By Gbenga Osinaike
From day one when the meeting kicked off it was clear it would be a time of refreshing. The wide range of resource persons, the music, the caliber of participants and the excellency of the word delivery combined to make the four-day event memorable.
For many years now, Agape Generational International Church has been hosting a yearly meeting for missionaries irrespective of their missions’ field and their denominations. But this particular edition was unique in the sense that it was the largest gathering of missionaries ever hosted by the church. Missionaries totaling about 200 from about 24 states of Nigeria, Africa, Europe and America were in the meeting.
The non-denominational dimension of the meeting made it unique. Beyond that is the resources available to all the missionaries. The list of speakers at the meeting include Rev. Timothy Olonade, a frontline missionary and founder of El-Rehoboth Global Leadership Foundation, Rev Emmanuel Ajose General Overseer, Christ Life Bible Church, Bishop K.D. Collins from the United States Harvest Army World Revival Arena, Chairman of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Lagos Chapter, Bishop Sola Ore, Rev Bode Orekoya, General Overseer, Christ Image Assembly.
Presiding Bishop of the Pentecostal Congregation, Bishop Abraham Olaleye, Pastor Leke Akinola, General Overseer, Upper Room Baptist Church, Apostle Ralph Olorunmaye, Uche and Sola Izuora of the His Sickles International Mission were also on ground to bless the missionaries and a host of other church leaders and pastors who came be part of the summit.
It was just almost impossible not to be blessed with the messages from all the participants. Rev. Olonade addressed the missionaries from the depth of his heart taking them through the heart of missions. He spoke on releasing the untapped harvest force in the local church and several other topics. He noted that the problem of the church is not radical Islam as many have been made to believe but nominal Christianity.
He observed that in Islam it is ordinary Moslems who plant mosques. He said, “in 20 years about 20 million Moslems migrated to Europe within that period, 6000 mosques were built and Moslems now own 25 percent of landed property in London and its environ. In fact, the emir of Quarter has more money in England than the Queen.”
He counselled that the only way for Christians to dislodge the enemy is to embrace non-traditional but tested ways of doing missions. Such ways include, doing business while also using the business to reach souls, setting up schools with the hope of reaching people, tent making, i.e doing missions through paid employment.
Olonode spoke on a wide range of other issues at the event pointing out that the Christian’s primarily assignment is to reach the world and not to win the world. “In the course of reaching the world some would be won, but we have a responsibility to reach the world with the gospel.” He said in one of the sessions.
Bishop Ore on his part reasoned with the missionaries to take a closer look at the call of God upon their lives and humble themselves before God. He noted that since nobody merited the call, “there is no place for pride at all. This knowledge will also help us to love him more and also to be more focused on his call.’
In his delivery, Rev. Orekoya who spoke on the topic financing the End Time Harvest observed that the dearth of committed believers and the shift in the value system of the church have made it impossible for the church to carry out its evangelical purpose on earth. He then counselled that the church needed to go back to the teaching of the entire gospel message and effectively communicate its need. “there is also the need to give account of the money in its coffers and also raise specialized body to support Christian work.”
The atmosphere of the conference was enlivened with the message on family by Rev Ajose. His presentation sent participants laughing uncontrollably while also absorbing the truth he was dishing out. He maintained that it would be disastrous for the missionaries to win the world and lose their homes to the devil. “every minister as a matter of must should first start their evangelical work from home.”
He observed further that while some missionaries were busy reaching the world, the devil is evangelizing their families. He gave scriptural instances of men and women who won their families for God stating that “it is a disaster to be a missionary while your wife and children are not saved.” Ajose believes some of the steps to take in reaching one’s family is to be a role model, preach the word and pray for your family members”
Bishop Olaleye in his own message observed that nobody would have gone into missions without first dying to self. He warned the missionaries against strange doctrines and elements in the church that tend to undermine the finished work of Christ. He also warned against the hyper grace message pointing out that Christ did not call us to lasciviousness but to holiness. “if we love the Lord and his Holy Spirit we will hate sin and all the works of the flesh.” He said.
Many other interesting sessions made the conference wonderful. Participants had opportunity of sharing field reports testifying about the great things the Lord have been doing on these fields and the challenges. They also had the privilege of undergoing medical check-up at the conference ground.
The convener, Pastor Toyin Kehinde and his wife Shade were full of thanks to God for the success of the event. They attributed the outcome of the event to God and the cooperation they got from a wide range of people who stood by them and supported them through the planning. Many of the participants who spoke with our correspondents described the event as unique. They appreciated the gesture of Agape Generation International Church for supporting missionaries and not even their own church missionaries.
Akomedia Jethro who came from Ivory Coast told our reporter that a ministry like Agape Generational International Church is very rare. “I can imagine the funds committed to sponsoring us to travel down and the facilities made available to us. The beauty about this is that the people they are supporting are not their church members. They are people from other ministries and churches. If all churches have the kind of heart they have, the missions’ assignment will go on smoothly in many places. I want to encourage other churches especially mega churches to emulate this gesture and help missionaries irrespective of their denominational affiliations.”