The Deputy Chairman of the Lagos chapter of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Pastor Oluleke Akinola, and Bishop Abraham Olaleye among several other resource persons on Thursday, April 20 addressed critical areas of missions at the second phase of the annual Global Mandate Conference in Lagos.
The conference started on April 17 and 18 in Badagry and moved to Alimosho on April 19 and 20. The concluding part will hold in Lekki on April 21 and 22
A total of about 80 missionaries from across Nigeria and some countries in Africa were present at both the Badagry and Alimosho centres of the conference. Another set of 40 missionaries is expected at the Lekki chapter of the conference. The meeting also attracted pastors in cities and missions lovers.
Akinola in his message at the Alimosho Centre, titled, harvesting and family challenges, said it is important for missionaries to be sure of God’s calling before they embark on missions.
He said it is the assurance of God’s call that will energise them and make them fruitful on the field.
He also counseled them not to embark on missions without having a support base. “Don’t go out to the mission field without a backing. Look for a church that is missionary-minded to support you. Look for a missions agency to support you. But more importantly, put your faith in God.”
Akinola who painted a graphic picture of what missionaries face on the field also called on the Church to make mission support a priority.
“We can’t overemphasise support for missionaries. They should be given all the backing so they could give more attention to their calling”
He said “churches and Christians, in general, must ensure that they make it a point to duty to encourage missionaries, pray for them and extend love to them as often as possible. Get the number of missionaries and call them regularly. It will go a long way to strengthen them and fire them on for the work”
Akinola is the Pastor of Upper Room Baptist Church. He also emphasised the need for missionaries to carry their family along in their missions’ endeavours.
“In missions, there is a need for the Christian life to be modeled at practical levels. The Presence of a missionary family makes a strong statement and provides a living illustration of how God’s transforming power is worked out,” he said.
Shun pity syndrome
In his presentation, Bishop Olaleye emphasised the need for missionaries to shun self-pity and an entitlement mentality stating that God who has called them to the field is able to meet their needs.
He noted that some missionaries have the mentality that they are suffering and should be pitied. “This is a wrong mindset. Your calling is a noble calling. You don’t need to have this entitlement mentality and harass people with text messages about your need. God has a way of touching people to bless you. Don’t cry that you are suffering. People who brought the gospel to us came from Europe and America with their coffins ready to die. They left the comfort of their countries so we could have the gospel in Africa. We have not even experienced half of what they experienced.
“If you make a request from people and they don’t respond, it only shows they don’t have at that time. You need to put your faith in God. He is the one that will touch the heart of men to reach out to you. There are missionaries who don’t trouble us but God asks us to send help to them. But those who harass us put us off.”
Olaleye who spoke on, “the other boat principle” stated that Jesus took what is in the hands of man to use for his kingdom but at the same time he blesses man.”
Quoting Luke 5v1-8, he said, “The Lord borrowed Peter’s boat to preach. After he had finished ministering to the people, Jesus told Peter to launch out for a drought. Peter would have argued. But he surrendered to the Lord who created all things, cast his net and the catch indeed was great”
Also read: Renew your preaching tools, Ajose charges missionaries @ Global Mandate Conference:https://churchtimesnigeria.net/renew-your-preaching-tools-ajose-charges-missionaries-global-mandate-conference/
Preach only Jesus
Olaleye is the convener of Apostles and Prophets Global Mission. He also touched on the need for missionaries to preach Jesus and Jesus alone if they really want to make an impact.
“Peter did not need any special deliverance to make him get a breakthrough in his fishing business. Jesus’ presence and obedience to His word brought the breakthrough. People should stop preaching enemy-focused messages if they really desire results. We should preach Jesus.”
Quoting Jesus’ Olaleye said, “When Jesus said come to me all ye that labour and are heavy lade, we used to think he was only talking about rest from the troubled world. But the call is more than that. The call of Jesus is also directed to those who have been burdened by the yoke of religion.
“The yoke of the law was too heavy on the people. Jesus had to appeal to us to come to him. He told the people of his days that he was the sin-bearing lamb they were killing for sacrifice and atonement for their sins. So he said, come to me I will give you rest. He came to save us from the yoke of the law. Jesus gives rest.”
He emphasised that It is important for missionaries to preach Jesus.” If you are not preaching Jesus, who are you preaching? If you are in a village for years and they don’t know Jesus, what are you doing there? It is Jesus that will solve their problem. Don’t say you are a missionary if you are not preaching Jesus.”
Earlier at the conference a Ugandan, Pastor Stephen Atria exposed the missionaries to basic tools they could use to preach the gospel on the internet.
Atria who spoke extensively on, ‘the gospel in and through the digital world”, said, “if you are not present on the internet, you simply do not exist. He added that “If we do not release digital missionaries into the digital arena, our gospel will lose relevance with the digital natives.”
He shared practical tips on how missionaries can take advantage of the internet using social media platforms to spread the gospel.
He counseled, “missionaries should deliberately make provision for visibility in the digital space by choosing social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, and telegram; media-sharing networks such as YouTube and Vimeo, blogging networks such as word press.”
He also urged them to harness the power of artificial intelligence on the internet to help project the message God gave them to the world.
The health of the missionary
Also, a medical doctor Dr. Caleb Ayanwusi who was a missionary in the north for more than a decade took time to counsel the missionaries on the need to take care of their health.
“ It is important to take good care of ourselves because in most cases there are no vehicles to take people to the hospital in some mission field. So it is important to know how to take basic care so you don’t fall ill.”
He said no matter the anointing in the life of a man, if the body is down with ill health, that anointing will be useless. “No matter the level of anointing it is the carnal body that will make it to be useful. Once it is not functional it becomes useless.”
He urged them to take advantage of their visit to major towns to check up their blood pressure and sugar level. He noted there is a season for cholera in some parts of the north because of the water they drink. “Their source of water is always from the stream that has been polluted. That is why they always experience cholera outbreaks. So, know the source of your water.”
Caleb also urged them to make it a principle to rest regularly.“Bible encourages us to add knowledge to our virtue and faith. Too much of salt and local maggie is not good for the body. Take Diaprin every week to prevent malaria”
Two missionaries, Ibrahim Simon from Kano and Femi Dada from the Republic of Benin gave testimonies of their work at the conference.
Simon shared the vision of reaching I million souls for Christ in the North as God supplies grace. Already they have started making inroads despite the challenges of persecution they are facing.
Dada on the other hand testified of the great work among the Fulani people in the Republic of Benin. He talked about the problem of water in his field of operation adding that the mission is trusting God for funds to construct a borehole for the people.