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THE ROLE OF CHURCH LEADERS IN CHURCH GROWTH USING THE RCCG LP20 LAGOS STATE AS CASE STUDY

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

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Abstract

This study was an attempt to investigate the role of church leaders using the Redeemed Christian Church of God, under the Lagos Province 20 as case study. The study shows that the various leadership styles emanating from the ever increasing number of churches and their consequences on the growth of the gospel calls for concern. It is common knowledge that some Pentecostal churches practice a sort of democratic leadership style by carrying every member along in their decision making, others practice autocratic leadership style in which decisions are taken solely by the general overseer while some practice other leadership styles like shepherding and motivational leadership styles. Mismanagement of church funds has continued to be a topical issue in Pentecostal circle, causing disaffection among church members and this has continued to lead to proliferation of Pentecostal churches in Nigeria. The study concluded that church leaders must challenge present religious conflicts and leadership structures of faith communities with purpose for growth, change, and development of the church. The study recommends that church leaders should leads by examples, rather than acting or playing Christianity just to justify righteousness. 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

Christianity in Nigeria dates back to the 16th century when the Portuguese introduced Latin Christianity in Benin and Warri. Looking at Christianity from that early beginning to the present time, many stages of development had taken place resulting to the planting and growth of churches. Several Christian churches around here and there. the term Pentecostal Church shall be used interchangeably with the term New Religious Movement. The Pentecostal Churches have been defined by various scholars of Religion. For example, Burgess (2008) opined thus “Pentecostalism is an umbrella term for African Movements and Churches which stress the experience of the Spirit”. Ojo (2010) said that “the Churches share common phenomena through literature, crusades, camp meeting and rely on the “new birth” and the power of the Holy Spirit”. Owoeye (2011) believes that Pentecostal Churches are Churches that emphasize the working of the Spirit in the Church, especially with ecstatic phenomena like prophecy and speaking in tongues, healing and exorcism. RCCG shares all the above features as a Pentecostal Church. There is a phenomenon going on in the world in recent times that has caught the attention of scholars: the amazing growth of the Pentecostal movement worldwide. The factors responsible for the Pentecostal movements that makes it more astonishing is that so many movements especially in Christianity had arisen in the past and they gradually fizzled out, but the Pentecostal movement which started like the proverbial mustard seed which Jesus said is the smallest of all grains, but when it grows up it becomes a big and mighty tree that provides protection for the way faring man and the birds of the firmament nest in it (Mt. 13:3-32), has continued to grow despite oppositions and persecution faced. It is in view of this fact that this study examine the rapid growth of RCCG and the role of her leader within the years of its existence in the country.  We will look at the factors that facilitate the emergence and growth of churches in Nigeria. The global perspective in view of leadership, every organization has its own modus of operandi. Nigeria for instance, runs a participative leadership. An effective leadership is patterned by its goals and vision which help in achieving positive results. This is because any given organization with a with a questionable leadership style is prone to collapse. Therefore, leadership remains a fundamental process in every organization in which such an organization builds a style of operation. On this note, Adam (2003), noted that leadership is a common phenomenon in every facet of life. This implies that leadership is a thing that has captured the attention of many in order bring all pending matters to orderliness. In the same vein, Hybels (2002) states that leader often has impact not only because they are highly gifted but because their leadership styles mesh perfectly with specific ministry needs. Therefore, to distinguish leadership, it must be borne in mind that different styles of leadership abounds. These are political leadership, economic leadership, and socio-cultural leadership. Each of these leadership type operates based on the principles required within the setting.  Leadership is someone led a group or team from the front. according to me, no one can be a leader if a person doesn’t have this talent in it, you can say it’s a natural talent that god doesn’t give to everyone. Not everyone can be a leader or can lead a team. Your behavior or nature should be cooperative and friendly in order to be a good leader. On this basis, the major focus of this study is religious leadership and how it affects the growth of the church. It is interesting to know that leadership within churches involves series of vital roles such as teaching, counseling, discipline, and policy implementation, and co-ordination, recruitment of staff and retirement of staff. Based on these, leadership in churches faces a great challenge. The world has changed, is constantly changing, and will continue to change. Change is inevitable and occurs throughout facets or cycles of life and is a necessary component for life the analogy described can be applied to the church. Continual change in growth is an important ingredient to shaping the future of the church; therefore, the role of the l leader is an important one. The ecclesial leader must encourage and allow for change to take place, thus not stopping or staunching growth in the church. This can become a daunting task, however, necessary for ecclesial leaders to design structure, and challenge organizational and leadership structures of faith communities with purpose for growth, change, and production in the church. The Lord God Almighty wants the church to progress forward in doing his will. After the flood account, the people that were born from Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Gn 10:1) were of all one language and speech (Gn 11:1). Everyone could communicate with the other, therefore was of the same culture; however, as they traveled from the east they decided to stop progressing forward (v. 2) but instead to build a city and tower that would reach the heavens and to make a name for themselves so that they would not be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth (v. 4). Their actions resulted in them not doing the will of God as commanded to Noah and his sons after the flood. Genesis 9 states, “And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (v. 1), and, “As for you, be fruitful and multiply; populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it” (v. 7). 1 Their disobedient actions landed them into a state of confusion. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit confused their language and speech (v. 9), thus there was a break in communication that caused individuals to band together or attach to those who were common to them in dialect. People had no choice but to scatter abroad in the earth with one another (v. 9) to progress forward in bringing about change. Differences in culture and nations of the world began. The purpose of this article is to describe my own understanding of the role of the ecclesial leader to shape the future of the church by design, and to challenge organizational and leadership structures of faith communities through planning and preparation.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

