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Fellow members of the National Executive Council, let me thank you all for your continued commitment to the activities of the GPCC. The just ended National Delegates conference for once saw a greater attendance than the forecasted number which brought in its wake attendant logistical challenges. Let me take this opportunity to apologise to you all for the inconveniences you and the other delegates incurred.

For the past year, the GPCC had as a theme: Walking in the Steps of Christ 1Peter 2: 21. This was presented as a beginning of the need to focus on the subject of discipleship in the Ghanaian church. We raised the issue that the abuse suffered by Ghanaians, and especially those who call themselves Christians in the hands of self-acclaimed prophets, reveal the immaturity of believers in our dear country.  My address questioned the percentage of our followers who would be able to stand in the face of persecution if it should ever occur.

Identifying the goal of our discipleship as “making followers of who will be like Christ”, we agreed that discipleship was the supreme task of the local church. We also identified the need to focus on the character building of our members so that they would be people of influence in society.

Beloved, this year, it is being proposed that we continue to pursue the subject of discipleship, zeroing in on character building. We could consider the theme: Manifesting Christ-like Character, based on 1 John 3:10:  

By this it is evident who the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother (ESV).

The Scripture makes it clear that righteousness is not only an imputed state, but something to be practised. The children of God are those who practice righteousness. Jesus also states that righteousness is something to be thirsted and hungered for by those who desire to be blessed (Matt. 5: 6).

Beloved, a careful examination of the life of the average Ghanaian Christian will clearly reveal that the level of integrity in the society is considerably low. Our belief, preaching and teaching does not seem to be seriously affecting the day-to-day lives of our congregants. For example, not many believers see anything wrong with lying to get out of a sticky situation, or “paying something small to see their papers being pushed though”.

In spite of our large presence in public institutions, the level of corruption is getting no better. Can our members in the public sector boldly say they perform their duties in such a way that God is glorified? Are our teeming members in the marketplace, those running individual businesses etc., paying their taxes as they should? Fellow servants in the Lord, answers to these questions should inspire us to flag the issue of integrity in our messages and discipleship lessons.

To address some of these issues, we propose the holding of a high level integrity/leadership conference on the national level in June or a date that will be suitable to most of us. This meeting could involve all our pastors, lay-leaders and open to other Christians. Regional GPCC could also be encouraged to have similar conferences with support from the Headquarters. Our churches could also be encouraged to make the topics to be discussed in these conferences, regular features in their messages and Bible discussions.

Fellow servants of the Lord, my conviction is that if we can highlight issues of character in our churches and ensure our members live by these principles, sooner or later, the whole country will be transformed for the better. We must see this as a national crusade and rely on our numbers to see a change. This is an issue for the Church and not the politician. 

I invite all of you to contribute your suggestions on how to move this suggested theme forward, and to get ourselves fully involved in its successful implementation.

Thank you and God bless us all.
Opoku Onyinah (Apostle Dr.)

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