These are not normal times- Sam Adeyemi@ CASON’s conference on insecurity
Senior Pastor of Daystar Christian Centre, Rev Sam Adeyemi has observed that the times we are in are not normal while urging the Church to be on its guard.
He made the submission at the conference on insecurity organised by the Church Administrators’ Society of Nigeria on Monday, September 26 in Lagos.
Church Administrators’ Society of Nigeria (CASON) is a body established to bridge the knowledge gap that exists between church managers and their counterparts in the corporate world.
The focus of the CASON is to train church administrators and also provide resources for effective church management. It was established by Pastor Seyi Oladimeji.
Church should be proactive
Adeyemi who addressed participants at the conference via the internet said the church should not expect things to get better.
He advised instead that the church should be proactive. “We need to put in place measures that could forestall possibilities of being victims of the bad security situation in the country,” he said.
Adeyemi said further, “When Jesus was talking about the end time he was talking about crisis. When I took time to meditate on that passage I realised we gloss over those things that he said. One word that describes those things that Jesus said is disruption.
“There will be wars and earthquakes. These are not normal times. We should not expect that things will be normal. When we have those seasons of normalcy we crave it continues. But it does not work like that. Disruptions are inevitable”
How to deal with insecurity
He said one of the ways to deal with the rising insecurity in the country is to plan with the possibility of many scenarios
“When we make a plan we usually base it on one scenario. That does not help because what we never planned for may come up. We should plan for the possibility of other scenarios”
He noted for instance that the pandemic had been predicted long before it happened.
“The prediction of the pandemic was based on the fact that it happens every 100 years. When George Bush was the president of the US, he read a book on it. He got experts together and they made plans to curtail it if it happens.
“And nothing happened for many years. It was when Donald Trump came that he disbanded the office and the pandemic struck thereafter.”
Adeyemi said the Boko Haram insurgent had also been predicted long before it happened. He recalled that he was privy to it adding that, “insecurity has now become our reality in Nigeria. The North has been experiencing it for decades.”
It’s not lack of faith to plan
The Day Star Senior Pastor said it is not a lack of faith to plan. “Faith people have problems with scenario planning. We must ask ourselves questions in the area of technology and indeed other areas of our operations about the possible changes that can happen.”
While trusting God for the best scenario in Nigeria, Adeyemi said, “We must ask, what if something else happens? When it comes to security it is not a sign of lack of trust to plan. Jesus said there will be war.
“It is a fact that the earth is not a perfect place. It is important to develop security plans for our churches. We need to make provisions to make sure people are protected in our assemblies when they come to worship.”
He counseled churches to conduct risk assessments and get professional advice on what to do to strengthen their security systems.
“Conduct background checks on people. Sometimes the security risk is in the house” he said.
Adeyemi said the church needs a combination of divinity and humanity for us to have security. He then prayed that “God will protect our churches. He will protect our families .”
Reason for insecurity
The General Managing Director of Halogen Group, Mr. Wale Olaoye also delivered a paper at the conference. He traced the high insecurity in Nigeria to when the Church abandoned missions in the North.
According to him, most of the security challenges across the globe come from areas where the gospel has not penetrated.
He said, “when the church stopped supporting missions to the North many of those who could have become Christians turned to bandits.
Olaoye asked, “How many are praying? how many are going? How many are giving towards missions? There were times in the past when people were committed to going to the presently insecure places in Nigeria to preach and win souls. Where are those people?
“They stopped when there was no support. 95 percent of Christian workers are presently working in Christian areas where they are not all that needed.
“The question is, what is the church doing about the unreached areas? this is the reason for insecurity. Church leadership should begin to look inward.”
He lamented that many priests and church workers are being kidnapped and killed on a daily basis.
Apart from lives being lost, church properties are also being stolen.” he informed.
While giving some security tips he said the church should change its priorities.
“Reaching the axis of evil with the gospel should be our priority. What is the essence of our faith if we cannot confront the essence of our calling,” he said.
Duty of church to protect worshipers
The Legal Adviser of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Barr Tomi Vincent, who served as the compere at the event, sounded a warning to the Church.
He said some church leaders could be liable for the insecurity in their churches.
Vincent said it is the duty of churches to protect those who come to their worship centres. He reiterated the need to train church workers on security tips and also engage private companies to help with security matters in churches.
Insecurity: CAN is overwhelmed
The chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Bishop Stephen Adegbite described the conference as very timely.
Adegbite who was represented at the event by Dr. Olayinka Oyinlola, said, “At CAN we are getting overwhelmed. The issue of security is everyone’s business. We need professionals to handle this area.
“There are a lot of security issues. We must take the pain to know our staff. We should not substitute our duty for faith. The inscription of the name of our church on our buses could be a security risk because bandits could easily identify us and target the bus for attack”
Apostle Oladiyun and Pastor Akoni
Senior Pastor of Christ Living Spring Apostolic Ministry (CLAM), Apostle Wole Oladiyun, and Pastor Steve Akoni of First Assembly Ministries were also at the conference to provide some spiritual dimension to issues of insecurity in the country.
Oladiyun urged the church to go back to God in repentance and fervent prayers to avert the evil plot of the enemy over Nigeria.
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