By Ralph Madugu
In line with its motto, “Pursuit of Excellence,” the ECWA Leadership Institute, Jos, has ended a two-week intensive training for members of the Executive Course 2 with a charge on them to adequately maximize the knowledge gained by practically putting it to use.
ECWA General Secretary, Rev. Yunusa Nmadu, gave the charge in an exhortation at the end of the two-week training held at the ECWA Headquarters.
The cleric, who read from Ecclesiastes 10:10, likened the participants to a man with a blunt axe who wanted to cut down a tree, hence needed to sharpen the axe.
Said he: “What Ecclesiastes is saying here is that, if you are using an axe and the edge of the axe is blunt, you will need more strength in other to accomplish that task but with skill, you will accomplish more.
“What ECWA has done in the last 2 weeks and what has happened to you here is not that you don’t have the axe. The axe is available. You have all gone to school and studied in your various lines of profession. As Pastors, you have been given various tools but more often than not, these tools need to be sharpened so that skill can be applied.”
He further stated that it is the application of skills that brought about the training institute, hence the need for participants to put to practical use the various skills acquired in the course of the two-week training.
“We are called upon to exercise the application of this skill at this leadership institute training. It goes therefore without saying that, if after passing through this leadership institute and we are still using our physical energy like when we came here, then the aim is defeated.
“It means therefore, that all the tools that we have been given in our various schools and professions in order to lead and to provide leadership, if those tools are still blunt after the 2-weeks that we have spent here, then we have wasted time. The idea is that all the resource persons have served like files used to sharpen the edge of axe.
“It is expected that by the grace of God, when we go back to our various places of endeavours, we will no longer be working with blunt axes but that we will be working with the skills that we have acquired from the various persons that have. I pray that God will sharpen us and that the gains of these two weeks will be seen in our leadership roles at our various places.”
While congratulating the graduands, the ECWA President, Rev. (Dr) Stephen Baba Panya, said“On behalf of the EE I congratulate you all for coming and completing this course. We pray that God will take you back to your various destinations safely.”
Earlier in her welcome remarks, Director of Administration and Personnel at the ECWA Headquarters, Mrs. Maryam Salau, was full of gratitude to God for making possible for participants to successfully pass through the training without any hitch.
She also thanked the ECWA Executive for availing themselves to be among the resource persons.
“We are all welcome and we thank God for this opportunity to see this closing ceremony. God indeed has been very faithful to us for the past 9 days or so. We really appreciate God and every one of us.”
While presenting the course participants to the ECWA leadership for recognition, Dean of ECWA Leadership Institute, Rev. Dr. Elijah Ipole,disclosed that the training process is the “highest of such in ECWA and was neither taken for granted nor left to chances,” and tasked the participants to maximize the opportunity and not take lightly the knowledge imparted by putting in their best in the various tasks ahead of them having successfully gone through the training.
Barrister Victoria Olaniyan and Rev. Abdullahi Ibrahim, who were among the course participants, spoke to this magazine and promised to put to use the knowledge acquired during the training.
“Indeed, a lot has been given to us. To whom much is given, much is expected. By the grace of God as leaders in ECWA at various levels, we will give back to the org and even much more and then even to the society at large to be able to affect and influence our society and even the Church of Christ. We are expected to reach out to a lot of persons after this 2-week intensive training. The process was very wonderful one and rigorous though. It was intensive and tasking but God gave us the grace to go through it,” Olaniyan said
Rev. Abdullahi Ibrahim, who is the current Secretary, ECWA Toro DCC, acknowledged that he learned a lot during the programme, adding that the various aspects of the training and assured that he will step down the training.
“We really appreciate God for this course 2 leadership training. We have learned a lot and we give God the glory for the facilitators that we learned so much from their presentations that will glorify God and if we put them into practice, surely the Church of God will grow higher and higher and it will help us to truly be the servants of God and the people. It is my desire that as I am going back, we need to tighten our belt and ensure that we make use of what we have learned into practice by doing what I call step down to our members by the grace of God.
The 35 participants were drawn from across ECWA institutions, departments, units and District Church Councils.
During the training, participants were taken through various courses by resource persons drawn from across different fields of endeavor focusing on topics such as “Spiritual life of a Church Leader, Financial Management, Team Building and Human Relations. Conflict management, Growing the Local Church, Qualifications and Qualities of a Leader, Human Resource Management were among several other topics that dominated discussion during the training.
The 2-week training featured technical and interactive sessions and syndicate group discussions. There was a keynote address from the ECWA General Secretary, Rev. Yunusa Sabo Nmadu Jnr.
Highpoint of the event was the decoration of the course participants with ECWA Leadership Institute badges.