It is not every day that one comes across people who had worked in the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, and are proud to say they learnt one or two good things from the general overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye. For 14 years, Pastor Emmanuel Omole was in RCCG where he rose to become an area pastor before receiving the call to establish Covenant Life Christian Church, CLCC. In this interview, the senior pastor of CLCC speaks about one great thing he took from the RCCG and his new mandate.
What is Covenant Life Christian Church (aka Covenant Life Chapel) all about?
I was with somebody, a man of God in Ibadan but I ran away from him because I didnâ€™t want to be a pastor. I came to Lagos and shortly after my wedding on March 4, 1995, I joined the Redeemed Christian Church of God. I spent 14 years in the church and rose to the position of an area pastor. God started speaking to me about this vision in 2003 while I was a parish pastor of RCCG’s Life Assembly. I was very scared of the vision such that I could not share it with my wife because she may not understand.
But, shortly after, I started mentioning it to friends who encouraged me to pray about it and I prayed. Then, suddenly, I was transferred from Life Assembly to start a parish along Igando Road, with 25 workers including myself and wife. I spent four years during which God made Himself proud there. By this time, the vision was becoming clearer and stronger and I had to share it with my wife but maybe because of the nature of her job as a banker, she said I should not even bother my head about such a vision. So, while I was making up my mind to leave, I was transferred again, this time to Idimu where I spent two years but, thank God, by this time, my wife too had received the message. While I was ministering in one of the churches in Manchester, God confirmed it to her. She was now the one encouraging me on the need to obey the call of God. It was after two years in the new parish that I resigned; precisely, May last year and started preparing for the new job. While we were seeking the face of God as to what exactly He wanted me to do, He gave me the name Covenant Life Christian Church which has now been registered. We started fully on July 5 last year. My area had always been on the development of faith of Christians because there are a lot of Christians who do not really know what it is to know God and depend on Him. This is the area God has called us to; so that we can destroy every form of ignorance. And for the past months, God has been very faithful to us.
Can we liken this Covenant Church to the covenant Abraham had with God?
May be we should know what covenant is first. A covenant is a deal between two or more people. But, in this particular covenant, it is between you and God, He is the principal person. It has to do with you playing your part and God playing His part. If you check through the scriptures, you will realize that every time God initiated a relationship with anybody, He will tell you, â€œthis is what I want to do but this is the part you need to playâ€.
In Deut: 28:1, He said: “If you can diligently hearken to your God, then, I will do this, I will do that”. Your own part is; “If you will hearken to my commandment, this is what I will doâ€. And the funny thing about is that the thing He will do is always greater than the one He will ask you to do. The covenant we are looking at is the obedience to the Word of God so that He can perform what He has said concerning us.
Your vision has four legs. Can you expatiate on it?
The first is to preach the gospel of Christ to all nations; and, by the grace of God, we are not limited to Nigeria. As a matter of fact, God is already giving us an opening in Ghana. So, to preach the gospel to all nations, this we are committed to. The second is to pastor the people of purpose. I met a young man recently, permit me to use the word young, he is 52 years old. He was telling me that in all the things he’s doing, the question that always comes to mind is, â€œis it the will of God for me?â€ I was shocked and I said; â€œwhat you are talking about now is a matter of purposeâ€. People are walking the streets but donâ€™t know exactly what God has called them to do. They donâ€™t have a purpose. We have been called by the grace of God to help people locate what they have been called to do in life because it is where you are called that you can find fulfilment. The third aspect is to turn followers to leaders. The fourth is to raise leaders that will be agents of change in the society. When you watch what is happening in our country today, you will agree with me that the major problem we have is leadership. Everybody makes all manner of promises before election but when they get to office, they renege on the promises and this is because they donâ€™t have that leadership trait in them. Part of our calling is to turn those followers into leaders to create that change that is required in the society.
Many of our clerics seem to have become politicians such that they are not able to tell the truth to our leaders. They just pamper them with praises…
We have such people because many people in ministry today are there just because of what they want to eat and that is the major problem. A lot of people who are parading themselves in the corridors of power today are there percuniary motive and they are afraid to tell the truth to the leaders. I am glad because God is raising a new generation of pastors. They donâ€™t have names yet, but they are the ones to change this trend. There are many people who are in pastoral work because of unemployment and they think the cheapest way out is ministry but what they fail to realize is that ministry is hardwork. If you cannot succeed in secular business, I doubt if you will succeed in ministry because we are talking about human life. I was telling somebody, sometime ago, that when I was under a big ministry, there were lots of instructions that were passed down but, now, this is a new environment where everybody looks up to you. It is unfortunate these people just give pastors a bad name.
What would you say you took away from your 14-year sojourn in RCCG?
Pastor Adeboye is an embodiment of humility. You cannot run a successful ministry if you are not humble. By the time the power comes, money comes, if you are not humble you will misbehave. I learnt that from him; despite all, the man is humble. I see him as the one God has called. I am one of the people God sent him to. Even though I am out of RCCG today, I am still his son. In fact, I call him my spiritual grandfather because he has other children who are also my father; people like Bishop Oyedepo. It is only those that humble themselves that would be exalted. The fact that I said all this does not mean RCCG is a perfect church. I also learnt of how not to do ministry in RCCG by some of our leaders through the attitude they put up.