Courage Igene is the president and founder of All Nations Church. His vision for the ministry is to raise a body of committed believers that will preach the gospel, the good news, to all the nations of the world, and share the love of Christ to everybody. The ministry of the All Nations Church is based in the U.S., but it also has churches in Ghana and Nigeria.
Courage was born in Nigeria. He came to the United States about 20 years ago to continue his education in computer information systems. He studied at Paradise Valley College in Arizona. He continues to use his knowledge on website building and social media in his work in the ministry as it helps him to reach more people. Courage Igene enjoys helping people with their life situations, and that is his passion in life. It was his compassion and love for people that drew him into ministry.
What would you tell others looking to get into your industry?
I would tell others looking to get into ministry to follow their heart. If they feel called of God to go into the ministry, they should do it with all their heart. If it is their passion, they will find joy and fulfillment in it.
When you are doing the work of the ministry, always give it your best. Whatever you do to help somebody else, that goodwill always comes back to you.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned managing your business/team?
It is so important to trust the right people. Your ability to trust the right people is important. I have made mistakes and trusted the wrong people. If you put the wrong people in a position of authority to help you get something done, it can end up the wrong way. I learned that I have to be patient before trusting people and giving them the power to make decisions until they show who they really are. You need to know they are trustworthy and have a heart for the mission before you trust them with certain responsibilities.
The challenge is always there in trying to manage the ministry. We have had our share of betrayals and leaders who have lied. We have had people who pretended to be for me when they were actually against the vision. This challenge is always there because I am not on the ground with them in Ghana and Nigeria, so I do not always know what they are doing or what they are saying. But those lessons have helped me to find trusted leaders and to have people on the ground in the places we are trying to reach.
Thankfully through technology, we can do conference calls. We can see things they are doing for other people with Facebook live. We are able to connect online much better now. We share our service activities on social media. We can get a lot done and improve.
If you could change 1 thing you did in the beginning of your career what would it be?
If I could change anything, I would have gone into the ministry sooner. I have a couple of friends in Africa who went into the ministry earlier, so they have affected many more lives. I would have loved to have started sooner.
When you find where your heart and your passion is, you get your fulfillment from it. You feel like you are achieving your goals and doing what you are born to do in your life.
What trends in your industry excite you?
The technology trends excite me. Technology is good because you can use it to reach more people. There was a time when you had to literally travel to other nations to preach to people or to do something, but now you don’t really have to. You can serve people in a different nation through being online.
Some people use technology negatively. But we can use it for positive reasons, to reach people, to pass on your message of love and togetherness, and to view people’s faces, and to also show love.
I get excited when I see the level of technology. I got excited when I heard about driverless cars. I’m like, wow, I want to know more about that. I started studying. In my mind, I’m already thinking of how I can use this tool for the work of the ministry. When it becomes common in America and everybody is using it, how will I use something like this for the work of the ministry? My mind is already running on the possibilities and asking: What is the benefit and how can we use it to reach people? Technology is very good, and it gets me excited when I see a new trend. When I see something that just came out in that field, I get excited and I am interested to know more about it.
Also, with this coronavirus pandemic going on, people are becoming more responsive to God. If you look around the nations of the world, you see there is already a revival that is growing in the nations of the world. When I check my social media, I see people praying to God. People who never really wanted to hear anything about God before, now they are more open to that and calling for prayers. You see them on the street singing. Some of them in hospitals are singing and worshiping. You see many of them in their cars praying to God. That never happened before. If you had done that before, they would get mad. They did not want to hear that. But now you see people on the street in the Philippines. You see them in different places just worshipping.
The pandemic has really caused people to inquire and to go back to God. I believe even when it is over people will want to keep that spirit which they are having right now in their hearts. You can see the genuineness and sincerity as they pray and worship. Some people do it on the street, on the street corners, praying on the sidewalks near the hospitals. I believe something is happening in the hearts of people, and I believe God is going to use that to turn the hearts of men back to Him.
What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
My dad taught me to use wisdom when you are dealing with men and use faith when you are dealing with God. I have never forgotten that in all my life because it is very, very true.
Sometimes we get hurt because we use faith when we are dealing with people, but God never wants us to use faith with people. We use faith with God, and we use wisdom with men. When you use wisdom with men, you avoid a lot of mistakes. You avoid a lot of pain. You avoid a lot of obstacles that would have come.
Wisdom is simply an ability to foresee a consequence or foresee a result and this helps you to make the right decision. Wisdom is the application of knowledge. But many times, we don’t do that. We just look at people and trust them. We start doing things with them, and at the end of the day, we see that they had different motives and agendas. Because we didn’t use wisdom, we just had faith in them, and we can make a big mistake.
Whenever we are dealing with people, use wisdom. When we are dealing with God, use faith.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to others?
What you are passionate about is what you should pursue. What you are passionate about is what you will succeed at. Follow your passion. A lot of people do things they are not passionate about just because they want to please somebody else or because they want to prove a point or prove themselves. Look at me, I’m a lawyer. Passion is not about that. Do what you know you are passionate about, not just because it sounds good.
Also, let’s be one another’s keeper. Let us show love to one another because the good you do today might help somebody else and it will come back to you in the way. Some people call it karma. What you do for somebody, if it is good or bad, it has a way of coming back to you in the future. It is always better to use love. When we walk in love, we make the world a better place.
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