Recently Adegboyegailori.com had an interesting chat with a great teacher of the word, Pastor Bolutife Oluyomi. He is an Associate Pastor at Daystar Christian Centre, Lagos, where he coordinates the Membership and Maturity Teams.
Pastor Bolu (as he is fondly called) has over 15 years career experience that spans the area of Management, IT, Marketing and Human Capital Development. He holds a degree in Computer Science from the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from the University of Calabar, Nigeria.
He is a faculty at the renowned Daystar Leadership Academy and he speaks regularly at churches, seminars and workshops around the country.
Pastor Bolutife Oluyomi has a passion for helping young people discover their life’s purpose and maximizing their potentials. He lives in Lagos with his wife- Olubunmi and children.
Here the chat is served hot. Enjoy it!
As a Pastor what do you think is the biggest challenge of today’s Church?
In my perspective, the challenge of today’s Christians and today’s church are almost the same. It is actually a combination of Christians that make up the church- the body of us Christians is what we call the church. So, bringing it to a Christian, I will say our value system are distorted. We have allowed the society, the unchurch world to define our values for us.
For example, the popular one is what does it really mean to be a successful Nigerian or what does it mean to be a successful Christian? In my opinion, a successful Christian is that man, that woman, that young boy or young lady that is at the centre of God’s will for his or her life. That knows what God wants for him and is following God daily. For me that is success. You can’t pay for hearing from God. You can’t buy peace, inner peace with God, you can’t buy values but if you ask an average church goer what success is, to a good number, it is a good job, stable income, be able to ride a fairly okay car and should be able to live in a good environment. So you can see a good number of us will not define success correctly. Somehow, the gospel presented to us is such that if you say you are okay with God, then your finance must be okay. Yes it will eventually be okay but it is not the yardstick of measuring being right with God. It is good to have money, I am not against money but it is not the number one thing in our relationship with God. So, for me, we have allowed the world to define success to us. I had a discussion with a young lady recently and she said ‘’some years back, to be successful is to be able to change jobs, to travel, to get this and that…..’’ and somehow now she feels something is missing. I said to her that she is not the only one in that condition. A good number of church goers are like that, because we have allowed the world define what value or success is to us. I had the opportunity of speaking at a friend’s 40th birthday recently and one of the things I asked the people there was; what it mean to be successful? Some think it is that you can travel, relocate outside the country etc but to me having a family, having respect of your loved ones and your family is intact is success. Whether you are able to get visa to the outside world or not, as a family man, the love of my wife, the love of my children are more valuable to me than for the whole church to love me and my family don’t love me. Some people don’t mind even if their family is not intact, once there are people that say; ‘’Bless you sir’’ ‘’Bless you sir’’. It is actually about values.
Correct me if I am wrong, you are the Daystar Strictly Masculine fellowship coordinator, right?
You are wrong. The coordinator reports to me. The way we run it is that we have lay leaders that run this sub-fellowships and I am in charge of the membership team in Daystar, so under the membership team, you have the men’s fellowship, women’s fellowship, the singles fellowship, the youth fellowship, family life fellowship and some other sub-fellowships, all of them are under the mebership team. They report to me and I report to the COO who reports to the Senior Pastor. So, I am not the one running it on a day-to-day, we have a lay leader that does that.
So, what do think is the reason many believers experience delay in getting married?
There are two factors that I have noticed closely that are responsible for that. They are;
- Our education system that was distorted some years back. Some years back an average under graduate spend 3-4 years to graduate, some get jobs immediately and he is not really looking for a big apartment- just two-rooms and palour and he is ready to marry. Possibly there is a lady too in the neighbourhood that is ready to start life. So, when education was distorted, 4 years program now last 7 years and then you leave school and there is no job. So, the distortion in the education system is responsible.
- Economic factor is another reason. Someone was saying in the early 80’s you don’t need so much money to date a lady. There were few places to go to; Kingsway in Ibadan, Samonda also in Ibadan but now to date a lady you have many places to go to. You have shoprite e.t.c and you must have money. In those days there is no need to buy expensive weavon but now today’s ladies want to go to shoprite, silverbird, buy good phones, weavon, valentine is now a big thing we celebrate, all of these cost money. An average guy (and ladies) values system is distorted. Let me use myself as an example and I have a few guys that we are in my category. I met my wife while in school, we were both undergraduate- what was paramount to me then was that she is a Christian from a good family and she is also educated and then we love one another, I didn’t know anything physique.
