• Friday, June 21, 2024
businessday logo


Insincerity, hypocrisy major problems of Nigeria – Odesola

Pastor Funso Odesola is the special assistant on administration to the General Overseer (GO) of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch O. Adeboye. Recently, the church held an administrative conference in Lagos to develop administrators for ministry. During the conference Odesola spoke with SALAU SEYI JOHN on church administration, governance and politics in Nigeria. Excerpts:
The theme of your recent conference was ‘Expanding the Church Frontier through Effective and Efficient Administration’. Could you please let us into that briefly?
Everything rises and falls on administration. From the holy book, the bible, God is an administrator – He arranges heaven and earth, He arranged the plantation and He did not do them at once. There is systematic approach to what He did. So, talking about ‘Expanding the Church Frontier through Effective and Efficient Administration’, now any organisation that will be relevant, any organisation that will be at the cutting edge, whether circular or spiritual, whether  government, it must be through administration
The problem in our nation today is administrative. Money is there, brain is there, but to co-ordinate the resources together to be able to bring a workable result that is administration. Who to do what, when to do what, so this topic is about how to bring human resources, financial resources and all other resources together to be at the cutting edge.
Why this regional conference?
The General Overseer (GO) is the number one administrator, am just assisting him in administration. Whenever there is a vision, he catches the vision; such vision goes from the GO, but the execution falls within the region and provinces, so the people who are to execute the policy or vision are to be properly trained, they will look at the nitty-gritty of the vision.
So, the work of the region is to look at the details of all the things that we need to do – dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s. As a faith-based organisation, we cannot do things anyhow. We need to do the needful; we need to do it well, so that according to the holy book that we carry, we will be without blemish and reproach.
This one is to really train people to execute. One thing is to dream, another thing is to bring to fulfillment the vision. So, this one will address all the omitted details at the national and also it will make them to be effective; as you know, when we come to the national we cast the national vision, and except people who do not want to be straight forward, the concept of how you apply the vision here in the South is different from the North because the situation is different in the North, South and East. So, this session now brings home how to really conceptualise, adopt and adapt them to suit what is on ground; that is the essence of the conference.
What is the success rate of the conference?
I may not be able to talk for other regions but this is region one, and region one have been on the lead. This is about the 3rd or 4th, if the first one had not yielded results, we would have cancelled it. There is no point wasting money and resources on something that you know will not work. How can you just go and buy a car that you just want to use in decorating the front of your house? So, I thought, well for us – it is working for region one and that is why when you check the whole region in the Redeemed, region one still takes the lead because we take time to come together to do the nitty-gritty, and have seen a host of other regions that are following suit and I think this is the 5th one here. So, we have been able to reach out to people, we have been able to discharge – if not 100percent at least over 90percent of the policy and the directives of the church and through effective administration. There is a church, the pastor preaches but, somebody has to check how the programme will run, what needs  to come first, what needs to be paid for and others. So, it has been working, we have checked over the years that this conference has enhanced our ability to deliver to the people and have seen the impact in the performance of the provinces.
Generally, what do you intend to achieve with the conference?                      
The goal to the church at the national level is to be at the cutting edge and to be able to fulfil our purpose as an organisation. This organisation exists for something and any day it fails to meet that goal, I think it should be thrown away like water because it’s not relevant, and any person or organisation that is not relevant to its generation or to the moment that is, the general dynamics of that society should be thrown away. So, the goal is for our organisation to remain relevant, fulfil purpose of its founding and be able to impact meaningfully as a faith-based organisation. For the regional people, it is also to serve the community and when you talk about serving the community, it’s not everybody that you serve, somebody has to take a lead, and that is why the administrator has to be singled out. So, that now leads to the purpose of the administrator for them to be effective, efficient and stand out, and be able to deliver to the maximum of his ability and of his duties. And, our message to them, people under training is that they should take everything they can take and be able to use it.
To the general public, the message is that everybody needs the training in administration. You need it at home to administer your family, to organise your life, even an individual needs it to organise his life. What is important, what is urgent, what is priority, because when we talk of administration, we talk of organisation. To organise yourself, and every unorganised person will be disorganise to the beat. So, we need it to organise ourselves, our lives and to know what to do per time. When you ask some people today, what do you want to do tomorrow, they will say, I leave it in the hand of God: No, that is why God has given us brain. The role of the brain is different from the role of the heart. So, the brain is to organise. For an individual who wants to fulfil the purpose of his or her existence, they need a little bit of this administration. And, everybody should learn, if you cannot do training, buy books and read – it will enhance life and enhance whatever they do.
What is the other platform of training in the church apart from this conference?
We show examples, when you talk of administrators, it goes beyond this training. Training is just one, practice is another. We assist in different ways. Some of the administrators are part-timers who do something circular. Some of them are teachers, some are lawyers and they carry some of the things they have learnt from this training into their circular work space. But, the example set is one of the key things that I have seen over the years that have helped this society.
For example, if you see a church like us, a church with about 10,000 workforce, we organise them in a way that people get their due at the right time, people get their leave, get paid as and when due, get attended to in one area or the other. One thing I want to lay emphasis on is setting a good example for the church and the society.
Where did we miss it as a nation?
I need to say firstly there is a lot of insincerity, lots of hypocritical attitude, and when there is a hidden agenda, there is nothing that will work straight. When you look at the dynamism of this nation, there are people who meant well and there are those who do not mean well. Where we miss it, is the mixture of the good, the bad and the worse. There are people who want to get it right and there are people who do not want it right. If we need to do something, I think those few people who want the nation to move forward will have to close their eyes and do things. I mean reading from papers, issues and the area we missed it; it goes down to administration. Also, when people are defecting from one party to the other bringing all the overload from the other one…, jumping from one philosophy to the other, we really have a mixture of the good, the bad and the worse. And I thought the bad and the worse are so numerous that those who want to do good cannot work. Look at the people fighting Nigeria with their money, all the weapons they are using, where did they get them from? It is a complex situation; lack of sincerity, hypocritical attitude of many people and so on. It is a complex challenge, but it is not something we cannot overcome.
Anybody who wants to solve the problem of Nigeria will have to close his eyes, block his ears and just do what he knows is right and be accountable to God and the people that have given him the mandate to lead them.
Should Christians be involved in politics?
I think the history of governance started in the church. Democracy started actually in the church by the great theologians in the Western world. So, for me, everybody should get involved- the minister, the church- because the church is not outside the world; so am very positive – I cannot be praying for Nigeria that I will not have a say in. So, the minister must get involved in everything that is going on in the country because they say in my place, if you abandon your cloths to a mad man, he will use it, turn it to a rag and come back for a new one. So, any nation of the world belongs to all the people, including Christians, so the minister should get involved. If they say they prophesy, fine, if they do not have prophecy, fine, but they must get involved. So, we encourage the people in our organisation – get involved, if the load is leading you. For some of us, we are pastors, but we need to encourage; we encourage our members to get involved. For this church we have people who are appointed as local government administrators – I mean the church is not outside the world, we are within. So, the minister should get involved and anybody who says the ministers should not get involved is speaking out of ignorance. Every human being is politically-inclined, even when you say you are not going to contest for anything, you are still politically-inclined.