Pastor Ola Adejubee is a Pastor in Charge of Region 18 in the Redeemed Christian Church of God as well as the Special Assistant to the Continental Overseer, Training and Development (African Continent 2). He is an erudite author who is committed to the idea of Christians taking strategic positions in social and political spheres of their communities. Speaking with the Beautiful Day Testimonial, he shares his view on the indispensable qualities of leadership. Excerpts:
Can you tell us about yourself, sir?
Olawale Sunday Adejubee is my full name. I was born into a polygamous family; my mother being the second wife, I occupy number five (5) position in the family. I attended schools in many places like Ado-Odo, Ogun state, BHS, Iwo, Osun state, University of Lagos, Akoka-Lagos, University of Jos, Jos, in addition to several professional and theological trainings.
I have served in many places since I became a full-time minister about 22 years or so. I’m the special Assistant to the Continental Overseer of Training and Development African Continent 2 and I also pastor Region 18 of RCCG comprising of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara provinces by God’s grace.
RCCG is over 70 years old, what is your assessment about the church?
There is no church like the Redeemed Christian Church of God anywhere in the world, that must be clear. So, being a covenant church, it is a very peculiar church that cannot be compared to any church at all. So, we just compare RCCG with RCCG, that’s all we can do. God of heaven and the earth who had started it all with a covenant with the founder of this church and gave him a number of promises which have been meticulously fulfilled to such an extent that RCCG has been in more than 190 countries. For those of us that were not here when the vision started, God brought us onboard and is helping us to do the little, we are doing.
This church is very peculiar in many areas, all we need to do is to flow with the evolving nature of the church. Those who have known the church from the beginning are always confident of the fact that the church will continue to reinvent itself on a regular basis and that is what the covenant can do. I believe very much in this church and in its future and the covenant that God has with the church. I’m going to do my best until my time is over here.
In terms of spirituality and physical development in churches, we can do better than we are doing. Like every other human organization, we have our human nature, we have our spiritual nature. So, talking about spirituality, this church is valuable; talking about physical development, that is a product of development of various cadres of leadership. Remember that we are all not on the same level of spiritual growth, some people became leaders when they were fully prepared, some others became leaders when they were not fully prepared but what should be coming to both is continuous leadership training to bring out the best from different categories of leadership. All said and done, the future is very bright for the church.
Presently, you are in the core North for mission assignments. What are your experiences?
It is quite an interesting experience because this is not my first time of going to the North. I started my full-time ministry in Suleja which is also in the North and I moved from Suleja to Minna which is also in the North. Going back to the North is a second missionary journey of some sort. Having said that, I want to say that the nature of the North has not changed. What we have seen in the other religion is that it has a lot of structures in place that will take some time before they can effectively be dismantled and that is where indigenous Christian development in the North will come in. it is very important to note that the people in the other religion are used to raising their children with serious indoctrination from the beginning. So, all we are seeing now are the products of past investment of those who have worked in North. Before you begin to see greater manifestation in the North, it will be in the future when some of the seeds we are sowing now will bring forth greater fruits. However, the fact remains that there is a brighter future for the church in the North as long as we don’t relent. We have more indigenous church members now than any other time in the past; we have more indigenous pastors and we are trusting God that as we are putting more structures in place for ministerial and leadership training, we will by so doing be getting more indigenous pastors who will take the work to the next level.
Recently, the General Overseer flagged off vision 2032; what special strategy does the North intend to use in implementing this?
I want to thank God for the life of my Continental Overseer, Daddy Odeyemi. We have had several meetings on this vision 2032 and a lot of things have been put in place. We are raising indigenous pastors to train them at our training centre in Abuja, and there is a dimension of diversified ministries of sport, CRS, youth, men, women and school movements, that we are bringing into the vision; all these things are put in place in order to come out with a good report for vision 2032. There are many other things that are going on. For instance, strategies are been developed in the area of land acquisition. We are doing a lot to make sure that vision 2032 is given a pride of place. We have various targets given to regions and based on their reports from the meetings, they have identified areas requiring some very important actions and they are working seriously on them now.
In any organization, church inclusive, the role of leadership is very important. How can you describe the sequence of authority in this mission?
I am a student of history. Before the arrival of the current General Overseer, many of these structures for leadership development that we have now were not in place. But to the glory of God, in the last 40 years of leadership of our Father in the Lord, a lot have been done in terms of establishment of training institutions such as: school of mission, RCBC, Pastoral leadership centre and all other manpower development structures.
But it is one thing for the structures to be in place and it is another thing for leaders to maximally utilise them. Leadership at various levels must find a way to maximally utilize the opportunities that the church has given to us. In this church, we not only have institutions, we have personalities that God has called into the leadership ministry to guide up and coming young stars. Our leaders need to maximize those structures and the personalities so as to eventually see a better result. The truth of the matter is that, it is possible to have electricity in this building but the switch must be put on before the electricity can be fully utilized. So, right from house fellowship leadership, youth leadership, parish, area, zone to province, our leaders must utilize everything that we have maximally because even organizations outside this church are coming to acquaint themselves with our procedures and processes.
The General Overseer of the mission has said it many times that the youth are going to take over from him. Do you think the youths are spiritually and mentally prepared for this?
That is an issue for serious debate. I must let you know that much more is expected of them than they are currently manifesting. Even in my small corner, I challenge my youth leaders regularly and the challenges confronting them can be seen in the theme of some of our conferences. So, the idea is that, like a man of God said, it’s very obvious that our youths must sit up in order to stand out. Destiny fulfilment is not a matter of being given leadership position. It has to start with self-discovery and intentional investment in self-development. It will require a higher degree of zealousness and eagerness to serve.
