*Excerpts from online chat between the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye and Pastor Poju Oyemade of the Covenant Christian Centre tagged “7 Significant Questions with Pastor E.A. Adeboye….”
Some nuggets from the chat with Pastor E. A. Adeboye…
1. Holiness is master key
2. Holiness is complete obedience to God
3. 90% thanksgiving and praise is a secret
4. Spend quality time with God in the secret and He will show up with you in the open
5. Never take God for granted
6. You must have a vision and be specific on how you intend to win
7. There is a need to be Adaptable while still maintaining your core
8. Make new friends (silver) and keep the old ones (Gold)
9. We must live our lives looking forward to the return of Jesus (we must stay rapturable). We are only pilgrims here
What are the things Pastor Adeboye learnt early in ministry and practiced consistently that set him apart in ministry that have kept him going in his old age?
I want to thank God that early in life in my Christian walk, I learnt that holiness is a matter of must and that it is the key to everything. I learnt that if you want to succeed in life and want to amount to something you need to live a holy life. I learnt that holiness is the nature of God. But that on our own part it is obedience to the will of God and his commandments. I saw that in Deut 28v20 that if you obey the Lord he will prosper you. So it dawned on me that with holiness no one will tamper with my promotion and my progress in life. That is why I dedicated myself to a lifetime of holiness.
We discover that you spend so much time in thanksgiving and praise. What has that done to your relationship with God?
In Africa the elders say if a man appreciates the good of yesterday, it will pave way for another good thing. I spend about 90 per cent of my prayer life praising the Lord and thanking Him. The more I thank Him the more He does great things for me. I do that always because I know where I started from and I know where I am today. The Lord has been so good to me. Even if God does not do anything for me again, I will keep thanking Him. But the more I thank Him the more He does great things for me. I will encourage ministers of God to do same.
We see the power of God always strong at your meetings. What is the secret?
I have discovered that if you spend time with God in the secret He will show up in the open on your behalf. For example, when I want to prepare for the Holy Ghost night I spend some days away from my family alone with God. I spend time to praise God and seek His face. I don’t just walk to the altar on Friday night after spending all the time, my friends. And the Lord responds accordingly. I will advise that young pastors and indeed all pastors should not take God for granted. They should spend time with Him.
RCCG is a first-generation Church. But it has managed to blend with the present generation and has adapted to the changing tide. How did you achieve this?
The first thing I will like to tell young ministers is that they should spell out the vision of their ministry in very clear terms. They should spell it out mathematically as we have done so that they can run with it. In our case our goal is to make heaven, to take as many people we can along and to have RCCG member in every family on earth. The next question is how do you achieve these goals? We found out that without holiness no man shall see God. It’s like a footballer playing in a game. The goal of the footballer is to score goal. But to achieve that goal he will have to dribble here and there but his eyes are on the goal post.
So in every community, we find ourselves we preach the gospel and try to adapt to the culture of the community. But we do not compromise the message of holiness. Gold is described as a precious metal because it yields to amendment but it does not break. No matter what happens maintain your focus.
What is your advice to younger ministers in the way they run their churches?
I think they should do as we do in the RCCG. We regard ourselves as one family. No one is the boss and nobody pushes another. We show the way to follow by leading by example. If I ask my children to fast I make sure I fast myself. I take the lead in doing whatever I ask them to do.
How have you been able to manage relationship with people?
The English man says make new friends but keep the old. The old friends are gold. But the new ones you continue to come across are silver. As the year goes by the new ones will of course become gold. But then, under no circumstances should you now say because you have become somebody in life you ignore those who have been with you from the beginning. In RCCG we honour those who have been with us from the beginning while also encouraging those who are just joining.
Worry: What trend do you see in young ministers that is worrisome?
The most worrisome thing I see among the younger ones is that majority are beginning to forget that Jesus is coming back again. In our younger days we were always expectant of the coming of the Lord. And in fact we used to greet ourselves in that direction. We were always looking forward to when the Lord would come back. We also always prepared for the rapture and we ensured we did not do things that would make us miss rapture. But today people are more concerned about prosperity. They are beginning to forget that we have a home in heaven. I am concerned about this generation also because of the misrepresentation of the gospel of grace which is leading people to careless living. It is true we are saved by grace. But then we have been called onto holiness. My prayer is that God will help us to finish well.