THEY SAY I AM THE WEALTHIEST PASTOR ON EARTH AND THEY ARE NOT LYING.
I HAVE BEEN SUPER FINANCIALLY COMFORTABLE SINCE I SAW THE LIGHT
IN 1996, A FRIEND SENT A SEED OF ONE MILLION NAIRA TO ME BUT HE WROTE IN THE LETTER THAT IT WAS FOR THE WORK OF MINISTRY AND I SIGNED IT OVER TO THE CHURCH.
ONE MILLION WAS VERY IMPORTANT AT THAT TIME BUT GOD FORBID THAT I TAKE WHAT IS NOT MINE.
A HEART SET ON MONEY CAN NOT SUCCEED IN MINISTRY, NO ONE CAN HOLD THE BAG AND HOLD THE MINISTRY SUCCESSFULLY AT THE SAME TIME.
– Bishop David Oyedepo
Church Growth Conference 2022, Day 3 Morning Session
It’s quite a feat to capture a baby lion but it is a task to watch it grow. When it is a baby lion, it plays around your bedroom like a cat, as it is growing, look for wooden barricades first, as it grows more look for iron barricades, gates of brass because he can eat you up. Many have been eaten up by machinated success, God’s blessings don’t eat you up, it maketh rich and adds no sorrow. These days, a lot of young people sign up for ministry to see how much they can make out of it. A lot think these leaders are having a real good time, they are living on Church money. They could be people living on Church money. The cure of abuse is open accountability.
No minister can hold the bag and the ministry successfully at the same time. You cannot serve God and Mammon. All the things that Judas saw was the money. When a minister’s eyes are set on money, he has lost his ministry without knowing. When you come to Church and in your mind, you say “my God, with these 3000 people. If they give a hundred naira each, that will be enough for my trip to London”. When that becomes your thinking, you are losing out gradually in ministry. It’s like going, going, going, gone. It’s time to rethink our steps and start doing things right.
Gehazi said, “if they ask of me, tell them I went to the toilet”. That thing was a demon, he didn’t ride. He ran and caught up with someone on the chariot and he had no anointing. They gave him the rod of the anointing to lay, it didn’t work in his hands. He contaminated it. He fled after the money and returned with leprosy. So if you don’t know the meaning of Mammon, it is a demon because it takes someone energized either by God or by a demon to run like that. God won’t energize you to go and steal.
He ran with top speed. There is no Olympic prize you won’t win under that condition, driven by money. That was the man that will take over after Elisha. Elisha carried a double portion of the unction upon Elijah, he would have carried double of the unction upon Elisha but that lineage stopped for money. If you check Ezekiel 34, it talks about “I will remove you from feeding my flock because you are feeding fat on my flock”. Some people have been removed by God but they are still there, nothing is happening again, nobody is getting saved. We have seen 34000 people saved this year in my team. You better wake up and let your heart be right.
A heart set on money can not succeed in ministry, a heart set on money cannot have an impact in ministry. God demands financial accountability. He gave the talents in Matthew 25 and He came back to ask them to render their accounts. He is calling us to render our accounts in the Spirit of what you have done with His money. God demands accountability from His servants. 2 Chronicles 29:3.
There is a need to separate His account from your account, until that is done abuse is inevitable. It is not safe for you to be the only one signing Sir. It is not safe. It is self temptation. It’s like somebody smearing his body with oil and playing around with fire. You will catch fire. It is not safe. You don’t grow well to manage well, you manage well to grow big. Until God marks you right, He won’t change your story. Let God mark you right in managing His resources. Please start right. God has no double standards.
God demands financial prudence, so there must be a budget we are running with. Because life is in phases and ministries are in sizes, let’s start from where we are. Don’t let your taste be above your income, start from where you are. Don’t buy things on credit, it can become a lifestyle. Prudence is impossible without a budget in place. Luke 16:10-11. True riches are committed based on our faithful stewardship with small. Church offering is not for distribution among Pastors like they do in some places.
See where we are today, can I ever call a hundred million sacrifice to God? No! That will be an insult. Of my own personal resources. The one He gave me, the one I didn’t beg for, the one He saw me qualified for. Nothing great happens by chance. You don’t wake up from your bed and become a champion in wrestling. Nothing great happens by chance. Nothing great happens by chance. You have to start somewhere.
I was 20 years old when the Lord showed me Jeremiah 17:11. A friend of mine when he came to visit me at Landmark said remember what you shared with me in 1974. I said I can’t remember, we shared many things together. He was my very good friend and his name happened to be David also. He said, “you told me about Jeremiah 17:11”. Before anybody kept money with me, I knew how to stay away from what is not mine. So I had no problem with anyone.
Why am I saying this? God is turning many little flocks here to kingdoms and this is how to get there. I also have my personal account well articulated in black and white so I don’t miss my tithe or assume. Anything less than tithe is offering. Some don’t even write it down so how will they know what to pay? I had my first accounting staff in 1990. Purpose – first, not to miss my tithe. Many of my people here today have their own accountants. So let’s go home and start setting things right because your future is great if you are interested.
A friend sent me a seed of 1 one million naira in 1996 and I said I wanted to read the letter, it said for the work of the ministry. I said it is not for me. They said but he put your name there, I said didn’t you read the letter? He didn’t write any name on the cheque because he didn’t know the appropriate account to sign it to. I signed it over to the Church. One million was very important at that time but God forbid that I eat what is not mine. Suddenly by error or default, they say this chap is the wealthiest Pastor on the earth and they are not lying. They are far from lying, I am super financially comfortable since I saw the light. I have enjoyed my life and I want you to enjoy your life if you are interested. Efficient management is a miracle, it provokes the supernatural. Kenneth Hagin said the Lord said to him depression is coming and this is what to do not to be affected: Stop every outreach I have not sent you, keep so and so amount of the Church income aside in reserve.
So depression came and the ministry could not feel anything. We have maintained a reserve account for years. It goes to that unspendable account until when a command comes from heaven to do something. When He said build the Faith Tabernacle, we had quite some resources in our reserve account, quite some big resources. The whole land was brought from that account. Now we have hundreds of millions in that account. Not knowing when He will tell us to start construction. Don’t eat from everything. Some even go as far as collecting offerings for meetings. Nobody has even given a dime in this Commission for Shiloh. All these games people are playing, they will be out of ministry in no time.
You are going to name a child the whole Church must be involved, did they give birth to the child? It’s your child. When we wanted to name our second son we used chin-chin. They don’t use food to name a child, they use mouth.
A pastor should not be a burden to the people, he is a burden lifter. When my old man passed on, I said anybody who brought any Church bus there had committed sin. You are not permitted, for what? Was he a pastor? No! We are leaving here with a renewed approach to our finances and the Church’s finances.
Your future is so enviable if only you can see it and take responsibility. If God can’t trust you, He can’t entrust His wealth into your hands. Every ministry requires a functional budget and you bring yourself under that law. The budget is to contain among others – staff overhead, operational cost, percentage for reserves for future financial demands of the ministry. People give when they know it is being properly managed. I went on Church ticket last 1988.
If I pay for those who go with me because the Church didn’t send them, why can’t I pay for myself? These things are easy if you line up with them. If you are in ministry for money and you don’t repent today, you have lost the ministry. There is no point. Let’s hope that members don’t rise and throw you away from that Church. Waste is an enemy of destiny. The prodigal son wasted all his substance on riotous living and after that, he began to be in want. Waste is an enemy of every destiny. You are waster today, you are sure to be a beggar tomorrow. To curb waste, start budgeting. Let your budget discipline your spending. Don’t spend as you go, spend as you plan. Waste is not a friend, waste is an enemy.