Hello, God’s people. I do trust that this month’s article will be a blessing to you and all God’s children out there, especially church leaders. Here, I will share with you a lecture that God granted me grace to give at the April 2016 WOSEM International Conference.
The central scripture from which the topic is drawn is Matthew 22: 1-14 – which depicts the Christ’s general invitation to salvation to those who are presumed to be ready for it, but was extended to whosoever will receive it when the initial invited guests did not accept the invitation. Further, it is revealed in this picture that at the end of the day, godliness is still required in order to enter be a part of Christ’s feast and everlasting reign. Be blessed as you read.
Going back to the above topic, I’ll begin with a the definition of some of the key words:
The word Role is the part that one plays in a setting. A Leader is a person who directs and guides others. In our case, pastors, evangelists, teachers, prophets, apostles (preachers in general) are leaders. Parents and all people of influence are leaders. Generally anyone who has followership is a leader. Aide is a person who assists or helps. Community is a group that shares common heritage. Such group could be social, religious, work related, etc. Our Community is our church, family, school, working places, etc. Wedding feast in our context is the occasion where Jesus Christ is united with all those who have been redeemed as His brides. This occasion is full of praise, feasting and rejoicing with Christ forever (Rev. 19:4-9).
The general role one needs to play is to do the work of an Evangelist and a Shepherd. The word of the Lord says, how can the people hear unless someone tells them …? (Rom. 10:14)
The late Apostle T.O. Obadare was an example of someone who played this role throughout his life. He went about telling the good news of Jesus Christ to all people, loving people, forgiving people, accommodating people and showing them the way of God. Following this example as Christ laid it down, a leader’s role would be to:
1) A leader must first connect himself or herself with the Father (God) in order to constantly receive the right message for the bride-to-be (the church). Jesus always did this, so should we (Mat. 14:23; Mark 1:35; Lk 6:12). As helpers, we do not only need to pray as a part of our preparation, we need to pray after each teaching so that birds of the devil will not steal God’s words away from the hearts of the hearers.
Paul prayed for the church – Ephesians 1:15-20
2) Encourage them never to take the invitation lightly (Matt. 22: 5), setting their mind on the occasion – because He who will come will come and will not tarry (Hebrews 10:37). Therefore there is need for to focus on the future glorious celebration.
3) Give them constant reminder in your sermons and admonitions, till they understand the nature of the garment (Ephessians 4:11-13) that is needed and that the wedding feast will be soon.
4) Inform and remind them of the strict dress code for the wedding feast – which is righteous acts of saints (holiness), without which one would be disgracefully thrown out of the feast (Matt. 22: 11-14; Rev . 19:7-8).
5) Remind them of the need to buy their wedding feast attire in advance (tomorrow maybe too late) and try it on before the day. That is, keep practicing holy living before the Lord comes to take His own (Romans 12:1-2).
6) Teach them not to disregard the messengers (Luke 16:23-31) (ministers of God) who brings the words of invitation – in order to avoid God’s wrath (vs. 6-7).
7) Let the Community know that God can invite orders to replace anyone who refuses the initial invitation (9-10).
(8) Be ready to bear the costs and sacrifices of leading.