Research Proposals

CHURCH PROLIFERATION AND ITS EFFECT ON THE YOUTH

CHURCH PROLIFERATION AND ITS EFFECT ON THE YOUTH

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

The proliferation of churches in Nigeria recently is one issue that has attracted reasonable attention. A stroll down the average Nigeria Street will reveal the widespread presence of churches (Efe, 2012; Morgan, 2015). And with thousands of registered churches within its domain. It is pertinent to ask what factors account for the proliferation of churches in Nigeria.

 

In reaction to this question, Ajiki (2008), Efe (2012), Olukayode (2013). Observed that the proliferation of churches in Nigeria is to a certain extent the result of schisms and break-away. Many scholars (Efe, 2012; Morgan 2015; Ajiki, 2008; Olukayode 2013). Attributed theproliferation of churches in Nigeria to poverty and the rise of materialism in our society. To an observant mind, the pace at which churches are spreading like a wildfire in Nigeria is alarming.

 

In thecountry, there is freedom of worship, places of worship are full. Pilgrimages are over-booked and there is evidence of religious fervour all over the places. Many people were cashing in on the situation, as they launch new religious organisations and societies. There is evidence that many are just charlatans looking for a means of livelihood.

Many are perhaps genuinely religious. But it is obvious that our society has not become upright. It certainly has not become peaceful. There have been and still many hot and cold wars in the name of religion. (Fayomi 1993:37).

 

CHURCH PROLIFERATION AND ITS EFFECT ON THE YOUTH

Churches are noted to be springing up at an alarming and unprecedented rate in all available spaces, shops and uncompleted buildings. Worship come up in warehouses, hotels, abandoned cinema buildings, studios and other public places. It is a common sight to see a minimum of fifty different churches on a street of four kilometres long. This may paint a terrible picture, but such is the present rate of church proliferation in the country.

 

In a statement made by Ogidi, he categorically asserts that, “Nigeria is a country with easily the largest number of churches per capital in the world.”(Ogidi 1997:11). Fayomi also described Nigeria as “a fertile soil for the growth of independen tchurches.”(Fayomi 1993; 32).

These churches, which have risen against the backdrop of moral and socio-economic deterioration in Nigeria society, play a rather significant role in the lives of everyday Nigerians. Efe (2012) observes that from the top echelons of the society to the lower rungs of the ladder, Nigeria is reputed to be a very religious bunch, placing divine in human affairs. Since the first imprints of Christianity on Nigeria soil in the 17th century, the faith has grown in leap and bounds, with churches springing up by the hour. This phenomenon has had varies effects on Nigeria and Nigerians.

 

Historically, the socio-economic contribution of the churches since inception and spread is evident in the spread in the provision of education. Also, Health care facilities and services, not to mention the social and moral restraint. It has play on million of its followers across the nation (Efe, 2012; Nwaomah, 2007).

Church Proliferation is a process that results in a new Christian church being established. It is a necessity for Christians for the purpose of the propagation of the gospel especially in strict compliance with the injunction of Christ that believers should go into the world and preach the gospel to all nations. It may also prove to be the most significant way to hand on faith to new generations (Kooistra 2011, p 12).

 

Christians especially the missionary and clergy men have always believed that the most effective way to reach the world for Christ is by starting new churches. This is why every people group and community needs a church.

Our global society today is undergoing significant constant proliferation and planting of churches which have brought not only changing values, but also greater source of solutions to people’s problems. This rapid multiplication of churches is borne out of the understanding that in Nigeria, there is freedom of religious worship. The church proliferation and its effect on the youth.

 

Central to the constant planting and proliferation of churches is the issues of its environmental effects on the people in the society and the prospects as it’s provide solution to people’s problems which this research is out to address. To an observant mind, the pace at which churches are spreading like a wildfire in Nigeria is alarming.

Many people were cashing in on the situation of massive Church Proliferation, as they launch new religious organizations and societies. There is evidence that many are just charlatans looking for a means of livelihood. Many are perhaps genuinely religious. But it is obvious that our society has not become upright. It certainly has not become peaceful. There have been and still many hot and cold wars in the name of religion (Fayomi, 1993).

