The church is God’s community; this is a spiritual community of faith with mandate to represent the interest of God on earth. Through this spiritual community, God wants to reach out to the secular community. We are to evangelize the community towards God. This is our first assignment to preach repentance. And then demonstrate the diakonos and apostolic mandate. Acts6:1-8.We are to minister to the whole man, we need to provide life coaching. The only institution which has answers for dying world is the church. We are God’ stewards.
Stewardship is required in our communities. Who is a steward? A steward is anyone charged with a responsibility to take good care of that which is not his or her hence liable to give a full account of his or her stewardship ” It is required that a steward be found faithful”1 corinthians4vs2. Every steward is accountable to the one who appointed him or to his master, in this case a nation and its natural or financial resources are God’s property and people are God’s creation. We are charged with responsibility and duty whether as politicians, clergymen, community leaders or traditional leadership to Manage, Develop and Preserve what God has created.
Two words will repeatedly come out whenever you find the word stewardship in any context,” Responsibility” and “accountability” We are to preserve the nation from spiritual,morally,economical and social corruption and contamination by any means. We are to manage, develop and preserve the national, social economical, spiritual and public affairs and properly manage the national resources, national investments, and national treasury. We have a duty and responsibility to improve the social, economical and moral standards of our communities as church leaders. it’s unfortunate that the church avoided anything which involves community.
Ungodly people corrupt society, Corruption is actually sin and gross wickedness which delays the social, political, economical and spiritual progress of a country. When a nation denounces the authority of God and godly principle of governance a seed of decay and erosion of morality, justice, peace, integrity and the fear of God takes place. This will lead a nation into a serious social and moral breakdown beyond human comprehension.
Community leadership is ordained by God and not by man, according to the book of Romans13:1 both the government and its citizens has responsibility towards each other and also towards God as the creator and owner of everything. Every one needs to treat national duty and national leadership as sacred God is concerned how we rule and how we govern his people, though in society today we may have different kinds of systems but the final account will be given to God. The rule of God through Godly leadership by prophets or priest or clergy is called a theocracy.
In any sense man needs to be governed especially when man rejects God Why?, If man is not governed by anything we are going to face chaos.1Timothy1vs8-9 Democracy itself is not a biblical system or order but the word government has repeatedly appeared in the scriptures Romans13:2. While democracy is the work of man through philosophy and politics, government and authority ids ordained by God. Legend politician Margret Thatcher once admitted in a public speech that “We cannot make it without religion” What she meant was we cannot make it without God; A godless society is an evil society.
In most case in the Bible the kings of a nation through their leadership made the nation to sin, this is true even now Bad leadership,
THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH IN COMMUNITY LIFE
We are charged and mandated by God as Christians to preserve the nation from moral catastrophe as we see people departing every day from what is right to pursue their lewd emotions, sinful ambitions and ungodly personal agendas and self gratification which indeed is the cult of self worship and Gnosticism. People will always seek different way in which they can find meaning to their lives, fulfill their own lives and be happy as human being but all we arrive at is more confusion and human complication. Commonly this is done in seven categories
We have a duty as a church to do the following thing in our nations.
1. Give spiritual guidance.
2. Give prophetic direction, a nation without a prophetic voice and a prophetic direction is doomed.
3. Preserve, develop and manage our nations for God. The first responsibility God gave man was to take care of the earth and to rule well over everything he created on earth. We need to know that nature preservation is God’s will for man. We need to take care of our natural resources, our health, our jobs, our environment etc.
4. Be exemplary to the circular world of ungodly people and political leaders.
5. Be a trusted institution where both society and our government will run to for spiritual direction and solutions.
6. To disciple our nation for Christ following the great commission in the book of (Mathew 28vs19).
7. To pray and intercede for our nations according to the book of (1Timothy2vs2-4). We need to have special and specific prays for our national leaders and pray for them instead of cursing them if we are to live peaceable lives.
8. Be a socially and spiritually relevant corporate body of Christians.
9. Keep our national spiritual gates through radical and aggressive spiritual warfare and intercession.
Providing Godly national leadership does not only mean becoming g a President of a country but it means is you can provide godly leadership in whichever environment God has put you in.It can be in a civil society, NGO, Church organisation, CBO, UN agency or a government department. God demands that we bring fruit and positive results in which ever place he has place d us in.
