From Wednesday, November 29, through Sunday December 3, 2023, Rev. Olu Johnson, the General Overseer of Great Commission Bible Church will play host to fellow ministers from within and outside his Church in a twin event of the annual Convention of the Church and an impact making Ministers’ Conference.
PTL News was with him while preparations were in top gear for the great annual events. He spoke about the conference, his Church and other salient issues that affect the church which the conference would be out to address.
The Ministers’ Conference has Climbing Ladders to the Top in Ministry as the theme and it holds on Thursday 30th November and Friday 1st December, 2023 at 9.00 am., featuring Impact Driven Church, Winning Church Growth Battles, Leading Your Ministry to Exponential Growth and Money in Ministry.
The Church Convention begins on Wednesday 29th November through Sunday 3rd December, 2023 featuring Morning and Evening Sessions. Evening session begin at 5.00pm, and Morning Sessions at 9.00am. The programmes hold at its sprawling edifice, the Grace Cathedral Building of the Church, 16a, Olayiwola Street, New Oko Oba, Lagos.
Explaining the background to what gave way to the themes of the conference and the convention, the cleric was of the view that “ministers of God should understand the peculiarity of this season and should not be taken by surprise. That is why a conference like this becomes very necessary.”
He is therefore combining all the instruments in his arsenal and network of connections to bring together ministers of God across various Church backgrounds and denominations in the two-day Ministers Conference and the Church convention.
While the Church convention holds between Wednesday and Sunday, the Ministers Conference comes within on Thursday and Friday.
Throwing more light on the conference the generational minister disclosed that the conference would centre on four major areas which he listed as Impact Driven Church, Winning Church Growth Battles, Leading Your Ministry to Exponential Growth and Money in Ministry.
According to him talking about Church growth is beyond thinking of numerical growth, but growing and nurturing an impact-driven Church. He explained, “We want to explain to ministers of God that we have different grace to run our different race; that ministry is not about rat race or competition. We have different dimensions of grace to run our race and ministerial challenges.
“We have also noticed that the faith of many pastors are getting weaker these days, and we want to address those issues affecting and disturbing ministers of God in this generation. Then we will discuss the issues of money in ministry. It is a loaded package.”
Dr. Olu Johnson, the leader of UGCAN is not oblivious of ministers coming to such a programme without going back to make impacts in their lives and ministries, on this he said, that is why we need to commit everything to prayer.
“We are conscious of this and we are expecting a conference that will have a long lasting impact in the lives of the participants. It may interest you to know that we have our praying team on the ground ahead of the conference. We pray here between 12noon and 1.00pm each day. We want God to open heavens and make it a conference with great impact and not just like any other conference.
“There is going to be great impartation of grace and heavy presence of God. It is not going to be a business as usual,” he assured, adding that “there will be practical teachings in the spirit and letters of the gospel. So we want all our ministers to come prepared and ready for the feast of the word of God. It is a word banquet and every participant will be fed soul and body.”
Succession and Church Leadership
Asked about the recurring issue of succession and generational shift in the church, and why the Church is not giving this a very strong attention, the cleric explained that succession is one issue that the Church must understand that Church leadership is of God and not by any human calculation.
He said, “Priesthood is established by God. There could be what is called the Aaronic order of ministry where priesthood could be hereditary, but in another breath ministry may not be necessarily hereditary but by God’s divine appointment.
“I believe there is a special way God raises leaders, and men after His own heart. What is important is to do things in the plan of God. Ministry may not be hereditary and there must be succession plans.
“We discover that ministries that have good succession are mostly arranged by God not by human calculation. It is achieved through leadership training, good conduct and understanding. After Moses came Joshua, not necessarily of blood relations, Elisha took over after Elijah, but it was not so after Eli and Samuel despite their exploits as prophets, and because their children did not follow their footsteps.
“In the orthodox Churches, nobody can come and inherit priesthood, but it is different in Pentecostalism. Pentecostalism is by the spirit and not by stereotyped organizational system. But one thing that should be known is that many of the Pentecostal churches are in their first generation of leaders, and therefore they need to create a system of succession into their administration. They need to take succession very serious because if a church does not make the best use of succession it may destroy the long record of service of the Church founder.
