Judging by the enormosity of the billboards for watchnight, cross over, walk over, jump over, somersault over and the many other interesting captions given to the last church service at night to usher in 2016, and granted that some sprawling billboards have been at expensive locations since October, you begin to wonder exactly how much money these pastors are planning on making on 31st night, the night of my birth.
Don’t get it twisted, the 31st night event is a major franchise in the frenzy of church business. If churches can pay for full page advertisements in newspapers for over a month, pay for primetime advertisement of their watchnight show, print millions of tracts and pay people to distribute it in traffic. If churches design Facebook pages and websites for their watchnight service and have billboards and banners spotted around like the political parties, if the crossover signboards on prime locations like the liberation road are competing for space with Vanderpuye’s billboard then you know we are talking about a formal business venture at which mega profits are expected.
The religious scene in Ghana is becoming more political with the Christian being viewed as nothing more than an agent to be wooed in one direction or the other, to be exploited nevertheless. You will have offertory at those services so many times before finally ending it with a mega fundraising for vision 2016.
As critical as I may sound am only pointing our gullibility as Christians and the manner in which smart business men clad in clerical garbs have taken advantage of it for personal gains. Our gullibility demonstrated in our belief that by typing “amen ATM” to a pastor’s Facebook post that you’ll withdraw “strange money” from the ATM this festive season, same will happen. What the heck is strange money if you have no money in your account? ATMs don’t print money, so whose is the strange money you’re typing “Amen ATM” for?
I urge us all to be a bit more objective in the exercise of our faith and understand that until there’s a fundamental change in attitude all the resolutions we make on 31st night will be broken in the second week of January like the many years gone by. Don’t be a puppet for any pastor to play mind games with.
Those who are planning on contributing all their savings to make way for new money in 2016, remember you don’t get paid till January ends, chances are you’ll halla. Yes the church needs money, but church members must survive.