You can be a civil servant for example a policeman or a teacher or a Member of Parliament or even a cabinet minister. You must prove competency and integrity as a Christian that is the first step into providing Godly and spiritual leadership. You presence as a Christian should command respect in all these institutions. Community leadership does not start from the top though in record or in theory it does but in practice it starts from the grass root those who work directly with issues and people at ground level. As Christians we must treat our jobs or employment as sacred and a stewardship which we have received from and not just a means of earning a living. As a Christian your labour in everything is not in vain, its either it will bring good fruit or bad fruit so be careful how you labour.
If your labour is good it will definitely contribute to community development, preservation of or society and environment and proper management of God’s creation.
THE CHURCH AND THE COMMUNITY
It’s inspiring to see churches in the west and other developed countries emerge to deal with issues relating to societal and community affairs. Africa is still struggling to find means and capacity to respond to the social ills in society. Biblically based help and Christ centered programs aimed at helping the community must be designed from a theological, spiritual and biblical point of view. For example, HIV/AIDS, Alcohol and drug recovery programs must be part of the church’s mission statement. These programs form part of what ministry is. Ministry is becoming relevant to people in need and afflicted.
Spiritual guidance is necessary to help shape society and provide solid spiritual and moral foundation. Where is the church amidst all these social ills and realities of the day? The church must reconsider it’s role in shaping the destiny of society; otherwise posterity will judge the church harshly
The church as an agency of God on earth has a clear mandate and responsibility to find permanent and true solutions to human predicaments. Armed with the word of God and God’s anointing, the church is competent to deal with substance abuse effectively, the only problem faced is little or lack of emphasis. The church’s training agencies overlooked this part of spiritual and social training or skill.
The church is strategically positioned on earth to deal with spiritual and social ills. Therefore, it’s not within the best interest of the church to condemn and shun from the problems affecting the broader society. The church cannot condemn substance abuse, if in the meantime it’s doing nothing to prevent or address the problem. To show that the institution of the church is not tailored towards addressing this matter, we have no systems and programs designed to tackle the problem.
We have inadequate people to deal with the problem. All fall into the so called pastoral duties. In my opinion, the church must have spiritual practitioners who are skilled with both spiritual and social skills to deal with the problem. Those affected by substance abuse should see the church as a place of safety and help and not a place where the stigma is rife and at its peak.
If the church is indeed a revolutionary kind of institution, called to foment a social revolution by promoting justice, lifting up the sanctity of human life, fighting for the underdogs and challenging the prevailing value system in our world, then it seems we should be out in front on social issues which affect humanity
It’s clear that the church has seriously neglected this part of the gospel. The church’s response to matters of social dysfunctions such substance abuse and HIV/AIDS is very much needed and fall within divine jurisdiction and mandate of disciplining the people for the kingdom of God. Failure to respond to such issues with urgency implies that the church has lost its purpose and relevancy to society.
Salt is good. But if the salt has lost its savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It’s neither fit for the land, nor for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that has an ear to hear; let him hear. Luke14:34-35
The church then must with open hands facilitate the healing, deliverance and rehabilitation process. Such a process can through warmly receiving persons who are struggling with addiction into the family of believers without judgment and stigma. I believe new birth does correct a person’s moral and spiritual life.
The greater calling of Christianity is to serve the church and society around us. Some may serve God in a more submissive way and some may chose to serve God in society on a more aggressive role. Such kind of aggressive role may include taking on national and political leadership. Other Christian’s heart motivation is to be way makers, trend setters and pace setters.
It’s not against the word of God for a Christian to have influence in the areas of national leadership and political platform and disciple the nations for God we are charged with greater responsibility and divine mandate to advocate for truth, uprightness, justice, integrity, morality and fair play in our corrupted society.
Fruitfulness in the lord goes beyond just preaching the gospel to win souls but it includes making a positive contribution towards our society and promoting the kingdom of our God. So our vocations are part of the greater plan of God for our lives and calling. God wants us to serve beyond church borders and reach out to mankind. Ministry is larger than what we have made out of it, it goes beyond church walls.
I personally find nothing wrong with Christians being involved in community affairs. I encourage Christians to take up political positions because that is what God intended for man, to have dominion and rule on earth with fear and apology. Nations are our responsibility to govern; it’s our stewardship to do so. Discipling the nations for God is part of the greater calling and stewardship of the church.
And God said let us make man in our image, after our likeness and let them have dominion over Genesis 1vs26
And God blessed them and God said unto them be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it and have dominion. Genesis1vs28
The best in us must be realized and properly released to our generation. Our communities lack spiritual leadership to disciple them for God. Lack of correct teaching in the areas of business, politics, governments, education, community and vocation has made the church despise and withdraw from the very and most important institutions of society in which God wants us to be productive and take charge.
