• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Christians must participate in choosing those that will lead them – Ibekwe

Christians must participate in choosing those that will lead them – Ibekwe

The Chairman of Church Advisory Council, Christ Chapel International Churches (CCIC), Dan Ibekwe, spoke about the church’s 40th anniversary celebration and the 2022 camp meeting starting on Tuesday 25 October to Sunday 30 October in Lagos. According to him, the Church has seen tremendous growth in the last four decades. SEYI JOHN SALAU, who was there brings the excerpts:

CCIC seems to be a household name in Lagos; however, for those not conversant with the name. Do you mind telling us about how it started 40 years ago?

We started as a house fellowship in a brother’s house. At that time our senior founding pastor was a student at LUTH. So, he was coming as part-time. So, with five people we grew to maybe 20 or so – the room was full and we were using the corridor. When we saw that the population was increasing, we went to Foursquare Church and were using their facility. From there we moved to one school called Yewande Memorial School at James Robertson and when we increased by that time the senior pastor had finished from LUTH. We moved to Eric Moore Secondary School and the population was increasing; then we moved to the warehouse in Ijora and being an industrial area it wasn’t conducive – so we then started looking for accommodation of our own.

40 years is a long time in the life of a church/ministry; what are the plans outlined for the celebration?

The church will donate one kilowatt of solar inverter to Bode Thomas Police station to power their CCTV equipment. We will also donate a portable water project in Muritala Ajadi Animashaun Community Secondary School, Surulere. As part of the celebration, we recently conducted a medical outreach and welfare within Ilasa community and visited a Correctional Centre and three orphanages as a way of giving back to society. Also, as part of the celebration the church will be giving out grants to winners of its entrepreneurial competition to help upscale their businesses.

What was that thing you saw in the society that influenced the journey from a ministry into a church one year after you started?

A ministry is one person’s vision. You get a vision to start something, but once you share it; its no longer your own, and as a church owned by so many people they can share a part of your vision – that is why.

What would you say differentiated the church from what we have now in the country?

I don’t think there is a church of old – the thing is; what vision do you have? Like all of us standing here now we have different visions. God have given us different visions – you pursue what God has told you to do. Yes, I was born into an Anglican Church, but I saw that this gives me more opportunity to express myself.

Can you look at how Christianity was practised then compared to now?

Christianity that time has some flaws in that there are some teachings that were not explained to us. To us, it wasn’t powerful. For example, they didn’t believe in spiritual healing and some other things which God has given unto the Church. We were just going to Church praying for myself, my wife, my children, but there were many areas they didn’t touch – that is the difference.

Read also: 2023 elections: Church not sitting on the fence

What is the church doing about current happenings in society?

We are seeing what is happening now in society – a lot of things are changing and we know that Christ is coming very soon. So, what we are doing now is to let everybody know and prepare him/herself for the coming of Jesus Christ. We are warning people that it is time – those that have been living careless life should mend their lives and be prepared for the unknown.

The 2023 general election is just few months away; what is the church doing to sensitise people about the forthcoming election?

We pray for peace in Nigeria and urge all citizens to ensure they have their Permanent Voters’ Card (PVC) to vote in the forthcoming elections. As Christians we must participate in politics, especially the electioneering process of choosing whoever will lead us as a country.

Now, let’s come back to the conference; can you speak more to the theme; ‘Possessing your promised land’?

As I said we have up to 50 centres now, but I believe we have not scratched the surface. God has made available to us opportunities, so it is for us now to possess those opportunities as a church. Then as an individual; because we are building individuals too – what are those areas in your life that remain to be harnessed? None of us has reached our potential yet; we still have a long way. So, it’s to encourage us – any area in your life God has put a desire, for you to get the courage and move out. Some of the speakers at the camp meeting would include Revd. Tunde and Ebun Joda, Pastor Jerry Eze, Poju Oyemade, Nkechi Ene, and others.

Finally, can you tell us about your personal experience in the church?

When I came here we had some problems, myself and my wife, but by teaching me how to study the bible and how to pray in a special way – I have grown in faith. So, my life is not as it was that time. That time when we go to Church and we say our Lord’s Prayer and then we do quiet prayer – nobody addresses your specific problem and its different now.