Invite People to Christ

16 06 2014

By Ini Edet, Nigeria Mission Centre president

congregationIn my office I decided to read one of my favorite parts of the Bible, Isaiah 6:1–8. Instead I was drawn to Luke 4:18 NRSV: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me…”

I wondered why this verse leapt to my attention instead of the one I had intended to read. Finally, I decided to read it again. This time the verse seemed to talk to me directly. Then I realized I have two purposes:

  • To help people realize their God-given potential and be in harmony with creation.
  • To tell the good news about Jesus.

Christ came to begin these major missions. He left them for us to continue.

I had taught Sunday school about 26 years before the church employed me in 2006. My major task was buying clothing and life necessities for the less privileged—the downtrodden within and outside our church. This generosity attracts people to the church.

We started a branch at Abak, a nearby town. With help from Apostle Bunda Chibwe we launched with two families. The first baptism was carried out with five people in 2007.

With house-to-house evangelism and visiting the sick, the number rose to 24, including children, in 2008. A women’s fund-raiser in 2009 enabled us to buy musical instruments, chairs, and more. Individuals donated other things. Our numbers increased steadily, so we sought land for a permanent structure.

After two years, we found it. The next step was to put up a small structure to enable us to move in faith. The congregation embraced fund-raising through thanksgiving, and three months later a temporary structure with a capacity of 100 was ready.

We dedicated it June 9, 2013, and two children were blessed. People were very happy. Even the area ruler was there.
Also, we had a three-day revival at the Ekim Congregation. It was a Spirit-filled meeting. We visited former attendees in their homes. Most responded, and new people showed up for baptismal classes.

During the house-to-house visits, a man said, “Pastor…we are members in the Spirit, and the church is a blessing to us.”

Then the Spirit reminded me of Doctrine and Covenants 163:1: “‘Community of Christ,’ your name, given as a divine blessing…” I knew God would make this a worldwide church.

Our uniforms make us a signal community. Who we are and our message are embedded in the clothing. The uniforms put us at the forefront in any ecumenical gathering.

I adopted a principle to help in this field of soul-seeking: “Catch them young.” This seeks to bring children and youth into the church. And in a bid to mobilize women more efficiently we began the Pastors’ Women Association. Members meet with women at a grassroots level. They rotate meetings from one congregation to another. Wives of pastors from other denominations are joining.

At the recent wedding of Lagos Pastor John Nyah, four people from the wife’s family decided to become members.

They are now receiving pre-baptismal lessons.

I feel God is calling us at the right time and in the right direction to spread the good news. Truly, we are a worldwide church.

 

 


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