WHAT WE HAVE EVERYWHERE ARE BUSINESS CENTRES, NOT CHURCHES! – Pastor Olumide Emmanuel
Pastor Olumide Emmanuel calls the shots at Calvary Bible Church. He is also a wealth creation expert as well as the host of the popular School of Money programme which airs every morning on Choice FM. A Building and Quantity Survey graduate of Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Ogun State, the 43- year- old father of three is married to Adenike, an accountant. YES INTERNATIONAL! Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, AZUH ARINZE, had an eye-opening interview session with him at his Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos office. Enjoy…
What exactly do you want to do with your ministry?
Well, the ministry we run is in many folds. Apart from the church ministry, we also have a ministry for ministers. So, we have a ministers’ conference we’ve ran for years to equip ministers, because my mission in life is to teach principles, and there are three major areas that what we do is focused on. Number one is raising leaders; number two is on relationships; we teach Wisdom for Singles. Wisdom for Couples and the third one is on wealth creation. So, these three major areas are the focus of all we do in our ministry.
How much would you say you’ve succeeded in all these things that you are doing?
I think that is left for people to say. For me, success is a journey; not a destination. And as long as you are where you are supposed to be, you are successful. Because I believe that the person that gave you the assignment determines how successful you are, not what people see. People may see you as successful and the person that gave you the assignment may feel that there are still many more things that you are supposed to have done. But so far, we’ve been able to impact millions of lives by virtue of what we do. Our singles’ conference which began in 1998 is reputed to be one of the largest singles’ conferences in the whole continent. Not just in the country. We used to do that every three months and we attract as much as 12-13,000 people on a quarterly basis before we moved (from Lagos) to other states and other countries. We have a radio programme everyday, we have a conference we do on wealth creation through which we’ve also been able to speak to a million people face to face in the last five years alone. So, we are doing the little we can do.
What is the next level for your ministry?
It’s just to continue doing what we are doing and to see how we can further help people produce results. For instance, in the area of wealth creation, we have done seminars periodically for a while. But this year, we started a school. We call it The Success Leadership and Business School. And that has now created an opportunity for people to have a place, on a weekly basis, where they can come and learn success, business leadership principles, free of charge, because people want to learn, but they probably don’t have the money to attend some of the seminars that are out there. So, every Friday, you can come to the place and learn, free of charge, all the things you need to learn about success, business and leadership. And it’s a school where there’s no graduation. In the New Year, we are planning to begin an annual entrepreneurial school which will be like a one- week crash programme to really teach and empower people with entrepreneurial principles, then support them with micro-finance to be able to set up their own businesses, because I believe very strongly that entrepreneurship is the key to poverty eradication, entrepreneurship is the key to corruption. When people know how to create wealth, they won’t steal it. The reason why people go into politics, go into business, go into leadership and steal is because they don’t know how to create wealth. So, they are asking themselves, after four years, what next? I don’t know what will happen, so let me steal as much as I can. Entrepreneurship creates jobs, entrepreneurship brings tasks and revenue into the economy, entrepreneurship offers products and services and value and that’s the way forward. Any nation you see today, all the nations we call top nations today are built by the small businesses; they are built by entrepreneurs. It is the multitude of entrepreneurs that exist that makes the nations to be what they are. It’s not government that is doing everything. Like we have always said in this part of the world, government has no business being in business.
What is a day like for you and how often are you away from home considering that you do too many things?
It’s all about systems and structures. To me, system means to save yourself time, energy and money. And when you are able to have systems in place, a lot of things will work. So, what I do is, like in this office, I come in here once every week. I have structures in place and all I do is to share the vision, cast the vision, talk to people about where we are, where we are going to and give them the assignment and I’m gone. So, the next time I’m coming in is, how far have you gone with last week’s assignment and then we move on. So, I’m not here every day. The same thing with the church (Calvary Bible Church). I go there just once in a week. Because the systems are there. Once systems are in place, things become easy. The reason why a lot of people cannot do many things at the same time is because they don’t know how to put systems and structures in place. They want to do everything by themselves. I’m mostly at home. Because I have an office at home, so I do most of my work from the house.
How important a role does your family play in all this?
You can’t succeed without your family being in support of what you do, because the family is the most important part of your life. If you are laboring, you are laboring so that you will be able to impact your world, affect your generation and also leave a legacy for your children and your family. So, family to me is very important. As a matter of fact the most important. Whatever I want to do, I carry them along and I have their support and that has helped me a lot. And then, my principle is quantity time at work, quality time at home.
At this point in your ministry, are you still excited?
Of course! Great things are in store. You see, the day you stop having a passion for the future; then you don’t really have any future. So, there’s so much excitement because of possibilities. I see great possibilities in this country; I see great possibilities in different areas of life. I’m forever excited about the great things that are in store in the future.
