Pastor Femi Faseru is the National Superintendent of Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) in Nigeria. Talking to Effects at his KICC office recently, he says his original vision after returning from the UK was to follow his career path, set up an IT solution firm in Nigeria but fate had a different plan for him. Aside being a pastor, Faseru is passionate about golfing. In his office are over 13 sets of trophies won playing golf.
Going through your profile, you are also doing well in the secular world, why did you go into the ministry?
I came into ministry December 2004. Prior to that time, I never fasted to be a pastor, I never prayed to be a pastor, and I didn’t even think I will be a pastor. To be honest with you, I didn’t see Jesus in my dreams to say, ‘eeh my son, I need you to be a pastor.’ It was Pastor Matthew, my pastor who said I should pastor KICC in Lagos. The scriptures say you should obey your parents in the Lord. Even though, I wasn’t sure what it would entail, I wasn’t sure if I had the capacity to do it but I obeyed my spiritual father and I began to do ministry work on part time as a Pastor in KICC Lagos. It wasn’t until two and a half years later that it dawned on me that I had to choose whether I still wanted to keep my secular business or I wanted to actually do this ministry work. Then the ministry had grown in those two and half years into almost about 1,000 people and the commitment that was needed from the pastor meant that I didn’t have time for my private business. My private business was an IT solution company that needed my presence. My clients wanted to talk to me about their challenges, they wanted to hear me give them the different options by which we could solve it technically, and they didn’t have that much faith in my staff. They needed to see me. At the same time, I couldn’t delegate counseling at that stage. In ministry, I have to be there for members who wanted to see their pastor. Beyond that, I have to also get prepared for different church services, I had to study , I didn’t go to bible school, so I had to do extra study for me to do my work as a pastor. Two and half years later, I had to choose whether I want to continue with my secular work or I want to continue with the ministry. I made my decision after praying and meditating carefully. I approached my pastor that I want to do ministry full time. He embraced the idea; he gave me the blessing and also gave me the commission to plant KICC all over Nigeria. Since that time till now, we have over 20 branches all over Nigeria.
Like you said, you did not attend bible school, what gave you the zeal to achieve this much in ministry?
I was just someone who gave his life to Christ, in Christ Embassy. Fortunately, when I got to London, someone took me to KICC and I realized that the teaching in KICC was practical, it was relevant, it was something that was useful to my life. Then I was hungry to always go to church and hear Pastor Matthew preach. I was hungry to understand what he was teaching, and also learn, receive and live it out in my life. So, I found out that it was helping me in my life. I took so much interest in receiving the message for myself , little did I know that God would want me to pour out on people what I received and what I’m still receiving under the ministry Pastor Matthew.
How has it been in ministry?
To be honest with you, no regrets. On the face value, yes, I had to leave quite a bit (don’t want to say quite a lot) for me to come and embrace the ministry. It cost me my profession, I was into consultancy, I started relatively young and grew so fast in the industry. I was a consultant to BankBoston, which is an America Investment bank in Victoria, London. I was a consultant to Glaxowelcome, after the merger, I was still a consultant to GSK. I had come to Nigeria in 2003, wanting to start a wireless networking in Nigeria because there wasn’t much of it around at that time. I wanted to come, be part of the IT solution in Nigeria, that was what motivated me in starting a business in Nigeria in 2003 and by December 2003, Pastor Matthew told me to pastor KICC Nigeria. Two and half years after, I wanted to juggle the two, I had to choose because it seems two of them needed a full time person. So, I had to choose. I had to jettison my profession. Apart from switching on and switching off the computer, I don’t think I know much about computers these days because things have changed and I have not been able to catch up with the technology. Having said that, talking about sacrifice, l needed to do ministry with my wife, I don’t believe in ministry where the husband is in the east and the wife is in the west. I write so much about marriage, I teach so much about marriage, I personally believe marriage is for two people to come together and be united and live together. I never believed in separation in marriage. What it means is that our kids are abroad because I didn’t want my wife to go and live with them and I stay here in the ministry. There’s no regret. God has been good, and He has helped me to do this work. If I didn’t tell you that I didn’t go to bible school, you probably won’t know. God has been so faithful. The churches have grown and they are still growing, people’s lives have been transformed, we have people being saved every day. Our TV ministry, video ministry has been a blessing all around the country and even beyond. I think when you see the fruits of the labour of ministry you can actually point it to be the favour of God. Relatively, I would say to you that it’s a good decision I have taken.
