Who is your God? What are your values and priorities?
Tag: home churches
Sin is more than wrongdoing. Sin is a spiritual substance that comes into you, corrupts your nature, and then affects your behavior. It’s a poisonous spiritual substance.
Raising godly children for God is a joy and a privilege. It is a huge blessing to have children who follow after you in the path of God’s word.
Our home church movement is growing rapidly. This is a campaign that the church of God should be in people’s homes. And every man should be the pastor of his family.
Jesus redefined family: “Pointing to His disciples, Jesus said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
You are an expression. You are a revelation. You are a manifestation of God. You are not a chance occurrence. You didn’t just appear from nowhere into this place. You are part of a grand design.
“I do not intend to define the church in very narrow terms. The Church can take many forms in it’s expressions in time and space: a massive stadium celebration galore, as well as a small, simple Christian friends club.” Pastor WD Favour on Understanding the Church
I asked the home church leaders to share the personal experiences of individual members of their home churches. Here’s a bunch for you. ENJOY!
[Photo clip: Home Church B members getting ready for a Sunday presentation.]
“Educative and enlightening…intellectually inspiring.” ~ Inya-Agha Joy Ebubechukwu, Home Church B
“I am actually feeling the impact of a true home as everyone share their needs and are accepted the way they are. It gives room for us to display our talents and gifts which helps in self discovery” Ikenna Ani, Home Church C
“Being a part of my home church is helping me develop as a person and discover more about myself—my potentials ,talents, ability to think fast and effectively” ~ Joy Okeke, Home Church C
“I love the atmosphere of ‘one big family’…there’s this true sense of belonging I have and I wouldn’t want to trade it for anything”~ Francis Onuekwusi, Home Church C
“The home church has brought us into a closer fellowship with God and with one another.” ~ Emmanuel Orji, Home Church D
“Participating in my home church is enabling me to discover my unique abilities and strength, specifically through our bid to come up with excellent presentations for our family gathering on Sundays.” ~ Kingsley Nebo, Home Church D
“The home church has helped me develop punctuality and stability. It has also increased my enthusiasm and deepened my sense of belonging” ~ Samuel Vincent, Home Church D
Family, love, friendship, sharing together…that is what this is all about, and I’m loving it!!!
“In a world that is enamored by mega churches – huge crowds and large numbers of spectators, I’m more interested in mini churches – compact, small groups of intimate brothers and sisters. Jesus defined the Church as ‘Where two or three are gathered together in my name…’”
~ Pastor WD Favour on Understanding the Church
I think our home church meetings this week were fascinating.
Home Church B
Ogui Rd., Enugu, Nigeria
[Photo clip: Interactive session at home church B]
“Our meeting was awesome as members rejoiced greatly for the faithfulness of God during the week. I was particularly pleased with all the good tidings; being achievers in our home is of great importance to us.
The sun was setting with lovely instrumentals playing in the background when members started arriving at my home. Greetings were exchanged. Then we worshipped and said a short prayer.
Our interactive session was on the subject ‘Stability in our walk with God’. A member opined that, ‘When we focus on our walk with God, stability which is a by-product will also accrue to us.’
We gave our offerings and took donations for the upcoming charity outreach of our church. Then we practiced for our Sunday presentation which is a melodrama titled, ‘He knows about you.’ We hope it edifies the church.
Our interactive session next week will focus on the subject, ‘Your Associations.’
Live out your passion and have a fulfilling weekend.”
~ Pastor Anuli Mbakwe
The Nixon’s Home Church
McMurray, PA, USA
[Photo clip: Refreshments at the Nixon’s home church]
After a worshipful song, Don led us in a discussion and an overview lesson on spiritual formations based on Galatians 4:8-19. We discussed how our culture is spiritually anemic and why. Within the discussion one of the teens asked how one becomes spiritually mature. A beautiful question!
To mature as a Christian and experience more intimacy with God we must ‘workout’ with spiritual disciplines that include things like fasting, praying, giving, solitude, etc. Over the next few weeks we will be diving into such disciplines.
God is training us to be in the big contest. We must be ready!
After the lesson two very special things happened tonight.
- A prayer jar was introduced to our service and we blessed the jar and its purpose. It will always be set up in a specific place in the Nixon’s home. This jar is for people to put their personal/private requests in throughout the week, and will be prayed over during our home church meeting. This will not replace our sharing time but is set a side for requests that are left unspoken.