 

The proliferation of churches in Nigeria today is as a result of numerical strength of churches. Which was a result of church growth. This rapid multiplication of churches according to Ibiyinka (2011) borne out of the understanding that there is freedom of religious worship in Nigeria. The society is witnessing proliferation of churches which has brought changes in values. Also, created job employment, Western Education. By establishing both Elementary and Tertiary Institution and Hospitals. Likewise it is a great source of solution to people’s problems.

However, the negative effects brought about by the proliferation of churches are over riding the good side of it. Which is reflecting in the current situation in the country where corruption and moral decadence are the order of the day. It is sad and disheartening that the springing up of churches nowadays fails to stop. Or reduce moral decadence in the society which ought to be the major impact of churches in our society. The church proliferation and its effect on the youth.

 

Many people were using the spreading of churches like wild fire for means of livelihood. Thus, which flicked in our society for not becoming upright and not peaceful. There have been and still are many hot and cold wars in the name of religions. According to Fayomi (1993) and confirmed by Nigeria Newspoint (2015).

The present rate of Church Proliferation in the country is such as having a minimum of fifty different churches on a street of few kilometers long. Having some or more different churches sharing the same story building in Urban Areas and Cities where there are lack of space . This situation made the columnist of the Nigeria Newspoint (2015). Categorically asserted that Nigeria is a country with the largest number of churches per capital in the world”. And that Nigeria has become a fertile soil for the growth of independent churches.

 

Many greedy pastors were taking advantages of freedom of worship or religious practices to launch new churches. Also, religious organizations and societies as a means of livelihood, encouraging robberies, stealing, corruptions. And crimes by praying for members that brought or donated a huge amount of money as gifts or worship offerings without propping to ascertain the source of the money.

The negative impacts on the nation is not peculiar on the planting of churches alone, the spreading of the two major religions, Christianity and Islam in the nation. Thus, which led to increase in churches and mosques, in turn led to increase in the number of Pastors and Muslim clerics. Which has a negative impacts on the leaders at the helm of affairs of the nation.

 

According to Olagoke (2016) a Muslim cleric, the propagation of the two religions has failed the nation. Thus, has no positive influence on the national leaders which resulted to the present economy recession. Also, wide spread corruption, high rate of criminal activities and corrupted leaders in the nation.

 

The national leaders are under the teachings of either Pastors or Muslim clerics. Which ought to have positive impact on them, and this has reflected in the governance of the nation. If the pastors and the Muslim clerics perform their roles as priests of God and not priests of stomachs. The way of governance and high rate of crimes witnessing in the nation are clear evidence of negative impacts of the planting of both churches and mosques on the nation, Nigeria.

In a statement made by Ogidi (1997), he categorically asserts that, “Nigeria is a country with easily the largest number of churches per capital in the world.”(Ogidi, 1997). Fayomi (1993) also described Nigeria as “a fertile soil for the growth of independent churches.”(Fayomi 1993).

 

In urban cities and even rural areas, for lack of space and accommodation, six or more different churches could make do with a storey building. Such is the present state of events all over Nigeria. For example, in Ekiti State, as rightly observed by Tokunbo (2007), there are well above One hundred and fifty-seven Pentecostal denominations alone between 1970 and 2004 (Tokunbo, 2007). More parishes and new religious movements continue to be springing up each passing day.

 

The spiritual discernment reportedly used by the Pastors and leaders planting churches in Nigeria is, “We prayed about it, and God said go and establish your own church.” Very often, one cannot compete with the self-proclaimed revelations and answers to prayers received by leaders looking to baptize their whims in God-talk.

However, several factors have been found to be responsible for this massive Church Proliferation. They include economic recession, rapid evangelization, beliefs and practices, unhealthy rivalry, genuine thirst for spiritual nourishment, theological issues, fanaticism, leadership tussle and the likes (Falayi, 1998).

 

1.2   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The phenomenon of Church Proliferation has its effects on the youths as well as the society at large. On the other hand, it also leads to personality clashes, unhealthy competition for convert.  Via homiletical propaganda, lack of unity, monetary crises, heresies, fanaticism and bickering (Tokunbo, 2007).

 

Although, massive Church Proliferation has certain negative effects as noted above, but they are not strong enough for total condemnation of the phenomenon. This is because Jesus was reported in the Bible to have said that, the Gospel should be preached to all nations (Mk. 16:15).

