“Powerful sermon, New Apostolic divine service?” Such an odd language for a typical NAC literature or event. I agree, we are not a loud-mouthed church and are very solemn and moderate about pronunciations on our doctrine and literature. So I was very curious when I heard a 2-day seminar on “Powerful Sermon” will be organized by District Elder Ebenezer Adjei for relatively new ministers in the Accra East District, and to be delivered by Bishop Eric Ampadu (rtd.). Dear reader, I was totally wrong.
As I sat through the training on 15th May and 13th June, 2021, I realized how truly “powerful” the sermon of a NAC minister can be. My mind quickly jumped to a few examples. Last year, 26th April, 2020, the Chief Apostle captured and inspired the hearts of many in his narration of the Flower Story, as an introduction to his sermon (https://www.nac-ghana.org/news-detail/news/the-flower-story/). It was a compelling true life example of how we perceive our prayers. Not long after, there was the likening of the congregation to the attributes of a mother by District Apostle Ehrich on Mother’s Day, 10th May 2020; this touched the hearts of many viewers on YouTube. I had never thought of the congregation as a mother.
Lead Apostle Oppong-Brenya would often situate his sermon within the context of the culture and lifestyle of the congregation he finds himself to great effect. Such sermons are deeply self-introspective. And of course, Lead Apostle Ohene-Saffo; he has a crusading style almost to a fault, proving beyond doubt the message he preaches and defending the faith and doctrine of the Apostles’ ministry. All these, I learnt were attributes of a Powerful Sermon.
In 82 presentation slides, 2 role plays and 2 group exercises, I understood that “a Powerful Sermon is one that is freely-spoken (in the sense of without a manuscript) spiritual address based on a biblical text to a congregation and motivated by the Power of the Holy Spirit.”
I, together with my fellow “young” ministers, learnt a lot more. To deliver a Powerful Sermon, the minister:
* Must know that a sermon is the preaching of the word of God
* Must be conscious that he is a messenger sent to deliver a message
* Must connect himself to God, his bearers of blessings and co-ministers and the brothers and sisters in the congregation
* Must pray to be led by the Holy Spirit so the sermon can provide answers to questions by members and help perfect the soul
The objective of the sermon is to:
* Bring all believers to be a part of Christ’s bride on His return
* Seek eternal fellowship with God
* Build and sustain the expectation of Jesus’ return
* Comfort and uplift, to increase knowledge in Jesus teaching, to enlighten our inner being, and to help towards purification from all levels.
Officiating and supporting ministers are expected to be:
* Concise and expressive in their sermons
* Lively and find the correct intonation, and remain natural in hand movements, posture and facial expressions
* Not to condemn other religions, cultures and doctrines
* Not to express political views
* Speak very little about themselves as much as possible
In conclusion, the minister must prepare himself physically and spiritually. He must also be aware of his commission and office and must align himself with the targets, teaching and leadership of the Church.
I left the auditorium fulfilled. Since, then I have replayed many recorded sermons and read through many divine service reports. I have only one conclusion: Truly, the New Apostolic divine service is inspired by a Powerful Sermon.