This study focuses on selected leadership personality traits, qualities, and behaviors of pastors of Redeem Christian church of God in relationship to church growth. If churches in Nigeria secular society want to grow (again), churches need to address the issue of pastoral leadership. But the challenge is to define an effective, growth-oriented leaders  as clearly as possible. The complexity of the task, the spiritual context of spiritual leadership, and the plurality of pastoral roles complicate any endeavor of fairly evaluating a pastor. Ideally, professional pastors lead their churches by providing stimulation, impulses and coordination, and this is precisely how they promote the independence of their members and coworkers. They differentiate between individual and professional, psychological and social perspectives and can therefore, when necessary, readily put the interests of the church before their individual convictions and private interests, it is on this basis that the researcher intends to investigate the effect of leadership role on church growth.

1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The main objective of the study is to ascertain the effect of leadership role on church growth.  Other sub objectives to be achieved by the researcher include;

  1. To ascertain the effect of leadership role on church growth
  2. To examine the relationship between leadership quality and growth rate
  3. To investigate the role of the pastor on the spiritual and financial growth of the church
  4. To evaluate the impact of the leaders on the development of the church.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION

To aid the completion of the study, the researcher intend to proffer solution to the following research question

  1. Does leadership role has any impact on church growth in Nigeria?
  2. Is there any relationship between leadership quality and growth rate in the church?
  • Does a pastor play any role in the spiritual, financial and numerical growth of the church?
  1. Does leadership quality has any impact on the growth of the church?
    • RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

For the purpose of the study, the following research hypotheses are formulated by the researcher;

H0leadership style does not have any significant role on the growth of the church

H1Leadership styles do have a significant role on the growth of the church.

H02there is no significant relationship between leadership quality and growth rate in the church

H2there is a significant relationship between leadership quality and growth rate in churches.

  • SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study will contribute to a deeper understanding of an effective growth oriented leadership style of pastors on personal, missiological, educational, and denominational levels. Personal the call to preach the gospel and to make disciples is the core mission of every Christian church. Being a minister and a teacher of future pastors, it is important to help students to become better pastors, and to understand church growth and their leadership role within the process. The present study will help me to evaluate my courses and the way of consulting with churches, and it will broaden and clarify the understanding of leadership and church growth. The study will also be beneficial to researchers who intend to embark on study in similar topic as the study will serve as a guide to their study. Finally the study will be beneficial to academia’s students and the general public

  • SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The scope of the study covers the effect of leadership role on church growth, however in the cause of the study, the researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

(a)Availability of research material: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.

