Transactional Christianity: This generation has been deceived!

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Ayo Akerele

Nothing robs the church of power and influence like the love of money.

Financial challenge or family need is not a justification for monetising the gospel. There are many things to do to legally earn income to take care of your needs without burdening the body of Christ. I must not be expensive for God to afford! You really don’t have any idea of how much some of us suffered while growing up in Christ. Those were days we would stay inside mosquito infested places to pray all night. There was no social media. No mobile phone. No money. There was no job to do.

“How did my generation serve God without monetising our efforts, despite our problems? We were madly in love with God! And God blessed us so much. There is not one single friend of mine with whom we served God in the 80s and 90s so sacrificially who is not a high flier today. God is ever faithful. Sadly, you can hardly find anyone to do anything again for free”. It is a completely monetised Christian generation!

Due to lack of funds, I would sometimes walk kilometres to keep a praise and worship appointment as a keyboardist/bass guitar player, and I would be the first to arrive there, to set up and clean up the place. We were fighting to serve God. In the midst of intense financial crises, we were burning with zeal for God. And the hand of the Lord came upon us. God began to bless the works of our hands. We were getting international scholarships. We were passing our examinations in flying colours. Today, some of the people we did all of these together are now Vice Presidents and Directors of global corporations. Some are world class researchers. Some are pioneering great ministries, winning souls for Christ. I meet with some of them in Europe and America, and sometimes I feel like crying when I see how God has blessed and rewarded them for their years of faithful service. Some are in Africa, and are breaking so much grounds for God. Please note: I do not mean to say that faithfulness to God will automatically turn you into a billionaire or to a rich man, but you will be blessed. You will and can never end up as a failure in life. God will take care of you! Take this to the bank.

But this generation has been deceived. You have been deceived by those who tell you that because of your personal needs, everything you do for God and for others must be paid for. Note the key words, “everything” and “anything”. I am not saying that we must not be paid for our professional services within an occupational context. I am speaking about the gospel here; the preaching of the gospel. We have reduced the gospel to a caricature. According to Leonard Ravenhill, “for the early Apostles, it is after they have “PRAYED” that places are shaken. For our generation, it is after we have “PAID” that places are taken”. Consequently, each generation continues to hand over the baton of monetised gospel to the next, effectively killing the passion for genuine and heart-felt service to God and humanity, from generation to generation.

How much money will anyone pay me in the 1980s and 1990s for serving God, compared with what God has done for me and through me today? Let us go back to true stewardship. Let us lay a new foundation of faithfulness and commitment for the coming generation. No cultural changes or societal pressure can invalidate the scriptures, “a faithful man will always abound with blessings” (Proverbs 28:20), whether that faithful man is a pastor or an engineer or a nurse. Your calling in life is immaterial. You will be blessed if you are faithful, not if you are transactional. The earthly work of a lot of Christians will be burnt off on the day of judgement because most of what they did on earth were rooted in the love of money. May your work on earth not be wasted in eternity.

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