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. 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.