“The church may lose relevance if some urgent steps are not taken. If we don’t reinvent the church, the church will lose its voice globally. It is no longer business as usual for the church. We must ask God for what to do to reposition the church for global relevance”, Pastor Oladiyun said in Lagos during the week.
Pastor Wole Oladiyun was delivering a message titled “Divine Inspiration for the New Season” at the opening session of the 43rd edition of the Ministers Apostolic Fire Convocation (MAFCO), organised by CLAM International Academy, the Christian education, reorientation, and enlightenment arm of CLAM.
MAFCO is an annual retreat hosted by CLAM for ministers of all denominations, and it is aimed at sharing contemporary knowledge on management and growth strategies for the 21st Century Ministry based on the undiluted word of God and Biblical principles.
He challenged the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) to wake up from their slumber, and lead the church into a new era of progressive and contemporary thinking that will trigger fundamental changes in the way Nigerian churches relate with the society and help in making them relevant.
Pastor Oladiyun spoke extensively on what Churches need to do remain relevant. According to him, they must be on constant alert, and must be current in their thinking and approach to issues. “PFN is sleeping, the church in Nigeria is not proactive enough. We are not doing enough to motivate the youths, be relevant in the economy, politics and governance of Nigeria”. he added.
He stated: “The people of the world are street wise, they have occupied most strategic positions. Christians are playing second fiddle in the key areas. For instance, we must consciously enlist our members in the armed forces and other positions so that Christians can be more relevant and influential in the scheme of things. We must begin to position ourselves for active involvement in the commanding heights of the economy. We need divine intelligence, divine wisdom. We must be discerning. The church needs to set up cooperatives and crowdfunding models. We have to leverage on our numerical strength’.
Pastor Oladuiyun gave the following tips on how the Church can be more relevant:
- There must be improvement in church administration and operations. Let everything be done decently and in order in accordance with 1 Cor 14:40.
- Training and retraining of ministers and workers on leadership, administration, people management, entrepreneurship, and business management.
- Godly family life system. Once the family life system is okay, the church will be okay, and the nation will be okay.
- Community development is a weapon of evangelism. Show tough love. You can’t survive or thrive in an environment where you fight.
- Youth development and empowerment
- Intentional human capital development.
Speaking on “Divine Instructions for the New Season, Common Sense for Ministry Finance”, Bishop Olumide Emmanuel, the General Overseer of Calvary Bible Church, Lagos opined that “for you to succeed as a 21st century church, you need the heart of a shepherd and the mind of a businessman”.
“The church is both an organism, and an organisation; Ministers must have extensive knowledge about business management, project management, people management, leadership, etc. Financial intelligence is key”, he added.
According to Bishop Emmanuel, kingdom wealth is not acquired, it is entrusted. “God must count you worthy to be trusted with money. God will not give to you what He cannot get through you. The living church is a Giving church. God will not give to you what you cannot manage. If you are not faithful with unrighteous mammon, God will not give you the true riches. Make God your pillar not human beings. He is the only pillar that can never be shaken”.
He reminded ministers of the need to be “business minded” because ministry is business. Luke 4:48. It is the business of soul winning and transformation of lives. His words: “Next to God is politics. We have lost our relevance because we lack understanding. The world is waiting for the church to arise and shine. There is a difference between business and investment. Everyone cannot be a business man but you all must be business minded”.
He listed what he called “common sense principles” for managing financial issues in the church.
- Have a clean and clear records of all income and expenses. 1 Cor 14:40. Darkness does not exist, darkness is the absence of light. When light appears, darkness disappears. If you don’t organise you will agonize. Once you can think it, ink it. Learn to document things. Avoid cash expenditure.
- Never spend it all. Prov 21:20. Money is tripartite. It has spirit (mammon), soul (the value), and the body (the paper). Money has past, current, and future uses. There is nothing like future. The future you create is the future you inhabit.
- Never compromise covenant obligations. Tithe, first fruit, offering, etc.
- Adopt the 10-20-30-40 principle to money management. Have four different accounts or sub-accounts. 10% – tithe; 20% – savings and investment; 30% – salaries and emoluments; 40% – expense account and recurrent expenses.
Pastor Femi Faseru, the Resident Pastor, KICC Maryland and National Superintendent, KICC Nigeria, spoke on “Should Pastors Be Making Tents”.
Pastor Faseru said to be successful in ministry, pastors must understand faithfulness which is a spiritual thing. They must also have the capacity to break down and distill spiritual things in a way that they can be practicable. They should be able to distill prophecies.
“There is a difference between career and ministry. Romans 8:20. Ministry is not a career. Your calling is not your career. Pastors should make tent so that they will not be a liability to the ministry. Making tents enables pastors to speak the truth and be objective. Tent making pastors are able to preach the same old gospel in a contemporary and relatable way because they are among the people and they are exposed. Tent making pastors are in tune with modern day realities, and they know their members more. They have opportunities to interact”.
Pastor Faseru identified three tent making options for pastors to include:
- Full time Employment. However, be careful because your career must not take you away from your calling.
- Own your own business. Consider a passive business that can run without you being there.
Apostle Dele Johnson, the General Overseer of the Jesus Liberation Army (JLA), spoke on “Ministers, Pay Attention to Your Dreams and Revelations. He harped on the need for pastors and ministers to learn how to depend on God by hearing from him and makingntheir dreams to count.
“How can you effectively lead God’s people if God is not leading you? We all need God to give us significant direction. When you have divine revelation, you will make impact and have an edge over others. It guarantees peace and rest. When God is directing you, you can’t lack resources”, he noted.
According to Apostle Johnson, there are three levels of information and knowledge available to mankind:
- Common sense level. You have sound judgement and you know what to do. This is the basic level. You cannot be a high flyer by commonsense knowledge.
- The level of principles, ideas, concepts, and precepts. It is a higher level than common sense knowledge. Information at this level makes you a runner.
- This is the level of revelation. It is the highest level where God expects you to operate. Every prophet engages with God at the level of revelation
Participants at the 2023 MAFCO came from all over Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, and the USA. Several others participated virtually from all over the world. Some of the pastors who spoke with The Podium Media expressed satisfaction and fulfilment at the qualty of the presentations and the raw power of the Holy Spirit that was on display. According to them, they have been challenged by the prophetic insights and profound perspectives offered by the Speakers. The look forward to immediately using the knowledge gained to improve themselves and their ministries.