UPDATED: CAN official criticises churches inviting entertainers to boost attendance

Akpororo {Photo Credit: Nigeriafilms.com}

An official of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has criticised the attitude of some churches, especially in Abuja, who invite secular celebrities and entertainment personalities to boost attendance at their programmes.

The General Secretary of CAN, Musa Asake, condemned the new trend saying it would only distract people from the teachings of Christ.

He said rather than the ‘‘church learning from the world, the church should be imparting the world.’’

In a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES, Mr. Asake said ‘‘the church is in trouble.’’

“If the church has gotten to a place where it is making adverts (inviting celebrities) like the world, then we are in trouble. The church is a serious place where we go to worship, not where we go for entertainment. In my personal opinion, I don’t support it, because this will only divert the attention of people from Christ to human beings which is not supposed to be so,” he said.

He added, “If for example, I’m a fan of one of these celebrities and they are invited, I’ll stop thinking about my salvation, about Christ and my walk with the Lord, I’ll rather be focusing on that person. Once the church gets to that level, we are trying to side-track ourselves from the gospel message to a worldly kind of entertainment, which is not supposed to be so.”

The trend

It is now common for some churches to publicise upcoming programmes and services by erecting billboards and circulating posters and fliers to announce the attendance of actors, musicians and other celebrities at such events.

At times, local and international gospel acts are invited alongside these entertainment icons to boost attendance.

Years ago, this perhaps would have been an anomaly as the church is percieved to frown at allowing the vestiges of worldly influence invade its terrain.

Recently, however, the trend seems to have changed, at least with some churches, with the invitation of prominent Nollywood celebrities, musicians and comedians to church programmes- perhaps to attract more crowd to such events.

Early last year, two churches, Action Faith International and Prevailing Power Assembly in Abuja invited Nollywood stars, Patience Ozokwor and Osita Iheme (Paw Paw) respectively to some of their events.

Also, last year, House on the Rock Church invited Akpopororo, a comedian, to its annual programme, ”The Experience.”

Recently, Firehouse Church, Nyanya, invited entertainment stars, Ini Edo, Desmond Elliot and Mr. Iheme in August and actress cum comedian, Funke Akindele (popularly known as Jenifa) in September.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that these churches invite the celebrities to their events to shore up attendance and also motivate their members to show more commitment.


When PREMIUM TIMES visited Firehouse Church (for the umpteenth time), to get a reaction, a pastor who gave her name as Julie simply said it was the decision of the church and commented no further.

However, a member of the church, Kelvin Chibueze, told PREMIUM TIMES that he sees nothing wrong in the invites extended to celebrities by these churches.

‘‘If inviting them fulfils the purpose – which is to bless people, then, so be it,’’ he said.

“Using celebrities to bring people to church is secondary. I think the primary aim is to show God’s power in their lives. This man (the church’s leader) is a prophet, he doesn’t just prophesy, he ‘sees’ things too. For example, when Ini Edo came, he just told her things about her life and then prayed for her,” he added.

Francis Monday, another member of the church, said that ”the means of getting people blessed isn’t an issue, so long as they are blessed, no problem.’’

Johnson Olamilekan, a worshipper at the House on the Rock church told PREMIUM TIMES that he attended a church event which featured a comedian. He said the ploy is just to shore up attendance as well as ‘‘create excitement in the church.’’

“Left for me, I don’t see anything wrong with it. These comedians are Christians too and they don’t come to do atrocities in the church, they just ease tension among the people. I think it’s high time we stopped spiritualising things,” he said.

Equally, Philip Ogbaje, of the Living Faith Church said the pressure on pastors to increase attendance at their events is a factor encouraging such invites.


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  • realist

    Churches are what they are integral part of the world of Satan, which Jesus warned his genuine followers not to be part of. But church members are part of the world of Satan both in conduct and practice.

