With the country in dire need of more positive examples and unpretentious leadership, a certain young man is providing much-needed leadership to the current and upcoming generation.
Emmanuel Iren, Lead Pastor of Celebration Church and founder of Outburst Music Group, is daily influencing and impacting young people in Nigeria and beyond. His mission is to help people discover purpose and walk boldly in it. His full-time ministry started in 2012 when he founded the church, first called ‘Life Triumphal Ministries’ and now called Celebration Church International, as a 22-year-old. At that point, his influence over young people in the church began to grow as he not only acted as a spiritual leader over them but as a life coach and mentor.
Now, 8 years later, he continues to oversee the church which has expanded to 5 branches with one of them situated in Canada, and is catering to approximately five thousand members.
Although his call is not just to young people, his impact can mostly be seen amongst them.
In terms of his leadership style, Emmanuel Iren can be well described as positively deviant; leading in a manner and style that is positively uncommon in our general community. For instance, his keenness to train young people and create confident leaders is obvious in the way he pays attention to his congregation and their individual struggles and cares.
He runs an in-house ministry training and public speaking program called the ‘Faculty of Ready Speech’ where he trains interested church members. Most of his trainees go on to do ministry or in some way use the skills taught in a positive way.
Many times, the testimonies from members of his ministry is that he works hard at training each member to do exactly what he can do and even more. He has often said, ‘If I start preaching a sermon, I know many members here who can take over from where I stopped and excellently execute the teaching till the end’.
Every year, he and his wife, Laju Iren, who is also a pastor in the ministry, organize an event called the ‘Young and Free Conference’ to teach on love and romantic relationships; a topic of high importance to their audience. They serve as relationship mentors and counsellors to quite a number of people, providing support to their emotional wellbeing.
Emmanuel Iren and Celebration Church International also sponsor the education of a couple of people cumulatively ranging from primary to university education. To find a spiritual leader who cares, not only about your spiritual well being but about your physical and mental state is indeed a blessing.
To make a generational impact involves more than just attending to the immediate needs of those within one’s sphere of influence, but it transcends to investing painstakingly into the life and wellbeing of each person one is privileged to lead. Pastor Emmanuel Iren is doing just that, and he’s just getting started.