Building from the Pulpit : A Nations Burden

Winners Auditorium

This post is not supposed to be a verbal assault, neither is it intended to go against God’s word by disobeying, “Judge not so that you will not be judged”. Over the years, there has been a lot of arguments about the sincerity of purpose as regards the various Religious Institutions that have besieged our various communities. As this year winds out there has been a lot of religious events; from Redeemed Christian Church of God’s “Next Level” to Shiloh 2008 – the annual Winners Chapel ritual, and of course House on the Rock’s “Experience” among a whole lot of others. These gatherings are always filled to the brim. In most cases, the congregation always look up to their leaders as a final say, you hear things like, “my pastor said…” “remember what pastor said”, “God of pastor A…” and a whole lot other phrases. We have also witnessed some extreme situations where church members have changed  their name or added the name of their leader as a suffix to their own names even when the man has been convicted of murder. These go a long way to show the power these churches wield in our society today.

Having worked with young people and understanding the impact of role models as well as peer influences on the general development of individuals, I want to believe that the church as an institution can help us reach the critical mass of under served or rather economically challenged citizens. Various young people look up to these men of God as much as so that they put them first before their own parents, especially those that have a few of the good things of life. My argument is this: the church, being driven being the tenets of our lord Jesus Chris is expected to have the highest values in terms of ethics and rule of law. And thus, if all these are implored, with a divine direction, is it possible for the church to start economic “incubating activities”? Giving the expected drive and commitment by members, is it possible that we might be on our way to filling the “economic gulf” between the havs and have-nots?

A lot of Churches will rise up and tell me they have built schools, they have food charity centers, they have built hospitals et al, but how affordable are these things and what are the real motives behind these ventures. Agreed, it’s expensive to maintain some these structures and it’s also expensive to maintain high standards, but what do these members, who have dedicated part of their earnings, energy and support for the projects get from it? We find church schools that do not even have up 10% composition of members because of the singular reason that they cannot afford the fees – meanwhile they all contributed to build the project. As a social entrepreneur, I understand what it means to drive towards sustainability and I also understand what it means to drive towards profit, they two different issues. Therefore a church cannot drive towards profit and claim to be moving towards sustainability.

For an end of the year talk, I will not write further, but I look forward to a 2008 that church congregations will start looking beyond miracles and search for the true values of life. I also hope that the churches will come together and work with development experts to fashion out programs that will uplift their members economically; if this happens then we will be looking forward to an unprecedented economic independence and even less corruption among our citizens. I stop for now but will revisit this issue as soon as we usher in the New Year.

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