“My dream of our Church is a family where each person would be valued and appreciated, not for what they do, but for who they are. A place where you’ll be free and unashamed to be yourself. I dream of a family of men, women, young and old who share the principles and values of God’s love. I see our Church as a team that is passionate about experiencing God’s beautiful presence, and drawing others into the same; a place where each individual would be able to discover, and express their God-given potentials.” ~ Pastor WD Favour
A Shift in Emphasis
I was born into the church, grew up in the church, attended a seminary school for 6 years, and have been a pastor now for 12 years, ever since I was 23. So you could say that I’ve lived most of my life in the church.
I’ve always wondered about the essence and relevance of the church to me, or anyone else for that matter , which is a reason I consistently seek to align my life and ministry more perfectly with the mind of God, so as to be better positioned and empowered to fulfill His calling on my life.
One of the outcomes of this continuous process or realignment is what’s happening in our local congregation here in Nigeria, and I intend to share them with you as they are happening!
The idea is that through these church updates, all my regular blog readers, and visitors will experience my pastoral ministry here in Nigeria, almost as though you were a member and physically present! I hope you enjoy the experience.
I believe that the essential quality of our church lies in the strength of the connectedness between our individual members. It is not in the eloquence of the preaching, nor in the sweetness of the songs, and neither is it in the level of miracles and supernatural gifts in operation, but rather in the quality of the inter-personal relationships between us.
The glory of our church is not in the magnificence of our material cathedrals, temples, or tabernacles – although, unfortunately, most churches function as though this were so. It is the life-quality of our members, plus our sense of family and belonging, that constitute the beauty and glory of our church.
This is why at the dawning of 2010, we decided to shift our primary emphasis away from Sunday service performances to genuine experiences of love, home, and family. So right now, the highpoint of our church is no longer what happens on Sundays. The real deal now is what’s going on in the various homes where we’ve set up what we call the ‘home churches.’
Let me tell you all about it…I’m really excited about this!
Our Home Churches
Pastor Anuli Mbakwe
She is a final year Law student at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus. She heads Home Church B, and is committed to challenging young people to a life of righteousness and holiness. Her greatest passion is to honor God and bring glory to His name.
She is a medical doctor whose love and dedication to God is extraordinarily inspiring. She heads Home Church C. Dr. Chidimma is so sold out to God that her sense of self-sacrifice is a tremendous challenge to many. She desires to see each individual Christian reflect the glory of God in every aspect of their lives.
He is a final year student of Medicine at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus. He heads Home Church D. A distinctive quality of Pastor Sopuru is his unwavering commitment to the pursuit of excellence in his personal life. He strives to motivate Christians to combine righteousness with excellence in their lives so as to draw others to God.
She is a graduate of Public Administration from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and currently in the final year of another degree in Political Science. Though she hasn’t yet been fully ordained as a Pastor in the Citizens Family Church, she is the head of all non-pastoral leaders within the ministry. Her vigorous and highly resourceful leadership has distinguished her within our Church Family. She heads Home Church A. Udoka’s passion is to see every saint manifest the character and success of God on earth.
Sharon and I meet every Thursday in our home with these pastors and other leaders to train and equip them to lead the home churches. We share from our vast wealth of experiences, and knowledge of God’s word to guide them in their efforts. There is always a time of questions and answers where we strive to clarify complex issues for their benefit.
Each of these Pastors is responsible for a closely knit group of our members – a home church. His or her primary duty is to facilitate a family atmosphere, and enable each family member experience and enjoy true love and friendship.
Each home church meets every Wednesday evenings at the home of their pastor, or that of any other member who desires to host it. It’s a time of love, friendship, and mutual encouragement. During this time, the members discuss various issues ranging from individual challenges, to those of our church family. They brainstorm on how to help one another and often spend time praying for one another, including members that weren’t able to attend. In every home church meeting, the pastor teaches from the bible to strengthen the faith of the members in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Principles of God’s word are extracted for the enlightenment of the members.
The next day – Thursday – the home church pastors and other leaders gather in our home to present reports on what they did. I use this period to ask very detailed questions about what activities actually took place, who came, and if there were any serious and urgent needs that require my personal attention. This weekly meeting in my home is very important to me; I want to know exactly what’s going on in the lives of the people I’m assigned by God to take care of.
Watch out for a detailed report of our first home church meeting in 2010!