Today’s youths are distracted from the things of God by materialism – Pastor Ajiboye

Yomi Ajiboye is the pastor of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), David’s Court, Youth Province 3, Ibafo, Ogun State. Earlier last month, the parish marked its first anniversary to celebrate God’s goodness and faithfulness to the church and its congregation. In this interview with SEYI JOHN SALAU, Ajiboye speaks on the journey so far working with the youths in God’s vineyard as a young adult and youth pastor. Excerpts:

Recently your parish celebrated its first anniversary; what can you say about the journey so far?

I would say great because we are still in the mood of celebration through prayer. The feeling has been awesome from day one till today, especially being in the presence of God knowing that God is always and ever ready to keep you going all the way. We are grateful to God for his faithfulness towards us. Actually the parish is a youth church and together with my team we manage the church. We have also received tremendous support from our former provincial youth pastor, Pastor John Tosin, who is now the regional youth evangelist for Province1and 20, who planted the church in 2016 and gave me and my team the opportunity to serve God with a different mindset of sowing seed which many other pastors lack. He discovered me from the adult church where I was as a zonal youth president/pastor. So I am using this medium to appreciate him for allowing God to use him to actualize God’s plan for my life. I also appreciate Team 8 leader, Pastor ThankGod Emmanuel, for supporting my dream, as well as other pastors who have contributed to the fast growth of the parish. For the past one year we have been enjoying divine backing and support from God and the church authority, especially from our father, the General Overseer of RCCG Worldwide, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye. Working for God is the best decision I have ever made in my life. I enjoy doing his work because he is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him.

Having led a youth church for the past one year, what is your opinion on the youth ministry?

The youth ministry is great and massive. However, majority of the youths of today seem to be distracted from the things of God by the things happening around them. Many appear to be materialistic in their outlook, which is affecting their service to God. The work has been great because I have team members who have made the work wonderful. Some of the things happening were not some of the things I thought I would see in terms of support and people being enthusiastic about working for God. I have discovered that most people are enthusiastic about working for God. The church is a place to teach people, especially the youths, about the things of God and how to sustain good moral values. The scriptures in Galatians 5:22-23 spoke about the fruit of the spirit. Many youths do not manifest these qualities because of the get-rich-quick syndrome. The quest for the things of the world and the desire to be successful in life has led them to abandon seeking after God.

What then is your advice to the youths?

My advice to the youths is to seek God the more in all they do and to put their trust in God as the source of all things they need in life. Youths must understand that life is a process, and the route to success is also a process. Therefore, they must learn to understand and appreciate the processes of getting things done in their lives. I would also want the youths to understand that teachings on the pulpit are not to appeal but, rather, to encourage and admonish them to know God the more. The youths should understand the importance of waiting on God for sustenance in all they engage in and with perseverance through the knowledge of God’s word and by the leading of the Holy Spirit, they will achieve the best. There is always a reward for waiting. The longer you wait for your seed to grow, the stronger and better it will become. My other admonition to the youths is that they should take control of their world; everything they need to succeed is within them, what they need to be great has been provided by nature, they only need formal education to polish their God-given talent. So, I advise them to look inward to find what God has created them to be. They should also stay away from bad company; if they move with the wrong company they are likely to end up in the wrong direction. While waiting for Nigeria to get better, they should sit up and know that success is not about music or football alone.

There has been this talk about youth development and leadership; what do you see as the missing link?

I think people are more interested in other things rather than building or developing the youths towards taking up leadership, either in the secular world or in the church. I believe it is a very big mistake because the biggest threat that Nigeria has today is towards the next generation. Sadly, the youths can no longer find role models in the present crop of leadership that we have. However, all hope is not lost as we can still rebuild the broken places if the people, especially the leaders, can channel more efforts towards developing young talents. It is true that everything rises and falls on leadership, but the youths too must have role models that they look up to, to help them grow and nurture their talent. For hope to be restored, there must be commitment from leaders that understand and appreciate the role of selfless service in leadership with clear sense of direction, who can initiate and implement people-oriented programmes; leadership that encourages excellence, creates and leverages on institutions purposely designed for growth.

Yours is a young and growing church. Going forward, what is your goal for the church?

Our goal for the church is to grow in number and develop the church. At the moment we are using a rented apartment for our services, but we look forward to a time when the church will be able to have a place of its own. That way, we would be able to organize activities and events to suit our members. One thing that is key on my mind right now is to see how we can send some of our youths for leadership conferences and trainings. If I have the resources with me, I have decided to sponsor as many as we can this year. We intend to see people get more engaged with the things they do, both in the church and with their secular work. We want the youths to understand that nobody can do everything for them absolutely, because most of the times what looks peculiar to you could only be best handled and tackled by you, and that way they will learn to deal with their problem. When people begin to appreciate and embrace what is good for them, then help will come. Even with God, God expects you to do something good to be added to, he doesn’t expect us to sit back and expect others to do things for us.

Combining your secular job and the ministry is tasking, how do you manage both?

I am not a full-time pastor, so the church allows us to work while we manage the ministry. As such, managing my secular job and the ministry has been easy, again, thanks to my team members who are helping in the ministration. I do not have to preach every time. Sometimes when I am not able to come to the church for the mid-week service, my assistant is there to take charge of the work. So, in the last one year we have been able to build a synergy of working together as a team, which accounted for the success story of the parish.