What kind of steward are you?
I don’t attend church often, but I had to hearken to my friend, an editor. I wanted to know whatever could raise the fancy of a doctor of philosophy and observer of the vagaries of Nigerian politics in any church in Nigeria. I got a surprise package from the Latter Rain Assembly.
The vision of the church is to raise a people of integrity, purpose and excellence with a passion for Jesus and addiction for Jehovah’s kingdom.
The purpose of the steward and stewardess of the church Pastor Tunde and Layide Bakare is to glorify God by making fruitful disciples, who reverence and exalt God, edify other believers, evangelise their primary domain of influence and extend disciple making to all the world as the Lord of harvest enables them.
Before I entered into the church I heard loudspeakers blaring out the preachment of a female evangelist, passionate about her subject. Like many churches of my experience, seats have been captured. Two places I tried to sit had already been reserved for family members.
However, it took an usher no time to get me a seat behind the television crew, a most appropriate place for a dispenser of news.
Just a minute past 11a.m appeared the robust and gleaming Pastor Bakare in festive mood, storming with a dance. The crowd of thousands of worshippers exploded in hymns of praise to God and God’s mercy as the chief steward clocked 61.
The Latter Rain Church was 29 on November 11, if I heard Bakare right. In a sermon laced with hymns, local and classical music, the chief steward asked: ‘What kind of steward are you?’ his theme. We weren’t dancing like that in my freshman year in 1968 when I was baptized at Oritamefa Baptist Church, Ibadan. Which was why last Sunday service made an interesting encounter.
Gleaming in a dark blue agbada, Bakare , on the podium defined steward as “one; he or she who manages the property or finance of another; ” and such property could be houses and estates, land, church or children. Two, a steward is one who administers anything as the agent of another or others.
Three, one who has charge of the household of another buying, obtaining food and directing the servants. Four, a steward is an employee who has charge of table, wine and servants in a club or restaurant.
Five, one who attends to the domestic concerns of persons on board vessels, ships, airplanes, the train, who is responsible for the comfort of passengers.
Six, a person appointed by an organization or group to supervise the affairs of that group. Seven, a steward is an officer in charge of food, housing quarters and mess of members of the armed forces.
A stewardess is a woman who works as a steward on a plane, ship or train. But one distinctive factor is that a steward isn’t an owner. He is only an overseer. But a steward can become the heir of his charge, like Joseph became prime minister in Egypt.
The personal qualities of a steward are that he must be faithful and loyal to his master; he must also be blameless.
My example of a good wife and steward is the woman of Shunem. Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a notable woman who persuaded Elisha to eat some food.
So it was, as often as Elisha passed by, he would turn in there to eat some food. And the woman told her husband..,”Let us make him a small room and let us put a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lamp stand, 2Kings 4:8.
Observe that, one, whatever you need more of, make room for it. You don’t get what you want in life, you get what you prepare or work for. This woman’s generosity resulted in her having a child when she wasn’t able to, and her child later being raised from the dead when sickness claimed him.
When you make room for God in your life, you make room for the blessings that follow Him. Second, notice the four things she put in the prophet’s room; a bed, meaning there are times when you must run, times you must rest. Indeed, if you don’t learn to rest, you will break down.
A table, this means, spiritual food to nourish your soul. If you plan to give out, you must plan taking in too.
The chair speaks of study: Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth should not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. And a lamp shows illumination.
Even after you have studied long and hard, you need the holy spirit to reveal the truth to you. And that is how to be a good steward of God’s estate, the church.
In attending the Latter Rain Assembly I can breathe the wisdom imparted therein and the reason we all should contribute to building The Citadel, the church of the world to come.
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