“Final Surrender 2017”! That is a major caption in my diary. This diary has a record of most things the Lord Jesus Christ told me to do in recent times. I first wrote this caption in 2015, shortly after I had a divine encounter on 23 August 2015. The Lord told me to pioneer a mission for him in two years’ time. He gave me specific instructions about how this mission, which is largely about ‘church planting’, should commence and operate. He also told me to expect more instructions on next steps in the days ahead.
Why the “Final Surrender 2017” caption? A lot of people close to me usually pass remarks about how they admire the way I dedicated myself to the service of God despite being very “busy” in the corporate world as a business advisor. But one thing they may not know is that I did most of the voluntary service without fully surrendering myself to God. I love God and strive to be a better person daily. I have always secretly asked God to use me for anything but never as a ‘church leader, pastor or anything related to leading local assemblies’. I also made sure I did not join the workforce of my church (though I love it and my Pastor) to eliminate the possibility of instinctively growing into such leadership functions. I even went ahead to announce publicly in many forums that I will never be involved in leading local assemblies. Apart from the fact that I was not too comfortable with the state of many local assemblies I see around, I felt so unqualified and incompatible for such. But I know better now.
The Lord is building His church and I should not expect to be very comfortable with a building while it is still under construction. He calls whoever He wills to predetermine tasks and He keeps refining them even as they execute the assigned tasks. I am not to select the area I like to serve but to simply trust Him and do whatever He asks me to do. In fact, over the last 2 years, I have made a monumental shift in my mindset after the encounter of 23 August 2015. I now sing the “I surrender all” song with all of my heart.
This type of ‘divine encounters’ did not start today. I have progressively had them consistently in the last two decades. For instance, I used to run my own company in Northern Nigeria and purposed not to work for anyone, but the Lord told me to go get a job in 2004. I started work in Deloitte Nigeria in 2005 and rose to Partner/Director level in 8 years from entry level. Almost all my major milestone performances at Deloitte were as a result of simple obedience to the leading of God on the extra “wow factor” regarding how to handle day to day tasks at work. Similarly, we started Christ Lifeline Ministry in 2003 and within 10 years, we did many remarkable things by following God’s leading. In fact, I never believed that in my early thirties, we would be organizing impactful conferences and supporting missionaries across 4 continents and also having partners from several countries. Furthermore, I can scarcely identify any major leap in my life that is not traceable to such supernatural encounters.
So the Lord showed up to announce this massive mission that I dreaded so much in the same familiar way He had been communicating other smaller tasks to me that I loved the results and process. It was so difficult to find a place to hide or run to. The last 20 years is filled with a plethora of similar encounters such that denying the 23 August 2015 encounter will mean wiping off more than half of my life experiences. “Wow, yes Lord, I surrender. I will do it. I don’t understand yet but I will yield” … and as I pondered on all these, I did not know when my pen inscribed “Final Surrender 2017” in my diary.
The Lord is indeed gracious and faithful. He will not leave us without a witness. A few weeks after this encounter, over 20 people came to me separately (including some of my pastors in cities I lived in the past) to tell me the Lord would have me embark on this mission. I was pleasantly surprised because I did not tell anyone about it or even confirmed they were right when they told me. I was still keeping the gist to myself. Actually, my wife was the first person to tell me – and she even said it will likely happen in the space of 2 years. Wow! I was so shocked that she was telling me, the then ‘sad news’ which I was struggling to find the best avenue to break to her. What a mighty God we serve! And just as the Lord told my wife, he also ignited a similar fire in the hearts of many (independent of me) and we have started to find ourselves.
In the last 2 years, we have prayed, trained and planned as we downloaded from heaven how this mission should be executed. We have moved from “stupidly wishing the Lord would change his mind” to giving our all for this mission. The gist has transitioned from being a ‘sad news’ to my favourite headline news. We are so passionate about it right now and we are loving every process and every day doing this work. We have put processes and plans in place to ensure that Christ Lifeline Ministry, which is another mission we have been running for 14 years now, continues to thrive despite this new task from the Lord.
It’s going to be a church without walls. We aim to mirror Christ’s pricelessness in every heart, in every homeland. We will do this by attracting people to Christ, inspiring believers to service and equipping them to live an all-around victorious life that is aligned towards heaven. We are raising people that will live as Christ’s treasures on earth, while regarding Him as their No.1 treasure. We are trusting God to extend the work of every believer who has gone ahead of us, even as we make the supernatural our lifestyle. We had our first Sunday service on 6 August 2017 and our official inauguration service is scheduled for 1 October 2017. We are lighting up this missional light in “our Jerusalem” but we have a major apostolic calling to Asia where about half of the world’s population resides. We are going to give this work all it takes … and yes, we mean it.
The name of the ‘church’ is CHRIST TREASURE CENTRE (CTC), and if we are not already around you, we are coming around very soon either physically or digitally. Peradventure the Lord has also been igniting your heart along these lines before now or you can feel that connection as you read this, we will be very privileged to grow and work along with you until Christ is fully formed in our lifestyles. It doesn’t matter where you are based; we currently have members and volunteers in all continents. We are nurturing a family that will transform you into the best God desire for you, while you walk and work with Him daily. Please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can discuss how you can be a part of this mission.
Finally, if you were patient enough to read to this point, please take a few minutes to pray for me and for CTC.
We press on … until the knowledge of the Lord fills all hearts.
Tope S. Aladenusi
Presiding Minister, Christ Treasure Centre