Is there anything about your ministry that frightens you?
I think for every individual, we all fear God. We are not frightened by God, we fear God and if you know the importance of God and your relationship with God and the future He has in store for you, one of the things you really want to avoid is to make sure you don’t hurt God. I’m so grateful to God that God has kept me. The crisis I had several years ago, the only reason why I’m alive today and I’m able to survive and move on is just because of integrity. If not for integrity, forget it, the ministry would have been over.
Why do most ministers not succeed?
I have a book called Dangers of Success. It’s not yet released, but I’ve shared that in many ministers’ conferences. Many ministers fail because of the dangers of success and there are ten dangers of success. Number one, people forget where they are coming from. A river that forgets its source will dry up. Many of us, whether it’s in ministry or in business, we all start out from poor backgrounds, middle class families, with a passion to succeed. And then because of that zeal, because we are running away from poverty, because of that desire, that passion, we put everything in there. We practice all the principles and then pam (snaps his fingers), we make it, because that is what the principles are there for. When people now make it, they forget where they are coming from and that’s the number one reason people fail and make mistakes. Number two is when people become successful, they stop doing what they did to become successful. Whatever you do to obtain success, you must do to maintain success. And maintaining anything is more important than obtaining it. It doesn’t take anything to obtain, but it takes a lot to maintain. So, that’s the second reason. Number three, a lot of people miss it in life because they start surrounding themselves with the wrong people. If you become too big to learn, then you are going to fail. A lot of people don’t listen. You see a lot of people who are up there, you can’t tell them anything. They know it all. They are the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. You can’t correct them anymore. They are no more teachable, they are not learning anything anymore. Why? Because they allow what they have around them to make them believe that they are indispensable and once you stop learning, you stop listening to counsel, you stop surrounding yourself with the right people, you have yes men all around you who will tell you that you are the alpha and omega, you are on your way down. And on and on and on. There are ten dangers.
What makes a good minister and a good ministry?
Like I said at the beginning when we looked at the issue of success, there are two parts to life. There are what we see, there are what we don’t see. We can only comment on what we see, but only God knows the real thing. So, for me, a good minister is anybody that is doing what the God that called them to be a minister has asked them to do. They live by the word of God and they function according to the purpose of the scripture.
What are the ingredients of a good message?
There are two dimensions to a message. Number one, when you say something is a message,that means somebody sent you. So, for every message, there’s a sender and then there’s messenger and then there’s a receiver. So, we have three people involved; the sender, the message and the receiver. So, if it is what you are sent to do and you do it the way you were sent, that’s a good message. Whether they receive it or not. You also have to realize that you have to differentiate between God sending you a message and you teaching people something. They are two different things. As a motivational speaker, my focus will be what do people want? The people will determine what I give them. But as a pastor, my focus will be what is God saying. So, if God sent me to tell somebody this, whether you accept it or not, I’m not concerned about the receiver. I’m concerned about: Is this the message? That helps us to balance it. So, when we look at a message from the church angle, it must be a message that the sender sent you. And when He sends you, the second aspect is that you have to look at the audience to know how to deliver the message. The message must not change, but the strategy of delivery has to be looked into because if you look at Jesus himself, even though He said what I hear my Father say is what I say, He says it in different ways to different people. So, a message that is good, number one; must be the message that the sender sent. Number two; it must be a message that is delivered in such a way that the receiver will understand the message.
Why is there so much bad blood in the Body of Christ? Why are some ministers enemies?
I think it’s a function of insecurity, it’s a function of lack of maturity and exposure and it’s also a function of background. When people are not exposed, when people are shallow, myopic, that’s when you think that somebody’s success can hinder your success; that’s when you think that what somebody is doing can hinder what you are doing. And then background, history. They met it like that. Their fathers and their grandfathers in the faith were all telling them that their own ministry is the only ministry; every other ministry is not it. But I believe there’s a new generation rising up now and the new generation is realizing that we can’t do it alone. No one church can fulfill the assignment that Jesus gave. We all need to come together and fulfill the purpose of God together.
Why is sin still on the increase in spite of the fact that we have too many churches all over the place?
But that is scriptural! It’s just scriptural. In the last days, perilous times shall come. There are spirits that the Bible said will come in the end times. It’s not it may come, it’s it will come. In the last days perilous times shall come. The word perilous means difficult times. As a matter of fact, the New Bible says in the last days it will be difficult to be a Christian. So, we are in perilous times. So, it’s not a matter of whether church is plenty or not, in the last days, that’s what will happen. The Bible says it’s very possible. Even the very elect shall be deceived. So, when you say churches everywhere, we don’t even have enough churches. What we have everywhere that you are calling churches are not really churches. They are business centres. A man is jobless, he doesn’t know anywhere to go, he gets one shop, he starts something; he calls it a church. A man has done business, his business has gone bankrupt, he has been asked, and he says ah ah! This church, I’ve been there for six years, e be like say e dey grow o. This church, we started with 20 people, now we are 400 people. He goes to start his own. A man has one church, he is doing well, he says if this one is doing well, if I open 17, I will get more income. So, most of the things we have now is just business. Business centre! People that are just using God and using His name and using people. A real church is kingdom. When we have kingdom churches, when we have churches that are concerned about expanding the kingdom and not the empire of individuals, then you will really see a church. But for now, what we have is business. So, we need the real churches to really come on board.
