PREACHER’S FAMILY LIFESTYLE AND CHURCH GROWTH: A CASE STUDY OF CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH

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Table of Contents

Title Page                                                                                                        i

Certification                                                                                                    ii

Dedication                                                                                                      iii

Acknowledgement                                                                                          iv

Abstract                                                                                                          v

Table of Contents                                                                                           vi

CHAPTER ONE: – INTRODUCTION

1.1.      Background of Studies                                                                      

1.2.      Statement of Problems                                                                       

1.3.      Objectives of Study                                                                                       

1.4.      Significant of the Study                                                                                

1.5.      Scope of the Study                                                                                        

1.6.      Limitation of the Study                                                                                             

1.7.      Definition of Terms                                                                           

Endnotes                                                                                                                                

CHAPTER TWO – LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1.      Concept of Church Growth

2.2       Defining the Term “Preacher”

2.3       The Necessity of Preaching

2.4       The Purpose of Preaching

2.5       The Power of Preaching

2.6       The Preacher and the Holy Spirit

2.7       The Preacher and the Church

2.8       The Preacher and His Task

2.9       The Preacher and His Responsibility

Endnotes                                                                                                                                

CHAPTER THREE – THE PREACHER AND HIS LIFESTYLE

3.1       The Preacher and His Lifestyle          

3.2       The Effects of Preacher’s Family Lifestyle on Church Growth

3.3.      Preacher’s Family Lifestyle on the General Well-being of a Church

3.4.      Means by which a Preacher Exercises his Spirituality

Endnotes

CHAPTER FOUR: -PREACHER’S FAMILY LIFESTYLE AND CHURCH GROWTH

4.1       Spiritual Giftedness of a Preacher

4.2       Types of Spiritual Gifts in the life of a Christian

4.3       The Relationship Between Preacher’s Family Lifestyle and Church Growth

4.4       The Effects of Christian Lifestyle on Evangelism

4.5       Preacher’s Family Lifestyle and Spiritual Church Growth

4.6       Preacher’s Family Lifestyle and Numerical Church Growth

Endnotes                                                                                                        

CHAPTER FIVE: – SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

5.1       Summary                                                                                            

5.2.      Conclusion                                                                                         

5.3       Recommendation                                                                   

Endnotes                                                                                                        

Bibliography  

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

Lifestyle is not just something we put into our lives, but it is what comes out of our lives.  It is beyond a system of value or virtue we learn from our parents or even at church.  Lifestyle is who you are to God Himself and those around you.  It is the real you!  The church and parents must teach it, but they cannot insure its function.  That is the responsibility of our choice, a determination we make ourselves, a stand in stress that we continue to uphold.

Definitely, every preacher has a family.  Sometimes the congregation forgets, sometimes even the pastor seems to forget.   As each member of our individual family has needs to be met and potentials to be developed, so also the Preacher’s family does. Apostle Peter preached, recalling the book of Genesis and God’s promise to Abraham in Acts 3:25 “In your descendants all the families of the earth shall be blessed”. So we become one family in Christ caring for every member of the body.  Sometimes, a pastor’s family may feel that church members are the pastor’s family.  This is because they seem to have more impact on the pastor. Whenever they call and whatever they want, the pastor seems to be ready to counsel, teach, preach and visit.  This is because pastor cares about what they do.  It is often difficult for them to turn people away who crowd into family time. 

However, are scheduling regular time away from their pastoral duties for their families and in addition to time for themselves. Frankly speaking, there are great rewards in the pastor’s home.  One of such is that Pastor’s children have access to their parents at times while some are not privileged to reach theirs.  They understand what their parent, who is a pastor, does more clearly than children whose parents “go to the office”.  But there may be a sense of intrusion especially when the pastor’s family lives in a Parsonage.

Therefore, the research investigates into the effects of Preacher’s family lifestyle on church growth. The Bible in general and the book of Acts in particular record and affirm the expected and desired statistical growth in and through churches. But whenever statistical growth becomes the focused of a church instead of a valued consequence of the ministry, it is simply a matter of time until church leaders exchange biblically defined and principled faithfulness for worldly defined pragmatic success. The former brings the applause of heaven. The latter is always numerically measured thinking that it will bring the applause and approval whereas the reverse is usually the case.

