A Professor of New Testament and immediate past President of the Church of Christ in Nigeria, (COCIN), Rev. Prof Pandang Yamsat, has called on Ministers of the gospel to endeavour to improve their pulpit preaching, especially as most preachers, these days, hardly address the issues of the Bible, to let people know the word of God and the truth therein.
The Ex-president of COCIN, who was one of resource persons at the Langham-Nigeria Preaching Seminar (Expository Preaching
Initiative) for levels One and Two participants, held at the Christ the Good Shepherd Centre, Owerri, in an interview, explained that the primary aim of the Langham Preaching Seminar is to work in fellowship with Bible Preachers, – the Clerics and Lay Readers, and people who work in churches to enable them teach the word of God undiluted.
Rev. Prof Yamsat disclosed that Langham Preaching was founded on a threefold conviction which, according to him, include, God wanting His churches to grow up, doing so through His word, and mostly through preaching the Word
In an answer to a question, whether he was satisfied with the number of participants that attended the four-day expository preaching seminar, Prof Yamsat expressed the wish that many more people had attended the seminar, but quickly observed that the number of participants was not actually the main issue. What matters, according to him, is for those that attend the seminar to be able to understand the Bible contents and preach the message as it is.
In his own remarks, the South East Chairman of the Programme, and also the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Ihiala, Rt, Rev, Raphael C.O, Okafor, expressed gratitude to God for the vision of the founder of the programme world-wide, late Dr. John Stott and said that the initiative has yielded much fruit over the years, and has also been of great benefit to the programme participants.
Bishop Okafor noted that, because the Bible is the word of God, it is to be diligently studied, faithfully expounded, and applied very relevantly, stressing with regrets that, the pulpit has suffered much abuse, as many have left the substance to pursue the shadow.
While expressing satisfaction with the number of people (Clerics and the Lay) that attended the seminar, the Prelate noted with delight that more Bishops were now getting more interested in sending participants to attend the programme and would, indeed, have sent more of the Priests and other church workers to participate in the seminar but for the on-going synod in their respective dioceses.
He called on wealth-to-do Christians to help sponsor the programme and more participants from their various Dioceses and church set-ups.
Bishop Okafor used the opportunity to profoundly thank the Bishop of Owerri Diocese, Rt. Rev. Cyril C, Okorocha Ph.D, and his wife Dr. (Mrs) Eunice I, Okorocha, for their generous reception and for allowing them the use of the venue of this year’s programme. His gratitude also went to the Local Organizing Committee comprising Venerable (Engr.) Qbioma Okere, Rev. Canon (Surveyor) A .C, Chukwuocha, Rev, Donald Awujo and others for working hard to ensure the success of the programme here in Owerri.
Adding his voice, the National Coordinator of the programme, Brother Chukwuemeka Egbo expressed delight in the improvement noticed in the preaching style of many pastors that have benefited from the programme since its inception.
He, however, hoped that more Priests, Lay Readers, Sunday School Teachers and other church workers, would take advantage of the programme to sharpen their preaching skills and ensure that their listeners are always given the right message of the gospel.
Among those that constituted the Resource Team in this year’s programme were Venerable Paul Nwozuzu, Venerable Zion Ngoka, and Rev. Canon Chike Samuelson, al! of whom belong to the Anglican Diocese of Owerri. Others were Rev. Prof Pandang Yamsat, ex-president of COCIN, Rt, Rev, R.C.O, Okafor of Ihiala Diocese who is also the chairman of South East Langham Nigeria and the National Coordinator of the programme, Brother Chukwuemeka Egbo.