(b)Time: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

(c)Finance: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.

1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Church

A church building, often simply called a church, is a building used for Christian religious activities, particularly worship services. The term in its architectural sense is most often used by Christians to refer to their religious buildings, but it is sometimes used (by analogy) for buildings of other religions. In traditional Christian architecture, the church is often arranged in the shape of a Christian cross. When viewed from plan view the longest part of a cross is represented by the aisle and the junction of the cross is located at the altar area.

Growth

Growth refers to a positive change in size, and/or maturation, often over a period of time. Growth can occur as a stage of maturation or a process toward fullness or fulfillment. It can also perpetuate endlessly, for example, as detailed by some theories of the ultimate fate of the universe.

Leadership

Leadership is both a research area and a practical skill encompassing the ability of an individual or organization to “lead” or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations. The literature debates various viewpoints: contrasting Eastern and Western approaches to leadership, and also (within the West) US vs. European approaches. US academic environments define leadership as “a process of social influence in which a person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task

Pastors

The word “pastor” derives from the Latin noun pastor which means “shepherd” and relates to the Latin verb pascere – “to lead to pasture, set to grazing, cause to eat”.[1] The term “pastor” also relates to the role of elder within the New Testament, but is not synonymous with the biblical understanding of minister. Many Protestant churches call their ministers “pastors.

1.9 BRIEF HISTORY OF RCCG LP20 LAGOS STATE

The Redeemed Christian Church of God, The Lord’s Chapel (TLC) is the headquarter of Area 2, under the Lagos Province 20, Maranatha Chapel. The parish was established on 19th July 1998. Over the years, TLC has given birth to many parishes within and outside the shores of Nigeria. These amongst others include, House of Mercy, Jubilee Court, Covenant Church, Living Water (in collaboration with RCBC), Olivet Parish, (now The Lord’s Parish), Life Sanctuary in Dublin. It also played a major role in the birth of Maranatha International Parish in Dubai. TLC gave birth to a set of “twins”: City on a Hill and The Radiant Church on 23rd July 2006. Birthed a parish each in Maiduguri and Oguta, (Northern and Eastern part of Nigeria respectively). Also among the parishes birthed by TLC are My Father’s House in Ikeja, Praise Court in Magodo, Power Court in Oworo (formerly in Mushin) and Purity Court in Ogudu, Lighthouse in Shomolu, Household of Grace in Lekki-Ajah  and Household of Faith Ibafo, Ogun State. Recent addition is The Lord’s Ambassador in Anthony, Lagos. The Church has also “captured” for Christ virgin foreign mission with our parishes being the first RCCG parishes in such foreign fields. Amongst these are Cambodia in Latin America and Iceland in Europe. On the 17th July 2011, The Lord’s Heritage commenced service in Canada as another offshoot of the Lord’s Chapel.

The Redeemed Christian Church of God, The Lord’s Chapel (TLC) is an offshoot of Maranatha Chapel (then a parish under Area 1) with its headquarters at ACME, which was also an Area Headquarter under Headquarters State in Ebute Metta. TLC was the second born of Maranatha Chapel (now Lagos Province 20 HQ). TLC was planted by Pastor Innocent Utulu and pioneered by Pastor and Pastor (Mrs) Olaitan Agboola who led a group of 12 workers and ministers to start the church at 9A, Hospital Road, Opposite Gbagada General Hospital, on 19th July 1998. TLC became an Area HQ in 2001 with Pastor Agboola as the Area Pastor, under the leadership of Pastor Yemi Lebi, the Zonal Pastor, and Pastor Brown Oyitso as the State Pastor.

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