Repositioning the Local Church for Maximum Impact in the Nations
(Yεrehyε Asafo no mu den na anya Nsunsuaso Kεse wɔ Aman mu)
(Yεrehyε Asafo no mu den na anya Nsunsuasoɔ Kεseε wɔ Aman mu)
Theme Texts: 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 & Colossians 2:6-7
The 5-year vision for the Church, Vision 2023, has been expressed in the overarching theme “Possessing the Nations”, which aims at influencing every sphere of society with Kingdom values and principles. The overall goal of this vision is a church where members go to possess their nations by transforming every worldview, thought and behaviour with values, principles and lifestyles of the Kingdom of God and thereby turning many people to Christ. The vision has been summerised into 25 commitments (pp. 12-16 of the Vision Document).
To achieve these commitments, the Church has adopted a three-pronged approach as our strategy in the short, medium, and long terms, thus:
- Equipping members of the Church with the required resources.
- Strengthening and re-aligning existing institutions and structures of the church to serve as implementation units and to provide the enabling environment for the achievement of Vision 2023.
- Transforming Society – sending our members out as channels through which God’s divine resources will flow to meet the needs and helplessness of our society and partnering with Government for community and national transformation.
This three-pronged strategic approach, vis-à-vis the 25 commitments of the Vision and the leading of the Holy Spirit, have for the past four years informed our annual themes. The 2022 theme which represents the fourth of our annual themes under the possessing the nations agenda has been “Equipping the Church as an Army to Possess the Nations”. This theme portrayed the Church, among her many images, as an army of God, bringing to the fore, the need to appreciate and equip her as an army to possess the nations. Like an army’s tactical unit (battalion), the local church, is crucial in the efforts at possessing the nations.
As a continuation of the 2022 theme, “Equipping the Church as an Army to Possess the Nations” there is the need to reposition the local church to achieve the desired goal. This is because to maintain unit cohesion and will to fight to possess the nations, there is the need to reposition the tactical unit (local church) to keep the fighting strength up.
The local church will then be more vibrant, a serious threat to the enemy and afford us greater success in possessing the nations. For the strength of the Church lies with the local church where real practical ministry and congregational life exist.
As a denomination, our greatest resource is our members, and it is in their strength we find strength. It is the efforts at the local church level (tactical unit level) that culminates in the overall success of the Church as an army. To this end, Vision 2023 deems the local church as crucial towards the achievement of its goals and objectives. The local church is therefore expected to be a vibrant centre for equipping members to possess the nations. Commitments from the vision in relation to the local church include but not limited to the following:
- We shall be committed to building the local church as a measured-up strategy for equipping the church to possess the nations. A conscious effort will therefore be made to make the local church an equipping centre, where members are oriented and equipped to possess the nations.
- We shall be committed to positioning the local church as an agent for community transformation through its active involvement in community development.
To ensure a strong cohesive church as an army, the local church should be in good shape in terms of attendance to church and involvement in all church activities, among others.
Also, there is the need to put in measures to guarantee the sustainability of the local church. This is achieved by ensuring that the local church is tactically deployed to have both the fighting echelon and the support (rear) echelon.
For the Church, the fighting echelon represents our involvement in the various outreaches aimed at taking territories for the Lord. The support echelon is the strength of the local church ministry (in-house activities) in sustaining the fighting power, so as to continually supply the needed energy for victory.
The need to strengthen the rear echelon is clearly pictured in the case of David at one time, when the lack of support echelon to protect the rear led to his rear being exploited by the Amalekite raiders at Ziklag. This situation seriously threatened the morale and cohesion of his army (1Sam. 30:1-6). Subsequently, David saw the need to have soldiers at the rear and decreed that they be treated like those who go into battle because they protect the rear (1 Sam. 30: 23-25).
On the other hand, Joab had a decisive victory over the coalition of the Ammonites and Arameans by splitting the army into front contingent under his command and rear contingent under the command of Abishai his brother as recorded in 1 Chron. 19: 10-15.
