The Rt. Rev. Prof. Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, is calling for a guiding document to grow PCG churches in a particular locality. He made this call when addressing the 2023 Evangelism and Church Growth Consultation of PCG under the theme, “Church Growth: Our Collective Responsibility” (Eph. 4:11–12).
He explained that this is the 13th consultation being organized by the church. It was only in 2019 that the caption was reconstructed as “Evangelism and Church Growth Consultation.”
The Moderator explained that, in the past, we have been separating evangelism from discipleship for church growth, which we have now bridged because Jesus said, “Go and make disciples…” In Jesus’ mind and purpose for this, there is no separation between evangelism and discipleship; they must be factorized.
Rt. Rev. Prof. Mante explained why he has been intentional with this church growth consultation as a commitment to enhance PCG growth. Quoting the M&E Director’s report in the conference dosier, he explained that the PCG “Evangelism and Church Growth Consultation is a platform intentionally created by the PCG… to share a common evangelistic task, communicate evangelistic visions, explore new initiatives and methodologies, reflect on our mission mandate from different experiences and perspectives, and to forge a common strategy to reach every part of the world with the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ as commanded in Matt. 28:18–20 to enhance church growth.”
Growth Status of PCG
He explained further that the last five years have seen the highest church growth among all the previous years. The statistics of the church indicate that the church grew by a cumulative 33.8% with a quantum figure of about 350,681 souls, which is unprecedented.
Papa Moderator Mante indicated that the trend of the statistics reflects the increase in the number of Districts, Congregations, and Preaching Points since 2019. The past five years have also seen a consistent increase in the training of agents at Ramseyer Training Center, Abetifi, and Trinity Theological Seminary, Legon.
The Moderator indicated that the Church has done tremendously well in terms of infrastructural projects for the past five years. Considering the number of pavilions and all other buildings commissioned during the period, God has been so good to us even in the midst of COVID-19.
Nonetheless, the Moderator observed that some Congregations that were growing steadily have begun to slow down. He is of the opinion that “if you have higher figures and your percent growth is small, it is indicative that most of the members are not actively involved in church growth.”
Again, Rt. Rev. Prof. Mante noted that it is obvious from the findings that the larger the number of Districts in the Presbytery, the more resources are needed to handle them. That is the very reason to carve out Presbyteries from those with larger numbers of Districts, for effective supervision.
The Moderator made it known that it is time to equip PCG leaders on the principles and strategies of how to grow a cosmopolitan church. In addition, there should be a guiding document on how to grow a rural church, mono-ethnic church, emigrant church, etc.
Meanwhile, he called on the M&E Director, Rev. Dr. E. K. Sarbah to be ready with the policy guidelines for new members of the church.
The 18th Moderator, who is about to hand over the office, indicated, “Leadership in ministry, we don’t have a liberal stand.” Referencing Oswald Smith who sent a young pastor to a congregation and later observed that the church was not growing and things were not improving, Oswald called him and asked, “When you mount the pulpit, what are your expectations from the people?” The pastor replied that he had not thought of that. That was the problem. If you have no expectations, then you will not get results. He added, “Let us be intentional.”
Papa Moderator discussed that Christians of our day have created a big gap with Jesus Christ due to greed. Simplicity has been taken out of our lives by following the standard of the world instead of being the very light of the world. We should be asking ourselves the question of the sustainability of the things we carve for ourselves. Modesty is the life Jesus Christ modeled for us. The insatiable desire for our unsustainable lifestyle has led many of us into the greedy ways of the devil.
Embrace the power of the Holy Spirit. He said that being in communion with the Holy Spirit is all that it takes to receive His power (Acts 1:8). People who are in tune with the Holy Spirit easily get ignited within a short time in prayer as compared to others. The emphasis of our lives must be on our being and not just our doing.
“Church Growth: Our Collective Responsibility”
Speaking about the theme for the consultation, the Moderator explained that it is like a number of people in a boat. If everyone puts effort into paddling the boat, they move forward easily. In the same way, if all the baptized members of the Presbyterian Church become intentional about winning and disciplining souls, the Church will grow overwhelmingly. We must make it intentional to encourage, equip, and empower all Presbyterians to be actively involved in growing the church because it is our collective responsibility.
- Vision 1.5: Papa indicated that there is more work to be done to reach the target mark. We must be intentional about growth while adding all the others.
- Gushegu Mission Field: He explained that, in terms of numbers in PCG the Northern Presbytery is the smallest. Meanwhile, a gentleman called Matthew is working powerfully in Gushegu. Within 3 and a half years, he has established 42 Congregations with his team. The Moderator intimated that the people are calling by saying, “Come and make us Christians.” He pleaded with the Church to focus on the ministry in this area.
He called on all members to give full support to the Moderator elect, Rev. Dr. Nana Opare Kwakye to catapult the growth of the church in the next 5 years.
May God bless PCG and bless the “Evangelism and Church Growth Consultation.”