Recently, I met a top real estate agent who facilitated the purchase of one of the biggest warehouses in Lagos for a mouth-watering amount by a popular Lagos church.
What intrigued me however, was his assertion that more than half of warehouses in Lagos (meant for industrial purpose) have been taken over by churches.
Someone somewhere also asserted that out of every 5 Nigerian Christians, 2 are Pastors, while 1 out of the remaining 3 is ‘sensing’ the calling to ministry and the other 2 are seeking for miracles from the first 2.
I dare say this is not revival! This is unarguably the product of lack of employment. Or what manner of revival comes along with increased rate of crime, infrastructural decay, business failures, & tribal/religious conflicts in Nigeria, today?
Every historic revival reduced crime & boosted social bonding + development in the society since Jesus kind of life would have taken over most people’s lives including the criminals & societal leaders. How? Simply because Jesus kind of life births productive vision, quest for positive influence, & societal contribution in people and thus more jobs are created and unemployment/tribal conflict drops, thus crime rate.
I also dare say that the most likely reason why every Tom, Dick, & Harry is jumping into ministry in Nigeria should give us huge concerns, not a cause for celebration.
Religion has never developed any nation. It is righteousness (in being & doing) that exalts a nation. So the rising of more religious leaders should not excite us.
I also dare assert that at the rate at which this is going, in the next 20 years, Nigerians may not have 1 doctor for 50,000 people but will have 50,000 pastors for 1 person.
This can also translate to the ugly truth that expatriates will take over our labor market while young Nigerians will be jumping from pulpit to pulpit across Africa looking for where to pastor or who to ‘prophesy’ to with the expectation of ‘prophet’s seed offering’ in return.
Please note that, I am an unrepentant believer in the pastoral and prophetic ministry also as I ‘sensed’ the calling myself years back but I got awoke to the fact that my ministry is not a pulpit one but rather in the marketplace, contributing to societal development through my calling-inspired creativity and innovation.
Fellow Nigerians, we need to teach our young people that they can fulfill ministry while coding in a technological laboratory.
We need to teach this generation that pursuing ministry should not stop them from pursuing a university degree or trade.
We need to ‘de-religionize’ the mind of the average Nigerian youth and we need to do this speedily before we get to the point of justifying the conversion of hospitals to cathedrals, factories to prayer camps, and colleges to prayer houses.
We must teach this generation that God gave us knees to pray and hands to work, mouth to preach and brain to create – not knee without hands, nor mouth without brains.
We must hasten to remind this generation that we can still be apostles and still maintain a productive professional career. Apostle Paul is our witness.
If we get carried away with how our 10 year old is preaching while his Chinese/Indian age mate is building a robot, we might end up being re-colonized by the Chinese/Indians in the nearest future or even by Trump’s son when he becomes the POTUS (lol!).
Truth be told, the Master (Jesus) charged us to occupy until HE comes. Those who heard Him first hand (the disciples) never asked “occupy what, how, why and where” – possibly why many Christians assume that it’s all about occupying the church building or pulpit. Can we be that peculiar generation, royal priesthood & holy nation that will ask these questions?
Religiousity should no longer drain our brain, it should train our brain. The blood of Jesus didn’t wash our brains, it washed our sins. What washes human brain is the right information. If we as a nation don’t want to be conformed to this world (systems & values that cause poverty, crime, bad economy, infrastructural decay, bad leadership, etc as they pervade Africa) but be transformed (trans= cross over to the other side of being informed); we’ll have to consistently renew our minds (our beliefs & thinking patterns) that prioritise miracles over responsibilities, forgetting that manna (representing miracles) in the wilderness was just a temporary solution to the Israelites’ unbelief & inadequate capacity to take responsibility for their feeding. That’s why the manna came not from heaven, but from the earthy atmosphere. What later came from heaven is the word of God (God’s thinking pattern & systems) that turned flesh (Jesus) and dwelt among men. Africa (& especially Nigeria) is past her manna dispensation. God isn’t in the business of only offering temporary solution & definitely not in the business of raising irresponsible children that are prayer warriors but thinking & character horrors. He can miraculously heal your diabetes or hypertension if He needs to help your unbelief but He also expects you to sustainably change your lifestyle thereafter. He can miraculously give you your dream job to show you His love but he expects you to work on your mind and behaviour for high performance on that job. He can miraculously save you from that road accident but He expects you to thereafter take your car & speed checks seriously.
Nigeria shall be great again, but only when we Nigerians rise up from religiosity to be great again. God bless Nigeria!
We are unstoppable!