General Overseer, Calvary Bible Church, Pastor Olumide Emmanuel, popularly known as a motivational speaker is a man of multiple grace. He is a Bible scholar, a role model and a creative thinker. Speaking with ENCOMIUM Weekly, the leadership developer and counselor told us how the journey started and the four keys to all round success.
How would you describe your ministry journey so far?
The journey has been an adventure because I got born again as a teenager and became a pastor at 21. So, throughout my adult life I have been a minister of the gospel for three decades. It’s been an adventure of getting to know God, understand myself and life. But through it all it’s been worth the journey.
What inspired your ministry?
Like I said, I got born again as a teenager on campus and all through the campus period I was living for God. I graduated; came to Lagos and started working in the church, doing the things of God. From there, I was ordained by the pastor at 21 to assist the pastors in that church and later, I was called by God to start my own ministry in 1995.
So, the inspiration of the ministry was for God to raise His people, and teach. I am primarily a teacher to connect people with God, with their destiny and make heaven.
Can you tell us the challenges so far?
Numerous. When I was 21, I was ordained as a pastor but at 24, I was already a general overseer so I was young and poor. I was not looking this good (present stage). So, the first challenge was that I was very young, people probably felt he is just a jobless man that doesn’t want to finish school so I had that initial challenge.
The second one was you are single, you are just an irresponsible boy.
Number 3 was finance because I was only working in the ministry.
Number 4 was the challenge of people, like I said, I was young and last our environment.
In trying to build or develop anything in this world, you must go through challenges. So, it’s not over, we are still going through a lot but through it all God has been faithful.
What are the pains and gains of being a minister?
I will not say there are pains but I will say there are challenges because you need to go through pain, pain is necessary for life. What we call pain most of the time is just a process. For instance, you go to the salon to barb your hair; the clipper must be painful.
To shave your hair; it must be painful. So, pain is normal, it’s part of the process people go through. The challenges over the years have been people, money, enemy and the environment. While the gain is that you are fulfilled because you are doing what God has called you to do. The most joyful part of the job is to see lives changed. It’s so exciting when you see people change.
For instance, I started our church in 1995, so looking back you will see people that came, they were jobless, wifeless, childless, houseless and vision-less but now you see them with their wives and children and their own businesses.
People will say God don change this man o. You will see people that were confused. You will hear testimonies of people that were on drugs, prostitutes and now they are married with children. People that were jobless are now employers. It’s really good to be a blessing to others.
Those are the gains; to see a changed life and of course, if you help people to get what they want, you are blessed because people were blessed through you, so it’s been worth the journey.
So what’s the secret of your success?
Success can only be defined by God not man. So, most of the time what we call success is just progress. But whether we are successful or not it’s only God that can determine that. If you study your Bible you will discover in (Joshua 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13) how Joshua conquered countries, cities, kings and territories and how God told him he had more land to conquer.
So only God can define success. You may look at me and say, this man is successful but God may say he has not even started; he has not even done as much as I expect him to do. But progressively, God has been faithful. I have nine things that I will call the secret of my success. Number one is, my relationship with God. I love God and I don’t compromise my relationship with God. I love what God loves and hate what God hates.
I don’t play with sin. I live my life with integrity and that’s my greatest secret. Number two is, I’m a student for life, I read a lot. I listen to Christian messages, so I’m continually developing myself. Most of the time a lot of people don’t spend time developing themselves.
Number three is my association. I choose my friends, I don’t relate with everybody because whether you like it or not, if you move with the wrong people, they will influence you. So, am careful with the people I move with.
Number four is, I work very hard. I am a very hard working person. You can’t really compromise hard work if you want to become successful. Number five is, I plan well. I set goals to challenge myself so that I can do what I need to do. Also, I have what I call the four keys to all round success – dangerous holiness, dangerous prayer, dangerous giving and dangerous investment.
I am a giver, so, I try to see how I can be a blessing to people because life is all about giving. Those are the things that have helped me over the years.
You are known as a speaker on how to be a millionaire. How has been the journey so far?
I speak more on relationships, finance and leadership. So, on relationships I speak to singles, married people and have got loads of seminars and products along that line. Then I speak about finance and wealth creation just to help people create wealth.
Then I speak about leadership, church leadership and corporate leadership. Those are the three major aspects of what I do. The journey so far has been progressive. What I deal with is something that has taken time.
