The Gospel of Redemption Evangelical Mission (GOREM City of Wonders) will commence its annual anniversary tagged ‘Higher Grace’ by tomorrow, Monday, August 26. Reverend Prayer Otuomachi, the senior pastor and overseer of the church, speaks on the 2019 anniversary and what worshippers should expect in the week-long event of the church. Excerpts by SEYI JOHN SALAU :
What is the motive for celebrating this anniversary?
In the bible days, God instructed His servants to celebrate certain seasons as a remembrance and it was a remarkable experience. It was from these examples we followed to celebrate our yearly anniversary. Furthermore, we use the anniversary celebration to reflect on God’s past and present mercies. This also rejuvenates our faith in God after noting some landmarks he gives yearly. This also makes us to trust in God more for our future victories. Also, the observation of the anniversary helps us as a local assembly to set goals to be achieved each year. This is why we break new grounds every year that we mark the anniversary.
What should the worshippers expect as they celebrate the 2019 anniversary?
In Gorem Church, our mantra is to lay more emphasis on looking unto Jesus; the author and finisher of our faith. More so, because Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever; in Gorem Church; this makes the worshippers have high hope whenever any programme of the church is approaching. Furthermore, as the announcement is being made regarding the anniversary, many worshippers see it as another special time to dine and wine with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. All these and more make the worshippers in Gorem to be expectant of the anniversary each year.
Away from the anniversary; what is the solution to the current security challenges bedeviling the nation?
Challenges generally are the indices of growth, depending on how you handle it. Therefore, the security challenge in our country is not peculiar to us. Some countries at one time or the other had their peculiar challenges in one area or the other. Challenges are forerunners of growth provided it is well handled; to this effect, the authorities concerned in our country from the lowest to the highest level should put up their thinking caps to find lasting solutions to the security challenges we are currently facing as a nation. They should critically look into the problem with the aim to finding the causes of this problem and at the same time proffer solutions. A careful observer will discover that our youths are mostly those that fall prey to being used for carrying out evil acts. Therefore, the government in power should go the extra mile to find the culprits and make them to face the wrath of the law, and at the same time empower our youths to avoid idleness.
What can be done in Christendom to revive the fortune of the nation?
First is the saying that charity begins at home. The Christian community must first put their house in order and stop fighting one another but rather embrace unity which our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, preached and showed us example to follow (Jn.17:20-26) then; they will speak with one voice in obedience to God’s word in 2 Chronicles17:14 which says “if my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will heal their land”.
Secondly, Christians should engage themselves in more intense fervent intercessory prayers for the nation, both in their private and public worship as commanded in 2Timothy 2:12 for those in authority, kings and others that we might have peace.
Can we attribute the atrocities in the country to sin and wrong doings?
If you look at God’s dealings in the bible days with nations; sometimes, God himself permits some unpalatable situations to teach nations of the world a lesson because of their evil deeds. At other time, God might not be punishing the nation for their sins. But, to us some lessons as a nation – the bible says it is those that God loves he chastens. Hebrew 12:5; Revelation 3:19. Nevertheless, the government of the day should also rise up to its responsibility by seeking ways of curbing this menace that threatens our existence as one nation and even paralyse our economic activities, especially loss of human lives and other valuables.
Therefore, I pray for Nigeria where service in its true meaning and sense will be manifested at every facet of leadership, and when I mean at every facet of leadership I am not just talking about our leaders within the political spectrum; both leaders in the church and every area of life, where service in its true sense will be service. It’s very difficult for you to find anybody saying that they don’t have some religious affiliation. I think that we can’t replace God in leadership. If we look at God’s example, the bible says that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us – that for me is golden example of what leadership is.
How can church leaders help to curb the high rate of crime vis-à-vis the crunching economic situation in Nigeria?
The greatest good to be done to any man is to get born again; this will go a long way to transform and reform him by the grace of God. This will make him deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, but live soberly, righteously and Godly in this evil world and become zealous of good works. To this end, my Godly counsel for every church leader is, preach the pure undiluted true gospel of our lord Jesus Christ. They should also preach and pray for their congregations to be the light of their world wherever they are found. And above all, we, church leaders should live exemplary life styles following the footsteps of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ for our members to pattern after. The word minister in the English form – means someone who serves, but in our cultural context it is someone who is served. So, if we look at things properly, if we put God in His right place, if God occupies the right place in our hearts; if we fear God, things will align themselves.
Back to the church and you as a minister; how do you cope with the pressure of ministration as a young preacher?
Many enter into the ministry with wrong motive and selfish reasons to amass wealth for themselves. But not sooner than later, they discover that the money they thought would come and make were not as they thought. To this end, they become confused and discouraged on the way. Also, many ministers lack passion and love for God and humanity. These and many other reasons make many that truly had genuine call from God to bow out of ministry or are stunted in growth.
Finally, what has been the feedback from your outreaches?
We started such outreaches following the footsteps of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ too, in whatsoever we do; we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. This is why we move at the pace of the Holy Spirit; the owner of the church. God says that the glory of the later shall be greater than the former. Following this principle, it does not say that the former has no glory or is less important. So, applying this scripture, we temporarily suspended the former for the later glory. It was only for some logistic reasons we suspended the free food initiative, just for a while. By God’s grace, we will continue it as God gives us the permission.