Uma Ukpai, President and founder of Uma Ukpai Evangelistic Association was in a recent interview with reporters from Daily Independent speaking on issues bothering on Christianity.
In response to one of the questions asked, Dr. Ukpai told his interviewers the church is simply a business entity with an aim to make profit and no poor pastor was called by God.
Read excerpts from the interview:
Most people, after graduating from school and there is no job, they resort to starting a church even when they don’t have a call in that direction. You said we do not have enough churches in Nigeria. Would you say these people are contributing to establishing enough churches or are just doing business?
You are speaking from a position of ignorance. Jesus calls church business. He said, “I am about my father’s business.” He called church work business and what is business? Business is investment plus gain, minus loss. In church planting, no pastor can collect offering without giving account and survive. Every church has elders and the job of the elders is to make sure that account is given; it is not even publicly but given internally but the account must be given. Church is all about investment and the gain they make is not in money but in people; that is the gain they make. People also can be called money because for instance, if a pastor’s ministry can cause 20 women to get pregnant; those women will not forget the pastor. If a pastor’s ministry can produce one of the richest 10 men in the country, those men will not forget the man who made them what they are. When you are into ministry and you have what we call anointing, you have become profitable; you begin to touch lives; you begin to bless people; you begin to change the stories of families and your own story will change also because the man that waters others shall be watered by God. There is so much misinformation about the church. It is not all about money. If your pastor has anointing that can make the blind see, cripples walk, leprosy to disappear, that pastor is in money.
For example in this my ministry, I am not paid and I’m not on allowance, but I don’t look for money; money looks for me. Even the polytechnic I am building, I asked everybody not to contribute one kobo towards it. It is between me and God; God has to bring that money and God has brought more than I need. So a pastor’s job is not about collecting money. It is about helping the sick to get well; helping the poor to prosper; helping the barren to have children; in fact, helping those who have only girls to have boys, which is very important to Nigerian women. And once a man can do all these things, you will have more money than you can spend. People are looking at it from the wrong angle. At the PFN conference, do you know I gave too much money that they gave me back N10 million. I gave so much money that the organisers came and said ‘you are giving too much; take back N10 million.’
In this ministry, I have been here for over 40 years; I have never been given even allowance of N1 because I don’t need it. People call me and say we are bringing you six jeeps because the last time you prayed for us, God prospered us. One of them, my wife said to them, ‘don’t give this man jeep again because we don’t have a place to pack jeeps in our compound.’ And the man said; ‘push those ones away and receive my own because the last time I gave him jeep, God gave me ideas on how to create wealth and I now have refineries in Cameroon, Scotland and Nigeria and I want to give him more so that God will promote me more.’ Such a man, does he need a salary or allowance? No! Because people he has blessed want to bless him. Like I said, do you know that women want children so badly that if through you, 20 mothers, like this morning, the first person that woke me up brought food and said ‘your ministry has changed me and I thought of how to thank you. I cooked for you.’ Do you know that the food was so much that 10 people could not finish it? In my village, during Christmas, I receive more than 17 cows from people who said; ‘the last time you prayed for us, our stories changed.’ I and my family cannot finish these cows so we give out these cows to people and people think I am too rich that I give cows as Christmas gifts. The only man you can worry about is a man who has no anointing; a man who God has rejected; a pastor who God has not approved what he is doing. God does not bless what he does not approve. If God approves what a pastor is doing, he will have more money than he can spend. I am an example.