Though the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravages, the Directorate of Christian Education (DCE) of the Redeemed Christian Church of God has diligently continues to organize its Annual Teachers’ Conference for its teachers. The last event, with the theme: ‘Managers of Eternal Gifts’, was limited to the sub-regional levels of the denomination all over the country.
Lagos Province 14, a subdivision of Region 2 held its conference at the headquarters parish of the province (Divine Glory Parish), in Okota-Isolo, a suburb of Lagos.
Pastor (Mrs.) Folu Adeboye, the Mother-in-Israel of the church in her welcome address praised God for preserving the teachers’ lives and for the grace to see another year of Great Turnaround.
Mrs Adeboye, represented by Pastor (Mrs.) Alice Agbo, the Provincial Coordinator of DCE, LP14, stated that the year’s theme was carefully chosen to reflect the roles God has positioned teachers to perform in the ministry: preparing, moulding and developing others in the church through God’s word and the power of the Holy Ghost.
“Because each believer is given one gift or the other, it is our role as teachers to help them identify, develop and manage these gifts that God has given unto them to work with in the church. That is why this year’s conference theme is, ‘Managers Of Eternal Gifts’”, she noted.
Pastor Olusegun Osunsan, the Pastor-In-charge-of Province (PICP), Lagos Province 14, took the keynote address on behalf of Pastor E.A. Odeyemi, the A.G.O Training and Education. In his address which was anchored on a tripod stand of 1Thessalonicans 5:25; he admonished the teachers to always bear in mind that true transformation does not take place until the three dimensions of human being, the body, soul and spirit, are thoroughly dealt with.
“First, you must experience spiritual transformation. Then, you must learn how to transform lives through your teachings and, you must retool yourself by learning a better way of doing whatsoever you have been doing”, he said.
He further reiterated that one of the greatest challenges of being a teacher is learning new ways and new things on constant basis. There is always a better way of doing whatever we are doing.
“You are doing a fantastic job. Do not be tired. Keep doing a good job”, he stated.
Pastor Akinwale Olaoye drilled the audience on the place of effective communication in Sunday school teaching. He explained that in the Sunday school class setting, what we have going on is teaching, and this is done via communication.
He stated that effective communication entails that the message is not distorted during the communication process. And to communicate clearly, he said, the contents of the lesson must be tailored to produce the desired effect on the students, which is a change in the life of the students, especially spiritual change.
Olaoye listed some key elements of effective communication to include the ability to understand the age-appropriate ways in which your students (class) members learn, ability to pace oneself and learners, ability to tell learners where one is going to in the course of the teaching, and ability to make eye-contact, among others.
He was however quick to point out that communication is a process and not an end itself.
“The process of communication is not complete until the receiver is able to decode the encoded message”, he said.
To this effect, he listed even more elements of effective communication such as dressing well, building a bond with students, making use of clear current illustrations, being clear and concise, and others.
Pastor (Mrs.) Bola Owolabi spoke on ‘Keeping the Faith and upholding the Virtues of eternal value’.
She called the attention of teachers to what is happening in the contemporary society.
“It seems we are living in an age today, where many are departing from the faith which they once professed and have lost sight of the heavenly vision though this is not surprising because of the times we are living in,” she said.
However, she pointed out the fact that it is through faith that believers can prevail in a society like this.
“Faith does not make things easy but faith makes things possible”, she emphasized.
Besides, she reiterated the fact that teachers are not only expected to keep the faith, but must do this while also upholding the virtues of eternal value if they, the teachers must finish well.
“Every believer must be mindful and circumspect of his/her walk and work with God. For us who have already received the word of truth, let us be guided continuously knowing that the end is at hand”, she said.
Christian teachers were also charged to avail themselves to teachings and training for spiritual transformation for a fruitful Christian life.
Mrs. Roseline Abiodun, a Christian leader in the LP14 Directorate of Christian Education, admonished the teachers not to allow anyone to look down at them, bearing in mind that teachers and the teaching ministry are the foundation that absolutely helps the church to maintain its fold.
Abiodun reiterated the vital role of the teaching ministry in the New Testament church.
“The ministry of teaching in the New Testament was celebrated among the believers of the early church,” she stated.
However, she regretted that nowadays the church have degraded the ministry of a teacher, and warned that the moment a group of people has no teaching-priest, there will always be fundamental problems.
She exhorted the teachers to be proud of their ministry and to constantly strive to excel in their calling.
“Others may look down at your ministry as a teacher, but you must not look down at your ministry”, she charged.
Abiodun encouraged the teachers not to think of themselves as being of lesser value to the prophets, evangelists, or even an apostle.
“If you remain a teacher in truth and in spirit, from there, you will prophesy, you will win souls like an evangelist, and you will be an apostle and be able to touch your generation,” she stated.
However, she charged the teachers to expose themselves to word of God, other relevant Christian books and prayers in order to remain relevant in the ministry.
“For you to impart knowledge, you must be grounded in the word of God and other relevant knowledge; because you cannot give what you do not have”, she said.
She rolled out the attributes of spiritual transformation as; Spirituality, Education, Prayer, Love, Joy and Fruitfulness.
Walking with God, Abiodun hinted, is more than what one reads inside books. She explained that reading books on prayer does not automatically translate to praying while it is easy to teach about healing, giving, and similar things but people mostly fail at the realm of training.
“Reading books on prayer and praying are two different things. This is where training comes to bear. Praying is a function of training.
“Teaching and training are two different things,” she said.
She said teachers must show people how to apply the word of God as they should model their lives after the word of God.
Participants were also taught how to effectively manage their classes and students for maximum result.
Pastor Oluwafemi Anjorin, the Coordinator Directorate of Christian Education, Region 2, was on ground to grace the occasion. He applauded the leadership of Lagos Province 14 for a well organized conference and the teachers for turning out in their numbers.