• Church part of Nigeria’s leadership problems –Dr Emmanuel

    Church part of nigerias leadership problems dr emmanuel - nigeria newspapers online
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    …Explains why marriages fail, people misunderstand tithing


    By Sunday Ani

    Presiding Pastor of the Calvary Bible Church, Ikotun, Lagos, Dr. Olumide Emmanuel, has said it takes two determined minds for marriage to succeed. He stressed that one person alone cannot make a marriage work. He said the two people involved in the marriage must be willing to do everything they can to make it work, noting that if only one person is working to make it work, and the other person is not, it will not work.

    He explained that’s why many people become victims of divorce as a result of irreconcilable differences. In this interview, he bares his mind on a wide range of issues, ranging from politics to business and church, among others.

    In one of your sermons, you said your church choir members, unlike others, are not paid salary. Why?
    I think you must be referring to paying the church music instrumentalists. One of the things I’ve tried to do in my life is to give people understanding because most of the time, what people don’t understand, they criticise. We live in a world of social media, where people make decisions based on click baits. They see a one-minute video clip, or three-minute clip, and they make judgments without getting the whole picture. You see, the church is both an organism and an organisation. Now, in every organisation, there are organisational policies, systems of structures, and frameworks. I personally believe that if you want to be part of an organisation, you should align with the principles of that organisation. So, it doesn’t mean I don’t pay staff. You’ve seen a lot of people working, but most people have come into the church to say they want to play instruments. You are coming to church on a Sunday morning to play instruments just like every other person in church to worship God. So, if I have to pay you for playing the keyboard, the drum, or the saxophone, does that mean I have to pay the children’s church teacher too? Do I have to pay the security man at the gate? Do I have to pay the cleaner? Many times, people think there’s money, but I believe they are joking. Most of the time, people say they are professionals. Are the people teaching in the children’s church not professionals? They are professional teachers. So, what I’m saying is when you come into a church, you are a son and a daughter in a kingdom. And you’re supposed to bring your own part to the table. If you know you’re looking for a job, let us know you’re looking for a job. But, I cannot pay people for coming to serve God. So, if you know you want a job, you will have to resume full-time. That means you will resume in the office Monday to Friday like every other normal person. And then you can play an instrument on Sunday. Then, Monday to Friday, I will give you other assignments to do. For instance, the music director of this church right now is a full-time staff member on salary, but he’s not being paid as a music director. He’s an accountant. He teaches accounting. He’s a teacher. He was teaching in school and being an accountant. Now that we needed an accountant, we employed him. So, now he’s a full-time staff earning salary as an accountant, not as a musician. So, what I’m saying is a lot of people don’t know what many churches and pastors go through. Even the pastor is not collecting money. The offering and the income are not enough. Diesel has gone up. Cost of electricity has gone up. All kinds of things are going up. But, you will now gather our money and hire instrumentalists, keyboardists from outside, maybe four or five people, and their salary alone has taken all the church’s money off. For me, I’m not against people being paid for working. So, if you know you want to work, come and work, we will pay you. And that’s what we have done. So, this church will be 29 years old by the end of this year, and we have never paid any instrumentalists not because we don’t want to pay workers, but because they are not ready to become full-time staff. They want us to pay them. So, they will just come on Sunday, play an instrument and I’ll be paying them. I’m sorry. Our church does not have that kind of money. Churches that are doing it, that’s their choice. For me, if you don’t want to come and be a full-time staff member, so that Monday to Friday, that same instrument you’re playing on Sunday, we will allow you to do music school. People will be learning how to play instruments. You’ll be teaching other people. They will pay for the form. They will pay for school, they will be making money, and then we will share the money.

    Let us go backward. After all, which instrumentalist did Jesus use? Who was the keyboardist for Jesus? Just give me a proposal, let’s start a music school, you become a full-time staff member and I will pay you a salary. You do your music on Sunday in church, do yours on Saturday, Monday to Friday, we’ll start a music school, we employ people to join, you will be teaching them to play the musical instruments. We’ll do all kinds of fun stuff, people will pay. And then whatever money comes in, we’ll divide it into three: the church will take two because we own the tools, we are the owners of the equipment. We are the owner of the school. Other people will go to work Monday to Friday, they will still come to church and labour, do ushering, do church hospital, do cleaning, do everything. You want to use Monday to Friday to do whatever you like and still come to church on Sunday to get paid. I am sorry.

    Offering and tithes have become contentious in the body of christ. You are a successful businessman. Some say religious leaders should be engaged so that there will be less dependence on tithes and offerings, do you agree with that?
    People are entitled to their opinions because they don’t know how an organisation is run. I remember there was a time when a journalist met us in a particular meeting and said, we were starting churches because people are paying tithes and offering, and that we were making money from people. I told him, you must be stupid and a fool. As I am looking at you, you must be a poor man. If there is money in church, why haven’t you left your journalism to focus on the church? Why haven’t you brought your whole family into the church business if there’s money in it? So, many times people just talk but they don’t have understanding. A church is a public organisation, and every pastor earns a salary from their personal jobs. Before you leave, I will show you around the department and you will see that everyone in the department earns a salary. If you’re a pastor relying on salary, you won’t go far. I’m a businessman, and I’ve written over 100 books and published 58 of them. Some people have written only 15 books and you expect such a person to be poor? I’m a consultant, I do publishing, I do ghost writing. I’m a scriptwriter. I am a public speaker. I’m a coach. I’m a mentor. I have a media house, I have estates. What are we talking about? So, most of the time, people just talk about what they don’t understand. So, you don’t expect people like us, who have been in the ministry going to 35 years to be poor. If your father works for 35 years, you don’t expect him to be poor. But, people like us don’t care since we know the truth. We just try to educate the wise ones that are ready to learn and those who are not ready to learn should stay in their foolishness.

