Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Adegboye Warns Church Leaders Against Empire Building

Former Dean of Faculty of Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Prof. Duro Adegboye has urged church leaders to be more sensitive to the needs of their congregation instead of dissipating energy and resour-ces on things that are immaterial.

He made the call at the 5th anniversary celebration of Church Times Nigeria which held in Lagos recently.

Adegboye who spoke on the topic, "Church in times like this," said it is appalling that despite the number of churches and Christians in Niger-ia, the country has not fared better.

According to him, the progress of Nigeria is in the hands of Christians. "If Nigeria will be better, it must start from us. We are the ones who have the key to the success of this nation."

Adegboye who is a missionary evangelist at Offa, Kwara State, observed that many church leaders are busy building empires rather than building the kingdom of God; a situation, he said, had informed the unhealthy competition among church leaders.

Commenting on the growing number of church universities, Adegboye said; "we build universities that church members cannot afford. This is unfortunate. If we build universities are we going to build our own roads? The solution to our problem is not in building our own universities but in influencing the education sector such that government decision will favour us and favour the generality of people living in the country.

"Many institutions owned by churches have been taken over by government in time past. Many of the big universities in the world started as seminaries but today they don't even run bible-based courses."

The former university don who has been doing evangelical work for the past 50 years, said Christians should not dissipate energy castigating Sharia but rather should also make a case for a Christian-centred legal system. "If the Muslims say they want Sharia, Christians should also insist that they want a legal system that is pro-Christian. The implication is that government will have no option but to throw out the two requests if they would cause confusion."

Earlier in his speech, the publisher of Church Times Nigeria, Mr. Gbenga Osinaike had called on churches to embrace the media option in their evangelical drive. He stressed the need for churches to support church-based media, noting that the attack on church leaders is growing by the day.

"If the church continues to sleep the media power will erode its influence. The only power communism had while it lasted was the media. We can no longer pretend, we need a platform where we can freely air our views and where we can be effectively represented. The world cannot tell our story better than us," he noted.

A number of people including Dr. Christo-pher Kolade, Dr. Francis Akin Bola-John of Church Growth Ministries, Mr. Femi Adesina, deputy managing director of The Sun, Dr and Mrs. Gary Maxey and Mrs. Felicia Martins of Society for Insane and Destitute were presen-ted with the Christian service awards at the event.

Also awarded were Grace So Amazing Foundation, Zenith Bank Plc, Ayoola Foods and Laughter Foundation. A posthumous award was given to Professor Akintunde Cole Onitiri for his commitment to God's work during his lifetime.

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