For instance, from the church angle, a lot of people probably feel you are a pastor why don’t you focus on your church, what’s all this finance seminar stuff. Then people in the world will also think, oh I thought you are a pastor what are you doing here, stay in your church.
So, when you find yourself as an apostle in a market place, you have to go through a lot. Church will judge you, the world will judge you but I know that the church is not the kingdom. The Church is just part of the Kingdom because I’m a Kingdom person. I’m called to be a blessing to my generation whether in church or out of church, so it’s ok. I have been able to empower a lot of people in Church and outside Church.
On the church perspective, I teach people how to strike a balanced understanding of wealth creation from Biblical perspective. I let them know that God wants them to be wealthy and they need to work hard towards it. While from the world’s perspective, I help them to understand that everything they are gathering is all about God and there is a need for that balance.
A lot of people believe that making money is not workable or practicable. What’s your take on that?
The bottomline is, everybody can be rich but not everybody will be rich. Everybody can be wealthy but not everybody will be wealthy. The simple reason is that not everybody will know what they need to know, not everybody will do what they need to do.
The problem is always ignorance and laziness or lack of action. There is knowledge gap between the rich and the poor. The rich know what the poor don’t know. So, those people who think it’s not easy, it’s their ignorance and that’s part of the problem. They need to know what they need to know, only then will they know that it’s easy. Number two is, a mindset gap. People believe there is no money in the country. That mindset is part of the problem. Number three is, a habit gap. A lot of people have developed habits that have made them poor and if they want to become rich they need to develop habits that will make them rich. Number four is, opportunity gap.
A lot of people don’t know how to manage opportunities. Some don’t have enough opportunity as others and that causes a lot of trouble. Number five is, association gap. For people that think it’s not easy; that’s part of the problem, it’s their mindset. It’s their belief and that goes a long way in affecting them, in determining whether they will become what they need to become or not.
So, I know it’s not easy but I believe it’s possible because if you believe it’s easy, then it will be easy. People need to work hard, they need to work smart and in other to do that, they need to know what they need to know and then act.
Most speakers don’t portray the life of a millionaire. Is it true?
You cannot give what you don’t have. I operate in two places. I operate in the church and in the market place. In the church, a poor man can be talking about prosperity because he is speaking by faith, he is preaching the gospel, he is a messenger, and so, he is conveying a message.
But in the world they don’t need messengers, they need models and mentors. So in the church, you can be a poor man and tell them: God can bless you, I want you to know that I may not have money today, but I believe my God.
And then, your body feels excited. There is nothing wrong in that, it can work because you are preaching faith and you are a messenger. But in the world you are not a messenger. They are not looking for messengers, they are looking for models, mentors and achievers.
So, in the world, you can’t start telling people how to become rich when you don’t even have it. They will ask you where your money is. So, people that want to operate in the church operate by faith but in the world they operate by what they see and by facts.
Over the years, people think that by talking rich, they become rich even though they don’t have the money. They go about telling people about becoming rich thinking that by saying it, they become rich. Maybe it works for them, I don’t know. But I believe very strongly from my own experience that in church, we live by faith but in the world, we live and show them the practicality of what can help them.
These questions are funny: are you a millionaire? If yes, how and when did you make your first million?
Of course, I am a millionaire. Making my first million was in 1997 or 1998. One million is not a lot of money, it’s just three-four thousand pounds. So, making a million in Nigeria is not a problem and that happened many, many years ago.
So, tell us about yourself?
I am a pastor, that’s my primary assignment. I am a businessman, father, husband and I run different businesses. We have here the Common Sense Group. It’s a company subsidiaries.
We are involved in all kinds of businesses: real estate, oil and gas, travel and tour, publishing, media, financial management, all kinds of businesses. My major assignment is just to educate people on wisdom for all round success and wisdom to succeed in every area.
That’s what we do. We empower and equip people to succeed and what has worked for me is what I’m using to help people. About 15-16 years ago, I was really frustrated, then I began to find out what it takes to succeed. It was that journey that led me into discovering teaching. And all the things I discovered, I applied in my own life.
So, since it worked for me, I decided it could work for other people. For 15 years, all I have been doing is to show people what has worked for me. A lot of people have tried it and it has worked for them. In six-seven years alone, we have raised over 600 millionaires and also over a thousand people have become land owners. Some have become landlords. We are just empowering people. So, that’s the way it works.