PASTOR Praise Ebireri is the president of Resurrection Gospel Church Ministry, aka, New Life Chapel International, Sapele in Delta State. He hails from the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. He is married with kids.
In this interview with Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South, the pastor bares his mind on the disarray in the country over the militant Boko Haram sect and urged President Goodluck Jonathan to tackle the security challenge decisively so that the nation will have peace.
He also spoke on the involvement or otherwise of the Church in politics and prosperity messages by today’s preachers. Excerpts….
What is the vision of your ministry?
The vision is to make God’s love (Jesus) real to everyone by the preaching of the simple Word of faith which is the resurrection power of Christ. And in receiving this Word, they are imparted with the resurrection life, which brings them into living the new life in accordance with Revelation 21:1-7.
When was the church founded and what does it hope to achieve?
It was founded on December 6, 2009. Like I said before, our vision is to make the love of God real to everyone. Like Apostle Paul said, ‘my preaching was not in the enticing wisdom of men, but in demonstration of power’.
Do you hope to expand in the near future?
We do not hope to expand; we are already doing that. That is exactly what God commanded us. Job 8:7 says: “Though thy beginning be small, thy latter end should greatly increase”. You see, most people think that this verse of the Bible is a prayer. But it is not; it is a command. God’s expectation is that His people increase in all that they do; be it studies, business, career or ministry. As for land and building, that is just one aspect of the increase expected of us as a church.
Please tell us the response of your members towards the worship of God?
We are all excited about God. Our Sunday services are actually celebration services, where we come together to celebrate God for all His benefits towards us. It is God that brings people to church. I am a messenger of God and when the Master gives a message to a messenger, it is for a particular set of people.
It is for this reason that every ministry is unique. No one ministry can take the place of another. Just like Jesus said in John 10:27, the messenger is a shepherd over some set of sheep and the sheep hear, understand, obey and follow the voice of their shepherd.
These days, many pastors dwell so much on prosperity and more often than not, de-emphasize salvation, which Christ enjoined believers to do. What is your comment on this?
I listen to the messages of other men of God because I believe, like the Bible says, that ‘iron sharpens iron’. But I must say it is not my business to pay particular attention to what they dwell on. I have a responsibility to deliver the message that I have been sent by the Master and that is my focus. Like I said before, every messenger has a message.
Boko Haram sect has practically brought the nation on its knees. As a man of God, how would you want the President to address this problem so that there will be peace in the country?
With the way things are going, diplomacy (which is what I think the president is trying to adopt right now will not help these issues. The president should take the bull by the horn and do what need to be done. I believe he knows what to do.
How do you see the Church and politics?
It all depends on what you mean. When you talk about the Church, you are not talking about the building but the people. In this regard, therefore, I will tell you that Christians should participate in voting and in being voted for. This will help in ensuring that the right people are elected into political offices which will bring about the realization of the potential of this nation.
As a man of God, do you see Nigeria moving forward in the years ahead?
Definitely yes! Nigerians are a people that believe in God, and are praying and I believe God is interested in this nation and in no time, things will take a turn for the better.
What is your greatest desire as an earthman?
Just as it is the heartbeat of God to see His people in the kingdom He hath prepared for them for which cause He gave His Son, Jesus Christ to die for the world, my greatest desire is to preach the gospel and lead people to Christ. It therefore, gives me great joy, in fact, I am intoxicated when I see people give their lives to Christ and live in the centre of God’s purpose for their lives, by living the resurrected life.