Francis Bola Akin-John

Empowering Leaders to Grow Healthier Churches and Ministries

Mission: EMPOWERING LEADERS TO GROW HEALTHIER CHURCHES AND MINISTRIES.

Operating as usual

[09/30/20]   PRAYER and RIGHT LIVING
"Prayer honors God, acknowledges His being, exalts His power, adores His providence, secures His aid. We cannot talk to God strongly when we have not lived for God strongly. The closet cannot be made holy to God when the life has not been holy to God." - E.M. Bounds
When our prayers does not achieve the above, it means we are only ranting. Our prayers must not just be mere theatrics laced with gesticulations devoid of honor to God. God cannot be mocked. Holiness of life cannot be discounted no matter how hard the world and church try to ignore this very important Christian virtue. Men who achieved greatness and made lasting impact for God were men who understood what E.M. Bounds said. God will bring healing to our land if we can humble ourselves and seek His face from a pure heart. Our priorities have changed. The world is sick and in a horrible frenzy. Who will be the beacon of transformation? Heaven is counting on you. Will you make yourself available? Like Isaiah, God is seeking for a man; will he find you? Will you stand in the gap? Nations have been changed through men who understood the power of the knee and who lived a holy life through and through. Why are the great revivals we've heard about so distant? Why are the Revivals that shook the world so alien to us in our days. We have lost it. The race to outdo one another has taken away our brokenness before God's alter. The tears for revival have dried up. We are so much in a haste to get out of His presence. I have read about great revivals and for every single research that I made, I realized that men were not in a hurry to get out of His presence. There were meetings that had gone on for days with people wailing before God. They paid the price but we want to win the prize without the sweat. God cannot be mocked. May you be available for God to use. This is the time. The church is long overdue for another mighty wave of revival.

[09/29/20]   10 INDICATORS YOU'VE STOPPED GROWING AS A LEADER

Leaders who stop growing lose their edge as a leader. They become stale, even if others may not readily recognize it. Every genuine and godly leader MUST be committed to personal, spiritual,ministrial, leadership and professional GROWTH in life and ministry. But when you are stuck in your growth as a leader,it will have negative bandwagon effect on your ministry.
See if your life reflects any of these indications that you’ve stopped growing as a leader:

1. You can talk about nothing new about God and His grace. It’s not that God is changing, but that you’re stuck in your growth. Everything seems just like it was this time last year.
2. You’ve read no new books in the last six months. It might be because you’re busy, but it may also be because you aren’t pushing yourself to learn through the discipline of reading.
3. You are preaching and teaching “re-runs.” It’s just easier to pull something out of the files than it is to develop something new – especially if your growth is stunted.
4. You haven’t recently tackled any “God-sized” challenges. Nothing you’re doing is forcing you to your knees because only God can get it done. Stale leaders tackle nothing this large.
5. You haven’t shared the gospel with anyone in months. Typically, this omission (and ultimately, disobedience. . .) happens when we’ve lost our passion—when the mundane has become the routine.
6. All of your stories of God’s work in your life are past tense stories. You can talk about God’s goodness, but your testimony focuses more on yesterday than on today.
7. You tend to avoid people who differ from you. When you spend all your time with people who agree with you about most stuff, you’re not likely to be pushed much.
8. You’ve lost your energy and passion for the work. You go to work, but only because somebody expects you to show up. It’s not because love of your work wakes you up in the morning.
9. You no longer seek mentors. Mentors challenge us, stretch us, push us, mold us. Leaders who don’t have mentors often have little accountability for growth—and thus less reason to grow.
10. You just know you’re not growing. You don’t need any of these other indicators; your own honest evaluation makes it clear.
Once you are no longer growing as a leader,your people will stop growing too. Your church/ministry will remain stagnant once you stop growing.

