Sunday, July 1, 2007
It’s Africa’s Time!
Just the theme alone made one not want to miss out.
The excitement was palpable.
Most of us had been following the two men’s teachings on several television channels.
Call these men Flamboyant, Charismatic, Prosperity or even Clairvoyant Preachers, they draw the crowds.
Put these two men of God together at one conference and you have a dynamic synergy.
The venue was the Five Star Sarova WhiteSands Beach Hotel – Mombasa’s finest. The event was the Business People and Professionals Dinner organized by the Mombasa Pastor’s Fellowship and host Doctor Wilfred Lai of JCC (Jesus Celebration Centre) as a welcome for the two visiting preachers.
Though the cards were going for two thousand Kenya Shillings, they were sold out by Thursday the 14th of June the day of the dinner.
Approximately two thousand people attended the dinner.
Pastors, Doctors, Professors, Bishops, Administrators, Business Men and Women, Teachers. Stay-at-Home moms. Marketers. Finance Officers.
The list was endless. Some had even arrived from neighboring countries which were not on the jet-setting globe-trotting Pastors three-city tour itinerary.
Pastor Randy Morrison and Doctor Mensa Otabil had just arrived from Nairobi to Mombasa and would head on to Dar Es Salaam.
A couple of weeks back they had been holding a joint empowerment conference in Minneasota, USA at Pastor Randy’s Church ‘Speak the Word Church International’.
Ten years ago the two men realizing they had a common burden for Africa’s empowerment, joined forces and the result is this motivational and spiritually formidable duo.
Most Pastors in Mombasa concurred that holding such a dinner would encourage those who would otherwise not attend church to at least come and listen at a dinner.
Mombasa has been witnessing a burgeoning middle class attracted to Pentecostal Churches for their lively praise and worship and the emphasis on the almost supernatural that chimes with indigenous religion and teaching that often more than not promises riches in exchange for piety.
We were told we were here this evening to learn to give sacrificially, both by using our talents, financially and spiritually and God will bless us.
Doctor Mensa Otabil: Educator, Statesman and motivator par excellence.
Some of his topics this year have included: ‘A touch from God will change your life forever,’ ‘Pathway to success,’ ‘God has invested in us,’ ‘Respect the rights of other people,’ ‘Why change is necessary for growth,’ ‘Fight the Good Fight – Life is not a destination, it’s a journey’.
Kenyans have been following his teachings on Nation TV on Saturdays and Sunday mornings back to back with Pastor Randy Morrison’s ‘Common Sense Approach’ that also airs on Family/TBN in the evenings as people do not want to miss out on this series (His book by the same title is a page-turner)
Strangely Doctos Otabil’s name to me almost sounds like the Swahili word Utabir or Utabiri, that is to “forecast.” Maybe a sign of things to come.
He has already authored a book ‘Buy the Future’ That is as gripping as the title suggests. Yet the finds time to supervise his youngest daughter’s (who is in primary school) homework everyday!
Fundamental Principles of Wealth Creation
We were reassured right from the onset that we were not here for a Business pep talk and we were not disappointed.
The Preachers shared on this sometimes albeit controversial topic among Christians.
Doctor Otabil was the first on the podium and his opening statement was that if one doesn’t have wealth, you need to know how to want it, and if it’s not yours, you have to find out how to get it.
On the other hand if you have it, you need to learn how to share it!
As he gave an example of how he started his Church in Ghana ‘International Central Gospel Church’ from a classroom with twenty people and today he is an overseer of a couple of hundred Churches, a Chancellor of Central University College the leading private university in Ghana, he runs his own Consultancy, an Advertising and Marketing firm, he is the Chairman of a Pharmaceutical company, he owns an IT company and has his fingers into Real Estate.
As an anecdote on wasted talent, tongue in cheek he gave the example of ‘Lion King’ the animated adaptation from Warner Bros that became a box office hit, yet it is based in Kenya featuring ‘Simba,’ ‘Rafiki’ the friendly lion and his friends. Our slogan Hakuna Matata used in the movie earned others millions of dollars. Just because we were busy telling folk tales (not that it is bad) and we let the West tell our stories yet again.
Though we had already had our five course dinner, this profound statement whetted our appetite for information and knowledge.
He based his teachings on Deuteronomy 8:18 “…It is the Lord our God who gives us power to get wealth…”
He posed the question that if wealth is evil then can God really give it to us?
We learnt that :
1) Power: The skill and ability required to execute an assignment.
2) Wealth: A great quantity or store of money, valuable possessions, property or other riches.
3) Create: To cause to come into being as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes.
He challenged us that in the Bible right from the very beginning our first encounter with God, is that of a working God. He CREATED first.
He worked productively and was actively involved in getting things done.
In today’s world, God would be referred to as a workaholic!
To create wealth is to use one’s own thoughts or imagination to work in order to bring something unique into this world.
The following is the recipe for wealth creation.
To Create Wealth, One Must:
i. Solve somebody’s problem.
ii. Provide solutions that people are ready to pay you for.
iii. Solve problems of as many people as possible.
His other statement was that there is an abundance of problems in this world and that we need to look for these problems and solve them, and that will be wealth creation.
