The feast of Esther was organized by Pastor Mrs. Folu Adeboye, wife of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God being a divine assignment to gather female General Overseers, Bishops and Pastors, wives of general overseers and female leaders in ministries for the purpose of developing better ministry skills in women who are called into the ministry or are called to support their husbands in their ministries.
The Feast of Esther is an annual event that started in the year 2002. I thank God for the opportunity to have been part of this year 2016 conference. The FOE being an international conference was attended by women from several nations of the world including Kenya, Togo, Ghana, Ivory coast, South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, UK, Cameroon, U.S.A., etc.
The conference started on the 17th February and lasted till the 20th February 2016. The theme for the conference this year was “The Church of God”. I would like to summarize the main points because many information were given to us.
The Church of God is the ground and pillar of truth. The church is a special treasure to God. No matter the name, the size or the location of the church you represent, it is not your church, but the Church of God. Many people commit errors in church administration and management by handling the church’s affairs as if it belongs to them. It is not the church building but the people that make the church and we should feel blessed to be part of the Church of God. We are workers together with God; we are His vineyard and His building (I Cor. 3vs 9). In order for our ministry to stand out we must make the word our standard. The word must reprove, correct and instruct us otherwise, we will not be able to do God’s will. We must be honest with ourselves, be optimistic and positive in our thinking in order to move the church forward into victory, greatness and glory.
The FOE program this year 2016 saw several female GOs, Bishops and Pastors from many countries and from different denominations. There were several sessions of praises, prayers, worship, testimonies, interactive sessions, workshops, film show, etc. Lectures were given about the church of God and the global missions, discipleship, marital health, follow-ups, the social responsibility, money and integrity, the next generation and many other topics were treated.
We learnt that people have visions about their ministry works but not all visions are clear. You must seek to know the will of God for your ministry through fasting and prayers. If you have a clear vision and you keep the law and you’re obedient, you will be victorious. He that gave you the vision will make provisions. We must be sure to have a clear vision, even if the vision tarries, it will surely come to pass.
No matter the nature of your call or the ministry that God has put in your care you must realize that it is to be a global mission ministry, as seen in Acts 1 vs 8b…. “and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth”. Certainly, God meant for every minister to strive to move into greater action taking the gospel to all nations. God has called us into a global mission, why limit yourself? The church as the body of Christ must make sure to keep the members by teaching them while leaders must ensure that they do follow-ups of new converts. (Eph 5 vs 29). Experienced members of the church must help the weaker ones by always interceding for them. Visiting them and teaching them about the faith. We must see to it that they receive the Holy Spirit and we must encourage them in every way. New converts must be nurtured very well; the Lord said “feed my sheep”. We must make sure to go after each person, communicate with them regularly in phone calls, texts, visits, etc.
Whenever we visit them, we must not leave without praying for them and prophesying into their lives. Give them gifts wherever it is needed. This is the time to make sacrifices to help save as many people, as possible. We shall not lose the sheep of the Lord. The importance of the Holy Spirit cannot be overemphasized in the lives of the new converts. We must let them know that the power of the Holy Spirit is the true power of the church of God not the powers that some are using today. False Christians will end up in hell. The LORD is using the church to bring back His perfect creation on earth. Jesus wants a glorious church with no spot or wrinkle but holy and without blemish (Eph 5-27).
We need to make disciples that are true replicas of Jesus. The purpose of the great commission is for us to make disciples of all nations, so in order to build people up we must teach them. You may preach to them because preaching excites but teach them more because teaching builds up the church. Motivational talks may help at times but teaching them the word will build Godly characters in them. Therefore, we must teach and preach the word until the churches attain the level of holiness and spotlessness which is the kind of church He desires and is the kind of church we must present to Him. (Matt 28:18)
As a G.O. or wife of a G.O or female Pastor, you are a special person, a woman of grace and honor. God expects you to be available, strong and diligent. You must be a good example because many will follow your lifestyle. You must not be a disappointment to the name of God. You must be a good encourager, humble, patient and endurant. You must be able to manage people and guide them to do right. You must not be a gossip, divider, nor a dictator, but a pillar. Be not worried about the number of the membership, if you are obedient to God and you work hard, the church will grow when it is time. The children and the youths of the church must be given very serious attention because they are the future of the church. Let them know they are the chosen generation to show forth the praises of God. We must develop the children in God matters. Let them always participate in church activities so that they become responsible church members in the future.
We must teach them to fear God and abstain from sin while we also help them to discover God’s purposes for their lives. In church administration certain skills are needed such as proper planning skill, organizational skill, human relationship skill, communication, time management, problem solving and conflict resolution skills. Whatever must be done in the church, do not leave the Holy Spirit out of it. Pray and He will guide you into making the right decisions. Communication is very important because without it failure is inevitable. You can communicate the church through meetings, conferences, training programs, social media, bulleting etc.
According to Pastor (Mrs) Adeboye, the growth of the Redeemed Church was not much until the church began to do humanitarian services. We need to do good things that affect people’s lives positively. The church of God must perform some social responsibilities that will encourage people to come to Christ. When we do good to others in the name of Christ, we shall be rewarded in heaven. (II Cor. 5 vs 10) Although the Christian social responsibility involves giving, we must be motivated by love and compassion. We must demonstrate our love for God in the work we do.
When we put love into action, people’s lives will be impacted and they soon become interested in Christ especially in the rural areas where the people are poor (Luke 14 vs 12–14). We must show them that we are created unto good works, through our works in helping the widows, orphans, handicaps, sick and even the prisoners. Pastor (Mrs) Adeboye for example, organized the African Missions educating people in the rural areas, in the war-prone areas providing for the homeless, giving hope to the hopeless, opportunities to those who have need of it even in arts and culture, sports and entertainment. The church must go out and start doing something for the less privileged, the poor and the sick for the sake of God. We must do things for the benefit of people’s lives in the name of the LORD (John 21vs17). This is the time to make sacrifices for the people, by fasting, praying and spending money in the name of God to demonstrate God’s love because God already demonstrated His love for us in sending His only begotten son to die for us (John 3:16)
In conclusion, the whole world is our mission. The commission is global (Acts 1vs8). We must be faithful in whatever assignment has been given unto us. If we are faithful in little things God will make us masters in greater things. We as ministers of the gospel must not fail in our duties. We must teach people to the point that they become acceptable unto God. We must not fail to walk in the fullness of the calling into which we have been called. We must encourage ourselves to rise up to the task of the ministry, to make ourselves available as an extension of God’s hand to fulfill His purposes on earth. We must fear God and obey His commandments in all our doings.
We must be passionate about the soul of men and be motivated by love in the things we do for people in the name of the LORD. We must ask the LORD to give us power to advance the church forward on a regular basis. The LORD will build His church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matt 16vs18).
PASTOR MRS. ESTHER O. AHMED