Be Intentional to Discipleship for Church Growth
2023 National Evangelism and Church Growth Consultation
Leading the morning reflection of the evangelism and church growth consultation held at Abetifi Kwahu, Rev. Dr. Daniel Osei Bediako-Akoto, the immediate past chairperson of Sekyere Presbytery, anchored his message on Ecclesiastics 11:1-6.
Solomon, in the text, is citing the ancient agricultural practice. When there is a flood and they wait for the planting season, some will scatter their seeds, and some of the seeds will grow even before the planting season to have early grains. They don’t wait for dry land before casting seeds.
He explained that this is about investments in souls and reflected on the following points:
1. Cast your bread upon the waters. To say bread here is about casting seeds, which are used for food. If you cast them, it means you’re not eating them. It is an intentional investment.
We should intentionally put funds into evangelism and hope to win some souls by all means. We should intentionally invest time in discipleship to grow the church.
Papa Bediako-Akoto cited an issue that happened in Accra Ridge Church where a newcomer in the church was told by a member that “this is not your place to worship”, after assessing his appearance, saying, “Go to Tudu”. This is not the standard Jesus Christ has set for us Christians. The intentional investment of openness to all must be our focus as a church.
2. Infusion. We are to focus on causing our members to be branches of Christ Jesus and contribute effectively to church growth. Intentionally, we must make people in the church disciples and not just members.
Papa Dr. Bediako-Akoto expressed his worry about some Christians complaining about people of other faiths relating so well to the church. It is a destruction of opportunity to grow the church because Christ needs all of them.
3. Where a tree falls, that is where it will lie unless there is an intervention. Papa quizzed, “What are the intervention strategies for the lost souls?” We must not leave them where they are but intervene to save them well for Christ.
4. We have turned the great commission into a great omission with a number of excuses. When you look into the weather and assume rainfall, you’ll always remain indoors without casting your seeds.
He exalted that the church must deepen discipleship, beginning with the ordained and ending with the lay. The church needs a total paradigm shift to intentional Church growth.
5. We don’t know the work of God because it’s a mystery. Since we do not know God’s plan, let us cast the seeds in faith, in-season and off-season, and God will cause them to grow and yield our bread. Amen!