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The Rt. Rev’d Professor Oladapo Asaju, the Presiding Bishop and Chief Missioner, Diocese of Ilesa, Anglican Communion was one of the guest speakers at the February Apostolic Foundation, End time Mission hosted by a medical doctor turned missionary, Dr. Abiodun Ajayi Majebi where he charged the participants on how to be authentic Christian ministers.

Bishop Asaju who noted with distraught that the world has turned upside down noting that global occurrences now point to the fact that the end of the world was around condemned the way Christians and most especially ministers of God hold the things of God with levity, submitting that in a time like this what the world needs are authentic ministers.

“The world is upside down. The end time is here. With climatic changes, hurricane, desertification, famine, earthquake and unrests everywhere, we need nobody to tell us that we are at the end of the age. When you mess up with the word of God, God has a way of taking care of His own, with a terse reference to the recent earthquake in Turkey.

Facing the ministers of the gospel he added, “Your being in Church is not for entertainment. We are life savers. Stop empire building and build people for God. May I never hear you say my Church. That is the revival we are waiting for, the revival we need.”

Professor Asaju also noted that at a time when the agents of the devil have taken over the church of God and all we hear from the pulpit are prosperity messages, at a time when pride and arrogance has taken over many ministers of God, the message from the pulpit must change.

“I am not saying that prosperity messages are not good but it takes after holiness. Prosperity carried too far is dangerous. In a time like this we are looking for ministers of God with the fruits of the spirit who are ready to walk in the ancient path.

He took the advantage to spell out the qualities expected of people who could be described as authentic ministers of God.

“As an authentic minister of God you must have the following qualities. You must be called by God, you must be sent by God, you must be empowered by God and you must be ready to be disciplined by God.  When God calls you, He disciplines you. To be born again is your admission to Christianity, the beginning of a race is not its success,” he stressed.

The Bishop also expressed worries over the indiscriminate ways churches are being planted mostly by ministers with questionable characters who are not ready to be discipled.

He noted, “It takes 15 to 17 years to take a degree in the university. The medical doctors are well respected and trained because our lives are in their hands. In the same way ministers of God must be well cooked to deal with complex situations.”

Also speaking on discipleship, the erudite Bishop asked, “Who discipled you and who are your disciples? To be trained as an authentic minister of God is to be well discipled.  The child of God who can cast out demons is the authentic minister.

“God wants us to preach genuine gospel. Beware of improvised gospel. Don’t break away from the church with fight, anger or misunderstanding. Don’t be unfaithful with your leaders. Continue to sow as this is the time to connect with the finance of heaven. To be an authentic minister you must be passionate with soul winning.

“To be an authentic minister of God you must be ready to be God’s guinea pig. You must be ready to do whatever God tells you to do however foolish and unreasonable in the thoughts of man, citing the examples of Hosea who was told to go and marry a harlot, Ezekiel and Nehemiah. Peter was chosen as a fisherman to become fishers of men. You must be ready to go anywhere to preach the gospel. Never complain.”

Another quality of an authentic minister according to the cleric is humility. “Humble yourself. Have Christ like humility and be ready to lay down your life for the gospel. Be a moral example. Do what you preach. Don’t entertain the church by saying what they want to hear. Be a fearless voice on the pulpit and in the public space,” asking what has been the impact of the Vice President in the governance of Nigeria under President Buhari?

Other qualities of an authentic minister of God as mentioned by Professor Asaju were “Have foresight about the future and plan for tomorrow, be selfless in generosity, make God your source and go to the original landmark of the gospel, concluding that authentic ministers of the gospel are very scarce and they follow the pattern of original men of God. ”

At the two day conference with Rekindling The Flames of Revival as the theme were Bishop Abraham Olaleye, Rev. Sam O. Boye, Pastor Thomas Ayorinde, Pastor Mrs. Abiodun Ajayi Majebi who presented papers on other relevant topics to the participants.  

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Julius Adegunna, a writer, and publisher of good news and reports. He is also a trainer in Writing and Publishing, a Media Consultant and an Entrepreneur. A 1987 Graduate of International Relations of the University of Ife, (Now Obafemi Awolowo University) with Post Graduate Diploma in International Relations, and Master in Communication Studies of Lagos State University. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

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