It’s fact that death came calling for you a few days back, after being a great witness for our Lord Jesus over the last four decades. Dear evangelist, adieu!
Have a very deserved rest at the blossom of your Lord, whom you love passionately and preach to the world enthusiastically over these years. We shall meet at the feet of the Master,in not too long from now!
I heard about him first in the middle 80s, was fascinated by his wonderful messages with storytelling abilities. Actually, I used and still use some of his wonderful sermon stories in my own teachings. He was a picture of true biblical gift and calling of an Evangelist.
Since then, I have made him a subject of biblical research, study and followership on the life, role and impact of a five-fold gift and calling of an Evangelist.
Without any iota of doubt, his life and ministry contain deep lessons for those who have the mind and heart to learn. Here are lessons I have gleaned from the life, ministry and times of Evangelist Reinhard BONNKE, who just slept in the Lord.
These lessons will be good for those of us who are still in the work of the Lord and carrying out our divine assignments, whether as Pastors, Apostles, Evangelists, Teachers or Prophets.
1. He personally knew the Lord Jesus.
He had a personal encounter with Christ Jesus and got saved from sin, just like Apostle Paul did in acts 9, and he maintained that salvation experience till the end. Thank you BONNKE for not preaching the Christ you never met. You did got met Him, forgave your sins, got transformed from within and you lived for Him daily till the end.
2. He was devoted to live and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
He was a devout follower and disciple of Jesus and made Him know to others. Thank you for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ so powerfully and passionately. You were not asked Ashamed to preach the true, undiluted gospel of Christ to many millions- gospel of repentance from sin, forgiveness, salvation in Christ and doing His will alone in the world.
3. He discover his evangelist calling and gifting and stayed there till the end.
BONNKE discovered his evangelistic gifting and calling and stayed there. He did not deviate from it, or tried to become a pastor, bishop or general overseer. No, he started asa Evangelist and stayed so till the end. Quite unlike many of us today that never discovers our calling, or never stayed there because we want become like someone else.
4. He was used to bring many to the salvation in Christ Jesus.
He knew his ministry territory is Africa and stayed there. He resisted the temptation to go to other continents but Africa. Therefore he was used by the Lord to bring many to Christ Jesus. He didn’t preach himself but Christ Jesus. Many p pole got to know Christ and stayed with Christ till date because of his faithfulness to the gospel of Christ Jesus.
5. He was simple, approachable and networking with others.
As an Evangelist and gospel minister, he stayed humble, simple, personable and approachable. He didn’t have this air of pride, extravagance and ego around himself, but was likeHis Lord, open and relational with all and sundry. He network with others and was therefore able to raise many other evangelists up like himself.
6.He maintains his family in the Lord.
He didn’t have a family scandal, because he was able to balance ministry and family. He pulled his wife and children along in ministry. He remains a family man, despite his heavy ministry schedule. His wife stayed in the background, supporting him, raising the children and interceding. He didn’t get involved in ‘ministry immorality’, divorce, remarriage and affairs that is so common place with modern gospel ministers!
7.He was able to raise good supporters and financiers for his ministry.
His ministry did not lack financial supporters and financiers, yet without money scandals and mismanagement. He raised finances and support from Europeans, Americans to preach the gospel free, book donations to Africans.
8. He allows the genuine power of the Holy Spirit to flow through him for the miraculous.
He had a genuine relationship with the Holy Spirit and His gifts flowed freely through him for real miracles signs and wonders to back up the gospel messages. The miracles were real, or spurious and manufactured for easy popularity, as some are doing today.
9. He wrote books that ignite the fire of evangelism to any millions.
BONNKE was not a only a Damon good preacher of the Word of God with amazing storytelling abilities, he was also a good write and author of quality, relevant books that spread the message of the gospel of Jesus far and wide. His books left more fire of evangelism in peoples hearts.
10. The challenge of the fantastic figures.
Surely, the fantastic figures that were being bandied about the crusade converts were a concern to him. He knew it’s not about the figures, but how many were truly converted and staying in the Lord till their dying day. He therefore sought to do something about the figures, because he never wanted to appear as a fraud.
11. The challenge of discipleship, follow up.
He also grapple with the challenge of discipling those who were getting converted in the crusade grounds. He sought to institute a follow up pattern with pastors of local churches, so that these converts can remain in the Lord and become responsible believers in Christ Jesus that will be able to lead others back to Christ Jesus.
12. The challenge of local churches and pastors.
He tried so hard to help and assist local pastors to follow up and disciple the crusade converts, so that the gospel harvests will not be wasted. He gave much assistance to local pastors, who are in turn expected to follow up and ground the converts in the faith, though that sill remains to be desired.
13. He handed over to his successor in time.
BONNKE, was able to know when to hand over to a loyal, faithful and capable successor. Almost two years before his death, he has publicly identified and handed over to his successor and the work has continued powerfully. That’s not common with lots of evangelists, pastors, Apostles and modern general overseers! They will rather die on the seat, even when age, health and circumstances are asking them to hand over to a worthwhile successor when they are still around!
14. The Gospel of Christ lives on.
carries on the work. He was even on a crusade ground somewhere in southwest Nigeria when he heard of the death of his leader. It shows that books knew that the work of Christ is greater that anyone individual minister. His family were not fighting and crisis erupts after the demise with the successor, because he never built it as a personal empire.
I strongly believe that this is going to be the greatest legacy of BONNKE to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in Africa.
These are profound lessons that you and I must learn, imbibe and practice as gospel ministers at these ‘end time of end time’ if we too wants to finish well, as Evangelist Reinhard BONNKE did!