“We believe not only in the power of the word of God to change the lives of individuals, but also we hold strongly that the power of God in His word can transform our society, our communities and help us to become who God wants us to be.”
These were the words of the Primate of All Nigeria, Anglican Communion, and The Most Revd. Henry C. Ndukuba, during an interview at his office in Abuja, to mark his second year as the head of the Anglican Church in Nigeria.
The Primate, who reaffirmed that 2020 to 2030 will be known as the decade of the reign of God, pointed out that the soul of a person is what is most precious to God. According to him, “Jesus Christ came to die for us, He rose from the dead for us, He ascended to heaven for us, and He is coming back for His people.”
Primate Ndukuba shared that his vision and that of the Anglican Church is focused on what God wants His Church to do, which is mission and evangelism. He expressed that God raises people not just as individuals but as members of His family, where everyone, whether old or young, male or female, is important. This, he said, is what informed the organization of the Joshua generation conference for the youths and the initiatives in the Anglican Children Ministry (ACM).
He emphasized that the Church of God in Nigeria must be on fire for God for it to be relevant in the 21st century and withstand the pressures all around. Archbishop Ndukuba said, “God’s priority must be our priority, and God’s priority is mission, evangelism, the salvation of souls, disciplining the people and helping them to stand for His kingdom in this our world and generation.”
The Bishop of Abuja Diocese opined that the Church faces the challenge of discipleship, where many converts and churchgoers don’t obey or comply with the word of God or the character of Christ. He posited that three things are crucial for members and the church’s leadership: sacrifice, servanthood, and eternal focus on the eternal goal, which is God’s eternal kingdom.
On the state of the nation, the Primate observed that there is a need for politicians, religious leaders, and traditional rulers to go back to the drawing board to birth a new Nigeria, “a Nigeria in which everyone is equal before the law; a Nigeria in which everybody has rights to live and to do what one should do for one’s living; a Nigeria, where people are free to worship God and a Nigeria where people are free to build together.”
Primate Ndukuba said, “So long as there are sacred cows, special tribes that are better than others, group of people that think they are the real owners of this nation while others are just additions to them, there will continue to be a problem.”
Therefore, he called for a spiritual, social, political, and structural solution to the issues in Nigeria and advocated for a country where everyone is free to live and fulfill their destiny.
Meanwhile, in a Thanksgiving Service held at the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Life Camp, Abuja, to mark the occasion, the guest preacher, who is also the Dean of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, the Most Revd. Buba Lamido stressed that it should be the goal of every believer to be found pleasing in the sight of the Lord.
Archbishop Lamido highlighted lessons that Christians and Christian leaders should learn from the life of David, noting that one must understand that life is a journey that has seasons and phases.
According to him, David never had a complete picture of his life; he had to walk by faith, trusting in God each step of the way, and sometimes in very extraordinary circumstances. He mentioned that Christian leaders must have the courage to face challenges because there will always be challenges.
He said, “Ministry stretches you to the maximum, constantly puts you out of your comfort zone. Ministry can be very draining physically, emotionally, and spiritually. There is a tremendous amount of responsibility and pressure in being a leader. There are many problems and challenges to work through, often with no easy answers. The answers only come from God.”
The cleric admonished the Primate and Christians to learn to handle criticisms, stating that leaders are more subject to criticism than others. He advised him to move continually, rise above his critics and do the work that God has assigned him to do.
He said, “Concentrate on your mission, change your mistakes, learn from mistakes but don’t dwell on them and deter from your mission. At no time should you leave your mission? When distractions come, remember your mission and work on what God has given you and assigned you to do. You must depend on God for direction, to direct the affairs of your life, family, and ministry.”
Lastly, he said, “Leading the Church of Nigeria, like the Anglican Communion, is an enormous task. The only way you can move forward is to depend on God for direction.”
BY NGOZI ADIGHIBE