[09/26/20]   THE PAINS OF GOD
Has anyone read these scriptures lately? " For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you..." Rom.2;24 "Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of God to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die" 11Sameul 12;14
What pains God the most is when His children brings His Holy name into disrepute among their neighbors. Our sins, weaknesses and wrong choices makes people to speak against His name. It usually hits Him deeply.
King David had his sins with Beersheba forgiven, but the LORD judged him for making his enemies to gloat against Him. Apostle Paul condemned the Jewish believers because they live in such a way that makes the name of God to be derided and ridiculed by the watching public.
The life of every professing believer and preacher will either bring praise or condemnation to the name of God. Our lives will always form an IMAGE for the church by the watching publick, because we are the Bible that others are reading. Once the impression of the public about the church is negative, it will lead to backslidings, persecutions and downward spiral of the churches, sooner or later.
It is the responsibility of every professing Christian to live HOLY, LIVE RIGHT, FIGHT SINS, either in our private lives or in the church. We must speak out against evils, else, it will overwhelm us all.
I beseech you fellow Christians, let us lessen the pains of God over the church by living holy, godly and no longer gives occasion for the enemies of God to blaspheme!

[09/25/20]   BIBLE TEACHING AND TRAINING (4)
"All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, instruction, correction in righteousness, that the man of God might be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" 2TImothy 3:16,17
The BIBLE is the sole book given to Christians and pastors to live by. The Word of God is INSPIRED by God to better, transform and equip us to live godly lives in this world for Him on a daily basis.
A. Every part of the scripture is given by God--either old or new testaments. They are God breathed and still have the power of God backing them up.
B. The Bible--right knowledge of the Bible is what will equip you to live right and be empowered. That is why we must study,preach, in systematic ways so as to pray and live the Bible. For it is only then we can be victorious over the vicissitudes of life.
In healthy churches, pastors don't allow dancing,singing, giving, ceremonies, celebrations and collections to replace the dissemination of the undiluted Word of God to the people. Ample time must be given to the clear, truthful and balanced preaching and teaching of the Bible in every service, it is then you can equip the people to live for God. Our lives and churches must be truly WORD OF GOD BASED.
Charles Spurgeon, one of my favorite writers, spoke often about the minister’s responsibility to guard himself, to “take heed, therefore, to yourselves first, that you be that which you persuade others to be.”* He pushed leaders to be people of integrity and credibility with the Word of God. Hearing Spurgeon’s challenge, here are some simple “Word-based” ways to build your credibility as a minister of the Word of God.

1. Know the Word. When you genuinely and intensely know the Bible, people recognize it. They will trust you more if they believe you’re a person of the Word.
2. Study the Word. Go to seminaries and bible school to know how to rightly divide the word of truth. Lack of bible sound bible training will make you teach errors and every wind of doctrine that flies about in Christendom today.
3. Memorize and quote the Word. Not only will these steps give you the Word on a moment’s notice, but they will also help you guard your heart (Psa. 119:9-11). So few believers memorize the Word today that people take note when you do.
4. Preach the Word. Some folks who know the Word still don’t focus on it during sermons. You’ll gain credibility if you use your preaching time wisely to proclaim the Word.
5. Keep your word. If you make a commitment, keep it. If you say you’ll pray, be sure to pray. Every time you do what you said you’d do, you strengthen a trust bond.
6. Watch your word. Don’t let your conversations slip into sin. Avoid ungodly speech and coarse jesting (Eph. 5:3-5) unless you want to weaken your integrity.
7. Explain your word. If you want to be more credible as a leader, explain the why’s for decisions you make. I’m convinced most believers will follow us better if they understand the reasons behind decisions.
8. Restrain your words. There will be times when you want to say more out of anger – and others might expect you to do so – but you’ll gain credibility if you speak only words that honor God.
9. Be truthful with your word. This one’s simple: don’t lie. Few other actions will harm your credibility as quickly as a lie will.
10. Live your word. Hypocrisy destroys credibility. Practice what you preach. Live the advise you give regularly to others.
11. Pray according to the Word. Not many people will know how you pray, but you will know. When your prayer life is genuine, you yourself will feel more credible when you lead God’s people. Every prayer that is not according to the word of God, will not receive an answer. Is that not why there are so many unanswered prayers today?
Build your church, ministry, preachings, teachings and life on the whole counsel of God revealed to us in the Bible. Don't major on one section of the Bible to the neglect of other sections. Build the faith of your listeners on the Word of God. Every other thing will perish, but the Word of God abides forever.

