“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
— Martin Luther-King
WHEN the world compiles the names of outstanding men and women who became vehicles through which ordinary people became extra ordinary and many who, left on their own, would not have aspired to become anything in life, if not for the contact they had with that outstanding individual, the name of Pastor Chris Oyakhilome would be among the topmost.
While the impact of some acclaimed world leaders’ are felt either within their countries of residence or region, here is a man whose leadership influence transcends continents with followership in over 200 countries; yet he is not a political leader.
Over the last few years, Pastor Chris has become a great catalyst, taking the business of leavening more and more breads of different shapes and sizes across cultures to the next level. He has extended his reach further across the world, taking his message to millions of people, changing lives, giving hopes, and uplifting men and women.
He is shaping governments; as more and more government functionaries discover the leadership wisdom in his message. Today, The Believers Loveworld a.k.a Christ Embassy is not just any other Church; it has lived so true to its calling of being God’s vision. Its followership transcends every nation that is a member of the United Nations Organisation and beyond. One would not be mistaken to liken it to the United Nation of Christendom, as its last International Pastors’ and Partners’ Conference which took place in Lagos showed, drawing together people from almost every nation on earth.
Everywhere he takes the gospel to, men, women and children all respond with glee, as he raises leaders all over the world, which show to a greater extent, the quality of leadership he has bestowed on people.
His attitude to what he does is aptly captured below: ‘The person who leads by example communicates strong work ethic (I’m willing to get down and dirty too), accountability (I won’t ask you to do anything I’m not willing to do myself), humility (I’m here as another human being on a mission not as a superior trying to boss you around), and unity (We’re in this together).
Pastor Chris has remained true to this calling which he answered to even before he became a teenager, and all through his teenage years, and early adolescence he never derailed, he remained steadfast to what he describes as the “work of my father” drawing like minds with him. And over the last three decades, he has been involved in the one thing he is sold out to, and that is winning men and women to Christ Jesus.
While at the secondary school his leadership potentials were glaring to all, and even more pronounced was his undying love for the gospel of Jesus Christ; without wasting time as other young people might do he chose the path that he should follow, and has never departed from it ever since. He organised crusades even against the official stand of the school authorities.
His arguments then was that if the school authorities could look the other way while students smoke, club and engage in all sorts of things under negative influences, why should they complain against his activities that have positive influence. The early persecutions he suffered helped in no small way to strengthen his resolve in the business of winning men and women to Christ.
In the words of the Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges, “Any life, no matter how long and complex it may be, is made up of a single moment the moment in which a person finds out, once and for all, who they are.” This has been the major engagement of Pastor Chris Oyakhilome over the years, helping hundreds of thousands of people all over the world to know who they are, maximise the opportunities that knowledge brings their way, and go ahead to help others have same information.
This has created a global ripple effect which has produced people of like mind, with same spiritual and intellectual disposition ready to take over the world and make it a better place. He is not only making great impact in the ministry alone but his activities cut across every field of human endeavour.
The leadership traits of Pastor Chris is based on the teaching of love for one another. And as a compassionate leader, his style typifies what Victor Frankl said in the Brain Pickings that “Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized.
Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities. By making him aware of what he can be and of what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true.”
Writing on The Transforming Power of Faith, Richard G. Scott stated that “It is nobility of character, that fabric of inner strength and conviction woven from countless righteous decisions that gives life its direction. A consistent, righteous life produces an inner power and strength that can be permanently resistant to the eroding influence of sin and transgression.” This captures the seeming speed at which the ministry has grown all over the world. He has raised a new generation across nationalities to form a special people of a beloved nation.
Exploring the borders of technology for good
Pastor Chris is not among those who sit down and engage in endless debates on whether technology should be used to propagate the gospel or not. While many have focused so much on the negatives of technology, Pastor Chris easily assimilates technology and highlights how its positives far outweighs its negatives in the sense that if we change people, we change the way they use technology. That is why he was among the pioneers in the use of technology for the spreading of the gospel.
He is always at the fore front of developments. Pastor Chris is technological savvy. He sees the changes even before they come, and prepares ahead of time for them. One major advantage of being in Believers Loveworld is that you get the opportunity to know the direction the world is going, be it in politics, economics or cultural shifts – he will readily inform his followers to be ready.
This has impacted not only in the way the Ministry has spread around the world, but also the ease with which people are reached. Ministry materials be them books, CD’s DVDs, and those in other formats are also available in virtually every available format irrespective of where those who want to access them live.
Many large congregations of Christ Embassy churches were birthed through the ministry materials. Pastor Chris was the first in Nigeria to have e-books available online.
