Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela are among the great leaders who used their power of oratory to win and inspire followers. Consider our leaders speeches in the last two weeks in light of the events-Worlds AIDS Day, The National Library Week, and The UN Day against Corruption etc. Would you say the speeches were momentous, thought provoking or inspiring?
Our political leaders should use these significant events to unite the nation into a strong force in its struggle against poverty, HIV/AIDS and ignorance. Take for example the wartime speech delivered by Churchill in 1940, “You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs - victory in spite of all terrors – victory however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival’. Churchill was able to use his remarkable powers of oratory to rally and uplift the whole British nation in its struggle against the Nazi threat. Mandela in his ‘Free at last’ speech he gave on the evening of his being elected as President of South Africa laid solid foundation for all people of South Africa to work together to the challenges they faced as a multi-racial nation. Similarly King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech of 1963 is credited with mobilizing supporters of desegregation and prompting the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Mandela, King and Churchill were not only great orators. They were bound to those ideals they spoke about and were prepared to die for. Mandela in his speech at his trial in 1964 said, “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society…it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” King a day before he was assassinated in 1968 gave a speech in which he concluded, “And I have seen the promised land. I may not get there with you … And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I am not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming Lord.” In his first speech as British coalition Prime Minister in World War II, Churchill said, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”
Did you take the opportunity during these significant events to inspire your members to the New Testament model of every member ministry, guiding them in how they evangelize the neighborhood, fight HIV/AIDS, poverty and ignorance? Jesus took opportunity of every significant Jewish event to motivate his followers to service and to give hope to the listeners. For example, during the celebrations of Feast of Unleavened Bread, Jesus took the opportunity to model sacrificial service to his disciples by His death on the cross. After Jesus was gone the disciples understood His far greater goal of going into the world to serve God, each other and all people to whom they took the message.
How did your church use these opportunities to demonstrate to the nation that it’s sacrificially addressing the issues of poverty, ignorance and HIV/AIDS? Most of our politicians have limited concept of what it means to serve sacrificially. They do not understand that to be leader, a person must be a servant. Events such as the World AIDS Day give opportunities to the church to demonstrate how it’s being a servant to God and His people. Jesus would have used these opportunities to bring a revolutionary message to the nation of, “recovery of sight for the blind, release for the oppressed and year of the Lord’s favor.” Did you?
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