Doctor Mensa Otabil’s line of thought was that there are two kinds of builders:
? Those who build their lives on their strengths (This kind operates on more giving of what they have)
? Those who build their lives managing their weakness.
He said that in life he has learnt that when you become aware of your strength, you forget your weakness.
It is crucial that we live our lives on our strengths, and that if we are going to create wealth, we have to be aware/focus on our strengths.
Position yourself to be a master at what you do.
The two Preachers concurred that wealth is created on the basis of our strength.
We thus need to:
1) Identify our unique talent:
Talent is a recurring pattern of thought, feeling or behavior that can be productively applied.
Talent is not an action first and foremost, but a way of thinking.
Our uniqueness is our strength. Nobody can ignore you if you are unique.
It is that difference that makes you strong.
2) Acquire relevant Knowledge:
Relevant to your unique talents (Get all the facts and lessons that can be learnt)
3) Develop Skill:
Doctor Otabil defined skill as ‘Formalized steps of an activity. Consistency’
Skill helps you to predict and repeat success.
His conclusion on skill was that once you have it, you can maneuver success under any circumstance.
Talent Discovering and Development:
‘’When Land was the scarce resource, nations battled over it. The same is happening now for talented people.’’
Stan Davis & Christopher Meyer from ‘FutureWEALTH
Doctor Mensa Otabil referred to the above quote as he engaged us on talk of the brain drain affecting Africa.
He said that intellectual talent doesn’t need to physically move. You can package it and sell it all over the world, and that’s where we need to get.
Challenges of Talent Discovery and Development:
Matthew 25: 24-25 was his choice scripture.
You just need one unique talent and you can go very far.
? Fear, failure and mistrust of society.
? Conforming to the dominant attitudes of our society.
? Intimidation by the achievement of others.
? Over-dependence on other people or systems for help.
Four Key Factors Needed for Wealth Creation:
1) Innovation – Ability to think and do new things.
2) Depth – Ability to reach beyond surface and function on a larger scale.
3) Maneuverability – Ability to move and change quickly with the times.
4) Synergy – Ability to work with others for greater effect.
The more talented you are, the more challenges you have to face.
To create wealth, you must look within and discover your strength, look around you and use that strength creatively.
That way, you are able to release the wealth within you.
Develop your skills and the cash will begin to flow!
Pastor Randy Morrison later on took to the podium and as is usual his testimony of his life made others who may have been complacent with their talents want to reach for the stars.
He told us that we were looking at a person whom teachers told that he would amount to nothing.
His mother had him when she was sixteen and was kicked out by her family.
He never knew his father.
At one time they slept on the streets and lived in abject poverty.
He narrated on how he vowed to break the generational vicious cycle of poverty that afflicted his family. He moved to America more than thirty years ago and started his ‘Speak the Word Church’ with six people only.
Today he preaches to millions of viewers world-wide via TV daily.
Pastor Randy Morrison said that his friendship with Doctor Mensa Itabil started ten years ago on their deep concern for Africa and premise that they need to change our continent together for the better.
He told us that David only had a sling in his hand and a stone to fight Goliath with. Moses had a Rod in his hand to confront Pharaoh with.
In his simple, easy and laid back manner which endears him to the crowd he asked the professionals attending the dinner what they had.
He told them that this night was for us to talk about talent.
His enthusiasm, expectation and anticipation is contagious.
He reminded us of his motto ‘You don’t need money, you need a dream!’
What more than Proverbs 13:23 ‘’…a poor man’s field may produce abundant food, but injustice sweeps it away.’’ To motivate a person?
No matter what. Hold your head up high and soldier on.
Pastor Randy told us he has a favorite mantra ‘’If its gotta be, its gotta be me.’’
He reminded us that God introduced himself to us a working God and not a Spiritual Guru.
God will work with what you have.
Pastor Randy Morrison said that he didn’t do too well at school because he was constantly castigated for talking too much.
Little did his teachers know that it was his talent!
He says he can motivate anything!
He said “Kenyans! I know you export tea. I love your tea! But lets do more than that!’’
We need to have a concept of what wealth is all about.
God was a workaholic who worked for six days round the clock.
We need to release the power within us.
The two visiting Pastors had sessions of Pastors and Church Leaders meetings at MPC (Mombasa Pentecostal Church) for two consecutive days on mornings of Friday 15th and Saturday 16th.
More than six hundred Pastors in attendance.
And the main topic was ‘Church Growth.’
Pastor Randy Morrison continued with his teachings when he shared at the evening revival meetings at JCC on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th.
‘’Today is the beginning of the rest of Your Life!’’
Thus he began in his characteristic flamboyant yet confident style.
Like a man who has experienced the touch of God and wants others to savor the experience too.
His empathizing attitude endears him to the congregation.
He attracts even the most diehard person who does not believe in God or Jesus.
The presence of the Holy Spirit was evident.
His first portion of scripture was 2nd Corinthians 4:16 ‘’…therefore we do not loose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.’’
His Empowerment and Prosperity message held special resonance for the faithful thirsting for encouragement.
Information brings transformation he told the congregation.
