“I came to announce to somebody that you will go boldly to where no one has ever gone before. People have set a ceiling for you but you will go beyond it.”
-- Pastor Mensa Otabil
Pastor Mensa Otabil’s sermons challenge us to go beyond what is normal and inspire us in dire situations of life. Importantly, they are deeply rooted in biblical principles. His message on Break Up Your Fallow Ground was no different. The General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) sort to remind people, families, businesses and nations that from Jeremiah 4:3, we must not settle for where life has dropped us but stretch ourselves to use what we have in order to create new opportunities to continue being fruitful and dominate. A fallow ground is a problem to solve, a challenge to surmount, or a mountain to climb.
The question is: how do we find new opportunities in a time like COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged our world with untold effects? According to Dr. Otabil, we must break up new ways of doing things. There are four important key points about this sermon that I want us to explore.
#1. 'Pioneering New Things'
The first way to break up our fallow ground as stated by Dr. Otabil is “pioneering new things”. That is doing new things no one has done before. There are things that no one in the world has done before. We must seek to ask God for the pioneering spirit. Marriam-Webster dictionary says a pioneer is “a person or group that originates or helps open up a new line of thought or activity or a new method or technical development.” Insightful!
Many things have been pioneered by individuals in our world. Indeed, the world is mostly ruled by dead people who pioneered new ways of doing things. For example, at first, you will have to go to a physical library building or bookshop to borrow a book or buy. But now, wherever you are, you can download books, read them and share with anyone anywhere. Books are now virtual. Someone pioneered this new way of interacting with books.
#2. ‘Attempting Things You Have Never Attempted Before’
The second important way we can break up our fallow ground is to attempt things we have never attempted before. This is more about what new things we have to personally attempt other than a new thing the world will experience. There are new ways that have been pioneered but we have not yet explored. There are ways of selling online that we have not explored before. There are ways of creating multiple streams of income that we have not explored before. There are many things we are yet to touch.
We must learn to attempt things we have never attempted before. The world has changed. We woke up one morning to realise that the way we relate to people has been altered, the way we do business has changed, the way we hold church services has changed, the way we greet has changed, the way we embrace people has changed, and many more. We have been forced by COVID-19 to change our ways of life. What we can do to respond to this is to change the way we do things. We cannot complain but only take hold of new ways of doing things. For instance, the church is fully online now and partially in-person. Thus, we must learn new ways of winning souls online and disciple them. We must attempt new things or the world will move and leave us.
#3. 'Going Where You Have Never Gone Before'
The third thought from Dr. Otabil about how to break our fallow ground is going where we have never gone before. Now it is physically difficult to be travelling and exploring and touring exciting parts of the world but certainly, nothing stops us from discovering places by the power of technology. We can read about places, trends and cultures.
We must develop a deep hunger to explore the world from the comfort of our homes. We can do online courses from our home with good internet connectivity. We can do business with people outside our jurisdiction from our home. We can hold meetings with people around the world from our home. Indeed, during a session on the weekly Springboard Alumni Hangout with Albert & Comfort Ocran, Rev. Eric Xexemeku of ICGC Open Heavens Temple shared that he was a speaker for conferences in three countries without going there physically. It was all possible by the power of technology.
#4. 'Starting What You Have Never Started Before'
The final way we can learn to break our fallow ground is to start what we have not started before. It is very possible to think and dream of reaching million people online by live streaming but if you do not start, you cannot work your way up and succeed. We must start where we are with what we have and grow.
I have realised that the churches that are doing well online did not just wake up to make it happen but they have been doing online streaming for years now before the advent of COVID-19. They have a lot of online followers because they started from somewhere and perfected it. Until we start, we cannot make it work and achieve our goals. Starting is difficult but it must be done.
Dr. Mensa Otabil noted that, "When God gives you a fallow ground, don’t curse it and don’t run away from it. He wants to give you the opportunity to do something new and great which you thought was impossible. It is a time for new businesses, new processes and new accomplishments." I get the sense that God is on the move and we must flow with Him. Dr. Mensa Otabil is bringing our minds to the fact that things may have gone bad but we can still look and find new ways of doing things that can help us remain resilient and succeed. This message is truly going to help individuals, churches, families, businesses, companies, and countries if only we will listen and follow the few thoughts shared by Pastor Otabil.
The writer is a blogger (www.erickotchere.blogspot.com) and
a podcaster (https://anchor.fm/eric-otchere).
He can be reached via mail at [email protected]