Embarrassing Moments(Ep.1): Most Awkward Church Experience"




On October 24th, 2023, I did what most Nigerians would call "Giving My Life To Christ," which I later learned from one social preacher to be "Receiving Christ Into My Life" at Assemblies of God Church, Saminaka, Kaduna State. And instead of the plain and proper type of follow-up of nurturing new converts into spiritual maturity, our follow-up instructor was more interested in how we would begin working in God's sanctuary already.

Instead of tutoring us on how to be free from the clinges of sin, man used almost the duration of the three-month follow-up classes to talk about the fig tree and how useless it was because it wasn't bearing fruit. And then, each time, he would drive it back to how unnecessary believers who are into content consumption and not content creation are to God the Creator.

 

Instead of taking us through the steps of how to be hot and burn for Christ, Evangelist Josh, as they call him, was doing the quite opposite: telling us who a lukewarm believer is. One of the ways he described them was that they were so satisfied with their "bench warning" status when, in actuality, they should be warming the body of Christ.

Well, since I didn't want God to spit me out like he did to the Lukewarm church of Ladiocea, I began to weigh the options of the service unit and whether I would better render service in church.

As a short-tempered person with less than 2% long-suffering, I knew the ushering unit was a no-no for me.

I definitely won't take it lightly with those silly teenage boys that specialize in watching Instagram reels and playing Dream League Multiplayer during church sermons. Or those who forgot that the presence of the Lord is not their three-bedroom flat and assumed the seats in the house of the Lord to be their Mouka Foam, where they could exercise their sleeping franchise. Worse are those stubborn slay queens who would rather sit in any other seat than the one an usher directed them to. Nah! My short temper won't waste time using the breastplate of righteousness (my iron belt) on such a soul. The sanctuary cleaning unit was another section I would have considered, but after several examinations, I guessed that department would downgrade my potential in Christ. Imagine a vibrant 25-year-old vessel of honor serving in a unit where 95% of members are people who gave their lives to Christ around the Nigerian-Biafran war era. Imagine dragging brooms, moppers, and parkers with civil service retirees on a Saturday morning. Nah!

 

So I opted for the finance/church Treasury department, but I was rejected by the church board. According to them, letting me into such a sensitive unit when true repentance was uncertified was a huge risk they wouldn't attempt. It was also the same church board that advised that since I had a burning desire to serve in God's vineyard, maybe I should begin with the band or music while they watch me closely to see those true evidences of salvation.

 

So I joined the music band unit, and by special grace, I have been serving as a backup singer for the past three months, peacefully and commotionless. There have been a few ups and downs with my voice pitching and tone, but as a backup singer who never makes the mistake of letting his voice surpass volume 3, no matter the pressure, my flaws are less noticed. So during those ackward moments of voice hookage, lyrics disconnection, and unfamiliar song mishaps, it is mostly just my inner spirit that bears witness. Because I don't pass myself.

That's how I've been serving in my own capacity, until last week after my usual Saturday choir practice. I got home after another choir session, only to open my phone to see an SMS message from our praise and worship mistress, which reads, "Good evening, brother. I'm sorry this might be coming across as awkward and a bit shocking, especially as we parted ways a while ago, but maybe you should take it as a Holy Ghost emergency.

I have just been receiving ministrations on your taking the worship session at tomorrow's service, and I'll want you to prepare accordingly. I tried shutting down the voices of this minister, but they kept springing up. So I strongly believe there is a realm and movement God wants to manifest through you. Please take time to pray, rehearse the songs we practiced today, or prepare a fresh list of songs as you feel led. God bless you.".

While reading this, and even like 16 minutes after I was done, all I kept mustering was, Me? Me? Like Me? Seriously.

I know that this choir mistress knows fully well that I stutter and stammer while singing. My fellow choir colleagues had nicknamed me "Endo-vocalist" because I sing from and in my inner man. I sing for the glory of God, not the edification of the brethren. Me, that wouldn't have had any business to do with a microphone; if not, I worship with a church of an abundantly mighty troop of a little more than 50 members (including women and children).

 

The same ME, who is no doubt the church's worst backup singer, should lead in a Sunday service worship session?. You got to be kidding me. This has got to be a message mistakenly sent to the wrong recipient, because I'm definitely sure the God I serve is not the author of confusion.

 

I called our choir mistress. I called with that hope, wish, and prayer that once she picks up the call, she will be like, "Hey, what's up? I hope all is well.  This is the one you called. Is everything alright? With this, I would know the message wasn't for me, and then happily, I would tell her about the text she mistakenly sent to me. If this had been the case, I swear the first thing I would have done was to recite that Bible passage that reads, "When the Lord turned away the captivity of Israel, we were like them in that dream. So were our mouths filled with laughter and our mouths with singing (Psalms 126) for like 18 times.

