At the outset of his Apostolic mission, prophet Elijah felt as if everyone in his time was against him. King Ahab and Queen Jezebel reigned during Elijah’s time. And both rulers did more to provoke people’s hatred towards him. For Elijah, delivering his divine mission was difficult, and the situation grim.
There is a Primate Babatunde Elijah Ayodele at this time, who not only shares a name with the biblical Elijah but falls in the same category as the prophet of old, just because he is passionate and sincere about his beliefs. Just as Prophet Elijah of old was hounded for his principles and survived where tens of his likes were unlucky to have had their lives ended, Prophet Elijah’s miraculous victory on Mount Camel is a testament of Primate Ayodele’s success at unraveling some misconceptions about the basics of Christianity.
For Primate Ayodele, the significance and influence of a Christian leader within his community is not based on the size of our church. He relies on the fact that size does not necessarily equal the impact of a God’s ministry or the shepherd. He says the recognition and influence of a church and its minister is dependent on how much love they exude through giving and standing for the truth.
Primate Ayodele epitomizes righteousness, godliness, love, endurance, and kindness. Thus, he is able to positively influence his ministry, INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, and the people God places around his life. Primate Ayodele is acknowledged as a seer of accurate capability, but he lives mostly and breathes charity. This is what gives him great influence in the lives of those around him. He would say; “a prophet’s walk with God and delivering souls are no small matters, but the main thing is to love well, lead well, and serve well through giving, for the glory of God.”
Does Christianity make a difference in the life of people? Primate Ayodele says it does. He says that, since his first encounter with God, he has seen firsthand how, every single day, people cry from lack of basic needs of life. Therefore, he says, it is the responsibility of The Church to make a difference in the life of people, irrespective of faith or tribe, by serving their material and social needs; feed them, heal the sick, shelter the homeless, educate the indigent children. Doing these, he affirms, would help to fortify their faith more in God.
Research shows that, in its 28 years of existence, 80 percent of Ayodele’s INRI church’s activities is dedicated to charitable courses. Of course, there is the spiritual, but Primate Ayodele’s idea is anchored on the premise of charity, maintaining that human beings’ simple needs are food, shelter, stability, and genuine love.
Unlike the charity and free gifts which everyone is bound to accept, Primate Ayodele notes that people are skeptical about prophecy even when they know it originates from God. He says when the prophet seeks to reconcile humanity with God through prophecy, society does not praise such effort or see the prophet as qualified to deliver the message. Not because society is not spiritual or does not recognize a need to obey God’s warnings, he posits, but because humans naturally doubt the truth of prophecy, albeit ignorantly.
He declared; “when we embrace that secret of giving, we can begin to have peace in the world, nay in the Christian ministry. So we will keep going, keep serving the material and social needs of the people. And we will keep leading the worship, keep teaching, praying and keep prophesying. Society will praise some of it, laugh at some of it, and even oppose some of it. But we believe in what Jesus told us to be doing, going into the world and imparting. At the end of our journey, when we look back, we will have made a difference.”
-Folorunsho Hamsat is editor of Global Excellence magazine