[09/24/20]   20 SIMPLE REASONS AM GRATEFUL TODAY
I don’t know your situation, but I suspect many of us have all kinds of reasons to say “Thank you” to God before we go any further into the day. Here are some basic reasons I’m thankful today:

1.I woke up this morning. I have life only because God continues to grant it.
2.I am a follower of Christ. I wasn’t always, and I am today only because God loved me and sent His Son to die for me while I was yet a sinner.
3. I was able to get out of bed this morning. Not everyone has that physical ability.
4.I woke up with a spouse who loves me. She loves me with a love I don’t understand.
5.I have young adults who love me like a dad and children who love me like a granddad. God has given me biological children, He's also granted me relationships that are incredibly sweet.
6. I can serve God freely. That privilege may not last many more generations (and it’s non-existent for many global believers today), so I must be thankful.
7.I have a roof over my head. I don’t have to drive far from my home to find others who are not so fortunate.
8.I have small generator to pump water. We may take it for granted,but am thankful
9.I have heat and air conditioning. Neither is necessary, and both are a blessing.
10.I have more than one change of clothing. In fact, it says something about my blessedness.
11. I have food in our refrigerator. Many don't have what to eat.
12. I have the entire Bible in my language and in my hands. Billions of people have no such blessing.
13.I can read that Bible. I don’t think much about the gift of reading until I meet others who’ve had little opportunity to learn.
14.I have a job. I may not always enjoy every aspect of it, but I’m employed In Gods ministry. That’s God’s grace.
15.I have a car. It’s older, but it gets me where I need to go. Having transportation may be the norm in our culture, but it’s still God’s gift.
16.I have petrol in my car. That, too, is only because God has been good to me.
17.I have money to buy lunch and dinner. I’ve never worried about having sufficient funds to eat. To eat out, even.
18.I have a church family. I wish all the believers around the world could gather with my brothers and sisters at Divine Christian Assembly to worship.
19. I can live today without fear of death. Even if the Lord calls me home today, all is well.
20.I serve a God who is sovereign. He’s not an idol made with human hands; He’s the one who made me and holds me in His hands.
How can I not say “Thank You” right now?
CL

[09/23/20]   VESSELS UNTO HONOUR?
There are lots of people who wants to be used by The Lord for His work one way or the other. In the Vineyard of The Lord, there are much work to be done. Today, very many people claim to be men and women of God, believing that they are being used by The Lord. But when I read my Bible in 2Tim.2:19-21, I discover that there are two basic vessels in the house of The Lord to be used:vessels unto HONOUR and vessels unto dishonor.
1.Vessels unto Dishonour are those whom God uses as the rod of Moses, ass of Ballam and the jawbone of lion that Samson used to kill a thousand people. The truth is even though these vessels were mightily used to perfume miracles and do great works, yet they were disposable, cast aside and abandoned. Meaning that being mightily used to do great miracles doesn't mean you are approved of God, if you are secretly a servant of sin.
2.Vessels unto HONOUR are those whom God is using as His mouth, eyes,hands,and parts of His body. No matter what, He uses them and wash them again and again in the Blood of His Son. They are renewable in Godliness, righteous living, hating iniquity and being a Christlike example to all and sundry. They live what they preach and build His Kingdom, not their own personal empires. They disciple people to know The Lord and stand for The Lord, not just gathering followers who are not different from sinners in their lives and choices.
Now, the big question is this, Are you a Disposable or a Renewable minister? Are you a vessel of HONOUR or Dishonour?
A very good morning to you

[09/22/20]   SIX WARNING SIGNS OF SPIRITUAL DANGER
A desperate friend recently contacted me because he was worried that his son might be under the influence of a Christian ministry with questionable doctrines. The leader of the ministry preaches that any church that doesn't experience regular healings isn't following the true Jesus—and he suggests that only his small congregation has an inside track with God. Thankfully, my friend's son discerned something was off track.