There’s an aura of humility around you, growing up, who influenced you most, was it your mum or dad?
I thank God for my parents, my father late Chief Ayo Faseru was a disciplined man. He attended St Andrews College Owo. Anyone in those days who attended the school would tell you that part of the fabric of those who passed through the school is discipline. Coupled with that, my father served under several governors as chief of protocol. I learnt a lot from my father. My mother is a loving mother and, she’s still alive doing great. She’s going to be 75 years in May. They have always taught us to be very kind and humble. My humility came from my background, my upbringing and beyond that, you cannot zero out the effect of being a Christian. As a Christian, you have to be humble. I think it comes with the package that you have to have humility.
What lesson has life taught you as a person?
Life has taught me so many things I can’t single out one thing. But if you ask me what is it that I hold so high in my dealings in life, I believe in seedtime and harvest so strongly. I believe what you make happen for someone else that God will make it happen for you. I believe that if you do good you have the reward, not only that you will be rewarded, even your children or your children’s, children will benefit from it. In life. I don’t believe in an eye for an eye, because if you do an eye for an eye you are going to reap the evils all along the line. I believe in being yourself, irrespective of what the situation will be. You can’t afford to be a chameleon. You are gold today and tomorrow you are orange. I believe so strongly that you shouldn’t allow people to make you do something you wouldn’t do because they are not the ones to harvest it. So you have to understand that whatever you sow is what you are going to reap. I take that in my dealings with anyone I deal with. In my dealings on the job, I don’t have to work hard because my pastor is looking. Whether he is looking or he is not looking, I still work hard because I know that my harvest is going to be a product of what I do and not what people see me do.
How would you describe your pastor, Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo?
Pastor Matthew of course is my pastor. He is a father. Pastor Matthew is very kind, he is very generous, he is an encourager, he sees beyond what you see on yourself. I wouldn’t be a pastor today if not for Pastor Matthew. Like I said, when he told me to go and pastor, I never see a pastor in myself. I never prayed or fasted to be a pastor. Sometimes, I still wonder what he saw that made him to say I should go and become a pastor.
When I eventually told him I wanted to do full time ministry, he said for the first time he saw me he knew that I carried the grace of God upon my life for ministry. He said that he also knew I did not know about that aspect of my life and he didn’t want to scare me , that was why he didn’t tell me. He was happy that I came to the realization myself that I wanted to go into full time ministry. Hence, he told me that my responsibility was just not to pastor KICC in Lagos but my responsibility actually was to pastor KICC in Nigeria. He is somebody who believes in you, who believes in the grace of God upon your life, he would rather look at your strength rather than dwell on your weakness. He tells you what you can do and what you should do. He is an inspiration. He’s just a wonderful person to have as a pastor and as a senior pastor that you are working with him as an assistant or as associate pastor.
So how do you cope with women in church with your good looks?
I think beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I’m not sure I’m the most handsome man around. I don’t think people pay attention to me like that. I preach and after preaching, maybe I shake hands with members of the congregation at the end of the service. I come into my office for counseling or meeting. I hardly get people tell me that I’m good looking.
Are you hearing this the first time that you are good looking?
No, my wife tells me every time (Laughs). I’m sure that your colleague did not realize the person she’s referring to as fine boy pastor is turning 50 years in a couple of months. I’m not that boyish. We thank God for his grace. God has been good and gracious to me. He has kept me in good health, I think I’m looking younger than my age and I believe I’m wiser than my age, God has been good to me.
What is your favourite sport?
I have done some sports in my life. School days, I have played football, lawn tennis but about 8-9 years ago, I in fell in love with golf. Golf is what I do now; I play golf twice a week. It’s very competitive when it comes to golfing. I have some trophies, I have won some tournaments, and I’m a member of Ikeja golf club. I have more trophies at home. I play competitive golf. Right now, if you ask me, I’ll say there’s no game like golf.