A two-day leadership retreat (Apostolisation) has been organised for ministers, ministers’ wives and officers of The Church of Pentecost (COP) in Canada.
The event, which took place from July 29 to 30, 2022, in Edmonton, Alberta, had the General Secretary of the Church, Apostle Alexander Nana Yaw Kumi-Larbi, and the International Missions Director (IMD), Apostle Emmanuel Agyemang Bekoe as main speakers.
The retreat was hosted by the National Head of COP-Canada, Apostle Ransford Obeng Gyamfi, and drew participants from Western Canada and across the nation, including the various Heads of the Church in Canada; namely Apostle Dr. James McKeown Quainoo, Apostle Daniel Nii Lomotey Engmann, Apostle Dr. Alex Agyei-Gyamera, Apostle Joseph Christian Fynn-Sackey and Pastor George Zephaniah Amon.
Speaking on the topic “My Father My Father” (2 Kings 2:11-12) at the Ministers and Wives session on Friday, July 29, Apostle Emmanuel Agyemang-Bekoe reiterated the importance of fatherhood in “possessing the nations” agenda of the church.
According to the IMD, fathers are a great help to their children and therefore encouraged ministers to play fatherly roles in the lives of the church members.
Quoting from 1 Corinthians 4:15, the IMD said that the need for fathers in the church cannot be overemphasised as Paul was a father to many in the Corinthian church.
Apostle Agyemang-Bekoe further noted that fatherhood as a concept does not die, saying, “this is why when the dead body fell on the bones of Elisha, he resurrected.”
The IMD also spoke on what Heads expect from ministers and their spouses and vice versa.
Apostle Agyemang Bekoe spoke on “Keeping the Fire Burning” (Leviticus 6:9, 12-13) during the Saturday session of the retreat held for officers and ministers and wives.
Drawing from the Old Testament way of sacrifice with the altar and censer, the IMD explained the importance of maintaining the Holy Spirit fire in the church.
He indicated that ministers and officers must be consumed on the altar for them to be burnt before they can go up (excel in service).
He said that it is the duty of the ministers and officers to remove all the ashes, which represents the weaknesses of the church, from the altar, explaining that “allowing the ashes to remain will impede the flames.”
Apostle Agyemang Bekoe also indicated that it behoves them to add more firewood (teaching on the Holy Spirit) so that fire on the altar would continue to blaze.
As the original fire came from the Lord, the IMD cautioned church leaders to be wary of strange and fake fires from questionable sources, notwithstanding the fact that the COP is part of the larger army of Jesus Christ (the Body of Christ).
Apostle Emmanuel Agyemang-Bekoe also explained the significance of the spices (myrrh, onycha, galbanum, and pure frankincense) used in the censer at the altar of fire.
The IMD explained that the myrrh, which the wise man presented to Jesus Christ at birth, stands for preservation.
He further noted that the purpose of onycha is for soothing and nourishment, while galbanum performs a dual purpose as a flavouring agent and wounds healer.
“Similarly, the frankincense served as a pain killer that makes a person younger,” he added.
Apostle Alexander Nana Yaw Kumi-Larbi, in turn, reiterated the importance of keeping the fire of the Holy Spirit burning in the church by encouraging ministers and officers to read and meditate on Leviticus 6 to 9.
According to the General Secretary, when ministers are consecrated to go and minister, they need to be guided by the rules of conduct in order not to be like the sons of Aaron who offered strange fire and were cut off by the LORD.
He emphasised the need for ministers and officers to be conversant with the Ministers’ Manual, Church Constitution, Rules of Conduct, and the Ministerial Welfare Practices to be able to work effectively and efficiently.
Apostles Kumi-Larbi and Agyemang-Bekoe also discussed the key features that make The Church of Pentecost distinctive.
The General Secretary and the IMD also highlighted some aspects of the rules of conduct and key characteristics of The Church of Pentecost brand, respectively.
Report by Pastor Frederick Appah, Winnipeg District