Pastors in Nigeria and the world over have been told to go and prepare themselves and the Church of God for the great harvests that would come after the Coronavirus global pandemic.
Giving this advice in an online retreat put together by Pastor Sam O. Salau was
Rev. Henry Obialor the Mission Director of Foursquare Gospel Church.
Rev. Obialor speaking on Stablising Your Church Membership During the (Covid-19) Lockdown in the special Ministers Online Retreat was optimistic that the post Covid -19 era would be a period of bountiful harvest for the Church and ministers of God should prepare themselves fully for the post Covid-19 period.
“The post Covid -19 era of the Church shall be a period of great harvest for the Church. This is because with the coming of Coronavirus all other things have failed the people. So it is very natural and expected that the people would come back to serve their God.”
“The Church should therefore prepare for the coming of more souls. Covid-19 has opened our eyes to see what the world would be after rapture. It should be an instrument of evangelism. I believe the Church will still retain 100% of its members after the pandemic.
“Pastors all over the world must prepare themselves for the post Covid -19 Church for the change it would bring. It will be totally different from where we are coming from.”
On what to do to prepare themselves for the harvest, Rev Obialor submitted that the pastors of the Covid-19 era must be full of knowledge and know about all that happen around them from their immediate environment to the global scene.
“You cannot pastor a Church where you are not ahead of your members in knowledge. Post Covid-19 is going to be an era of all round knowledge, and one area to look towards in the cyberspace. There should be help for ministers of God that are still behind about cyberspace. Every pastor should start reading.
“All that happened during the lockdown has revealed a lot of things of what to expect after the lockdown. Online service has taken over. There is now the need for every Church to have a very strong presence in the cyberspace. It goes beyond the four walls of our Church. It attracts membership and participation globally. The Church needs to understand a better use of modern technology for communication most especially the use of the social media, and more technological advancement is still coming and I believe they would make our ministers better than they used to be.”
Another advice offered to church leaders and ministers of God during and after Covid-19 lockdown was on the area of caring and hospitality. “The lockdown has shown that as much as our pastors need attention Church members were the ones expecting the pastor to ask of them during the lockdown. “Pastors should have constant touch with the members of their Church. Pastors should try as much as possible to put a call to their members at least once in a week.
“We should also know that the pastors that keep in touch with their members during the challenges of the lockdown will retain their members after the pandemic. If you don’t touch them now don’t expect them back after the lockdown.”
The man of God also pointed out that providing help should not be in the area of financial or material provision alone, but also in provision of moral and emotional supports.
“It is a time to use positive words and messages. It should be a time for messages of assurance, messages of recovery and messages of restoration. It is a time to build hope and assurance. We should build people’s courage, say it and confess it. It is not a time to preach message of condemnation or rejection. It is the members you encourage to weather the storm today that you will see tomorrow.”
Rev Obialor also told pastors not to be discouraged by not opening the Church for congregational service but to increase emphasis on house fellowship.
He said, “We must not forget that church growth started from house to house in cells. So the pandemic is to restore the Church to the original house fellowship. Pastors should also be very active in training more ministers and leaders to handle the surging members to come.
“In the post Covid era of the Church, pastors must be ready to stand by the members especially those that have been traumatized by the lockdown. After the lockdown many people would lose jobs, there could be set backs, there might be lack, and it is the responsibility of the ministers of God to ensure that their members bounce back from economic and social challenges.
“Therefore it is a period to preach total message in business investment helps and the pastors should be available to help members with prayers counselling and sharing of the message of hope.
“A lot of businesses are dead now, palliatives are good but let us think of lasting post Covid 19 palliative. The Church should be prepared to lift up their members.
In conclusion, Rev. Obialor reminded Christians and the Church of God in general that the coming of Covid 19 is a phase and “it is phasing out. “The problem will soon end” he assured but charged pastors to roll up their sleeves and prepare well for the post Covid-19 harvest.”
Thanks for reading this. Please like it, comment and share this story. Also follow Julius Adegunna, and PTL News on our Social Media handles.