Then, Paul in Philippians 1:15-18, supports Church Proliferation and proliferation for the expansion of the kingdom of God. This is because religion is not fossil, but a living and dynamic phenomenon. It will surely continue to increase. However, the researcher is out to examine Church Proliferation and Its Effect on the Youths.

 

1.3   OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The main objective of this study was to examined Church Proliferation and Its Effect on the Youth. The following are the sub-objectives of this study:

  1. The factors responsible for the proliferation of churches in Nigeria.
  2. To assess the effects of proliferation of churches on the youth.
  3. To examine the role of the church towards reducing moral decadence among youths.

 

1.4   RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following research questions guided the study:

  1. What are the factors responsible for the proliferation of churches in Nigeria?
  2. What are the effects of proliferation of churches on the youth?
  3. What are the roles of the church towards reducing moral decadence among youths?

 

1.6   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The following are the significance of this study:

  1. Findings from this study will educate the church administrators and the general public in Nigeria on the merits and demerits of massive Church Proliferation in Nigeria.
  2. It will serve as documents that will enlighten the Christian leaders on the need to embark on teaching of morality in churches. The church proliferation and its effect on the youth.
  3. This study is going to find the reason(s) why the spreading of churches has negative impact, and also aims to examine the cause(s) of church proliferation in the nation that has no effect.
  4. This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.

 

1.7   SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

This study on the church Proliferation and its effect on the youth will cover the spate at which new churches are been established in Nigeria with a view of identifying the it’s numerous effects on the youths.

 

1.8  Limitations of study

  1. 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).
  2. Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

 

CONCLUSION

Looking at the effects of the proliferation of Churches in Nigeria. It seems to have brought more chaos and disadvantages than the expected gains that religion is expected to offer. This is because one of the purposes of religion is to bring succor to mankind. But in our own idea and worldview it is relatively subjective. That is why recently through the media the westerners regard African preachers as opportunists. Because they believe that most of our preachers go into Church. Not because of any divine mandate, but because they see Church opening as a business venture.

 

However, there is no gainsaying the fact that Church Proliferation in Nigeria could be a blessing if properly managed and guided. What is required now from the founders of new Independent Churches is to attend Bible school or schools of theology. Before they can carry out any preaching or teachings of the Church. Thus, this is because a situation, where by Bible teaching is used to emphasize material wealth as some of the founders do today. Can easily abolish the Christian values or interest in the Bible. But sound teaching of the Bible can promote faith, hope to the members and both spiritual and physical sound doctrine. The church proliferation and its effect on the youth.

Again there is the urgent need among the mainline Churches to look at the necessity of readdressing the orthodox liturgy without altering the substance of it. This will make the liturgy to be very relevant to the Nigerian contemporary society.

 

More so, the dullness and orthodoxy of the frontline Churches should be reviewed. And this will enhance the usage of the liturgy and equally make it to be vibrant in line with current societal demands of the new generation Christians. Christians in our modern society are tired of the old system of the liturgy in the long established Churches.

And this has been one of the reasons why some members used to formulate flimsy excuses and decide to secede under the guise of “God has called me”. Thus, if the mainline Churches can adopt this step of revisiting the old liturgy, then the tendency to lose membership will be checked to a great deal. Usually new ideas can easily carry the youths away. Therefore, it requires investigation of the liturgical in most of the old Churches.

Finally, Ecumenism should be intensified since the phenomenon of Church Proliferation has come to stay with us. Indeed Churches should be more united and have the goal of winning souls for Christ. They should always make their emphasis on the things that hold members together rather than what will divide them or separate them, because Christ himself is a peace maker not a destroyer.

 

IMPORTANT POINTS FOR FURTHER READING

What are the effects of church proliferation?

What is church proliferation?

Project topics on old testament

What are the causes of proliferation of churches today?

What are the impact of youth in the church?

Christian research topics.

 

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Joselyn Nya

My Name is Joselyn Nya A Publisher in Project Boss Team. I'm a Nigerian I'm a graduate/Educational Researcher. Project Boss Team. We are the best for Project materials and project writing services. Email: admin@projectboss.com.ng

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