A Paper Presented by Pastor Obulor .E. Isirima at the Church of God (Seventh Day),
Rivers Conference Ministerial Council’s 2018 Workshop,
Holding at Omoku Rivers State Nigeria on 23-26 October 2018.
Phil 2:15 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus 1Cor 9:16-22 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel…. For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more…….. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some (NKJV)
In my lecture titled: The call of a Minister, delivered at the National Minister’s Conference of the Seventh Day Church of God, held July 23-26, 2018 at Rumuaholu Port Harcourt, and in line with the position of Bible Scholars; I wrote “Being a minister is more than just a job. A minister is among the least paid workers. The demand for his services is great 24/7. His life is under the search light of brethren and society at large. He is vulnerable and exposed to criticism, sometimes unduly.
To prepare for his services, he gives up sleep. In many cases, he attends to the problems of others while his are hanging on. He dares situations he would ordinarily not be able to cope with. A minister sees what others may not be seeing. Moreover, he is continually burdened by the growth and other needs of his congregation .
In fact, a minister is willing to make any sacrifice, pay any price and also become all things to all men.
Beloved colleagues, all these are only possible and reasonable for a man that is called and empowered correspondingly by God. That is the minister indeed. He riles on the power and faithfulness of God who called him.
This quote is necessitated by the fact that, this paper assumes that everybody in this workshop belongs there.
From the foregoing, it is obvious that we are discussing the right attitude required for the needed productivity (fruitfulness) of some seeming super-humans.
For purposes of clarity, the subject is discussed under three subheads:
1. Understanding Attitude and why its positive form is necessary
2. A modular approach to developing capacity for ministerial productivity (fruitfulness)
3. Ministerial code of ethics as a creed
We rely on the Holy Spirit to comfort, teach and help us all through in Jesus name. Amen.
UNDERSTANDING ATTITUDE AND WHY ITS POSITIVE FORM IS NECESSARY FOR PRODUCTIVITY (FRUITFULNESS)
Dr. John .C. Maxell, a talented teacher of Christian leadership, wrote a book tilted: The Winning Attitude -The positive attitude. I recommend the book for your reading. As a preamble to the definition of attitude he quoted the opinion of James Allen that: A person cannot travel within and stand still without. That agrees with the observation of experts of military hardware, that a bomb implodes before it explodes.
Maxwell said “The attitude is an inward feeling expressed by behavior. That is why an attitude can be seen without a word being said of all the things we wear, our expression is the most important And since an attitude often is expressed by our body language and by the looks on our faces, it can be contagious. Have you noticed what happens to a group of people when one person, by his expression, reveals a negative attitude? Or have you noticed the lift you receive when a friend’s facial expression shows love and acceptance?
He used a brief commentary on John 2:1-8 –Jesus first miracle at the marriage in Cana of Galilee, to express power of faithful and obedient attitude, in this wise:
Whatever Jesus says to you, do it, even though
1. You are not in “ right place” (verse 2)
2. You have a lot of problems (verse 3)
3. You are not encouraged (verse 4)
4. You have not walked with him very long (verse 5)
5. You have not seen him work miracles in your life
6. You don’t understand the entire process
So in practical terms, what is an attitude?
1. It is the “advance man” of our true selves
2. Its roots are inward but its fruit is outward
3. It is our best friend or our worst enemy
4. It is more honest and more consistent than our words.
5. It is an outward look based on past experience
6. It is a thing which draws people to us or repels them.
7. It is never content until it is expressed
8. It is the librarian of our past
9. It is the speaker of our present
10. It is the prophet of our future
A positive attitude lifestyle is undoubtedly necessary for productivity (fruitfulness) because:
1. Our attitude determines our approach to life
2. Our attitude determines our relationship with people
3. Our attitude is the only difference between success and failure
4. Our attitude at the beginning of a task will affect its outcome more than anything else
5. Our attitude can turn our problem into blessings
6. Our attitude can give us an uncommonly positive perspective
7. Our attitude is not automatically good just because we are Christians.
As a part of the product or benefit of this training workshop, I persuade you to construct your positive attitude. Many Christian writers, especially John .C. Maxwell provided wonderful resources on the subject.
Consult them and your progress will be enhanced.
A MODULAR APPROACH TO DEVELOPING CAPACITY FOR MINISTERIAL PRODUCTIVITY (FRUITFULNESS)
In fact ,capacity to perform or deliver is well recognized in the bible. Examples include the appointment of Bazaleel and Aholiab for the work of the sanctuary Exodus 35:30-36 :1 and the call of apostle Paul as minister to the Gentiles. Acts 9:10-16. Godly capacity building is therefore imperative for productivity of a minister. In pursuance of this, I was led to develop the concept of a modular approach, that is simple and with a Do-IT-YOURSELF Spirit.
Though the concept as presented here, is in its rudimentary stage, it has so much to offer. The ideal is informed by the need for a shift from the classical or conventional objectives of seminars, symposia and workshops that boarder on academic or abstract knowledge.
Let Us discuss a sample preaching Module
MINISTERIAL CODE OF ETHICS AS A CREED
The church of God (Seventh Day) has a ministerial Code of Ethics. You can access it on the Church Website www.cog7.org or the hard copy from Bible Advocate Press or church/private Libraries. Recall that last year an abridged version of it formed part of the hard copy documents you took home.
It cannot be overemphasized that adherence to ethics is one of the greatest need of ministers in this end time. In order to be in good standing, you should see the code of ethics as a creed and reflect same in practice.
For reasons of space and time constraint, let us look at two critical areas viz: financial ethics and ethics towards the opposite sex. Majority of scandals in media and grape vine are on these two very tempting areas.
*** (OFF RECORDS INTERACTIVES)
In every venture, productivity is key, vital and critical. The matter is the same in Christendom. In bible parlance, productivity is know as fruitfulness. That is the reason the word fruitfulness appears as a suffix to productivity all through the paper. Jesus placed notable emphasis on it in Jn 15:1-8
We have made concerted efforts to show connections between a ministerial positive attitude and productivity (fruitfulness).
We saw in the scriptures at the beginning that apposite Paul had a positive ministerial attitude that enhanced his performance. You too can make it. Let us cultivate the mind of Christ Jesus, and remain focused. The will of God is that we should succeed and the Holy Spirit is with us to see us through. Grace be with you. Amen.