- The products for the Haiti Personal Hygiene Campaign were collected and prayed over. We will be donating at least 6 – 5 gallon buckets filled to the brim with needed items. What a blessing!!
It was such a joy for us to all be back fellowshipping and worshiping together.”
~ Shileen Nixon
Home Church C
Maryland, Enugu, Nigeria
[Photo clip: Interactive session at home church C]
“It was another great time with smiles on the faces of members as we began our meeting with worship songs and opening prayer. There was brief interaction amongst us as we tried to catch up with one another’s activities during the week.
Our discussion was on the subject ‘Asking the right questions – the whys,what’s, and hows – of life of life.’ There were several contributions from our members such as, ‘For you to be a strategic thinker, you should have a well established why,’ and that, ‘Living without a why is like travelling without a destination.’
The high point of the meeting for me happened during the discussion when a member shared the story of his challenges in finding the ‘how’ to one of the ‘whys’ in his life, and straightway, another member gave him the much needed ‘how’!
We collected our offerings and then rehearsed for our Sunday’s presentation – a mime with the theme ‘I want to be me’.
Next week we will be looking at our individual financial goals for the year.
~ Dr. Chidimma Njoku
Home Church D
Agbani Rd., Enugu, Nigeria
[Photo clip: Fun session at home church D]
“Our home church started with an intimate worship session. We were still in the mood of worship as we commenced our interactive bible study on ‘Christ the mediator between man and God’. Our bible texts were from Galatians 3:13-20 and 1 Timothy 2:5. Our interaction opened our eyes to the import of the death of Christ. The room was drenched with an air of sobriety. Christ’s sacrifice inspired us to go the extra mile in supporting the charity department of our Church towards the forth coming outreach to the poor.
We then gave our offerings in solemnity and rehearsed for our presentation in church on Sunday – a pantomimic illustration of the import of Christ as the mediator between man and God. It was exciting to watch every one passionately putting in their best efforts to perfect our presentation.
Next week, our activities will include deliberations on how to make our home church D an ideal home.
Keep up your love for Christ. See you next week.”
~ Pastor Sopuru Akandu
Home Church A
New Haven, Enugu, Nigeria
[Photo clip: Group photo of some of home church A members]
Our interactive bible study was on ‘Living a Joyous Life,’ from Nehemiah 8:10, Psalm 118:24, and Proverbs 12:12. There were several contributions from our members on the issue of happiness: ‘If you are prone to sadness, always remind yourself that nobody can make you sad, if you do not permit it,’ and ‘When you are unhappy, ask GOD to give you joy. Then cultivate the mental discipline to think only on beautiful things.’ 🙂
The most exciting aspect of our home church meeting was the rehearsal of our dance presentation for Sunday.
At the end of the day, I said the opening prayers. Thanks for reading, and have a very lovely weekend.”
~ Udoka Enujeko
So, what did you take away from today’s report?
Which aspect of these stories captured your interest the most?
I really want to read about your personal perceptions about what happened this week.
If the members within our churches are trained, empowered, and equipped to take care of small groups of other members in our various homes, millions of cash being spent today to maintain expensive religious building projects will become more available to improve the lives of the poor within our churches and the wider society. ~ Pastor WD Favour on Understanding The Church
This week, I’m presenting only one report from the six home churches in our family network. The Nixon’s Home Church was unable to meet this week as a result of the record-breaking snow storm that’s been hitting their area since last week. It’s been a tough time for them as they try to cope with snow capped streets, power outages, and so on. I am also unable to present reports from the other home churches here in Nigeria because of issues related to report and picture quality. I’m really sorry for this.
Home Church B
Ogui Rd. Enugu, Nigeria
[Photo Clip: Some of Home Church B members having a discussion during their meeting]
“Late afternoon was cool and particularly pleasant. Members arrived at 4.27pm and we of course asked each other how the week had been so far. At about 4.40pm, our inspiring worship session began and then a short prayer.
Our interactive study was on ‘A focused heart’, which saw us defining focus and its relevance. One of our members said she displayed extraordinary focus when prevailing circumstances would have led to a different outcome.
We gave our offerings, prayed for Nigeria and our members. Contributions were made for the upcoming charity outreach by our church.
The interactive session was so interactive as seen in the pictures which were taken. This is wonderful as one of our goals is to build independent thinkers who can also express themselves.
We practiced for our presentation which is a comedy drama. I also commended everyone once again for their brilliant performance on Sunday. They made me proud.