GIFT FOR THE WHOLE
Desiring to serve at national level or in political leadership is very prophetic and apostolic. These functions are apostolic mandates. This kind of leadership is revolutionary and transformational.
In my examination of what we ascertain or ascribed as doctrine, I have found nothing biblically and spiritually wrong with politics, but what I have found are bad politicians. So in my view, political leadership occupied by Christians is not forbidden in scripture but it is seen as stewardship of nation.
It’s only dogmatic theology, conservative theology and religiosity which discourage this kind of Christian involvement and responsibility. All great men of God in the old times both in the bible and our nation played a part in the political establishment and liberation of our countries.
Great men of God in the bible including kings, levites, priests, judges and prophets were spiritual leaders who played a part in social life and community leadership at society. They took the voice of God in all spheres of life. They represented the interests of God as touching the nations. They radical and drastically took part in the affairs of the nations as ambassador of God People who are reformers in our society tend to have a prophetic spirit or flow within themselves.
BUSINESS AND POLITICS
For a long time, Christians whether protestant, Pentecostal, catholic and charismatic have debated the issue of politics and business. Many suggest a complete separation of Christians from politics and business why? Politics and business are secular and of the devil. Such mentality, attitude and poor theology is responsible for the careless growth of poverty amongst Christians and the body of Christ in general.
Further such is to be blamed for gross wickedness and corruption in the political arena. As the church was retreating from business and politics evil advanced and took over society. We must accept that business, money and politics are sacred and equal to ministry and require stewardship. Poor theology has misinformed, brain washed and misguided many Christians to that money is evil, business of the devil, politics is bad and dirty.
My question will be if money, politics and business are evil? Don’t you think employment itself will also be evil and should be abandoned? Some Christians are employed in companies which do business which is not even supported by scripture, some work in governments which are led by politicians. Honestly we must accept that politics, business, entertainment, education form part of our economies. The level of lack and poverty amongst Christians has carelessly grown to this extent due to the following factors;
1. We removed covenant blessings from our times
2. We believed in sacred /secular split
3. We withdrew from secular (politics, business, education, health care and entertainment.
4. We gave the secular over to evil
5. We interpreted the bible in such a way as to promote fear, gloom and escapism
6. We accepted the vision of us as receivers, tails, borrowers and underdogs and ran to hid.
7. We prophesied gloom and doom and waited for the take over of the enemy.
The secular is darker because light was withdrawn from it as Christians retreated.
Is politics evil? It’s really hard to prove from scripture that politics is evil. But what I have found is that God has no problem with politics but he has a problem with evil, corrupt and bad politicians’ bad governments and bad political systems. Just like money and business, what is wrong is what people do with their money; money is not evil by itself but can cause you to do good or evil.
For example, with money I can choose to buy food for my kids or I can buy cocaine drugs for my own destruction. Same with politics I can choose to serve people and the community I represent or choose to be a liar and a corrupt leader. What is wrong is what people do in politics.
Any politicians who have not God’s interest and peoples interest eventually becomes self serving and self seeking or power hungry resulting in the abuse of power, citizen rights, public money and the opportunity given him by the electorate.
A desire to lead in any political capacity is not a sin but such responsibility comes with great demands and higher prices to be paid especially if you are a Christian.
Leadership is not pride but an ordination of God, through these avenues God wants to disciple the nations through his children. We need to disciple our nations for God and not to give them away to Satan.
When the righteous rule people rejoice, but when the wicked rule people mourn Proverbs29vs2 (KJV)
We should take the voice of God into business arena and we are going to be shocked as we realize the power of anointed business ideas and decisions.
Secular work, ministry, charity, politics and business are sacred before God, so Christians must work their jobs and do business with the same passion and commitment as given to ministry.
The church must be positioned to take God’s voice into all spheres of life i.e, arts, politics, medicine, education, justice etc.
The ever increasing financial lack and burdens in the body of Christ hinder the progress and delay the growth of many Christian churches.
Incubating our congregation in business, financial, political and investment incubators will expand our influence and paradigm for success. Spiritual leaders and their followers are supposed to be financially and spiritually prosperous as we represent the blessings of the lord”
Biblical economics demands that all Christians involved in business must acknowledge that God’s creativity guides the righteous in business. Further, employers who are Christians must pay fair wages to their employees and pay bonus or increase wages for increase in production and contribution to the business.