CHURCH HEALTH: BUILDING HEALTHY CHURCHES, PRODUCING ABIDING FRUIT
Do you know over the years the Nigerian Church has experienced tremendous growth and expansion in size and numbers? It is so pathetic that the size is nothing to compare with the impact we are making in the society and our communities. We have the largest single gathering, the largest auditorium, we have seen wealth in different dimensions but we are yet to see a changed and Godly society. We have seen various mighty moves of God, miracles, signs and wonders but yet people become more worldly than seeking to please God. Thank God for the mighty move of God over the years and the men that has spearheaded such moves and attained those records, their labour will never be in vain. The church needs to cross to the next phase now having attained tremendous growth in size, influence and numbers, let us move on to “Church health”.
” 3John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth”
This scripture means a lot. Prosperity without health will become suffering. Prosperity must be both for the soul and for the spirit. Have you seen rich people battling with terminal diseases? It is a serious battle that the money cannot win over. Therefore, it is important for ministers and leaders to pay attention to themselves and the flock under them to make sure they are healthy so also the Sheep of Jesus.
Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Like begat like, you can’t give what you don’t have. If you don’t have a happy home, you may be so fluent in teaching it but your people will take after your spirit with time. As we all know that Bible remains the standard and not any man of God, it is time we all return back to sound doctrines, paying attention to details what we do and teach just like Jesus, our perfect example did.
2Timothy 15 – 17 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
God’s expectation of His ministers is huge, because of people they are to oversee. If a building collapses, there is need to check the foundation not the interior or exterior, if the foundation is not healthy, disaster is inevitable.
In John 21 15-17, Jesus repeated a statement for three times: Feed my lambs, tend my sheep or shepherd my sheep, and feed my sheep. Lambs are young sheep, specifically a sheep below one year, it is considered as sexually active and officially a sheep. That talks about infant believers and matured believers are to be taken care of by the shepherd. The shepherd must give instruction, direction and correction to the sheep.
Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
The above verse talks about the job function or the responsibility of a shepherd. How many ministers today are actually shepherds? We have more hirelings than shepherds today. That is why the sheep are malnourished and exposed to dangers. The hireling can abandon them for another assignment without looking back.
John 10:12 – 13 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
We must understand the sheep we shepherd over and know their body temperature (what goes on around them). You must know what to give to them at every point in time, when they need water, when they need food or warmth, when they need to be corrected while going astray etc. Our messages must be balanced (given the sheep a balanced diet), not over emphasizing one aspect than the other at the detriment of the cores values of integrity and character. We must present sound doctrines and produce healthy fruit.
Today, there are so many break away churches and ministries that keep increasing the level of indiscipline in churches today. People find it so hard and diffult to stay under or submit to another man of God to learn, everybody wants to be seen and recognized by people and to bear the name General Overseer (GO), founder etc. The issue of punishment in the church is another case, some people in church are above the law and they can’t observe punishment for wrong doings rather they will take to their heels and break away influencing a number of people to follow them to start another ministry or church. This is an error that must be confronted by setting certain standards.
Another dangerous aspect in the church today is people starting ministry and churches based on Power gifts. Gifts and calling of God are without repentance Romans 11:29. It is very possible for gifts to be operating in a man or woman that has lost connection with God, it is just like an electric fan that is disconnected from the power source, it won’t stop working immediately. That is why for those men of God to keep their membership, they may have to source for fetish power so that miracles won’t stop happening which is the main reason why they are having followers. Once miracles stops, people will go. Their congregation is not looking for great sermons and teachings but what they are after is instant miracle, miraculous breakthroughs, death and destruction of their enemies etc
God gave a promise to his people in Jeremiah 3:15:
Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.
The welfare of the sheep of the Lord is so important to him. He told Peter Feed my Lamb, Feed my sheep. God is calling us back to our first love, let us pay attention to important matters. We have been distracted for so long from the main thing and we are now pursuing shadows. Let the true sons of God arise and hearken to His voice in this perilous times and season.
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