A. W. Tozer remarks that the crucified life is a life committed to following after Christ Jesus. To be more like Him. To think like Him. To act like Him. To love like Him. But to achieve all these we need to understand scripturally the identity of Jesus Christ since the whole essence of Christianity begins and ends with Him. This year’s lectureship was themed, “Who is Jesus? Portraits from the Gospels.”
The purpose of this year’s lectureship was to call the church back to the ideal—the person of Christ. Not rules. Not doctrines. Not traditions. But the undeniable person of Jesus Christ. How significant Christ is to the church is reiterated by the fact that everything stands or falls in His person. And the applicable question that follows is “what will the church do about Jesus Christ?”
The theme of the years’ lectureship was broken into topics to answer this question—Jesus is the Son of God, hence the authority for the modern man. Jesus is the Son of man, therefore gives meaning to living in the flesh. Jesus is the Lamb of God, bearing on the thought of living a sacrificial life. Jesus is the Bread of Life, thus sufficient for sustenance. Jesus is the Christ, hence offering insights on how to live the consecrated life. Jesus is the Lord, thus worthy of our submission. Jesus is the Word, offering wisdom for daily living.
Within this theme, conferences were held that offered discussions between participants and speakers. For the men, conference topics involved, the shepherd discourse—principles for contemporary leadership, the true definition of greatness in the kingdom of God, and responding to dissenting voices in the church. For the women, conference topics included, women as pillars in Christian ministry, exemplifying godly submission, the Samaritan woman—sincerity, transformation, and mission. For the youths, conference topics included, mitigating the challenges of immorality among Christian youth, discovering your potential for godly exploits, and Christian youths as examples for right living in a morally perverse world. The children were not left out as teachers were allocated to them who spent time on the following topics, lessons from Luke 2:52, lessons from the parable of the prodigal son, lessons from the parable of the two sons, and the seven I am statements in John’s gospel.
Within the lectureship were other activities like prayer sessions, a cappella concert, conferment of Distinguished Christian Servant awards and a football tournament. The lectureship also featured a sequel to the coping with widowhood, a platform that debuted in the last year’s lectureship. A foundation intended to offer support for widows within the fellowship of Christ as they deal with the harsh and unplanned reality of widowhood. The lectureship also featured a health talk on coping with menopausal challenges which offered insights into the challenges our sisters faced when they become “senior citizens.”
The lectureship was well attended as on the first day we were already at full capacity. Over time, we stressed the right doctrine. And while we reaped the benefits for decades, life remained untransformed, unchallenged by the knowledge gleaned, yet, knowledge of the gospel increased. But as people don’t get converted by right doctrine alone, since doctrine only appeals to their minds but a life transformed by the person of Jesus Christ is convincing enough to appeal to the heart and reap the required benefits of the gospel goal—living the crucified life, brethren were called to live up to their call and strive for spiritual perfection.
We desire earnestly that as participants return to their congregations, their lives would be transformed sufficiently to inspire convictions in others to ask the question, “What must we do to be saved?” and draw the conclusion, “these people have been with the Christ.”