CREDIBILITY OF THE CHRISTIAN MESSAGE
By Akin Ojumu
The measure of a successful Christian ministry is not the size of the church building, it is not how many people are stuffed in the building, and it is not how many people hear or like the Pastor’s message. The measure of the effectiveness of a Christian ministry is how Christ-like the souls reached become.
A Christian ministry should be measured by how the people are becoming like Christ, by their continuing separation and distancing from sin, and their obedience to God. That’s the only measure. It is whether the people are coming and attaining unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. The measure of any Christian ministry is the tangible maturity and visible transformation of the congregation.
Instructively, there’s only one tool given to us by which we mature. And it is not the Hollywood-like church services with lighting and rapturous music. It is not the ceaseless business seminars and the diverse success formulas. It is not the deliverance meetings or the miracle crusades. The tool for growth, and the Holy Spirit’s instrument for maturity, is the Word of God.
It is by studying the Word of God persistently, knowing the Word of God intimately, yielding to the Word of God unconditionally, and being transformed by the Word of God totally that the people of God become progressively matured and become more and more Christ-like. It is by the Word of God that the people of God are sanctified, and it is by the Word of God they attain unto holiness.
“Sanctify them in the Truth, set them apart for Your purposes, make them holy; Your Word is Truth.” (John 17:17).
Therefore, the task of any Christian ministry and the responsibility of any denomination is to feed the flock of God with the Word of God by which they are transformed. It is by continually feeding the people of God with the Word of God that they gain victory over remaining sin, achieve success over residual rebellion, and overcome lingering resistance to the word of God in their lives.
It is only then they are able to go out into the world and live evidently transformed triumphant God honoring Christ exalting lives. And it is when the unredeemed world sees them live out their redeemed lives that the unredeemed world might be inclined to believe in their Redeemer.
The power of evangelism, i.e., the proclamation of the Gospel, comes from wholly transformed lives lived out in a sinful world and the proclamation of the glorious reason for that transformation, i.e., the Gospel of Jesus Christ, coming out of the lips of credible lives.
The Christian message becomes credible only when the people of God live credible Christian lives. And the people of God live credible Christian lives only when they live according to the Word of God.