Why do most people fail?
I can go back to the dangers of success, but let me start from another angle. A lot of people don’t know what they need to do to succeed. So, ignorance. A lot of people feel that oh, if I can just pray; especially Christians. Christians are very poor. The level of poverty in the church is so high. I can guarantee you, any church you enter, an average of 70-80 percent of them are poor. Number one, they don’t even know what to do. People think if I can pray, somebody will pour oil on my head and I can prosper. All manner of nonsense going on in the church. Number two; people know what they are supposed to do, but they don’t do it. Laziness! There’s so much laziness in our generation today. People are looking for a quick fix. Get rich quick. They want to do it quick, everybody wants to go into a reality show to become a superstar overnight. Nobody is willing to use their brain; everybody wants to use talent, use emotion, use passion. It doesn’t work like that. People are lazy. They are not doing what they are supposed to do. And then when people do what they are supposed to do, they are not persistent enough. So, hard work is no more a virtue. People have confused smart work and hard work. You see, when you are hard working, you are also supposed to be smart working. One does not take the place of the other. It’s like somebody saying I want to start my own business. If you are starting your own business, you will work more than when you were working for somebody else. You won’t even have closing time, you won’t have resumption time. Things will be tougher. But people don’t know that, so they leave their job and say and say I want to start my own business, thinking it’s a place for lazy people to be a CEO, have complimentary cards and have a brief case. So, people don’t know; number one. People don’t do what they are supposed to do, number two. And then when they finally do, they are not persistent enough; number three. Then, number four, dangers of success. Go back to it.
Why are multiple streams of income important?
Well, there is no other way out. That’s just the basic truth. About 18 years ago, I became frustrated with my life because of my financial situation. I got born again as a teenager. By the age of 21, I was already a pastor. So, everything I know is ministry business. Everything was moving on fine, wonderful! But the financial aspect was not working. And I began to ask God, what is the way forward? I had an encounter with God that took me into eight months of research. In eight months, I went through a lot, reading books, biographies, studying rich people all over the face of the world. I wanted to find out, both from Bible, what is the way out of poverty. And after eight months, I came out with the solution. That was when I began to focus on this. This started in 1996, when I started teaching wealth creation principles. In that encounter, I began to study and in my study, I realized that all over the world, rich people; truly wealthy people, they have some peculiar things about them which formed the basis of my book, Pathway to Wealth. Number one, rich people don’t work for people, they work for themselves. So, if you want to be extremely wealthy, the possibility of your being rich as a salary earner is very slim. Number two, rich people have more than one source of income, which is where multiple streams of income comes in. when you look into the Bible, because everything I studied, I asked God and God took me to the scriptures and showed me. God created man, put him in the midst of the garden – Eden, corporation. And God said, tend and keep. That word tend means to cultivate, the word keep means to retain in ownership. So, God is saying I’m bringing you into a place, it’s called Eden, and you have two assignments: cultivate it, make it to produce, then retain it in ownership. Now, that is entrepreneurship at the highest level. Because God himself is a businessman. For God so loved the world…prospects. That He gave His only begotten son…capital. That whoever believes in Him…customers. Will not perish but have eternal life…products, the value. God is a businessman. Abraham – businessman; Isaac – businessman; Jacob – businessman. And He called Himself the God of Abraham, businessman; the God of Isaac, businessman; the God of Jacob, businessman. So, in Genesis, He said tend and keep and guess what: The Bible says a river went out of Eden, one river, and that river parted into four rivers. So, according to the plan of God, every one of us in life, our primary strength, what He has called us to do and when we discover it and focus on it, then we all have the potentials to get at least four streams of income. It’s just one stream that became four streams, multiple streams of income: Pishon, Gihon, Hiddekel and Euphrates. Go back and do your research. Check the words. The Old Testament is written in Hebrew, the new testament is written in Greek. Those four words mean stocks, real estate, business and intellectual property. Go and check it out.
Why is enduring success difficult?