But unfortunately, brethren, when she picked, before I could even finish saying "Hello ma," came the two-factor authentication of my trauma: "I hope you have seen the message I sent'.

The last time my heart beat as fast as it did at that moment was on July 12th, 2012, during my junior secondary school days. That day I had unusually come to school late, and brethren, that unusual day was when the three prefects on duty were guys my elder brother had once fought with on the street, bullied and seized their property, and broke their heads during a rivalry match in a viewing center, respectively. Now the only girl in that clique (though not on duty but would have rescued me) was a girl I once referred to as "Runz Girl." The hearts of nominated Big Brother Naija housemates on a Sunday live eviction show no longer reached my own that day. Not exaggerating, but the pumping velocity in my soul could pump air into the front and back tires of a hundred and twenty Volkswagen G-Wagon.

 

I tried giving a detailed explanation of how unready, unmusical, untalented, and unspiritual I was. Kai, at some point, I had to lie and say that I was battling with a secret sin. But my choir mistress wasn't having it. A woman insisted that if God can use Baalam's donkey to pass a message, then no human is unqualified for service.

 

Woman went on to tell me tales about the two times she has had night visions of me ministering to large crowds in Mauritania, how her spiritual eyes of understanding were opened on one of our Thursday prayer meetings to see fire hovering around my head, how she is convinced that God is preparing me to be the next Osama Bin Laden of the Kingdom who would slaughter the devil and all his activities on earth, and many other exhortations I consider "psychological tricky.".

But it worked.

Because, Omo, for a minute after the call ended, I felt like Theophilus Sunday.

I felt like I had the graces of Melchizedek, Prophet Abimelech, and Joseph of Arimathea combined.

For the next 3–4 hours, I was on YouTube watching videos of stage ministrations by a couple of Nigerian gospel singers. Low-key singers, please!. Those ones that are like the Cedar of Lebanon and have not been shaken by the pressure of other ad-libs and voice-straining artists The likes of Nathaniel Bassey, Williams McDowell, and Lawrence Oyor.

 

Quite wonderfully, after one of Nathaniel Bassey's powerful ministrations, my Youtube auto-played into one prophetic video that confirmed that my choir mistress' ministration was certainly from God: one hilarious clip where Minister Dunsin Oyekan subtly scolded a certain Oversabi Keyboardist that wanted to ascend him to a choking musical progression. My man was like, "Keyboardist, meet me at B, meet me at B." lol! Exactly! Exactly! Exactly. You should see how I exhaled after seeing that video. Exactly what I would do to any of my church's instrumentalists who would try to carry me to places I did not know. Make a public show of that person.

 

I'm not trying to overpraise or overhype myself, but I'm not sure if Reinhard Bonke's ministry had ever spent as much time and energy preparing for a crusade as I did that night. In between watching a video, I'll pause and try practicing some of the gimmicks, moves, lifting of hands, bowing of heads, kneeling of down these gospel artistes do, then continue watching, pause again, practice, and continue again. I did this literally more than 874 times before I finally prayed and before I slept, approximately around 3:30 a.m.Sleep? Nah

 

I didn't sleep for up to three hours before I woke up, rehearsed the songs I planned to sing again and again, and finally dressed up for church. And, Brethren, for the first time ever since I stopped living with my parents, I was in church before opening prayers. In church before all my band and choir colleagues, before even Mrs. Ministration (my choir mistress), and before every other normal church member. Only behind my senior pastor and his family, our assistant pastor and his austic son, and the two youth corp members who refused to rent an accommodation, so now they sleep in the church premises (precisely the generator room) because they want to save up their allawee and use it as start-up capital after youth service.

 

The opening prayers were done, Sunday school followed, then bible reading, and finally, people of God, the hour of truth, the worship session.

With all the rebelliousness in my face, I tightened up and marched up to the podium, picking up the microphone meant for the lead singer.

P.S. Just like in several African churches, in my church there is this special microphone (wired, etc.) meant only for the lead singer. The miserable unanioted backup singers know their lot already: mentally unstable, muffle-sounding wireless microphones with semi-dead batteries. For me, in particular, who is considered the church's worst vocalist, the microphone I was usually left with, agreeing other backup singers had picked theirs, was one that sounded like what the British missionaries used in evangelizing the gospel along the Akwanga-Nyanya road.

But Alhamdullahi! That scenario about the rejected stone becoming the chief cornerstone played out that Sunday.