  • Dan Arewa

    These CAN is trying to be born-again after being a member of political party few years back.
    Why didn’t you stop highly political members from attending your church in order to gain more supporters as what happen to GEJ when he kneel down for prayer to show he is a man of God after looting public money?

  • Green

    It’s sad that after over 2,000 years of preaching about Jesus even with the support of technology, the world’s immorality is gradually becoming the norm… Just as with the case on gay marriage, I won’t be surprised if strip dances are in invited in 20 years time. There’ll always be a “good” justification for any worldly influence to the church and it’s doctrines.

    Are we collectively loosing the battke to the devil?

    • joe

      Jesus Christ never come and die for the “righteous”. If Jesus should be on earth today, he will go after those you guys seems to tag as sinners. Christianity is not and can never be a religion and no one can walk christianity without the holy spirit in him.

      • Green

        You missed my point. The church generally should be an example for the world to follow. But interestingly, the world is gradually setting the pace for the church of Christ. Jesus never died for the righteous, but sinners. If and when he comes again, I’m not sure he’ll have plans to die again.

  • Shahokaya

    The churches are business centers while their owners-general overseer, bishop, pastor or whatever appellation they fancy-are emperors bestriding their empires like colossus .Part of their marketing strategy includes music and promos through media exposed celebrities who will attract more gullible tithe paying masses.

  • Watch man

    The churches that are inviting these comedians are they actually churches? Genuine church of Christ has no business with worldliness as represented by these business comedians. The people inviting them cannot truly be regarded as servants of God. It is written, “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:46-47).
    It was the Lord that added to the church such as should be said and not comedians. The believers did their own thing which is that they continued “daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people” and then God added to their number. The so-called churches (which are more like social clubs) have no message and therefore cannot do what the early Christians did. That is the old-fashioned way; what we have now are bunch of lazy commercial preachers who masquerade as “men of God”. Their time will soon expire.

    • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

      They will come for you. You no get holy mumu,sorry holy spirit.

      • Watch man

        It is obvious you are a child of the bond woman going by your name. Even if I respond the way I should your moon god would not allow you to understand.

        • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

          “The moon God” is that whom you serve? Maybe you lack the intellectual ability to comprehend my write up,and the response i gave to you,dear maga. Christianity, a religion of the confused by the confussionists.

  • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

    Christianity has since lost its relevance many centuries ago. Do you think it is a mistake or accident more and more Europeans are leaving for atheism or islam? Nothing to talk to to preach and nothing to talk about again. Whoever is still identifying him or herself as a Christian today is as gullible as those who are believing in Darwinism. Islam is celebrating its1439th years, not a single fault can be identified with it. Forget about the islamophobia in in the name of terrorism, of ISIS, alqaeda, bokoharam, etc,non of them is synonymous with islam. Christianity has swindled its followers for only God knows how many years. What else can they use,no more lies in the name of miracles and wonders. The only option left is entertainment and sport. Redeemed church already take the lead in football, foursquare, and the rest are now following. They want to celebrate anything including Christmas and Valentine’s day, show me where you find these in the Bible. Women now go half naked in the churches every Sundays has done in the club houses. Churches now target high brow areas for easy catches. Lekki,Ajah etc. Three or more churches now competed for spaces in the sam e building like a commercial service. Yet,the pastors ride in private jets and best of cars while their sheep’s gullibly pay for fuels and other expenses and they themselves could not afford three square meal, yet pretend that all is well. CAN, God the most high is waiting for His apointed time to strike you down for ever. You have contributed to the destruction of this country in the name of fighting for the right of Christians, whereas,all you do is turn people like adeboye, oritsajefor, oyedepo etc to overnight billionaires. God is watching and coming to call you for accountability.

    • Olu-Lion

      Do I blame you? Would it not be better if you maintain your lane.

      • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

        Better! Two parallel lines!

  • T-Rex

    I have always been saying this,that 99% of these new generation Pastors and G.Os are motivational speakers, and have no business meddling in such a spiritual thing like heading a christian church. Oil and water can never mix,even in banga soup!