The Bible is a blueprint. Once you know how to read it, you’ll be successful in life.
Most of us are obsessed with the natural world that’s why we have a daily struggle between the outward man and inward man.
We are unique individuals.
Pastor Randy said that when he talks of Spiritual, he’s not talking about one being religious.
God created man and told him ‘’be!’’
Religion is what is causing problems in the world today.
People who say they are religious are hurting one another.
That is why we need to get rid of religion and get a relationship with God.
We were reminded that any problem we have is temporary.
Everything in this world is subject to change.
The Eternal one is unchangeable.
Pastor Randy said that when God saw darkness, he did not just sit there and do nothing and live with the darkness.
He did something about it.
We need to quit agreeing with the industrial world that says we are the third world. Which is the first world? (He posed dramatically to a charged congregation)
We need to get rid of that stigma.
God put everything Adam would need in him. And so it is with you and me.
We need to rise and start using what God has put in us as a deposit.
Our senses keep us limited to our situations and we let them!
Many of us believers do not know our identity in Jesus Christ.
Once he knew his identity in Jesus, Pastor Randy Morrison went on to owning a TV station in his hometown and tongue in cheek hopes that the teacher who told him that he would amount to nothing watches that station.
We allow others to give the opinion on us.
Everything we need is already in us.
Pastor Morrision thanks God for natural knowledge, but says that we can’t rely only on natural knowledge.
To expound further, he used Mathew 16:13 ‘’…and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’’
Some things one must know by themselves.
We need to remember that the outward man perishes, but the inward man is renewed day by day.
All we need is one revelation from God and our lives are changed and turned around.
If we read the Bible, it will transform our lives.
One can’t survive with the knowledge we get as a human being.
He went on to 1st Corinthians 2:9 ‘’…no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him, but is revealed to us by his Spirit…’’
We need revelation knowledge.
It is knowledge you can’t get through human senses.
It is revealed by the Spirit of God.
Pastor Randy incessantly said that he was talking not on religion, but on a relationship with God, so that we may get the point!
“You don’t have to die in the place you were born.” He shouted.
He told us that when he was in stippled poverty with his momma, he asked himself a question.
“If it can work with salvation, why not with the rest of my life?’’
He told us that we changed our perceptions when we got saved.
Now we need to learn to tackle our problems!
Most of us react typically like the children of Israel in Numbers 14.
They had been released from bondage, but at the slightest sign of trouble, they wanted to turn back!
Pastor Randy Morrison who most people perceive not to preach down at them, but empathize with them, told us:
‘’You need to move from ‘’enough’’ to ‘’more than enough’’
Many a times God says that we can have something, but we allow the crisis of our lives many times to keep us from moving on.
Every problem we have is temporary.
Pastor Randy convinces you to believe. He preaches with a fervor that can only come from experiencing what he is talking about.
An example is doubt.
He said that we doubt because we have not experienced God in that particular area of our lives.
How to counter doubt:
? Always remember what God did for you in the past.
? Never let where you are to be your reference point.
? Do not hold onto the past if you want to get hold of the possibility of the future.
? You have outlived whatever might have happened to you in the past.
? History repeats itself when we do not learn from it!
? Your future is bright – all you need to do is move towards it.
? God wants us to move towards revelation knowledge.
? Change is the only constant.
? To move from where you are you have to change. You have to move not only physically, but mentally.
We tie ourselves to our conditions.
You can be in trouble, but trouble doesn’t have to be in you!
Especially in conditions of poverty.
Whenever you want to move in life, you need to change your mentality.
Stop the consumer mentality mindset and start thinking of investments.
You will never conquer failure if you keep staring at it!
If we are not seeing changes in our lives it is because we are not moving.
He reminded Isaiah 43:18 ‘’….forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?’’
The American Preacher said that he was here to tell us to stop being preoccupied with our pasts. You must discover what is ahead of you.
Refuse generational burdens. Though you may give reasons, you have no excuse to remain as you are.
Your excuses eliminate your responsibility.
He drove the congregation into a frenzy.
If you don’t get rid of your excuses, you will never attempt to face the future!
Failure to forget your past experiences can be the stumbling block towards your future.
He simply told us to empower ourselves by understanding our values and take responsibility and START TO READ! Get information and be empowered.
Rise on the inside and start rising mentally.
Embrace your dream and dare to step out.
We need to take responsibility and move towards our future.
It doesn’t matter what happens to us, but our response to it.
Mindsets create conditions – we need to change our mindsets.
You may be sitting on the outside and you are oppressed maybe due to conditions at your work places – stand up on the inside and do not let your self be intimidated.
Poverty is unnecessary!
God doesn’t want you to be poor and ashamed. He wants you driving your own new car and living in your own house.
He closed with the reminder that one’s perception is not the reality that God wants you to have.
The presence of the Holy Spirit was indescribable – even the non-believers were touched and on both days saw several people giving their lives to Christ.
Most people said they welcome back Pastor Randy Morrison too Mombasa because he has visionary leadership
I have not seen such an empowerment sermon since Bishop TD Jakes was in Nairobi a couple of years back and told Kenyans that some of us would continue to pray for rain as business opportunities passed us by.