Succession planning! Structures! Most of the time, especially in this part, we have a one man mind set. We don’t think big. We are very small minded in the way we think. So, when we start something, it’s all about me, my family. It’s like a family thing. You don’t want to get other people involved and you don’t put structures in place. You don’t have plan for succession and that causes a lot of trouble. Look at this country today, where are the Da Rochas? Even MKO Abiola, where are all his companies? Loads of individuals that were the billionaires of the 1930s, the 1940s, the 1950s, 60s, 70s, where are they today? Even the billionaires of today, what will happen if they exit the scene today? Just think about Dangote. I don’t know anything about his family, but we are just looking at him. Who is going to take over if Dangote drops dead today? Will that company continue? Is there a succession planning? Adenuga, his children that are less than 30, if he drops dead today, can they take it to the next level? Look at Otedola, look at Atedo Peterside, look at Otudeko. These are our present day billionaires. Is there a plan that things will move if they leave? I don’t know! I’m only just asking questions. So, why do businesses fail? Why are things not able to move to the next generation? Because structures are not put in place for succession. There are a lot of dynamics. There’s polygamy, there’s the issue of the male child; must you be a male child? What if you have four male children and your first born is a useless nuisance and it is the third born that is good, will you give a third born the position when the first born is a nuisance? So, we have cultural issues, we have polygamy issues. You have three wives, this one has only girls, this one has boys; so, there are a lot of issues.
Why is it difficult for most people to own their own houses and businesses?
Number one, the enabling environment. The country has not created the enabling environment for that to function. We’ve had NHF, we’ve had all manner of stuff that they’ve deducted from our money since we were in the polytechnic 20, 30 years ago, but we didn’t see anything. It won’t be a problem for you to own a house. Number two, people have not seen the possibility. Because when people think of house ownership, when they think of how much it costs to have a house, it’s so overwhelming they don’t even want to try. But like I always tell people, you don’t need a plot of land to build a house. You only need a piece of land. The very minute you understand that okay, plot of land, piece of land, it changes the whole dynamics. It can even be a quarter of a plot. Land is land. It can just be a room and parlour, it can be two rooms and parlour. It begins with land ownership. Once you understand the power of starting…you will discover that once you have a land, something will be pushing you to do something. Once you lay the foundation, every money you have, vision will now come into the money. This one will buy two blocks, that will buy six bags, before you know it you’ve already completed the building. So, people need the vision and they need the support to be able to do it. And if they don’t get the support from government, they need to join groups; join the co-operative society, join an investment club, be a part of a group of people that can help you. That’s why in some of the things we do, we have a co-operative society. In the last five years alone, we’ve helped close to 200 people to have plots of land and they are moving to home owners. We’ve helped over 300 people become millionaires in the last five years, so a lot of things are happening and we need more of that. If you are moving with six people, they are your friends, you all move together; the first one got married, the second one got married, the third one got married, you will start thinking marriage, whether you like it or not, because that is a positive peer pressure. If six of you are friends and you are all tenants, and before you know it this one says Omo, I don’t buy land o! Whether you like it or not, first one bought, second one bought, you will buy, by environmental anointing. So, who are your friends? Who are you moving with? You are a tenant moving with tenants. You are not married, you are moving with unmarried people and you are not moving with people that are motivating you to think, watch it.
What qualifies a man to be called a true success?
Nobody on earth can answer that question. Because whatever they say is an assumption. Only God can say who is successful. Why? Because success is not the achievement of a goal. That’s the dictionary definition. The dictionary defines success as the achievement of a set goal. So, when you set a goal and you achieve it, they say you are successful. But the question: Is it possible to say if I set a goal to steal and I steal, I’m successful at stealing or does that make me a successful man? So, success is not the achievement of a goal, success is the progressive achievement of God’s goal for your life. Because there is no point climbing the ladder to the top only to discover that the ladder is leaning on the wrong wall. When do you say a man is truly successful? When he has achieved something that is positive in his generation, he’s influenced people and affected lives. It’s not about how many cars he has or how many houses. Mandela is not a billionaire in having houses, having yatchs, having private jets. But if you are talking of successful people today, people will be talking of Mandela. Success is all about making sure you fulfill the assignment that God has in store for you.
What is the easiest way for one to become a millionaire?
Well, the easiest way to be a millionaire is to do what you love and offer value. Make sure you are doing what you love, because if you are doing what you love, it will be natural and easy for you. And then make sure you are offering value. They are tied together. Doing what you like and offering value, because you see, money flows in exchange for value. When you offer value to people, people will give you money for the value you offer. That’s why we buy things, that’s why we pay for transport. Money hides in people. And if we have 7 billion people on the face of the earth, that means we have 7 billion incomes. Today, this morning, there are things that you probably have bought, because somebody produced them. And there are things you will still spend money on. You will eat, if you are not fasting and you have to pay somebody for the food. You have to take transport or buy fuel. So, once you are offering value, money will come. It’s very easy to become rich once you are pursuing your passion, what you love and then you are offering value. That is how money flows.