BY EMEKA EJERE
The 6 pm service last Sunday of the Salvation Ministries, a leading Pentecostal Church in Port Harcourt, was a meeting of worship and business enlightenment. Little wonder the congregation was made up of men and women in their productive ages, who understandably are more likely to be attracted to an event that promises to reveal the secrets of getting to their economic destinations.
The church located within the GRA part of the city is a state-of-the-art edifice of huge capacity for a fast-growing new generation church. To ensure distance away from altar does not constitute an obstacle, big-screen televisions are mounted at strategic positions for the convenience of the congregation.
There could not have been a better way to begin a spiritual exercise of that magnitude than a stimulating praise and worship session that saw everybody in attendance singing, dancing and clapping. Then there was a testimony time during which some members of the congregation came out to attest to the glory and grace of God in their lives to thunderous ovations. With that, the stage was set for the moment everybody was waiting for.
Senior pastor and founder of the church, David Ibiyeomie, a popular televangelist, mounted the podium in his characteristic majestic way at about 6:20 pm to do what he knows how to do best. Dressed in a navy-blue suit with a white shirt and sky-blue tie, Ibiyeomie, apparently knew what his audience needed to consider the time worthwhile.
Delivering a sermon, Pastor Ibiyeomie noted that God is the greatest businessman who has never recorded any failure in business, adding that anybody who wishes to succeed in business must follow the principles of God.
“Job was the most successful businessman of his time and he became so successful because God revealed to him business secrets that others did not know”, he said.
But how can one access God’s secrets? Pastor Ibiyeomie explains: To access the secrets of God, you must be born-again; you must have fear of God. Mind you, fear of God does not mean phobia.
“You have to meditate from time to time; when you build your house, reserve a room for meditation (quiet time).
“If you have the ear to hear the voice of God, most of God’s revelations to you come during your quiet time. Avoid phone calls and other forms of distraction when you’re meditating.”
The cleric argued that many people who do business today struggle to survive because they have not prepared themselves to access God’s business secrets.
“When you’re a true child of God, you love God and God loves you, God can easily reveal his secret to you just like a father can do to a son who is very close to him”, Ibiyeomie said.
“No man or woman will tell you the true secret of their business success. The Holy Spirit is the custodian of ideas. The closer you are to the Holy Spirit, the nearer you are too good ideas. It is good to be diligent, but it takes more than diligence to be successful in business.”
Idea is the key
According to Pastor Ibiyeomie, God’s business secret comes in the form of ideas, which he said, are the key to all business successes. He, however, admonished that while the idea is necessary for one to succeed in business, one needs the integrity to sustain business success.
“You also need to give your products a touch of excellence for you to have an increased market share within your industry”, he said
“Don’t sell your product without a touch of excellence.” He cautioned that any business built-in dishonesty has no future.
“Idea is necessary for one to succeed in business”, he warned. “But you need the integrity to sustain the business success. Integrity stabilizes your growth. And if you build your business in dishonesty, you don’t have a future.
“However, the idea is the greatest of the three. It accounts for about 60 per cent of business success. Then integrity and a touch of excellence follow.”
Pastor Ibiyeomie argued that people are increasingly coming to the Salvation Ministries “because we match our words with action and demonstrate a reasonable level of accountability.”
“Why do you think more people are coming to this church? They are coming because among other reasons, when money is given for a purpose, we use it for that people and people see it.
“If it is for the purchase of vehicles for evangelism, we use it to buy vehicles; if it is for expansion, we use it for that; if it is for building and so on, there is no diversion. That is integrity.”
“No matter how great your ideas maybe, if you don’t sustain it with integrity, people will start staying away from you when they start having an issue of trust.”
Pastor Ibiyeomie, an unrepentant advocate of job creation and financial freedom admonished the congregation to always have a plan to own any kind of business where they work as an employee.
“If you’re working in the bank, for instance, and all you think is how to become a branch manager, regional manager and so on and you don’t think of owning a bank someday you’re a fool”.
At the end of the preaching, some members of the congregation, who wished to give their lives to Christ were asked to come out for a repeat-after-me kind of prayer. Then olive oil was poured into plates and blessed for the purpose of anointing.
“We do not intend to keep you for more than one and a half hours. Just touch the oil in any plate nearest to you, then anoint yourself and go in peace”, Ibiyeomie concluded.
Some members of the congregation spoke with BusinessHallmark. “Coming to Salvation Ministries is like killing two birds with a stone”, Peter Jacobs, a young man in his thirties noted. “Here you receive your anointing and you still learn what others pay to learn elsewhere free of charge.
“Pastor Ibiyeomie is an embodiment of knowledge and spirituality”, JaromeWogu, another member of the church affirmed. Since I started coming to this church and listening to him, I have been able to take my spiritual and business lives to another level.
A young lady, who simply gave her name as Gladys, said many who are not members of this church come to participate in the worship just to learn.
“And nobody has ever regretted coming here to worship after listening to eye-openers of Pastor Ibiyeomie”, Gladys said.