The chairman of the Lagos Chapter of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Bishop Sola Ore has advised pastors in the state to reduce their emphasis on money as the churches plan to reopen.
Bishop Ore spoke with Church Times on phone hours after the Lagos State Government gave the nod for churches to begin operation.
Churches are expected to start gathering at 50 per cent capacity of their population as from August 7.
Ore, however, said it will be unfair for pastors to continue with the material gospel noting that “the COVID-19 season has taught us to be less materialistic”
He noted that during the lockdown many were able to realize that our needs are not many. “If you have a wardrobe full of clothes, you soon realized that those clothes are not necessary because your moving around has been reduced. Many people had cars they could not use during the lockdown. If there is any lesson from the pandemic, it is that our needs are few. So church leaders should refrain from the temptation of putting financial pressure on their members. They should realize that people are just coming out of economic strangulation caused by the lockdown.” He said.
Rather he counselled that emphasis should be more on prayers. “Churches should spend a great deal of time praying for Nigeria and praying that God will intervene in the political and economic life of the country.
“There are so many things wrong with our nation. We should utilize the opportunity of gathering once again to pray so that those who say the church is all about money will having no ground to talk. People want to see our impact. I believe that the coming together of the church once again is a great opportunity for us to tell the world that we are indeed the salt of the earth.”
He said lockdown has been a time of great blessings and at the same time great loss for the church. “There are blessings from the lockdown. We are able to know now that we don’t need all the magnificent structures we spend so much on. We are able to take advantage of the online forum to propagate the gospel. But at the same we missed fellowship. During the lockdown coming together in large number was not possible.
It’s good we are resuming
“There is a spiritual synergy when we come together. So, it’s a good thing churches are resuming. Churches that have people on their payroll also had to cut salaries or stop salary in some cases since money was not coming in again like before. But in all, we give thanks that we are coming back. It can only get better.”