(An extract of the welcome address presented at the DIVCONN 2021 by the Most Revd Henry Ndukuba at the National Christian Centre, Abuja on Tuesday November 9, 2021)
O give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good; for His mercy endureth forever” (Psalm 136:1). It is with utmost gratitude and exuberant praise to God that we welcome you all to the DIVCONN 2021. We must thank God immensely for preserving our lives and sustaining the DIVCONN vision as a time of fellowship, divine encounter, renewal and refreshing in God’s presence for all Anglicans within and outside Nigeria and all our friends. DIVCONN is not just for Anglicans but all believers in Christ and with social media it is obvious a global event as we have more people participating virtually than those of us physically present here. We thank God for keeping us safe inspite of the challenges of our time and covid-19 – Psalm 46:1-5.
Our earnest prayer is that this year’s conference will be a time of deep renewal, restoration and release unto the kingdom service.
QUIT YOU LIKE MEN, BE STRONG
The Spiritual Life of the Corinthians Christians and ours today pointed clearly to their immaturity in Christian character, lack of genuine spirituality which manifested in their lack of courage, weakness and fear in contending for the faith delivered to the saints. Many of them have lost the sense of being Christ soldiers and so have entangled themselves with the affairs of the world. Is this not true of many of our churches today? Many Christians live as if this word is our final destination and so instead of contending for the faith, they simply compromise or are aligned with the world. Many Christians lack the courage and boldness to speak and stand against evil. Brethren we have no abiding city here, Heaven is our eternal destination. In our baptismal covenant, we are Christ’s soldier fighting the world, the flesh and the devil. We must fight valiantly under His banner. We must not be afraid nor ashamed to be different from the world. We must not live like children, tossed and fro with every kind of doctrine. We must not be weaklings that the least opposition will terrify and throw us down. God demands that we be strong, spiritually mature with courage and fortitude, knowing that we have a dependable captain of our salvation and the Lord of Hosts – Chief Jesus our Lord and Saviour. Like Martin Luther, we must constantly resist the temptation of trusting in our strength. It is very disastrous to trust in human strength. The scriptures says, “Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in an and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD (Jer 17:5).
The strength of man will fail us in this battle so we need the strength of God.
Beloved we must not be ignorant of the devil’s veracious attacks or be unaware of the fact that satan is out to destroy families especially Christian homes. Therefore we must have special focus on building healthy Christian Marriages and family lives as a means of building a healthy Church and Nation. We should take seriously our pre-marital counseling sessions and teachings on Christian Homes.
MISSION AMONG THE MEN
This is a mission to our men and fathers in the church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion). The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) National Christian Men’s Fellowship Convention Committee will be inaugurated.
CHILDREN AND YOUTH MISSIONS
We believe God that our young people who have left our church will return. It has begun already! We are consolidating the gains of the 2021 Joshua Generation International Youth Generation through the mentorship group meetings. The plans for the 2022 Conference have begun in earnest and we are expecting 30,000 to 40,000 participants. Please pray for the success of the conference and generously support it.
REPOSITIONING THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA MISSIONARY SOCIETY (CNMS)
CNMS is being repositioned to fully function as the Mission Arm of the Church of Nigeria. Its office is domiciled at Bishop Ajayi Crowther Memorial Centre, Osoogun with all the management staff living within the centre. The CON Mission Training School with Hostel is located within the centre. A family has donated a residential apartment and a hostel to the centre. Our prayer is that is that more families will do the same and more, God being our Helper. The funding for missions has been revisited, such that the Mission Fund will effectively be used to support our Mission enterprise globally. Our desire is that the Church of Nigeria will be used to stir up the Universal Church unto World mission and lead in preparing the Church for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The centre will provide strategic missions engagement platforms. In the Foreign Mission front, of the Church of Nigeria is doing very well but we can still do more.
We excited at what God is doing through our dynamic Clergy and missionaries serving God in every continent of the world. We received reports from Europe and UK; Japan; the Gulf and Asian Countries, South America, East and Central Africa, and the West Africa Region. There will be need to train professionals as missionaries for deployment especially to the 10/40 Window countries of the world where the Gospel is not readily received. The greatest need is funding the missions.
THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA MOBILE APPLICATION (CON APP)
The official Mobile App of the Church of Nigeria will be lunched at this DIVCONN 2021. The App will be an All-device-compatible. It will run on Android, iOS, Windows and on laptops. The App will be available on CoN website, ACNN, Google play store, Apple Store and other website. The App has the following modules:
- Membership Registration
- Mission Donation
- Primate’s Message
- CoN E-Commerce: Bookshop, e-copy of Church Hymnal, Book of Common prayer, Daily Fountain, daily Dynamic, CoN Calendar etc.
- Prayer Request
- Children’s Cartoon/Stories/Comic
- Daily Bible Readings and prayers.
Prayer is a very vital resource that we must continually engage and harness over every aspect of our Church life and ministry. Like never before, we must mobilize the whole church unto intercession. We must continue to cry to God on behalf of the Church and the nation.
The Lord has brought us to DIVCONN 2021 to bless us, transform our lives and meet us at every point of our needs. We therefore admonish you to avoid every form of distraction and focus on the Lord. Every session is important and there is time for everything. Do the right thing at the right time. God has prepared His seasoned servants that He will use to bless us at every session. Welcome to DIVCONN 2021. May God show Himself mighty on behalf of individual and corporately in the name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.