Victor Olubusola Joel, a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in the United Kingdom, has said pastors’ regular mention of money discourages whites from being members of Nigerian churches.
In an interview with Church Times, Joel, also a former journalist, stated that although white churches also talk about money, Nigerians’ was excessive.
Joel added that Nigerian churches also make so much noise and are often perceived as violent in the conduct of spiritual activities.
“I think it’s because of our attitude and the fact that we make too much noise in the black churches. The average white man can shout on the football field, but when it comes to church, they don’t want the kind of decibel. They believe we should speak to communicate not shout,” he said.
“Africans, especially Nigerians, are fast-paced in our preaching. They don’t understand us because of the noise level and then the fact that we talk about money too much. They talk about money too but in a subtle way. Our timing too is bad. We are too extreme and physical in our spiritual content. We present ourselves as angry when we are preaching.
“They will rather prefer somebody like the RCCG G.O. because he speaks slowly and still communicates. They like it that way. Many white people come to black churches, but they don’t stay.”
Joel added that the way Nigerians react to whites is also a factor. He described as culturally oppressive, the way Nigerians force their ways on whites in churches.
“The way some of our people react to them is like them versus us.
“We have a few white people who have raised some of these issues I’m raising. We are culturally too oppressive. We want to force our ways on people.
“I had to practically insist that our people should not sing native songs because by that we will be isolating some people. We don’t isolate others in our service. The issue of dressing is not an issue here, of course, we dress neatly but we don’t insist on the tie and suit,” he said.
Joel also revealed that Nigerian-owned churches preach transactional gospel, comparing it to what the traditionalists do.
“I think also that there is a faulty module in our gospel. Our gospel is more of the transactional gospel. A brother in my church described it as pagan gospel. There is a parallel between what the Babalawos do and what we do in the church; that is if care is not taken. The devil brought in this form of the gospel in the 80s and the 90s.
“There is some kind of transactional mentality in our gospel and since God answers these prayers we tend to keep doing it. Our leader in the UK said something like if 10 per cent our time is given to pray for the UK the country would have changed. Churches that do more of what God wants will experience growth,” he said.