Message by Vice President, Mrs Ugonma Cokey, Deputy Director, Training, Voice of Nigeria (VON) at February 2021 fellowship in Lagos
What does Journalism do?
-It makes people take stock of their lives, what they do, say etc.(they hold people into account, both leaders and the led)
-Journalism prevents the public from being misled by statements, actions, organisations etc, through the information they give them.
-It provides citizens with the information they need to make the best possible decision about their lives, community, society etc.
Sacred: Set apart, made holy, consecrated, dedicated, not profane or common, or violated, not secular, designated or exalted by a divine sanction, possessing the highest title to obedience, honour reverence.
Calling is defined by Mariam Webster as a strong inner impulse towards a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence.
Calling helps people make positive changes in the world while paying bills.
To bring this whole thing together we would need to look at a bible text.
TEXT: Ephesians 6:5-8
Servant: Hired to perform regular household or other duties and receives compensation. It is one who serves another providing help in some manner.
Employee: An individual who provides labour to a company or another person.
An employee and a servant do the same work just difference in name. An employer also gets compensation which is his monthly pay package.
What does Paul tell servants/ employees to do in the passage above?
- Serve with the same dedication with which you will serve God.
- Your secular work (Journalism) in this case, is an act of service to God
- Service from the heart even in the absence of the employer; your editor, director, boss etc. meaning no eye service.
- The ultimate reward we get as employees is not in the pay packet but given by God Himself.
We need to ask some questions;
- If our job as journalists is secular, what concerns a sacred God with a secular job?
- How come a so-called secular job that is unrelated to a sacred task be termed “a good thing?”
- Why ask people to work for man as if they are working for God?
The answer is simple; they actually work for God literarily.
- Your Careers are in fact Ministries.
- God is not a purposeless God, if He puts you anywhere as a Christian, it is for a purpose.
I challenge you to find that purpose.
John 17: 16. – You are not of the world so what makes anything in your life secular?
We serve the interest of heaven as light and salt. Matthew 5:13-16. Let your light so shine in your office, in your work, in your articles, stories, programmes etc.
-God influences the affairs of s people and a nation using covert agents. Would you like to be God’s covert agent like Daniel?
-God used Him to change pagan laws, influence their culture and convert them. Daniel provided professional service to a pagan king. Does that sound like where you work? So many of God’s people used their positions to secure divine intervention; what are you using or have used yours for?
-God influenced the affairs of nations by planting men to deliver professional service with such excellence and distinction that they became the most valuable assets. (Daniel had an excellent spirit)
Who are you in your workplace, an asset or a liability? A Christian that is heavenly focused without earthly relevance and value? One that bosses don’t want in their sections and heads pray to be redeployed to another section? Or the one always recommended for serious assignments because their heads know they will deliver?
What use are you to your newsroom /Organisation? Can they depend on you?
Daniel 6:13- 24
Vs 14- …greatly displeased with himself… The king made the law but became unhappy because it was affecting Daniel.
-Set his heart on Daniel to deliver him
-Laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him
Vs 16b- but the King spoke…will deliver you.
Vs 18 …spent the night fasting …his sleep was taken from him.(Compulsory vigil)
Vs 19 – He arose early.
Vs 20- He cried out to Daniel
Vs 23- The king was exceedingly glad
VS 26- Laws changed/Faith changed
As a professional journalist, what changes have you brought to journalism?
What impact has your life/work made?
What laws and policies have you changed through your life and work?
What ethical examples have you shown?
Who has your life/workplace impacted?
And it actually can with Development reporting, Impact journalism and solutions journalism.
Are you one of those who detach their faith from their work?
Does Christ exist for you only on Sundays and not part of your work Monday to Saturday?
Why was this theme chosen by the JFC exco?
-It is the beginning of the year
-It will give us the opportunity to examine ourselves and take stock of the way we have been working
-So we can change what we need to change and be the best this year and beyond.
2 Corinthians 3:3
Are you representing Christ in your workplace through hard work, dedication, diligence, sincerity and your lifestyle?
If Christ were physically standing in front of you, would you work the way you are working? Ecc 9:!0 ….with all thy might.
We are called essential service workers, no leave, no holidays from the news. Journalism is a 247 career, so it’s a full-time ministry.
God has given you a rare office- the newsroom, a rare pulpit, our medium; print, electronic, online. The question is will you use it, make it sacred or desecrate it?
1 Corinthians 3:13- Every work will be tested by fire
Romans 14:12- Everyman shall give an account of himself
Luke 12:48- To whom much is given, much is expected. (We are the Fourth Estate of the Realm)
Not everyone can write or be a broadcaster, what account will you give about your God-given assignment to use your medium and change things?
My Career is a sacred calling
I am working for God from my heart
My profession is God’s platform
Wherever I am, there He is
-Bishop Wayne Malcolm
We can just turn the affirmation into prayer.