Become Immensely Wealthy. Start Your Own Church Today!

Prince Debo Luwaji

By Prince Debo Luwaji

The wealthy lifestyles of many men and women of God in this part of the world and perhaps elsewhere, can be a cause of infectuous envy or extreme spite.

At full bloom, ministries here are easily one of the most rewarding enterprises anyone.can engage in. They have the capacity to compete favourably with the real estates, banks and oil companies in terms of resources but without the inhibition of the statutory checks and tax obligations common to those industries.

Many people are of the settled view, and you labour in vain if you attempt to persuade them otherwise, that the General Overseers, Bishops, Most Senior Apostles and other similarly- titled heads of churches live large and sit atop stupendous fortunes that remains completely at their behest.

From what is visible to all, these men of God own the choicest fleet of vehicles including private jets in some instances, among other ornaments of overflowing riches. What’s more, for reasons bothering on trust and confidentiality, their children and close relatives are often the ones in strategic positions as purse keepers and project managers in the church.

Thus, the wealth stays in the founder’s family more or less and it keeps ballooning in contradistinction to the harsh realities of our everyday life. The more intense the suffering in the land, the greater the number of new members who flock our churches in search of miraculous interventions. That can only mean one thing: more tithes and more offerings.

This simplistic interpretation of ministries and the seemingly unfettered access the senior pastors have into their finances is the major motivation that has brought, and is still bringing many into the business of church planting. Better to have your own ministry than lend your spiritual gifts to the advancement of another man’s vision!. I agree.

For some, owning a church is foreshadowed by certain unpleasant developments in their lives, including unemployment and hunger, which are conveniently summed up as the results of the delay or refusal to heed a long standing divine call. When a man says he is called by God, how do you fault his claim when you were neither the Holy Spirit nor any of heaven ‘s angels?

To these ones, all that is required apart from the ability to speak well and quote corpiously from the bible, is a place of worship and the first assemblage of believers. Getting a name is never a problem. The Rock That Never Fails Ministry (TRTNFM). The Fire of Heaven and Restoration Ministry (TFHRM). Overwhelming Glory of the Latter Day of God’s Annointed Delieverers
(OGLAGAD). The list can stretch endlessly.

Like in everything else, the presence of fake versions of ministries is a clear indication that there are genuine ones.

Much to every scorner’s peril, that you deride genuine men of God makes little impact on their ardent followerships. Whether you believe in their calling or not, people who have experienced a significant turn around in their fortunes, health or a long-sought divine intervention through those ministries, and are bent on sticking to their so called spiritual fathers are entitled to their ‘foolishness’. Please leave them alone.

But first, here’s a food for our collective thought.

In the world of business, for every example of success you encounter there are dozens that have failed. In other words, within the same harsh economic environment in which some entrepreneurs struggle endlessly till they close down in frustration, others thrive, buy over dying companies and expand exponentially.

Thus, as the owner of a successful brand, you are richly rewarded to the extent of your acumen, creativity and persistent hard work. Therefore,
the consequence of making the right investments, picking the right team and adopting the right strategies is a business growth that accords the founder stupendous rewards which are visible and can be flaunted without apologies.

Here, in business, bringing in your children as part of a succession plan raises no eyebrows as this is to be expected.

But not so for the Church, incidentally!

The church business is the only kind where the founder can labour day and night for many decades, watch his congregation grow in leaps and bounds in direct consequence of his imputs, but must himself remain in abject want, sustained by the charity of members forever.

The kind of car he drives or properties he owns becomes a subject of serious scrutiny. Whatever bespeaks of affluence in his life or that of his family is ascribed to vain glorification and riding on the sweat of others.

But indeed, come to think of it, what stops many more from coming into ministries?
Mathew 9.37 records Jesus as saying to his disciples:
‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. ‘”

God uses this analogy to highlight the fact that there are still millions of people awaiting salvation, and more than enough needs for more worship centres!

I urge you therefore to jump on board.and start your own church today!

However, before you embark on that journey it is important you take a moment in understanding the story behind the glory of others you so gluttonously covet.

Behind every Ministry that is making waves today is a minimum of 20 to 30 years of labour and unwavering commitment to a cause.A grass to grace story that had their foreground in what the bible calls days of little beginnings, when the only family car was sold off, or the house forfeited for the sake of the ministry. The many instances of near death on the highways to attend scantily attended crusades and the repeated contention with invisible stones thrown by those who are intent on keeping many the pastors sought to liberate in perpetual captivity.

Even now, the bulk of those you see in our churches today are not there for just the spiritual foods only. They are sustained in their continuous appearanceces by the leaders’ generousity and the goodwill of the few well to do in the congregation.

To the cynical, the astronomical growth of a church cannot be normal or ordinary. The more you look, they say, the less you see. When you watch too much of Nollywood, you begin to believe that every pastor who wears cassock in the day also goes into the grooves in the cover of darkness. Some churches are rumoured to have buried cows, or even humans, with the implications of a growth as fast and enpansive as the maggots from the animals’ festering decay!

Well I have good news for those interested. Inspite of the spiraling cost of almost everything, a robust cow still sells for below N800k today. For those desperate to be called Papa and Mama by imaginary followers, , that’s not the kind of money that cannot be raised quickly, even in multiples, to guarantee a spontaneous crowd of worshippers at take off and a boundless expansion of members thereafter.

As for human sacrifices being the manure that fertilizes exponential church growth, this is the kind of stupid and lazy reasoning that now puts people’s daughters in danger in the company of their so called yahoo yahoo friends.

Philippians 3:19 captures their ultimate fate though. ” “Their end is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things”

Now, in closing, I am not a pastor, lest you mistook my stand for being one. Nor do I find much to envy in the fate of our Bishops or general overseers whose weight of endless sacrifices often left me wondering what the whole wealth was all about afterall. How much can any stomach take sef? Why would I jettison my unfettered freedom – to throw the kind of party I wanted however grandiose without the slightest fear of any social media backlash, to dance to Kollingon Ayinla’s music if I so chose without raising eyebrows on why my pick was not Pastor Nathaniel Bassey, to eat whatever and wherever I chose including roasted plantain by the roadside, enjoy the sun in cities home and abroad whenever I pleased without disguising or fear the intrusion of a prayer-seeking mob?

Why would I swop places with self-imprisoned giants who live all their lives fighting other people’s endless battles?

Prince Debo Luwaji is an Entrepreneur and public affairs analyst.

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