Ministers of God have been advised not to subject themselves to the pressure of not meeting their expectations in the ministry.
This was part of the take home from a two-day conference hosted by Bearers of Light Ministry in Igando area of Lagos.
Rising from the conference with the theme Distincting the Nature of Christ as God and as Man, the panel of discussants comprising eminent bible scholars and Christian leaders were of the view that the level of depression suffered by ministers of God these days “are so alarming due to pressure of not meeting expectations,” and they should realize that “there is nothing we are going through that Jesus has not gone through.”
The conference which was the 7th in the series was hosted by Dr. Sam Oyemade, the President of the Mission, with Bishop Abraham Olaleye, the Bishop of The Pentecostal Congregation, Ilupeju, Lagos, Dr. Emiko Amotsuka, of Koinnonia Ministries, Ibadan, Dr. Femi Aribisala, a Lagos based versatile Christian writer and Media Personality, Dr. Kayode Oyedepo of The Miners’ Place, Pastor Jesmiel Ogbe of the Young Disciples Ministry, and Pastor Olaide Odusote of The Integrity Worship Centre, Shagamu as Resource persons.
In their various submissions, they concurred that ministers of God as human beings have their have their struggles and limitations, as the coming of Jesus Christ to the earth had shown, and as His divine nature shows how we could have victory above all the human frailties.
“Jesus came to show us how a weak man can use his divine nature to yield to the Holy Spirit. It may be impossible for us but it is not impossible for the spirit of God.”
They therefore advised that ministers of God should build their ministries within Holy Spirit and the power of God, stressing that “Any ministry you build outside the tendency of Christ is evil and has no reward. We must always key into Christ to reach the standard of Christ.”
In his own contribution, Pastor Olaide accused most men of God of “playing God by trying to do a lot of proving to man,” noting that the anointing is given to serve.
“Ministers of God should not stress themselves with their efforts to prove to the people as if they were the ones performing the miracles. We don’t need all the testimonies to convince the people. It amounts to self-adulation and glorification.
“What brings about faith is the truth about Christ. Jesus never proved his sonship to the devil. Jesus in His earthly ministry all depended on God. Anything we do by ourselves is nothing.”
They also advised that ministers of God needed not to engage themselves in undue competition and rat race noting that “God has no interest in the physical buildings but to serve as a place to gather the saints. We don’t need to glorify God in physical things, but we should rather depend on God.”
In his own contribution, Dr. Emiko Amotsuka, speaking from Dallas, the Unites States of America was of the view that, “We are to live our life to the delight of God, and how Jesus would have loved to do it. We must not jettison good works. That it is not yet happening in our ministry means we need to do more. We should learn of how Jesus used His earthly resources to bring people to the ministry. We should not despise ourselves for what we cannot do.”
To Bishop Abraham Olaleye, “We as ministers of God must decide to know God for Who He is and His message for us and our generation. The Old Testament points us to Jesus and as a covenant to all generations. The Holy Spirit is the revealer of truth. We need to depend on the Holy Spirit to find answers to those questions asked in the scriptures.”
Pastor Ogbe advised ministers of God “not to pursue miracles as if you are the one performing it by yourself. You cannot say you want to do it by yourself or you become a herbalist. We cannot manoeuver God.”
To Dr. Oyedepo, quoting Matthew 7.31 said “By their fruits we shall know them, and the fruits of the spirit are the most important proofs. The fruits without the gifts will affect the rewards. What we need to do is to build Christ in men,” explaining further that “The ultimate blessings are not material blessings but the spiritual.”
Dr. Aribisala in his own submission urged ministers of God to prepare themselves to the need for good works as promised by Jesus Christ, and not to draw the glory to themselves, saying “Anything that gives glory to man is dead work. There is only one person that deserves glory and that is to God. Don’t do things that draw glory to yourself.
Earlier, the panel had agreed in the dual nature of Christ as a man and as God, noting the coming of Jesus to the earth to live as examples to man as well as various works done by Him in the nature of God.
Setting the tone of the discussion, the host, Dr. Sam Oyemade, explained the dual nature of Christ as human and divine with different revelations and explanations.
He noted, “We know Jesus Christ was both man and God, fully like man by conception and birth, flesh and blood. At the same time, He is God incarnate in the fullness of glory, power and grace, even while on earth and till eternity.”
He went further to explain why the subject matter was very important to Christians and ministers of God in particular.
“As ministers and servants of the Lord, it should be important for us to know how to navigate in these natures while carrying out our assignments, identifying things that are exclusive to Christ, those He shared with us, and the ones categorically allocated to us. It is believed this understanding will help us to maintain, and concentrate on our assigned duties and curtail the pressure on our lives in conducting ministry.”
Citing some show of human and divine natures of Jesus Christ, like walking on the sea, which he made Peter to do, the healing of the blind man, raising of Lazarus from the dead, as well as showing the nature of man born by a human mother, and other human virtues.
It was projected that the conference would allow the participants to understand this dual nature, and in effect, “ministry and church assignments would be better approached, responsibility and authority would be respectfully shared to prevent heresies and unnecessary aggrandizement displayed by many ministers, who end up diminishing Christ in the hearts of believers, thereby disconnecting them from the fountain of life who is Jesus Christ Himself,” quoting relevant portions of the scriptures.
Dr. Oyemade also emphasized that the essence of the conference was to have different views and perspectives to the issues raised, saying “We need to draw our authority from the scripture. We must authenticate from the scripture, using the Bible as a library of different books of records different periods.”
He also explained that “It is the Holy Spirit that gives us understanding. We should pray without ceasing. We should pray and ask the Holy Spirit to connect us to the authority in the scripture. Whatever revelation we receive from the Holy Spirit will be authenticated by the scripture.”
The conference was well attended by Christian leaders in Lagos among which were Pastor Taiye Olayemi, the General Overseer of Ever Increasing Anointing Ministry, Igando, Lagos, Pastor James Akanbi of God’s Mercy Revival Ministries, Ikotun, members of Christian Association of Nigeria and leaders from Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria.
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