The Methodist Church of Ghana has charged Christians to be obedient and be prepared to sacrifice when called to ministry.
The church made the call during the Second Anniversary Lecture of the Northern Accra Diocese on the theme “The impact of sacrifice and obedience on ministry.”
Speaking at the lecture in Accra on Wednesday, the Former Bishop of Tamale Diocese, Right Reverend Dr Nathan Idrisu Samwini said that in taking up ministry, one would have to give up a lot of things in order to work as a minister.
“We do not have to kill someone but we definitely have to kill the self-driving force within us, that is why in the Methodist Ministry we say a person is called to the ministry,” he said.
“To make any impact in the ministry we must be prepared to sacrifice, we must obey God who owns and calls us to ministry and we must obey the church which is the agent through which God acts and sends us out,” he added.
However, according to Rt Rev Samwini, there were several reasons why sacrifice and obedience in the ministry were no longer attractive and were nearly untenable.
“The church now recruits persons for the ministry with very little time to scrutinise candidates for the ministry so people come with their agendas into the ministry and are pursuing same; not necessarily what God expects them to be nor the church directs them to do,” he stated.
He also said the church had itself become too lenient and overly permissive these days than it used to be, adding that discipline was the hallmark in the church,such that, “You either obeyed or the Superintendent Minister sacked you and report to the Chairman.”
The Bishop bemoaned that, there had arisen contrasting ministries of prosperity which lacked obedience to authority as against the original ministry of sacrifice and obedience.
“The post-modern manner of networking has allowed easy copying of every person from one another, so if the charismatic pastor does not work in the village his counterpart in the Methodist church will also find good reasons not to accept stationing to the rural community,” Rt Rev. Samwini said.
He also emphasised that to claim to be called to the Ministry without the wish to sacrifice and be obedient was like calling oneself a farmer but not ready to weed.
This, he said, would be deceitful to oneself and would, therefore, have no positive impacts on oneself and the society at large.
Rt Rev. Samwini cited Rev. Paul Adu who established the Methodist Ministry in Wa from 155-1964 for his memorable service to the church for which he was still remembered several years after his service.
He, therefore, cautioned that “we should not expect to make any impact in the ministry if we are prepared to sacrifice our pleasure and obey the authority of the church.”
BY FRANCIS NTOW AND ABIGAIL ARTHUR