SENIOR pastor of Life of Freedom Ministries, Fagba, Iju Ishaga, a suburb of Lagos, Chinedu Anthony received the call to ministry in early in 2008 after an encounter after spending some moments with his maker at Dewara House of Mercy Mountain in Osun State where he went to ask God for grace, wisdom to deliver quality service to my then overseer.
In this interview with OLAY-INKA LATONA, the youthful pastor who hails from Akumuazu Umu-ocha in Ika North East Local Government of Delta State, spoke on several national issues as well as the challenges facing the Nigerian Church. Excerpts….
How has the journey been?
Our first service, after my former general over-seer had made a proclam-ation that I could go and actually prayed for me, was attended by just three persons—my and I together with a brother called Jude. It started a fellowship that took place on Sunday after-noon between the hours of 1.00 p.m. and 5.00 p.m. the following Sunday five people attended and the third was attended by nine until we got to where we are today.
The journey has been good and challenging but in all, the Lord is faithful. Starting a ministry from one’s sitting room can really be very challen-ging. Sometimes I do ask myself if this is what I am going to face to till Christ comes.
What is the focus of the ministry?
The primary focus is to ensure that we take the gospel or the good news of the Bible to the doorsteps of all those who have not heard about Christ and con-verting them for King-dom. It is also to ensure that anyone who comes in must hear the truth and noting but the truth because the Bible says; you shall hear the truth and the truth you know and say shall set you free.
It is important that as we are winning them from the world, we should be able to sustain them with the truth. I am believing God that in the next few years this ministry will be a house-hold name in Lagos. I am believing God for a permanent structure.
People are saying that the Church is growing but not in depth because as a matter of fact, new souls are not being won. What is happening is that some Christians hear that it is happen-ing in this new church and everybody migrates there. No evangelism in the proper sense of the word….
The primary purpose of ministry, according to the Bible, should not be for money, but it is to ensure that one is a tool in the hand of God which should be used to pull out people out of their problems. Number two: through the assignment God had delegated to our hands as pastors, it is to win the lost back to the Kingdom.
Do you agree that preachers now water down the gospel because they want to keep their members and make more money?
It is what you have that you offer to the society. You cannot teach what you don’t know. To some extent, some people would not want to offend their members, but I know that the truth is always insultive. You might accept it immediately. You may have to go home and reflect on it. There is something about the truth. Lies may endure for 30 years but the day truth appears that lie will disappear.
Message for Niger-ians
I will want to tell my fellow Nigerians that this is the only home we can call our home. That is why I want to beg my brothers and sisters that we should put an end to this crisis. Whosoever is responsible for this crisis should have a rethink because if anything goes wrong we don’t have a place we can call our own.
Nobody will rem-ember you for the number of things you de-stroy, people can only remember you for the good things you have done, because this can-not get better through the hands of white people. It is by own sweat that this country can develop. Anybody who is still dreaming of taking the life of fellow human being should please desist. Life belongs to God.