 

You should see the shock on the faces of my entire church, seeing a recruitee in Christ handling a microphone meant for matriarchs and Leitunant Conels of the gospel. You should see the facial expression on my back-ups screaming, "Is this crase or something"?

 

The cold response and reception I got were something else. All that was drumming in my head at that moment were the words of Jesus Christ before arrest and crucifixion: "Lord, if it's your will, let this cup pass over me." Like, open the ground and let me fall in, but if it's your will, please show this congregation that power is not powder. Let the anointing flow in such a way that not only will yokes be broken, but doubts will be cleared. Jehovah, the author and finisher of our faith, let this see-finish be finished.

The congregation's response to the first song I raised was, "We give you glory, Lord, as we honor you. You are wonderful; you are worthy, Oh Lord." was so annoyingly discouraging that I almost thought of slamming the microphone to the ground, angrily picking up my Bible, and barging out of the church. Probably barging out of Christianity entirely and converting into idolatry and the worship of our ancestors. Instead of actually "giving' God the glory, as the song suggests, adults in my church were 'giving' younger people and children their phones, power banks, and extensions to help them plug into light sockets. Instead of honoring the ancient of days, the youths and teenagers were still honing their adaptation skills.

But I didn't get deterred. I introduced the second song, a contemporary song that at least the Gen-Zs would love.

This song by Moses Bliss "You are too faithful to fail me; you are still faithful to leave me halfway," and truly, Brethren, halfway into the song, the spirit of God began to half, sorry, have his way. At least people began to motion with their hands and legs. My target audience, Gen-Z, was beginning to vibe.

So I leveraged that to introduce the third song, a fire-filled revivalistic song that blew up all the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes that underrated my anointing at first. Spirit Chant, originally sung by Victoria Orenze.

 

As I began to chant those lyrics, "Eyayah Eyayah, Eyayah Eyayah," one light-skinned lady from KaYArda was already rolling on the floor, tongues were pouring out, manifestations of God's presence were vivid, and the atmosphere was thoroughly charged.



Little did I know, brethren, that while God's presence was manifesting, the microphone I was singing with was manifesting as well. Little did I know, children of God, that in the midst of the charged atmosphere, at my sphere were the wires of the microphone sphering. Never did I know that the microphone's wire had coiled around my legs like Cornelius.

 

How would I have known, though, that when I was forming spirituality, eyes closed, up straight, at a spot, and all attention fully focused on the throne of Grace? But honestly, now, how I wish I kept that posture. How I now wish I didn't listen to that wild voice that made me try out one of the stunts I watched on Nathaniel Bassey's Hallelujah Challenge on YouTube, Jumping in the Holy Ghost.

 

Brethren, I jumped. People of God, I jumped and landed face-down on the ground. So hard. With how hard I fell, I just knew that the least number of teeth I would lose was 14.

 

Funny enough, my church people thought the fall was a move of the spirit. While I was struggling for my life on the ground, my backup singers, who felt it was the anointing, were raising more worship songs. Some people even got inspired by my fall to fall theirs. So I had to play along and pretend that it was indeed a fall of the spirit. And that's how I would have pretended until I passed out.

 

But thank God for two "not-so-spiritual guys" who noticed that something was amiss. Those two guys (Ambibola and Uncle K) were the instruments God used to avert my untimely death that day. Both of them dragged me up, and behold, the church saw blood all over the face and teeth of their worship leader.

Kai, see premium embarrassment!

While almost everyone was feeling sad for me, I was thoroughly embarrassed.



Hey, Hey, Hey, wouldn’t you love to meet the writer of this exciting piece you just read? Maybe patronize what he does for a living as well.



 My Name is Chukwu Ebuka Fulfill, a chemical engineer by profession and a writer/psychologist by divine ordination who hails from Nimbo town in the Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State. My induction into the writing space happened sometime around July 2011, while I was still 9, when I started writing kids’ church dramas and playlets. I have since then developed a special interest in writing engaging, conversational, fun, motivational, and exciting write-ups, both for viewing and reading purposes.

Before the Chat GPT era, I wrote for notable websites, and have over a hundred works credited to my name and more than two hundred discredited from my name (Ghost Writing Jobs).

I deal with the following writing specializations:

-Script/Fictional Contents

-Blog/Article Content

-Copywriting
-SEO-Optimized Contents

-e-Books computations

Want to hire me for your upcoming writing project? Please send me a message at ebukafcchris@gmail.com or send a WhatsApp message to 09017632896 or 09137414523.

 

It would be an absolute delight to work with you.

 

 




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