The Internet has revolutionised the world we live in today as it has set the stage for an unprecedented integration of capabilities and has therefore given birth to new possibilities. The Internet was originally conceived and developed to meet the demand for automatic information-sharing between scientists in universities and institutes for information dissemination; a medium for collaboration and interaction between them without regard for geographic location.
Pastor Chris has variously adopted cutting edge mobile applications and the deployment of various mobile technologies, a whole new race is being impacted with the gospel through the ministry of Pastor Chris.
It is estimated that over 4 Billion people in the world today are active mobile device users and through the various mobile applications, this is over half of the human population.
That is why the gospel is being made available to them in the palm of their hands. Noteworthy of these apps is the Live TV app (with a combined download of about 120,000 downloads) which broadcasts the TV programs of the ministry satellite stations all around the world. Through the app, the coverage of the stations is greatly multiplied beyond the limitations of satellite coverage, political barriers and geographic barriers.
As the pioneer mobile application for the ministry, it has led to the expansion of the ministry into the various countries of the world. Some of these applications include the Live TV app which currently has a combined download of about 150,000 downloads, the CeFlix mobile app. Through deep insight and revelation, the man of God had begun preparing the ministry to take advantage of this statistic by pioneering an online Internet TV Platform called CeFlix. CeFlix is a social WebTV platform which provides opportunities for thousands around to fully express themselves.
The Internet multimedia arm of the ministry was born by divine foresight; because of a need to reach people at multiple locations around the world in real-time, and at the same time, to achieve greater impact while completely obliterating geographic and political boundaries hindering the spread of the gospel. As media content consumption channels shifted from traditional terrestrial media channels to the worldwide web, Pastor Chris once again made a strategic decision by the spirit to stay ahead by setting up Internet television platforms through the Internet multimedia ministry.
This gave birth to the development of platforms like the Live-TV application, the Pastor Chris online Channel and the CEFLIX platform.
The Live-TV app brings together our three satellite TV stations of the ministry, and streams their content on the web; this makes it possible for people to enjoy a wider variety of our life-transforming message no matter their location.
On the Pastorchrisonline platform, Pastor Chris gives answers to questions from believers around the world on a wide range of topics and proffers solutions to problems, which have held men bound and hitherto vulnerable. The Internet Multimedia went on to expand the Pastorchrisonline platform in 2012 into a multichannel platform with The Pastor Chris Teaching channel, Worship channel, Miracles Channel and many more. The platform now attracts an average of 25,000 visitors daily from around the world, with testimonies of healings and deliverance constantly flowing in. CEFLIX is a social Web-TV platform with an app, which is available across all mobile platforms.
It gives world the opportunity to experience wholesome content; it is a haven from the decadent stream of content been broadcast by the secular media.
As a visionary leader Pastor Chris also mandated the Internet multimedia ministry to bring every member of the ministry into the mobile technology revolution and this gave birth to the mobile word education. campaign, which has helped the brethren take advantage of technology for increased productivity in their lives and also for the furtherance of the gospel and the Christianization of their communities.
Global evangelization has been made more efficient and effective through the advent of the Internet multimedia ministry.
Yookos, an online social networking site which was inspired into existence by Pastor Chris which was initially used by only members of the Church but today has been expanded for public access. Yookos currently has over 50 million with expectations that by 2016, it will hit over 100 million with majority of its users coming from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa, the UK and the US among others.
In January 2013, Yookos partnered with Adfu to increase its market reach and push revenue earnings. This collaboration would make Yookos available exclusively across Africa and operate Adfu’s ad-ops team. Today, it ranks at number 5 amongst top 10 social networking sites in Africa according to the Pan African Chamber of Commerce. Launched as an individual entity in January 2011. Yookos was initially a Christian-focused site, established with an aim of conveying spiritual messages amongst members of Christ Embassy. The site penetrated beyond African grounds after receiving a steady increase in traffic.
Yookos enables users to meet with friends across the globe, play games online and stay updated with global news. Users can create profiles, post status updates and blogs, start a discussion or poll, share event details, upload a document or a picture or a video. They can also connect with friends and other users via private or group messages. The site hosts the option of real-time chat as well along with the feature of sharing content on other social media platforms. Users can also customize their streams as well as communities. In addition, members can also respond to Yookos’ activities by simply posting a comment through notification email received. Yookos has an intuitive interface that allows users to navigate other blogs while being on the site.
Users can access Yookos on all mobile devices. The mobile app is available on Android, BlackBerry and iOS handsets as well as non-smartphones. Users can access the site via a desktop version as well. They can access the site by visiting m.yookos.com on their handset, the site has been designed on mobile-first approach. The site’s platform was also upgraded early the same year allowing its users to log in to their Yookos accounts by using their existing credentials used on other social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Gmail, Yahoo! as well as share content to these platforms via social media interactivity. Members can also explore varied fields of their interest such as sports, entertainment, healthcare, religion, games available on other social networking platforms such as Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn without leaving Yookos’ homepage.
