Dearly beloved, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the first edition of BLENT (Breeding Leaders for Empowerment and National Transformation) and this year’s focus is on the Media Sector with the theme: Changing Media, Changing Audiences – Exploring New Media Opportunities and Threats. I also want to welcome all our friends and special guests in the house. It is not an accident that you have come to worship with us today and it is my prayer that our God will show you a token for good and perfect all that concerns you.
As you are no doubt aware, we live in a constantly evolving society and the role of the media cannot be over emphasized. The media has over the years shaped and influenced the way we perceive and do things as a people. Today, the media has gone beyond its traditional role of informing, educating and entertaining society and has since taken on new roles like setting agendas, reinventing and reinforcing our belief systems, guiding our opinions and decision making processes through powerful editorials, feature articles and news analysis.
With the advent of Social Media, a new tool for information gathering and dissemination with a strong bias for soft news was created. The coming on board of the various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and a host of others have put the communication process in the hands of every person who has access to a smart phone or tablet. Today, even children are now part of the new media audience with its attendant opportunities and threats. No doubt, the gains of the various media tools available are indeed enormous when you consider the wide reach, speed of communication and the impact on lives. Whatever you post online today is available to any person on the globe within a matter of seconds. That is the power of the media.
However, you would agree with me that the media and its content has also been a source of worry to individuals, families and indeed our nation Nigeria. As we critically look at the sector today, it is my prayer that we would be able to lay the facts bare, explore the new opportunities that abound and proffer the much-needed solutions. I have no doubt in my mind that our special guests who have been invited to tackle the issues would do justice to it.
Let me use this opportunity to assure all our friends in the house that as a church, we believe that one of our major assignments is to make a positive impact in our world for the kingdom. We believe in the project called Nigeria and necessity is laid on us to contribute our quota to the National Transformation process. That is why our efforts and operations as a church are geared towards making our members agents of transformation. Our core mission is to develop and release people to make a formidable impact in their world for the kingdom. We believe that the church has gone beyond sitting down, clapping hands and shouting hallelujah.
For everyone coming into this auditorium for the first time, particularly our most distinguished guests and of course other stakeholders in the media sector, I welcome you again and again and I believe your coming will leave a landmark in your life. Our God will visit you, fill your mouth with testimonies and grant every desire of your heart. I look forward to having you again and again in our services and I know that together we can make the necessary changes in this nation.
I bless you.
In His Royal Service
Dr. Mike Okonkwo
The Presiding Bishop