If service-mindedness is disregarded, then greatness is lost. Scriptural leadership is about service and not about position; it is not about title, it is about mantle. My humble challenge to the youth is that, they should invest in themselves, and be willing to learn and take the church beyond where they met it. I was also a youth leader and I got married here in this church. So, the youths should not expect that they will be given space rather, they should labour, serve into it; they should provide superior and more result-oriented services and greatness will begin to locate them. They should take their pulpits to the market places; there are a lot of people outside there who are yet to know Christ, and they should not be confined by the number of people they are currently ministering to in their various churches. The harvest is ripe and plenty and God is looking for quality vessels with Kingdom expansion mindset to take His Church to the far flung four corners of the entire world. Let the Youths of this dispensation rise up to the challenge of this season. THE TIME IS NOW.
Recently, the mission created what we know as Directorate of Politics Governance, what is your view about this?
It is a right step in the right direction. I’m convinced that it is a good decision because we are the light of the world, we are the ones they are waiting for to make a difference. We can’t afford to hide ourselves and unless we participate, decisions will be taken on our behalf which will affect us negatively. I’m persuaded beyond any iota of doubt that it is a very important decision. However, not all our pastors still believe that our members should participate in politics so we need to persuade our pastors about the need to participate; we need to convince our members to be involved and we need to develop strategies for helping those who show interest in politics. We need to form groups to join hands with them and support them; not to expect them to give us money, rather, we are to make money available by way of a contributory system to support the vision of anybody that we know is gifted, resourceful and spiritually sound, who can provide godly leadership at any level, whether at local government or state or national level. So, it is a good decision.
Many good people who want to participate in politics don’t have the money and that is why our people need to be given this orientation on participatory democracy. You will remember this former American president, Barrack Obama, who raised so much money for his campaign and became the president that raised a lot of money for electoral purposes. How did he do it? It was done in such a way that every member of the political party and the generality of their members were encouraged to contribute their own little quota irrespective of the amount towards the electoral project. So, there is a need to appeal to our people for a change of mindset. People should be taught; if they are taught, they will be able to participate effectively. By this we will be able to produce someone with genuine interest of the people and not persons who will extort us dry before they finish their tenure. I support the political move but our people are still in need of some degree of political education and we need to get that done fast.
In your own opinion, do you think the mission has the functional mechanism to produce a world class leader?
In the light of leadership that has brought the church thus far, because it might interest you to know that what you see in the RCCG today is a product of good leadership from the national that has cascaded to other levels of leadership. For example, you see what is happening in RCCG City of David, the dedication of the Trinity Towers edifice, if you see what is happening in other parts of the world where our leaders are at the mainstream of political movement for their respective countries, you will be inspired. So, if they are able to do what they are doing right now in the church, I can assure you that they can do wonderful things even outside the church, particularly in a political environment.
As a full-time pastor, how do you rate the general working condition of the full-time ministers and other administrative staff in the mission?
It has been getting better on a regular basis. When I became a full-time minister, things were not as rosy as we have it now. I remember not long ago, I laid my hand on my first pay slip and I laughed. The truth of the matter is that things are getting better on a continuous basis. I also remember a particular time the General Overseer was addressing us, he said it is his desire that the pastors in RCCG will be the best paid workers world over. I was excited not for myself but for many of my colleagues who have been taking things for granted in the system because many people don’t know the grass is always greener on the other side and the green grass on the other side did not become green on its own, but rather, some people are watering it and nurturing it. In summary, we are doing very well but that does not mean we cannot get better.
You are an Author; do you think Christian literatures are being adequately subscribed to by believers on this side of the world?
They are not. People are not doing justice to what is happening and I believe after this time out, we should be doing something about this issue. Many of our people don’t seem to understand that there are many things they can do to help themselves to access literature. Now, we have widespread audio books and you can listen to an audio book again and again. Even though not much is done in that aspect yet, but if you tie some of these things to critical annual or quarterly appraisal as criteria for organizational promotion, many of our pastors will be helped to read and to grow. For example, if pastors’ promotion is tied to the number of books they have read and applied, the result will be outstanding. By the time they teach the content to some of their members, things will change for better because they have also been imparted which will show by the books they have read. So, if you want to get our people to read, you should attach the books to have read to their regular assessment and promotion.
What advice do you have for the Leaders as well as members of RCCG?
My advice to various leaders of this mission is that they should take the welfare of their members very seriously. Let us emulate our father in the Lord. If somebody is a pastor under you, show interest in his welfare, get to know the name of his children, ask after their children, pay them an unexpected visit in the parishes, help their parishes to grow and probably give small facilities like projector for their parishes and so on. When you help the pastors to work, I am assuring you that they will exceed your expectations.
How do you imagine pastors who come for a pastoral meeting at a Province or Region are served biscuits; that is an aberration. If you are not fasting, package something sumptuous, make your meetings welcoming, let them look forward to having another meeting; get books, get CDs, and gifts. By the time they are coming back, you can discuss the content of what you have given to them, and by so doing, you will be provoking their creativity. In terms of leadership. I wrote an e-book during the lockdown titled, ‘52 Followership Mistakes And Their Solutions’ to aid leadership development.’ So, let followers demand for performance from their leaders. Must you go to a meeting without having an agenda? Why don’t you make a suggestion that your meeting should have an agenda. I have heard of pastors who had meetings for 4-5 hours and at the end of the day, they were wandering what they have discussed. Also, let the followers take interest in the welfare of their leaders. Don’t wait until your leaders come to you before you take care of their welfare. I found out that, if you want your church to grow, it is not a sin to give free airtime to many of your HODs and as you are doing that, also tell them to do follow up of members as well as new converts. It is obvious that both followership and leadership have a lot of work to do.