candle-sticks”. Rev. 1:1:10-20; I Tim. 1315

 TWO KINDS OF CHURCH

  1. The Church Universal – this comprises of all born-again brethren all over the world in all Christian churches.
  1. The Local Church –this includes believers who assemble together to worship God in a visible place and true community sense.
  2. Every Christian should be a .member of a local church.
  3. It is God’s presence that distinguishes the church from any other gathering or audience.
  4. Brethren are a church, regardless of where they meet; with or without its own building (Matt. 18:20).

 THREEFOLD DUTIES OF TRUE CHURCH

Ministering to God (Zeh. 14:17; Jhn. 4:19-23)

  1. We are God’s royal priests through whom praise, worship and prayers are continually offered. Rev. 1:6; 5:10; Heb. 13:15; I Pet. 2:5, 9.
  2. We are called to be true spiritual worshippers. (Jhn. 4:19-23. True worshipper first and thereafter true worker (servant). Worship comes before service.
  3. Characteristics of true worshipper include Love, Humility, Obedience,Purity, Brokenness, self-offer (total abdication of self); and faith.
    I Pet. 5:5, Psm. 51:17; 24”3-4, 89:7; Hebr. 10:22.

 Ministering to One Another. 2:44-45; 4:34-35; I Jhn 5 4-8.

  1. Spiritually; we are to carry out this task through ceaseless intercession for one another; through fellowship, teaching, counseling, discipline, training and sharing of insights.
  2. Emotionally, we are to identify with one another joys and sorrows; demonstrate true love and affection for one another, share life together, visit one another, exhort, comfort, encourage each other, and pray together. (Isa. 61:2-3).
  3. Physically, we are to minister to one another financially and materially. Every local church should encourage (and screen) table of request for the needy ones; have good relationship together and challenge the ‘haves’ to gather for the ‘have-nots’. Doing all these, we must create sound financial policy that encourages probity, accountability, transparency and honest stewardship. (Especially to prove leadership integrity to members and outsiders).

 Ministering To the World. 16:15-20; Isa. 60:2; Matt. 28:18-20.

  1. Redemption is God’s plan for the whole universe. For this He gave His only begotten Son. Therefore, we are saved to reach out to others with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We should be people of global evangelization vision.Note:ours is a ministry of reconciliation. Thus, we should be men and women of global vision to reconcile men to God. (2 Cort. 5:18-20).
  2. It is the duty of the local church to strategically plan for evangelism; equip members for missions; send-out missionaries; back and fund missions/ evangelism works. We are to lift-up Jesus and express Him to the world.Church program should revolve round soul winning.

Don’t forget the ‘triple-w’ order:Worship God (1st); Do His WORD (2nd);Do His WORK (3rd)

MINISTRIES SET IN THE LOCAL CHURCH

  1. Five-fold leadership ministries. Read – Eph. 4:11-13; I Cort. 12:27-28.
  2. Leadership supporter’s ministries. Read – I Cort. 12:27-28; Rom.12:6-8.
  3. Others include intercession, literature, Arts & Music, media, etc.

CHURCH GOVERNMENTS & LEADERSHIP

Basically, we have three systems of church government: (a) Democratic system (b) Presbyterian system (c) Episcopal system.

Democratic System of Government:

  1. Here the power for decision making rests solely on the congregation, through voting power.
  2. The problem with this system is that it breeds church politics. It is thus dangerous for church health.

Presbyterian System of Government:

  1. Here the power for decision making rests on the elders’ board.
  2. The trouble with this system also has to do with church politics as prominent ones play the game of getting themselves into church board membership. It also makes members non-important as a small group controls.

Episcopal System of Government:

  1. Here the power rests in the hand of the Overseer/President.
  2. This is God’s way of church leadership as seen in the scriptures
  3. Its problem lies in the fact that it can breed dangerous dictatorship.

CHURCH LEADERSHIP

We have two types of CHURCH LEADERS, the soul driven leader and Spirit driven leader. How do differentiate them?

A Soul Driven Leader – Case study: King Saul.
This is a leader that leads the people by the power of the soul/flesh, and not by the Holy Spirit. His traits include the followings:

  1. He is unbroken, carnal and self-driven.
  2. He is fearful of the broken, Spirit-filled driven members (I Sam. 18:15).
  3. He lacks true repentance – I Sam 24 & 26.
  4. He uses his office to oppress even his own family – I Sam. 25:44
  5. He uses His clever mind; (Soul-power) to plot against those who stand for the truth in the church. (I Sam. 20:17).
  6. He manifests disobedience and unbelief. – I Sam. 22:14-15.
  7. He can even make deal with demonic agents of darkness. I Sam. 28:5-9.

A Spirit Driven Leader – Case study: David King.

This is a spiritual leader, driven by the Holy Spirit and faith in God. His characteristics are:

  1. He is a broken vessel, Spirit filled & driven.
  2. He is meek, humble and lovely in spirit.
  3. He understands true love, true righteousness and holiness.
  4. He is anointed with the Holy Ghost and power.
  5. His authority is rooted in Christ’s Name and the WORD.
  6. He willingly offers selfless ministry to people as chief servant.
  7. He sees himself/herself as royal-priesthood, and run his/her life/ministry accordingly.
  8. He upholds Godly integrity (I Sam. 12 3-5). Like Uriah, he absolutely refuses doing what was thought to be right. II Sam. 11:6-13. (Read also: Psm. 15; Job. 2:9; 6:29; 27:5; I Chr. 29:17; Lk 1:6).

 LEADERSHIP PATTERNS IN A LOCAL CHURCH

  1. THE PASTOR
    1. He is the head, the shepherd of the assembly. Where there is more than one ordained ministers the Senior Pastor heads, while others serves as associate(s) and assistant(s).
    2. For better understanding read “UNDERSTANDING OF THE MINISTRY GIFTS”.
  1. ELDERS ( Acts 14:21-23; 20:28; Titus 1:5)

Composition of Elders

  1. This should include all ordained ministers in a church; going by the Biblical explanation. Headed by the Pastor-in-charge, the elders act as a governing council responsible for the spiritual and moral conduct of a church.
  2. In the Scripture, Elders were very important people: We read of the 24elders surrounding the throne of God. (Rev. 4:4). Apostle John also called himself an elder. 2 Jhn 1:1; 3 Jhn 1.

Qualifications

  1. He must be Spirit-filled & full of faith.
  2. He must be a mature believer, strong and competent of spiritual insight.
  3. He must be able to teach and lead others in the Christian way.
  4. He must have good sense of judgment.
  5. He should be a man who has great authority with God and with man. Dan. 9:22-23.
  6. He should be a man who shakes heavens when he prays. (With authority in Christ, praying elders can crush powerful demons ).
  7. He should not be proud but humble and loving.
  8. He must be of good report. (I Tim. 3:1-7).
  9. Elders should be men of deeper Bible revelation and Christ-centered.

Notes: It is not a position of title or hierarchy; and cannot be attained by seniority or age. It is a divine placement for the spiritually matured in a church.

 Elder’s Responsibilities (Acts 20:28)

  1. Give sound counsel and advice to the pastor.
  2. Provide spiritual discernment. (Jm. 5:16)
  3. Visit and pray for the sick. (Jms. 5:13-15).
  4. Direct church’s spiritual affairs e.g. praying, teaching and others.
  5. Judge prophecy. (Hebr. 5:12-14).
  6. Discipline erring church members Matt. 18:15-17; I Cort. 5:1-5.
  7. Could function as Head of Department, unit or section. E.g. Department of evangelism; Prayer, Visitation, Youth/Student, Marriage, Music, Children and Adult fellowship.
  • DEACON (diakonia) – Acts 6:1-6.
  1. Composition: This office is composed of those appointed to handle church’s business affairs.
  2. Qualifications (I Tim. 3:8-12): Should be Spirit filled; sound in Bible knowledge, and full of faith. – Acts 6:1-6. Titus 3:8-12.
  3. Responsibilities:
  4. Handles benevolence deeds. E.g. collection and distribution for widows, Orphans etc.
  5. Administers proper financial management. E.g. handling financial accounting to protect pastor’s integrity and stop satanic accusation. Church money is God’s money. So there must be permanent, accurate records of income and expenditure.
  6. When Deacon handles money, two or more brethren should be there to protect his own integrity.
  7. Serves as Administrative Assistant – He is to act as church Administrator under the authority of the Pastor. Administrative matters include serving orders, Communication, Correspondence, outlines and manuals printing, publicly, Protocol, general office administration.
  8. Handles maintenance (Utility) e.g. Properties, Equipment, repair etc.
  9. Handles functional services. E.g. Venue arrangement, Sounds systems, etc.
  10. Deacon could also function as departmental head.

EXCELLENT CHURCH LEADERSHIP: VIRTUES FOR EXCELLENCE

  1. Freedom of the Inner-man. (Philp. 4:6-7). A leader that would be successful must be free from anxiety, worry, fear and despair. These arrows cloud the mind, kill vision, and get leaders stranded.
  2. Servanthood: He must have the love to serve others with pure and sincere heart. His leadership concept must be servant leadership, dealing with people in love and humility as a servant leader and not as a boss.
  3. Power: Above all, the leader of a church needs the anointing of the Holy Ghost and power. Full of the Holy Spirit, His words and messages must be anointed. In fact, he needs this POWER before going to the pulpit to minister (There is always a big difference between anointed and un-anointed messages).
  4. Passion – He must have burning passion for the Lord. Serving God and preaching the gospel needs flaming passion and zeal. Rev. 3:15.
  5. Meekness – He must not be a leader that brags about all his exploits and achievements. He needs lowly, meek heart to give all glory to God, put off self-importance, etc. – I Sam. 2:7; Prov. 16:18; Jhn. 3:30.
  6. Faith: He needs the faith of God to follow God’s will and go God’s way in ministry. Without the faith of obedience he will fail. He must be strong, courageous, valiant and faith-filled.
  7. Devotion: Total surrenderdness, absolute commitment, total loyalty to God and His works is a vital virtue for success. He must be devoted to bringing more souls to Christ each day.
  8. Creativity: He will need to inject Spirit given creative ideas into goals and established pattern in order to make a change in the church for better results. Mediocre and the uncreative are not fitted for church leadership. Church leaders must be good catalysts to bring about God’s life and glorious change.
  9. Robe of Purity: He must put on robe of holiness, righteousness and purity to be a light to follow after. Titus 1:15; Lk. 11 39-40.

 Seven KEYS TO EXCELLENCE

Becoming a great leader of Christ’s flock demands being robed with the followings:

  1. He must know the will and the way of God.
    Knowing God’s will and doing it is very important to leadership success in the ministry. He who leads others must truly know the way lest he leads astray. Jhn. 4:34 – 38; 40; Acts 18:25.
  2. He must learn to lead with a heart of patience.
    If he is a person who is easily provoked to anger, he can’t be a great leader of the people. He must therefore be someone who does not use hard word and who does not get impatient with people. Eccl. 7:8; Rm 2:7; II Tim. 224; I Pet. 2:20
  3. He must have the vision to serve others.
    He must be robed with the heart of servant-hood. Leadership is all about service. He who will be great must excel in serving God and brethren.
    7:6; Jos. 24:4; Gal. 5:13; Matt. 20:25-28.
  4. He must invest toward self-development:
    All his life, efforts and resources must be directed towards self-development. Equip yourself with Bible, Christian materials etc., you need constant training and study couple with prayer and practice of what you’ve learned II Tim. 2:15;
  5. He must possess an adventurous and pioneering spirit.
    To always go advancing and aggressively, he needs the courage of a
    pace-setter – a bold model that leads others the right way, no matter what!I Tim. 4:12-16.
  6. He must understand people’s needs and know how to meet those needs with cheerfulness. – Isa. 58:6-14.
  7. He must acquire the ability to rightly evaluate people and make them succeed in life. – Matt. 16:15-19.

CHURCH MEETINGS AND SERVICES

SUNDAY/WEEKLY SERVICES

These include Sunday School (HGS), Sunday worship, Bible study, Liberty/prayer service, House fellowship, Groups’ meetings/fellowship, and special programs, among others. Each of these meetings should be unique in plan, in goal, in presentation and result oriented.

COUNSELING

Every local Assembly should have counseling day(s), making spiritual counsels available to members, neighbours and other seekers. This is usually handle by the Pastor in-charge/ Senior Pastor.

DELIVERANCE

  1. Deliverance team should function well in every local church to help members who need freedom from demon activities.
  2. Deliverance day or programme should be constantly organized.
  3. Organized deliverance day/service should be spiritually prepared for.

MARRIAGE

Extensive prayer and counseling should come before courtship. There should be those who are charged with this responsibility among church leaders in the assembly. There should be extensive prayer and fasting before the wedding day.

FELLOWSHIP

Every local church should be organized in such a way that separate fellowships or ministries will be for the adult, youth, student, adolescent and children. Also gender fellowships should be much encouraged. House church or fellowship should also be organized.

CHURCH DISCIPLINE

  1. It is the duty of pastors and elders to administer discipline to erring members. It is very vital to the spiritual health of the entire congregation.
  2. Failure to administer discipline by the leaders could be disastrous and destructive. (Ezk. 3 18, I Jhn. 5:16). E.g. it may result to the followings:
    1. May endanger pastor’s life, family and ministry.
    2. Can bring doom upon the entire congregation. Remember Achan.
    3. May destroy church reputation before the watching eyes of the world.
    4. May bring terrible trouble upon the fellow ought to be discipline.
  3.  It should be carried out under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and in the spirit of love.
  4. It should be done with the one goal of restoring the person. (Gal. 6:1).
  5. As much as possible, the pastors and elders should meet to prayerfully talk it out in secrecy (except in cases of open/public sin).

GIVING & CHARITY

It is the duty of pastor, elders and other leaders in every local church to generously give;teach and encourage others to as well give cheerfully to God’s work and to the less privileged. Why?

  1. God ordains it that His church is to be financed by His children.
  2. Giving our freewill offerings, donations and tithes is God’s commandment that must be obeyed.
  3. We are to always give cheerfully and bountifully to have successful church growth and carry out global evangelization.
  4. Pastors and all other in church leadership should be exemplary in practicing this covenant of tithing and giving.
  5. There must be compact records of tithers and givers in every local church.

CEREMONIAL ORDINANCES

  1. Every church should have periodic enlightenment/teachings on importance of water baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion table).
  2. Constantly, the newly converted should be taught and taken to the river for emersion by the church leaders.
  3. Likewise, the Holy Communion should be observed regularly in every local church. At least on monthly basis.

GOSPEL OUTREACHES

  1. From time to time, every living church would carry-out evangelistic outreaches and indoor revival services.
  2. This is needed for church growth, global evangelization and spiritual renewal.

KINGDOM DRESSINGS

  1. Moderation and decency is Bible commanded dress-code for the believers.
  2. Nowhere in the Bible are we encouraged (as kings and priests) to dress like harlots and worldly guys.
  3. As royal-priesthood, our dressing styles should be models of royalty, godliness and excellence.
  4. Church members should be taught and guide to follow the Bible light in their dressing style; not modernization or civilization or even cultures.

 

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FIVEFOLD MINISTRIES (FFM 104)

By Pastor John B. Joseph

There are five ministry gifts, namely; Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher. We will need to examine them to help you to know your area of calling. This course explains details on this topic.

THE APOSTLE

His is a high calling; a ministry office – Eph. 4:11

  • Apostle (Apostolos) means “the sent one”, or “the one sent forth” An ‘Apostolos’ bears the authority of the sender, for he is an ambassador or messenger on a special mission.
  • In the New Testament, we have three major orders of Apostles.
    1. Jesus Christ: He is the greatest and foremost Apostle, sent by the Father on the special Messianic mission – Hebr. 3:1; John 7:28-29.
    2. The twelve Apostles of the Lamb came next in the order. Matt. 10:2-4 28, Acts. 1:21-22; I cort. 15-5, Rev. 21:14.
    3. Post-ascension Apostles were the third order. These include:

James the brother of Jesus (Gal 1:19); Paul (I Cor. 15:8); Silas (Acts 14:14); Apollos (I Cor. 4:6-9); Andronicus & Junia (Rom. 167), Epaphroditus (Philp. 2:25). And there are still apostles today.

  • Attributes of true Apostles
  • Apostles are men of great authority strong leadership skills, and, outstanding personality.
  • They are given notable miracle working power
  • Have intimate knowledge of God true humility, righteousness and faith.
  • They are men of passion, have vision for global evangelism and gospel conquest, and are strong intercessors.
  • Seek the unity of the body of Christ;be well disciplined and willing to serve. Early Apostles were willing to suffer. We also must be faithful stewards of ministry and money. [ II Cor. 10:16; 12:2-3; Matt. 2025-28 , Rm 11 , Acts 243 , 430 512 ; Hebr. 22-4 ; Mk. 1615-18 ; Act s 916 ; Rom. 1520 ; I Tim. 1]

1.2 Works of True Apostles

The Apostle’s major works are:

  • Carrying out of soul winning and Church planting campaigns.
  • Laying of sound spiritual foundation for Church through sound teachings/ doctrines.
  • Raising God’s spiritual armies and Ordination of Elders in Churches: He is able to raise, train and ordain elders from among the local converts, over a church.

1.3 Marks of False Apostles

But there are false apostles also. They are best known by such attributes as:

  1. Pride: They are arrogant, boastful and un-teachable.
  2. Covetousness: They are full of greed and lust for Mammon and all that this world could offer.
  • Failure: They cannot produce or do the very works of Apostles, to which they boastfully claim. Read: II Cort. 11:13; Rev. 2:2.

 

THE PROPHET

It’s a high calling; a Ministry office. Eph. 4:11.

  1. The office of the Prophet is foundational to the New Testament Church. It is an integral part of the church.
  2. The call of a true prophet is of God. He is called to be God’s spokesman to His people. He occupies the office of a prophet to speak forth God’s word. (Isa. 6:8-9; Jer. 1:4-8).
  • The Prophet possesses a definite gift of prophecy. It may be revelatory or inspirational in nature. For him, it’s not just a manifestation but calling into a ministry office.
  1. True prophets show humility and are amenable to advice. (I Cor. 14:37).
  2. Through delivery of various prophetic words, prophet is to fulfill his God sent tasks of edification, comfort, exhortation, prediction, direction, rebuke and warning. Acts 1127-30 ; 2110-11

2.1. Attributes of True Prophets

Attributes and characters of a true prophet include the followings:

  • He is humble and accessible
  • He is a man of unusual prayer power.
  • He is a man of power and authority.
  • His intimacy with God is very deep.
  • He has strong personality and total commitment
  • Most of them love privacy and orderly life style.
  • True prophet hates sins, worldliness and hypocrisy.
  • They love righteousness and holiness.

Notes of Guide

  • Prophets must constantly watch against pride, impatience and critical spirit.
  • New Testament prophets were not considered infallible. They can make error and thus the need to judge both the validity and the source of every prophecy. Deutr. 18:21-22; 13:1-3; Jms. 3:13-18. Sources of prophecy could be one of these three:
    • Holy Spirit – 2 Peter 1:20-21.
    • Evil spirits (demons) – Jer. 23:13-14.
    • Human spirit – It is evil to think that every word that comes into your head or mind is from the LORD.

2.2. The True Prophet

Every believer and church should prayerfully beware of false prophets. Works and marks of true prophet include:

  • Rebukes Sin: A prophet is placed in any church to deal with sin in the camp. Every church board ought to have a functioning prophet, who calls sin by no other names but sin.
  • Speak for God: A true prophet receives message from God and speak for Him. He delivers God’s mind to people.
  • Identification with the people. He identifies himself with the people of God, even with their sins. Exk. 3:15.
  • Affectionate love for God. He loves God wholeheartedly, and shows it demonstratively.
  • Esteeming other prophets: He is without any spirit of jealousy, He is humble and meek and does esteem other Prophets of God.
  • Willingness to submit to spiritual authority. Even for correction and discipline.
  • Holding divine revelation confidential: He keeps secret of God’s revelation unless he is told to say it.

Note: A prophet is not meant to pastor a church, lest his congregation may be small.

THE EVANGELIST

It’s a high calling, a ministry office. 2 Tim. 4:5, Eph. 4:11.

  1. The Evangelist (Evangelistas) is “a passionate proclaimer of the goodnews”. He preaches or announces the glad tidings. Psm. 68:11.
  2. He is a man with unusual burden for the lost. His message therefore is salvation, He emphasizes on salvation, reconciliation and Spirit living.
  • He is endued with the anointing for powerful preaching and miracle working ministry. He practically demonstrates God’s power for salvation and miraculous.
  1. He demonstrates great boldness, especially when in action under God’s move.
  2. He is a man of mighty prayer and fasting life.
  3. His ministry is carried out through: (1) Open air crusade (2) Personal

Evangelism (3) City wide meeting (4) Indoor revival (5) Missions (6) Hospital, prison and other specialized outreaches (7) Vigorous visitation outing (8) Literature, Media & Net evangelism. And any other soul-winning drive. Acts 85-8, Lk.1:68; 10:5; Mk 16:15-16.

Counsels to Evangelists

Every God’s called Evangelist should carefully consider the following counsels:

  • Learn to be of sterling character (Principle purity) to overcome various temptations. E.g. Lusts for money and women/man.
  • Never be involved in criticizing other ministers or denomination. (Gal. 6:1).
  • Learn to sustain a heart of true love, passion and burden towards the lost.
  • Take good care of your own health by observing rest, balance diet and exercise.
  • Be of good report within and outside your domains.
  • Take good caution in matters of monetary and material rewards, especially in your relationship with your host, etc.
  • Always employ illustrations as windows of your message without lying.
  • Learn to thoroughl prepare each message for definite purpose and prayerfully.
  • Learn to preach with such simplicity that aids the grasp of the common people.
  • Always watch against pride, unruly anger, sexual immorality, human ego and worldly tendencies.
  • Unlike most Evangelists, don’t be careless about following up converts or leave them un-churched. Though it is true that many evangelists make poor pastor, being is restless and of high temperament, but you can chose to be different.

 

  • THE PASTOR

This is a high calling; a ministry office. Eph 4:11.

