Pastor Johnson Funsho Odesola is only known to many as a clergy and the Assistant General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG but it may interest you to know that he is also the pastor in charge of a region containing 16 provinces, the Secretary General of RCCG and the Coordinator of The Redeemed Christian Corpers’ Fellowship International. Gospel Film News can boldly tell you that he is also a lover of Drama who uses gospel films to pass across message to the world aside preaching on the pulpit. He is the Executive Producer of Faith-Lift productions which has produced ground-breaking films like ‘Scars of Joy’, ‘Journey to Egypt’, ‘Eye of the storm’, ‘Incurable Wound’, among others. The production outfit recently released a film titled ‘Not an Orphan’ which was premiered in Lagos, Nigeria. The film received a wide acceptance at the premiere and thrilled the over 5,000 audience. In an exclusive interview with Gospel Film News publisher, Oluwafemi Dosu, the Executive Producer, Pastor J.F Odesola disclosed what gave birth to the story idea and what the film is all about. Excerpt:
As the Executive Producer of this production and watching this powerful message what gave birth to the conception of this great message?
When you read the bible, at the beginning in Genesis chapter one verse 26, 27, 28, God made us in His own image, He desired fellowship. So, anyone with God irrespective of your background God is there as your father, mother because God has no wife, He’s the wife of Himself, so you have God as the father and as the mother and when you go through the pages of the bible he said specifically to Moses that ‘I will be with you as I take you from the land you are to the land of promise. Moses said if you are not going to go with us we will not go and He said I will be with you. Jesus when he was going away in Mathew 28 reading from verse 20 He said I will never leave you, I will never forsake you, I will be with you forever. In the book of Hebrews chapter 13 verse 5 ‘that we may boldly say that the Lord is with us’.
The message is that everyone who belongs to Christ, you attain to the higher ‘Sonship’ ‘Daughtership’ (if there is anything like that), so, you graduate from the earthly father to the heavenly father who can meet all needs; physical need, emotional need, spiritual need. You biological parents can meet only physical need. Your emotional traumatization no one can meet it but when you graduate from that level as the bible said in John 1:12 ‘as many as believe Him, to them gave Him power to become sons of God’. 2nd Corinthian 5:17 ‘if any man now is in Christ he’s a new creature, old things are passed away. 1 Peter 2:9 ‘we are a peculiar people’. When you attain that level you are no longer in the realm of this mundane thing. You can call God for anything because with him nothing is impossible. You can ask him to secure you from danger because he that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the almighty. You can look unto him for help. Psalm 121 verse 1. So, the vision of the film was actually triggered by the fact that many people looked down on themselves, they have a low esteem of their lives and nobody should have that. You are lifted with God you are in the heavenly realm. Everyone, whether you have parents or not, like my both parents are late but I’m not an orphan, I have Christ as my father. God the father is there for me.
Looking at this movie with the level of excellence that was packaged in it and considering the fact that you are a man of God that most people know on the pulpit alone, what do you think contributed to the excellence of the movie?
Everything is traceable to grace. The passion I have is to make the message relevant to people. In this church, one of the largest church but there are few thousands that come here; 5,000, 8,000 but the film can reach out with YouTube of this world to so many people that will never come to church will look at it and I thought when Apostle Paul said we need to preach the message in season and out of season, and because it’s the message of God, if I need to roll on ground and they need to record it, so be it for the glory of God. If I need to change whatever I wear, once it is within the catchment of integrity, holiness and purity I will need to do that, and that’s to contextualize the message and bring it to the level of people. The children may not understand what we are saying but when they watch the film they will be able to pick some lessons. In my preaching my language may be very hard but people can pick something in the film.
What is your word of encouragement to upcoming ones who are looking up to a day they will also be able to use their gift for God?
The upcoming ones should know that they have a vision. The bible said in Jeremiah chapter 1 verse 5 that before we are born there is a mission. Everyone in life has got the gift of God implanted in them. So, the upcoming should discover the talent. They are not going to bring it in, it’s there. They should discover it, develop it and deploy it and everybody has got something to offer this generation. Just as we heard, those who doesn’t have anything to offer should be treated as an orphan but everybody has got something to offer, go and offer it. Whether young generation or old generation, it doesn’t matter the age, there is something in us that other people didn’t have, so go ahead and do it.
Going through your archive, the things God has used you to do, the films you have produced couple with the fact that you are the Assistant General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, how do you have time for all this?
Let me tell you, not only assistant general overseer. I’m the pastor in charge of region containing 16 provinces, the Secretary General of The Redeemed Christian Church of God and I’m also the coordinator of The Redeemed Christian Corpers’ Fellowship International, but you will always have time for things that matters. For me, pushing the gospel beyond the limit of people’s thinking is what really matters to me. Every other thing, if I need to sacrifice my food to be able to be able to get that, and I thought winning of souls for me is unnegotiable; whichever method I could utilize to win soul. I can win through Drama, Singing. It may interest you to know that I also sing, I can use those things just to be sure that God Is glorified. People who are born again use whatever method to get people born again, whether by words, whether by action, by drama, by singing or whether by Godly jokes.
What can you say about the cast and crew of the film, Not an Orphan?
I want to say thank God because only God can gather them together. Some casts were taken from Dubai, some had to go from Nigeria. The costume is another thing because we have to appeal to the higher authority in the military before we can wear some costume. I want to appreciate God for their lives and that God himself has picked them and they picked interest. Some of them just read the script and said sir, we want to be involved. So, they are wonderful people and I hope they will try more. We still have about eight different projects. There are two projects we are working on now that is almost finished. We still have the projects like that and we haven’t stop writing. I just send them three other scripts now for screenplay.