1.1 Background of Study
Prior to the exit of the fathers of faith in the eighteen and earlier nineteen centuries, the church had a rapid growing population and expansion. The exploit and adventure of the church fathers in the establishment; expansion; promotion and furtherance of the early church was memorable and great. Also bearing in mind that their creativity and godliness in leadership was tailored intentionally at achieving a church with zero tolerance for corruption and unholy activities, they acted in line with their understanding of the scripture and also emulate the leadership attributes and qualities of the Bible patriarch as the only antidote to poor growth; instability and non-expansion of the church. Despite the challenges and confrontations they face, yet they left for us great legacies worthy of emulation.
In the recent time, the church is face with confrontations and challenges of corruption; involvement in matters that negatively affects the church; lack of trust and poor application of leadership principles by the supposed church leaders and this unpalatable situation disrupted church growth and expansion. Hence, one can say today’s church experience of setback in its growth and expansion is due largely to lack of godliness and creative leadership, which lead to poor and un-noble display of shrewdness on the part of the present day church leaders among other shortcomings.
Orji, Daniel Orji cited on the role of the churches in combating corruption among political leaders in Anambra state, Nigeria ‘there is a fundamental and innate relationship between the Church and the State’. He added ‘the Church needs to play her expected role’’. Church leaders in their display of creativity and godliness should challenge political leaders in particular to involve in actions that are for the interest of social progress of the country at large.
The unavoidable need of creative and godly leadership in church expansion and growth cannot be over emphasis. The growth prosperity and success of any ministry is largely dependent upon the availability of leaders with foresight; creative and godly in the application of their principles and ideologies to move the church forward. Indeed, the link between godly leadership and expansion is such that the consistence of church leaders is the deep concern to the church. Over the past years, the carefree and unscriptural attitude as well as negligence of some church leaders combines with their ungodliness and carnality hampered the growth and expansion of the church.
Stories in the medial across the country suggest bastardization of the church piety by some on- trained element who appear before the church in the name of leadership and this is detrimental to the legacies of the church laid by our early church fathers.
A careful study of many Christian churches reveals that perhaps less than 10% of the believers are actively involved in living their faith according to the Scriptures and their church ministries. Up to 90% are lukewarm and uninvolved “hearers, but not doers of the word”. The idle condition of the average church is a consequence of poor leadership and aftermath of lack of well trained and experienced leaders.
However, every organization has its scheme of operation and usually with functional leadership. Particularly, effective leadership is noted by its mission and vision which help in achieving needed output. Organizations with a faulty leadership are subjected to injury in a short while; consequently leadership remains an essential process in every organization. Organizations derive its style of operation on the basis of its leadership commitment: principles and efforts; they trash out common and uncommon phenomenon in every aspect of life. Most churches in existence in this era are rooted in believes and practices of their founding fathers which formed the basis of their doctrines. Whether or not the system in practice are indications of leadership capability in driving there course. Every leader is held responsible for their actions and inactions. Therefore, to distinguish leaders from others, one must consider their styles of leadership whether they are Autocratic; democratic; strategic; transformative; team Leaders; Cross-Cultural Facilitative or Laissez-faire Leaders. Each of these leaders operates based on the principles required within the setting. Since our major focus of this study is religious leadership, It is important to note that church leadership involves dynamic roles like teaching, counseling, discipline, policy implementation and co-ordination of members, ordination of ministers; transfer; relocation; retirement of ministers and the likes, leadership in this regard is face with great challenge. Hence, different style of shepherding in line with the vision and mission of the church are practiced. With this, the study is poised to find out which of the leadership approach and attitude is mostly practiced in the churches and how it affect the growth and expansion of the church at large.
Leadership in the Christ Apostolic churches goes along with high level of responsibility and for any Pentecostal church to achieve its primary objective of expanding the church and propagating the gospel, a determinant force must be employed and faithfulness to the work is important as attitude cannot be underestimated. It is important also to note that church leadership is very different compare to leadership appointment in professional settings such as medicine, education, governances and finance. The fivefold ministry which includes teacher, evangelist, pastor, apostle and prophet is a platform of operation which every minister must understand so that he can function better and perform well in affecting the growth and expansion of the church positively. Character that implies confidence and trust of members are also parameter to determine the functionality of a leader of God’s people.
The impact of creative leadership in affecting the growth and expansion of the church is very enormous and cannot be underestimated. Christ Apostolic church victoryland Ilupeju district is the projected example in the analyses of this project work and its inference is synonymous to the challenges of most churches, their peculiarity emanated from the shortcomings of leadership principles; godliness and creativity. In this regards, this project work will consider basis for good reference to ministers and church leaders of our existing era.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The world is in a digitalized age in which technology and information sharing create trends that is moving faster across the globe; hence the church is affected by the changing world. The neuroscientists, biotechnologies; Medical operators and the likes have improved in the use of modernized technology. The problems within the church are enormous and it includecorruption of the church leaders, clashes among members, neglect of church legacies, financial misappropriation, default attitudes of believers, tussles for positions, pressure of losing members, unnecessary contest and battle amongst ministers for superiority and the likes.
Mbang, in Oke, (2012) cited that the Church has turned to a den of robbers; marketing God has led to high level of corruption, immorality and other forms of indiscipline in the society today. Tanu (2012:252) compared the sins of the sons of Eli with the immoral acts of ministers of God in Nigeria.
However, creative thinking and value can produce good result in Leadership; it takes a special kind of leadership to maintain bearings in difficult situation, take risk when necessary and not lose focus while obeying the directive of God.
The era of the founding fathers is reported to accept faster the teachings of the scripture by the bible teachers but,today’s church is growing more in corruption than in spiritual matters hence, the need to address the growth and expansion of the church,
1.3 Purpose of the Study
- To analyze the effect of creative leadership in church growth and expansion
- To examine the position panacea to the challenges of the 21st century church
iii. To look at the approach and ideologies of the early fathersin comparison to the present day leaders.
- To examine the effectiveness and purpose of existence of the church
1.4 Significance of Study
The research work shall add to existing knowledge and also serve as a benchmark for further studies.
The project work shall also be a valuable material for reference purpose to imminent researchers.
It shall throw insight into the understanding of Leadership in the church and bring about meaningful impact into church growth and expansion
It will further elucidate the importance of creative and godly leaders in the church; the challenges of the contemporary church and the menace of uncreative leaders in this era
1.5 Research Methodology
The methodology adapted in this project work includes library research method, oral interview of experience personalities, use of internet and opinion sampling via comparison with other researcher’s work to ensure a balance research work within the period available.
1.6 Limitation of Research
The research work is face with some constraint which include financial constraint, also, the fact that information are limited and are not easily come by is another restraint, the lack of available and enough time to carry detailed research work are all limitation to this research work.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Effect: The English oxford living Dictionary says it is a change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause
Creativity: Dictionary.com says it is the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination.
Leadership: According to Oxford dictionary, leadership is ‘’the action of leading a group of people or an organization. Which involve different styles of leadership of which the leader can still govern well through his or her leadership style or ability?’
Godliness: Collins English Dictionary stated that Godliness is mainly used to describe a positive way of life influenced by God, and inspired reflection in the tenets of the Christian faith.
Church growth: This is the increasing ability of the church within the locality and region where it exist or in operation.
Church expansion: it is a growth that happens across culture. That is the increasing ability of the church across cultural boundaries.
Leader: According to Cambridge Advanced learner’s Dictionary, leader refer to a person in control of a group, country or situation.
Christ Apostolic Church: is distinctly an indigenous African Church. By its structure, belief and practices, it is an independent Pentecostal Church