Spread the love


| Format: Ms Word | 1-5 Chapters | Table of Content|


Study Level: BTech, BSc, BEng, BA, HND, ND or NCE

Amount: ₦4,000.00


This study critically examine the impact of media in the propagation of the gospel in Living Faith Church, Umuahia District. Considering that a great many new media users can be gratified by contents other than religious messages on the Internet, one wonders how evangelism will fare in this era of the new media. Besides evangelism, the media are used for education, information, socialization and entertainment. However, churches which are ignorant of the potency of online evangelism are believed to be missing out on what is supposed to help them broaden the frontiers of fulfilling The Great Commission. Investigation shows, among other things, that the social media are veritable instruments in sustaining old members and wooing new ones. The study concluded that the churches that use the social media platforms are up-to-date; the social media used in evangelism are perceived as attractive and satisfactory; but that the cost of maintaining the new media workability is prohibitive. It was then recommended that despite the unethical and immoral posts that can be found online, the new media should not be avoided because of its potency in fostering bonds among old church members and evangelizing prospective ones.

                                                    CHAPTER ONE


1.1 Background to the Study

The media remains an important agent in the projection of ideas and images, which people use to interpret and understand a great deal of the everyday happenings and experience around them. The media has also spread its tentacles in virtually all spheres of human endeavor. It has changed the way we engage with people and understand our world. It has affected our cultures, political activities, religion, economic and general wellbeing. We now do things differently than we were doing a few years ago, and this rapid change has continued to date. Like  other realms of society that are responding to these transformations in order to gain stability and overcome daunting challenges brought by the new technology, Christianity is believed to follow this path. A number of Christian churches have reviewed their evangelism strategy by taking advantage of the digital technology to transmit the word of God to people who are yet to embrace and/or live out the faith.

The 21st century has ushered us into the era of convenient and effective communication. Imperatively, developments in technology are fast expanding the frontiers of communication so that many more persons are reached through the various channels of communication than previously imagined. Today churches do not only see the media as one of nature’s greatest gifts to humanity but a tool primarily designed to facilitate the spread of the gospel. In whatever shape or form the religious organizations are, they are expected to propagate the doctrines of their faith to people across the world, with a view to converting them. Since the Great Commission in Christianity demands that Christians spread the gospel of Jesus Christ across the world. “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15). This great task had been more demanding than it is with the advent of the Internet and other technological innovations.

Media is the means through which opinions, ideas, information or news are disseminated to a large group of people. The word ‘media’ includes a whole range of modern communication which includes television, video, radio, photography, newspaper, magazine, recorded music, computer games and the internet. They are usually referred to as mass media because they are used to reach large audiences. Minx (2005), defines media as a means of public communication such as television, radio and widely circulated newspapers that tend to reach a large audience with similar social characteristics. Also, Thompson (2004), defined media as books magazines, newspapers, radio, television, cinemas, records, tapes, and videos. Media can therefore be broadly defines as channels of communication, having the tendency to reach a large audience. The media is vital in the propagation of the gospel and helps in reconciling the world to Christ spiritually, morally and socially.

According to (Diri, 2009, p. 177), “the new media are those methods and social practices of communication, representation and expression that have developed using digital, multimedia, networked computer and the ways that this machine is held transformed work in other media, like books, movies, newspapers, magazines, radio, television, telephone, etc”. Writing on how the Internet can benefit the spread of the gospel, John Paul II (2002) averred that;

“the Internet can also provide the kind of follow-up which evangelization requires. The fact that through the Internet people multiply their contacts hitherto opens up wonderful possibilities for spreading the Gospel. This is because the Internet causes billions of images to appear on millions of computer monitors around the planet. It is from this galaxy of sight and sound (Internet) will the face of Christ emerge and the voice of Christ heard? This is the purpose of evangelization.” However, the presence of this new media of communication has placed the church at a cross road, where her decision concerning the use of the new media might help or mar the spread of the gospel. (John Paul II, 2002, para. 5) noted that ―with the communications and information revolution in full swing, the Church stands unmistakably at another decisive gateway”.

Christianity has heralded a phase of religion that thrives on evangelism with a mandate to ‘evangelize’ or reach out to people who do not know Jesus Christ, his divinity and work of salvation. Many Pentecostal denominations with a wide followership are beginning to find respite in reaching them through Internet-enabled communication channels. Previous  studies  reveal  that  the  Orthodox churches thrives  on  its  numerical  strength and  sacramental resources rather  than  the  utilization  of  the  mass  media,  while  the  Pentecostal  churches continue  to develop a powerful media infrastructure for advancing ‘evangelism’ (Ihejirika,2008;  Rausch,  2010). Further, other researchers like (Newton and Minor, 2009) have identified that one of the major functions of the media is the creation of awareness and educating the masses to overcome various social problems and development of civic sense. The use of new media by religious groups and religious followers has altered the ways in which religious messages are accessed and consumed. This study, therefore, sought to evaluate the impact of media in the propagation of the gospel in Living Faith Church, Umuahia District.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The issue of the use of the media in propagation of the gospel has recently posed some challenges to the Church. Some Christians are of the opinion that the new media should not be used for evangelism purposes considering the distraction accompanying social media. Again, many Christian organizations, either out of sheer religious fanaticism, apprehension or misinformation have written off the Internet as some “unrighteous” thing that is apparently not fit as a channel for religious messages hence they have literally thrown away the baby with the bath water. Their position is predicated on the many ignoble, vicious and immoral posts on the Internet via the social media platforms. Yet it can be contended that like any other medium, what one does with the Internet technology is purely one’s choice. The medium itself is not the problem. However, not many Christian organizations have embraced the lofty disposition of the Internet. This is probably because of the financial involvement as the cost of sustaining evangelism online is prohibitive. This can explain why smaller churches are yet to see online evangelism as an option. The work of evangelisation today is so intertwined with what means and how those means help to project the gospel truths. Within this framework, therefore, the media have become not just relevant but in fact indispensable to the church’s mission of evangelising the world. The church has a lot to gain and maybe a lot to lose too. She has to reach the people in issues that pertain to the gospel but at the same time she has to translate this to reflect the realities of the present time. Time is of essence here. Speed is also of importance here (Michael, 2012). The church is also affected by this wave of change brought about by the new media. One notices the impact especially in the cases of the sexual abuse in the church. The time has long passed when the newspapers were the sole medium of knowledge about the church. Today the media especially social media has taken over and this pose a serious challenge to the negatives images the media portrays about churches in Nigeria. Considering the above mentioned challenges, there is need, therefore, to examine the impact of media in the propagation of the gospel in Living Faith Church, Umuahia District.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The primary objective of this study is to examine the impact of media in the propagation of the gospel in Living Faith Church, Umuahia District. Specifically, this study intends to:

