I was one of the Guest speakers at the recent RECALP (Relationship Entrepreneur Career Leadership Politics) 2018 Conference organised by the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Province 19, on Democracy Day, May 29th, 2018.
It was a well-attended program. The three floors of the main auditorium were filled to capacity and the nearby halls were also filled. There were some things that stood out clearly.
1. Preparation comes before platform
Many young pastors are always in a hurry to be given opportunities to preach. Most times, however, they have not manufactured themselves before being in a hurry to market themselves. Anointing without content is like an empty container. Many have not served in any capacity in the Church. Many have not been purposefully mentored.
You don’t tap into all graces; you must work and be specifically prepared for some.
2. Purpose-driven life
I was the Youth Sunday School teacher in our church then. My station, then, was at the Choir stand at CGMI (Church of God Mission, International) 39 Umuola Road, Ogbor hill, Aba. I saw my purpose, then, was to build future leaders out of the young men and women. I did not know, then, that I was sowing the seeds of my future ministry.
Today, many of these young men and women are now big time pastors. One of them, Kirk Idika Joseph, hosted me in Australia and the young man that came to carry me from the airport used to be in the audience when I used to go and speak to the students at Abia State University (ABSU), Uturu. Ironically, it is one of those students, then, at ABSU, and also an attendee at the Intercessor Prayer Camp International, IPCI, conference run by the present General Supreintendent of the Assemblies of God Church, Dr. Chidi Okoroafor, that introduced me to the organizers of this program. His name is Obiora.
You never can know who is watching you do a duty. There is no second chance to create a first impression. Put in your best effort and performance no matter what you are doing and where you are doing it. Don’t serve with immediate gratification in mind. I noticed that to eat the fruits of your labour, the bigger the fruit, the longer it takes. It must be some 15 to 18 years ago that Obiora saw me preach first.
The reason so many young preachers go into all kinds of gimmicks to get immediate monetary gratification is desperation. They don’t think of the future.
I will be speaking to CGMI Youths at Calabar and Abuja this year. It is youths that I taught at Aba and Ughelli that are now in leadership positions. Reputation in some areas of ministry take time to break into the limelight. Maintain your integrity and keep your eyes fixed on what you are doing and on the future. Men may despitefully use you, sometimes, but know that God will not owe any one.
Do not take opportunities lightly. I always put my life into anything I do. It is part of the big picture of the future.
I was initially invited to speak at another conference organised by the youths of the headquarter church of Province 19 known as the Berean Church. The crowd was not big, then, but I did all I did with the whole of my heart. I did not like the hotel then but I understood that the youths were doing their best. Now, that led to this conference. I was booked into Protea Hotel; the room rate was 85000 Naira a night and I spent two nights there. The bill for my lunch was such that I ate only once there even though all my meals had been paid for. I had TV stations and the Nation Newspaper interview me. I have had TV interviews severally before now; I even had one today, the 1st of June, 2018, but the progression from the initial program titled, Built to Last, is awesome.
4. People of value
Your anointing is not measured by the response you get from those around you. The value people place on your anointing is dependent upon the values the people place on themselves, everything being equal, as I wrote in Value: The Currency of Life. There was so much appreciation for the message I preached; but I had preached that same message in Ughelli and to some people elsewhere. Their response was different. You must pray for people who would attach value to your anointing and gifts to come regularly in contact with you. During the conference, Jumoke Felix Adejumo made a very strong statement, “you are not a tree; if you are not valued where you are, move on.” That was very instructive. But I was wondering about the righteous being like a tree planted by the riverside. The tree planted by the riverside gets fresh nutrients every second. It is refreshingly refreshed every day. Don’t get stuck with people who have no value for you.
I noticed that the organisation of the program was just awesome. Everything was well-choreographed. After discreet observations, I found out that these young men were successful professionals and business owners in their own rights. I realized that success in every sphere of life depends on those you work with. If you work with people you need to tell what to do, who have no initiatives of their own, then you will be frustrated. No wonder Jesus said that when you enter a city, look for a worthy man. Successful people are easier to work with and lead. No wonder the rich become in-laws to the rich. The rich join the same clubs.
I always ask God for bigger platforms to fulfill my purpose in life. I don’t pretend about it with God. I hardly ask for platforms from men, but I never cease to ask God to take me to certain heights in life. The last time I was in Lagos for the Built to Last Conference, I asked Jehovah, “why not in the main auditorium?” and I found myself in the main auditorium. Now the Lord asked, “Who will light a lamp and hide in under a bushel?”
Then, why do people not come to limelight?
b. Fear of asking God for bigger platforms
c. If you wait for a platform and you don’t get it please build one.
d. Lack of ambassadorial consciousness
The truth of the matter is that you have delegated legislative powers. Demand and decree some things concerning your expectations in life.
e. Denominational servitude
The truth of the matter is that your denomination is not very different from the Nigerian political system and the civil service. The truth of the matter is that you will be shocked that at the lower level of ministry, you are disposable in your denomination. No body really cares about your anointing in your denomination until you achieve results, which, most times, come from outside.
Think beyond your congregation if you want to reach your generation. Think beyond your denomination if you want reach the nations.
Most denominations are like a catfish pond; there is struggle for food, space, and dominance. There is spiritual cannibalism, “Pressbitterism”—they press, beat, and make people bitter.
If you wait for denominational promotion and platform, then you might not fulfill your mandate in life.
My prayer is that God will create a blockchain of men and women who will introduce you. I pray that what you consider as little service in your church, now, will turn out to be a great ministry.
God bless you.