  1. The pastor (poimen) is “a helper, a shepherd, a feeder of sheep”. Eph 4:11; Mk. 6:34; Jhn. 10.

Explanations

  • In the N.T, we see the word ‘Pastor’ evolved. First through the word presbyter (presbuteros) which means an elder. (Acts 20:17; II Jhn vs. 1, 3 Jhn 1, I Pet. 5:1).
  • Second, through the word bishop or overseer (episkopos) – (Acts 20:28 I Tim. 3:1-2; Titus 1:7; I pet. 2:25; 5:2; Philp 1:1). The term bishop would have applied to the senior elder in a church (es) or denomination and was used, sometimes, interchangeably with pastor and overseer.
  1. A pastor is God’s representative; a Christ’s under shepherd called to rule His household and exercise authority (Not as over-Lord of God’s heritage). (I Tim. 35 , 517 , Hebr. 137 , I Pet. 53).
  • He is charged with the responsibilities of providing meat for the flock in due season- (Matt. 24:43); standing in gap for them as their intercessory priest; offering direction and protection through the Word and the Spirit.( Acts 20:28-31) ; doing the work of an evangelist, to a degree – II Tim.4:5.
  1. Restore backsliders to God, and bring them back into the fold.

Note: Generally, he does all the above and others through the power of the Holy Spirit, by the ministries of preaching, teaching, mentoring, counseling, guidance and discipline.

4.1. Test of a True Pastor

  1. A test of his effectiveness in soul winning. Is his interest lies in evangelism, missions and church growth or not?
  2. A test of his effectiveness in follow up and conservation of won souls.
  3. A test of his effectiveness in leading newly converted and new members into Holy-Ghost baptism experience.
  4. A test of his effectiveness in feeding and building church members into full knowledge (maturity) in Christ.
  5. A test of his effectiveness in personally leading exemplary Spirit life for members to follow. If he fails this character test, he is incapacitated for the ministry.

4.2. Two kinds of Pastors

We have two major types or kinds of pastors: the radical and the conservative

  1. TheRadical: The radical pastor is a visionary- leader pastor; a man of vision, bold, creative and motivational. Radical pastors:
  • Leads by example – Phil 3:12.
  • Has vision and zeal for world conquest is contagious.
  • He knows how to delegate authority, fix people in rightful place, train and challenge them to do exploit for God.
  • He is a problem solver – never afraid of failure.
  • He is God pleaser – Not men pleaser.
  1. The Conservative: On the other hand, the conservative lacks vision, courage, initiative, creativity and motivational virtues needed for successful ministry. Thus:
  • All he does is to keep the ship afloat. (He’s good at running things in line with ‘tradition’). He resists any major changes.
  • He lacks ability to mobilize brethren to common action/goal. (He’s always afraid of failure and mistakes).
  • He’ll rather maintain his sole control than delegate authority.
  • He only sees (identifies) problems; but lack what it takes to solve them.
  • He is slow, cautious and men pleasing.

4.3. The Lifestyles of True Pastor

His ultimate goal is becoming a radiant model and exemplary leader of the flock. Thus, he must:

  1. Be an intimate friend of God.
  2. Be gentle, loving, caring and hospitable.
  3. Radiates faith, optimism, cheer and courage.
  4. Be of unimpeachable character. Titus 1:5-9
  5. Be courteous, warm and accessible I Tim. 3:1-7, I Pet. 3:8.
  6. Avoid the temptation of being be a money-lover. Titus 1:7
  7. He would not condescend to jesting and foolish talking – Eph. 5:4
  8. Be a holy man, who hates and rebukes sin. I Tim 5:20, I Tim 4:12; Titus 1:7.
  9. Show sincere concern in the welfare of members.
  10. Be a builder of loving, happy, God-fearing home (family). Titus 1:6; I Tim 3:4-5.
  11. He is not of proud and autocratic spirit.

4.4. Pastors and Management

Every pastor needs the gift of administration and management to succeed in ministry. How do we exercise this gift in the running of the ministry?

  • To effectively plan/ strategize for church growth.
  • To ensure sound financial planning, prudent spending, accurate financial record (Book-keeping) and uphold accounting stewardship principles for integrity.
  • To keep accurate and timely records of church affairs, activities, membership register, Visitor’s file, Church growth logistics, Meeting minutes, programme reports etc.
  • To think through church problems and prayerfully extract the solution.
  • To plan programme, delegate works, evaluate both programme and individuals.
  • To work to and effectively manage time.
  • To timely and effectively plan sermon – (teachings & messages); engage in personal intercessory ministry; and other personal affairs.
  • Pastors should learn to pastor through God’s supernatural move and thereby escape pulpit abuse, sexual scandal, and financial scandal, loss of vision, undue political involvement, fears and failure.
  • Pastors and preachers in general, should learn to be dignified and well behaved when mounting the pulpit:
  • Do not learn/rest on the pulpits.
  • Avoid being nervous.
  • Never play with the pulpit or items thereon.
  • Do not imitate someone’s voice or gesture.
  • Avoid traits of mannerisms.
  • Do nothing that can distract the attention of the audience.
  • Be focus – be in the spirit and preach from the heart of your heart.
  • Care for your voice. You are expected to speak loud and clear. Reject artificial tone.
  • Avoid making reference to yourself, especially at the start of ministration. (Jhn 7:18).
  • Never lower the effectiveness of your message nor show any apology.
  • Beware of the “fill-in-habit” e.g. repeated use of “halleluiah”, “Amen”; “Oh God”, etc.
  • After the message, lead the congregation into powerful prayer session, and honorably step out of the pulpit with faith for definite miraculous results.
  • Ministry demands great sacrifice from every minister, if success must come. Total consecration, determination, practical devotion, loyalty, love and hard work are the price to pay. So the pastor must be all out to attain desire success.

4.5. The Pastor’s Wife

  • Pastor’s wife must uphold the Biblical standard of the Christian living.
  • She is to shoulder the ministry with her husband.
  • She is to be a good example and a model to the women folk in the church.
  • She is expected to operate almost at the same spiritual level with her husband.
  • She is to lead the women folk in the church, counsel women and organize special program for them.
  • She is expected to be a strong intercessor and good student of the Bible.
  • Pastors’ wives as Domestic managers
    • She must do all in her power to create a happy home.
    • She should discipline her children in God’s fear.
    • She must be a good caring mother and wife, competentin preparing delicious meals.
    • She should be a thrifty family economist.
    • She should make her home attractive.
    • She should regularly join her husband in devotion, and with her children.
    • She could free her husband from major domestic cares for ministerial benefit.
  • Pastors’ wives & Double Usefulness

Pastors’ wives should double their usefulness by going the extra-miles.

  • She could lead choir, Evangelism or prayer groups.
  • She could front for the welfare of the poor, widows and orphans in the church.
  • She could involve herself in visitation to brethren, seldom.
  • She could be a Sunday school teacher, children minister, etc
  • She could see to the cleanliness of the church and its environment.
  • Pastor’s Wife Characters

To be great, pastor’s wife must cultivate these Godly virtues as characters:

  • She should learn to be warm, gentle and outgoing.
  • She should learn to be a good user of tongues. E.g. she should never be a retailer of gossip, never use a sharp tongue, learn to keep silence, etc.
  • She should never be a brawler; never to fight with anybody.
  • She should learn to be hospitable, humble, friendly and approachable.
  • She should cultivate spirit of obedience and submission.
  • The Pastor’s Wife may fail;
  • If she is nagging, violent or hot temper.
    • If she is lazy, indolent or lack ability.
  • If she lacks consecration and strong spiritual closet.
  • If she lacks love, passion and cheerfulness.
  • If she lacks diligence, wisdom and commitment.
  • If she lacks counseling grace and faith.
  • If she lacks respect and honour to her husband.
  • If she is not a cheerful giver.

THE TEACHER

It’s a high calling; a ministry office. Eph 4:11.

  1. i) In the Gospels, Jesus was addressed as “teacher” (Rabbi) at various times (Jhn. 3:2). We also see some brethren being referred to as “teachers” in acts 13:1 and James 3:1. (e.g. Apollos was a teacher – I Cort. 3:4-6; Acts 18:24-28). So there is a Ministry office of teacher in the church. I Cort 12:28-29.
  2. ii) Teacher has the characteristics of seeking deeper understanding of God’s WORD and mystery, and teaching the WORD by precepts and principles, somehow expository and systematically. He loves simplicity of delivery and sometimes makes use of graphic illustrations.

iii.)       He is a naturally gifted with oratory ability.

iv.)       He has a strong burden for church maturity. So his objectives are to build up the body of Christ through the knowledge of the word and to see the church people excelling in their word-based Christian walk.

v.)        Teacher has the grace that easily grasps the revelation truth of the Bible.

vi.)       He is furious at the sight of error. He has no tolerance for such.

vii.)      If you are called to be a teacher you will be fulfilled if you get yourself well prepared, by the followings:

  • By venturing constantly into deeper Bible study and meditation. Each year you must read the Bible cover to cover, use study guides, commentaries, concordance and other books.
  • Attending conferences, seminars and schools.
  • Studying other gospel literatures and listen to tapes.
  • Learn the habit of making good jottings, good outlines and constant revision.
  • Readily grasp any opportunity to teach; and to accept counsel and criticism.

Note:Teachers build on the foundation of the Apostles and prophets. Teacher’s ministry is only to the church; not to the unsaved. He builds up and nourishes the saved. (I Cort. 3:t4-6).

5.1. Teacher’s weaknesses

Teacher’s weaknesses include:

  • his casual interest in Evangelism
  • being impatient with others who differ
  • Being reluctant to accept correction, yet quick to give strict judgment
  • Somehow, he is not having too strong a prayer life
  • And the prideful ego of “too known” or “know all”.

Note: Teachers need to be watchful. They will have greater judgment. Jms 3:1.

5.2. False Teachers

There are false teachers, everywhere. (2 Pet. 2:1; 2 Cort. 11:14). So teachings should be evaluated by the scriptures before accepting them. More so, teachings should be judged by the lifestyle of the .teacher: The Holy Spirit can help us, even better.

 

SUPPORTER MINISTRIES

Having studied the five high-calling ministry offices, let’s briefly evaluate what I’ll call supporter Ministries. We have seven, as listed by Paul in Rom 12:8

  1. EXHORTATION (PARAKLASEI): The exhorter’s ministry is to lift up the down-cast encourage the weary, and comfort the mourner. He is anointed to fulfill his/her calling in the dark hours of worry, fear, distress, trial and despair. Job 42:11; Rm. 12; 6-8; I Cort. 12:28; Isa 61:3-4; 40:1.
  2. SERVING: the Server is given the ability to do any works necessary for the progress of the church. This comprises the office of deacon. Servers can do any type of works, able to lead others to perform excellently, and are happy working as part of a team
  • GIVING: Givers have the right heart attitude to cheerfully, willingly and bountifully give their money and material to meet the needs of the church. These are usually wealthy, generous people, set in the church to fund the work – 2 Cort. 8:2-4; 9:8; Mal. 3:8-12, Eccl. 11:1-6.
  1. HELP (ANTILAPSEIS – I.E able to help others):The helpers are set in the church to offer help, aids or assistance, specifically to the one who is on full time ministry. Helpers are volunteers. Plem. Vs 13; Acts 13:5; 19:22; 2 Tim. 1:18; Lk 8:2-3.
  2. ADMINISTRATION (KUBERNASEIS):Administrator is involved in church government, to direct, pilot, steer, organize and mobilize others to work. He oversees and directs finances, supplies, property, salary, records, correspondence, equipment and programmes.
  3. MERCY (ELEOS/ SHOWING MERCY):God also set ‘shower of mercy’ in the church to render mercy. He demonstrates affectionate love towards gracious action and promotes sense of oneness/ loyalty, especially when the other is in trouble. He is to do it cheerfully (ilarotati). Lk. 10:37; Matt. 5:7; Rm. 12:8.
  • LEADERSHIP (PROISTAMI): This refers to those in church government, most especially the Pastor. The leader is to lead, take care of, or take care for with diligence. He is to lead by example. Rm. 12:8.

Commission given to us as believers. Register your interest or that of your church/ministry/organization with nearby prison authority today. You can also form a prison outreach network or join one

  1. MINISTRIES SET IN THE LOCAL CHURCH
  2. Five-fold leadership ministries. Read – Eph. 4:11-13; I Cort. 12:27-28.
  3. Leadership supporter’s ministries. Read – I Cort. 12:27-28; Rom.12:6-8.
  • Others include intercession, literature, Arts & Music, media etc.

 

Get my books online: All my books are now available in multiple eBook formats, and while some are free, other attract just a token. Get your copies here: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Belovedjohn.

I know you have been blessed. I long to hear your testimony about the impacts of these training series, kindly drop a note for me on this website. You can also call +2348030444780; email: flaminglamps@yahoo.com or josephjohn754@gmail.com

 THE GREAT COMMISSION (TGC 105)

By Pastor John B. Joseph

The Art of Soul-Winning

Text: Matt. 28:18-20

Soul winning is neither a program nor an event. It is a commission given to be a passion and a lifestyle. We are all saved, called and sent to be witnesses of Christ. How do we go about the practice of winning souls?

  • Buy the conviction that it is your responsibility to reach out to others with the gospel of salvation, deliverance and healing.
  • Believe in the power of the gospel to save, heal and deliver.
  • Pray that God open your eyes to see the lost people as He sees them.
  • Understand relationship evangelism and begin with it; preaching Jesus to your immediate family, friends and neighbours.
  • Join your Church evangelism crew or any soul winning team and go out with them.
  • Learn the art of follow up to get your converts established in faith.
  • Encourage your converts to join your church, if yours is living Bible believing one.[if not direct him/her to one]

 Preparation for Evangelism

  1. Start with prayer and fasting
  2. Collate needed materials- e.g. Bibles, tracts, decision cards, prayer request forms and other helpful literatures.
  3. Mobilize your team members and train them how to effectively share the gospel to the lost.
  4. Personally lead them as an army of the Lord to the field. It could be house to house, streets & highways, prison, hospital, hotels or any other red zones.

 

THE EVANGELIST

It’s a high calling, a ministry office. 2 Tim. 4:5, Eph. 4:11.

  1. The Evangelist (Evangelistas) is “a passionate proclaimer of the goodnews”. He preaches or announces the glad tidings. Psm. 68:11.
  2. He is a man with un-usual burden for the lost. His message therefore is salvation, He emphasizes on salvation, reconciliation and Spirit living.
  • He is endued with the anointing for powerful preaching and miracle working ministry. He practically demonstrates God’s power for salvation and miraculous.
  1. He demonstrates great boldness, especially when in action under God’s move.
  2. He is a man of mighty prayer and fasting life.
  3. His ministry is carried out through: (1) Open air crusade (2) Personal

Evangelism (3) City wide meeting (4) Indoor revival (5) Missions (6) Hospital, prison and other specialized outreaches (7) Vigorous visitation outing (8) Literature, Media & Net evangelism. And any other soul-winning drive. Acts 85-8, Lk.1:68; 10:5; Mk 16:15-16.

Sound Counsels to Evangelists

Every God’s called Evangelist should carefully consider the following counsels:

  • Learn to be of sterling character (Principle purity) to overcome various temptations. E.g. Lusts for money and women/man.
  • Never be involved in criticizing other ministers or denomination. (Gal. 6:1).
  • Learn to sustain a heart of true love, passion and burden towards the lost.
  • Take good care of your own health by observing rest, balance diet and exercise.
  • Be of good report within and outside your domains.
  • Take good caution in matters of monetary and material rewards, especially in your relationship with your host, etc.
  • Always employ illustrations as windows of your message without lying.
  • Learn to thoroughly prepare each message for definite purpose and prayerfully.
  • Learn to preach with such simplicity that aids the grasp of the common people.
  • Always watch against pride, unruly anger, sexual immorality, human ego and worldly tendencies.
  • Unlike most Evangelists, don’t be careless about following up converts or leave them un-churched. Though it is true that many evangelists make poor pastor, being is restless and of high temperament, but you can chose to be different.

 

TYPES OF EVANGELISM:

  1. PRISON OUTREACH

Texts: Isa. 66:8, 61:1-3; I Tim. 2:14; Matt.25:43-46.

Every church/ministry needs a prison outreach department, a blazing army of Jesus that should be well equipped to win and rehabilitate prisoners. We all must answer the call of God to win even the prisoners. And we should always remember that many are behind irons gates and bars for the offence they do not commit.

  1. What is it all about?
  • It is about fulfilling the Lord’s commission among prisoners and their families
  • It is an evangelistic outreach to the lost, bound and blindfolded.
  • It is a ministry that rests on Christ’s redeeming power and undiluted gospel message.
  • Though a ministry that often experience confrontation with dangerous inmates, it is a demonstration of Christ love.
  1. Who is indeed qualified to be a volunteer?
  • He who is truly born again.
  • He who is filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • He who is of sincere and compassionate heart.
  • He who is ready to use his gifts and talents without material rewards
  • He who will be happy to suffer reproach for Christ.
  • He who is determined to be a volunteer for Christ, giving up three to five hours out of his tight schedules, for this outreach each week.

Note: you don’t need to be an ex-inmate like Ed-martin, Chuck Colson and Kayode Williams to be involved as in prison ministry.

Areas you can be involved

  1. Sunday in-prison Service: Here, being highly competitive, you will meet with many churches and mix with group of preachers. It is usually conducted in our usual Sunday worship service, except that it is attended majorly by inmates who are spiritual babes, and without doctrinal/denominational emphasis.
  2. Week day Bible Study Class: this is less competitive and therefore an opportunity for you to start with. Though the attendance is considerable lesser than Sunday service, you can make it an avenue to develop and manifest your gift, touch hearts of stone and possibly turn them to that of the flesh, interact with inmates and build up convert to maturity.
  3. In-prison counseling: though most prisons make provision for secular counseling services, there are needs for sound Christian counselors. You can apply to prison authority for a slot, if counseling is your calling.
  4. Friendly Visitors: you can also “adopt” an inmate as a friend. Your mission here is to write letters send gifts, cards and pay him/her occasional visits.

To get an inmate friend, see the prison chaplain. He will provide you with a list from which you pick a friend of same sex, purely for the purpose of sharing the Christ with him/her.

Do not lend money to an inmate friend, be not involved yourself in his case, and don’t relate to his/her family.

  1. Pen-pal Special: here you exchange letters with one or more inmates as pen pals.Since inmates have been let down by friends and family, they spend their lives in loneliness. Thus, when they receive junk mail form you, joy and brightness fill their days.

As a pen pal ensure you write inspirationally, carefully and prayerfully. Don’t exchange your personal contact address, phone number, e-mail address or website with any inmates/ prison pen-pals. It is dangerous. Rather use that of the church or prison ministry.

As pen-pal, you are to write on regular interval and never stop writing without cogent reason. Rarely use the word ‘I love you’ when writing to opposite sex inmates, and when you do, make it very clear you meant the love of Christ, not romantic. Let Christ be central in all your dealings. Contact the chaplain or the authority of the prison to acquire your pen pals.

  1. After – release Care Mission: many prisoners commit more crimes after their terms. There is thus the need for Christian rehabilitation project for those that are being released. This care project should include offering the right hand of fellowship, re-uniting them with their families, developing resource packs of city map, church location, and other useful info., establishing of Christian education classes, aggressive prayer forum, counseling and teaching sessions, and job creation.
  2. Juvenile Homes Outreach: these are local detention centre where kids/youths are sent by parents, courts, police and social agencies. Actually most of these youths do not commit any serious crimes and others are there because their families have problems. There are needs for volunteers to serve as tutors, counselors, recreation aids, church ministers, and Bible study teachers.
  3. Ministry to Inmates Families: There are bread-winner inmates whose families languish in deep economic crises as a result of the imprisonment. Churches can be of great help to these families in the areas of visitation, prayer, counseling, scholarship/education support to the children, food aids, etc. the objective here is to restore broken bonds and protect prisoners’ kids from fallen prey to the generational circle of crime.

The grand key here is a compassionate heart. The pastors and volunteers must give their compassion for this mission.

Ministering to prison inmates

  1. Put serious prayer first: always pray before you evangelize. Ask for God’s guidance and Spirit anointing
  2. Be patient and tactful: don’t rush while ministering to an inmate. Learn to be patient. Employ tact and wisdom of God when preaching to someone of another religion.
  3. Pay Attention: Listen with full attention to what he/she has to say. Show him/her this kindness.
  4. Ask Questions: always begin with questions relating to his/her future and end with those relating to his/her eternity
  5. Explain the ABC of Salvation: Move to this next level as you carefully explain what salvation in Christ through faith is all about.
  6. Give invitation to decide for Jesus: throw the challenge to accept Jesus to his/her life. Ask him to decide and end with prayer if the response is positive. James 5:20
  7. Encourage open testimony: encourage him/her to give testimony to others and if possible stand before the congregation. This is to strengthen the new found faith.

Reflection for Action

Do you have a burden for this type ministry? It is part of the great commission given to us as believers. Register your interest or that of your church/ministry/organization with nearby prison authority today. You can also form a prison outreach network or join one

 

 2.  HOSPITAL EVANGELISM

Matt. 25: 43-46

The hospital evangelism is an outreach to clinical clients/patients with the objectives of giving them the healing power of Jesus and gospel of salvation. This form of evangelism should be an active part of every living church or ministry.

  1. Why should we visit the sick?
  2. It is part of the great commission, a command to obey- mark. 16:15-
  3. Jesus demands that we visit the sick, and affirms that whoever visit the sick visit Him. Matt. 25:43-46
  4. Hospital evangelism can become a place of effective soul winning. Its evangelistic potential is very great. E.g. the heart of stone can be turned to that of flesh on the sick bed; just as dying faith can be re-fired.
  5. The power of God’s love in our heart should drive us with compassion to give hope and healing to the bodily afflicted. Eliphaz, Bildad & Zophar visited Job in his affliction to share of his sufferings.
  1. Pre-requisites for Hospital Evangelists
  2. He/she must be born again. Salvation is a basic and general requirement in Kingdom works.
  3. He/she needs be filled with the Holy Spirit. Gift of healing is a manifestation of the Spirit, and so you must be anointed by Him.
  4. He/she must be compassionate. Empathy must be shown to the patient.
  5. He/she must be a man or woman of faith. To bring healing and deliverance, prayer for the sick must be that of faith. Jam. 5:
  1. How to Minister to the sick
  2. Wear a cheerful countenance
  3. It is better to maintain standing position than taking a seat. Never sit on the bed, even when one is free. The management may frown at it.
  4. Keep your voice low but audible while speaking
  5. Minister with faith under the Spirit unction
  6. Pray a fervent prayer of faith. Let your prayer be short but authoritative. You can lay hand on the sick or anoint with oil- do as the Spirit leads.
  7. Keep to time. Don’t exceed your given time. Work within fifteen minutes, if possible.
  1. How to Conduct Yourself during Hospital Outreach
  2. Get official visiting approval
  3. Know the hospital policies and adhere to them
  4. Be cooperative with the management
  5. Express courtesies as you walk in through the aisles into wards. Be humble, polite and respectful.
  6. Before you enter a ward, see the attendant nurse for permission
  7. Make the patient your principal objective
  8. Determine to let the outreach challenge the best in you.
  9. Do not chew gum or smack gum while in the premises
  10. Check with the nurse before bringing food or any other gifts for a patient

Talk about happy things and never share a bad story with your patient.

