Churches are always at the forefront of development. Various religion-related centres promote building schools, hospitals, vocational skills acquisition centres, farms and cottage industries, and many.
One should also note various scholarships, free books, food, clothes and even shelter. A church wants to ensure that its members live good and faithful lives before they pass away.
However, the modern church slowly abandons old ideals, Vanguard notices and gives several clear examples:
Amuwo Odofin, Lagos, July 6, 2014: A priest at a church offers the congregation to appreciate God with various contributions: N200,000 – special blessing; then N150,000, N100,000 and so on, to N50,000 to N5,000 and below.
At the end of the day, the priest made a general blessing for the entire church. Apparently, nobody came out for N200,000 blessing.
Pastor David Oyedepo of Living Faith Mission (Winners Chapel) owns several private jets, Gulfstream G550, Gulfstream G450, Gulfstream V and LearJet with combined value of $98.3million (N15.9billion).
The General Overseer of RCCG Pastor E.A. Adeboye also owns Gulfstream V private jet. The President of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Ayo Oritsejafor, leased one of his flying machines to cash smugglers for illegal weapons purchase in South Africa.
The Pentecostal churches are in the lead for revenue drive. The income is big, but the programmes to help the poor are not big enough. Well-established churches keep opening private universities. Their fees range from N1.5 million to N3 million per session, so only the wealthy can afford it.
At the same time, there are 10 to 80 per cent discounts for children and wards of the university’s staff, children of pastors and some indigent church members.
Dr. Joseph Antyo of the University of Mkar, a private university in Benue State owned by the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA) however believes that poverty issues in Nigeria cannot be solved without participation of churches.
“Churches should see poverty eradication as a part of their mission of evangelisation, since not only spiritual but also material salvation is needed to truly free someone. Some of the money that some churches have should be made available to their members in form of loans and other poverty alleviation measures, and the churches should be able to build on their greatest strengths which are trust and commitment rather than dependency.
“Churches should also motivate their members to work or to help create employment, since the lack of it is probably the greatest bane of Africa today,” he concluded.