By Rev. Innocent Osuoha
Religiously speaking a Minister is an ordained individual fully trained and prepared to perform functions such as teach beliefs, lead services in weddings, baptisms or funerals. He also provides spiritual guidance for the congregation.
The term ministerial, apart from being the act of doing ministry, also refers to the process of serving or assisting others while fruitfulness refers to being fruitful and entails the minister relinquishing his self will and allowing God to lead him and not just lip service.
A glossy look at happenings in the ministries these days, especially as they concern the actions and inactions of the ministers will reveal that some ministers are divinely called to serve while many others called themselves. These self-called ministers fall within the category of Ministers, Jesus warned against, “Watch out for false Prophets they come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. But their fruits you will recognize them…..” (Mathew7vs 15-20).
The import of this warning by Jesus Christ is that the quality of life a Minister lives and not his status determines the type of fruit he bears. This means that if a Minister lives a life of sin and evil, his fruitfulness would be on the negative side because the Minister is not bearing the required fruits, then the consequences as contained in the gospel of Saint Mathew chapter 21 verse 43 manifests, “ there I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit”.
There is no gain saying the fact that most Ministers who condemn the “craze for material wealth” are now so enmeshed in it that they forget to take out time to ask themselves some vital evaluation questions such as, “how fruitful have I been in the service of the Lord? Is my stature, posture and position in the ministry commensurate to the fruit am bearing”?
A Minister of God must always bear in mind that if he preaches the gospel with the right kind of passion, the right kind of conviction and from the right stand point, the gospel bears fruit which also manifests as fruitfulness in his Ministry.
Ministerial fruitfulness follows a process which begins with faith. Faith in itself is the foundation of fruitfulness and this faith is the faith in Christ. John chapter I verse 12 in the Holy Book sums it up, “yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”.
Jesus Christ is the owner and controller of nature and season. He expects the Ministers he has appointed to be fruitful in season and out of season. He expects them to be fruitful whether the church they are posted to or the environments they are operating in are convenient or not. He expects fruit from them whether the fringe benefits are being provided or not.
He expects his Ministers to bear fruit whether they are recongnized, applauded, preferred or not. Jesus demands fruitfulness from his Ministers whether the parishioners are cooperative, hostile or lukewarm. There should not be excuses for unfruitfulness just as Paul admonished Timothy, “Preach the word in season and out of season (2 Timothy chapter 4 verse 2).
Honestly, the task facing the Minister and the issue of his ministerial fruitfulness is not an easy one especially when one recalls the contents of Mathew chapter 3 verses 7-10 which partly reads, “the axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into fire”. May the Lord help our Ministers to bear good fruits that will last, in Jesus Name, Amen.
By Rev. Innocent Osuoha