More than 3,000 Wesleyans from all 38 member churches across Barbados, who gathered at the historic Kensington Oval for their first National Assembly in the denomination’s 102 year existence, were challenged by their new District Superintendent to impact social issues.
Dr McAthin Hinds told the church members that instead of standing afar and criticizing things like culture, family life and education, they should come with an alternative that was well informed and inspired by the power of God.
“There is a call for us to impact our society. We need to be involved as a denomination in education. It makes no sense simply having Sunday School . . . the children go and leave; and then by age 17 and 18, we doing evangelistic work to try and get them back,” the church leader said to applause from the thousands who packed the Hall and Griffith stands.
He suggested the establishment of an educational facility that could assist in discipling children from the cradle onwards.
“It makes no sense complaining about the culture of ours that has gone haywire when God wants to work in us to transform art and entertainment. It does not mean we have to go into a tent or on Spring Garden on Kadooment Day to gyrate with them.”
“If the Holy of Holies dwell in us, then there ought to be something attractive by what we do. So we need to be able to combat that culture of arts and entertainment that is degrading,” he added.
Dr Hinds also challenged his flock to get involved in the whole area of health and wellness. He contended that God’s people should not be dying early at 20 and 25 when the Bible says “with long life I’ll satisfy you and show you my salvation”. He noted while Jesus healed when He was on earth, He also taught people about cures that they could apply to rid themselves of their diseases.
“So if Jesus was present here in Barbados, He would say to some of you with rheumatism, arthritis and lumbago, go to the Hot Pot three times a day for five weeks.
“I want to see us get involved and impact our society, as opposed to simply being people who just simply criticize everything that happens. We get together and criticize everything that happens. We get together and criticize the Government. We get together and say how bad family life has become. We get together [and] criticize school. It is time for us to do something about it. Let’s rise and build in the name of Jesus Christ,” the District Superintendent charged the worshippers. He also urged the Wesleyans to help to shape and fashion those brilliant young minds that are among them. He stressed that there were a lot of sharp, brilliant, intellectual young minds in the Wesleyan community.
“It would be sad, if they come to a place where in their Christian life, where they don’t feel that our church is challenging them enough; where they don’t feel that . . . the tools they have are beneficial to us, so that they ply their gifts elsewhere,” he said.
The church leader said he hoped God would help to open the hearts of Wesleyans and expand their vision to see that the world needs to be challenged by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Dr McAthin said that once challenged, the younger ones could be helped to live the kind of life that God wants them to live, whilst preserving the sharpness of their intellect.
“Our nation needs to see Christian people who are devout where the Lord is concerned, while, at the same time, be scholars in Jesus name. When we respond to family disputes in the paper, when we respond as a church and as Christians to same sex issues, when we respond to Government and law and order, we don’t have to do it from a knee jerk response, we do it from a brilliant academic response that is informed by the power of Jesus Christ who dwells within us,” the head of the 4,400-strong Wesleyan denomination stated.
The District Superintendent’s charge to the church also included an impassioned plea for unity.
The National Assembly was also ministered to in dance by the Messiah House Dancers and in song by the Carrington Wesleyan Church Quintet, the All Male Choir and the Worship Team.