By taking care of the front and rear, Joab was able to ensure a comprehensive victory by the grace of God. In a similar manner, the church needs to cover both the front (outreaches to possess the nations) and the rear (local church ministry).
In view of the above discourse, the theme for the year 2023 would be, “Repositioning the Local Church for Maximum Impact in the Nations” (1 Thess. 2:19-20 & Col. 2:6-7).
- Yεrehyε Asafo no mu den na anya Nsunsuasoɔ Kεseε wɔ Aman mu
- Yεrehyε Asafo no mu den na anya Nsunsuaso Kεse wɔ Aman mu
- Repositionner l’Église locale pour impact maximal dans les nations
This theme seeks to place a great deal of emphasis on the local church and reposition her as a formidable army unit to ensure successful mission of the Church in possessing the nations for Christ. In repositioning the local church, we will be working on some key areas, based on principles of war, to include:
- Morale: Pursue healthy church life.
- Security: Protect church core values and culture.
- Mass or concentrating power: Focus efforts on ministry priorities in the local church.
- Objective: Set achievable goals.
- Unity of command: Provide strong leadership at all levels up to the squads.
- Surprise and Manoeuvre: Make room for innovation and improvement of systems.
We foresee that when the local church is well positioned, it can be launched to make a difference in a hopeless world. Our local churches must be strengthened to equip and send out her members, and the members must go and take the nations for Christ as envisioned in Vision 2023.
To achieve the desired set goals under the 2023 theme, a pattern of teaching (Rom. 6:17-18) will be adopted, guided by some selected topics to help reposition the local church for maximum impact in possessing the nations. These topics are:
- Stoking the fire of the Holy Spirit, living in the fear of God in the local church
- The local church as a family
- The local church upholding the value of godliness
- Sacrificial giving and tithing
- The local church in evangelism
- Visitation in the local church
- Raising family altars to strengthen the local church: Lessons from the Puritans
- Encouraging personal devotions and small group prayer meetings to strengthen the local church.
In addition to these topics, we shall also dedicate the first three months of our Bible study sessions to studying the rules of conduct and core values of the church, as a means of strengthening the local church and deepening the CoP brand.
The theme 2023 – “Repositioning the Local Church for Maximum Impact in the Nations” is premised on the following scriptural verses: 1 Thess. 2:19-20 & Col. 2:6-7
I shall now turn to briefly expound on these scriptures in relation to the theme.
1 Thessalonians 2:19-20
“For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.”
The ultimate reward for Paul’s ministry was not money, prestige, or fame, but believers whose lives had been transformed by God through the preaching of the Good News.
Likewise, the theme 2023 is aimed at ministers, officers, and every individual in the church understanding and appreciating the fact that our greatest resource as a church is our members and that we should do all in our power to keep, love, nurture and equip them for the task of possessing the nations. And that no matter what ministry God has given to us, our highest reward and greatest joy should be those who come to believe in Christ and join us in fellowship in our local churches. Repositioning the local therefore will mean creating the needed atmosphere for them to be built up and made sharper for the task of influencing society with the principles, values and lifestyle of the kingdom of God.
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
In the face of the rival teachings by the false teachers and its enticing arguments, Paul calls the Colossians back to the foundational teachings they received when they first became Christians. He exhorts them to continue to be rooted and built up in it so that empty philosophical speculation that stands oppose to the gospel does not sway them from the truth in Christ.
In much the same way, we shall be intentional in grounding our members in the Lord. We shall build their confidence in the gospel of Christ which is the power of God that saves and unleash them into the world to be channels through whom God’s grace will flow to bless humanity. We intend by this theme to make the local assembly ready to combat every thought, arguments and pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
May the Lord continue to be with us and grant us the needed grace to carry this theme through to its desired end as we reposition the local for maximum impact. Amen!
APOSTLE ERIC NYAMEKYE