  1. To determine the extent to which print media influence the propagation of the gospel in Living Faith Church Umuahia District.
  2. To determine the extent to which electronic media influence evangelism in Living Faith Church, Umuahia District.
  3. To determine the extent to which social media impact on outreaches and revivals in Living Faith Church, Umuahia District.

1.4 Research Questions

To achieve the objective of this study, the following questions are formulated:

  1. What is the extent to which print media influence the propagation of the gospel in Living Faith Church Umuahia District?
  2. What is the extent to which electronic media influence evangelism in Living Faith Church, Umuahia District?
  3. What is the extent to which social media impact on outreaches and revivals in Living Faith Church, Umuahia District?
    1.  Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses will be tested in the course of this study;

H01: The print media does not significantly influence the propagation of the gospel in Living Faith Church Umuahia District.

H02: The electronic media does not significantly influence evangelism in Living Faith Church, Umuahia District.

H03: The social media does not significantly impact outreaches and revivals in Living Faith Church, Umuahia District.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The role the media plays in influencing human behaviour cannot be overemphasized. Through their social responsibility and agenda-setting function, the media have continued to affect the way people think, how they think and what they should think about. These influences vehemently abound in almost all aspects of human lives, which the church is never an exception.

Therefore, this study will be of importance to pastoral communicators (ministers, pastors, deacons, members of evangelism unit etc,) who use the internet as a channel to reach Christians in the region. It will help those who have not seen reasons to use the internet to realise that the new media might have some inherent potential yet to be noticed in its use for evangelical purposes.

It will also be of benefit to missionaries in southern Nigeria as they would realize that the new media can be used for their mission’s works. It will equally help the government to know about the potentials of the new media and to know whether it would be appropriate to regulate its use in the country.

This study will be of importance to Christians and scholars because it will provide them with the basic knowledge about the place of the internet on propagation of the gospel. It will equally serve as a reference material for researchers who would want to carry out studies that are related to the one under review or further studies on other related areas.

1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The present study revolves around the entire federation; since it examines the impact of media in the propagation of the gospel in Nigeria, the dynamic scope of the study has a national outlook and it will thus be ideal to embark on the study in the entire federation. However, it becomes very necessary for the researcher to narrow it down to the premises of Living Faith Church, Umuahia District in Abia State.

In the process of this research, many challenges confronted the researcher as constraints toward the achievement of this work, the constraints include but not limited to:

  • Some questionnaires were not return to the researcher.
  • Some individual refused to answer the questions correctly in order to keep their secret.
  • Some respondents choose to ignore completely.

In spite of all these limitations, the researcher tried to come out with a valuable research.

1.8 Research Procedure

The research procedure of this study involved library research, reference to books, Bible, Dictionary, internet materials, online books, e-books, Wikipedia, past works of authors, Journals, past project research as they relate to impact of media in the propagation of the gospel. The Living Faith Church book shop was also visited for library research. The field work includes the use of oral interviews of some individuals, families, groups and pastorate of Living Faith Church in Umuahia District.

Oral interview was conducted, some questions covering aspect of research topics were used for collecting information. Questionnaires were carefully selected to obtain the correct and right information.

1.9 Operational Definition of Terms

For the purpose of clarity, these terms that may be confusing to the reader are defined in the context of their usage in the work the following order:

Impact: This is the effect or capacity to have an effect on the character, development or behaviour of someone.

Media: Media is the plural form of medium and refers to collective communication outlets or tools used to access, store and deliver information among many people, including newspapers, magazine, television, radio, internet, etc.

Electronic Media: These are media that use electronics or electromechanical means for the audience to access the content. This is in contrast to static media, which today are most often created digitally, but do not require electronics to be accessed by the end user in the printed form.

Print Media: The various materials or publications which are printed on paper and are distributed are termed as ‘print media’. Print media include newspapers, newsletters, magazines, books, and literary works in any form, brochures or other types of publications, and advertising materials.

Social Media: Social media are interactive digital channels that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, interests, and other forms of expression through virtual communities and networks.

Propagation: This is the action of widely spreading and promoting an idea, theory, etc.

Gospel: Gospel originally meant the Christian message which signifies good news, but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which the message was set out.

Evangelism: In Christianity, evangelism is the act of preaching the gospel with the intention of sharing the message and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Missions: This is a task that is assigned or begun or a task that is regarded as a very important duty.