By Archdeacon Jonathan Adudu
The Diocesan Bishop of Ika, His Lordship, Rt. Rev. Godfrey Ekpenisi, organised a three-day Retreat for his clergy and Catechists numbering over 110 at Ibru Int’l Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-otor in Delta State from March 1 to 3.
Addressing the clerics at the event themed, “Servant Leadership” and taken from Matt. 20:20-28; Jn 13:12-15, Ekpenisi said pastoral care and effectiveness, both in the sacred and secular organisations, would be less stressful if the principles of servant leadership are practised by those privileged to be in office. He enjoined his audience to follow Jesus’ teachings on leadership, which is a significant shift from the worldly pattern in which the leader lords it over his/her followers.
The Bishop used the occasion to have practical discussions with the clergy on effectiveness in ministry. He appreciated the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba and management of the Ibru Centre for the improvement on facilities at the Centre. He also led the clergy in prayers for the peace of Nigeria and particularly for the success of the newly appointed service chiefs in fighting insecurity in the country.
Preaching during the Holy Communion service, the Administrator of Igbanke Administrative Area of the Diocese, Ven. Eric C. Elosia, noted that Church ministry is a position of honour for those who have the privilege of being called. He stressed that the calling is to serve and not to lord it over the people, as practsed by the people of the world. He said although the pastors are not the people’s slaves, they are slaves of Christ to serve the people as enjoined by Christ, Who is the Lord. He condemned the autocracy and arrogance of some ministers and urged the participants to be servant leaders.
Other speakers at the programme included Ven. Obed Chukwuk, who gave the keynote address, Ven. (Dr.) Ikechukwu Eze; Ven. S.A.T. Edogbeji and Ven. (Dr) Jonathan Adudu, who coordinated the programme and Bible Studies.