I am serious, I didn’t know anything about that. That was about 11 years ago but nowaday’s I see guys who say; ‘’This lady with her shape, the next 7 years, she will be bigger than this, her shape would have changed’’. Wow, some of us were not looking at that. That was not the reason we were interested in getting married. Now I see guys in church, young men in church who consider shape as part of their condition before proposing . They are particular about physiques, where she works. So, for many what is leading them is more of physical than spiritual compartibility.
You once preached a powerful message by the title; ‘’Managing sexual attraction’’ and you advised that in managing sexual attraction to the opposite sex, the best person to confide in is your spouse. How realistic is that?
(Laughs) Yes, it should be your spouse. By God’s standard, it should be your spouse. In Genesis, Adam was naked before Eve and they were both not ashamed of one another. Meaning that their flaws are open to one another. So, that is the ideal thing but before we can get to the ideal, we need to work towards it. I think the foundation for that is that before I am vulnerable with you, I must see that you are my friend and you have my back. I must also see that you have opened up to me at one time about issues and there is that acceptance of our imperfection. So, if that understanding is there as the foundation and they are actually friends, they are not in competition, they know that whatever happens to one, happens to the other, your headache is the family haedache, I think if all these are there, we have a possibility of a spouse opening up completely to his or her spouse. Some years back a woman came around for counselling and she said she has an attraction to someone else in her office. And I advised her to confide in her husband and she said in my language; ‘’Which mouth will I use to tell him?’’ That she can’t. She has not done anything with the person but the attraction is their. I think if she is a friend to her spouse it should not be difficult. I have my own flaws as my wife does, but we manage one another. She trust me and for as long as we are in the flesh these things happen.
Looking at Nigeria as it is today, do you think there is hope for a turnaround in the nation’s fortune?
From spiritual perspective, yes, there is hope for Nigeria. It has happened before in Bible times, there was a time of famine and prophetically God said tomorrow the heavens shall be opened. Jesus fed the crowd with little food. Sipirtualwise there is hope, nothing is impossible with God. He has done it before, He can do it again. God is more willing to turn things around for us but there is sense in which God will want us to take responsibility for our state, or condition as a people and I think that is where I cannot see the willingness in the average Nigerian to change. Sorry for using the word ‘’Change’’ because a particular party is is using it now for campaign. I am not canvassing for anybody. An average Nigerian is not ready to change. An expert said; ‘’ The problem with Nigeria is with the middle class’’. The middle class are the people that can confront the upper class and they are the one that can also fight for the poor class. Some of the poor class don’t have the will power to fight for themselves. The middle class in Nigeria is comfortable; able to send their children to private school, privatye university, live in good environment, ride a family car and can travel in one or two years interval. However, the middle class are the ones that don’t stay till the end of voting exercise at the polling centre. They leave when the heat is much. It is a lie that Nigeria cannot change but are we ready?
If you have to endorse any of the two prominent presidential candidates, who will that be?
See, I am not the spokesperson for my church but personally I know who I want to vote for. I know the person. The indices are there for us to see. Of course we see in different perspective. Some believe the peresent president has done wonderfully well, the question we should ask ourselves is:
- Has the education system improved?
- Has the health system improved?
- Has power- PHCN in my house improved?
I can answer all these questions in the negative. Not yet. And therefore I will prefer something new. I know he is trying but his effort is not touching base. From all I have said, you should have an idea of who I will support or vote for. It is more of a personal thing looking at whether this person can take you to where you like to be. If within four years this person is not taking my life to where I want to be, if there is someone else that can take me there, I will vote for the person.
What is your advice to the youth?
My advise to the youth is that we need to take responsibility. By definition, a youth is someone within age 18 to 35 thereabout. And we are bottom heavy in Nigeria. We are in the majority. I think we just need to stand up. We need system to help us to thrive. Though we can’t use system that is not there as an excuse. My advise is that an average youth should look at what they can do for themselves legitimately. We need to do something for ourselves. Is it craft or clothes, shoes or suit that you can design? Just do it and Nigeria will be better for it.