  1. Leave the room when doctor or nurse enters to attend. Don’t disturb or wear-out any patient.

 

3. HIGHWAY MISSIONS

Matt. 21:31-32

As people belonging to Christ Blazing Army, the highways mission is part of our evangelistic duty. Souls on the highway are dying and perishing. Highway captives include the prostitutes, drug addicts, drug dealers, the hurting and the beggars. They groan daily, being pressed under devil’s burdens. These multitudes need the salvation of our Lord Jesus.

The Nature of this Mission

  1. It is a very dangerous calling
  2. It is a tempting task
  3. It is a difficult job
  4. It is a mission possible, by the power and leading of the Holy Spirit

Who Can Go?

  1. He who is truly born of the Spirit
  2. He who is made ablaze in the flame of the Spirit
  3. He who is dead to the flesh and its evil desires.
  4. He who is sexually and morally sound
  5. He who can discern the voice and operations of the Spirit, and is determined to follow His leadings.
  6. He who is delivered of the spirit of greed and avarice. You can’t go if you have your eyes on material rewards.
  7. He who is prepared to crush the devils by means of prayer and victorious warfare.

Preparations for Highway Mission

  1. Real preparation begins from your inward self. Get your heart fully prepared to bind and dislodge devils. Set for the triumph.
  2. Enter into a seasonal ministry of fasting and prayers.
  3. Specifically ask the Lord for the unique grace and anointing needed for this king mission.
  4. Get your self saturated in the Word of God. Be immersed in the living word.
  5. Collate all necessary Christian materials for the mission. E.g. Bibles, tracts, information/data cards, etc
  6. Set up rehabilitation project for the would-be converts. This is church duty, as it may not be that easy for an individual, except financially buoyant. This project should include the followings: (i). facilities needed for accommodation/home, training school, fellowship, job empowerment, etc. (ii). Practical/financial support network.

Strategies that Work In Highway Outreach

  1. Networking strategy: you can not do this job alone. There is thus the need to network with police, court of law, social agencies and churches/ministries of like vision. You can gain contact to prostitute and drug addicts through this network. It’s the best strategy one can employ
  2. Detective strategy: here you go into their room/base, pretend to be a customer in need of the service and then pay for the service without rendering one. The intent here is to establish a contact and fix an appointment for mutual talk. Be sure the venue of the appointment is neutral place. Pray much and get yourself well prepared to win a soul through presentation of a power gospel. It’s one of the dangerous strategies but it could work.
  3. Direct Outing Strategy: here you go in the company of other brethren as in house to house evangelism, strategically operating at their base. It is operation watch and catch, one-on-one outreach.
  4. Literature strategy: here you write and print relevant message in tracts, news letter, books, audio and audio-visual devices, etc. then you mobilize a team with whom you organize pre-outreach prayer/warfare program and thereafter go out as a Blazing Army to distribute.
  5. Social Media Strategy: you start with opening a special website, or facebook, or Twitter, or any other for the purpose of evangelizing these social outcasts. Then, you begin to make contacts with them on net. You can get contacts through Google search, courts and security agencies you personally network for this purpose.
  6. Power Evangelism Strategy: this is total invasion strategy. An open air mass crusade is prayerfully organized, and located close to their base. This is done through the cooperation of several churches, evangelistic ministries, prayer ministries and social agencies.
  7. Film/Visual Evangelism: Buy tapes/video containing relevant evangelism messages for the purpose of organizing film shows, video outreach or drama night, in a targeted place.
  8. Marketplace Rally: This is a kind of miracle rally organize in the market places. It is done as teamwork, with public address system, music and preaching. Healing, deliverance and miracles  are demonstrated for the purpose of soul winning. Use of spiritual gifts such as prophecy, discerning of spirits, word of knowledge and word of wisdom will be of great  advantage here.

 

IMPORTANCE OF FOLLOW UP

The need for systematic and timely follow up can not be over emphasized. Make sure this arrangement is solidly on ground before the outreach. The reasons are:

  • Any slack in this area may lead to immediate fall back of the converts into the black world, for worst.
  • Ineffective follow up program may lead to moral and spiritual pollutions in the Church.
  • There are necessities for spiritual purging.For the follow up effort to have results, you must organize regular deliverance sessions for the converts to break all demonic links and overhaul them of demonic pollutions.

Get my books online: All my books are now available in multiple eBook formats, and while some are free, other attract just a token. Get your copies here: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Belovedjohn.

I know you have been blessed. I long to hear your testimony about the impacts of these training series, kindly drop a note for me on this website. You can also call +2348030444780; email: flaminglamps@yahoo.com or josephjohn754@gmail.com

 

 CHILDREN EVANGELISM {CE 106}

By Pastor John B. Joseph

  1. THE ABC OF CHILD EVANGELISM – Matt. 19:13-15; Rom. 10:14

Jesus loves little children. They are very precious to Him. We also ought to love and reach out to them with Christ gospel of salvation. Children really have the capacity to hear and understand the gospel and could as well share it with others. Under this topic, we shall be considering the ABC of child ministry.

  1. What is child Evangelism?

It is a process whereby children are carefully bought to the knowledge of salvation and disciple for the Lord, before the age of social-moral crisis sets in.

  1. What is the significance if child evangelism?

It is important to the entire family to bring our children into the light of Christ and thus rightly position them for successful and triumphant future.

  1. Why Evangelizing Children at all?
  • Because they are born with sinful nature [Rom.3:23]
  • Because only the gospel of Jesus offers them the helps needed to cope with the negative influences of this world.
  1. At what age would a child be ripe to receive the gospel?
  • when he begins to question you about God and heaven
  • When he begins to feel guilty and sorry for acts of wrong doing and is afraid of committing it again.
  • When he is able to understand what Jesus did on the Cross
  • When he is capable of making rational decisions.
  • When he begins to feel the need to have relationship with God.
  • When he could be moved and convicted by the Holy Spirit.
  1. What are the Gospel concepts to explain to a child?
  • The concept of universalism if sin- that he and all have sinned and that God stands to punish sin. [Rom. 3:23; 6: 23]
  • Concept of God’s love- that God loves children and does not want them to die. And for this reason He sent His Son Jesus to die in our place.
  • Concept of Salvation- that Jesus came into the world to seek for children and to save them. And that by accepting Him into their heart by faith, they will be saved. [ John 3: 15-17]
  • Concept of repentance and faith- that to appropriate the benefit of salvation, he must repent of his sin, and ask Jesus into his heart by faith. Each and all that Jesus did on the Cross demands faith from the individual Faith is a necessary tool for salvation, healing, deliverance, etc. [Gal. 2:13,23]
  1. What are the effective strategies for child evangelism?

As a child evangelist, prayerfully organize the following strategic programs, among others, as the Holy Spirit leads.

  • Home Bible Class-
  • After school Bible clubs
  • Back to school programs
  • Holiday outdoor Christian events
  • Holiday school
  • Children’s Crusade/revival
  • Film / video outreach
  • How do we Handle children programs? Have your action plan- it is true and genuine salvation, not another. Therefore let your plan reflects this. Pursue real conversion and transformation.
  • Be spiritual sensitive: be sensitive to the leadings of the Holy Spirit in all you do.
  • Speak the language the child best understand. Come to his level to communicate to him. Be very clear.
  • Always remember that children also have their own will; therefore give them enough time to decide without pressure.
  1. When a Child Respond to the Altar Call
  • Gain his attention first by calling him by his first name, or by touching his arm
  • Ask why he comes out to the altar. If his answer is positive, carefully explain the way of salvation to him.
  • Have him pray in his own words and round the prayer off by leading him in the prayer of the penitent. Tell him to pray after you.
  • Then let him face the audience to testify of what the Lord has just done in his life.
  • Finally, pray for him and thank God on his behalf and straightly begin to follow up.
  1. FOLLOW UP AFTER KIDS CONVERSION

Every saved child needs to be diligently followed up and well rooted in the Lord. There are four basic importance of this in the life of the child.

  • To liberate him/her from lacks of assurance of salvation.
  • To provide him/her with Christian models as exemplified in Christ.
  • To nurture him/her to spiritual maturity
  • To establish relationship with and win his/her unsaved parents for the Lord.

The art of follow up

  • Prepare lesson-series on Jesus, salvation, temptation, love, forgiveness, holiness, faith, Holy Spirit, spiritual worship, success and Bible stories, to be used to teach and counsel him/her for a period of time.
  • Employ techniques of verse repetition, memory verse rendition, child Bible books and teaching aids of picture/images.
  • Prayerfully deal with confusion, despair, disillusion in kid’s life.
  • Impact him/her with power for victorious and successful future.
  • Always show interest in his/her welfare.
  • Establish good relationship with the child parents, &siblings.

How to positively impact on a child

  • Get yourself soak in God’s presence through much prayers and study of the word of God. Note that this is the primary means.
  • Live by example, consistently.
  • Always communication in the power and the Spirit of God.
  • Kindle excitement in meetings; make programs interesting.
  • be on schedule- never come late, never start or close late.
  • Build a knitted family of love and unity.
  • Entrench strict discipline among the children.
  • Answer legitimate questions politely.
  • Build loving relationship with their parents
  • Be hospitable and accessible- you may have to set refreshment/ gifts before them often.
  • Provide incentives for good behaving ones.

 

Training parents to win their children

One thing every parent must know is that primarily God uses parents to reach their children with the knowledge of salvation.

  • It is your primary calling and responsibility as a parent. It isn’t that of your pastor. Deutr. 6:6-7
  • You must determine and encourage yourself and spouse never to fail in this great task.
  • Always seek to learn how best you can pass on God’s word and testimony to the next generation.
  • Avoid evangelizing your kids through pressure or severity.
  • Learn how to win them through relationship, exemplary living, Bible clubs, teaching of the word, daily intercessions, use of audio and visual means, etc
  • It is high time pastors equipped and empowered parents with creative trainings and inspiration divine.
  • Pastors and church leaders should organize regular seminar/workshop to train parents on how to excel in their primary responsibility and lead exemplary life.
  • Church leaders should encourage parents to always come to God’s presence [Church] with their entire family. Acts 16:32.

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ART OF MINISTRY {AOM 201}

                                                       By Pastor John B. Joseph

 THE GATEWAY TO MINISTRY

The Primary Gateway

Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. He, Jesus himself, says it. (John 14:6).This same Jesus is the primary gateway into the ministry. Thus, you need to understand the following facts:

  1. Ministry does not come before the salvation of your soul. Are you born again? The ministry of an unregenerate man is run by the arms of the flesh. It is so certain that such a call is driven in personal desires, ego and lusts
  2. Christ opens the eye of His servants first before sending them “to open the eyes of the gentiles and to turn them from darkness to light”. Is your spiritual eye active?
  3. Christ calls us the second experience of Knowing. This depicts deeper walk, intimate relationship profound encounter with Him – like Enoch, Abraham, Joseph and Moses and His apostles.
  4. A deeper communion with the Holy Spirit is expected to be our daily experience, if we must have His extraordinary ministry.

The Gateway of Sure Calling

Dreams, vision or fantasy called many people into ministry. Others are called by cloke of covetousness for wealth, fame, or pleasures. Yet, some are called by Satan. Thus:

  1. Ministry has ceased to be a sacred service it used to be.
  2. Wayward and lust-filled ministers are now in majority.
  3. The Christendom is been polluted with human philosophies and liberals.
  4. There is need for revival. The church must be restored to that original sanctity of power and glory.

The Gateway of Confirmation

There is a third experience of knowing Him which comes after one has been called into the ministry. It is the gateway to spiritual breaking and remoulding. We all must pass through this gate that God might finish with us, make us worthy vessels and releases the glory that confirms and establishes the ministry.

The Gateway of Glorification

This has to do with encountering the glorified Christ. Moses had this experience at Horeb. (Exo. 3:2-3); Isaiah the prophet also has this experience. (Isa. 6: -5); on the mount transfiguration, Peter, James and John had the same experience. Paul also had it on Arabia mount, when he was taken up to the third heaven.

 

Eight Things to Understand of the Ministry

Now, you need to empower yourself with certain fundamental truth about the Ministry. So this chapter will be devoted to these truths you must understand.

  1. Every God Given Ministry Should Be A Direct Continuation Of Christ Earthly Ministry. So were the apostles’ ministries. The entire book of Acts is compact record of Christ “working with” the apostles, and confirming their words with signs following”. .(Acts 10:38; Mk 16: 19 – 20).
  2. Christ owns the ministry and He does it through whosoever He has given a part. Acts 1:17 makes it clear that we only obtained just a part of His ministry. It is therefore wrong to call His ministry our own, or run it as if it is yours. We are only stewards of the mystery of the kingdom. Sooner or later you will be called upon to give account of our stewardship.
  3. Ministry Is A Divine Assignment: It is one and uniquely whole. We are all servants and bond slaves of Christ Ministry. So, the ministry in your hand is a divine assignment, given to be done faithfully and fruitfully also.
  4. Ministry Is A Divine Package Of Mercy: Jesus spelt this out while declaring open His Ministry. (LK 4:18-19). The grace of God that saved us is rooted in God’s agape and it is given by divine mercy. So also is then ministry. These three – grace, agape and mercy- form the pillars of all true gospel ministries. That is why we all must realize our insufficiency, and solely depends on Him for fruitful service and ultimate fulfillment. (1 cor. 1:26, 29; Eph. 4:1)
  5. True Ministry is Divinely Patterned and Should Be So Built: It is greatly disastrous to build your own part of His ministry contrary to the “pattern sheweth thee on the mount”.
  6. The Word Is The Ministry: Without the Word there is no ministry. Paul enjoined his, Son Timothy, to “preach the word, to be instant in season and out of season…” Your success in ministry will be determined by your relationship with the Word. You must diligently learn to be a good minister “of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine…” Read also 2 Tim. 2:15)
  7. Ministry Is By The Holy Ghost: It can only be done and fulfilled in partnership with the Holy Ghost. He is the director of the Ministry and the power for success. Without Him in the word, the word will be lifeless. Be baptized into Him, and seek to glow with fire.
  8. Love Is The Beauty Of Ministry: No true light exist outside love. Christ ministers are to manifest and proclaim God’s love to the world. With love, the gospel light shines brighter. (1 John 2: 8-10; 1 cor. 13: 2; Matt. 7:22-23. In one word; love is all that counts, for even faith must operate by love. (Gal, 5:6)

 

WHAT MINISTRY ENTAILS

 Ministry is all about ministering the good news of Jesus Christ to salvage and cure people and situations from the followings:

  1. Sin, iniquity and all unrighteousness
  2. Church community and discipleship community model
  3. Tyranny, oppressions, exploitation and injustice
  4. Integrity, Accountability and transparency
  5. Spiritual coldness, unfaithfulness, dishonesty
  6. Depression, grief, troubles
  7. prostitution, drug addiction, drunkenness
  8. Sexual sins and sexual struggles
  9. Courtship, Marriage, family life
  10. Cold marriages, broken marriages, marital delay
  11. Parenting, parent-child relationship, parent-child breakdown
  12. Career counseling, visioning, and success
  13. Childhood and adulthood
  14. The will of God
  15. Barrenness, failures, poverty
  16. Suicide, Suicide thoughts and attempts
  17. Sloth (indolence, laziness) issues
  18. Bitterness, un-forgiveness, conflicts
  19. Historic, silent, unspoken bitterness
  20. Loving, Giving, Caring
  21. Medical, and health issues
  22. Man plan, woman’s plan, and spiritual direction
  23. Spiritual fellowship & communion
  24. Spiritual battles, and social-political challenges
  25. Ethical and moral issues
  26. Purity, Power, Propose
  27. Leadership and Management
  28. Peer management, Friendship and relationship
  29. Kingdom project – the church, evangelism, revival, missions
  30. Saints equipping and global revival mandate

 

STARTING A MINISTRY

Many people have asked how to start a ministry as they want to be a part of something. Believers worldwide are beginning to realize that we all have been called to do something and desire to get involved in what God is doing but often times are not sure what exactly to do.

The followings are a brief worksheet of things to consider in starting a ministry:

  • Know, not just believe that you have been called: Make sure that you are truly born again and called by the Lord. Also be very sure to which field you have been called.
  • Prayer: Divine calling is something to pray about as you begin the process and you can begin the process while praying. Certainly, pray that God gives you confirmation, the ability, and the wherewith all to carry out what you believe that you have been called to do.
  • Definite Direction: Are you being called to start a ministry totally independent (on your own) or are you being called to start a ministry and work with an organization which depending on the organization and often times resources, will help you get started.
  • Preparation: After deciding which organization that you are going to affiliate yourself with, the next step is to make sure that you are prepared. Scripture tells us that my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge and vision. This lets us know that while vision is important in the scheme of things it is also important to have the education and training behind you. Some ministry opportunities take months while others may take years. In addition to education there is a need for mentorship. Mentorship is an important part of the process, for it offers Godly advice and prayer support for you.
  • Training:The other part of the educational process is on the ministry training period experiences, (call it internship). Ministerial internship gives valuable experience but it also lets people know that you are willing to follow through. Here your level of obedience, loyalty and faithfulness is revealed. So likewise your heart of disobedience, rebellion and unfaithfulness. Everyone will follow through when thing are going well, but God wants to know who has the faithful heart to keep following when things seem to be falling apart, still trusting Him.
  • Legal Considerations: Besides the normal legal consideration like having a church or organization incorporated or charter, if you are going to go with an established ministry, there are the costs of articles of incorporation, which either will give you a legal entity to work from. In addition to legal status there may be further legal considerations from anywhere from meeting certain fire codes, depending on the ministry, to state licenses which may have to be applied for. If you work with an existing ministry under a charter, that ministry will be able to help you further in this area and other areas that you may not know about.
  • Building a Support Team: Behind all good and stable ministries is a team of people willing and called to pray for your ministry. This is a step like many of these steps that take time to build. The larger the number of your prayer partners, the larger your outreach will be. It is where the battles begin. It is where the Spiritual warfare is done. Your prayer support team is as important, if not more important than the rest of these steps.
  • Funding: Funding is a major concern to all that are in ministry. One would like to think that the funds will just be there when needed, but funding is much like finding people that are willing to pray for your ministry. It is difficult to go forward without prayer or funding.
  • Test Your Ministry: A final word about getting started. As you decide to go forward be aware that often times you may feel led, the time may not be right even though there seem to be doors that are open to you today. Doors do not always stay open and some ministries are designed by God even to be open, but for a short period of time. Not to cast doubt, but often times before one starts in ministry we instead are to just pray. This leads us back to step one. It is important to have in place enough of these steps in order to be able to test your ministry as Paul wrote.
  • Work in Unity: Realize that you are a work in progress and although you should stand in faith, you are not complete but simply a part of the body. You therefore need to learn to work in unity with the body.

Jesus Christ is the light and the salt of the earth and so are we. In that understanding comes the anointing, but with the anointing comes responsibility and maturity of knowing that we are responsible for the outcomes. He died in order to give us the tools, but it takes time in order to learn how to effectively use the tools.

It is also important to remember that in Paul’s case, it took twelve years from the time of His conversion on the road to Damascus to the actual time that he started in his ministry. This may sound discouraging, but we should know that God in His wisdom desires not only that you go forward, but also that you do not fall.

 STARTING A OF MUSIC/DRAMA MINISTRY

The first step to getting your music out there is making a plan. God will give you a mission and will even plan your steps for you … but you have to do your part. You can’t just sit around, waiting on God to bring people into your life that you can minister to or that can help you get your ministry out of the practice hall and into the lives of the people. You must diligently make plan and be all out, with burning passion. Now planning is not an easy task that can be done in 15 minutes or less. It may take days or even weeks and rarely will your first draft be your final draft. Be patient, be obedient and remember, God is powerful enough to point out flaws if you ask Him.

The Steps

  1. PRAYER: Ask God to show you your steps. Remember, it’s a path that He laid out for you before you were born, and He knows each step as well as each pitfall. Don’t forget that a in a Christian Music/drama Ministry, you’re representing God, so make sure that you’re right with Him before you start your journey.
  2. GOAL MAKING: Write down your goals. Where do you want to end up? Do you want to minister to crowds of people as far as the eye can see or do you feel called to do more intimate ministry in a small church setting? Each of those paths is different, so knowing which one you want to take is important.
  3. COUNT THE COST: Think through your goal/plan. What will it cost? The ending that you just wrote down is where you want to go, so now look at what it will take to get there.
  4. KNOWLEDGE ACQUISITION: Educate yourself on every aspect of what you’re going to be doing. Learn about as much as you can about all of the things you don’t know about the ministry and/or the business of music/drama. In order for any ministry to grow, it has to be looked at as a business; God’s business; but business none the less. Churches and independent music/ drama ministries all have leadership and business practices. No ministry can just drift along without direction and education.
  5. MORE PRAYER: Pray some more. Once you get every draft finished, pray that God will show you if that is a good plan. Keep in mind that you can see right now, but God can see the whole picture. As God takes you down your personal path there may be more steps or different steps as you go, but if you’re in His will, the steps will be fruitful.
  6. ACTION: Take that first step in faith. Follow The Spirit leading. When you act, the Spirit will act, and what will follow will be signs & wonders.

