The Anyaa-Ablekuma Area Head of The Church of Pentecost, Apostle William Ohemeng-Kwakye, has underscored the need to close the backdoor of the church for maximum impact in the nations.
He said when souls are won into the church, they need to be nurtured in the fellowship of believers, and that requires efforts at first retaining them before discipling can be effective.
Apostle Ohemeng-Kwakye said this in an exhortation on the theme, “Closing the backdoor of the local church for the maximum impact,” during the first day of the 2023 Heads’ Meeting of the church at the Pentecost Convention Centre.
He indicated that the backdoor serves as the rear exit of a building, and usually, when people use it, they are hardly noticed. He stated that in the context of the church, the backdoor metaphorically refers to members of the church quietly severing fellowship with believers in the local church without notice.
“It is a gradual process where persons withdraw from the church without notice or anyone’s concern,” he emphasised.
Apostle Ohemeng-Kwakye explained that those who leave the church quietly are usually newcomers, new converts and visitors who come for comfort, acceptance and close relationships but feel somehow ignored and thus filter out in dismay, rejection and pain.
He, therefore, suggested that pragmatic spirit-led approaches be adopted to close the backdoor of the local church.
Dwelling on Luke 15:1–7 and John 10:3–5, he recommended close pastoral care and relationships with members at all levels to ensure members feel at home and belong to a community of believers where they count and are considered valuable.
“One means to do so is to develop close relationships with the members,” he said, admonishing that though it seems difficult with other compelling assignments, ministers must frantically make it a practice as spiritual fathers of the members.
He expressed the need for spiritually edifying church services with sermons that address the needs and expectations of the people of God, stressing that one of the critical needs of the church today is spiritual leadership that is marked by regular visits and nurturing of the church members.
Apostle Ohemeng-Kwakye advanced that a proper welfare system in the local church to handle the material needs of members will propel growth and help to close the backdoor.
He opined that though the church has a thriving welfare, there was a need to monitor the welfare structure in the local church, saying, “The needs of members go far beyond the local, they expect from Area and National howbeit minute.”
He requested that the welfare packages that exist in the church should be explained regularly to members.
He stressed the need to enforce the existing standards of monitoring membership in the local church. He suggested that new members’ and visitors’ books be separately kept at the local church. He also called for regular seminars for new converts and new members to listen to them and address their needs.
He lamented the increasing abating of commitment of some lay officers. Therefore, he proposed setting up more worship centres with resident ministers in the cities to improve pastoral care.
“Let’s strengthen discipleship and follow up in the local assembly,” he concluded.