Are you one of the consecrated ones? Then this message is for you.
Think seriously about this: How do you intend to fund your mission?
Happiness costs; you would need to finance your bliss. There’s no getting around that.
Helping the helpless is the central focus of all of our Home Churches’ missions activities here in Nigeria.
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!
I was there as the guest speaker at the Pneuma Bible Conference – a Holy Spirit retreat hosted by a young couple, Pastors David and Angela Akanwa, who are the founding Pastors of a young and growing Church called the Intimate Vessels Church.
As always, my principal objective in these retreats is to inspire my audience into deeper intimacy with God. I was especially eager to speak at this conference because it draws a 100 percent audience of young men and women almost entirely below the age of 30. Helping lay a godly foundation in the lives of young men and women, and thus help shape their future, is a calling I feel so honoured to undertake.
This conference attracted well over a hundred young adults, mostly from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University there in Awka. So, as would be expected, the audience was predominantly comprised of university undergraduates.
I spoke on a wide range of issues, but always with the core purpose of challenging these young people to put God first in their priorities. I called upon them to forsake negative habits, to re-dedicate their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to open their lives to the grace and power of the Lord. During the Saturday morning session, I spoke on the subject of integrity in life and leadership – a major emphasis of mine when speaking to Nigerian youths.
It was a great weekend. We prayed for those who were sick and there were healings and miracles. Many of these youngsters walked up to me to share their experiences. Someone who had been raped found peace and healing from the pain. She also found the grace to forgive. Someone who had known no joy for over 6 years felt like a heavy load was dropped from her heart and felt as happy as she had never felt in her life before!
A young man who had been burdened with lust and guilt found strength to walk away from inordinate relationships.
It was truly a weekend of transformation for everyone. I was so excited that I turned the closing moments of the conference into a dancing galore! And, oh, how we all rocked…lol!
Thanks for all your prayers.
Please click here for the updated stories of more healings and miracles that occurred during this mission.