SIX KEYS OF MINISTERIAL SUCCESS

  1. URGENCY: We, the body of Christ can no longer sit by and wait. The cost of waiting and not acting on the Word is horrible and deadly. It causes decrease of the quality of life in the generation we live. The harvest is white already. We must be all out for great commission.
  2. OWNERSHIP: II Chronicles 7:14, speaks about the believer. We need to turn back to God and humble ourselves, seeking Him, asking Him for direction and help and be willing to turn from our ways. For some time believers have thought that the problems of the world are the fault of the non-believer, but in reality they are the fault of the believer. The good news is: ‘the believer holds the solution to the world problems”. According to scripture, we can only fix it if we are willing to take responsibility for the problems.
  3. IDENTITY: We as His body need to understand who we are in Christ. We need the knowledge of our right, authority, and responsibilities, and act accordingly. Next we need to seek a vision and the guidance to know His
  4. STUDENTSHIP: As we talk with Jesus we can never afford to think that we know it all and are doing everything that we can. We need to continue to study (II Timothy 2:15).
  5. MOTIVATION: The first step to being motivated to do something is to decide if what is currently happening around us is from God. If we choose that it is from God we will probably not do anything. If on the other hand the things that are happening such as spiritual apathy, economic starvation, increased crime, hopelessness, etc., are not from God and aren’t His will, then we choose to become involved or not. If we become involved and take responsibility we can do something about current realities through Christ, which is His desire, which is living in obedience. {Matt. 19:19, Isa. 1:19-20}. Then we can work together as one body through Christ to destroy the works of the devil, being motivated to do the right thing as we are led by the Spirit.
  6. DILIGENCE: While success is defined by the individual minister, a successful ministerial career in any callings demands hard work. You can have the great ministry you are divinely called to run in the world, but if no one ever hears you, then you’re not sharing your message and you’re not successful by any standards.

KEYS TO EFFECTIVE MINISTRY

Effectiveness Defined: “producing intended or successful results

In Christian ministry however effectiveness goes with efficacy, which has to do with “the ability to produce the intended result’; and also with efficiency, which is the “quality of doing things without waste of resources such as time, money and energy.”

A minister that will be effective in ministry will possess and operate with the following keys:

  1. Death to self/ total brokenness
  2. Learning Grace
  3. Love divine, charity, and cares
  4. The Anointing
  5. Wisdom and understanding
  6. Strong Praying Life
  7. Word Addiction
  8. Sharp spiritual hearing and sensitivity
  9. Long suffering and forbearance
  10. Faith, boldness, courage
  11. History of Past leadership shrewdness
  12. Servant leadership
  13. Truth, purity, integrity
  14. Humble, worship heart
  15. Contentment
  16. Willingness to take up responsibility
  17. Being a problem solver
  18. Being Excellence & Quality Driven
  19. Mental toughness
  20. Commanding peer and family respect
  21. Constructive spirit
  22. Spirit of innovation and Creativity
  23. Ability to retrieve and identify workable ideas from the Lord.
  24. Practical people building
  25. Thrill of facing challenges
  26. Grace and Ability to Start and finish well.

 

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THE APOSTOLIC MINISTRY  (TAM 202)

By Pastor John B. Joseph

 THE DIVINE CALLING

  1. Divine Calling: Basic Understanding
  2. Calling: The call of God into anyone of the five-fold ministry offices is a high calling. Eph. 410-11; Philp 314
  3. Initiative: The initiative is the Lord’s and His “follow me” is without explanation or apology.

iii.        Member of the Body: He whom the Lord calls, He also set (tithemi) in the Church. I Cort. 12:27-28.

  1. Endowment: Each person called by the Lord is divinely endowed with spiritual gifts necessary to carry out his/her calling. Spiritual gifts apply to all truly called Ministers. – Jer. 1:17-19.
  2. Faithfulness: To what we are being called to do (i.e. our ministry office) and in daily stewardship will largely determine our joy in the eternity. I Tim. 4:7-8; I Cort. 3:13-15.
  3. Service: Ministry is all about serving. It is rendering service to God, to the church and to man. And without the garment of servant- hood, none of us can succeed in the true sense of it. – Lk. 22:24-27; Mtt. 20:25-28.

vii.       Rewards: All faithful servants shall be reward both in this world and in the heavenly. Philp. 3:13-14; Matt. 25:23; Lk. 18:28-30.

  1. Purpose of the High Calling.

The primary purpose of the high calling is to equip the Saints for three major purposes: Eph. 4:111-12.

  1. Perfection: The high calling is to operate for the perfecting of believers. To perfect is to repair the damages done to their lives by sins and Satan.
  2. Ministry: To carry-out the work of the ministry. Jesus gave us the breakdown of the ministry works in Mark 1615-18 ;Lk. 4:18-19 & Matt. 10:8.
  • Edification: The high calling is also to edify the Church – the body of Christ. This is done through teaching and counsel. It has to do with building, improving and comforting.
  1. The Goal Of The Divine Calling

The high calling also has three basic targets to hit. Eph. 4:13-16.

  • Unity of Faith: To bring everyone in the kingdom of Christ unto the UNITY OF FAITH. It is to lift us to God’s faith-realm.
  • Knowledge of the Son: To bring us unto perfection through the knowledge of the Son of God.
  • Fullness of Christ: To take us to high spiritual maturity in the fullness of Christ. This means:
  1. Maturity by steadfastness and stability (VS. 14)
  2. Maturity by ‘truth in love’ (Vs.15)
  • Maturity by divine companionship and brotherly love (Vs. 16)
  1. Authenticity of Calling

Every gospel minister/missionary must be sure of three basic requirements:

  • The authenticity of his/her calling.
  • The divine origin of the Spirit’s anointing
  • The assurance of the divine ordination.

Special Note: Be frankly told: no seminary or Bible College is able to make a man of God. Real men of God are the products of the Holy Spirit. It takes the Holy Ghost to make you a man of God. If you are not called, chosen and ordained by God, your being anointed with the oil of presbytery, of being ordained by man will only amount to vanity.

THE MINISTRY

  1. Ministry to many situations  

You may have to deal with many situations, such as: *Sin, *Depression, *Drug addiction, *Sexual Struggles, (Affairs, Homo-sexuality, Lesbianism, Incest, and Bestiality) *Cold marriages, *Changing Marriages, *Sloth Issues, *Parent Child, *Breakdown, *Grief, *Suicide Threats or Suicide, *Conflict, *Bitterness, *Tough Questions on Ethical, Political, God s Will & Decisions, *Medical Issues, *Career, *Man Plan, *Woman Plan, & *Spiritual Direction.

2. Ministry  Effectiveness  

  • Parent Children Relationships
  • Grief Issues
  • Courtships (Macro and Micro)
  • DNA Buttons of Previous Churches
  • Bitterness that are unspoken (Fill out a bitterness history)
  1. Home Discipleship Community Model  
  • Addresses the seven key relational connections (Biblical Worldview)
  • Looks at our steps to see ourselves honestly in light of Scripture
  • Biblical Love
  • Church Community Accountability & Encouragement.
  1. The Seven Key Relational Connections: Each connection is to have Biblical health:
  2. Single-hood.
  3. Marriage-hood.
  4. Friends-hood.
  5. Neigborhood
  6. Grandparent-hood.
  7. Church member-hood: (Leader-hood, follower-hood, Kingdom-hood & Witness-hood.

Note: Biblical Balance & Boundaries (Eccl 7:16-18) – Avoid all extremes

Principles that Guide Ministry

  1. Live for Christ not self. {2Cor. 5:14-16}
  2. Live as ambassadors for Christ. See no one from a worldly point of view.     Don’t pigeon hole them as a project case? {2 Cor. 5:16-17;20}
  3. Authentic Witness {2Cor. 6:3-13}
  4. The Macro Issues Matter (Relationships, Ideas & Doctrines, Habits) 2 Cor. 6:14-15
  1. God has always used conviction to transform lives. 2Cor. 7:10-11
  2. Carefully consider a pastoral care approach. Get the pastoral facts.2Cor. 7-8; 2Cor. 13:1 .  
  3. Spiritual Warfare is certainly fought, 2Cor. 10:3-5

             Building hope filled community and culture. 2Cor. 10:8; 2Cor. 12:19              

  1. The challenging of spiritual authority comes in many forms, be ready for it. 2Cor. 11:13-14
  2. Always stay aware of your own weakness {2Cor. 12:7-9}

 

Dual Keys to Greatness in Ministry

#1 Key: Humility

A woman can have it all —except for humility. If you’re the world’s most perfect woman, how do you find the world’s most perfect man? Here’s a way: advertise! Publish a notice of how perfect you are, and hope that Mr. Perfect sees your ad and applies for your approval. Here’s a quote from Ivy League: Playful, passionate, perceptive, elegant, bright, articulate, original in mind, unique in spirit. I possess a rare balance of beauty and depth, sophistication and earthiness, seriousness and a love of fun. Professionally successful, perfectly capable of being self-sufficient and independent, but I won’t be truly content until we find each other…. Please reply with a substantial letter describing your background and who you are. She probably has it all except humility.

  1. But pride drives a lot of what we do. We want to boost our ego and improve our image. Most of us, whether we admit it or not, want to be number one, important and admired. We have ‘a me first’ mentality.
  2. Pride comes in all shapes and sizes and colors. The most obvious form of pride is boasting. That’s when we tell others how great we are. Another form of pride is conceit. That’s when we tell ourselves how great we are.
  • On the other hand, many are still conceited. We think we’re superior to others, but we don’t actually say so. Deep inside we feel inferior, but we want others to think we’re superior, so we boast. The more insecure we feel, the more we show off and the louder we brag. We try to convince others to think more highly of us than we actually think of ourselves.
  1. But Jesus path to Greatness was humility. (Mark 10). He rebuked John and James who was trying to be ahead of others, saying; “You don’t know what you are asking.” They wanted to share in the power of King Jesus, but they didn’t realize that Jesus’ path to the throne led not through ruling but through serving, not through power but through weakness, not through honor but through humiliation, not through domination but through suffering.

Becoming Humble

So, then, if pride is such a deadly problem, and if humility is so necessary, how do we move from pride to humility?

  • Should we work on feeling as humble as we possibly can? That could backfire. We might end up being proud of how humble we are. It’s not something I can psych myself into by trying to feel humble.
  • Humility comes only when I encounter Jesus and keep my focus on him. One thing we learn in meeting Jesus is how badly we need Him- When we stand before the cross of Christ, we see with terrifying clarity what our sin deserves.
  • The cross smashes our arrogance and sense of superiority. Yet the cross doesn’t cast any into despair or make feel worthless.
  • The death of Jesus reconciles us to God, and it also reconciles us to each other. The cross puts us all on the same level, and it moves us to serve others as Jesus served us. No person is below us. No job is beneath us. Like Jesus, we simply do whatever needs doing, and help whoever needs helping. To be truly humble isn’t just a matter of trying to feel a bit less conceited. It’s a matter of humbling myself before Jesus and accepting His help

#2 Key: Service – Gal. 5:13, 15, 26; Matt. 23:6-12

Then Jesus called His disciples together and redefined greatness. He said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:42-45).

  1. Who’s number one? He who is first is not the one who bosses everybody around, but the one who is the slave of all. That’s the path Jesus took. He came to earth, not to be served, but to serve, not to get, but to give.
  2. The way of the world is to brag about ourselves and boss others; the way of Jesus is to humble ourselves and serve others whenever we get a chance. The way of the world is to look out for our own interests. The way of Jesus is to look out for the interests of others. Phil. 2:3-9,
  • Our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: attitude of love and humble service is His.

But whether it’s outward boasting or inner conceit or some combination, the focus is ultimately on ‘me’. This kind of focus on self is the essence of pride, and it’s the reason that being humble and serving others doesn’t come naturally to us. Maybe you know the Greek myth about Narcissus. He was so entranced with his own good looks that he couldn’t stop staring at his reflection in a pool. He got so caught up in staring at himself that he couldn’t tear himself away even to eat, and eventually, he starved to death. Therefore, beware of being too busy, focusing on yourself. Jesus warns against lording it over others and making a big deal of the position we hold or the titles by which people address us

Slave to Everyone

  • Now, acting as a slave, serving others is not to grovel and be a doormat and feel inferior and worthless. No, to be a slave is to help whoever needs helping and to do whatever needs doing, without saying “Isn’t this task beneath my dignity?” or “Should a person in my position do such a lowly job?” or “What’s in it for me?” or” Am I going to get any credit for this?” It’s amazing what we can accomplish if we don’t care who gets the credit.
  • Follow Jesus. Look to the interests of others. Lay aside whatever importance you have— or think you have. Serve others in love. And leave it up to God to decide where you belong on his scale of greatness.

 

ETHICAL DEXTERITY

Principles of moral ethics are ministerial virtues all men of God must cultivate. The ethical morale is a dexterity we must skillfully put on as habit. How? As gospel ministers, we should take heed to do the followings:

  1. Wisdom Application: Apply divine wisdom and discretion in dealing with the opposite sex who are not his close relations. E.g.
    • Never must you counsel or pray with member of opposite sex in a place that can be suspicion.
    • Should not counsel anyone on sexual and gynecological matters unless his/her partners is present.
    • Should not seek for intimate relationship or detail information.
    • Should be careful in giving any a lift.
    • Should not be so familiar with any female member to the extent that she cook and wash for him.
  2. Confidentiality: A minister should treat as top secret any official or personal information given to him by the church or individual, unless instructed to do so by the concerned. Confidential matters must not be divulged even to your spouse.
  3. Monetary Discipline: Do not borrow money from church members, church workers or juniors in ministry. It can lead to contempt, indiscipline and strife. Acts 20:33-35, I Sam. 12:1-5.
    • Never borrow or spend church money for personal projects or benefit.
    • Church money may detect like any other church officers, but not by the pastor, his associate and assistant. Full time ministers should strictly steer clear of church fund.
  4. Courtesy: Accord yourself with honour and respect in all your dealings and relationship. E.g. never be involved in immoral jokes, excessive jesting, lying, curses, abuses, swearing, boasting and fight. Jms. 38-9; Prov. 15:1; Eph. 5:3-4.
  5. Feminine Rectitude: Female minister/worker should accord to herself great nobility by her attitude of uprightness and self-restraint. E.g.
    • Should sit with ‘close-up thighs’/crossed legs.
    • Should be a mature believer who has overcome the vanities of worldly adornment but who rather places her emphasis on inner beauty. (1pet. 3:1-6; Isa 3:16)
    • Should be model for others in outlook. I Tim. 2:9; I Pet. 31-5; Prov. 31:30.
  6. Presentation: Ministers ought not put on mere underwear, short, pant, or towel in the open, and in front of an opposite sex, even when ‘Agbada’ is top’. Learn godly mannerism in the way you present yourself.
  7. Submission: Respect and honour for senior ministers in the staff-line must be a dignity well upheld by all minister. It is rebellious to disobey his order, put-up arrogant attitude against him or speak rudely to him.
  8. Politeness: Senior ministers should also treat their subordinates as honoured vessel, regard them as important, and rebuke them in love and not with sharp, cutting language. They deserve to be handled with politeness and ‘brother – partner’ dealing.
  9. Work Attitude: Let others, especially your subordinates, see in you the right service virtues of discipline, punctuality, diligence and prudence to emulate. Also:
    • Let them know the importance of working hard when it is time to work, and that of good relaxation in the hour of rest.
    • Learn to commend and reward their efforts with good words and sometimes with gifts.
    • Have witnesses among them when handling critical issues or major projects.

Private Life of a Minister

  • Diligently work on your marriage as to make it a source of inspiration and blessings to others, and to the ministry. 18:22; II Cort. 6:14; Eccl 4:9-12; Eph 6:1-4, Tim. 3:4-5; Titus. 1:6. Take good care of your family. I Tim.58 (Read also Isa. 58:7; Gal. 6:10).
  • Never allow domestic affairs & duties to hinder your ministerial commitment.
  • Do not abuse your body with lack of rest, gluttony, starvation or uncleanness.

Demands Of Consecration

Your consecration as God’s vessel demands the following of you:

  • A judicious use of time. Plan your time, your duty or weekly schedules and always work to time.
  • Pure and Practical Devotion: Devote your morning hour to prayer and study. I Tim. 4:13; Acts 6:1-4.
  • Servant Leadership: Servant-hood is the concept of the Christian ministry. Ministry is all about service not ruler-ship. Therefore we are to serve God, the church and others. The one who faithful serve others is the one for the exalted honour Christ’s kingdom.
  • Love: Love should be the basis of our relationship and the way of our service to Christ, the church and brethren.
  • Self-effacement: Humility, meekness is the key to promotion, honour and nobility in the kingdom service.
  • Truthfulness and Loyalty: faithfulness and accountability of stewardship are all that mark the servant for reward and glory
  • Change: One’s ministry may not necessary remain the same e.g. Philip started as a Deacon but ended as Evangelist. God may even add up to your existing calling, if he so chooses.

Get my books online: All my books are now available in multiple eBook formats, and while some are free, other attract just a token. Get your copies here: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Belovedjohn.

I know you have been blessed. I long to hear your testimony about the impacts of these training series, kindly drop a note for me on this website. You can also call +2348030444780; email: flaminglamps@yahoo.com or josephjohn754@gmail.com

LEADERSHIP GREATNESS {LG 203}

By Pastor John B. Joseph

 

Many modern gospel ministers are in a war for superiority. They passionate advertise how perfect, anointed, perceptive, elegant, bright, and articulate they are. They seek to convince the world what a unique gifts and rare balance of everything they possessed. But why do people who run with the gospel brag so shamelessly? Do they really think they are as great as they claim?

 KEYS TO LEADERSHIP GREATNESS

Key#1: HUMILITY

Apparently, these anointed men and women have it all. They indeed possess all except humility. But how serious the case, that several of them hide their faults and failures, only to highlight their abilities and achievements. Are you also one of them?

It Is All Pride

Pride drives a lot of what we do. We do many things just to boost our ego and improve our image. It is all pride:

  • When you buy clothes, cars, and houses, not based on your needs, but on how it will make you feel successful in the eyes of others.
  • When athletes brag, talk trash, and strut around
  • when business people pride in bigger office, bigger returns, fancier cars, and loftier chieftaincy titles
  • When teenage girls boast of their superiority by who can date the most famed boys in town, and boys try to prove their stud status by how many girls they use and then dump.
  • When people in ministry aren’t shy about trumpeting their own glory.

The way of Pride

Pride shows itself in various ways Pride comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. It comes through:

  • Insecurity: The more insecure we feel, the more we show off and the louder we brag.
  • Inferiority: Deep inside we feel inferior, but we want others to think we are superior, so we boast. We may not boast like braggarts and blowhards, but we tell ourselves how great we are. We try to convince others to think more highly of us.
  • Superiority: We think we’re superior to others, we don’t like to associate with people we think are below us, we don’t like to do work we feel is beneath us.
  • Narcissism: Many of us are too busy focusing on ourselves. We often hear that, what we all need is more self-confidence, self-assertiveness, self-fulfillment, self-realization, and self-esteem. This is conceit and reason why being humble & serving others doesn’t come naturally to us. It is narcissism when the favorite three people we’ve ever seen in a mirror are ‘me’, ‘myself’ and ‘I’.

 

Note: There are people whose spirits have been crushed, mocked, degraded and deeply hurt; a fragile and injured people with little sense of the dignity, personality and abilities God has given them. A concern for them is perhaps what lies behind much of the emphasis on self-esteem. But what about the rest of us who focus on ourselves, overestimate our skills and, like James and John, just too eager to be first?

The Problem of Pride

Pride has always been around, but it’s often treated more as a virtue than a vice. Pride is a deadly virus. And what makes it so deadly are two:

  1. First, it keeps God out of our life. We can’t just be full of ourselves and have any room for God’s. Pride makes us feel self-sufficient and self-satisfied. “God opposes the proud…”
  2. Second, it keeps us from loving and serving others. “Serve one another in love…” (Gal 5:13,15,26; Matt. 23:6 -12)

 

Jesus Redefined Greatness

Most of us want to be first. James and John, came to Jesus, and wanted Him to make them first over the rest of humanity. They wanted the top spots. We all desire what they wanted, but fail to realize that Jesus’ path to greatness was through serving, humiliation and suffering. {Mk 10: 42-45}

Jesus redefined greatness when He made Himself nothing. (Phil. 2: 1-10). He contradicts our ‘Me First’ mentality.

  • He contradicts the way of the world that brags about and bosses others around. The way of Jesus is humility and service.
  • He contradicts the way of the world that looks out for our own interests. The way of Jesus is to look out for the interests of others. Phil 2:3 -9.
  • He contradicts the way of the world that operates love by being served. His way of love is humble service.

Who Is First?

  • He isn’t the one who bosses everybody around, but the one who is the slave of all.
  • He isn’t the one who go out of his way to be admired by everyone; but the one who is despised and rejected.

Becoming Humble

So, then, if pride is such a deadly problem, and if humility is so necessary, how do we move from pride to humility? How do we become humble?

  • Don’t try to feel as humble as you possibly can. Why?
    • That could backfire. You might end up being proud of how humble you are.
    • It’s hard to talk about humility and be humble yourself. Humility is a virtue that’s tough to cultivate directly. The moment we think we have it, we lost it.
    • It’s hard to point out the pride of others without inflating your own pride.
    • Learning to feel more humble can be just one more symptom of pride. It’s ironic and an obsession.
  • Humility comes only when we encounter Jesus & focus on Him.
  • When we stand before the cross of Christ, we see with terrifying clarity what our sin deserves.
  • Any real encounter with the resurrected Christ smashes our arrogance and sense of superiority.
  • We come to understand God’s love for us; how Christ the Lord willingly became a slave and even died to meet our needs; and knowing that is enough, thrilling and uplifting.
  • The Cross puts us all on the same level, and it moves us to serve others as Jesus served us. No person is below us. No job is beneath us. Like Jesus, we do whatever needs doing, and help whoever needs helping.

Final Note: Follow the Leader – Jesus Christ. Look to the interests of others. Lay aside whatever importance you have or think you have. Serve others in love. And leave it up to God to decide where you belong on his scale of greatness.

Key#2: WALKING WITH GOD

The Christian leader is obligated to live a life that is pleasing to God. We must sincerely live such a life in our walk with Him. (2 Peter 1:3 -4)

  • We must also recognize that the only way for us to walk with God and live a life that is pleasing to Him is first of all to receive new life from the Holy Spirit. (Psm 101:2-3, 53:3; Phil 2:13; Col. 1:29 and Eph. 1:19-20; Rom. 8:2-4).
  • There is no way we can earn or merit salvation by our holiness or obedience. We are not saved through our own merits but only through God’s mercy and grace. Eph. 2:3; Jhn 3:36.
  • Eternal righteousness can be ours only through faith in Jesus Christ whose perfect righteousness is imputed to us (Rom 3:23 -26, 5:1-2, 7:25 -26; 1 Cort. 1:30-31; 2 Cort 5:21)

Walking with God begins with a consecrated life of holiness and obedience.

