From the Primate's Desk
Our belongingness to the class of God’s people namely, the church and subservience to the Lordship of Jesus Christ appropriate to all adult Christian people, the all important task of bringing up our children, Christ’s way.
The gospel of Jesus Christ as St. Matthew in chapter 19:14 records has it that, Jesus admonishes thus: “let the children come to me, do not stop them for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these (NIV rendition).
This singular instance tells us of what central a position, children and the childlike faithful occupy in the heart of Christ. Hence, He commands that Guardians, Caregivers and Teachers of the word (his disciples) ought to remove every hindrance to the welcoming of these little ones into our community of faith.
However, to disciple children to Christ is so challenging that Old Testament evidences clearly show that the child, who should as early as possible be “trained in the way he should go so that when he is old, he will not depart from it (paraphrasing Proverbs 22:6, KJV translation) is to be meticulously guided and nurtured. This type of training requires special skills hence, we read of Pharoah’s daughter asking Miriam and with regard to Moses to: “Take this child and nurse him for me …” (Exodus 2:9). By this, we can see that child up- bringing, (more importantly, the Christian way) is not a task for the careless and carefree. That then, is the reason under God, we have been particularly careful in appointing godly fathers, who enjoy our confidence as National Presidents of the Anglican Children Ministry in Nigeria.
In this regard, we acknowledge with thanks the pioneering efforts of His Grace, Most Revd. Edmund Akanya, who gave form to ACM Nigeria and the support of all Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of Nigeria to the Anglican Children Ministry. We also highly commend the purposeful leadership, The Rt. Revd. S.T.G. Adewole has so far provided for the children Ministry, which is fast bearing palpable fruits. We applaud his lordship and his executive for coming up with this Maiden edition of “Tomorrow Church: the Official National Magazine of Anglican Children Ministry, Nigeria”. While we appreciate the spiritual deposit in this edition, we encourage all Christian faithful, more especially, caregivers, guardians, parents and workers among the children to pay greater attention to these young ones. We must bear it in mind that these children of today are our tomorrow’s church.
Therefore, if this precious faith handed down to us by our fathers in the faith (which must be jealously guarded) will be carried on to forthcoming generations. Then, the care of these children becomes a Christian task for all. The earlier we catch them young for Christ, the better for our families, church and society.
Your father and friend,
His Grace, Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria.