For a journalist, working on weekends is part of the schedule. However, one never gets accustomed to it. It is tedious, particularly when one goes through the week listening to half baked-truths from half-baked politicians.
So, when put on a schedule to cover a Christian Formation Leadership seminar series on building an ethical nation, organised by the Wisconsin International University College (WIUC) last Saturday, May 11, 2019, I was disheartened. (Perhaps, a minister would attend and it will be the same old thing, I mused).
I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at the venue.
Specifically, those attending deliberated on how the leadership of parents could be perfected in the early child-hood formation of children.
The goal of that was for responsible adults, who would be ‘social assets’ for shaping the ethic foundations of the country.
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The seminar turned out to be one of the best I have ever attended and covered.
Good company in a journey, the English writer, Isaak Walton said, makes the way seem shorter.
Thus, the day passed with me being refreshed rather than tired because of the quality of ideas, engagements, facilitators and participants.
Speakers were the President of the Global Institute for Christian Living and Growth, USA, Rev. Dr Samuel Kirk Mills; the President of Life Ministries, Rev. Dr Dora Bortey; the Head pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church, the Rev. Dr Fred Deegbe and the Deputy Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) Rev Richard Quayson.
Beginning with ethics, they all demonstrated its importance in society, its importance in the scriptures and its importance as compasses in individual conduct.
"In ascribing to Christian Formation Leadership, we are focusing on the role of parents as principal socialising agents of the child who joins us in society," he said.
"Where the child...in his or her early development is strengthened in building an ethics character to support the attainment of aspirations in all sectors of the country...," the Rev. Dr Mills opened the discussion.
Rev. Dr Deegbe said ethical formation was important in all progressive societies.
He sounded the caution that if parents delayed in the ethical formation of their children, they would grow into irresponsible adults and then, at that stage, it would be impossible or more effort would have to be expended in the reformation of that individual.
Rev. Quayson put it succinctly, "Poor parenting affects the destinies of societies and generations."
For Rev. Dr Bortey, being intentional in instilling ethical biblical standards in children was paramount.
"You have to talk to your children about God always," she said.
The seminar was a precursor to the launch of a 12-week Christian Formation Leadership programme. The programme is to start next year but applications will be open in July.
Students will at the end be certified as Christian Formation coaches to local churches and communities.
But the organisers, the WIUC and the Institute for Christian Living and Growth, hope organisations and churches would support the effort with individuals.
By this small beginning, the initiators hope to grow it into a big campaign by which the very soul of the country would be affected for good.
So what did I learn?
I learnt that bringing up children in a Godly way was important for the future progress of any country.
I learnt that societies are built or destroyed on the backs of the bad attitudes of individuals, most of which can be attributed to their upbringing.
I was convinced that bringing up children in a deliberate manner mattered.
I hope all is not lost yet as those with the insight for this campaign strive to roll back the toll on society as a result of the years of neglecting children and not bringing them up properly.