THE MISS APPLICATION OF MINISTERIAL GIFTS IN THE PENTECOSTAL CHURCHES IN NIGERIA
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This study was carried out to examine the miss application of ministerial Gifts in the Pentecostal churches using modern day churches in Sokoto State as a case study. The total population for the study is 200 members of Living Faith church in Dambua Raymond Village in Sokoto State. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made pastors, elders, deacons and members were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies. It was revealed that there are causes of miss application of ministerial gift in Pentecostal churches. It was also revealed that it was not only Pentecostal churches that usually miss use ministerial gifts in the region. It was concluded that miss application of ministerial gifts is a traumatic process of unethical manipulation and domination, intentionally inflicted by some church leaders upon their followers. This control is achieved through various manipulative forms of actual mind control. It was recommended that effort must be made by the pastor to prevent any lifestyle that will bring stigma or reproach to the name of God in his life and family.
1.1 Background to the study
While most denominations have taken their time acknowledging the problem of spiritual abuse, some have yet to do so. As a result, not much has been done to provide proper safeguards or even training on how to identify and handle this problem. Violence in the modern world can take many different forms, including terrorism, war, rape, murder, and abuse. Today, violence takes various forms, including war, terrorism, murder, rape, and church abuse by Ministers who were supposed to be role models to their followers. All forms of violence strip the 21st century Ministers of their dignity and freedom, according to (Kirk-Duggan, 2006). Some theologians support the idea that the church, both as an individual and as a whole, can be restored to its true nature through a critical understanding of the role of the Holy Spirit as the energizing force. This understanding can free the church from the apathy of formal rituals, uninspired orthodoxy, or purely secular activities.
The world’s fastest-growing religious subset is Pentecostal churches. Even though the church and the spirit-filled movement both officially began on the Day of Pentecost, the modern Pentecostal movement didn’t have its start until 125 years ago. The advent of the contemporary Pentecostal movement signaled the beginning of the last season of the end times. The Pentecostal movement has grown to 1 billion members in just 125 years, whereas Islam took 1500 years to reach that milestone.
The power of the Holy Spirit has initiated a global spiritual revival that is sweeping the world today. Among the Pentecostal distinctives is passionate worship, altar ministry, soul winning and operating in the gifts of the spirit. Most Pentecostal churches witness many healings, miracles and divine outpourings of spiritual renewal. The gifts of the spirit were given to the church to perpetuate ministry and reach every culture with the gospel of Jesus. Most of these churches have a strong worship culture, altar ministry culture and word centered pulpit.
Worship is the heart of the church. Generally and indeed theologically the whole essence of the existence of man is to worship God. But man in his depravity cannot attain such a level of spiritual aliveness that could take him into the realm of genuine worship.
Nonetheless, there are people in the spirit-filled movement who attempt to use their spiritual gifts immaturely. The fruit of the spirit must be developed as a requirement to spiritual development. Those who try to use the gifts of the spirit without first bearing the fruit of the spirit are among the most dangerous persons in the church. When someone tries to use a spiritual gift, they turn petty, conceited, and haughty. This group casts discredit on this significant Holy Spirit movement. Quoting (Galatians 5:22 NKJVS); “True mature believers are full of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control”.
Simply put, immaturity is “underdeveloped.” It simply means that they are not as mature as they could be. Many decent individuals have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, but they have never matured spiritually enough to make the most of their gift. People with immature spirituality view ministry as a kind of “talent show.” A mature Christian constantly desires for Jesus to take center stage. While mature believers recognize the distinction between private and public spiritual abilities, immature spiritual persons are driven by a desire to be noticed. Not every spiritual gift is suitable for a worship session. Only when the “body” is able to be edified are the gifts for edification acceptable. Immature spiritual adherents tend to focus on their own spiritual gifts and frequently lack the knowledge necessary to effectively lead a collective anointing. Unless they are serving one-on-one at the altars, corporate offerings that edify the entire body of Christ are for the corporate worship service. Although all the gifts are required and suitable, some work better when utilized in a small group of believers (https://churchtrainer.com)
The church, or the chosen ones, serve as the vehicle through which God’s enormous expectation is fulfilled. The result of live worship is growth. Growth is visible in all areas of the church’s existence—numerical, spiritual, physical, and infrastructure—when worship is carried out as God intended. Worship and growth are therefore the two intertwined objectives that every church in the world strives to achieve.
