By Isaac Ngumah
When Pastor David Adepoju began ministry on May 18 1997 one of his greatest fears was how to raise funds to carry out the vision God gave him. The fear was real because he did not know how to talk about money and could not bring himself to ask people for support.
He told Church Times, “I complained to God that I don’t know how to preach about money. I asked him, why are you calling me to ministry, where do we get money to run the work”
But God did not leave him without an answer. God assured him of constant supply as long as he follows His instructions. “He said to us as long as we obey him, he would speak to people to support us.”
And that is exactly what has been happening for the past 26 years when he started New Life Eternal Ministry. He said never thought of starting a ministry in the first first place when he was serving at Christ Message Ministry run by Bishop Bola Odeleke.
He was content with supporting the gospel and staying in the background until Jesus appeared to him in a vision and gave him specific instructions on what he should do in His kingdom.
Sinner to saint
“That is what we have been doing as God gives us grace. My calling as a pastor and teacher is to turn sinners to saints. Our focus to is to make people see the need for repentance and follow God. The Bible makes us understand that those in Christ are new creations, old things have passed away. Testimony of a changed life is what gives us joy as a ministry.”
While stressing that the church’s focus remains soul winning and ensuring that the souls live a regenerated life, he said, “My focus is to do the will of God, to follow our ministry statement make sure every sinner that has contact with our ministry change for better and remain steadfast for the Lord and to see Christ at his second coming.”
Adepoju believes the strength of a good ministry is in the marriage of the founder. “I thank God for the blessing of a good marriage. God gave me my own wife and I am eternally grateful to Him for this. If you don’t have a good marriage you don’t have a ministry.
“God first of all established the institution of marriage in the garden of Eden. A man of God cannot just marry anybody anyhow. The marriage of a servant of God has to be purposeful. That is why I thank God for my life, God gave me a wife who blended with me very well in the ministry. She has a prophetic calling. I am a pastor and a teacher. So the ministry is so blessed.”
Four kinds of pastors
He noted that in ministry there are four kinds of pastors. “There are those called by God. These people follow the Bible. They know they are going to give report to the person who called them. There is the idle pastors. This set of pastors don’t have direction about the ministry. We also have business ministers.
“These are pastors who are in ministry for money. They are more interested in what is in it for them. And we have the spoiler pastor. This set came to the ministry to spoil the church.”
Two types of churches
He explained further that there are two types of churches. We have the Church of Christ and Our own Church.
“In the Church commissioned by Christ, the will of God and His plan is supreme. But in our our churches we do whatever we like. In Christ Church we do what Christ asks us to do. In the churches we see today, only two percent are for Christ while 90% are our churches we do anything we like because it is our church.”
Politics not good for Christians
Unlike many church leaders who believe Christians should play active role in politics, Adepoju believes there is need for caution. “In the first place I won’t blame churches where members are encouraged to go into politics because they see the need for Christians to go there and make the place clean.
“But from what I read in the Bible Jesus Christ is not a politician. He never took part in politics during his time. But the Bible gives us an express instruction to pray for people in government. Jesus never directed us to go and do politics because Christianity and politics don’t go well”
He reasoned that the way politics is practised in Nigeria is against the the principles of God. “The principles of God is justice and fairness and truth. But when you look at our governance system in Nigeria it is full of unrighteousness and unfaithfulness. You can’t call yourself a Christian and be unfaithful and untruthful. So how do we reconcile politics with our faith.”
Prayer for those in govt
While stressing that the Bible at no point encourage servants of God to go into politics, he states, “there is no way a man of God can make meaningful impact in government apart from praying for those in government. If people in government need us they send for us. And we go and tell them what the Bible says.”
He said the only way Nigeria can make progress is to allow the fear of God in governance. “Presently there is no fear of God in our polity. One of the American presidents once said without the God of the Bible nobody can govern the nation correctly. The Nigeria government did not allow the God of the Bible in their politics so there is no way they could do better. All we could do as a church is to pray for them.”
Our govt lying to us
For the cleric, the new democratic dispensation signals no hope for the country. “I am not expecting anything from this government. Since Nigeria got her independent in 1960 those that have been ruling this country have been been deceiving the citizens. They have been lying to us. There is no truth in them.
“As a person I am not expecting anything from them because if you put your mind there they will end up disappointing you. When Buhari was in power he promised heaven and earth. What did we get? starvation, hunger, suffering insecurity and shedding of blood.
“Over 30,000 people died due to insurgency during his time. I am not expecting anything from the new government. Those there are the same set of people who have been been controlling this country for long. We have been hearing about Tinubu for long.
“His wife was a senator in the national assembly for almost three or four terms. Nothing good came out of their government so to me as a person I am not expecting anything so if they do well to God be the glory and if they don’t to God be the glory.”
Adepoju also bemoaned the security situation in the country urging Nigerians to rely on God for their security. “God is the security of everybody. All those Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen, and the kidnappers are just doing their thing without anybody stopping them. I believe if the government is serious the insecurity situation in the country would have been a thing of the past.
“Abacha’s daughter, Gumsu once said, “If insurgency lasts for more than 24 hours, the government has a hand in it.” She was quoting her father. Buhari promised that within six months APC government will crush the kidnappers, Fulani herdsmen, and Boko Haram. But they are still there till tomorrow.”
Adepoju however urged Nigerian youth not to be despondent but should put their hope in Christ. “You cannot rely on government alone. Follow the pattern and principles of God for your life and work hard. Don’t involve in crimes. Don’t take laws into your own hands. Don’t involve in any evil or wickedness. Work hard and if you go to school study hard. I recommend that people acquire skills that can make them employable or become self-employed.” he said.