    Calvary Bible Church appears to be one church and just a branch. Why is that?
    We have branches all over the world, but the uniqueness of us, and which is one of the reasons you people probably don’t know about us, is that this ministry is called the Truth of Calvary Ministries. That’s the name of the ministry. The Calvary Bible Church is the name of one of the churches. So, we have a lot of churches that bear different names. They don’t even bear the Calvary Bible Church. So, we have an Empowerment Assembly. We have the Kingdom Tribe, we have the Nest Church, we have the Common Sense Assembly. This is our headquarters. And we have branches scattered all over the world. We live in Lekki, Johannesburg, New York, and so on.

    You are writing books, and at the same time a preacher of the gospel. Which one do you prefer?
    The way you’re looking at it, you’re thinking they are two different things. Being a minister of the gospel means to serve with your gifts and potential. So, as a minister of the gospel, I am serving my generation with the gifts and the grace that God has given to me. I serve through preaching, I serve through writing, I serve through mentorship. In fact, everything I’m doing is ministry; I’m using my gifts to serve my generation.

    You are an established name in real estate, what wouadvise those who haveYou ar interest in it?
    I’m into real estate development and entrepreneurship in the real estate business. So, I do real estate business and real estate investment on a global scale. A realtor is somebody that sells, so I have a lot of realtors that work with me. I’m primarily a businessman in the real estate industry, and an investor in the real estate industry. So, anyone that wants to play in the real estate industry, there are four ways to play. You can either be a realtor, which is the lowest level, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s the easiest way. If I were to start all over again, I’d probably go through that route because there is no stress. A realtor gets a customer, gets a good deal, you connect them together, you make your money, you move on. You don’t have the problem of looking for land, developing the house, getting approval, and so on. You can be an investor where you invest your money in real estate, you can be a developer, or you can be a regulator where you’re involved in the legalities and the regulation aspect. There are different platforms where you can mentor and use as your guide.

    I heard in one of your teachings where you talked about your marriage and how it collapsed. So, for someone who is going down the same route in marriage, what do you have to say? What are the things to watch out for?
    I’m a pastor, and everything I do is based on the scriptures. As a result, my belief system is going to be different from those of other people. You need to decide what kind of marriage you’re going into. Are you doing the traditional marriage, which is a cultural and traditional kind of marriage, or are you doing a contemporary marriage? Or are you doing a kingdom marriage? So, my advice would be for people who want to do a kingdom marriage. Number one, be sure that whosoever you are going into a marriage with, God is part of it. Be sure that you are led by God, inspired by God, and directed by God. Number two, engage in courtship. Courtship is a period of time that you use to ascertain your conviction and to be sure if what God is telling you is clear to you. You can do all that needs to be done to prepare yourself for that marriage because a lot of people prepare for the wedding, but they don’t prepare for the marriage. A wedding is for a day; marriage is for a lifetime. When you’re not prepared, and you move in there, you also move out. Now, the fact that God has brought the two of you together does not mean that everything will work. God brought us together, yet we had marriage issues. Why? Because a good marriage takes two people. Good marriage takes two people, Only one person cannot make a marriage work. The two people involved in the marriage must be willing to do everything they can to make it work. If only one person is working to make it work, and the other person is not, it will not work. That’s why many people become victims of divorce. This is because one or both of the parties involved were not willing to make it work, and that’s why we hear of irreconcilable differences. There’s no problem that cannot be solved, only a problem that you’re not ready to discuss.

    The religious leaders were divided among the presidential candidates during the last general election. In your opinion at that time, who you were expecting to win the election?
    When you look at the politics of Nigeria, you will see that we are still very far from where we are supposed to be. That election was supposed to be a game changer because the understanding of direct transmission we heard was unfortunately different from what INEC had. I already knew from my own perspective that Atiku could not win the election. So, he was not in my reckoning of who would win the election. I was looking at Tinubu or Obi. Atiku has been trying again and again, just like Buhari had been trying but nothing had come out of it for him. He comes during the election, and after the election, he disappears. It was the Obi people that were a surprise to everybody. It was like a movement. I was asking myself if the Obi movement had coverage throughout the whole country? It is not just being popular in the south. Also, all the people shouting, INEC does not count Instagram likes. INEC does not count twitter comments. INEC counts only the PVC. Some of them are also abroad and I know you cannot vote from abroad. All these noise makers, do they have PVC? People were abusing each other, husbands fighting wives, brothers fighting each other such that it became so toxic; even up till now, it is still toxic. I know Obi one on one. The man is a peaceful person. Well, everything went the way it went and Tinubu is the president.

    As for Tinubu, we knew what he did in Lagos. But, we also know that Lagos and federal are two different things. But, people say he did well in Lagos, and those who came after him are also doing well. And here we are, Tinubu is not the answer. Atiku is not the answer. Obi is not the answer. The church is the answer. Unfortunately, the church is also part of the problems. If you like, get all the presidents in the world, until what needs to be done is done, we will continue in the circle.


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