Our meeting ended at 7.45pm and next week, we’ll discuss stability in our walk with God. Have a lovely week and stay ahead.”
~ Pastor Anuli Mbakwe
Anytime any two individual believers come together in a place (or in contact via any media) you have church. And the best place to have church is in the warmth and comfort of our living rooms! ~ Pastor WD Favour on Understanding The Church
Enjoy this week’s home church reports!
Home Church B
Ogui Rd. Enugu, Nigeria
[Photo clip: Discussion session]
We discussed ‘intangibles’ as things whose values are difficult to describe, understand, or measure. They are x-factors which are apparently silent but have the potential to change lives. Such intangibles include happiness, wisdom, courage, etc. We agreed that in order to draw the blessings of GOD into our lives, we must appreciate the values of the intangibles, and that we often fail because of inadequate valuation of the intangibles.
We looked at a very powerful example of an ‘intangible’ – God, the pursuit of Whom is essential to the peace and happiness of man. We encouraged each other to learn to appreciate the values of the intangibles as they translate into desirable tangibles.
At the end of the discussion, everyone had an inspiring story to tell about God’s goodness in their lives. Afterwards, we had refreshments and rehearsed for our presentation on Sunday. It’s a drama on the need for family. Coincidentally, this is our week of celebration, so Family Gathering on Sunday is going to be a blast. We invite you to come and be a part of it. Have a lovely week!” ~ Pastor Anuli Mbakwe
Home Church C
Maryland, Enugu, Nigeria
[Photo clip: There’s usually lots of ‘yummies’ in our home churches]
“Our meeting started with greetings and chatting among ourselves, followed by opening prayer and worship songs. Then everyone was asked to recount their experiences with respect to last week’s assignment on ‘giving’.
Ikenna said, “I try to impact people all the time, especially those I’m meeting for the very first time.” Interestingly one of our members, Kennedy, who was not present during the last meeting and didn’t know of the assignment, told us of 3 encounters he had during the week where he was able to help some people who couldn’t pay back – so it was nice knowing we were already practicing ‘giving’ before the assignment was given. Marvellous, Pastor WD Favour’s daughter, also told her story of sharing her snacks with classmates who didn’t have any.
After this, I shared a message around the subjects of Pleasing God, Gratitude, and The Gift that keeps on giving, from Galatians 5:25,Ephesians 5:15-17, Psalms 50:23, John 3:16, and Genesis 1:28. My main point was that our principal duty is to please God through gratitude, and giving.
After the teaching, we rehearsed for our Sunday’s presentation; the theme of the presentation is “The Gift That Keeps on Giving”. We had refreshments (shown in photo) before closing prayers and dismissal.” ~ Dr. Chidimma Njoku
The Nixon’s Home Church
McMurray, PA, USA
Photo Clip: Sweet time of fun and laughter]
“After our opening time of worship, Don excitedly shared about a new prayer focus group for the state of Pennsylvania called the Spiritual Congress along with other national prayer groups. Don also shared about the installation he attended for Patricia McCullough as judge for the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. A very interesting piece of information Don shared from Patricia’s installation was the discussions he heard about prophecy concerning Pittsburgh. The word continues to be spoken that revival for the nation will begin in Pittsburgh. We heard a similar prophecy about a year ago. Exciting!
From there our discussion began with the reading of Matthew 16:24, 25. We explored two questions:
1. What would it look like to you to lose yourself?
2. Have you or have you seen someone totally identify themselves with another person?
We then jumped into John 15:1-17 with a lively discussion around what it means to be attached to the vine. The branches are totally attached to the vine and seen as a whole plant. The way we say goodbye to self is to totally identify ourselves with the person of Christ like the branch is attached to the vine. That way we will bear fruit, much fruit, fruit that will last. If we don’t have to worry about ourselves, then we are free to meet the needs of others.
There was much excitement in the room as Don became passionate and quite animated. It was such a sweet time of fun and laughter. It is very much a blessing that we can come together in the name of the Lord to rejoice and have fun and laugh. It is good!
We ended our time together with sweet prayer and fellowship.” ~ Shileen Nixon
“As always, our fellowship started with worship, followed by intercessory prayers. Then we welcomed one another and moved on to our interactive Bible study session which was on the subject of praise – ‘The power of praise’. We reflected on the following texts: Isaiah 12, Deuteronomy 10:21, Judges 5:2, Isaiah 42:10, Isaiah 38:19, Ephesians 1:6, and Habakkuk 3:3. We understood that praise touches the heart of God, and is a mode of spiritual warfare. We also learnt that nothing beats praise as an accelerator of miracles, noting that true testimonies are released by the power of praise.
