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Why we embarked on massive church planting – Bishop Oparah

Bishop Chukwuma Oparah of the Anglican Diocese of Owerri has linked his passion for massive church planting to the Great Commission, from Jesus Christ.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s Synod of the diocese,  “You Are Important: Divine Recognition for effective church growth and expansion (Mark 16:15) Rt. Rev. Oparah, Ph.D, quoted Mathew 28:19-20 where Christ said “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of age”.
According to him, “the Great Commission, as a premise for church growth, indicates that Jesus Christ is the source and the standard governing and driving church growth”.
The prelate drew attention to the parables Jesus used to illustrate God’s kingdom, saying that it was the primary theme of Jesus’ teachings as well as those of the disciples, adding that ‘it was an inestimable privilege to be in God’s kingdom.
Jesus, he said, illustrated that God’s Kingdom would start small and grow large, affirming that the kingdom of Christ is far bigger now than it was when He walked the earth.
He said that the world might not see the kingdom, but that the kingdom influences the world, with believers influencing people through their lives, witnesses and services.
Bishop Oparah cited Christian hospitals, schools, orphanages, among others as proof of the kingdom expansion, adding that in the eyes of God every human being is important in this growth, regardless of social status.
He, therefore, enjoined all God’s people to “do the work of him who has called us now that it is day, because night cometh when no one shall work”.
The 2nd session of the 21st Synod of the diocese which held at St. Luke’s Anglican church, Achi Mbieri, was an opportunity for a review of the numerous achievements and activities of   the respective Archdeaconries and parastatals in the diocese during the episcopacy of Bishop Oparah which is one year old.
It was the bishop’s maiden synod.
Preaching at the thanksgiving service that wrapped up the synod, the Anglican Bishop of Ehamufu in Enugu State, the Rt. Rev. Daniel Olinya, advised Christians to avoid things that impede church growth, such as internal crises, emphasis on the past than the present, influence of difficult and unapproachable leaders, dirty church environment and selfishness.
Others, he said, include pride and regimentation in worship method.
Bishop Olinya, the guest preacher, to the synod, enjoined Christians to shun materialism and invest in evangelism and mission.
While appealing to the Diocese to extend its benevolence to other dioceses in line with our Lord’s injunction, he praised his host, Bishop Oparah for his vision of planting 200 churches in 20 years.
According to him, it was the Holy Spirit that inspired Bishop Oparah.
He, therefore, urged all to be relevant and active in the church growth through evangelism and revere to leave the divine responsibility to the clergy alone.
Everyone is important, he emphasized. The event featured distinguished awards of excellence and dedication to service conferred on some Christian faithful by bishop Oparah.
Highlights of the service were a fund-raising for the bishop’s foundation for mission and development, (BFMD) cutting of the synod cake, among others.
The occasion was witnessed by bishops from outside the diocese, the clergy and other dignitaries, including Chief Emmanuel C. Iwuanyanwu and Rt. Hon. Uche Onyeagocha who represented the governor, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha (KSC).
In their remarks, the L.O.C. chairman, Sir Augustine Ohiri, and the treasure, Sir Emma Anumaka, described the synod as a huge success as it has uplifted the people of Achi spiritually and physically, adding that it was an act of God.
They noted that all they put in peace for the hosting of the synod will stand the test of time including the message of God they received.
They also disclosed that they enjoyed the co-operation of the Archdeacon and persons that served as members of the LOC, advising others to use the right people in such situation during their turn.

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