The founder of Sword of the Spirit Ministries, Bishop Wale Oke, has said with Covid-19, the church has moved to the digital age warning that any church that does not adjust to the digital age will lose out.
He also warned pastors to be wary of women, money and pride.
Oke who has put in close to 35 years in ministry said during the chat that churches should begin to adjust and apply technology in all they do. “Any church that does not want to connect to technology will no longer be relevant. Yes, we will still be having our large gatherings. But the reality is that God wants the church to be in every home.” He said.
He commended the likes of Pastor Oyemade who have been using technology to drive church activities stating that it is now time for all to embrace technology.
He said, “We are in the endtime. God is wrapping up all the phases of ministry. The healing era, evangelism era, teaching era and the prosperity era are being wrapped up for this end time to achieve a greater harvest. The church is now in the digital age and the only way to remain relevant is to make use of technology.”
Idahosa and Adeboye
He said, “to the glory of God, it was through my platform that Pastor Adeboye and Archbishop Idahosa came close. I had invited the two of them to minister at the annual Holy Ghost convention run by our ministry in Ibadan. That was how they met. Archbishop Idahosa was sitting side by side with Pastor Adeboye. They became very close and they maintained that relationship till Idahosa went to be with the Lord.”
He said in the chat that he drew strength from these two servants of God noting that the duo taught him a lot of things. “I saw the grace of God upon the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa and Pastor Enoch Adeboye. I moved close to them and they taught me a lot of things. I saw in Pastor Adeboye the gift of the word and teaching while I learnt from Idahosa boldness and faith for evangelism. The two of them accommodated me and allowed me to flourish in my own area of calling.”
Burden for young pastors
On his burden for upcoming ministers, he said, “My prayer for them is that they will learn to be patient and build capacity in order to carry God’s glory. God takes time to prepare his servants. I pray that God will enlarge their capacity to carry his glory.”
He said further that his greatest prayer also for young ministers is that they will not fall into the temptation of gold, girls and glory. “If a servant of God can withstand the temptation of gold which is money, glory which is pride and girls which is women or the opposite sex, such servant of God is on his way to greatness. I pray for younger ministers that they will be greater than those of us that are old in the field.”
He counseled pastors that they don’t need to stage miracles because God is the one that does miracles and he does it at his own time. “What we need is to stay in the presence of God and get direction from him. If God gives us a word and we act on it, it will produce miracles.”
Miracles are real
Bishop Oke who studied Land and Engineering Survey at the University of Lagos, also recalled in the chat how God cured a man of cancer during his ministration at one of the WAFBEC meetings organized by Pastor Oyemade. He also recalled how God blessed a woman with the fruit of the womb, though she had been clinically declared unfit to have a child in one of his meetings in Abuja stating that miracles are real.
When asked why he started a church since he was known as an itinerant minister, he said, “I never wanted to start church. I did not like the idea. I fought the idea for years. I just wanted to serve the Lord and preach the gospel. Bishop Oyedepo counseled me to start one. I declined. Pastor Adeboye also persuaded me to start, I declined. The Late Archbishop Idahosa also came to me in Ibadan and tried to persuade me to start a church. I declined. But the Lord spoke to me one day while on a prayer walk that it was time for me to start a church. That was how I obeyed the Lord.”
He warned against starting church for economic reasons stating that such motive will always boomerang. “It is good to stay in the calling of God. We must not run ahead of God. I will also advise that no matter the ministry we run, we need to stay in a local church and be under a leader we can take counsel from. Pastors of local churches should also support itinerant ministers morally and financially so that they can stay in their calling.”
My relationship with Bishop Oyedepo
When asked how he has been able to manage his relationship with some of the leading men of God in Nigeria, Oke said, “When we knew ourselves, I mean when I got to know Pastor Adeboye and Bishop Oyedepo we were nobody. We were just brothers who loved the Lord and we had intimate fellowship together. We saw that the hand of God was on each of us. We respect each other and we recognize the gift of God on each other. We were not competing and are still not competing. We complement one another.”
He said there was a particular year he took his wife and children to visit Bishop Oyedepo. “That year, Bishop Oyedepo gave us time and we had fellowship together. I did not go there to preach. But we went there on a visit with my family. Bishop Oyedepo in a particular year came to visit me three times just for one-on-one fellowship and interaction. So we have been close and we maintain that closeness till date.”
THE SOVIET UNION REVIVAL
Recalling his early days in ministry, Bishop Oke said he had always had burden for evangelism and desire to take the gospel round the world. “During the communist era in old soviet union we were always praying that God will liberate the union. That was when I was still a student at the Ibadan Polytechnic. We always had the burden for those nations of the world where the gospel was not allowed. So when in 1989 the Berlin wall collapsed and the people had liberty to interact with the outside world and embrace the gospel it was a prayer answered.
“It was after that I got an invitation to come and preach in Russia. That was when the 15 republics that made the Soviet Union were still together. I saw the invitation as answered prayers. I went there and we had a massive crusade. And God used that crusade to liberate many people. Till today I still have open doors to that part of the world. When the republics went apart they all took the gospel with them.”
On his daily schedule, Bishop Oke says, “I start my day at 3 am. I start with prayer for about two hours and later join my family to pray. After that, I go on a one-hour prayer walk. I learnt the prayer walk from Pastor Adeboye and it has been a great help for me. It helps a lot to achieve both spiritual and physical exercise. When I’m done with that I return back home to prepare for the office and to plan my schedule for the day.”
Story by Gbenga Osinaike