Nigerians questioning the role of the church in society have been provided with wide-ranging answers by a new church, Givers Embassy Church, which will be opening its Lagos worship center at the NUT Pavilion, Alausa, Ikeja.
The General Overseer, Givers Embassy Church Dr Edward Olutoke has decided to change the narrative.
He has debunked the general belief that giving tithe or offering is an injunction that, if not observed, attracts God’s wrath.
For ages, Nigerians have been made to believe that the only way to gaining God’s trust, confidence and acceptance was through offerings and tithes.
Worshipers in Nigerian churches give freely while contributing to the growth and development of churches.
However, instead of taking care of the flock, church leaders live off the proceeds of the church that come in form of tithes, levies, sowing of seeds, harvest bazaars and other schemes that tend to demand and extract so much from their congregations.
At Givers Embassy Church, Dr Olutoke said “in our church, there is no giving of tithes or collection of offerings.
The church is out to fill the spiritual needs of members, offer help to them by empowering them and avoiding the general practice of Pastors taking away from their congregation to live in affluence while majority of their members wallow in poverty.
“At Givers Embassy, we believe in redefining the traditional concept of church, embracing a holistic approach that addresses the spiritual, emotional, and practical needs of our congregation.”
Speaking at a press conference at the Church’s Opebi, Lagos office, Dr Olutoke said, “Our vision is simple yet powerful: to be a beacon of light and hope in the lives of individuals and communities.
We strive to create an atmosphere where people can experience spiritual growth, find purpose, and unlock their full potential. Our ultimate goal is to make a positive impact on society by empowering individuals to live meaningful, fulfilled lives.”
To achieve its mission, the church has put in place an Employment Academy under what it calls “the poverty fighting squad’. The academy will identify unemployed but trainable congregants, engage them gainfully, train and support them financially to pursue their various callings. “The church will be paying them, while they go through the training,” Olutoke emphasised.
“The church’s distinctive approach to worship underscores the importance of giving back to society while relieving its members from the burden of compulsory tithes and offerings, just as he noted that the church stands on the divine tripod of three scriptures namely; Isaiah 43.21, Luke 4.18 and John 14.26.
Olutoke praised the works of early missionaries and their commitment to bettering the lives of the communities around them.
“When one looks back, one will discover that early missionaries built schools and hospitals which the poor masses had access to but unfortunately, today, schools and hospitals owned by different churches are out of the reach of their poor members whose offerings and tithes were used to establish these facilities.”
He concluded, “Today, you’ll see a lot of Pastors buying private jets with fleets of cars in their garages while their members wallow in poverty and this is what Givers Embassy is out to correct”,
Apart from the urge to stop the reckless and sometimes insensitive exhibition.