  • We are called to be holy and obedient because God is holy and we are to be like Him. 1 Peter 1:15 – 16
  • As God’s representatives in this fallen and sinful world, we are to glorify Him. The unbelieving world must clearly understand the difference between living in the darkness and living in the light.
  • Obedience is the way of blessing and joy. No lasting pleasure when we walk our own way rather than His way. 1 Cort 3:16; 2 Cort 5:21, 7:1; Eph 5:8-10, 15 -17, 19- 20; Phili 1:9-11; Tit 2:11 -13; 1 Pet 2:22; 2 Pet 3:14; 1 Jhn 3:3, 5; Gen. 5:21-24; Hebr 11:5, 4: 15, 7:26.
  • Holiness and obedience help us see and believe that God truly blesses those who genuinely love and trust Him. Psalm 1:1 – 3, 6, 5:12, 112:1, 4, 119:1-3, 128:l ; Prov 11:20 & Jude 24 – 25.

 

LEARNING TO DO OR NOT TO DO HIS WILL

  • God, by His grace, enables us to live a life of true fellowship with Him, to walk in the light and stay away from the darkness, to love others and to serve them in His name, and gives us a thankful heart that we may please Him in all that we do.
  • The more we trust Him and obey Him, the more we will delight in knowing and doing His will.

The Temptation and the Struggles

  • As we walk with God there will often be things we will have to fight against, and temptations we will have to overcome. There may be struggles to be all that we want to be or all that God wants us to be.
  • Though Satan may be tough and temptations many; the One who is in us is greater than he that is in the world.
  • He gives us victory over temptations and Satan: 1 Cort 10:13; 1 Jn 4:3- 4, 3:9, 5:18; Eph 6:10 -18; 2 Peter 1:3 – 4
  • When we focus on some of the things God wants us to do, we will be strengthened and encouraged to stay away from the things we should not do. The opposite, of course, is also true.

The First and Greatest Commandment {Matt. 22:37-38}

  • Those who truly love God as He commanded will enjoy a fruitful, meaningful, and joyful walk with the Lord.
  • Those who fail to love God will soon wander away from Him
  • In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus emphasized the blessedness and importance of putting God first in our lives. Matt.6:33.
  • Jesus also taught that when we live a life of holiness and good works, we not only please God directly, but we also cause others to praise Him as well. Matt 5:16; Zeph 3:17; 1 Cort 10:31; Col. 3:17
  • If we truly desire to walk with the Lord, there is no putting our personal desires before our love for God. (2 Pet 1:5 -11).

The Second Great Commandment

  • Jesus closely tied together our love for God with the love we should have for others. Matt. 22:39-40
  • When Jesus said we should love others, He was not referring to our feelings or emotions concerning other people but rather to our attitude to them or our will concerning them.
  • It may not always be possible for us to. Rom. 12:9 -21. True Christian love for others is not “natural,” nor is it something we can manufacture or develop on our own. But when God’s love fills our own hearts, that love can flow through us to others – even if they are not very lovely or “lovable.” Matt. 7:12; Lk 6:27-28, 35-36; 1 John 3:16-18, 4:11 -12; Eph 4:32, 5:1-2; Gal 5:14.

Reasons for Rules and Commands as Believers

The Bible gives us guidelines, many specific commands or teachings concerning God’s will for our lives. Among these are:

  • The Ten Commandments, given first of all to God’s people in the Old Testament (Exodus 20).
  • God also gave the people many other laws and commandments concerning almost every area of life.
  • The New Testament also has many prohibitions and commands which Christians are called to observe, so that we could live positively and joyfully in every area of our lives.
  • Besides, we have to be on guard against Satan and all the powers of evil in the world which are determined to defeat us (1 Peter 5:8).we are surrounded by evil examples, peer pressure, sinful traditions, and by people who try to draw us away from God. Psalm 147:19 -20 & Rom 3:1-2).

The Conscience

  • Our conscience is our personal sense concerning what is right and what is wrong.
  • It often serves as a helpful guide for us when we are faced with making moral choices.
  • Our conscience may be helpful, but it is not always “right.” It leads the wrong way, if not formed according to God’s Word and will. Paul lived by conscience, but his life was not always pleasing to the Lord. (Acts 26:4-5, 1 Cort 4:4; 1 Tim.1:13, Acts 9:1-4).
  • Conscience isn’t even a safe guide for people who truly want to serve the Lord in their lives.
  • It’s also possible to have what the Bible calls a “seared” conscience, which has been influenced over time according to sinful, worldly standards. (1 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:15 & Hebr 9:14).

Which Bible Laws Must We Still Observe Today?

In the Old Testament, most of these laws fall into three general categories: civil laws, ceremonial laws, and moral laws.

  • The civil laws had to do primarily with the political or national life of the people of Israel. E.g. laws regarding government structure and leadership, the organization of society, business, property, the military, the justice system, etc.
  • The ceremonial laws governed the worship and cultic life of the people such as offerings, sacrifices, worship, duties of priests and other spiritual leaders, and related matters.
  • The moral laws covered all matters related specifically to personal holiness and to people’s relationship to God and to one another. E.g. Ten Commandments & other rules regarding personal morality, honesty, integrity, business, every day living & personal relationships.

While many of the O. T. civil laws were intended specifically for the people of Israel in Old times, the believers are no longer required to obey them. The N. T. requires justice, fairness, honesty, concern for the poor & others.

The O. T. ceremonial laws were also intended specifically for the people of Israel and are no longer binding on us today. Today there is no longer a central place of worship, where sacrifices can be offered and gifts brought. And, more important, most of the ceremonial laws pointed forward to the coming and work of Jesus. (Read Book of Hebrews)

The moral laws of the O. T. were also given specifically to God’s people in the Old Testament, but most of those laws are therefore re-emphasized and repeated in the N.T. They are considered valid for all people at all times. They are still valid for us today. At times, however, a command was directed to a very special situation and is therefore not necessarily applicable today. (Lk 18:22; Matt. 18:8 – 9.)

Notes:

  • it is always important to remember that no one can ever be made right with God by observing these laws (Romans 3:20).
  • Only Jesus, who perfectly kept God’s laws Himself and who made a perfect sacrifice for our sins, can make us right with God (Matthew 5:17; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
  • It’s also true, however, that those who sincerely desire to walk with God will find joy and blessing in observing His laws and will also be a blessing to others. Scripture passages: Rom 3:21-22, 7:6; Gal. 3:23 -25; Hebr 8:10.

Key#3: TRUE WORSHIP

Texts: Exodus 20: Psalm 46:10; Isaiah 46:8-9; John 14:1-9).

Every leader must know that the first commandment requires worship of the one true God and prohibits idolatry. What is idolatry? It is “having or inventing something in which one trusts in place of or alongside of the only true God, who has revealed himself in his Word”. Facts to know:

  1. There is only one God, and it’s not you or me. The voices which urge us to think of ourselves as God aren’t anything new, but of him who whispered to Eve, “You will be like God” (Genesis 3:5).
    1. The myth of yourself as God is spiced up with crystals, shamans, channeling, extraterrestrial masters, ancestor worship, nature worship, occult rituals, and whatever else can be borrowed from ancient tribes or modern science fiction.
  1. We’re living in a time when the first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me,” isn’t in fashion.
    1. Some people say everything is God, another say there is no God, others declare themselves to be God, some pray to their own infinite potential, some pray to trees and stars and earth, and others pray to their dead ancestors.
    2. Psychiatrists like Scott Peck claim that the human unconscious is God; Gurus of Eastern religions claim that everybody and everything is God; New Age writers, like Shirley MacLaine, Matthew Fox, John Bradshaw and Marianne Williamson, stir all this pantheism and self-worship together in a brew and season it to suit the tastes of those with a Christian background.
  2. We’re surrounded by the buzz of many different voices, promoting a wide assortment of gods and goddesses and all sorts of different ways to enjoy their favor. How disturbing, then, for all these people to hear a voice booming from Mount Sinai, “You shall have no other gods before me.

The notion that all religious opinions are equally true, and that all roads eventually lead to God, is wrong. For many people today, it sounds narrow-minded and almost rude for the Lord to insist that he alone is God and that he alone can save us. (Jn 14:6; Acts 4:12; Isa 45:21-22)

Idolizing Organizations

There may be a proper sort of patriotism or a right concern for political ideals and world peace, but it’s idol worship to pin our hopes on any earthly government or political organization, rather than the kingdom of God.(Jeremiah 17:5; Psalm 146:3; Rom 1:25).

  • A number of years ago, a Hindu chaplain to the United Nations said: “The United Nations … is the way, the way of oneness that leads us to the Supreme Oneness. It is like a river flowing toward the source, the Ultimate Source. The UN becomes for us the answer to world suffering, world darkness and world ignorance”. Apparently, if God wants to remain the Supreme Being and the only Savior, he’ll have to get himself elected Secretary General of the UN.
  • Some who thought socialist revolution would create a workers’   paradise. Others speak of the United States as “the last, best hope for mankind”?

Nature worship

The Creator calls us to care for his creation, but some prominent organizations are pushing nothing less than nature worship. It’s right and good to care for the creation, but it’s terribly wrong to worship it.

  • We can’t pretend the earth is God; there is just one true God.
  • We can’t pretend our political agenda is God. God doesn’t say, “I am whoever you want me to be
  • And we can’t pretend we are God; God doesn’t say, “I am who you are.” (Exodus 3:14).

Why should we trust God?

Well, God doesn’t command us to trust him blindly. He’s earned our trust by:

  • Acting on our behalf in such a way that we can be sure of His deep desire to help us and confident of His power to do so. When God gave the Ten Commandments, He began by saying who he was and what he had done: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”
  • His mercy and love. He chose Israel as his people, not because they were so impressive and upright, but just because He loved them. God is someone we can trust not just because He exists, but also because He loves and saves. He showed that to the people of Israel in their exodus from slavery, and he showed it supremely in the life and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus fulfilled God’s law perfectly, took our sins upon Himself and died in our place. If anyone ever earned our trust, Jesus has.
  • By first telling us what He did for us before telling us what we must do for him. We must trust him before we can begin to obey him.

Technolatry

This is holding on to technical know-how as god and savior, looking to technology to get what you need. E.g:

  • We trust medical techniques to cure our diseases
  • agricultural techniques to supply our food,
  • psychological techniques to deal with our hang-ups
  • sociological techniques to make our families and our cities safe
  • Business techniques to make our finances secure, and so forth.

The first commandment calls us to acknowledge that the Lord is God, and no one else. It calls us to base our eternal destiny on Jesus Christ and on nothing else. And it also calls us to look to God as the one who supplies our everyday needs. All too often, when it comes to the various problems of day-to-day life, many of us fall into ‘technolatry’.

Note that the first commandment isn’t opposed to science and technology as such. In fact, genuine science historically became possible only when people were convinced that there is just one God.

Ancient creation myths taught that the world sprang up out of conflict between different gods and goddesses, and idol worshippers believed that different events in nature and history were caused by a variety of different gods with different agendas. Science arose among those who believed that behind all of creation lay the working of a single great Intelligence.

Only with that belief could there be any concept of regular patterns in creation. Only then was there any confidence that people as the crown of creation could discover at least some of the Creator’s designs. So belief in one God was the very foundation for the scientific enterprise and the technology it produced.

But a strange thing happened along the way. More and more scientists stopped believing in God at all and made science their god. They ignored the Designer and made the design their ultimate reality.

More people stopped looking to God as the Source of all good things; but at technology. Technology was no longer seen as one of the ways God provides for our needs. But technology is one more expression of his Fatherly care, not a replacement for his care. It is a gift from Him, not a substitute for him.

Loving God

The Lord says, “You shall have no other gods before me.” We keep the first commandment when we love God above all.

  • Along with this love, God calls for the due reverential fear and worshipful honor (Isaiah 42:8; John 17:3).
  • He wants to be acknowledged as the only God who exists, the one we trust with our eternal destiny, and for our daily needs.
  • He insists on being our highest love. The Lord is a jealous God who won’t allow us to love anyone or anything more than we love Him. (Matt 10:37; Deut 6:4).

.In a nutshell: what does the Lord require in the first commandment?

  • That we, not wanting to endanger our very salvation, avoid and shun all idolatry, magic, superstitious rites, and prayer to saints or other creatures.
  • That we sincerely acknowledge the only true God, trust him alone, look to him for every good thing humbly and patiently, love him, fear him, and honor him with all my heart.
  • That we give up anything rather than go against his will in any way.

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BIBLE DOCTRINES (BD 204)

By Pastor John B. Joseph

What of ‘Doctrine: The word ‘doctrines’ is taken from a Latin word ‘doctrina’, which means a body or system of teachings that are related to a definite subject, sect or person. Greek word ‘dogma’ means a body of ordinances or judgment. Thus, Bible doctrines could be defined as a body of Bible teachings or ordinances on various matters or issues.

Study passages: Job 11:4; Mk.4:2; 12:38, Jhn. 7:16; 18:19; Acts 2:42; 16:4-5; I Tim. 4:13-16, 5:17. Now let us evaluate these doctrines one after the other.

INERRANCY OF THE SCRIPTURES

  • The Bible in its original form is the very Word of God, a complete, infallible inspiration divine that contains no errors.
  • The Bible is God’s revelation to man and the authority for our faith and conducts. {II Tim. 3:16-17; II Pet. 1:20-21}

DOCTRINE OF THE GODHEAD

  1. The Triune God
  • This doctrine upholds the truth that there is only one true and living God, and He manifested Himself in three persons, specifically in His relationship towards Man.
  • That this triune God, named in the Bible as Godhead but called trinity by theologians is God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.
  • That the triune God manifested oneness as a deity and self- distinctiveness as distinct divine persons. The three persons in the Godhead are one and distinct yet from another, each is wholly and truly God, and yet One.
  • That this triune Godhead is self-existent, eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscience, the creator of all things.
  • God the father is the eternal Lord of heaven and the earth.

STUDY PASSAGES: Deut, 6:4; Jer.43:10, Rom. 1:20, Acts 17:20, Col. 2:9, Matt. 28:19, 11:25, Mk. 1:9-11, Lk 1:32-35, I Jhn. 5:7, GAL. 3:20, Jhn. 1:1-4, 10:30, Psalm 139:2-12.

  1. Distinctiveness of the Godhead
  2. The Father (Elohim) created all things but by the instrumentality of the Son and the Holy Spirit. Jhn. 1:1-3, Gen 1:1-2, 26.
  3. Salvation (Redemption) was conceived by the Father, bought and brought by the Son, and worked out by the Spirit (Gen. 3:15, 21; Isa. 7:14, 53:1-5, Jhn 10:15-18).
  • Secrecy and headship is attributed to the Father, openness and authority to the Son, while clarification (revelation) and strength is to the Holy Spirit. (Jhn 6:37, 14: 9& 20, 19:30, 16:3:1, Jhn. 1:1, 14; Mk. 13:32, Lk. 1:35; I Pet. 3:22, II Pet. 1:21, Eph. 1:20-22; Jhn5:26-27).
  1. Intercession is made by both the Son and the Holy Ghost. (Heb. 7:25, Rom. 8:26-31).
  2. We pray in the Holy Ghost to the Father, addressed in the name of Jesus.     (Lk. 23:42; Actrs 759).
  3. We are to honour, praise and worship the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Jhn. 5:20, 20:28).
  • As God, the Son and the Spirit are as eternal, omnipotent, omniscience and omnipotent as the Father. All existed before existence itself. (Jhn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:16).

NOTE:

  • The Father is the 1st person of the Godhead; the Son the 2nd; and the Spirit the 3rd.
  • It is practically impossible for man to fully understand God. (I Cort. 13:12).

 

 DOCTRINE OF MAN

  1. The creation of Man.
    • Man, the crown of God’s creation, was made in the image and likeness of God.
    • He was made a living spirit, not a quickening spirit. Thus he is natural and earthly (read I Cor. 15:45-49).
    • He was made a tripartite being – He is a living spirit, with a soul dwelling inside a body
    • He was created “very good” and placed in the Garden of Eden to “dress it and to keep it”.
    • Though man was created sinless, he nevertheless has capability of sinning.
    • He was honoured with dominion over all other creations in the earth, and was sentenced to fruitfulness and greatness.

STUDY PASSAGE: Gen. 1:26-28, 2:7, 15:17, I Cor. 15:45-49, Psalm 8:3-8, I Thess 5:23; Hebr. 4:12, Rom. 12:21, Jms. 2:26, Philp 1:21-24.

  1. The Fall of Man
  2. The old serpent invaded the Eden Garden, and craftily deceived Eve.
  3. Subsequently, Adam fell though disobedience when he ate the forbidden fruit.
  • By this sin, man fell and became spiritually dead, separated from God. When Adam fell, he landed on the realm of Satan and became short of God’s glory. He was cursed by God and driven out of Eden.
  1. Since we are all in Adam when he fell; we all became sinners by birth and nature. We all sinned and fell where he did.
  2. But since God still loved man, He devised the way of rescuing him from the grip of Satan, and redeeming him back to Himself. The seed of the woman would come as God’s Lamb for man’s atonement.

STUDY PASSAGE:Gen. 3:1-24; Rom. 3:32, 5:12, 6:23, Jhn.1:29, 10:10, Eph.2:1-2, Col.2:13-15, I Jhn. 3:8.

DOCTRINE OF SIN

Though, it was the serpent (the devil) that brought sin to man,{through craftiness he made man to sin}, Eve was the actual importer of sin into the Eden Garden.

  • What Is Sin?
    • It is breaking of God’s law, ordinance or command.
    • It is transgressing – going beyond the limit set by God.
    • It is all unrighteousness – any kinds of ungodliness.
    • It is unbelief – whatever is not of faith is sin.
    • Lastly, sin is leprosy of the heart, a killer diseases, a slow master weapon of affliction in devil’s hand.
  • The Penalty of Sin

What we all must note is that ‘Man’s travail is that he sinned in Adam, and his tragedy is that he was cursed and condemned in Adam. The penalty for sin is death.Man was condemned to die.

Three Kinds of Death

  1. Physical – for all man. Only by the rapture will any of us escape this
  2. Spiritual – those without Christ and His eternal life are dead already, though physically alive.
  3. Eternal –   this is meant for all who remain spiritual dead till they taste of physical death, or are Christ-less at the Christ second coming.

DOCTRINE OF REDEMPTION

Jesus Christ is the only Way out. Christ gave His life to solve the problems of sin. He is the only solution God has given to sin. He was manifested to take away sin.

STUDY PASSAGES:Gen. 2:17, 3:1-7, Rom. 3:23, 5:17-21, 6:23, 14:23, I Cor. 15:21-22, Ezk. 18:4, Mk. 9:43-48, Isa. 59:1-2, Jhn.4:24, 10:10, Rom. 6:12, 16,20, I Jhn.5:9, Lk.4:5-7, Matt. 1:21;8:17.

  1. Born Of a Virgin
  • Jesus Christ was born of a virgin. The Holy Ghost came upon the Virgin Mary and she conceived Jesus by that very encounter.
  • As a result, His blood was divine, pure and precious. It was the price of our redemption from sin and Satan
  • That Jesus is thus the Man – God – i.e. fully God and fully man.

Study passages: Isa. 714; Matt.118-25, Lk.22:20, Hebr. 911-17, 922-28, Dan. 713-14,
Jhn. 1:14.

  1. Came to Offer Redemption (Salvation Or Regeneration)
  • The doctrine of the redemption teaches that through faith in Christ’s atonement, the fallen man is redeemed from sin, Satan, death and all forms of afflictions.
  • By God’s divine grace, man is redeemed through Christ atoning sacrifice. (Isa. 53:1 – end)
  • It teaches that the fallen man, through spiritual birth (i.e regeneration, new creation, being born again by God or born of Spirit and water) is brought back into fellowship with God – Jhn. 3:1-21.
    • Redemption Packages: Redemption packages include:
  • Saving the spirit man from sin, guilt of sin and power of sin. Personal salvation is gotten by GRACE, through faith in Him.
  • Healing the soul man of damages, brokenness and torment.
  • Healing the body of sickness, diseases, and all manners of bodily afflictions.
  • Delivering from demons, demonic afflictions, captivity, yokes, curses and evil covenants.
  • Freedom from financial/economic poverty.
  • Delivering from hell and hades.

These packages are Gospel blessings offer by Christ Jesus. We must first accept them by faith and then give them to others who dare to believe.

STUDY PASSAGES:Isa. 53:5-6, 61:1-3, Acts 4:12, 10:38, I Pet. 2:24,, Hebr. 1:3, I Jhn.3:5-8,1:2-3,Jhn.1:12,10:7-10,14:6;Lk.19:10;Eph.2:8,4:24, Rom. 10:8-10.

  1. Propitiation

Jesus is the Gospel. He died in our place as the propitiation for our sins. He is God’s Ransom for man. At Calvary, Jesus paid the debt we owed. We are freed.

  1. Reconciliation

Jesus reconciles us to GOD –The word reconciliation (Greek word (daillasomai/katallasso) means ‘changing enmity to fellowship/friendship’. We are reconciled at Calvary backtoGod.   Lk. 1524, Matt. 5:24, Acts 4:12, 5:31, Isa 53, I Jhn. 3:9-10, Jhn 2:8-10, Eph. 8-10.

  1. Appropriation

To appropriate each blessing of Christ’s redemption works, man must repent from sin and turn to God by faith. He must practically and personally obey the gospel through faith.Study passage: Jhn. 3:14-19, Lk. 13:3-5,Matt. 4:17, Acts 2:38, 3:19, 13:38-39, Acts 17:30-31, Rom. 5:1

DOCTRINE OF LOVE

  • That God’s love (agape) towards man is great. This great love was

demonstrated in the manifestation and redeeming death of God’s Son, Jesus Christ Jhn. 31:14-16; Rom. 5:8, I Jhn. 4:9-10.

