Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Daystar at Twenty: A Love Letter (Part Two)...

Pictures from the Daystar Back to School program...
If you told me in University that I would someday join Daystar Christian Center, I would have laughed at you and walked away.

I thought Pastor Sam was the most boring speaker in history. I disliked his habit of picking words carefully and pausing for emphasis. I thought he talked too slowly, and told everyone who cared to listen. I would often fall asleep while listening to his sermons.

I was sure I could not join the church he pastored.

I was wrong.

*****

I thought I knew what I wanted in a church when I moved to Lagos. It had to be small - I wanted to know the Pastor, and I wanted him or her to know me back. I wanted the people to notice when I missed service. I wanted a church where I could impact how things worked. I don't recall thinking much about the God I was going to meet at church, and what He wanted for me.

I joined a church and I mostly loved it there, but continued to criticize Daystar when the church came up in conversations. Sunday services in my home church sometimes lasted four hours, Sunday services in my University fellowship lasted at least three hours. How could Daystar conduct a full service in ninety minutes? Haba! The Spirit was just warming up and they were calling it a day already?

I also thought the church was too focused on life on earth, doing little to prepare you for heaven. Why always leadership, societal relevance, helping the poor? After all - this world is not our home!

*****

Time passed. I slowly realized I wasn't in full alignment with the church I attended. I LOVED the Pastor, who was my long-time mentor, but realized God was calling me to something more aligned to the path He was leading me on. A friend who attended Daystar had repeatedly invited me, and as I prayed and thought hard about which church to join, her invitations nagged at my heart - "come just once, just one Sunday".

So I went.

*****

Next month, it will be two years since that first service; two years since I decided to join Daystar.

I felt the alignment strongly from day one. You know how it feels when you suddenly realize you're home? I fell in love with Pastors Sam and Nike Adeyemi. I cannot believe it is the same Pastor Sam whose sermons would send me to sleep in Ife. I love how they continually point the congregation to God and reiterate that they're simply stewards in His vineyard. Pastors Kenny Afolarin, Boye Oloyede, Bolu Oluyomi, Tola Seedy, Tunde Adisa and the other associate pastors inspire me to no end. My home-cell has become a family of sorts, a place to find strength and support in times of need.

I am immensely grateful that I joined Daystar Christian Center and I am grateful that God has kept His church these past twenty years.

I look forward to the next twenty.

Spot the Daystar logo at the bottom right corner of this whiteboard at the school where I served (NYSC)
PS: It's not the first time I'm gushing about Daystar here... Read the first post here :).

"I was overwhelmed at the Daystar Christian Center Carol Service today. I cycled through the plethora of expressions available to me; I shouted, screamed, danced, talked, and cried. I love Daystar Christian Center, and no - don't get me started on the Adeyemis' or Pastor Kenny. I have nothing but admiration for Pastors Sam and Nike Adeyemi and Pastor Kenny Afolarin; they ooze so much elegance and simplicity that I just want to group-hug them tight and never let go. 
For a 'mega-church', Daystar has remained simple and unpretentious. A very strong Cell Group system ensures the church is big enough to contain everyone, but small enough to know every member. Daystar also has a huge focus on Social Responsibility - and is always seeking means to leverage its scale to positively impact society. The simplicity of the teaching is amazing. I have never been interested in Greek words and Hebrew translations or transliterations; English is just fine. What I want to know is how to live closer to God, and how to apply the Bible at work tomorrow, in crazy Lagos traffic, in a conversation with the Boo, or in deciding how to eat healthy." - A love letter to Daystar Christian Center (Part One, 2014).

2 comments:

  1. I should write my own love note. It will be long.

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  2. Hope you've braced yourself up Koye cos I'm about writing my own epistle and it just may be longer than yours ��

    I've been attending Daystar Wednesday services for over a year now and it is always a great experience for me. There is no service where I leave the same way I came in. Sometimes I leave with tears in my eyes, sometimes with a huge smile on my face, at other times an immense nudge in my spirit but always with a song on my lips.

    Most of the people I know that attend Daystar have an admirable character. Evidently, the words from the pulpit trascends to the lives of its hearers.

    I admire Pst Sam a lot but even much more Pst Nike. She exudes so much grace, confidence, beauty and compassion for others. During the Wednesday service of Daystar's 20th anniversary which was like a throw back service to how the church started, I remember watching Pst Sam gush and gush about Pst Nike, it almost turned into a declaration of love service...lol. It was evident she was and still is a major force that keeps him going. I had to bow down my head and say a word of prayer to God on the kind of woman I want to be to my husband (even greater than that sef). What is even more interesting is the fact that she wasn't always like this (in my opinion though). At a time I used to think she struggled with speaking in public and was in Pst Sam's shadow but she has blossomed rather carefully but gracefully.

    Healing streams (the choir) is the bomb and the fashion especially for the ladies no be here o! Luckily, their beautiful voices far outweigh their beautiful dressing leaving little room for distractions.

    With all my gushing about the church and the people, it's a wonder I am not yet a member. I've stuck put with my home church despite the fact that my body itches when I listen to the poor quality of our choir or the pastor's sometimes boring message (don't get me wrong, these are really nice people who love God to bits o!). So many a times I want to leave but some kind of unease comes and I know it isn't time. So far, I've been in the children and teens department where I pour out my heart to the younger generation and eagerly anticipate Wednesday where I can escape to Daystar to get refreshed.

    I hope to meet Pst Sam and Nike in a personal capacity. Till then, I'll be here occupying, loving, learning and living.

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