“Why some people are of the opinion that the founder’s family should take a pride of place in succession plans is that in most cases, it is the family of the church planter that suffer most in the growing years of the ministry, and when the founder leaves members of his family should continue to lead the church. Yes, but this needs thorough planning. An old leader must be very sensitive of the plans of God regarding what happens in his ministry after him.
“Succession is very important in ministry. Vision in ministry is like DNA. One is never like the other. It is like our finger print. It is one thing a leader chooses who succeeds him, it is another that the successor is able to follow the vision through. So we must allow our succession plans to be directed by the spirit of God not by human calculations.
“The church should not insist on the notion that the child of a founder must succeed the father except if such a child is called, trained and prepared for such responsibilities with proven testimonies. A successor must be able to take the ministry to the next level. The Church of God must also begin to teach succession plans while leaders must not shy away from talking about succession in their ministries. If not well handled it may bring confusion and affect the work of ministry if proper arrangements are not made.
“I also believe that Church must encourage strong teaching on discipleship. Ministers of God should never stop learning and training, and leadership should go from one level to the other. Consistent and continuous training will rejuvenate the Church. We should not allow Holy Spirit to die or remain stale in the lives of our ministers. The fire must be kept fresh and burning at all times, and this can only be achieved by consistent and conscious training in the presence of God.”
Dr. Olu Johnson also harped on the need for ministers of God to train their children. He noted, “It is true that we are in GenZ age, and we should not allow the devil to use this as an advantage to snatch our children away from God. If care is not taken, if the children are not properly groomed, they will introduce strange things into the church even when we place them in leadership positions. We must teach them about the culture of the spirit. The spirit has its culture. We need to take note of the culture of the spirit. Children are presently the target of the devil and we as ministers should keep our eyes on them.
Dr. Olu Johnson is also the National President of the United Global Christian Association of Nigeria (UGCAN), and UGCAN is jointly organizing the conference with the Great Commission Bible Church. UGCAN is one Christian leadership organization inherited by Dr. Olu Johnson right from the days of its founder, the highly revered Archbishop Abraham Oyeniran of blessed memory, and the late Archbishop Michael Fadeyi.
On this Dr. Olu Johnson said, “UGCAN was founded by faithful fathers with passion for soul, crusade, evangelism and oneness of the body of Christ. The founding fathers pursued their mission without ambition, but with love, revival and soul winning. What I can say now is that we are rebranding UGCAN and we thank God that members are coming together as one. In our last meeting we have members, old and new coming to enjoy the fellowship like the days of the founding fathers. We hold the meeting on every last Tuesday of the month here featuring word impartation, prayer rain, a kind of fellowship that would last ministers for a month, before we break into our meetings.
“We also have programmes like our annual conference, and our annual banquet, which we hold to encourage peaceful and loving homes for ministers of God. We come here to talk about marriage, and its peculiar issues with ministers of God and their families, we share knowledge and ideas, we eat together, pray together, and pray for ourselves the way we don’t have it in our various churches and ministries, we relax, and it is always a time to rejoice and celebrate family.”
Welcoming all members of the public to the convention, Dr. Olu Johnson assured that all things were ready for the pleasure of participants, promising free launch, and free accommodation for Pastors coming from outside Lagos State. Other side attractions include Jesus Market where beneficiaries will be buying materials at cheap and take way prices. The materials include clothes, quality items, and food items. We want people to come and buy cheap materials and whatever is raised will be taken to the less privileged.”
Expected to lead teachings and discussions at the Ministers’ Conference are Rev. Sunday Akingbelure, Rev. Sunkanmi Obisesan, Apostle Sunday Iyi, Rev. Wale Akinrounbi, as Archbishop Isaac Nwoji joins them for the Church Convention which has Covenant Keeping God as the theme. Ministering in music are Nifemi Mofofayo and Evang. Tope Alabi. All programmes hold at the Grace Cathedral headquarters of the Great Commission Bible Church, 16a, Olayiwola Street, New Oko Oba, Lagos State. The programmes will also be shown live on Social Media.
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