Posted by By SEGUN FATUROTI, Ile-Ife on
Pastor (Dr) Odunlani Orioke, a medical doctor, is the General Overseer of Christ Way Church Ministry International, Ile-Ife, Osun State.
Pastor (Dr) Odunlani Orioke, a medical doctor, is the General Overseer of Christ Way Church Ministry International, Ile-Ife, Osun State. The ministry, which started as a body of fellowship 10 years ago, had 90 members then. Today, the ministry has assumed a spiral growth with over 5,000 membership in 35 branches in seven states of the federation.
In an interview with Daily Sun, the soft-spoken pastor spoke on the secret behind the ministry’s rapid success and other spiritual matters.
Gains of this year’s convention
We thank God that what we had in mind for every individual was successfully communicated to them, and that is, people living consistently under the Holy Spirit. With this, we believe our people will be able to face life challenges and overcome every obstacle, be of good influence to people around them and continue to live their life for God.
The theme of the convention
As we all know, our convention theme this year is "Fresh Fire." The theme is informed by the fact that it was God Himself that impressed it upon our heart that we should keep people under the influence of the Holy Spirit of God. Of course, we knew that through fervent prayer. The fires of the Holy Ghost will keep us fit and alive at all times and it is our spiritual responsibilities to see that the fire in us is always rekindled so that it does not burn out. In the life of every Christian, fresh fire is very important. We need it for our continual spiritual growth.
Success story of the ministry
We started this church about 11 years ago. Today, we have members close to 5,000 in 35 branches in seven states of the country. I think I just have to appreciate the fact that there is peaceful co-existence among the leaders. We work together, in peace and harmony and there is mutual respect among us. And so it is among the members too – obedience, respect, love and Godliness are their watchword. So, there is peace in the house and invariably, there is progress. We also pray a lot and God answers our prayers. In a nut shell, the ministry has been successful because Almighty God is really with us.
Limitations of the ministry
The major limitation of the ministry is finance. In as much as we would have loved to do more than what we have been able to do so far, it is not possible to run faster than our resources, otherwise, we ought to have planted more churches and embark on some other spiritual assignments. However, our joy is that the little we have is always prudently utilised through God’s direction and wisdom and to His glory.
The challenges ahead are in tahe word of Jesus. He says, "Go ye into the world and make disciples of all nations". What is in our mind is to influence the whole world so that when people are influenced by the words of God, our nation shall be a better nation.
Church and crime
That the church should go into the world is the command of Jesus Christ. Jesus commanded us to go into the world to preach the gospel but unfortunately, some churches have refused to obey the command. We are supposed to go to the heathens, to the prisons, to the hospitals, to the market places and to everywhere. Truly, if one is careless, the world will go their own way and not in God’s way. When that happens, the world will suffer because as our Bible tells us, it is only righteousness that can exalt a nation. That is why the church must not sit on the fence because it is spiritually dangerous.
A perfect church?
There may be no perfect system in this world. To have a perfect church you have to have some people locked up inside the church and train them day in day out how to be holy. But I am afraid that is neither feasible nor practicable. In view of that, my own perception of a perfect church is this: a church that is obeying the commands of Jesus Christ; a dynamic church that understands the commission of Jesus Christ and is truly committed to it.
My friends led me to Jesus Christ. I never thought seriously about God until I had some problems. As a matter of fact, the Godliness in my friends’ life really influenced me and I decided to follow their footsteps. I was a student at the University of Ibadan where I was reading Medicine. By the time I was three years old in the Lord, it was impressed upon my heart that I should go to spread the gospel. The academic life was very easy for me by the grace of God, so I didn’t have much problem. By the time I finished, I was working at Ilesa and the Church of the Lord there under the leadership of Bishop Olajide invited me to evangelical work in the villages and that made the grace of God to grow tremendously in my life.
When I came to Ile-Ife, I led an existing body of believers in the hospital which was called Hospital Christian Fellowship. We were not more than 12 people then and we used to meet on fellowship days. In 1983, I became the leader of the group and the group grew very fast. Within four years, it had grown almost 20 times until it became a church in 1992 with only 90 members. Today, the church members are over 5,000. Sincerely, the experience has been very interesting. I have been lucky to work as a leader in the midst of honest and dedicated people who show a lot of love and understanding. So, I make bold to say my own head that wears the crown is not an uneasy head. If I come back to this life again I will like to live my life the same way; to be among this same set of people.
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