Q1: What did Pastor Adeboye know as a young believer that set him apart in his ministry?
I learnt early in life that:
Holiness is the master key to everything, success in life, success in ministry
Holiness is the nature of God
Holiness is complete obedience to Him
Q2: You once told a story in one of your Minister’s conferences of how God asked you to dedicate, if I remember well, 3-days to just thank and praise Him and how that brought expansion to the work. We have constantly seen you practice thanksgiving and praise. You are always with your tambourine. How did thanksgiving and praise revolutionalize your praise life?
Well, I found that it is easy to link that encounter with what the elders in Africa will say that if a child will be grateful for what he received yesterday, then he will receive more so I spend, by the grace of God, more than 90% of my prayer life just thanking Him because He’s been so good to me and the more I thank Him, the more He does. That is why everywhere I go and every opportunity I have I want to thank Him because I know where I started from and how far he has taken me. Even if he doesn’t do anything more I can keep on thanking Him till eternity, But I find out that I thank Him the more He does. That’s a great secret to progress. I encourage others to do the same
Q3: The manifestations of God’s presence in your meetings are very strong and unusual . What advice do you have for young ministers when preparing for meetings?
A3: I also discovered early in ministry that if you spend time with him in secret, He will spend time with you in the open. In other words, if you will wait upon Him before any program, then He will show up. For example, when I want to prepare for the Holy Ghost Night, I make sure that I spend at least a couple of days locked up with Him, away from my wife and my children, just Himself and I alone, waiting on Him, praising Him and seeking His face for the program that is coming. So, I don’t just walk on the stage on Friday night, having spent all the time talking with my friends etc. So after I have spent hours upon hours, day and night with Him, automatically He responds when I get to the altar. He will come up and begin to manifest His glory. So, my advice to all the young ministers is that that should not take God for granted but they should spend time with Him in the secret so that He can show forth His power and glory in the public.
Q4: The RCCG is what you will describe as a First-generation Pentecostal Church but it has successfully adapted to the changing times while it retains the core of the ministry and the message. Is there any thing you can share, like a blueprint, that organisations can learn from on how to retain their values across varying demographics and age-groups
A4: Well, the first thing I will tell any young minister is that they must have the vision of his ministry clearly spelt out. Not in one long, flamboyant statement but you can do it systematcally like we have done in RCCG e.g.
- We want to make it to heaven
- We want to take as many people with us as possible
- We want to have a member of the RCCG in every family in the world
How do we go about it, since we want to make it to heaven and the bible says without holiness no man can see God, then
- We make Holiness your lifestyle etc.
In order words, we should be specific as to what is our vision and how we intend to reach there. You see when you are playing football, you know where the goal area is and in order to reach that goal area, you may need to pass the ball to the right and to the left, but you know where you are going – You want to put the goal between those two goal posts. And those two goal posts don’t move. They are there. In every culture we go, the way the dance in India may be the different from the way they do in Paraguay, but the message of Holiness is the same and once you know where you are going, it doesn’t matter where you find yourself, whether you manoeuvre to the left or to the right, after all someone said the reason why gold is such a precious metal is that it learns to bend without breaking. So, purpose must be clearly spelt out regardless of what is happening around.
Q5: What advice do you have for young churches for developing leaders and structure for tremendous growth.
A5: My advice to as we do in RCCG, we regard ourselves as one family. In a family you have the father, the mother, elder brothers, elder sisters, younger ones, but we are a family. No one is a boss. No one is pushing others. The leader leads by example. We show the children this is the way, this is the way we expect you to do it. When I ask my children to fast before they begin to fast, I would have fasted. They see the example in me and then I ask them to follow the example. It’s as simple as that Sir. If you do it that way, you will see your children increase in number and following your example.
Q6: Relationships we know are key in life, God uses people to open doors for us. What are the secrets of you building and maintaining various layers of relationships in your life and ministry from ministry associates to long-standing sons and very healthy and beneficial relationships.
A6: Well, there is an English Proverb that says “Make new friends and keep the old, one is silver, the other is gold”. The old friends are the gold, the people who knew you, who were with you when you were nothing, they are the gold. The new ones you make particularly after you have become a little more known are the silver. But of course, as the years pass, the silver will also be turning to gold. So you can make the new friends and keep the old. Under no circumstance, should you say because you are now big or you are now well-known, you ignore those who were you with you are the very beginning. One of the things that have helped us tremendously in the RCCG is that the older ones are honoured because of their faithfulness at the beginning of this work and then when the younger ones see that, OK, those who faithfully served in when they are old and can no longer be as activer, are not abandoned or thrown away but are given tremendous honour, then they relax and they want to throw everything into it knowing that their future will be guaranteed. That’s the principle Sir.
Q7: There’s a proverb that says ‘What a young man cannot see from an elevated place, an elder will see while he is sitting down”. So, I want to ask you, what trends do you see now in the younger generation that worries you and what are the things that you are praying about for the younger generation?
A7: Giggles. Thank God for the proverb, Sir. It shows that you must bean elder because proverbs come from elders. We younger ones, we need to come and drink. Yes Sir, perhaps the most worrisome thing that I can see is that majority of younger Christians are beginning to forget that Jesus is coming again. Because if there was anything that kept those of us who are a little older on the strait and narrow road, is the fact that the Lord may return at any moment. And so, we were always on our toes, in fact, I remember that in my younger days there was a Yoruba greeting we had “A ku ìfojúsóna bíbòo Jésù”, that is: We greet ourselves for looking forward to the second coming of Jesus. And because we were looking forward to His return at any moment, we kept on ensuring we did not do anything that would cause us to miss the rapture. But now, people are more concerned about the “here and now:, more concerned about prosperity, faith. They are beginning to forget that the world is not our home that we are just pilgrims here and we are waiting for the bridegroom. It is to be expected though, because afterall when the ten virgins went to receive the bridegroom, the bridegroom tarried. Because he tarried all the virgins slumbered. So my prayer is that those who are slumbering will wake up soon so that the second coming of the Lord will not catch us unawares.
I am also concerned about the misrepresentation of the gospel of grace which is leading some people to live a life of carelessness. Thank God for grace, it is by grace we are saved, it is by the power of God that we are the kept but the bible still says that we are called unto Holiness. I am praying that the Almighty God will help all us to finish well in the mighty name of Jesus.