And last, everyone using a spiritual gift ought to answer to the church. Churches are frequented by “pirates” who come to steal. They accept no responsibility for their “words,” have no covering, and are not held accountable. Within the Body of Christ, the gifts of the Spirit were distributed to foster interdependence and unity. Not just ministers and apostles, but the entire body of Christ received the gifts. We shouldn’t limit the altar ministry to just ministers because of this. Healing-gifted individuals ought to pray for healing. In doubtful situations, one should use those with spirit-sensing abilities. The identification of spiritual gifts and the assignment of qualified individuals to critical positions where these gifts are required must be the top priorities for churches. Maximizing the gifts of the spirit is not always possible when ministry is conducted solely through hired labor. Since many pastors are excellent teachers and preachers but may not possess all the spiritual gifts, the body of Christ needs to be strengthened.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
It is still early to understand and acknowledge the idea of “spiritual abuse” as a serious kind of abuse that can harm victims for a long time, especially in terms of their mental health, sense of identity, and general well-being. Some pastors place a lot of emphasis on Sunday service attendance and membership numbers. Rather than concentrating on the passing away, the church’s sin confession, and the moral reformation within the congregation. When the church fails to prioritize relationships, process, and being over producing and doing, it turns into a haven or home for evildoers. The government has always considered this to be a “internal” matter for religious institutions, leaving them to police their own activities on their own. Growing concern, though, is that this may not be sufficient to guarantee that children and adults who are vulnerable are protected by suitable safeguarding procedures.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main aim of the study is to examine the miss application of ministerial gifts in the Pentecostal Churches in Nigeria. The specific objectives are;
- To determine what causes the miss application of ministerial gift in Pentecostal churches.
- To ascertain the effect of miss application of ministerial gift and God relationship.
- To find out whether only Pentecostal churches miss use ministerial gift
1.4 Research hypotheses
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: There is no causes of miss application of ministerial gift in Pentecostal churches.
H1: There are causes of miss application of ministerial gift in Pentecostal churches.
H0: Only Pentecostal churches miss use ministerial gift.
H2: Not only Pentecostal churches miss use ministerial gift.
1.5 Significance of the study
The study will be very significant to students and churches. The study will give a clear insight on the abuses of ministerial gifts Pentecostal churches: a case study of modern day churches. The study clarifies the causes of abuse of ministerial gift in churches. The study will also serve as a reference to other researcher that will embark on the related topic
1.6 Scope and limitation of the study
The scope of the study covers the miss application of ministerial gifts Pentecostal churches: a case study of modern day churches. The scope of the study was restricted to members of Living Faith Church (Winners Chapel) in Dambua Raymond.
The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
This was is within the framework of Living Faith Church (Winners Chapel) in Dambua Raymond Village, Sokoto.
Members Reluctance: In most cases the members of Living Faith Church (Winners Chapel) in Dambua often feels reluctance over providing required information required by the researcher. This result in finding information where the structured questionnaires could not point out.
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).
Researcher’s Commitment: The researcher, being of full time student spent most of her time on other academic activities such as test, class work, assignment, examination etc which takes average focus from this study.
Inadequate Materials: Scarcity of material is also a major hindrance. The researcher finds it difficult to lay hands on several required material which could contribute immensely to the success of this research work.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Pentecostal: Pentecostalism is a form of Christianity that emphasises the work of the Holy Spirit and the direct experience of the presence of God by the believer. Pentecostals believe that faith must be powerfully experiential, and not something found merely through ritual or thinking. Pentecostalism is energetic and dynamic.
Ministerial gift: the ministerial gift, which God of grace giveth, makes a minister.
Church: Church is a building that is used for Christian religious services, religious services are held in a church.
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