Pastor E. A. Adeboye

By Wale Adeduro, Ph.D

At 82, age is not the only factor that makes Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye a shining light. Apart from his physical height, Adeboye has attained an enviable height in life and Ministry over the last forty three years. Like Elijah, his diligence has made him a father to many people across the entire spectrum of society in most parts of the world. He is an elder statesman who stands tall by dint of character and discipline.

This man has been sustained by the grace of God through thick and thin. Although a leading light in the Pentecostal movement, Pastor Adeboye is not your typical high sounding clergy. The powerful results of his ministry journey in the last four decades are incontrovertible proof that God has blessed his commitment to his calling as God’s servant.

As the world celebrates this high impact achiever, I make bold to say that Pastor Adeboye has proven to be a productivity champion whose profound outputs are immutable. His legacies are indestructible.

Every personal interaction I have had with this large hearted persona in the past four decades has left me with awe inspiring lessons. A close encounter with him reveals his avuncular nature as a study in greatness.

In celebrating this highly cerebral leader of leaders and Pastor of Pastors, I am going to highlight some of his productivity habits.

I choose to define productivity as maximising your results with available resources. While a habit is a regular and repeated way of behaving. In essence, we are considering the regular and repeated behaviour of Pastor Adeboye which has enabled him to optimise his results as a spiritual leader over four decades.

● God-inspired. It is the way of life of Pastor Adeboye to acknowledge God as his “Daddy” and ally. He is not known to speak on any issue, however minute it may be, without asking for time to consult with his heavenly father. Even on matters concerning the running of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, his various associates over the decades confirm that he rarely takes any decision based on any stereotype managerial style. Pastor Adeboye will rather spend weeks hearing from God than follow a general opinion. This approach has ensured that error of judgement is minimised.

● Simplicity. One major reason why many popular men of God and socio-political leaders run into crisis is their predilection for appearing sophisticated in public. One thing that struck me about the late doyen of Accountancy profession in Nigeria, Mr Akintola Williams, when I began to work closely with him in MUSON Centre in 1996 was his simplicity. Simplicity is about being plain, natural and easy to understand. It entails encapsulating your dreams, drive and passion in one word or phrase. The primary goal of Mr Akintola Williams in the close to five years I worked with him at MUSON Centre was the successful running of the foremost classical music and arts centre in Nigeria. The same can be said of Pastor Adeboye. Soul winning and the advancement of the kingdom through holiness are his motivation at all times. This explains why, in 1977, as an upcoming Pastor, he organised and sponsored a Christian Congress as a response to the Second Festival of Black Arts and Culture (FESTAC 77) in Nigeria. At the age of 82 he is still travelling around the world speaking at crusades tagged “LIGHT UP”. He ends all his sermons with an action call unto holiness.

● Humility. Pastor Adeboye does not esteem himself as more important than anyone. This is evident when you have a one on one encounter with him. He is as easy going as he is soft spoken. Till today, this spiritual leader with impeccable personality finds it easy to politely address people who are not older than his grandchildren as “sir” or “ma”. This makes him at once relatable to people of different generations. I remember how some years ago, he publicly apologised to his members when he discovered that there was a challenge with the Dove Media investment idea that he personally promoted. He even offered to pay everyone who wanted a refund of his or her investment at that time. It is noteworthy that all his associates and disciples have imbibed this trait. Indeed, one of the signatures of a typical Pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God is disarming humility.

● Vision Driven. The vision of soul winning and taking as many people to heaven remain a driving force for Pastor Adeboye. He not only makes it a point of duty to make altar calls each time he preaches. He follows up with new converts by praying for them and ensuring that they are promptly visited. In April 2014 Pastor Adeboye surprised the high profile congregation that witnessed the wedding of Faith Osakwe, the daughter of former President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja. At the end of his sermon, Pastor Adeboye made an altar call for people who wanted to give their lives to Jesus Christ.

● Action-Oriented. Productivity leaders do focussed work. Pastor Adeboye does not belong to the class of leaders who suffer from analysis paralysis. He is a pragmatic leader who takes action once he is convinced about what should be done. Once upon a time, it was the practice of the Redeemed Christian Church of God to encourage members to pray for healing without medication. However, as events have unfolded over the years, the mission, under the leadership of Pastor Adeboye, has been encouraging her members, workers and Pastors to seek medical help and do regular medical check ups in approved hospitals. The church has established standard medical facilities in the Redemption City of God while encouraging churches to set up clinics. Pastor Adeboye also knows that the king’s business always requires haste. A leader who procrastinates cannot be a productivity champion. This explains why he led the completion of the building of the first international centre in the Redemption City of God within twenty days from foundation stage. Moreover, he believes in starting every project from little beginnings. One stone after the other at a time. This is how the new Arena auditorium was built on a land measuring 3 kilometre by 3 kilometre. 

● Precise communication. A Productivity champion knows how to get the attention of his listeners. He does not waste words. He is precise in what he says and concise in how he says them. One thing that endears a lot of people to Pastor Adeboye is the simplicity of his sermon and conciseness of his illustrative stories.  Anyone can easily understand the message he is conveying at any point in time regardless of your level of education. He is not one given to overwhelming his audience with Greek or Hebrew translations or highfalutin jargon when he preaches.

● Continuous learning. The ability to learn in a progressive manner positions a leader as a productivity champion. It has been said that readers are leaders. Just as the more you learn will determine the more you can earn. If you want to succeed as a leader you must enhance your understanding by learning continuously. One characteristic of Pastor Adeboye is that he is always taking notes whenever anyone, however young, is preaching. He once disclosed how, on one of his trips abroad, he returned with two boxes filled with books without buying any personal items. It is common knowledge that he listens to the sermons of many diverse pastors in and outside Nigeria on a regular basis. With the advent of tabs and iPads a lot of pastors were sermonising that it is “not spiritual” to preach without the printed Bible. Pastor Adeboye surprised everyone when publicly urged the Pastors under his leadership to upgrade their skills to enable them to use electronic devices like laptops, iPads and tabs in their ministry assignments.

● Consistency. Forming a habit guarantees dexterity in carrying out certain tasks. Pastor Adeboye has been consistent in his appearance and lifestyle. His preaching pattern is simple and consistent just as he predictably goes on prayer walks every evening covering several kilometres. This makes him to be spiritually, mentally and physically fit. Pastor Agu Irukwu once underscored the consistency of Pastor Adeboye during a Ministers Conference in the United Kingdom a little over a decade ago. For some reason, there was an unusual city wide traffic jam in the city of London.  Adeboye’s vehicle, on its way to the venue of the conference, was unfortunately trapped in the traffic jam. Pastor Irukwu explained that he had never known Pastor Adeboye to arrive late for any event in the over two decades that he had known the former. He went on to explain how it was a habit to wait outside for Pastor Adeboye about thirty minutes before his estimated time of arrival because he would usually arrive earlier than he is scheduled to arrive at any event. Pastor Adeboye, during the May Holy Ghost Service in 2010 underscored his value for time. He corrected a young Pastor on the altar that, “time is life.”

The productivity habits of Pastor Adeboye and his commitment to holiness in line with God’s words are the secrets of his progressive achievements. He has painstakingly paid his dues.

No amount of denouncement or mudslinging can detract from the greatness of this venerable elder who has ruled well. For my fellow pilgrims and I, who are committed to the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, no wailing is strong enough to diminish our love and esteem for Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye. He shall remain our father in faith, our leader, coach, mentor and productivity champion till we see Jesus in glory.

Dr. Wale Adeduro is the Chairman-in-Council, Pastoral Mentorship Academy.

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