Satan loves to pull Christians into unhealthy extremes. And immature Christian leaders sometimes allow youthful pride, greed or insecurity to suck them into toxic spirituality. The result is always a trail of wounded people. In my years of ministry, I've learned there are several clear signs that a ministry has veered away from the truth and into deception. Here are the most obvious:

1. Lack of spiritual accountability. Healthy leaders know they need to surround themselves with mentors and advisers who can question them if they step out of line. Proverbs 11:14 says: "In the multitude of counselors there is safety." But if you are following a teacher, prophet or apostle who has not submitted himself to any form of accountability, you are asking for trouble. Never align yourself with a Lone Ranger, no matter how fiery his sermons are. He will likely lead you off a cliff.

2. Overemphasis on money. You'd think we would have learned this by now, after so many American charlatans have conned people out of their life savings to build their mansions. But the charismatic church today is still vulnerable to the extremes of financial shenanigans. Godly leaders always call people to fund the work of the church and gospel outreach; unhealthy leaders, on the contrary, manipulate people in order to line their own pockets. Don't be charmed when a preacher makes outlandish promises about what will happen if you give to him.

3. An elitist attitude. All believers in Jesus are part of the body of Christ. Yet Christians who experience certain gifts or manifestations of the Holy Spirit are sometimes tempted to think they are superior. If they aren't careful, this subtle spiritual pride can morph into a dangerous elitism. Suddenly they are God's favorites, with special access to revelation that no one else knows and authority that no one else has.

Some ministries today claim to have inside information about end-times prophecy and the return of Jesus. In some cases they convince people to store up food and even guns to prepare for Armageddon. Back in the 1980s, a preacher named Charles Meade convinced many people to follow him to Florida, where his church taught that only those who aligned themselves with Meade's group would survive the last days. Don't let anyone suck you into this kind of cultic mindset.

4. A spirit of control among followers. A mature leader knows the members of his church don't belong to him. But there are insecure and untrained pastors who use manipulation and threats to keep their members loyal. True pastors don't have to constantly teach on spiritual authority to win their support of their flocks; but a controlling leader constantly emphasizes that he is in charge, and he demands total submission. This mindset can lead to serious spiritual abuse.

5. Constant talk of miracles with no documentation. There is a great hunger today in the body of Christ for the miraculous—and faith is rising for healing, prophecy and the full manifestation of the Holy Spirit's power. But in the rush to see God's power displayed, some people fall into the trap of hyping, sensationalizing or even faking miracles to get attention. This never bears good fruit.

In 2008, thousands of people traveled to Lakeland, Florida, to witness a "revival" that was supposedly marked by nightly miracles. Yet many of the healings (and even resurrections) that were announced from the pulpit were never verified—and the whole thing abruptly ended when the evangelist leading those meetings admitted to adultery. I hope we learned our lesson from Lakeland. God help us from ever repeating that tragedy.

6. Strange revelations that lack biblical basis. The apostle Paul warned us long ago that waves of deception would affect the church. "For the time will come when people will no longer endure sound doctrine ... they will turn their ears away from the truth ... " (2 Tim. 4:3-4). Never follow a preacher who claims "inside information" from God that no one else knows. Don't be mesmerized by his teachings—even if he claims that an angel gave him this information, or that he received it in a supernatural vision.

The test of truth is not how spooky spiritual something sounds, but whether it is in line with God's Word. Many false prophets can say, "God showed me this," but they are lying if their message contradicts Scripture. If something sounds really off when you hear it, don't ignore your gut feelings.

Don't be deceived. If you are a follower of Christ, you have been equipped with an internal alarm system that will warn you about any unhealthy teaching or ministry. Listen to the Holy Spirit, who is called the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). He can give you the discernment to know the difference between truth and error.

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma.

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