INTERVIEW! Ministry is not money making machine- Pastor Bandele, former General Superintendent, CAC Worldwide

Pastor Paul Bandele

A former General Superintendent of Christ Apostolic Church, Worldwide, Pastor Paul Bandele spoke with ‘Gbenga Bankole on what has been keeping him busy, the ongoing peace moves in the church and other interesting issues. EXCERPTS!  

 How has life been with you since you retired?

I thank God for everything because life has been so good and nice. The authorities of CAC Worldwide have also made life after retirement easy for us retirees. Gone are the days when retirees used to suffer in CAC due to the fact that there was no money to take care of them. But now the church authorities have solid arrangement for retirees and that does not allow me to suffer. They have arrangement in terms of remuneration so that we can feed our families. 

God has also been helping me in all ways. Those who love me used to visit me and bless me financially and materially. Wherever I worship on Sundays, they usually bless me financially. So far life has been so nice.

 How have you been keeping yourself busy?

Well, on daily basis after my breakfast I used to go to my chapel. I will read my Bible, sing from the hymn book and pray. In the evening I used to either jog or stroll for about two miles.  On Sundays I worship at CAC Agbala Itura because it is very close to me. 

While in office as the General Superintendent of CAC Worldwide, what was your greatest achievement?

The achievement I can talk about is not my effort alone. It was a collective effort. The President, the General Evangelist, General Secretary, Finance Director and all the members of staff of the church were all involved. It is not about me alone. We thank God it was during that time “All Saints Chapel” was built. It was also during my time that Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU) started. That was why I said it is not one man’s job, but a joint achievement. Where there is cooperation, there will always be progress. I had a smooth working relationship with the President and all other officers of the church.

Pastor&Mrs. Bandele

 You retired from the church’s services close to a decade ago, are you pleased with the way the church (CAC) is today?

I am really happy for the progress of the church since I left the office. There have been tremendous development in all aspects and I can say I am well satisfied. God is helping the present officers of the church and the church is developing. I usually praise God whenever I go to the General Secretariat or JABU because of the development there.

At times I used to imagine that the same CAC that couldn’t afford to pay the house rent of her President some years ago has suddenly experienced a positive turnaround. God is really doing great things through the present officers of the church.

 Can you comment on the peace and reconciliation going on in the church today?

I am so happy with the peace and reconciliation going on. I tried my best while in office regarding the unification of the church. There was a time the authorities of the church selected ten people from General Executive Council and the Supreme Council also selected their own ten members to form a committee and find a way to bring an end to the crisis. I was made the chairman of the committee. We held about 34 meetings. At last some people from the other side destroyed the whole thing. We had gone far with our plan to the extent of planning to hold a joint service at Ikeji. We had gotten a date and planned everything, but when it was four days to hold the service the then President of the Supreme Council said he won’t come. He said that he saw that if he came he would have an accident and die. That was how everything regarding the reconciliation subsided.

Now that the church is embracing peace particularly with the Joint National Youth Conference, I am really happy because it is what I have been praying for. I will be happy if it will happen during my life time.

What is your message to the members of the present reconciliation committee?

I want to appeal to them that they should have one mind and one goal. During the time of the committee that I chaired, some of the committee members particularly from the Supreme Council were double minded. If they say yes today, by tomorrow they will change the yes to no. If we agree on a point today, by the next meeting they will come with a letter attacking our agreement.

The new reconciliation committee should have one mind. It is that one mind that can help us. When I was the chairman of the reconciliation committee we had gotten to a stage whereby we prepared a communiqué which was signed by leaders of both factions that we were going to have a unity service. But later some of them pulled out that they were not going to agree. They were not in support of retirement of Pastors due to the fact that retirees then were suffering. They were saying that if they retired what would they eat? Who would be feeding them? We thank God that there is a lot of improvement from the GEC for their retirees.

The committee should do the assignment with one mind of unity.

The state of Christianity today has been described as lukewarm by a commentator. Do you share this view?

