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Ven. Adegbuyi: I used to laugh at people who fall under the anointing until…

by Church Times

My boss asked me to tell God to change his mind about my call

Evans Adegbuyi was the chief designer of a textile company in Lagos. He was enjoying his job but with time he got so involved in the ministry that the call of God became strong upon his life. He did not waste time in making up his mind to the surprise of many.

His boss offered to increase his pay, provide better accommodation for him and make some other enticing promises of a better condition of service. But all that would not make him blink. His eyes were set like a flint.

Having undergone mandatory training at the Lagos Anglican Seminary, he began what has since become a lifetime commitment to God in His Vineyard.

Before then, he had been very active in various church events. But this time around, he had to give up every secular pursuit to do only the Lord’s bidding.

“It was not quite easy I must confess; because the moment I said I was resigning; my boss did not want me to go. He persuaded me and made a lot of promises. I had to go and pray but still felt within me that God wanted me to leave the secular pursuit. My boss promised me a new car, a new house and he asked me to go and tell God to change his mind about His call on me to do ministry full time. But it was too late. He cried when it was clear he could not stop me from going” Said Ven. Adegbuyi, Vicar St Paul’s Anglican Church Idioro and the Archdeacon of Idi-Oro Archdeaconry.

Initial experience not palatable

The beginning was however not palatable. Coming from a corporate work environment into ministry was like starting life all over again. Though he had always been an Anglican, he did not bargain for some of the initial experiences he had.

But then, it was a learning curve. “I was not planning to be a priest. I was in the choir and later became the organist of the church where I worshipped before coming into the ministry. But it was initially hard for me to key myself with what I was experiencing. But with time I found it interesting.”

What really helped him was that the man who brought him up, Ven Dr. Segun Adeyemi now Archbishop Dr.Segun Adeyemi Rtd, is indeed a man who has a deep relationship with God. “That was what saved me. He is a man who loved the Lord. He is born again and he was able to put me through some of the things I did not understand. The Holy Spirit has also been my source of strength. I am coping and advancing in the work of the ministry as the Lord gives me the grace.”

Having served in many churches since he joined the ministry in 1997, he said from experience that all the churches are not the same.

He added however that to successfully lead a flock, the shepherd needs a lot of humility. “You need humility to lead a flock. Make sure you are a listener. People come to you when you get to a new parish and feed you with information that may create bad blood. If you are not careful, you will make enemies of people. But you need to carefully hear God before arriving at any conclusion about people and the parish you find yourself.

“You have to study the new environment and build on what they have on the ground. When you feed them with the word, it would build them and inspire them to contribute to the growth of the church. Ensure that your members are not bench warmers. You don’t just feed them continuously without placing a demand on them. The more you give them assignments the better for them. Those who are not good, you build them.”

Ven. Adegbuyi: Me and the anointing

He said the high point of his ministry was when he found out that God was using him in the area of deliverance. “before I used to laugh at some people when people fall under the power of the Holy Spirit. But I later discovered that God was using me in that area too. People fall under the power of the Holy Spirit during ministration and it dawned on me that it is not a fluke. The problem is when people don’t experience certain things, they criticize it.”

He explained that the Anglican Church accommodates different types of worship system. “Anglican Church is infused with different types of worship. It depends on the area you belong to. I can fit into any of the modes of worship either evangelical, high or low churchmanship.” He stated.

While many see the Covid-19 as coming to disrupt our lifestyles he believes it has helped to expose the kind of people we are. “As it is, the attendance in church has been greatly affected by covid-19. Even when the lockdown was relaxed, many were still reluctant about Church.  The season has opened us up to know the kind of person we are.”

Engage those who come to church

To further enhance church growth, he believes heads of parishes should begin to engage those who come to church positively and stop them from being bench warmers. “it is unfortunate that some people now see the church as a burden. Some now stick to the internet, they don’t want to come to church again. Since they were able to live without paying offering and tithes during the covid-19 season, they feel they can continue that way.”

On what his priority in ministry is, he says, “Evangelism is my priority. The welfare of members, jobs for the youths will follow in that order. I think the primary call of the church is to reach the unreached. We also need to think of the welfare of our people and find ways of engaging young people positively. There are a lot of energetic and talented young people that needed to be harnessed for the good of the Church. Whatever resources we have should be geared towards doing that.”

Ven Adegbuyi sees being an administrator in the Diocese of Mainland of the Church of Nigeria as a privilege. “I understand that we need to work as a team with the priests in our Archdeaconry. Don’t nurse any grudge and relate with people in a friendly way. Don’t boss them around. Look at the good side of those working with you and ensure that they are also relevant in the scheme of things.”

One of the most priced treasures for Ven Evans is his family. “My family is my backbone in the sense that God uses them to keep me going in ministry. Before I mount the pulpit, they would have settled many of the issues that needed to be addressed in the church in the place of prayers. I reckon that if the home is not settled, it would be felt in one’s sermon and it would reflect in the church and one’s ministry. But when you have a good family, ministry success becomes easy.”

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