I Hear God Says, Nigeria Will Be Great – Rev. Mike Olugbaro
Rev. Mike Olugbaro is the General Overseer of Liberation Christian Life Ministry (a.k.a Liberation Bible Church), Ikorodu and the Province Chairman, Itamaga Province of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN). He celebrated the silver jubilee of founding his ministry and bared his mind on various issues bothering today’s church, ministry and ministers with Providence News. Excerpt:
How would you describ your 25 years in the ministry?
I can say, it is easy because it is the mandate of God, but humanly, it is full of challenges. One thing is constant in the journey, God has been faithful and He has always been faithful from the beginning.
What is your comparison of ministry 25 years ago to what it is today?
You can’t compare. Those days were rough and tough. People are not ready to support and encourage you and your drive, especially when it comes to going into the ministry, you are regarded as a loafer and lazy person. But today, the story has changed, you now have people who are ready to sponsor and support you to start a ministry. But for us in this ministry, it has been great. Today is better than yesterday and tomorrow is going to be greater.
Did you think of making money when coming into the ministry?
In those days, the father’s of faith never told or taught us that we are going to make money. It was passion, drive, purpose, worship and service that drove people like us into the ministry. We never envisage buying cars and building houses. Our aim was to please and serve God faithfully and run the race ahead of us successfully were what was paramount and of importance to us then. The necessity was laid upon us to preach the gospel and to make heaven. But to the glory of God, God have been faithful to His promises. Through the ministry work, God has blessed us to have a car, build a house and train our children. But then, we never thought of all these. These are the proof of His promise to us, as it is written, I have not called you in vain, also Jesus said, seek ye the kingdom of God and His righteousness, every other thing shall be added to you.
What is your next move in the years ahead?
By the grace of God, if the Lord tarries, because, I don’t plan to be here if rapture takes place. Though, I am not praying for rapture now, but, if Christ tarries in His second coming, it is going to be a new beginning for us as a ministry and we are going to engage in massive evangelism, populating the kingdom of God. Because, that is the commandment of God to us, to engage in massive evangelism and discipleship.
With the present situation in Nigeria How can Nigerians experience great things?
It is prophetic. Though, a lot of people have lost the hope that this country can be great again. But, every time, I kept hearing God saying, this country is going to be great, all will be well and things are going to get better. No matter the situation now, God is going to do great things in this country, Nigeria. Nigeria will be great as we expect things to be better.
Does Bible School graduation qualify for the call into the ministry?
No! Graduating from the Bible School does not make one a man of God, neither is it a qualification into the ministry. Going to Bible School is to advance your knowledge as a Christian, have a better understanding of the word of God and build a capacity to run the race. To be a man of God and going into the ministry, there must be proof of God’s calling in someone’s life with direction to where to operate and how He wants you to function. Also, there must be an older person in the ministry that God will appoint over you to confirm and guide you into the ministry. In Bible School, you are going to be under the teaching of different teachers. But, in the ministry, you are going to have a mentor and be under leadership. If you are not born again and well grounded as a Christian before going to Bible School, by the time you finish and come back, it can be worse for your Christian life and you may misused your knowledge. Bible School never makes anyone a servant of God, it only develops your spiritual knowledge and understanding.
What is your advice to the young generation of ministers?
The problem today is that most of the young and upcoming ministers are driven into the ministry by self interest, attraction to fame and material things. But that shouldn’t be. The focus and the drive should be to serve God faithfully and diligently, do the work of God with passion and commitment. Too bad that, immediately people come out of Bible School, they want to be general overseers. They see going to Bible School as a yardstick or qualification of going into the ministry then start a church to become a general overseer without serving in any ministry or under any leader. They are not teachable and not ready to serve and be mentored. They are always in a hurry to make fame and money in the ministry.
By the grace of God, I started by serving various ministers and ministries while growing up as a Christian, a worker and a minister. Most whom I served under , are today my leaders and father’s in the Lord whom I still listen and refer to. I still maintain cordial relationships and association with ministries I have served. Before I launched out, after many years of serving under a leader and mentor, he told me, God said, he should release me. It was after that that I went to Bible School. Unlike today, the majority of young ministers are not interested in having mentors or someone who can sharply rebuke and correct them. They don’t want to submit to anyone or be corrected, even when they are wrong. It is an open secret to the church members that I still have a father in the Lord who I submit and listen to, who I can be reported to, he can rebuke, counsel and correct me. Many young ministers are running solo races, they have no coach, no teacher, no counselor, no guidance and mentor. They believe in themselves never to need a mentor.
For the young and upcoming ministers who want to have a lasting ministry, enjoy their ministerial life and fulfill their callings, they should be patient and ready to be submissive, mentored and disciplined. There’s no two ways about it, life is a phase, they should allow God to lead them. The Lord Jesus Christ went through a similar process, He didn’t just jump into the ministry. He served, mentored and was confirmed and was not pursuing title and fame to get attention, rather He allowed God to lead Him. If you try to rush out against your time, you will rush in at about the time. They must learn to be themselves, get their priority right, fellowship with like minded, follow whatever pattern God might have given them and never try to copy others, fashion their style after any other minister or ministry and should not partake in any conspiracy. They should run according to the pattern God has given them to enjoy the presence of God, anything short of that, you are on your own and will end up complaining, lamenting and regretting. That is why many ministers became popular and famous, but soon they fizzled out and were nowhere to be found or heard again. Some are living and struggling to stand again but no more spiritual strength and grace to be in the ministry again.
How do we curb the activities of false prophets?
It is because people are easily attracted and carried away by sensationalism, lies, deceit and falsehood. It is so bad that people enjoy being deceived and misled. Where lies and deceit are being spoken is where you see people visiting and patronising, and their minds have been set to believe in falsehood. This is why the gathering of falsehood is gaining momentum and encourages false prophecy. People like deception and love to be deceived. People don’t like going to a place of worship where word of faith, prayer, discipleship and evangelism are prioritized, they prefer where someone will diabolically tell them happenings in their lives and give them some assignment and work to be carried out for quick solution. But instead of getting a solution, they became worse and remained the same day. I advise people to stop running after or listen to false prophets, they should hold onto the ¹ will be glorified in all we are going to do.