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“The church is becoming more worldly and the world is becoming more Churchy” -Rev Connel Idem


“Losing saltiness occurs in the failure of the Christian to daily take up the cross and follow Christ whole heartedly”
Story by Mikel

This noble and vocal man of God is of the opinion that most Christians of these days tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all.
Most of us would prefer, however, to spend our time doing something that will get immediate results. “We don’t want to wait for God to resolve matters in His good time because His idea of ‘good time’ is seldom in sync with ours.”
According to the prolific preacher of the Assemblies of God Church, Prayer is the act of putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts Re-affirming the necessity of prayer, he said “Let us never forget to pray. God lives. He is near. He is real. He is not only aware of us but cares for us. He is our Father. He is accessible to all who will seek Him.” In an exclusive chat with our strategic reporter Mikel, he revealed a bit about his journey in the ministry and the issues with Nigeria. The excerpt:

Can we briefly meet you sir?
I am Rev. Connell Idem, the senior minister of Assemblies of God, Kings Parish Gbagada, Lagos state.
Tell us about your journey into the ministry?
I came to Lagos in 1994 for my National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), after which I worked with Meryt Advertising as Assistant Manager, Media and in January 1999, God said it was time to “advertise the Gospel”. That is how it all happened.
What is the major focus of Assemblies of God Church?
The major focus of Assemblies of God in Nigeria is to evangelize to the lost with the Gospel.
What are the challenges of evangelism generally?
The major challenges of present day evangelism is that “The church is becoming more worldly and the world is becoming more Churchy” that sinners do not perceive a felt need for the Saviour, and the saved are gradually losing their passion for souls, but thanks be to God that there are still remnants who have taken an uncompromising bold step to declare their stand for God by preaching and living-out the undiluted Gospel of Christ.

What are the achievement so far?
The achievement is that, to the Glory of God sinners are still embracing Christ as their Saviour and are being redeemed from the slave market and from bondage to sin no more.

What is your candid message to the body of Christ and the nation Nigeria?
My message to the body of Christ is that, Christians should remember that we are the light of the world. No one lights a candle and put it under a bushel. “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” (Matthew 5:13-16). Jesus used the concepts of salt and light a number of different times to refer to the role of His followers in the world. Salt had two purposes in the Middle East of the first century. Because of the lack of refrigeration, salt was used to preserve food, especially meat, which would quickly spoil in the desert environment. Believers in Christ are preservatives to the world, preserving it from the evil inherent in the society of ungodly men whose unredeemed natures are corrupted by sin (Psalm 14:3; Romans 8:8).
Again, salt was used then, as now, as a flavor enhancer. In the same way that salt enhances the flavor of the food it seasons, the followers of Christ stand out as those who “enhance” the flavor of life in this world. Christians, living under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in obedience to Christ, will inevitably influence the world for good, as salt has a positive influence on the flavor of the food it seasons. Where there is strife, we are to be peacemakers; where there is sorrow, we are to be the ministers of Christ, binding up wounds, and where there is hatred, we are to exemplify the love of God in Christ, returning good for evil (Luke 6:35)

In the analogy of light to the world, the good works of Christ’s followers are to shine for all to see. The following verses in Matthew 5 highlight this truth: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5: 14-16 NABS). The idea here is similar. The presence of Christians in the world must be like a light in the darkness, not only in the sense that the truth of God’s Word brings light to the darkened hearts of sinful man (John 1:1-10j), but also in the sense that our good deeds must be evident for all to see. Mark 9:50 suggests that saltiness can be lost specifically through a lack of peace with one another; this follows from the command to “have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.” And in Luke 14:34-35, we find a reference to the metaphor of salt once again, this time in the context of obedient discipleship to Jesus Christ. Loosing saltiness occurs in the failure of the Christian to daily take up the cross and follow Christ wholeheartedly. It is when we depart from the Spirit-led lifestyle of genuine discipleship that the distinctions between ourselves and the rest of the world become blurred and our testimony is hindered. Only by remaining focused on Christ and being obedient to Him can we expect to remain salt and light in the world.
What words do you have for Nigeria leaders?

To the nation, let us not allow Tribalism, religious sentiments and injustice which are some of the perceived challenges bedeviling Nigeria to destroy this land. He advises that leaders should practice what they preach and Nigerians should rise above ethnic and religious sentiments as well as demand the right to be governed well. He expressed discomfort that Nigeria leaders should live upto their campaign promises while in office. Above all, let’s return to God for it is foolishness to ever imagine that we can do it, as a nation without recourse to our maker.