  • Love is at the Center of the Christian faith, the greatest of all virtues and

the sum total of Spirit fruit. Rom. 13:10. Gal. 5:22-23; I Cor. 13:13, Eph. 5:2.

  • Believers, as glorious beneficiaries of this love are Christ’s lovers and His

Love agency, to manifest and proclaim it the world over – Jhn. 15:12-13; I Jhn. 3:14-18, 23-24; 4:11-21, Matt. 22:37.

  • It is a winning, redeeming love to save the lost and liberate the oppressed.

Matt. 28:18-20, Mk. 16:15-18.

  • The Church of Christ should be the house of this sacrificial, unconditional love.Whatever is outside love is darkness and death. Love is the prime evidence of God’s life and light in us. – I hn 2 5-11, Jhn 13:34-35.
  • That even faith should work by love. Gal. 5:6
    1. DOCTINE OF DIVINE HEALING

The bible clearly teaches that God heals and wants His people to enjoy divine health.

 TEN FACTS TO NOTE

  • Sickness is not God’s will – Psm 14:3, Isa. 58:10
  • It is a curse for disobedience and sin – Deut. 28:60-61, I Cor. 11:30.
  • God’s covenant with His people covers healing and health –

Exd. 15:26, Deut. 7:15.

  • God has provision and plan for divine healing.Exd. 23:25, III Jhn. 2,

I Pet.2:24.

  • Old testament saints experienced this blessing – Deut. 34:7, Josh. 14:9

11, Psm. 105:37.

  • It is promise to be claimed by faith. Exd. 15:26, 23:25, Psm. 91:16,

Deut. 7:15, Jms. 5:15, 11:40.

  • It is heritage for eagle believers – III Jhn. 2, Matt. 14:35-36, Mk. 5:25-29,

Matt.10:10.

  • It is a work of the devil already dealt with at Calvary. I Jhn. 3:8,

Acts 10:38, Lk. 13:10-12.

  • Divine health and divine healing are included in Christ’s package of redemption. Isa. 53:4-5, 61:1-3, Lk. 4:18-19, I Pet. 2:24.

 

DOCTRINE OF LAYING OF HANDS

The laying of hands symbolizes “cooperating with God”.

  • It was practice in the O.T – Nos. 27:18-23.
  • A basic practice in the early church, done with faith and by the Spirit’s anointing (power) for the purposes of:
    • Healing
    • Receiving of the Holy Ghost baptism
    • Impacting of spiritual gifts. Note that stirring up the gifts is our responsibility II Tim. 1:6
    • Ordination into ministry offices. Note that only the Holy Ghost distributes ministry gifts as He wills. (I Cor. 12:11), Eph. 4:8-13.

Warning: Apostle Paul warned it should not be done indiscriminately (I Tim. 5:22).
STUDY PASSAGE: Matt. 6:5, 16:18, Acts 5:12, 8:14-17, 9:17-18, Acts 19:16, 13:2-3, Tim. 4:4, II 1:6, Eph. 4:8-13.

DOCTRINE OF TITHING & OFFERINGS

  1. TITHING: What is it?

Tithe is giving God 10% of what He gave to you (or blessed you with); while offering is a voluntary giving or donation to God/God’s work. {Matt. 23:23, Lk. 11:42, Levt. 2:30-32, Gen. 14:20, Mal. 38-10, Deut. 14:23, Neh. 13:5, 12, 10:37-38}

  • It Is More than Law

Tithing is more than the law. It was long in practice as a covenant right before God gave the law to Moses on Mount Sinai. So tithing is fulfilling your covenant right as a blood bought child of God. Gen. 14; 20,

  • Reasons for Tithing
    • To prove our devotion to God. 6:19-24, 14:22-23, Deut. 14:22-23; Deut. 14:22-23.
    • To approve of God’s claim of ownership upon our lives – Deut. 26:12-19.
    • To obey God’s command and free ourselves from curses of disobedience. – Mal. 3:9, Deut. 12:17; 14:22, 26:12, 10:37,II Chr. 3:5, 12.
    • To sow the seed for our prosperity. Tithing positions you in God’s covenant of prosperity. Mal. 3:10-12, Deut. 26:12-19.
    • To bring blessings into God’s house and kingdom – Mal. 3:10.
  • The Failure to Tithe
    • Failure to pay is a proof that you love mammon, not God. Matt. 6:24.
    • He who fails to pay his tithes is the worst of robbers. Mal. 3:8
    • He who fails to tithing comes under divine curse of poverty and vanity – mal. 3:9, Deut. 12:7, Neh. 10:37.
    • Failure to give may spell doom – Hag. 1:9-11.
  • Where and How To Pay It
    • Your tithes are to be paid to God, through His spiritual house, the church (- Mal. 3:10, Neh. 37-38.
    • Pay it with a cheerful, willing heart.
  • Uses Of Tithes
    • He uses it to care for those who minister at His altar (the priests and the Levites). Especially those called to full-time service.
    • Sometime the widows and the poor benefited therein.

Gen. 14:20, Nos. 18:24-26, Deut. 14:27-29. Neh. 10:37-38.

  1. OFFERINGS: What are Offerings?

Offerings are optional gifts and values you willingly give to God and His services – Exd. 25 2-3

  • How to Give Your Offerings
  • Giving offerings to God with right motive bring blessings – Acts 20:35,
    3:9-10.
  • Avoid selfish interest & prideful ego while giving it. – Detr. 6:10-12
  • Demonstrate perfect love for God in giving.
  • Give cheerfully, willingly and bountifully. I Ki 17:9-16.
    1. Giving should be qualitative – Mk 12:41-43
    2. Only Spirit led, cheerful giving is true sowing whose bountiful harvest is sure to come – 2Cort 9:6-11, Exd. 354-10, Exd. 36:3-7.

 

ESCHATOLOGY DOCTRINE {End of Times Events}

Es·cha·tol·o·gy is the  theology that is concerned with the end of the world or of humankind. It is a belief concerning the ultimate or final things, second coming of Christ and last judgements. (Matt. 24:14, Acts 1:10-11)

Now let’s examine the end of times events, starting from Christ coming.

  1. Jesus, the LORD and King shall first appear in the Sky:
  • This is going to be in the twinkling of an eye. It shall be like a thief in the night for all that are not ready. I Cor. 15:52; I Thess 5:2-10, Matt. 24:36-39.
  • He shall appear triumphantly with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God. I Thess. 4:16, I Cor. 15:52.
  • Both the saints asleep and awake shall be changed and caught up to meet the king in the air. This is the rapture, the first resurrection. I Cort. 15:42-56, I Thess. 4:13-17. Rev. 20:4-6.
  • For seven years the rapture saints shall celebrate honeymoon with the Lord at the marriage supper of the Lamb and then at Bema seat of reward(Rev. 19:6-9, Matt. 22:2-3, I Cor. 3:9-15, II Cor. 5:10).
  • Those who miss the rapture will face the great tribulations for those seven years. I Thess. 5:2-3, 10, Dan. 9:26-27, Matt. 24:15-22, Rev. 13:11-18.
  1. The LORD Shall Then Come Down To Earth
  • At the end of the seven years, Jesus Christ shall literally return to the earth with all His raptured saints – II Thess. 1:7-10, Jude 1:14-15, Rev. 1:7, Zech. 14:3-4,Acts 1:9-11
  • He will bind Satan for a thousand years – With the saints, Christ the king will reign for a thousand of years on earth (millennium reign), the king will set-loose Satan again for a short time (Rev. 201-2,7).
  • As soon as Satan got this brief freedom, he will go forth to mobilize the nations for the greatest of all battles, but they shall be totally defeated. (Rev. 20:8-10).
  • At the end of Christ’s millennium reign, the 2nd resurrection will take place – (Rev. 20:5).
  • Then there will be the white throne judgment. And Satan and all whose names are not found in the book of life will be cast into the lakes of fire. (Rev. 20:10-15, 21:8), Dan. 12:2, II Pet. 3:7.

3.  The LORD Jesus Will Make All Things New (Rev. 21:5)

  • The first heaven and earth will pass away and new heaven and earth will be. Rev. 21:1.
  • In the heavenly Jerusalem, which shall become saint’s eternal habitation, we shall live with God and the Lamb. Rev. 21:2-5, 9-27, 22:1-5.
  • The redeemed shall inherit all things and reign forever with the king of kings and the Lord of Lords. Jhn. 14:1-3, Rev. 21:7, 22:5.

 

Download my free eBook on this topic to broaden your knowledge. It is titled: ‘The Soon Coming King’ – Get your copy here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/575346

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BATTLES OF THE ANOINTED {BoA 205]

By Pastor John B. Joseph

 The Fire Anthem

HOLY FIRE COME DOWN

Refrain:

Holy Fire, Come down! Holy Fire, descend!

Holy Fire, clothe me! For pow’r and revival/2X

Fire! Fire of the Lord; pure Flame of the Mighty God,

Blazing Dove, descend on me; for pow’r and revival/2x

  1. I’ve retreated into your presence; to be soaked Lord with your fire

I stand still in your presence; to be set ablaze for you. {Refrain}.

  1. Let the fire of your Spirit; clothe me Lord with your pow’r,

Let the glory of your Spirit; blaze me Lord to glow for you. {Refrain}

  1. Vessel of honor and of wonder; full of radiance of your glory

Blazed ‘nd dazed, oh! By your Spirit; make Lord to reign for you. {Refrain}

 

STAND UP, STAND UP FOR JESUS

  1. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, Ye soldiers of the cross;

Lift high his royal banner, It must not suffer loss.

From victory unto victory, His army shall He lead,

Till every foe is vanquished, And Christ is Lord indeed.

 

  1. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, The trumpet calls obey;

Forth to the mighty conflict, In this his glorious day.

Ye that are brave now serve him, Against unnumbered foes;

Let courage rise with danger, And strength to strength oppose.

 

  1. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, Stand in His strength alone;

The arm of flesh will fail you, Ye dare not trust your own.

Put on the gospel armor, Each piece put on with prayer;

Where duty calls or danger, Be never wanting there.

 

  1. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, The strife will not be long;

This day the noise of battle, The next the victor’s song.

To those who vanquish evil, A crown of life shall be;

They with the King of Glory, Shall reign eternally.

 

Now that you have meditate on the wordings of these songs, let’s go deeper on this new course: Battles of the Anointed

First, let’s appraise together God’s investments in us and how such investments attract battles.  He invest His supernatural riches in His chosen people in two major areas.

INVESTMENT OF GRACE

John 3: 14-17; Eph. 2: 8 – 9; Rom 3: 20 – 24}

This is much connected to Jesus Christ. His grace is supreme and priceless, yet free for the mortals. It has root in His sovereignty and eternal in durability. It has four dynamics of values: Love Mercy, Life, and Favour.

  1. Love is God’s unconditional investment of grace, that chose to ‘cover our multitude of sin’. Indeed, “For God so love the World” is the greatest of all good news on earth. God lavished His love upon us as an investment of grace that must yield His own love divine.
  1. Mercy is God’s free investment of grace that lightens sinners with hope of forgiveness and acceptance. It outwits judgment by proclaiming pardon.
  1. Life is an eternal investment of grace that procures God’s spiritual, immortal and eternal life in man. This investment cost the Father the sacrifice of His only begotten Son. So it is now available for investment only in Christ when two factors are in order: i. Repentance from your sins. ii. Faith in Christ.
  1. Favour, as an investment of divine grace is free offer of divine kindness, provision, protection, possession of His promises, covenant benefits and sonship peculiarities.

Note: Have You Become An Industry of Divine  Grace? Ponder Deep On It! But wait to hear this: “Grace is the primary in-road to the battle-field of the anointed.”

INVESTMENT OF BLAZE

Matt. 3:11; Acts 2: 1 –4; Luke 4: 18; John 7: 37-39; 2 Tim. 1: 6;

This second divine investment is much connected to the person of the Holy Spirit. It speaks of His anointing and of the life/ministries of the anointed. God make this investment in us when we got baptized in the Holy Ghost. The baptism enriches us with unknown tongues, divine fire, spiritual gifts, and specific ministries. These in turn transform us to anointed armies and glory carriers. With these investment, we are appointed to daze the world by being a productive industries of supernatural manifestations.  This Supernatural blaze turns men to “Sons of thunders” to daze the world.

THE BOANERGES

Mark 3:17Luke 9:54

Moses and Joshua were boanerges. Samson was dangerous blaze. Elijah, Elisha, David and John Baptist were also blazing Boanerges. They all engaged the un-anointed and ex-anointed hosts in tough battles.

But I want to speak to you of two siblings who were New Testament boanerges. They were among Jesus disciples –  “James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder)”

Jesus must have had a good reason for dubbing James and John as “Sons of Thunder.” He knew all men. (John 2:24-25). Why did Jesus nicknamed these young siblings “Boanerges”? Certainly because they possessed some fiery, thunderous qualities. How do we know this?

  • They were believers in the ministry divine fire: Thus, like the Prophet Elijah, they both responded to Samaritan assault and opposition with, ‘Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?’” (Luke 9:54). Though Jesus rebuked the brothers, and they all went to another village, their response revealed qualities of fervency, impetuosity, and Elijah-like thunderous anger.
  • Their spiritual fervency must qualified them to become two of Jesus‘ three inner circle: James and John were two of Jesus’ closest friends, being two of Christ “inner three” disciples. (Matthew 17:1).
  • James’ fiery thunderous drive must have made him the first target. The fiery ruggedness of James made him to become the first apostle to be killed (Acts 12:2),
  • John’s fiery while John, who was the last to die, was said to have been so insulated by the supernatural that not even burning has power over him.
  • John’s thunderous fiery spirit actually reflected in his miraculous preservation and writings.  He was said to have been miraculous preserved alive when cast into burning oil. He was the only apostle that lived till old age and died naturally. More so, his writings and especially his epistles which was written late in his life, hint that he still possessed a fervency of spirit til death. (1 John 2:22; 2 John 7; 3 John 10).

Notes: Have you got the blaze? Merging grace with blaze does not only make us victorious and successful on earth, it turns us to ‘apostles of love’. This happened to Elisha and John. Like them, our fiery, thunderous qualities are to be tempered by love. John, one of the “Boanerges”, after a lifetime walked with Jesus, was not only the “Son of Thunder” but also the “Apostle of Love.”

I personally recommend that you also read my book, BATTLES FOR DESTINY. Get your copy here in any eBook formats you prefered: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/582739

Battle With The Anti-Anointed Armies

Case Study: Moses, Samson, Elijah & David

There are two mainline anti-anointed armies, namely: the unanointed  and the ex-anointed. The unanointed were represented in Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, and Goliath who were engaged with the anointed Moses, Daniel and David respectively. While the ex-anointed were seen in King Saul, King Ahab and the Old Prophet who fought the anointed David, Elijah and the young Prophet in battle, respectively. Samson fought the unanointed Philistines and Mordecai the unanointed Harman.

Counsel for anointed Warrior

*The battle could bring gloom era of life, take it as the inroad to your boom and not to your doom. David saw his battle with the unanointed Goliath of Gath as challenge thrown at God. If God could not lose in any war, then it is a passage to victory, promotion and peace.

*When sounds of battle blow the storms against your life, such must have been permitted to form his image and strengths in you, and not to make you stumble or fumble. This was the understanding of Joseph, David, Jabez, Daniel & his Friends, Sarah & Hannah, Naomi & Ruth. They knew the pains of wanderings, lack, lions’ den, furnace, childlessness and bereavement. But in the end, they came out victoriously and were made stronger, better and wiser.

*You are not alone in the fight. Jesus retains the commandership and leads the battle. It is the battle of the Lord. So hold your peace, and keep trusting while the war lasts. He will soon give you a song of triumph “in the night season”.

Devil’s War-Junctures

There are seven major junctures at which the enemy wait for the anointed. You need be aware of these so as to be battle ready. He I give you the list:

  1. Birthing Juncture: This is before, during or just after your birth. Some are pre-birth anointed/destined great. Examples include Jacob/Esau, Samson and John Baptist. Satan waited to both Moses and Jesus here. Also Jabez. It’s a time when your glory-star declares its arrival.
  1. Dreaming Juncture: This is a time when you come to the knowing of your place in destiny. Enemy would be all out to kill you and see what will become of your dream. This was the junction Joseph and David fought battles of the anointed here.
  1. Freedom Juncture: This is the junction where you loose from generational chains and are freed to soar into your place in life. Abraham, Jacob and Nation of Israel fought hot war at this junction.
  1. Marriage Juncture: This is the juncture where you pick your life partner in marriage. Devil really fought the partrich Lot and mighty Samson at this juncture. Even Moses and David fought serious war here.
  1. Fruiting Juncture: This is the childbearing point, child-rearing time and edge of breakthroughs. He met Sarah, Rachel and Hannah at this juncture. Eli and Samuel fought him here. So likewise Jacob, King Saul, David, Daniel, Mordecai, and few others.
  1. Anointing Juncture: At every junction you get fresh or renewed power from God, Satan will wage war. Moses, David, Elisha, and Jesus met and fought the devil here.
  1. Aging Juncture: If you obtain victory at the six junctures above, Satan will stand here for you. He doesn’t want you to end it well. He’ll fight you with sickness, scandal, etc.

Three Dangerous ‘F’s 

How does the Satan employs his feminine armies to destroy the anointed? My study of the Scriptures revealed that he fought some of those anointed ones mentioned above by his 3-Dangerous F’s.

  • Friendship

The enemy here ask for your hand in partnership, friendship or fellowship.  The strategy worked for Samson, David, Solomon, Absalom, Ahab and Judas Iscariot. She must offered you the ‘kiss’ first.

  • Frustration

The next strategy is frustration of both ministerial efforts and life of the anointed. This is done through anger, resentment, vexation, countering, manipulation, foiling, and spoiling of the Anointed. The target here is what you carry and the goal is to hinder him from having result and achievement in what you are called to do. It worked for Moses, Elijah, David, and Solomon. ‘Cutting off’ often follows the ‘kiss’ game. Beware!

  • Finish

This is the final stage where the enemy closes on against the anointed to finish him. The ‘finish’ strategy is murderous as it is carried out to eliminate, terminate and execute the life of the anointed. It worked for Samson, Absalom and Judas.

 

Reasons For The War

I have discovered five principal reasons for the battles of life. And that battles of the anointed is the fiercest and most strategically fought of all wars. I also discovered that all battles come from one source: Satan. Let’s examine the five reasons for life’s battles – why enemy wages war against man.

Superior Glory

The first is the reason of your great glory. You came into the world with superior glory, and the foes set a battle ground for your arrival.

But what really is glory?

Glory is the brilliance, pomp and magnificence of your life, destiny, calling, mission/ministry or purpose on earth. Such brilliance is a spiritual object, visible and reader to the third eye.

Destiny, Callings and ministries differ in glory, just as stars differs in their brightness. Superior glory easily catches third party’s attention because of its dazzling effects, weight and covenantal force.

The brighter the glory, the hotter the battles the enemy wages against destined men of glory. While light weighted glory attracts less battles, heavy weighted glory pulls great battles. The heavier the glory, the heavier the war.

The bitter truth I must be bold to tell you is that every affliction we suffer “works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”. {2 Corinthians 4: 17.}

Warning: If you have been receiving prophecies, visions and dreams of great and prosperous future, to see the fulfilment you must rise up to serious warfare, on the side of God.

Case Study: Joseph & Jabez & Jesus

The Anointing

Secondly, the anointing stirs up ceaseless war against the anointed. The greater the anointing, the tougher the war the anointed must have to fight. Every man directly anointed with the power and Spirit of God will fight serious battles. If you are one, tighten up the belt for real war with Satan.

What is the anointing?

The anointing is the divine, Spirit given enablement that places a supernatural seal upon you. It is God’s golden Oil that clad a mortal man with the presence and power of the Immortal”.

Why the War?

Because the anointing illuminates and troubles the dark kingdoms by its lighting force and that in turn moves them to envy, fear, anxiety and uneasiness. In counter-move, Satan and his kingdoms declare the ‘dangerous’ and ‘wanted’. The Satanic warlords make declaration of war against you the very moment the Spirit anointing drops on the crown of your head.

The enemy wages war against the anointed ceaselessly, with ever aggravating hostility, purposely to achieve his destructive objectives.

Warning: Never pray for the anointing until you are prepared for war. The anointing is your ‘call up letter’ to battle with devil. Prepare for war the very moment the OIL of God rest upon you.

Case Study: Mighty Samson & King David & Lord Jesus Christ

Study Passages: Judg. 13 – 16; 1 Sam. 16 & 17; Matt. 3: 13 – 4:11

Divine Calling

This third reason for war relates to men and women who bear God’s special calling upon their lives, Are you specially call to liberate your generation like Abraham, Moses and others? Satan is battle ready for you, and you ought to

be battle ready for him. We can be made tougher than the devil by the martial Spirit of the Lord of host.

What is Calling?

“It is a God’s appointment letter, placing you on His heavenly job – His high calling”. “It is a call to partnership with the Creator in His kingdom projects on earth.” Phil. 3:14 says “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” This high calling often comes through spiritual dream, prophetic revelation, or the voice of God.

Winning the prize of high calling

– Winning the trophy of our high callings demands three basics: I). Engaging the Satanic hosts in triumphant spiritual warfare; 2). Maintaining consistent battle focus; 3). Pressing hard towards the mark in accordance to the rules of engagement.

Since the nature of the anointing we received corresponds to the nature of calling we have, the battles becomes greatly intensified when a man has both the anointing and the calling. Examples of Moses, Samson & David

Warning: Failure to press toward your calling bring both defeat and shame. He who is called by God must necessarily walk and work with God to avail in his calling.

Case Study: Abraham, Moses, David, Jeremiah and Peter

Study Passages: Gen.. 12; Exd 2; Jer. 1: 4 – 10; 1st Sam 3: 4-14; Acts of the Apostles & Eph. 4: 11 – 15


The Vision

The fourth reason for life’s battle is vision. He who aims high must prepare to face spiritual forces in high places in hot, ceaseless warfare. Big vision courts big wars.

What is Vision?

Your Vision is “the spiritual insight you gained about the divine purpose,

calling or destiny for your life.” God‘s given inspiration for a man’s purpose often goes in the way of His given gifts, graces and glories. It is by the Holy Spirit you gain insight {vision} into the nature and magnitude of your purpose, & calling.

