Every man has a purpose on earth by divine arrangement. Yet many leave this earth without discovering their purpose in life, talk less of fulfilling it. Life becomes fulfilling, as it is for Pastor Ayodele Abisagbo and many others who discovered their purpose in life and towed the path of its fulfilment.
Lead pastor of Christian Community Church International in Lagos, Nigeria, Abisagbo today has the mandate of making people discover who they are; the truth about life and their true identity.
A graduate of Agricultural Economics from the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife, Abisagbo also acquired a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Lagos State University as well as a Certificate Diploma in Oil and Gas Logistics from the Maritime School Canada.
In this interview with Manny Ita, the logistics solution manager with a French Multi-national company, author and compassionate servant of God, spoke about the motive behind his current book ‘Identity Crisis’; a very insightful piece seeking to help people and nations discover who they are in order to become fulfilled in life.
It was as instructive as it was motivating.
What inspired you to write the book Identity Crisis?
Everyone God sent to this world was for a plan and has a purpose. I was praying sometime ago and I asked God why I was here on earth and God told me that He has sent me to preach a message to tell people to discover who they are; to connect people to their God-given identity. Every message I preach is centred around people getting to know who they are. It is a great disaster for anyone not to know who they are. Not knowing who we are is the problem of this world today which has gotten us into a lot of crisis. A man wants to be like a woman and vice versa. We copy each other whereas we are all made unique. When I discovered that was what I was called to do, God placed it in my heart to write a book that would that would bring people out of crisis and help them discover who they are, the same way he led me to discover who I am.
What leads to the problem of identity crisis and how can this be addressed on a more wider scale?
The crisis of identity began in the garden of Eden after God created man. The first temptation was the one of identity. God created Adam in His image and likeness, told him to have dominion and eat of every fruit in the garden except one. Then the devil came and tempted them to eat of the tree, saying they would only be like God if they did and would surely not die. They fell for the temptation. Adam was already created in the image of God, and so why would he seek to be like God again?
It is because he did not know who he was. If you don’t know who you are, the devil will come and paint another picture to you in order to cause confusion about your identity.
People are confused about who they are and because of that confusion about identity crisis, they want to be like somebody else. God did not create anybody as a photocopy. He gave everyone a unique identity. When you discover your uniqueness, you’d not want to be like anyone because no one can be like you. The best anyone can be of Dangote for example, is a photocopy. You might say because he is rich so he is successful, but success is not measured in riches but in fulfilling purpose. He might be a successful businessman, but if that was not what God ordained him for, then in the eyes of God he is not successful. So you need to discover what God has called you to do, what gives you fulfilment. It is in doing what gives you fulfilment that you become successful in the eyes of God. Branding is about identity. Companies brand themselves just to create identities for themselves;They put their pictures in your face, their colours and names in your face just to tell you who they are and what they do and by so doing create a niche for themselves. In the same way we need to know who we are and paint that picture in the eyes of people.
Research shows that people hardly read books they buy at a book launch. How do you intend to ensure that lessons in this book are actually imbibed which is the essence of it all?
Today everyone is on the move and everyone is moving fast. It is usually said if you do not want a black man to know about anything, just put it in a book. But that will not stop us from writing because in writing this, I am documenting it for generations. Some will read and
reviewing this book on social media. Apart from that, I will also do the audio of the book so people can download and listen to it while on the go. We will employ technology to have people learn the lessons of the book because it is only then they will be blessed.
Bearing our country in mind, do you think nations also have identity crisis?
Absolutely. Nations could also have identity crisis when they do not know what they stand for. Who are we a s a nation? Twenty years ago, Singapore was facing some of the the kinds of issues Nigeria is facing today, but they are now a developed and vibrant nation because they discovered their own uniqueness. They may not have oil but they have been able to use what they have to project themselves to the world. Americans, Britons etc. all have their uniqueness. So, yes nations could also have identity crisis. Nigeria is multi-ethnic and multi-racial, and that makes it difficult for us to carve our identity which has only made things difficult. We nave not as a nation been able to carve an identity for ourselves, where we are known for something. If you’re thinking about automobile today, you will think Germany; if you’re thinking electronics, Japan comes to mind. If you’re thinking of professional service delivery, the UK is it. These countries discovered their identities, built on them and today have carved niches for themselves. So we as a nation have to discover our God-given potential, how we want to project ourselves and then begin to sell it to the world. We would then be patronized for that which we are.
How better positioned do you think the church and indeed the larger society would be were the lessons in this book to be imbibed?
Sincerely, if the lessons in this book are imbibed, everybody would shine because everybody is unique. There may be many churches on earth but each one has a peculiar calling. You may have Tasty Fried Chicken, Mr Biggs, Tantalisers, Sweet Sensation etc.., all operating in the same area, as is common anyway.They are all selling food but are individually unique. If you want chicken, of course you go to Tasty Fried Chicken, if you want good sausages you go to Tantalisers, Mr Biggs will give you yummy meat pies. They all have their uniqueness so it makes for no inconveniences that they all market in the same area. The moment we are able to understand our uniqueness, we’ll discover there is no competition. Being here as a church, there could be another church across the road, and it’s OK because we’re never in competition, having different callings. So we could co-habit and flourish together. It’s the same with individuals; when you discover your uniqueness and I discover mine, there could never be competition even if we’re in the same kind of business. We will only complement each other, and together flourish.
Any other projects in the pipeline?
Yes. In the next couple of months, I will begin writing again. The book Identity Crisis is going to be in series; so the second edition is in the pipeline. There is also another book I am going to write for singles, meant to address their peculiarities and needs. These are the two books in the offing for now.