Yookos is today rubbing shoulders with more recognized brands in the world such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc etc, though still young compared to the others, its growth rate is faster than the competition. It is estimated that by the end of 2016, Yookos will have over a 100 million subscribers. It could be remembered that even President Barack Obama made mention of the impact Yookos is having.
It is a fast, simple and personal smartphone messenger that allows you to send messages to everyone you love to talk to. This new social media networking app is one of the many firsts that the BLW nation under the leadership of the Man of God Pastor Chris Oyakhilome is giving not just to the BLW nation but to the rest of the world. This Mobile App helps the user to send and receive messages, pictures, audio, location and video messages and it’s absolutely free!
With KingsChat which is the fastest growing social media messenger, users can send Video, Images, Location and Voice Attachments to their friends, contacts and groups. Enjoy group conversations with your contacts. Add or remove group participants, change group subject and set a group icon among others.
Reaching out, changing the world with Rhapsody of Realities
Writing on The Spiritual Readiness of the Call, Oswald Chambers warned “Beware of anything that competes with loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him. . . . The one aim of the call of God is the satisfaction of God, not a call to do something for Him. … The men and women our Lord sends out on His enterprises are the ordinary human stuff, plus dominating devotion to Himself wrought by the Holy Spirit. Be absolutely His. Those who have a “why” to live can bear with almost anyhow.”
As the word of God aptly captured that the hearts of kings are in the hands of God, the Church has been doing a lot in that direction and Pastor Chris Oyakhilome has because of this, raised countless leaders across several countries of the world. He teaches leaders and members the need to contribute to the wellbeing of the countries they live in and operate from. That is why Christ Embassy in all the countries adopts their countries of residence as their responsibility.
Using the Rhapsody of Realities as a weapon of change, various Church groups in different countries have been engaging in community development projects in schools, prisons, Police Stations and other public agencies all geared towards contributing to the good of humanity. As at the last count 100 countries across all continents are now celebrating ReachOut campaigns on their national days. What an impact.
Five hundred millions copies of the best-selling daily devotional and Bible-study guide, Rhapsody of Realities, have been distributed in over 242 countries and 660 languages of the world including Afrikaans, Arabic, Cantonese, Croatian, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Icelandic, Italian, Mandarin, Myanmar, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, in its 15th year in print and still counting! New languages are added regularly, making the devotional accessible to many more in different parts of the globe, thus bringing the richness of God’s Word into their lives.
Little wonder the devotional, often times, is referred to as the, “Messenger Angel”. Rhapsody of Realities also features LoveWorld News, a full pictorial and coloured mid-page magazine, which contains latest updates and reports of the ministry’s programmes around the world.
Pastor Chris is changing the destiny of nations. The Reachout program of Rhapsody of Realities has become the number one project so many different countries look up to annually. Many communities in many countries have benefited immensely especially places where the government efforts could not get to. This year alone, so many communities in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Cameroon among others benefited from the ReachOut programs which saw schools getting free hand sanitizers against the Ebola outbreak, prisons getting thousands of mattresses, generators and schools getting rehabilitated. Also some of the zonal churches held free skills acquisition training for unemployed graduates. Only a generation with desire to change the land can do this.
Teach them, send them, the ISM example…
Highlighting the differences between a boss and a leader, H. Gordon Selfridge, said that “”The boss drives people; the leader coaches them. The boss depends on authority; the leader on good will. The boss inspires fear; the leader inspires enthusiasm. The boss says “I”; the leader says “WE”. The boss fixes the blame for the breakdown; the leader fixes the breakdown. The boss says, “GO”; the leader says “LET’S GO!” This captures the manner Pastor Chris Oyakhilome has been raising leaders across the world through the International School of Ministry.
It is the first of its kind in Christendom since 2007, with a burning desire to bring God’s Word to all men in simplicity and with the power of the Spirit. Pastor Chris Oyakhilome , envisioned the International School of Ministry, specifically to train and equip ministers of the Gospel of Christ, irrespective of their denominations, building in them the realities of God’s Word and empowering them to carry the message of eternal life in Christ Jesus to their world, with great demonstrations of the miraculous power of God.
The vision of ISM is teaching, demonstration and impartation. This vision easily rubs off on the students such that on returning to their churches, these ministers find themselves teaching the Word with great conviction and accurate knowledge, demonstrating the character of the Spirit, healing the sick, casting out devils and imparting others with the divine unction. The ISM provides upcoming leaders with the opportunity of being tutored under the ministry of the man of God, Pastor Chris, and imparted with the peculiar anointing at work in his ministry.
