A very major problem of the body of Christ today; the reason why we have not been able to evangelize the world, is that we are so preoccupied in ourselves. We seem to have forgotten that our Lord’s instruction was,”Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 KJV. Our efforts to evangelize our communities have been mostly unfruitful because we have failed to shine in good works. The compassion for the people in our communities, which is a necessity to effectively evangelize our communities is missing. Many of our churches are therefore surviving by recycling as church members, Christians that just came in from Nigeria or relocated within the United States or came in from Europe. God wants his church to thrive, not survive. The Christian Social Responsibility (CSR) was established to address this problem. The CSR platform obligates pastors and churches of the Redeemed Christian Church of God to consciously engage in programs and events that would directly impact their host communities. But as noble as the motivation behind the CSR may be, it’s doomed to fail if the pastors of our churches and the members do not embrace it. Nar2 Pr5 is fortunate to have a Provincial Pastor, Pastor Yinka Somotu, who has chosen to make CSR a major strategic goal of this province. His expectation is that every church in Nar2 Pr5 should organize at least one major CSR event every six month. The first six month elapsed at the end of June. The current six month period will elapse at the end of December 2021. Here are some reasons why we should collectively and individually engage in CSR programs.
First, if you read the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-37 which we are all familiar with, you will see that our Lord Jesus Christ commended the Samaritan for showing kindness to that man who was robbed and left half dead. The victim was apparently a Jew, because he was coming from Jerusalem. And we all know that the Jews at that time treated Samaritans with disdain. The beneficiaries of our good works don’t have to be friends or people that love us or can return the favor. The truth is, we don’t have to look far in order to find such people. They are in our communities; they are in the neighborhoods of our churches. I mean people who have been robbed and wounded by the devil. Our Lord is saying, “…Go, and do thou likewise.” Luke 10:37.
Second, the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ, our model, and the author and finisher of our faith, was primarily that of good works. Peter was an eye witness from the very beginning till the end. He said, Jesus “… went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” Acts 10:38 KJV. Jesus wants to keep doing good through us. We must understand that more people were receptive to him because he was good to them. His command is, “… as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” He has empowered us to do these things. If your excuse is that you are not comfortable doing these things, there are many other good works you can do. For instance if you don’t feel confident enough to tell the cripple to rise up and walk, like apostle Peter did, you can buy the cripple a wheelchair. If you don’t feel confident to lay your hand on the sick and decree healing, you can buy the sick the medicine he or she needs. Let us not limit good works to spiritual things only. He also fed the multitude. Our efforts to evangelize our communities would definitely be more effective if we emulate our master. Let us be good to our host communities in practical ways.
Third, if we are truly serious about making heaven, what our Lord Jesus Christ said in Matthew 25:31-46 should spur us into action. Here is just a bit of it: “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” And when they asked him, when did all these happen? He responded saying; “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:34-36,40 KJV. I know we are familiar with this passage of scripture, but I will advise that we revisit it and read the whole passage. It will bless you if you truly want to avoid hell. Take this seriously if really want to make heaven. This is vital, take no chances. Don’t leave CSR programs to your pastor alone. Take personal responsibility to practically show the love of Christ the best way you can. Let’s do what the master wants has commanded.
In conclusion, let me say that it is imperative that we work together to accomplish this goal. We need to share information and learn from each other. Church members should be willing to share information about individual CSR outreaches with their pastor. The CSR office of this province will from time to time be requesting some basic information from our pastors. Pastors, please respond to such requests promptly and truthfully. Please note that not all activities qualify as CSR. CSR activities must directly impact the host communities of our churches. Pastor Yinka Somotu, our provincial Pastor, had succinctly described CSR to us in the past. Here is what he said; “CSR is about going beyond talking about the love of Christ to actually showing the love of Christ in the communities where our churches dwell. Simply put, our vision is that all our parishes will be a blessing in their communities through community outreach programs that positively impact the lives of those in our communities. This is not just something nice to do but a fundamental part of the mission that Jesus gave the church. A strong positive impact on our communities also makes our churches attractive to people outside the church.” I think that sums up all that should be said. Thanks for reading through.
Pastor Ebi Thourn
Provincial officer CSR Nar2Pr.5