21 Oct Emerge 2015 Conference Day 1
DAY 1: THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE EMERGE LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE 2015.
TAGGED: ACCELERATE (AMOS 9:13-15 MSG)
And so the journey to bring about the emergence of new breed of Godly groundbreakers that will change the course of this nation and the world at large has begun! Yes, church 3:16, the youth arm of the fountain of life church whose vision is “To become the focal point, where youths find expression for leadership in different ways, through the WORD OF GOD” and with the mandate “To build transformational leaders”, has set out to achieve this through her Annual youth conference – EMERGE LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE.
The theme for this year’s maiden edition, the first of its kind organized by the youths for the youths is ACCELERATE with the theme scripture Amos 9:13-15 (MSG). The conference which started in grand style, with all the paparazzi, effizy, frills, glitz and glamour, on Wednesday evening, the 7th of October with soul – lifting praise and worship, the stirred spoken word poetry, a drama sketch on the amazing race of life, illustrating how the modern-day youth are faced with distractions and challenges of fame and popularity, sex and the love of money, low self-esteem et al, powerful song ministration from the GX Choir featuring Pastor J, etc also had in attendance the sent man of the house, Pastor Taiwo Odukoya, Pastor Nomthi and a few other Pastors that grace the occasion.
SPEAKER: PASTOR IBUKUN AWOSIKA TITLE: “DEAR SON”
Pastor Ibukun Awosika is a multiple award-winning Entrepreneur, CEO/Founder of the ChairPastor Ibukun Awosika speaking during Emerge 2015 (Day 1)Centre, and the recently appointed as the youngest and first female chairperson of the reputable First Bank Plc, Pastor Ibukun Awosika. In her opening speech she so titled “Dear Son”, she shared principles that govern life and the need to be aware of one’s purpose of existence. This she put in form of questions as follows:
Question 1: Who Are You?
What purpose has been sent before you based on who you are? Where you were born and who gave birth to you does not matter. Who cares where you were born in the first place? It’s only a description of who you are! What matters is your ability to make the right choices, as once you begin to cross into mature teenage, people will begin to hold you accountable for the things you do.
“I have seen a person in their 50’s who hasn’t figured out who they are, who are yet to even make the right choices for their advancement in life. The totality of your life is, therefore, the summation of the decision/choices you will make every day of your life”, she said.
Judging from statistics, it is projected that by 2025, Nigeria will be 250million people estimated to be the third-largest people in the world. Despite this statistics, in the midst of the hitherto mob, in her words, “you must find your way”. She said, “To live, is one thing, but to live fulfilling purpose is an achievement. Anything less than this unacceptable, as life will not spare you, people will judge and misunderstand you, life will happen to you but if you understand who you are, you’ll scale through”.
Stressing on purpose and the need for the youth to discover who they are, she added that a misinterpretation, misunderstanding of their purpose can lead them into the wrong place. Underscoring the fact the most youths have so much packaging that they forgot who they truly are, disremembering that where they were born, the fatness or nothingness in their bank accounts doesn’t count but knowing who they are by their manufacturer’s design.
Thus, it is that kind of understanding that will make them stand tall in the face of glaring oppositions, challenges and storms of life. Speaking on what the youth need to know to help them tap into the truth about them, Pastor Ibukun gave the following:
1. First, you must know that you are a child of God. This she said is the foundation of their identity.
Knowing that you are a Son (referring to the male and female gender), makes you emerge as there are gaps and spaces that are needed to be filled which will automatically give you an edge as a child of God to fill. Gal.5:13.
2. You are Jesus’ friend (John 15:15). And so you need to build your relationship with Jesus.
3. You are a forgiven creature. There is no failure with Christ because His blood has cleansed you from your past and set you on the path of righteousness.
4. You are created in God’s likeness, carefully crafted and beautifully made.
The YOU that you are is the best of God’s creation. Let no one lie to you, everything about you is perfect! And so there is a blessing that is attached to how God has made you. So, never ever apologize to anybody for how you look and what you do not physically have. Never for once lose the grace to thank God for who you are.
5. You are beautiful – a work of art! You are God’s handiwork to fulfill a purpose.
6. You are a citizen of Heaven. And as a citizen of Heaven, you must know that a citizen of Heaven does not get involved in corruption, fornication or adultery. Hence, what the citizen of your nation cannot do, you do not do as well. Your citizenship is your weaponry, the tool of your courage to take steps that mere men are afraid to take.
7. You are the light of the world. John 1:5
Sharing her childhood story from her Muslim background and how she emerged as the Chairman of the prestigious First Bank of Nigeria, she said:
“The things I learned from the pulpit and the word of God I read myself and the men of God who feared the Lord that I admired has kept me through trying and tempting times in leadership… And Lord I pray, may I never be so important in my own eyes that I’ll forget whom I am.”
Explaining further on what emerge means, she said,
“To emerge simply means nobody is expecting nor hoping to see any substance in you, but all of a sudden you turned out and everyone begins to wonder who is she and where the hell does she come from?”
Question 2: Where do you want to go?
She admonished the youth seated not to be a feather in the wind that the wind just blows in any direction.
“If you know where you are going, you’ll do yourself good by protecting where you are going; you will protect your name and your integrity. You don’t wait for where you are going before you prepare yourself. Also, comport yourself for the place you want to go. Don’t be like that person that wish to travel abroad but has never considered getting a passport. There is no point emerging as a leader if you’ve not prepared and equipped yourself for leadership. You must have a sense of where you are going to. Not defining anything you want in life will put you in trouble. The life of a leader will be challenged by the things he defines. Thus, the need to be courageous with a level of focus”, she said.
Stressing further on having a sense of where we are going, she explained that once we have a sense of where we are going we must seek for knowledge and be confidence in what we know. “As an emerging leader, you must be aware that you can’t know it all. You must understand that the biggest tool you’ll have as a leader is the people that are following you. Hence, you must respect them for who they are and what they know that you don’t have. You must be compassionate, for it is wisdom to treat all men as yourself. As an emerging leader, you must also be absolutely committed to your value system. It is so obvious that in our time character is in short supply and the question you must ask yourself is: Can I sustain myself in the place of leadership without character? Your values, integrity, and character are so critical to sustaining you in trying times in leadership”, she said.
In her conclusive statements, she encouraged the youth to walk the path of righteousness that can lead them to the place of glory, stressing that at the place of glorification, even all your enemies will be your friend.