We concluded with prayers.” ~ Udoka Enujeko
Our home churches are getting more exciting by the day. I noticed that the meetings seem to revolve around the bible study interactive sessions. Why is that? I’ll figure that out soon. There’s so much fun, but there seems to be lots of scriptures! I’m still observing the dynamics and learning from the process as it continues to evolve, and my reporting format might soon be changing as I intend to zero in on the perception of individual experiences of these meetings. Also, it might no longer be possible to present all home churches per week (we may be adding two home churches soon from Nashville, TN, and Tampa, FL!!).
In other to help me prepare future home church reports, I’ll like you to let me know what kinds of information you’ll love to read from all the various home churches.
Every Friday, as I promised in my 2010 blog posting schedule, I publish reports from our ministries, outreaches, and missions in Nigeria, USA, and other places. Last week, I posted the reports from our first home church meeting for 2010 which was a very exciting experience for all of us here in Nigeria. Those of you outside Enugu, Nigeria, and particularly those in the United States, have been asking about our members’ personal impressions and experiences during these home church meetings. Well, I promise to include that in future reports. My hope is that through these reports, you will actually participate in the love and friendship that we share in our home churches.
I appreciate those of you that left comments in last weeks report – Sarah Clark, Onyeluka Emeagwai, Chukwuma Okafor, Shileen Nixon, Nkechinyere Rosemary, and those yet to comment. Thanks for being expressive, and for sharing your thoughts on this evolving process. I really want to read what everyone of you think and feel about what’s going on with our home churches, whether you are participating in person, or via these reports.
Now, something very exciting happened within the week. I got a mail from Becky Illig, Shileen Nixon, and Don Nixon, requesting that we include reports from their home church too! Now, that makes me want to jump! So, this week, we’ve included the Nixon’s Home Church in our reports. Praise God!
The Nixon’s Home Church is a part of our global missions family and have been meeting since last year at McMurray, PA, USA. Practically all of the core members of the WD Favour International ministry team in Pennsylvania, USA, are members of the Nixon’s home church.
Hopefully, we’ll be adding reports from new home churches as quickly as we establish them, or as they join our network of home churches!
Wow! This is really exciting!
Among other things, I pray that through these reports:
- the concept and practice of home churches would become popularized around the world
- home church leaders and pastors within and outside our network will receive inspiration, guidance, and resources for their home churches.
Home church pastors within our network present their reports (including pictures) to me every Thursday. The reports are then reviewed and published on this blog every Friday morning.
Ok, here are this week’s home church reports!
The Nixon’s Home Church
McMurray, PA, USA
“Well, here ya go. The picture did not turn out all that great. I lightened it up some. It was hard the way everyone was positioned. Plus I was trying to not disturb things too much. If you don’t like any of it .. it’s ok. No sweat … we’ll just try again next week.
The Nixon’s home church always begins with a little bit of fellowship around refreshments as everyone gathers.
This week, once everyone arrived, we began with a couple of worship songs to get our minds and hearts fixed on the Lord. Don, led us in a thought provoking discussion he entitled “So Long Self”, which was about selfishness and was prefaced with the reading of Matthew 5:38-6:4. We answered questions like, “What makes us self-absorbed?” and “What is the outcome of being self-absorbed?”
In the end we discussed that when we fit into God’s plan for our lives it kills off selfishness. We looked at Romans 2:5-8 and I Corinthians 13:5.
Don then played a song called “So Long Self” by Mercy Me. Afterwards, we took prayer requests, spent time in prayer together, gave announcements, and then hung out in sweet fellowship.
Next week we will continue the discussion around saying good-bye to self and finding someone new – Jesus!” ~ Shileen Nixon
“Our fellowship held at my home in New Haven. We started with a brief praise and worship session that ended with us praying for other people’s needs. After this opening session, we spent some time welcoming one another before moving into an interactive bible study period. Our discussion was a continuation of last week’s on the subject of wisdom and temptation. Our bible study text was James 1:14-27. There were several contributions from our members such as, “If you scan your desires, with the Lord’s desires, there is no way you will go astray,” and “the ability to control what we say is an act of wisdom and discipline as well.”
We took some pictures afterward and had some refreshments before ending for the day.
Thanks and see you next week!” ~ Udoka Frances Enujeko
“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!