There is one organization in this country that has achieved the reputation for introspection. That organization is the Church (with a capital ‘C’), otherwise known as the body of Christ. I do not know for how long this exercise of self-examination will go on, but as one Christian said on radio recently, Christians, especially the pastors and prophets, are turning away potential admirers of the religionmore than the numbers they are attracting through prophecies, miracles and so-called deliverance sessions.
A thorough survey has convinced the Board and management of Challenge Enterprise of Ghana, the most dependable outlet for biblically balanced Christian Literature, that in Ghana, many go through the motions, speak in tongues and sing hallelujah but a sizeable number of them have not had a solid foundation. The survey also revealed that thousands only know about Jesus but do not know Jesus; they have not experienced him in their personal lives.
A disturbing finding is that there is too much entertainment, an over-emphasis on the ABCs of how to becomefinancially, educationally and corporately successful or waiting on God for miracles more than majoring on the ABC of Salvation
What is the solution? Challenge Enterprisethinks that it lies in going back to basics for some “old time religion” through not just discipleship but “Intentional Discipleship”. It recommends that this must be the strategy for the church.
Mr Kofi Agama, Managing Director of Challenge, puts it this way: “We want to see more disciples in the market place, not merely disciples in church. As a Christian, my testimony should not necessarily always be how God gave me a spouse, a child, a visa or how God has healed me. My testimony should be that “my life reflects that of Christ; that after years of struggles with addictions and sin, God has changed me”
The challenge of Challenge is that “church has become a socialevent, a rendezvous where we meet people. That is why we have a preponderance of what it describes as “Special Event Christians” and“Special Day Christians”, among others.
Says the CEO: “We go through the motions, even prophesy,and conduct healing and deliverance services without reference to the source: the bible. For instance, a pastor or prophet who is biblically sound, whose reference is scripture, will not insult people from a particular tribe”
So who is a disciple? Mr Agama answers with an analogy. “If someone wants to be a discipline of Einstein, there is a clear cut strategy for getting there. The disciple will go through the discipline of consuming the relevant knowledge about Einstein. He will want to behave like Einstein. It has to be an intentional process. You cannot want to follow Jesus and not turn your back on the world, go through the discipline of rigorous bible study and strive to talk like Jesus, think like Jesus and walk like Jesus”.
So, from September 2 to 26,2019; from January 20 to 23, 2020 and from 10 to 12 February, 2020, Challenge Enterprise, in partnership with the Ghana Evangelism Committee and Living Seed Team Ghana, is taking its annual National Pastors and Christian Leaders Conference to seven of the 16 regional capitals of Ghana, namely Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, Ho, Sefwi Wiawso, Sunyani and Tamale.
Resource persons have been advisedly picked for their track-record of commitment to disciple-making. They include Brother GbileAkanni and Brother Moses Ogianyo, both from Nigeria, Apostle Jude Hama, former CEO of Scripture Union-Ghana, now president of the African Bible Centre for Disciple-Making, Rev Dr Steve Asante of the Ghana Baptist Convention, Evangelist Dr AboahOffei, of the Patmos Retreat Centre and Dr Daniel Steere, from USA.
The rest are Rev Dr Daniel Karikari, of Takoradi, Rev J.F.K. Mensah, of the Great Commission Church, Rev S.Y. Kwami and Rev Emmanuel Mustapha, of Yendi.
General overseers, pastors, evangelists, teachers, prophets and apostles from churches and CEOs, General Managers and workers of para-church organizations are registering in droves.
It is about time. Change must come.
By Paa Kwesi Esuon