It is true. Majority of Christians of today are just after their own ideas. If God calls some people today what they will be thinking about is how to build their own empires. It was not so during the time of our fathers.
Before I became the General Superintendent I built many churches and once I left that area I won’t go there again. This is because I built the church for the progress of the work of God. Some of the ministers of God in this generation either in or outside CAC are after self interest.  They are working for their bellies and empires. That makes Christianity to bring lukewarmness to the society.

What is the solution sir?

The solution is for us to pray that God should intervene. Don’t forget when Jesus was going he said that "when I come back will I meet faith on earth?" The lukewarmness is one of the signs that Jesus will soon come. All ministers should do the ministry according to what Jesus Christ wants. These days ministers are doing it according to their own will.

 As a father and minister of many ministers, what is your advice to young ministers of today?

My advice to young ministers is that they should know the God who called them. They should know who they are working for. There are ministers who started in a day and they want to achieve same thing ministers who started 30 years ago have achieved in a day. They only run after titles. They want to have cars like other Pastors without knowing the sacrifice those Pastors have made.

Young ministers should have the mind of Jesus Christ. They should humble themselves and let God use them. I used to tell people that when God called me I didn’t ask him if he will make me a Pastor, District Superintendent or General Superintendent. What God told me was that I should follow him and he will make me a fisher of men. Every minister should borrow a leaf from that. They should follow Him and whatever he makes them they should be contented.

 The youths of this generation in CAC Worldwide are finding it difficult to follow the legacies of the forefathers of the church, particularly regarding the way they dress. What is your message to them?

I want the youths of these days to know that the same Kingdom of God that the old saints went to is the same kingdom of God we are all going. It is the same path the old saints followed we must all follow, if they fail to do so, they are going nowhere.  Some people are on the way to hell while thinking they are on the way to heaven. The youth of this day should have a rethink and go back to the old path.

 Many people have expressed fear that the federal government is working secretly to foist an Islamic agenda on the nation, Nigeria. Do you share this view?

We just need to pray. With our prayers we can cancel any hidden agenda anyone has for Nigeria. If it is the hidden agenda that will bring good for Nigeria, God will allow it. My personal prayer for Nigeria on daily basis is that the will of God should be done. The flag of the gospel should be flying. I am so sure that by God’s grace the gospel will overcome. There is no darkness that can overcome the gospel.

 Welfare of workers or members of staff in any organization is very important. In CAC, there are some assemblies that don’t take care of their Ministers. There are Ministers who are struggling financially. They can’t sponsor their children to the school of their choices.  As one of the past leaders of the church, what is your message to the church authority regarding the welfare of ministers?

The low salary issue is not in the hands of the church, but the minister himself. The rate at which a farmer works, will determine his income or profit. If a farmer decides to take his work with levity, he will see the consequences.

I could remember when I started the ministry in 1958, the authority said I would be given 5 pounds, that was N10 then. The 5 pounds was divided among three churches I was supervising. I sat down and divided the money into three and informed everyone of them that if I didn’t come to their assembly they shouldn’t pay me. I began to work tirelessly and to God be the glory the churches started developing.

Ministers should not do the work because of money. There was a time I was posted from Oshogbo to Efon, when I got there, they told me that they don’t have money like Oshogbo. At Oshogbo I was being paid N17,000 on monthly basis. The people of Efon said they can’t pay more than N9,000. When they called me to a meeting and informed me I told them N9,000 is too much. They paid the N9,000 in the first and second month, I didn’t grudge, but continued my work. In the third month they raised my salary to N20,000. Ministry is not about money.

I was one of the disciples of Apostle Babalola and one of the things he told us was that as a minister if you are receiving one naira as your salary, you must know that your salary is actually three naira. This is because one is being given to you as money, one part is the respect people accorded to God in your life and the third one is being saved for you in heaven. So from that time if I was given N10,000 as my salary, I multiply it by three which is N30,000. Ministers should not rely on money. They should not curse or be weeping on the church because of money. God will surely provide for them, they should just work with clean mind.

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