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Social Change: Social Entrepreneurs, Entertainers and Influencers Need to Collaborate with the Church

I need to do a quick disclaimer that I do not have any intention of towing the lane of division, the way religion has been used as a tool to divide Nigerians but then, my honest and politically correct opinion is that the church can lead the revolution that Nigeria seeks. The pragmatic change that we anticipate to sweep the length and breadth of the country can happen if church leaders take initiative and use their revered position judiciously to this end.

Churches are our new government. Like Mahatma Gandhi, they deal with the minds and spirit of humans, and when many leaders make certain pronouncements in their places of worship, members follow to the letter even when it is inconsistent with their reality. Regardless of their level of education, they follow their leaders like they are gods.

It is important to note that the church is currently being debased by some unscrupulous elements who capitalize on the ignorance of their members to take gross advantage of them just like Falz expressed in his keen reflection through his masterpiece video – #ThisisNigeria where Falz sang about a pastor touching a member’s breasts in the name of casting out demons, these type of church leaders dirty the church’s structure and corrupt its nature.

However, the stench in the system cannot rival the power, authority and resources that the church has within its reach and Ndidi Nwunenli’s advice in her TED talk titled, “The role of Faith and Belief in Modern Africa”, she said “the church needs to leverage her assets and resources for social impact”. The mighty church buildings such as Redemption camp, Canaan land, the huge donations from wealthy church members and other resources owned by the church can be used to alleviate poverty, promote youth and economic development, foster peace and prosperity, especially since the government of our day has neglected its responsibility to cater for her citizens.

Taking a cue from a Church like The Kings Heritage pastored by Lawrence Onoiche in Ogba, Lagos, there is much to learn from its just concluded event focused on youth development. The event was useful in creating a meeting point for intergenerational dialogue, as more youth seek to understand who they are and position themselves to be something great.

 

In my very little time at the event, I enjoyed listening to diverse speakers with different opinions and timeless truths. For example, the ever blazing Toyosi Akerele captivated the audience with her candor and deep knowledge about complex challenges in Nigeria. With a rare expression of being aware of current events in our society, she endeared herself to the participants and sparked a fascinating atmosphere during her session.

Woli Arole, the fast-rising comedian who came to the limelight by creating innovative jokes and leveraging instagram to reach his consumers, spoke in a different manner different from his usual run of play. He came with a depth that was too deep to contain at an ordinary level. He shared what I refer to as “revelations”, and it was interesting to observe how accepting the audience acknowledged the insights he shared. One would have expected less of a comedian but I am more than convinced he is a deep soul.

Tim Godfrey, whose music I have paid attention to for so long, didn’t even look a bit of what he has been through. Haven listened to his personal stories, he is an inspiration that I never had and now have, as he made me reflect differently and that’s one thing all the influencers spent time doing at this church-hosted event. They helped attendees to make a paradigm shift; to change their mindset and do the work of knowing self and loving self – how surreal?

The most interesting part of this is that the church’s post-event plan will engage these youths who have had a paradigm shift to learn a skill and build an enterprise that can help them create wealth.

It is however important for influencers in various sectors and especially those of the Christian faith, to join the church to fund and organize more of such events. The collaboration will help churches achieve inclusive growth for the burgeoning youth population in Nigeria.

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