God is your paymaster, Bishop Odedeji tells Stewards @investiture ceremony

by Church Times

Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos West, Anglican Communion, The Rt Rev James Odedeji has urged those who serve in God’s vineyard to stop saying they are not being paid for their service adding however that God is their paymaster.

 He made the plea during the investiture of the 9th President of the Guild of Stewards of the diocese, Bro Adewale Bolaji on Sunday, July 7 at the Archbishop Vining Memorial Cathedral Church, Ikeja Lagos. Other excecutives inaugurated at the event include:  Folashade Oderinde as 1st Vice-President, Victoria Mojisola Mabawonku as 2nd Vice-President and Olamide Funmilayo Amos-Adams as Secretary.

 Stewards in the Anglican Church are the equivalents of ushers in some other churches. Bolaji was elected as the new president of the Guild early in the year at the All Saints Church, Ikosi Ketu. Lagos.

L-R Otunba Atoyebi Oyeleke, the new President, Mr Adewale Bolaji, the immediate past president, Mrs Bose Oyeleke and another past presidenr, Mr Akin Thomas at the investiture of Bolaji held at Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, lkeja on Sunday 7

God pays

Odedeji who preached on the topic, faithful service, said service in God’s vineyard must be done reverently. “We must not let it be as if we are playing. It is a serious business. It must be done with reference. Service with reference is service that brings dividends. God is the one paying us when we serve.

“Stop saying nobody is paying you. God is the paymaster. He will pay you with interest and pay your children, children.”

Genuine service

Odedeji went on to give further insight into how genuine service can be rendered in God’s vineyard.

 He said everything about the Guild of Stewards is service.

Referring to several Bible verses, the Anglican Bishop said, “When it comes to service to God, one thing is very fundamental. That thing is faithfulness. Service in God’s house is nobody’s right.  We are the ones that cannot do without God. He can do without us. The call to Christian service is a privilege.”

He explained further that to be faithful in God’s vineyard is to be “devoted, honest, sincere and not dubious. It is to be trustworthy. To be reliable. It means to be consistent and accountable.”


Service with excitement

He urged the guild to serve excitedly and joyfully. “When God calls you to service, it is not to serve in sadness. We must be excited whenever we find an opportunity to serve God and humanity.  King David said I was glad when they say to me let us go to the house of the Lord.”

Odedeji also called on those who serve in God’s vineyard to do it wholeheartedly without reservation. “Serve heartily. We must be dedicated, committed, and attached to God’s work. We must see it as a matter of life and death.” He affirmed.


He warned against pride and arrogance adding that such attitudes are corrupters of service in God’s vineyard. “You don’t know who people are until you give them power. So, I urge you to be humble because humble people become great.”

He also warned against grumbling and murmuring while emphasising that those who serve in God’s vineyard can’t attain excellence in service without being genuinely converted.

 “We need genuine conversion. Jesus pointed out that people will be turned back in eternity because he never knew them. We must have personal knowledge of Christ before we volunteer ourselves for service. You will also need the power of the holy spirit to be able to do what you are doing. Without the holy spirit, you can’t go far.” Odedeji said.

 The Anglican Bishop called on members of the guild to support the president and work together in the interest of the Church of God.


The service

The investiture service was done along with the re-dedication of all guild members. The principal officers of the Guild were also decorated at the colourful event which attracted guests from across the dioceses of Lagos under the Anglican Communion.

Bro Adewale Bolaji, President, Guild of Stewards, Diocese of Lagos West of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion

The new president, Adewale Bolaji in a later interview with journalists said his investiture is first to the Glory of God adding also, “It is a reflection, recognition and reward for many years of my commitment and dedication to God’s work. I am very grateful for the confidence and trust reposed in me by all our members, who have unanimously elected me as their president, this is a big honour to me and my family which will not be taken for granted”.

The Guild of Stewards, in Anglican Communion according to him was established to maintain orderliness and decorum during worship sessions”.
On the new dispensation, Bolaji says, “The newly elected executive members would serve for the first two-year term but can seek for another two years. Our vision is contained in a blueprint designed to build upon the progress, achievements, and successes attained by my predecessor. We are also determined to build an all-inclusive system of administration that will involve almost every member of the Guild who will be able to educate the congregation on all our activities.
“By the end of my tenure, I promise to leave as legacies an all-inclusive administration anchored on transparency, dedication, and capacity building for all members across the 30 archdeaconries to be actively involved in the Guild”s  activities.”


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