If you show up for clergy hour at the local fitness club, you often see pastors in the locker room comparing size. Church budget. Membership. Number of baptisms. That sort of thing. (What did you think I meant?)
The term for this is “church metrics.” It’s a term that shouldn’t exist, but it does. And you don’t want to hear the, “God’s okay with numbers, He’s got a whole book of them” line.
I guess you just did.
But these days, in a mega church world, the metrics are different. Number of weekend services. Number of satellite campuses. (Or is the plural campi?) Rank in Outreach magazine’s list of top churches, churches to watch, most influential churches. Number of books published. Highest position on the New York Times list for your last book. (Even if it’s the New York Times list of books that didn’t make the real New York Times bestseller list.)
Well forget all that.
I’ve got a new church metric… thing that separates the pastor men from the pastor boys. You’re not really playing the ministry game until you’ve got data to add to this chart.
How many jet airplanes do you own?
Hey, all the cool pastors in Nigeria are doing it. Well, one for sure. Christianity Today reports:
Allegations of extravagant living among Nigeria’s Pentecostal preachers have deepened following the gift of a private jet to the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria.
The multi-million dollar jet—a 10-seater with a range of 3,900 nautical miles—was presented to Ayo Oritsejafor by members of his congregation, Word of Life Bible Church in the oil-rich Delta state city of Warri. The gift celebrated the pastor’s birthday and his 40th anniversary in ministry.
Oritsejafor, who also serves as president of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, joins a growing list of preachers with private jets in the West African nation, which is Africa’s largest oil producer.
David Oyedepo, the founder of Living Faith Ministries (popularly known as Winners’ Chapel) in Lagos, Nigeria’s major port and most-populous city, owns three Gulfstreams (plus a Learjet) worth almost US$100 million. (By contrast, Oritsejafor’s Bombardier Challenger jet is worth less than US$5 million.) Enoch Adeboye, general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, also owns a private jet. So does the flamboyant founder of Christ Embassy Church, Chris Oyakhilome.
Apart from preachers, only top business tycoons and a few governors and politicians own private jets in a nation where more than 70 percent live on less than US$1 per day.
Nigeria’s wealthy have spent US$6.5 billion on private jets in the last five years, making it Africa’s biggest market for private planes. The number of privately-owned aircraft rose by 650 percent between 2007 and 2012, up from 20 to 150 planes at an average cost of US$50 million.
Okay, more than one pastor. And one guy owns four of them… C’mon pastor; you know you want one. And you’ve got a lot of work to do to catch up to the guy who has four. Size matters.
To expedite your order as quickly as possible, the image here conveniently links to the website for Gulfstream – The World’s Most Advanced Business Jet. Or if you prefer a different route, this link.
UPDATE: Much more on this in the comments today! Be sure to click through to read more.