During the last vigil, I drew our attention to Acts 19:1-12 where Paul prayerfully set out to reach “certain” disciples to do ministry work with him. He wasn’t looking for people who were ministerially qualified because God qualifies the called. 2 Peter 1:10 say, he is able to “make your calling and election sure” if you are diligent. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 say, “…my strength is made perfect in weakness” because His grace is sufficient.
So Paul only needed the background God would build on; background like inexcusability, reliability, dependability and trustworthiness. After locating the disciples with these qualities, he ministered the Holy Spirit to them. Why? Paul understood that no disciple can successfully work in ministry without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). The purpose for which we have been called as ministers and workers is activated only by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The account in Acts 19:1-12 is a capsule of how we can source for workers and ministers and what to expect. Sorry to shock you that contention is part of the deal. The good news is that though the devil will stir this up, we can keep God’s work going. If you have siblings or close friends and you’ve never tried to do a project together, there may be no contention but the moment you want to achieve a goal, I can guarantee that someone will not agree with something and that is okay. What is not okay is the inability to agree and move on with the goal or vision.
As long as humans staff ministry, people will come and go due to offense or opportunity. Even Paul who selected the disciples departed (vs. 9) but the work of God continued. Maya Angelou, a renowned poet said, “I am a human being, nothing human can be alien to me”. Arriving and departing is part of life but look around you, who are we missing? Why are they not here, have we reached out to them? As we do so, we must keep our eyes on the goal which is Matthew 28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
I learned a lot about bees from my Mum. She raised them and harvested their honey. She got so drawn to bees that whenever she stumbled on a channel or online site, you couldn’t pull her away until she was done watching or browsing. She believed bees and the product therefrom was God’s gift to her and each time she accidentally found anything about bees she believed God was reminding her of her calling and career.
As sweet as the product is, bees have very complex social behaviour one of which is that they can sting and kill. Interestingly, the Africanised bees are actually called killer bees! As workers we can do that too in the way we handle our calling and career. But this negative aspect is not what we need to promote, instead we need to concentrate on bringing out the honey of our election.
Bees are amazing! There is a lot we can learn from bees. They build intricate hives, protect the hives energetically, sustain themselves with honey and reproduce. Based on this, I’ll share with us qualities for growing a productive team:
Our vision is to build the Kingdom of God by bringing new believers in and helping them grow up and become like Jesus. Our mission is simple and clear; we must position ourselves to build. As we build others we must not forget to build ourselves through devotion and obedience to God.
We must guard one another and our local church. One of the best ways to do that is to let “no unwholesome word come from your mouth.” Undermining others in the church brings harm to God’s Kingdom and Jesus’ Bride, His church. More people leave the church because someone said something hurtful to them. As workers, we can protect this family God has called us into.
Like bees, we must sustain ourselves from our labour. How productive have we been as a church? I mean physically by reaching more people, financially, socially, mentally etc. Are we healthy as workers and as a church? Not handling the church’s finances right is a sure way to lose not only money but people as well. Lack of funds mean lack of ministry; my people say “owo ni keke ihinrere, money is the vehicle of evangelism”. We must generate a culture of giving and generosity in our church so the church has sufficient funding to fuel the mission/vision.
“Be fruitful and multiply.” That was God’s first command to mankind. The attitude of multiplication is non-negotiable. Every worker has to know and learn the skill of replacing themselves, and that conviction has to run throughout the team to the church as a whole. You are not a successful leader, if you haven’t raised someone who can take your place. When ministers and workers are sent to birth parishes, they are given just a handful of people with whom they are expected to multiply. How far has your department grown since you took over as leader or since you joined? If we fail to reproduce, we will die. The day we stop using phones and computers, Steve Jobs dies. But even if he didn’t have children, as long as we use software, his name lives.
1. Thank God for qualifying you. It is not the title - leader, HOD, worker, minister, deacon or pastor that qualifies you, it is God. Thank God for calling and qualifying you!
2. Let us pray that every minister and worker will yield to The Trinity and go, teach, baptise and observe all God commanded as directed in Matthew 28:19-20
3. 1st Corinthians 9:27b say, “lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” Pray that God will position you to be built as you build others, to grow as you grow others.
4. I went to observe a teen talk event at an Assemblies of God Church in Teaneck. During the talk, the guest speaker in trying to act an analogy and having run out of female volunteers called out two teen boys to illustrate a couple. Immediately a female leader jumped up and said ‘No”, she instead volunteered to be the teen boy’s girlfriend. Why? She was protecting the children from subtle evil indoctrination. Let us pray that God will position us as shepherds to protect his sheep.
5. During a prayer meeting at the Women In Ministry conference and also at a prayer meeting for the Women Zonal Retreat Committee, a prayer point was raised, Lord make me a financier. Let us pray that God will provide for us to fuel the mission and vision he has committed into our hands.
6. Be fruitful and multiply was a command. We obey when we have replicated our kind. This extends beyond biological reproduction to include mentoring, nurturing and growing others to carry on the great commission. Pray that God will fulfill the command through you.
7. Finally let us pray for today’s service; that others will see Jesus in us as we – workers, ministers, pastors – serve in our various calling and that God being glorified in our service will return the seed to us as manifold blessings
Mrs. Omolola Omoteso-Famuyiwa is a minister who is passionate about sharing God's words for the healing of others.
This was shared during the Workers Prayer Meeting on 11.05.14