The Apostolic Leader of Inspirational Global Network and Leader at Wisdom Sphere School of Wisdom, Dr. Segun Tremendous Oshinaga was one of the speakers at the just concluded Global Faith Coalition World Congress 2023 held in Nairobi, Kenya. In this interview with Church Times, he shares his conference experience and perspective on repositioning the church.
You were in Kenya recently for the Global Faith Coalition World Congress. What informed the trip in the first place?
Earlier in the year the Lord gave me a word that he was sending me to the nations of the world to go preach and teach His word. So I began to get myself prepared for the assignment ahead. It was not long after the Lord spoke to me that I was invited to be a speaker at the 2023 Global Faith Coalition World Congress. The congress was a meeting of preachers and pastors from different nations of the world. The purpose was to encourage and strengthen the Church.
The irony of my involvement was that I was not scheduled to speak at the conference in the first place. But the founder of the organisation hosting the conference, Apostle Benard Etta, called me after they had already printed the flier that God asked him to invite me to the event.
I said since he had already printed the flier for the event that may not be possible again. He said he would redo the flier. And that was it. The conference was held between August 22 and 27. The theme was repositioning the church. We were leaders from 16 nations who ministered at the event. It was awesome.
Apostle Bernard Etta must have had a relationship with you before now?
We had actually met before in Benin in 2012. We later became friends on Facebook. But he did not plan to feature me as a speaker at the just concluded congress until God spoke to him to invite me.
What informed the theme of the conference?
The theme reflects the desire for revival in the church. The Apostle Etta noted that the church had gone down and that it was time to bring the church back to what it used to be known for. All the speakers spoke on how to revive the Church and how the church can fulfill its purpose at this time.
People refer to you as TD Jakes of Africa at the conference and many other places. What is the implication of that to you?
The first day I landed, those I met including the white people around were shouting and calling me TD Jakes of Africa. They think TD Jakes and I look alike.
But that is not the first time people will take me for TD Jakes. Several years ago, I was at one of the airports and somebody was running after me. He thought I was actually TD Jakes until he came closer and discovered I was not. I go through that all the time.
But have you met TD Jakes?
I first met TD Jakes in Houston Texas. An old friend, Denalo Ellis had sent me an invitation to a church convention in the US. He sent it because he was hosting T.D. Jakes. I remember that night, I was seated not too far from TD Jakes. He looked at me and said I looked like him. I responded and said he was the one who looked like me. I said I was the original. We both laughed. A lot of people think we look alike.
The theme of the conference was repositioning the church. What in your view is wrong with the church of today?
At the conference, I shared with the attendees that the church had fallen into three errors. The number one error is Selfism: The church today in many instances is worshiping at the altar of self. Ministry has been reduced to a means to have more affluence and to enhance our lifestyles. This is contrary to what the church was known for.
The power of Christianity is founded on selflessness. But the church has continued to be increasingly selfish. We are using God to achieve our life ambitions as against God using us.
The other error is Soloism: We all want to go solo. The church was founded on partnership. But those called by God today want to go solo. Jesus sent out his disciples two by two. He said without me you can do nothing. The church is rooted in cooperation and partnership. It is a movement of a body. But we have turned it into a monument and we want to go solo. This error will continue to diminish the church by endlessly dividing it.
The reason why we have challenges in the church is that everybody wants to go solo. That has diminished the power and influence of the church. The purpose of the church is that we may be one. Unfortunately, everybody wants to be his own boss.
The third error is Egoism. Arrogance is disturbing us. The Bible encourages us to submit to one another. We pretend as if that is not in the Bible we read. We are not humble enough to hear what God is saying to the church. Egoism has made us become thin gods in our different denominations. We have built monuments for ourselves. As long as we have results nobody can question how we get the result. We use extra-biblical means to show off to others. In my mind, those things are real challenges to the church. We can’t impact our immediate surroundings with that mindset.
We have not been the model we should be that will compel the world to listen to us. I said at the conference that in the New Testament, the followers of Jesus turned the world upside down. Their influence was impactful. Today we pack so much crowd but the morale of the church is weak. The bigger the church the less effective we are. We have millions of Christians but our morality is nosediving. We need to reposition the church to impact the world.
So what would you say was the outcome of the conference?
Everybody at the conference was challenged and motivated to make a difference. I have received so many testimonies from people who say they will go and make an impact in their nations as God gives them grace.
Personally, I was tremendously blessed by other speakers. I am glad I went to listen. Apostles Etta’s messages were powerful and so for all the speakers. I was privileged to meet Joan Bossma known as Mama Africa. She was absolutely a blessing. She has been a missionary for 60 years. She travels around the world even now that she is in her 80s.
Going forward, what are your plans beyond the conference?
The Lord said he would take me to the nations of the world. I am beginning to experience that. Just after my session, Apostle Etta came forward and said the message I have is beyond Nigeria. He challenged everybody at the conference to plan their schedule for me. By the grace of God, I will be traveling more often now.
But you used to be an itinerant preacher years back. Why the break for many years before this present revival of your mission trips?
I had my first missionary trip in 1986. That trip took me to America, Germany, and the UK. The second missionary journey was between 1995-2000, which took me to Korea, Japan, America, and the Bahamas.
I have been to China and South Africa on isolated instances and not necessarily for missions. Now the Lord has opened the doors for the third league of my missionary journey. This will continue until when I will see the Lord. There will be no stopping by God’s grace.