At retreat, clergy school empowers members to spread gospel
The Anglican Bishop of Ika Diocese, The Rt. Revd. Godfrey Ifeanyichukwu Ekpenisi has reminded his clergy and church teachers that the onus of taking the gospel to people outside the church lies with them.
At the 2020 Clergy School of the Diocese, held at Ibru Retreat Centre, Agbarha-Otor from February 19 to 21, 2020, the Bishop said the choice of the theme: “Anglicanism and Missiology in the 21st Century,” was borne out of his interest to raise disciples for core missionary engagement in their immediate environment, which he said was their first missionary field. He noted that the Anglican Church’s method of evangelism and mode of operation showed that it was truly a missionary church.
Speaking to over 100 clergymen and catechists from Ika Diocese, Bishop Ekpenisi condemned the attitude of some church workers, who make little or no effort to reach out to unbelievers in their areas of ministries.
Highlighting the importance of a soul, the cleric said no physical structure could have equal value as a soul won for Christ and as such, the missionary work of the church does not stop at making someone a church member, but to win souls and disciple them until they are mature to disciple others.
He said Ika Diocese would roll out a programme called Operation 1.1.3 to awaken members’ consciousness on the importance of commission of missions and evangelism. He explained that the programme would help members to reach another person in the next three months.
In his address, the Bishop-elect of Etsako Diocese, Ven. Felix Olorunfemi, said one of the greatest hindrances to evangelism was for the church to invite people and wait for them to come for programme in the church. He urged the ministers to avoid being trapped in the web of present day sensational and emotional messages, which are aimed at giving the people what they want, rather than what they actually need.
He advised the church to be on the move through regular evangelism, education, healthcare and other welfare services that would help open people’s mind to the gospel, saying, “when a church begins to sit, it begins to sink.”
Others who ministered at the event included Ven. Charles Badawusi of Ughelli Diocese, who spoke on how to fund the Anglican Missionary work in the 21st Century. Ven. Jonathan O.C. Adudu of Ika Diocese focused on the challenges facing the Anglican Church in the 21st Century Missionary enterprise, while Ven. Pat Onyeka Okoh of Ika Diocese dwelt on the implementable methods for the 21st Century Anglican Mission.
Also, Ven. Emmanuel O. Agbawe of Warri Diocese spoke on the prospects of the Anglican missionary enterprise in the 21st Century, while Ven. Robert Oziwele of Oleh Diocese message was on the place of discipleship in the 21st Century missionary enterprise of the Anglican Church and the Rector of Ibru Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Ven. Princewill Ireoba, did an exposition of the theme.