Satan Will Fight

Satan knew that vision is a vital key to man’s deliverance and triumph from wilderness and wanderings on earth, so he would always fight to achieve three or four objectives: 1) To keep you in the dark/ignorance of your God given gifts/potentials; 2) To make you to bury your talents; 3) To fool you to neglect or be in-difference to your talent/gift; 4) To lead you to majoring in the minor, where you have more than one gift.

Warning: Proverbs 29:18 says “Where there is no vision, the people perish…

Case Study: Joseph, Caleb & Jesus

Study Passages: Gen. 37: 1 – 36; Numb. 13; Josh 13 – 14; Isa. 61

The Mission

Men of great missions are men of great miseries. Ministry is warfare. Active ministry is active war-front engagement. When you step out to do what the Lord is asking you to do, be sure the devil is waiting at the entry point. So be fully prepared for battlefront experiences, for fierce war with anti-anointed forces. Like Nehemiah, be prepared to work with one hand and war with the other.

What is Mission?

Mission is: 1). the acts of translating calling and vision into specific plans that define specific, tangible desired outcomes; 2). “It is an active pursuits of a given mandate, ministry, works or service; a pursuit that brings in practical executions to the vision; 3). It is the outworking of the vision you received; a passionate drive of serving that actualizes your God given calling and vision.

Specificity

– It takes a specific ministerial mandate to accomplish a specific mission. You must be in the knowing of you specific mandate to run a successful mission. Ignorance is sin in this case.

Do you have a divine mandate and message to render to your generation? To accomplish such mission on earth demands seven things: 1) Wisdom divine; 2). Tenacity of faith; 3). Righteous stance; 4). Effectual praying; 5). Audacity of the righteous; 6). Transparent meekness; 7). Outburst of miraculous.

Warning: It takes basic leadership wisdom to plan for and carry out successful missions. Romans 12:8

Case Study: Moses & Nehemiah

.

Anti-Anointed Forces

The anointing draws the anointed to the ‘battles of the anointed’. There are five major anti-anointed forces worth considering. Let’s examine these one after the other:

Anti-Anointed Forces: The Selfs

Self remains the greatest enemy of man. The anointed could be his own greatest foe. Lots of ministers are not only their own enemies, they also invite attacks and criticism by their unbecoming attitudes, which severely aggravate people. Therefore:

Every Christian, especially anointed brethren needs to work on any type of personality problems such as ego, anger, greed, selfishness, anxiety, perfectionism, showmanship, sexual lust and controlling spirit.

What a tragedy that the narcissistic personality disorder is now common among ministers. You need to see how they turn-off people and destroy

their own ministry through arrogance, self-centeredness, fame seeking, and power hunger. Many are too pushy, dogmatic, bloated with self-importance, exploitative, materialistic, manipulative, and insensitive in their mannerism.

What about those with frequent envy of others or who belief that others envy him! These are ministers who must always be center stage and are very jealous and discomfort with situations in which they are not the center of attention.

– Burnout processes begin when we begin to venture to be superman. As it was in Samson’s case, burnout Christians suffer all round dryness – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual exhaustion. It is burnout syndrome that you easily got discouraged, depressed, misbehaving, and critical in spirit.

This is where Samson, Saul and Solomon failed. It is the junction where David, Judas, and Gehazi met their waterloo.

– If the anointed loses the battle here, he can’t win it in others. No forces from the outside can defeat a man who is not defeated by the forces from the inside. The keys to winning the battle of selfs are three: 1. Abdication or dethronement of self; 2. Crucifixion of the flesh; 3. Living and walking in the Spirit.

2. Anti-Anointed Forces: The Beasts

David returned to his shepherding duty after being anointed by Samuel only to be attacked by bear and lion. {1 Sam 17: 34 – 36} Samson was on his way to divine mission when he had cruel war with lion. {Judg. 14: 6} Daniel had an overnight encounter with lions right in their den. Apostle Saul fought with the beast at Ephesus. {1 Cort. 15: 32}

Who are beasts?

Beasts are gospel antagonists, a people who actively expressed opposition, hostility, or antipathy to the anointed and his divine mandate.

Their Characteristics

They attack through accusations and arguments that are usually founded

on little or terribly misrepresented evidence, like Sambalath and Tobiah.

– They often employed quibbling over petty details, offering strong proof of irrelevant points, and making an accusation that cannot be disproved and then claiming that this makes it true.

They antagonize through outright lying or falsification; taking certain facts and so twist them that they are blatantly false when presented. In time they convince themselves that the twisted facts are true.

Gospel antagonist will initiate trouble through aggressive response and are insatiable in their fight against the anointed. He can even lead a campaign of attack on the anointed, with full rage just to destroy him.

Sometimes his anger is guilt-driven (possibly due to some hidden sin, such as an extramarital affair). His antagonism is an attempt to move the spotlight off his own sins and onto another. Therefore the attack is a smoke screen to cover his own moral indiscretions.

Gospel antagonist is selfish in nature, yet he often seize on some spiritual objective, such as the good of the church, and pretend this is what he is fighting for. but his stated reasons for opposition are a ruse for his own hidden agenda. What he really wants is power, control, status, and authority.

Gospel antagonists are for destruction rather than construction, to divide the church and not to pull the people together. They will go to any length and expense to wreak havoc on their targets. As far as these savage wolves are concerned, they are fighting a jihad, a holy war, and the anointed is the enemy. (Acts 20:28-29).

 

Your Eight Victory Keys In The Battles of the Anointed

  1. Battle Readiness: Life is war and your heart is the battlefield. Being combat ready is the best victory key. Be prepared for war through constant training, full arming, total equipping and always strong to engage the foes. ,
  1. Acceptance of War-Fact: You must come to terms that you are in for war the moment you hear the battle cry. God will always communicate the signal long before the enemy launch.
  1. Valiant Entrance: Like David, be the first to launch out in offensive warfare against the enemies. Make a bold push into battlefield and do it with valiant spirit.
  1. Courageous Fight: Be a fiery anointed warrior. Fight the fight of faith courageously. Like Samson, entertain no fear, unbelief, doubt. Like Elijah, take no nonsense, no assault, no defeat.
  1. Unwavering Focus: Just a little meddling with ‘affairs of this life” can usher in defeat. Stay focus, rugged, and resilient. Avoid involving yourself with sin, fleshly lust, or worldliness. Learn from Samson, Saul, Solomon, Gehazi, and Judas.
  1. Tough Fortitude: Develop the enduring virtue that helps you to endure hardness and get tougher in tough times. Real soldiers endure hardness.
  1. Walk Tall The Victory: Learn to walk the victory while you fight the war. Like David, declare your victory aloud to the hearing of your enemies. Declare enemy’s defeat by resounding the Calvary victories.
  1. Sharing No Glory: Never attempt sharing the glory with God when the victory finally comes. Give God all the glory and go out there to testify before the people the wonders He has done.

 

I personally recommend that you also read my book, BATTLES FOR DESTINY. Get your copy here in any eBook formats you prefered: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/582739

Get my books online: All my books are now available in multiple eBook formats, and while some are free, other attract just a token. Get your copies here: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Belovedjohn.

I know you have been blessed. I long to hear your testimony about the impacts of these training series, kindly drop a note for me on this website. You can also call +2348030444780; email: flaminglamps@yahoo.com or josephjohn754@gmail.com

 

THE MEDIA MINISTRY {TMM 206}

A Collection By Pastor John B. Joseph

 

  1. EFFECTIVE USE OF MEDIA IN MINISTRY

Among the many realities Pastors face is the ever changing and increasingly complex landscape of media technology. However, while topics involving pixels, pokes, and podcasts can be daunting, as kingdom builders we are constantly struggling with how we can best use modern media to communicate the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. After all, we live, work, and learn in a very media-centric society, which makes both understanding and effectively using media in ministry critical.

So, how do we describe media methods and technologies in a way that benefits pastors in the context of ministry? Considering the endless diversity found in the worlds of media and ministry, the task is not simple. At the same time, there are several broad ways in which media resources can be effectively harnessed. Consider the following six.

1.   Enhancing the worship experience

  • Perhaps the most obvious use of media technology by local churches has been in the context of corporate worship. Up until recently, technology was used only as needed for tasks such as amplifying voices and lighting a platform. Today, however, we are staring into the face of a culture that seeks after—dare we say, requires—creative and media-rich environments for everything, including worship.
  • This necessitates a shift in our thinking, one that author Len Wilson describes as moving beyond the AV (audiovisual) mentality, defined as “the use of electronic media as an afterthought, an add-on, a value to be added, or something less than an intrinsic ingredient in worship and church life.”1 In other words, we must begin to understand technology as a core element in the process of communicating spiritual messages, an issue somewhat sensitized by our strong views on corporate worship.
  • However, despite differences in worship theology, we are left with the reality of human psychology. In the end, we, as humans, process information and our environment in a number of ways based on factors such as personality, educational background, and social upbringing. In addition, the ways in which we communicate are heavily influenced by the dominant forms of media. And if, as churches, we are to speak the language of our members and modern culture, then our goal centers around finding ways to communicate using modalities that are already familiar to them.
    1. That said, the first step is to equip the church with efficient, yet professionally installed media systems. Audio mixers that can handle the rigors of worship style versatility, properly installed speakers, video projectors that are bright enough to handle the amount of light in the room, and the ability to capture both audio and video are a few examples of the basic tools every church needs to create a culturally relevant worship environment.
    2. If that sounds cost prohibitive for some local churches, the great news is that the digital revolution has allowed technology prices to plummet during the last ten years. Consequently, there are legitimate media solutions available for any size budget and the best way to determine what is right for a particular ministry is by working with a skilled consultant. In the end, there is nothing worse than “media-rich” done poorly. Not only does it frustrate those in the congregation who already have reservations about media, but it can actually detract from the message rather than enhance it. Find a consultant with industry expertise and their fee will more than pay for itself in the long run.

 

2.   Branding the local church

A second way in which a local church can use media effectively includes creating and communicating its unique identity. The advertising industry refers to this idea as branding. While the concept may seem out of place in a religious environment, churches that impact their culture have not only understood, but are fully embracing concepts of organizational branding.

From a practical standpoint, branding begins with a thorough analysis of what makes a local church unique (based on history, location, and beliefs among other factors). Cooke suggests the following four questions to guide the process: (1) what’s the point (why are you doing this)? (2) Who are you? (3) What are your gifts and talents? (4) What makes you different? The ultimate goal of the branding process allows one core identity or one core story to emerge, which will define the unique identity of the local church, communicating its mission clearly to both its congregants and community.

How do the media play into this? In this context, we understand media to be more than just technology. In the end, media comprises any channels or intermediaries of communication, and the goal of branding is to tell the same story using as many of them as possible. To that end, effective use of media in branding includes—but is certainly not limited to—the creation of a meaningful logo; standardizing all printed materials on an agreed upon set of design elements; redesigning bulletins, newsletters, and Web sites to reflect the brand; and an ongoing commitment to tell your story using the highest quality standards available to you.

3.   Communicating with the congregation

Yet another use of existing media channels is in effectively communicating with the congregation. Many local churches fail to create the critical message necessary for ministries, special events, and organizational change to be successful—due mostly to poor communication methods.

  • While corporate communication includes dozens of applications, the best place to begin is with a well designed and regularly updated Web site. An increasing number of parishioners are leaning on Web sites as a main point of connection to their local church, mainly because it coincides with their increased use of the Internet for reasons such as paying bills, looking at weather forecasts, and spending time on social networking sites.
  • Though obvious to many that in today’s environment a church Web site is no longer optional, what does not appear so obvious is the value of what is called Content Management System (CMS) Web sites. Most church Web sites become irrelevant within a few days because of outdated material. More than likely, the Web site was built (coded) from scratch by a well-meaning parishioner who now struggles to find the time to rewrite the code necessary for updates or who has dropped the project altogether.
  • A much better alternative, especially for small to mid-size churches, is a CMS site that simplifies design and updates to the level of low-level word processing. In addition, the process takes place online, which means that the Web site can be updated from any computer with an Internet connection. Recommended resources in this area include Wix, WordPress, and denominational offerings such as NetAdventist and Church Connect. All are based on CMS technology and offer turnkey, as well as customizable, templates for a broad range of applications.
  • One additional way to communicate with the congregation using media platforms is by creating digital signage. A common way to do this is by utilizing existing projection screens to advertise upcoming events and important messages prior to and following worship services. More and more churches are also installing small, flat panel monitors in hallways and other heavy traffic areas that stream in-house advertising content to people making their way across the church campus. It is not rocket science, but another effective way to connect people to the church’s life and mission.

·       Extending the congregation

  • Perhaps one of the most powerful aspects of digital media lies in their ability to extend the reach of ministry beyond the walls of the church. Weekly attendees are, in reality, only a fraction of a much larger “congregation” who are accessible via media technologies.
  • In order to maximize these opportunities for extending the size and scope of the local church’s ministry, there are some key elements that must be in place. First is the ability to capture (record) audio and video, which ensures that the church can share its worship services and education and music programs with those not able to attend. This is mostly done by transmitting (streaming) the content on the Internet, offering shut-ins, traveling members, church shoppers, and others a guaranteed seat in your auditorium and a globally accessible connection point to your church. Again, as mentioned above, this type of technology is no longer only for those with large budgets. A qualified consultant can offer a number of cost-effective, high-quality solutions for any size church.
  • A second key element is having the ability to duplicate the content produced. Caution must be taken with respect to copyright law, especially as it relates to music and video clips. For details, consult CCLI and CVLI, two organizations created to help churches manage copyright law. That said, there are again many options for duplicating both CDs and DVDs, most of them fully automated and priced very modestly.
  • Third, the church must have a way to archive programs—especially sermons and messages—online. The ubiquitous nature of online video content both necessitates that churches contribute to the cultural discourse in this way and encourages church leaders that, indeed, a fast growing audience online does exist. Solutions in this area range from free YouTube channels, to CMS Web sites offering the ability to upload audio and video files, to a complete in-house system. Note that the goal focuses on making the life of the church and the messages presented inside its walls accessible to as many people as possible using as many points of connection as possible.
  • Fourth, a local church must invest further into the development of its Web site, which is the primary way in which most people first connect with a local church. In fact, it is quite common these days for churches with robust and media-rich Web sites to attract full fledged members who live abroad or in situations where church attendance is limited. In the end, the Web site should function as a comprehensive hub of information and resources, ensuring that the online congregant becomes fully connected to the life and mission of the church. Additionally, Web sites that are easy to navigate and have language in which denominational and in-house lingo is minimized, create an inviting atmosphere for those looking to connect with a local church.
  • Finally, in the twenty-first century, any attempt to extend the congregation beyond the walls of the church is incomplete without the use of social networking technologies. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and dozens of other online applications have attracted hundreds of millions of people essentially looking for one thing: community. This deeply human desire clearly dovetails with the Christian church’s calling to provide meaningful community. It follows then that every local church would find it beneficial to have an online presence on the major social networking sites, if possible. The power of social networking is in its viral nature and within a few days of launching, a local church could have several hundred followers or fans, most of whom have never stepped foot through its physical doors.

5.   Proliferating the message

  • Arguably, the primary mission of any Christian church is to spread the gospel message of Jesus Christ. That said, no other moment in history has offered as many possible channels for that message to travel through into the hearts and lives of people everywhere. It is also true that the Christian church has used media technologies since their inception, although not always in the most effective and appropriate ways. Most of these efforts have centered on radio and television, which are still the perceived apex for any media ministry.
  • However, media consumption patterns have changed so much in recent times that it requires a shift in thinking away from the traditional media model to more of a hybrid media model, which gives increasingly more weight to emerging media platforms such as the Internet and mobile technologies. Within this model, pastors are encouraged to stop dreaming about “getting on television” one day, while realizing that millions of media consumers are acquiring their information from nontraditional sources.
  • Consider only one of many ways of proliferating the gospel message without expending enormous amounts of money. Assuming that the church has invested in audio or video production capabilities create a podcast that will appear in the global iTunes directory free of charge. Several online companies will aid you in the process and some CMS-based Web sites will automatically publish your media files to iTunes. Choosing tag words (words describing the content) carefully will drive traffic to your podcast. The same process applies to YouTube, the leading video sharing Web site where the church can have its own “channel” to populate with content. More than 100 million people spend time on YouTube every month—a sizable congregation by any estimation. Be prepared for a variety of comments on the content uploaded, not all of it positive; but be encouraged that the messages are being viewed by those who, many times, need to hear them most.

6.   Becoming a Global church

  • Finally, one of the most effective uses of media by a local church is in becoming a resource-generating church. A relevant model is found in London, England, at the All Souls Church, where prolific author John Stott is rector emeritus. At some point in its history, All Souls decided not to become a large church but a world church. In other words, the success of the local church would be measured by its influence rather than its size. Without a doubt, through the ministry of Stott and others such as Rico Tice, creator of the Christianity Explored study curriculum, All Souls has truly become a world church whose influence benefits millions around the world.
  • In order to accomplish this ambitious goal, pastors first need to reframe their ideas about the shelf life or the scope of a sermon or sermon series. Many times, sermons are preached once, only to be resurrected years later when the pastor takes another assignment. Rather, consider the possibility of packaging every sermon on a CD or DVD for distribution. This works exceptionally well with a sermon series developed around a topical theme or the study of a biblical book. Next, consider turning several of the best series into curricula, complete with study guides, DVDs of the sermons, and an accompanying book. Advertise the resources on your Web site, in Christian or denominational magazines, and introduce them to managers of local book stores. Now we are beginning to use media in productive and effective ways.

A clarion call

Any media-related project should be taken on with an absolute commitment to quality. Packaging the gospel message in the age of aesthetics requires Christian communicators to be creative, intentional, and to give great attention to detail. After all, the message of Jesus Christ is worth our energy and creativity.

B.    BUILDING EFFECTIVE MINISTRY TEAM

Pastor John sat at his desk frustrated and discouraged. In the past several months he had been working with the board and the Christian education committee to form a new after-school program for children as a community outreach. When he first mentioned this idea, it was met with enthusiasm and approval. Even though the church was small, it had always had a strong children’s ministry. People recognized that the church’s future depended on its ability to attract families with children; and, if the church were to do that, it needed a vibrant children’s ministry.

After the initial discussions, however, it seemed that Pastor John hit a brick wall. While people were supportive of his idea he could not find anyone to lead the program. He also encountered difficulty in finding volunteers to run the program. The ones who did get involved could not agree on the structure and curriculum.

While Pastor John had heard about the challenges of staffing and team development in the larger church, he had always thought these issues were irrelevant to the smaller church. But as he sat at his desk he suddenly realized that this was the problem he faced. The difference was that in the larger church the staff developed and ran programs; but, in the smaller church, it required untrained volunteers to develop and run its programs. John was perplexed. How can the smaller church effectively staff its ministry and develop effective teams when it relies on volunteers who might resign at the slightest whim?

The problems confronting Pastor John are not unique. The smaller church often does not have enough people to fill the basic staffing needs that keep the church functioning. Furthermore, especially in rural areas, people in the smaller church are fiercely independent and prefer to work alone rather than in teams. Yet much of church ministry requires people to work together to accomplish common (and biblical) goals and objectives. The challenge for leadership is to develop an effective strategy to fill the staffing needs of the church and equip people to work together to accomplish the will of God.

Staffing the Ministry

When we think of staffing we often think of hired staff. In the smaller church, however, the staff is volunteers who give their time and energy to the work of the ministry. While they may not receive a salary, they are just as critical and valuable as any paid employee. The smaller church cannot function effectively without the volunteer’s vital contribution.

The challenge pastors in the smaller church face is recruiting and equipping volunteers for ministry. To effectively staff church ministries pastors need to use the right methodology in recruiting people. Pastors in smaller churches often approach staffing with the arm-twisting approach. As needs become more critical, pastors increase the pressure on people to become involved. Consequently, people are motivated to sign up out of guilt and duty rather than a passion and desire to serve. The result: People half-heartedly approach their ministry. What the smaller church needs are people who are passionate about ministry and understand its importance. Pastors, therefore, need a recruiting strategy that excites people for ministry.

Recruit to a purpose, not a position

Before pastors ask people to serve in the church, pastors need to clearly answer this question: “Why is this ministry important?” One of the reasons people are reluctant to become involved is the perception that the church is only doing what has traditionally been done. Because the smaller church places a high value on tradition, it can cause people to lose sight of the fact the goal of ministry is spiritual transformation (Colossians 1:28,29). People do not volunteer to build an organization or program (even a church’s). They become involved because they desire to influence, change, and help their friends, family, and neighbors. As pastors seek to recruit people, they need to clearly communicate why the ministry is important, and how it will affect others.

Provide adequate training

People can easily become intimidated in ministry. In the smaller church pastors rely on laity to develop and lead programs. Pastors do not have the luxury of having Bible college- or seminary-trained individuals to develop and oversee ministries. For example, the only training the Christian education director might have received came through teaching a Sunday School class. Even then, his experience may be limited. In the large church people are trained before they are given a ministry, especially if it involves leadership. In the smaller church pastors must often train people after they are placed in ministry. As a result, pastors must develop strategies that provide on-the-job training. Then, when a pastor recruits people for a ministry, he can clearly communicate to them how he will equip them for ministry.

Value both the generalist and the specialist

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul gives an analogy: The church functions as a body. Each part — no matter how small — is equally valuable to the health of the whole body. Paul affirms that each part performs different duties in relationship to its contribution to the body. God has equipped each individual differently, with different spiritual gifts, backgrounds, talents, personalities, and abilities.

Some within the church are generalists. These individuals are able and willing to perform multiple responsibilities or, are gifted in a few areas but are able to exercise their gifts in a variety of ministries. For example, a person may have the gift of mercy. As she teaches the primary class she uses her gift in the classroom to minister to the needs of the children. Others in the church are specialists. They are gifted in a specific area and are comfortable focusing on only one responsibility.

Because the smaller church largely depends on generalists, pastors can easily overlook the specialist, or worse, consider him unspiritual because he is not willing to perform more than one responsibility. On the other hand, pastors can become critical of the generalist because, while he does a number of different tasks, he does not excel in any specific one. The generalist does an adequate job in his ministry, but he never becomes a star. The result is that pastors criticize generalists for being mediocre. Yet both have an important role to play.