Preacher’s family lifestyle is one of the keys to success in the ministry of the church.  Capable and skillful preacher will create an atmosphere of excitement, give directions to move forward and develop people to grow into maturity.  Only when preachers understand leadership in the light of God’s calling on their lives will they be equipped to lead effectively.  Leadership is the process of influencing people to give their energies, use their potential, release their determination and go beyond their comfort zone to accomplish goals1.  Leadership is a dynamic process. It affects, risks, drives, inspires, threatens, supports and leads. Local churches are looking for someone to lead them into God’s purposes and God’s way.  Local churches need leaders who truly believe that God will do what he says.  People will follow spiritual leaders who understand God’s agenda and who know how to move them towards it.  Effective preacher recognize the three elements of a triangle: (1) their own preferred and comfortable leadership style, (2) the comfortable relational styles of their followers and (3) the most productively structured ministry suitable for them.

Pastoral leaders should be alert to the most comfortable and productive combination of these three elements leader-follower-situation. Leaders can select their own leader style and can help structure the ministry situations they work in.  In other words, leaders can influence two of the three points of the leadership triangle that creates favorable, reciprocal and complementary possibilities for effective leadership.  Leaders determine their followers’ style reactions, however, unless they choose to manipulate. The lack of leadership in today’s contemporary churches, especially the smaller churches, has caused all kinds of problems which have stagnated the healthy growth of the church.

The growth of the local church will definitely lead to the expansion of Christianity in the world.  It is in this regard that it is essential for the local church to maintain a balance in both its quantity and quality.  Although numbers are essential, church growth is more than just numbers2. In this time of unprecedented opportunity and plentiful resources, the church is actually losing influence.

God has given each believer a combination of opportunities and gifts that are perfectly suited to his or her situation in life.  Christians are really ministers, unique contributors to the body of Christ.  The control thrust of your ministry depends largely on the spiritual gifts that you have received3.This will ultimately enhance the growth of the church and as well have a close fellowship with God and men. Regardless of title, one cannot be a leader.  The word “leader” according to Zeitchik Stone is defined “as one who guides by influence”.  A leader simply is one who leads while others follow4. Leadership is nothing if not linked to collective purpose and the effectiveness of leader must be judged not by press clipping, but by actual social change, measured by intent and by satisfaction of human needs and expectations, which on the long term will be visible on the church growth and development. The work of a church is a noble task.  Therefore, the study is designed to investigate the effects of preacher’s family lifestyle on church growth.

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1.2       Statement of the Problem

The account in Matthew 28:19-20 shows that the early church grew from 120 believers to 3,120 numerically.  This described the steady growth and multiplication of churches.  So, churches were strengthened in faith both spiritually and numerically.

Unfortunately, the current generation has left the priority undone and begins to follow shadows in contrast to the zeal displayed by the disciples of old.

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1.3       Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this research include the following:

  1.  To investigate the effects of preacher’s family lifestyle on church growth;
  2. To examine the impact of Preacher’s family lifestyle on the spiritual growth of the church;
  3. To explore preacher’s family lifestyle on the general well-being of a church;
  4. To discover the effects of preacher’s family lifestyle on numerical church growth;

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1.4       Significance of the Study

The significance of this study is to benefit Pastors, Pastors’ Family members (wives and Children), General Overseers, Administrators, Ministers, Workers etc. who are often saddled with ministerial roles.  It will enable them to clearly see the need to measure their family lifestyle on church growth. There is no gain saying that the moral standard of preacher’s family could either mar or make church growth.

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1.5     Scope of the Study

The research is delimited in scope to Christ Apostolic Church using them as a case study to depict the correct evaluation of the effects of preacher’s family lifestyle on church growth.

1.6       Limitations of the Study

  1. Financial constraint: – Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
  2. Time constraint: – The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work.
  3. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
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1.7       Definition of Terms

Preacher: According to an online Business English Dictionary, A preacher is defined as someone who preaches a worldwide, philosophy or religion, especially someone who preaches the gospel; a clergyman.5

Family: According to Cambridge online Dictionary, It defines family as a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not6.

Lifestyle: According Merriam-Webster online dictionary, It defines Lifestyle as a set of attitudes, habits or possessions associated with a particular person or group7.

Church Growth: According to Merriam-Webstar online Dictionary, it defines church growth as a movement within evangelical Christianity which aims to develop methods to grow churches based on business marketing strategies8.

Endnotes

  1. Peter Wagner, Leading Your Church to Growth (California:  Regal Books, 1984), 29
  2. John MacArthur, Keys to Spiritual Growth (Tarrytown, New York: Flemming H. Revell publisher, 1991), 129
  3. Carson, D. A. Showing the Spirit (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1987)
  4. Zeitchik Stone, Definition of Leaders (www.dictionary.com/brow,2021)
  5. www.businessdictionary.com/definition/preacher accessed on 20 January 2021
  6. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/family accessed on 20 January 2021
  7. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lifestyle accessed on 20 January 2021
  8. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/churchgrowth accessed on 20 January 2021

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