Since inception in 2007, the ISM has trained and equipped thousands of ministers from different nations of the world. The lectures at ISM are captivating and inspiring. Students are served a detailed and insightful curriculum of course topics and lectures. The courses have been specially selected to meet the ministerial needs of every minister, from Kingdom Finance, Soul Winning, Structuring for Growth, Introduction to Ministry, the Work of a Pastor, Church Administration, Ministry Gifts, Lay Ministry, Doctrines and many more.
ISM has literally reproduced the same vision of teaching, demonstration and impartation of the Spirit, in the lives of many of her graduated students who are now producing amazing results in their lives and ministries with the Word of God. At the completion of your course at the ISM, a graduation ceremony is conducted for each set and certificate of attendance issued to each student. Everyone is given the opportunity to register to become a member of one of the after-school communities of the ISM – either the ISM Ministers Network (ISMMN) or the ISM Alumni Association (ISMAA).
The world renowned Healing School is a ministry of Pastor Chris which manifests the healing works of Jesus Christ today, and has helped many receive healings and miracles through the gifts of the Spirit in operation. The Healing School takes the divine healing to the nations.
Each year, the Healing School hosts Healing Sessions in Johannesburg, South Africa and Toronto, Canada, where thousands receive their healing and miracles in an atmosphere of faith and the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit.
Visiting ministers from around the world also come to the Healing School through the special Ministers’ Visitation Program, which affords them the opportunity to witness the miraculous works of the Spirit in our day. And the testimonies from the healings are indeed undeniable proof that Jesus Christ still heals today just as he did in the bible days.
Inner City Mission: every child is your child
In 2004, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome made the now famous declaration that ‘every child is your child’, a comment that inspired the establishment of the InnerCity Mission of Christ Embassy. Today the InnerCity Mission for Children is a full-fledged faith-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Consultative Status with the United Nations [UN]; it is under the auspices of the Chris Oyakhilome Foundation and it reaches out to indigent children living in forgotten places the inner cities.
InnerCity Mission is dedicated to breaking the Cycle of Poverty by delivering a sustainable solution to the problem of urban and rural child poverty. We work to give the life of every indigent child a meaning; we want them to forget that they were ever poor and give them a hope and a future.
Driven by the vision of a world in which orphaned, deprived, excluded and vulnerable children in the inner cities live free of poverty and fulfill their God-given potential, thus becoming responsible and self-reliant adults, profitable to the society. Over the years, InnerCity Mission has engaged in various fronts in identifying orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) in families or households, InnerCity community schools and orphanages or related institutions who have become deprived, vulnerable and excluded as a result of poverty.
It also delivers sustainable and participatory interventions to these OVC, their families or households, schools and orphanages or related institutions. Mobilise these families or households, inner city community schools and orphanages or related institutions into a force for change. And promote awareness of the plight or situation of these OVC and the dire social consequences of the society’s neglect in addressing their problems.
The key focus was the slum areas of urban environment and they were easily found in the garbage dump scavenging for a living. This initiative began in 2005 and has grown in impact to include a defined program. It is a recognised registered NGO in Nigeria and other countries as well as a registered resource centre.
A very important impact of ICM is in networking with other organisations of like passion as orphanages, other NGO’s, etc to extend the compassion of Pastor Chris and partners alike. Some of the kids that came to Inner City in 2005 are already in the universities today and they are doing so well showing that environment is everything and if street kids are well taken care of, the society will be a better place.
These children are growing with a different mindset; they understand the power of the word of God and will be great ambassadors tomorrow. They are a new generation of a new nation
Service to the world (Offer 7)
Every December 5, members of Christ Embassy Churches all over the world embark on special charity projects to reach the needy in their environment in commemoration of the birthday of Pastor Chris Oyakhilome. This involves raising money, food stuff, and materials for the needy in the society especially Motherless Babies Homes, old people’s homes and Remand Homes and Prisons. There is no event like it as each church caters for those within its own vicinity.
All over the world, Pastor Chris is impacting a new generation that sees the world differently and are eager to rise to be counted in building a new nation that is showing the world to copy. His influence across the world is expanding at the speed of sound and men and women across racial, ethnic and linguistic divides are all accepting his message, making him one of the most global influencers with the widest reach.
As we celebrate Pastor Chris Oyakhilome today we remember the words of Frederick Buechner who writing in How to Discern Your Calling concluded that “The places God calls you to be is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” We dare say that Pastor Chris is a life worth celebrating.