Avoid overworking volunteers

When pastors are staffing the church, it is easy to focus on needs rather than on the amount of work people are already doing. In many smaller churches people are heavily involved in ministry. They have a sense of ownership of their ministry and are often performing several tasks within the church. If pastors are not careful, they can manipulate people into becoming so involved that they burn out.

Not only is it the pastor’s responsibility to involve people in ministry, it is also his responsibility to protect people from becoming overcommitted to the point where they neglect their families and other responsibilities. When pastors overwork people, they can burn them out; and, they quit all activities, leaving the church in an even worse position.

Have clear job descriptions

When pastors recruit people to a ministry in the church, it is important to communicate the responsibilities and requirements of the job. By clearly describing what the ministry will involve, pastors aid both the church and the volunteer because they can match volunteers with ministries they are equipped by God to perform. In the smaller church, however, communicating responsibilities is often not done through a formal job description but through informal communication. Nevertheless, pastors need to develop a clear job description even when they plan to communicate it informally.

Job Descriptions

A job description answers the following questions:

  1. What is the church asking the person to do?
  2. What is the purpose of the ministry?
  3. How much time will be required both in preparation and performance of the ministry?
  4. How long will the person be asked to serve?
  5. What are the responsibilities and requirements of the position?
  6. Who is the person accountable to?
  7. What training will be provided and in what areas will the person experience personal growth?

Developing a Team within the Ministry

The challenge confronting the smaller church is not only in recruiting people to serve, but also in developing a sense of teamwork within the different ministries. While people in smaller churches — especially rural areas — are strongly relational, they also are independent and self-sufficient. They tend to be more inflexible in their ideas; and, as a result, when they work with others, they can easily become frustrated when their ideas are not adopted. Yet, God has designed the church to be the ultimate expression of teamwork. Paul makes it clear in 1 Corinthians 12 that Christians in the body of Christ are to function interdependently rather than be independent of one another. The fact God has established a plurality of leadership within the church implies that the church is to function as a team (see Ephesians 4:11–13). While a pastor cannot force people to work well with others, he can provide an environment that fosters teamwork.

Develop the right foundation

Building an environment for effective teams begins with those in leadership. The pastor sets the example. When a church fails to work together, it is possible that the pastor has also failed to work well with others.

A mistrust may exist between pastor and board. Pastors can destroy team development in their church by having an adversarial attitude. The danger of ministerial training is that pastors may develop a sense of superiority. They may begin to equate training and biblical knowledge with spirituality. They view board members as untrained and uneducated in spiritual leadership. Instead of trusting and valuing the board’s input, counsel, and decisions, the pastor begins to question them. When the board rejects the pastor’s ideas, he quickly labels them as rigid, old fashioned, and unspiritual. As a result, the pastor-board relationship begins to disintegrate. Instead of working as a team with the board, the pastor develops an adversarial relationship.

This adversarial relationship can be further exasperated if the board views the pastor as an outsider. Because of a high pastoral turnover and because of the cultural differences that exist when a pastor comes from a different cultural setting, the board does not fully accept the pastor’s leadership. Moving beyond these obstacles and learning to work together for the common good of the church is critical for developing teamwork in the church. If pastors cannot work with the board as a team, they can never expect volunteers in the church to work as a team. The result is a dysfunctional church.

Develop a trusting environment

A church that works together must be built on trust. First, the church must learn to trust God. Effective ministry requires faith. It is easy for the smaller church to become reluctant to take risks because people fear a new ministry might put the church at financial risk. As a result, they focus on maintaining existing programs rather than on developing new ideas. The church, however, needs to recognize that God is responsible for providing it with the resources needed to accomplish His will. The focus of the team should never be, “How can we maintain the program?” The focus should be, “What does God want us to accomplish?”

Second, church members need to learn to trust others. Trust is also critical for pastors. Sometimes it is difficult for pastors to trust people with the ministry of the church. It is difficult to trust their ideas and their methods of doing things. Pastors struggle to allow them the freedom to plan and perform the ministry in the way they think best. Pastors must realize that God entrusts ministry to the whole congregation. In Ephesians 4:11–13, God gives the work of ministry to the congregation. So must pastors. A pastor’s responsibility is not to dictate to his people what they are to do, but to equip them to do the work.

Develop an empowering environment

Along with trust is the importance of empowering people for ministry. Empowering people means giving them the authority to accomplish the task. When Christ sent out His disciples, He not only gave them the responsibility to preach the gospel, but He also gave them authority to fulfill the task (Matthew 10:1–16). It is easy to give people responsibilities but difficult to give them authority — the freedom to set the goals and strategies for their ministry. While pastors provide counsel and direction when needed, especially when the individual is new to a ministry, pastors must also allow them freedom to make decisions. Only when pastors empower people will they develop into effective leaders.

Develop an encouraging environment

In the smaller church discouragement also plagues people’s involvement. When people do not see extraordinary results for their efforts, they begin to wonder if the ministry is worth their efforts. This is especially true when they have attempted to implement new ideas but failed to see positive results.

When a group works together to implement new ministries, especially those designed for outreach, they often develop a defeatist mindset. Consequently, pastors need a positive-based evaluation strategy where they focus on spiritual outcomes rather than on goals and objectives alone. A positive-based evaluation strategy is one where pastors recognize that if God desires to sovereignly accomplish His purposes through them, they can expect God to work unexpectedly. People might consider a ministry effort to be a failure, but God may use it to accomplish His purpose. When people work together to serve God, He will accomplish His will through them, even though they may achieve far different results from those they expected. Consequently, pastors need to reward people for their faithfulness rather than just their achievements (Matthew 25:14–30), for in their faithfulness God achieves His purpose.

Develop a supportive environment

To have effective teams a pastor needs to offer support in three areas. First, he needs to provide adequate resources for ministry. A team will only be as effective as the resources provided. Asking people to develop a youth program without providing financial resources will not only frustrate the team, but will also ensure its failure. Second, pastors need to provide guidance. While pastors should never dictate what needs to be done, they should periodically meet with the team to discuss how the youth ministry is going, what goals they desire to accomplish, and how they will reach them. Third, pastors need to provide spiritual support through prayer and encouragement, ministering to team member’s spiritual and emotional needs as well.

Develop accountability

One of the most difficult aspects of working with volunteers in the smaller church is accountability. Volunteers are less likely to handle criticism, even when it is constructive. Furthermore, in the smaller church, if a person becomes hurt or upset, it reverberates throughout the congregation. Accountability, however, is not the pastor holding a club over the team like a taskmaster, demanding that it do exactly as he says and making sure it achieves the results he desires. Instead, accountability involves loving, supportive oversight that allows the pastor to provide assistance when problems arise.

When Christ sent out His disciples, He reminded them that they were accountable to God for how well they performed their ministry (Matthew 10:28–33). They were accountable not in the area of results, but in their faithfulness to be obedient to God and to be good stewards of what He had given them (see Matthew 25:14–30).

Pastors are to hold volunteers accountable in three main areas. First, volunteers are accountable for walking in biblical obedience. As ministry leaders they are to exemplify Christ in their lives. Second, volunteers are to be faithful to the assigned task. If they are failing to fulfill their responsibilities, the pastor needs to come alongside them and address the issues in their lives that are hindering their ministry. Rather than fire them, help them develop the skills necessary to accomplish the task. Third, volunteers are accountable to uphold the values, beliefs, and vision of the church. While each ministry will have its own vision and goals, these should never conflict with the vision of the church. While volunteers are given freedom in the curriculum, it should never conflict with the theology and values of the church. When it does, the person needs to be reminded of his agreement to teach what is in agreement with the church. If he refuses, then he must be removed. Otherwise, his teaching will bring division and error into the whole congregation.

Get my books online: All my books are now available in multiple eBook formats, and while some are free, other attract just a token. Get your copies here: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Belovedjohn.

I know you have been blessed. I long to hear your testimony about the impacts of these training series, kindly drop a note for me on this website. You can also call +2348030444780; email: flaminglamps@yahoo.com or josephjohn754@gmail.com

 

 

 

THE TRIUMPHANT FAITH {TF 207}

By Pastor John B. Joseph

 A. UNDERSTANDING FAITH

  1. Definitions of Faith

What then is faith? How do we rightly define it?

  1. Faith is your link to God’s supernatural; the ‘electricity fuse” that connects the believer to God’s power house.
  2. Faith is the proof and guarantee of the invisible realities; “the assurance of things hoped for…” Hebr. 11:1-2
  3. Faith is the seed in the womb of hope; it gloriously transforms immateriality to materiality. Mark 11;24
  4. Faith is the pilot of God’s creative might, a dynamic divine force that effect results for the obedient. Gen. 1:1-3
  5. Faith is the rod of trustful walk in the hand of the righteous; by it he walks with God and pleases Him. Hebr. 11:6
  1. Types & levels of Faith
  2. Perfect faith: this is divine and rare. It is a kind of faith that would not faint in the faces of trials, tribulations, and sufferings.1 Jhn 4:18; Rom. 8: 35-39; Hebr. 11:36-40}
  3. Great faith: This kind of faith leaps into the dark, as seen in Abraham. It is sometimes an irrational faith that keeps working in spite of the evidence. Gen. {Matt. 8:10}
  4. Unfeigned faith: this kind of faith lacks any forms of pretense and hypocrisy, being inspired by commitment, loyalty, faithfulness and confidence.{2 Tim 1:5; 1:12-13}
  5. Strong faith: this kind of faith is driven by the evidence. It is also a mountain moving faith.{Mark 11:22-23}
  6. Mustard seed faith:it is a living and growing faith. It begins in seed form and keeping growing until it becomes strong, great and perfect. It is driven by the word of God –{Rom. 10:17, Jms 2: 20-26}
  7. Littlefaith… limits God because it is weak or immature
  8. Saving faith: you have this when you come to the end of yourself, to the dead end of your sinful living and chose to bow at the feet of the Cross, accepting Jesus as personal Lord and Savior. {Eph. 2:8}
  9. Gifted faith: as a spiritual gift. This kind works healing and miracles.

{1 Cot 12:9}

  1. Zero faith: this is a dead faith, being a kind of faith that is inspires by intellectual prowess. It is a faith driven by words and human wisdom rather than deeds and divine power. {Jms 2: 14- 17}
  2. Demonic faith:Apostle James tells us: “demons aslo have faith. In other word, demonic faith is a kind of faith that is inspired by demons and driven by emotions.{Jms. 2:18-26} 
  1. What ignites faith?

Divine revelation, the Word of God, is the fundamental dynamism that kindles faith. How?

  1. Simple trust in God: Trust in God kicks start a life of faith. Before you could believe God’s Word, you must have been holding firm your faith in God, in His faithfulness. True faith is that built on God not on miracle.
  2. The fire in the living Word: faith is kindled by the flame of faith in the heart. The Word of God is an invisible fire, able to produce faith in the heart that catches its pure flame. Built your faith on God’s Word and promises. He cannot lie. Numb 23:
  3. The quickening force of the Word: Faith is giving as foundational structure when the heart is overpowered by quickening power of the Word. By this force faith is formed, fired up and cause to grow. The heart must be absolutely surrendered to this force to birth a living faith.
  4. The voice of God: the voice of God is powerful to provoke and embellish faith to work wonders for all who dare to believe. Obedience to the Spirit voice could set to work the revolutionary power of faith. We hear His voice clearer when in ‘the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.’. There is the need for silence in our closet to hear clearly both His audible and inaudible voice.
  1. How-to ignite your faith

A faith that is ignited by the force of divine revelation need be gradually fuelled to go up in full flames. The world needs men of blowup faith. And it takes pure spiritual devotion to be such men. Let’s briefly examine seven types of devotions we need to cultivate to get our faith fuel for the flame:

  1. Pure devotion in the word: – to be Word-deep is to be faith-filled and Word-changed. More so a Spirit in-depth study and meditation produce revelation encounter and faith Rom
  2. Devotion of love, virtue and holiness: – a life lives holily and in His love will lighting the world with faith.
  3. Devotion of dynamic praying: – a life of consistent praying will be faith torched. This also embraces the devotion of a fasting. When fasting is employed to strengthen praying, faith is powered.
  4. Pure devotional fellowship in the Spirit–association begets revelation, and revelation inspires faith.
  5. Pure acts of ecstatic worship and praise in His presence – spiritual worship releases divine presence.
  6. Devotion of an aggressive soul winner–soul winning opens doors for power demonstration and exploit making. Isa. 61:1-4; Mark 16;15-20
  7. Obedience, forgiveness, patience and longsuffering: 1 Sam. 15:22; Hebr. 10:36; Matt. 6;12; 2 Tim. 2:3
  1. The release of faith- {2 Cor. 4:13; Rom. 4:17}
  2. Your Command: The force of faith is released by spoken word: believe and speak out your faith. For things to happen, you will have to release your faith by speaking forth, command or declare that which you believe in your heart. Mark 11: 22-24
  3. Power Acts: you can as well release your faith by imparting God’s extraordinary presence for the demonstration of the Spirit and power. {Acts
  4. Prayer: when you are in trouble, simply turn to God in prayer. Psm 50:15
  5. Praise & Worship: Spiritual praise and worship could empower you for the release of faith. {Acts 16:25-26; Hebr.13:15;Psm 50:23; Phil. 4: 6.}

THE NEED FOR FAITH

  • Faith embraces grace to save.

Christ offers us the grace that saves, but we can only appropriate the benefits of His grace by faith. In another word, faith must hug grace to make redemption benefits our personal inheritance. Everyman needs faith to appropriate divine promises and benefits such as salvation, healing, deliverance, power and provision, victory, success/prosperity and pleasing God, among others.

  • Faith triumphs over all. {1 Jhn.5:4-5; Jhn 16;33

Faith is the grand key to accessing the supernatural, the great rod by which we walk with and please God, the fuse we switch on to display God’s power for human goodness.

Faith is victory. That means totriumph in your present trouble; faith must be employed as the grand key. Even where life experiences have been that of demanding predicament, faith enables it to dictate your victory and exaltation.

  • Faith Makes A gold of you {1 Pet. 1:5-7}

It’s all trials of faith and with faith you will certainly triumph. Storms, flood and fire are permitted for reasons. And top of those reasons is the refining of your faith in God. And when that is done, you will come become as precious as superior gold.

But you will need to tight up your belt of faith to still those tempest, cures the illness, and secures the victory. With the shield of faith, you will calmthe raging storms that are beating against your life, quench the fiery furnace and close the mouth of lions.

  • Faith Makes an Hero of You {Hebr. 32-40}

Another reason for us to tight up is this: It is our time to join the throng of the triumphant. Only faith is the prerequisite to get your name on the roll. If you can only make your heart a home of golden faith, you will walk with God and please Him. Also, you will access your God given promises/heritage, if you dare ride on the wings of faith for exploits making. Tight up! It is your time to make history.

Except the present day believer rises in the arm of faith and tight up for exploit making mission, the universe will drown into deeper darkness. We need to take up faith to reveal God’s supernatural and change the World again, we need it be become faith mentor to the upcoming generation, and faith hero to the next. You and I can make another register of faith heroes, in the order of the Biblical champions!

When Faith is ignited

Faith ignition happens when revelation, and not reason, is in place. When revelation is birthed, faith is ignited for action, and wonders of triumphs follow it.

Let’s briefly examine the feats of an ignited faith:

  1. Ignited faith inspires the passion for courageous drive: the ignition of faith sets passion ablaze, and thereby instilling needed courage in the heart. Courage is the nerve of active faith, the nerve that provokes brave resolution and decision not to give up, in spite all.
  1. Embolden you to go through tough times: Evil days may reign for the night, but not beyond the night. With the morning always comes the joys of light.be embolden, your hour of darkness will soon be over past.
  1. It alerts the heavenly: faith is the only voice that alerts the heavenly throne of your needs and crisis. Sound the trump of faith today and alert the heavenly for your remembrance.
  1. Stirs God’s arm to action for you: by the power of ignited faith we move the arm that made heaven and earth to work on our behalf. Faith is one thing cannot fail to honour. God honours faith!
  1. It gives the victory: ‘Faith is the victory’, says the scripture. Ignited faith gives the victory; by it comes the spirit of triumph. The victorious faith is the spirit of testimony.
  1. Sets dying faith ablaze: Ignited faith is contagious; it spreads to others and releases the flame that roasts their fears and unbelief. The ignition of faith is communicable in effects.
  1. Fills the mouth with songs of triumph: a rapturous song of praise and thanksgiving follows every feat of faith. New song melody and triumphant procession are its natural response.

Peculiarity of Ignited Faith

  • It is firm- it is such a strong, tough and resilient faith that doesn’t give-up or give-in in the face of daring storms. David’s and Jonathan’s faith was great and solid.
  • It is pure – it is a wholesome and unsullied faith of pure devotion. Such was Daniel’s and the three Hebrews faith.
  • It is radical – Elijah’s, Nehemiah’s, Peter’s and John’s faith was of revolution kind. Radical faith is bold, outspoken, and sometimes aggressive.
  • It is volatile–volatile faith is fierce and could be as forceful as to go passionate, explosive and violent. Such was the faith of Moses, Joshua and Stephen

THE LIVING FAITH

Faith could be full of life or of death. While living faith is vigorous, dead faith isn’t.Life is the nerve of faith, not death. Life is what gives vigor and motivation to faith. Living faith is that which is full of life and vitality.

It takes real life and vitality for faith to be firm, pure, radical and volatile. Yet for faith to be a living type it must have the Living God as its fountain-trust.

The Faith Fountain

The fountain of faith is what gives it either life or death. When God is your trust, your faith comes alive, and if He is not, you drive by a dead faith. We saw this on Mount Carmel. The ‘great faith’ of the prophets of Baal produces no results because it wasn’t living rooted in the living LORD but in death idols, whereas Elijah’s faith produces result that shook the Nation. {I Kings 18}.

And how do we have God as the fountain? We are to make Him the faith-fountain by means of two basic values: one, by the power of divine covenant and two, by the force of divine revelation.

Note that while the Calvary instructs the Covenant and encourages relationship, the Word unveils the revelation.

Spiritual devotion empowers men of faith and triggers theirfaith.

 

Values of Living Faith

  1. Growth: Living faith grows like mustard seed. It is a consistent, dynamic growth. ‘CHANGE’ is the nature of any living faith. It isn’t the measure of faith that gives it this productive power; it is the spirit of life in it.
  1. Potency: the faith alive is vigorous, pushing, energetic and forceful. It enables men of faith to drive with courage and do valiantly.
  1. Covenant: It provokes relationship, fellowship of the Spirit and communion with God. It is by this communion that revelation and friendship is born.
  1. Revelation: living faith is driven by the force of revelation, and not reason. Reason is the way of living by sight; it prides itself in human intelligence. But revelation is the pilot of faith. Revelation is the link between man and the supernatural; and only men of true faith dare to act on what God says or reveals for divine wisdom often makes no sense to the humanly intelligent. Understanding divine truth and operating His wisdom therefore is the key to the triumphing of faith.
  1. Miraculous: faith that is alive will produce miracle, signs and wonders. Being connected to the Almighty God, living faith is result oriented. It can heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons, still storms of life, over rule force of nature, move mountains, and do any impossibility.

Revelation versus Reason

  • Revelation is from above, reason is from below
  • Revelation glorifies divine wisdom,   reason magnifies human intelligence.
  • Revelation is driven by faith, reason is powered by sight

Men of Active Faith

To be productive, the faith that alive must be active. Active faith is sparked by four major forces: divine revelation, covenant promises, prayer and fasting, and the Spirit Anointing. On the other hand, inactive faith could be sparkled by the lack of any of the four. Let’s examine certain lessons from the Biblical men of active and inactive faith:

  1. Men of active faith stand firmly on divine revelation and promises. They are moved only by the word. We saw this in Joshua/Caleb versus the ten spies in Num.13:26- 14:10. While the ten spies based their evil report in sight and human reason{by which they were plunged to fear and unbelief, and later persuaded Israelites to the same}, Joshua and Caleb stood divine covenant promise to persuade the congregation to faith and possession. It takes active faith to make such faith declaration as they did: Numb.13:30 as against13: 31-33&14:6-10

 

  1. Men of active faith have God as the object of their faith. In Elijah Versus 450 Prophets of Baal, both sides actually had faith. You may argue against the fact that those 450 Baal’s prophets had faith, but that was the truth. They had faith though it was placed in a dead god. On the other hand, Elijah’s faith worked for him because it was a faith in the living God. This implies that the object of our faith also determines its success or failure.{1Ki. 18: 22-40}
  1. Men of active faith are those given to prayer and fasting. This was clearly seen in Jesus versus the nine disciples. Jesus had gone up the mount of transfiguration with his three inner circle disciples and left the remaining nine at the mountain foot. By the time they came down, they met the nine amidst ‘great multitude’, lost in the crisis of inactive faith. Jesus had to rebuke them for their faithlessness and came to their rescue. He later told them the reason for their failure: lack of prayer and fasting. {Read the story Mark 9: 14- 29}.
  1. Men of active faith are anointed valiant. Think of David, the anointed valiant. In his fight with the Goliath of Gath we see the activeness of faith when anointing is burning. The 17 year old David became so courageous and in his aggressive attack on the experienced Philistine warrior.{ 1 Sam. 17}
  1. Men of active faith are exploit makers
  2. Men of affliction endure sufferings and persecution
  3. Men of active faith are faith blazers
  4. Men of active faith are cheerful revelation givers
  5. Men of active faith are proud world turners

  

 B. THE REVOLUTIONARY FAITH

The concept of social-spiritual revolution isn’t new to the Christian faith. Both the O.T and N.T propagate and promote it.

In brief we shall be considering this ideology of revolutionary faith under the following seven headings:

  1. Revelation Radicalism: As typified in God’s revelation to Abel, Enoch and Noah.
  2. Covenantal Radicalism: as exemplified in covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
  3. Supernatural Radicalism: as revealed in Moses-Joshua’s life and ministries.
  4. Martial-Majestic Radicalism: as demonstrated in the ministries of Judges, and Kings of Israel, especially Mordecai, Samson, Gideon and David, Daniel, Nehemiah, Esther, etc.
  5. Prophetic Radicalism: as proclaimed by the ministries of Biblical prophets, e.g. Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. The faith of the prophet seems to be operating the revolution posture
  6. Messianic Radicalism: As illustrated in the life and ministries of our LORD Jesus Christ.
  7. Apostolic Radicalism: as proven in the life and ministries of the early Apostles.

 

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