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PROJECT TOPIC: THEOLOGICAL EVALUATION OF PULPIT MINISTRY ACCORDING TO II TIMOTHY 4:2; ITS UNDERSTANDING AND APPLICATION IN IKONO AREA OF ASSEMBLIES OF GOD NIGERIA

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CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.0.    PREAMBLE:

This chapter is the introduction part to the research. It discussesthe background of the study, statement of problem, purpose of the study, research questions, significance of the study, delimitation, limitation, operational definition of terms and theoretical/conceptual frame work of the research.

 1.1.    BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Pulpit ministers of the Assemblies of God Nigeria, Ikono Area, to

some extent, have not done much in the dispensation of their divinely ordained duties to their congregation, in spite of been knowledged of the admonition of St. Paul to Timothy to preach the gospel at all times bearing the challenges there in. Pulpit ministers have not yet imbibed the teaching of St. Paul to ministers of the gospel in their every day activities. This forms the background of this study which aims at evaluating the understanding and application of pulpit ministry from a theological stand point and whether the pulpit ministers have done the needful and to what extent.

 The practice of preaching sermons from the pulpit is, from all in indications, a tradition that developed over times. It was not until the third century AD that Christian congregations began to build and furnish structures intended to house the worship of a local congregation (Milson, 2006). The first references to a pulpit is found in a letter of Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, in the mid 3rd century. Cyprian makes several references to ordination as it relates to the pulpitum of his church building (Harris, 2013).

 The Pulpit is generally reserved for Clergy. This is mandated in the regulations of the Roman Catholic Church, and several others (though not always strictly observed). Even in Welsh Non-conformism, this was felt appropriate, and in some chapels, a second pulpit was built opposite the main one for lay exhortations, testimonials and other speeches (Francis,2012).

 While this indicates a special place for the clergy in the sanctuary, it may more accurately indicate what we might call the platform in contemporary church buildings. There was no indication here that this pulpit was set apart for the preaching of God’s word.

 The preaching of the word at the pulpit became more important with denominations after the protestant reformation. Since then, the authority of scripture, the church and the preacher became closely connected with the pulpit.

 This research therefore sets out to examine the theological relevance of the pulpit ministers of Assemblies of God in Ikono and Nigeria as a whole have allowed the admonition of St. Paul to influence their propagation of the gospel to their congregations.

 1.2.    STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The theological understanding and application of the pulpit in the

ministry of the gospel forms the major problems to be looked into in this work.

 Apostle Paul charged his friend and successor with awful solemnity to preach at no fixed hours, no appointed times. But should preach at all hours at all times. Timothy was instructed to preach not only when in church, not merely in times of security and peace, but he must preach, in the midst of dangers, challenges, etc (Ellicott, 1897). Today, ministers of the gospel see the pulpit as the only comfortable atmosphere to share the gospel. This therefore explains the misunderstanding and misapplication of II Timothy 4:2 in line with pulpit ministry. It is important that the ministers understand theologically the significance and how to apply the pulpit in their daily task.

 This also calls for the need for adequate and sufficient training ofministers in pulpit ministry In Ikono Area of Assemblies of God.

 1.3.    PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of this research is as follows:

i.        To investigate on the understanding and application  of pulpit ministry in Ikono Area of Assemblies of God Church

ii.       Ascertain the root causel(s) of poor pulpit ministry

iii.      Investigate on the challenges encountered by pulpit ministers.

iv.      Show how pulpit ministry could be used to transform the social and spiritual atmosphere in Assemblies of God, Ikono Area.

v.       Show how the admonition of St. Paul to Timothy could be used to reshape the attitude of pulpit minister in general.

vi.      Suggest measures of addressing the abuse of pulpit ministry.

 1.4.    RESEARCH QUESTIONS

This studysets out to answer the following questions:

i.        How has the admonition of Apostle Paul to Timothy on pulpit ministry influenced pulpit ministers in Ikono Area of Assemblies of God Church?

ii.       Has theological knowledge has any role to play in enhancing effective pulpit ministry?

iii.      What are the possible root cause(s) of poor pulpit ministry in Ikono Area?

iv.      What are the measures that can be put in place in other to enhance pulpit ministry?

1.5.    SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

Lack of proper understanding and application of the term pulpit ministry have militated against the propagation of the gospel and the overall development of the church. This study is significant in the following ways:

i.        It will educate pulpit ministers on the teaching of St. Paul in the light of II Timothy 4:2 concerning the ministration of the word.

ii.       It will be a source of inspiration to other scholars and researchers who may wish to research further into pulpit ministry. In view of this, the work will be a reference material in the academic circle for further research as well as contribute to knowledge and scholarship.

iii.      The research will present a theological understanding of the concept of pulpit ministry. Thereby helping both the ministers and congregation to properly understandand apply the concept.

iv.      The study will also help pulpit ministers that the pulpit is not a platform for “Lording” over the congregation. This is will go along to ensure the sanctity of the pulpit.

 1.6.    THEORETICAL/CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

Theoretical frame work is the guiding theory or theories that form the raw structure of a research study. Gutt (1990) even contend that theoretical assumptions are ever present whether we understand them or not stating that, it is impossible to observe and describe the way things really are, free of any prior conceptual scheme of theory. Understand this way, a theoretical framework acts as a guide and not a governess where inquiry and observation is concern. Being a study about the interactions of people in relationship with each other , heavily on the social cognitive  theory of Bandura.

 Social cognitive theory of Bandura (1986).

Born in 1925, Albert Bandura contributions to the field of Psychology have established him as one of the time (Gutt 1990). Alongside of B. F skinner, Sigmund Fred, and Jean Piaget, these pioneers in their field each helped to expand the way theorist and practitioners of many disciplines approached the world.

 Social learning (cognitive) theory (Banndura 1777) built on the work of miller and Dollard (1941) and was develop out of Bandura’s interest in understanding the way humans learned and specifically in the willingness of individuals to imitate others.’

 He relied heavily on the importance of modeling for the teaching and administration of peoples. He posited that, three regulatory systems actually control behavior. First there is stimulus which occurs prior to a behavior, provoking specific response. Then there is the stimulus that follows that behavior, reinforcing through experience or observation, the consequences of the behavior. Finally, there are the cognitive functions, the memories of previous social interactions which cause the mind of the individual to re-live the previous experience and therefore re-experience the emotions that went with the event thus provoking a repeated response, action, or character.

With regard to pulpit ministry and its application in Ikono Area of Assemblies of God, Church, the researcher observed that, the pulpit ministers in Ikono Area should be developed in knowledge about pulpit ministry, they tend to capitalize onto build a relationship between pews, their pulpit and the pews, they deal within their daily minister activities. This theory is in line with this work which is to evaluation to Ikono area of Assemblies of God church, Nigeria. This theory also addresses the dynamic tension of the individual (pastor) and communal (congregation) relationship. In other words, the integral duty of men of God exists within the network of other individuals (the church) whom together make up the community which gives context to the leadership experience and ability to discharge pulpits ministry in a professional way.

 One of the prevailing strengths of social cognitive theory (Bandura 1986) is that it allows for the multiplicity of potential influences which may enter into an individual’s life.        

 Leadership Theory: In the early years of leadership theory, it had its basis in management and business leadership. This also will showcase the characteristics of leadership theories and other professional disciples. (Powell, 2011).

 There are types of leadership theories such as: Trait, theory: in this type of theory called trait theory, it shows that by character and naturally an individual, care leader or even born with leadership quality, the trait theory approach kicks up from the great man. Theory a way to identify the key characteristics of successful leadership (Bold, el al, 2003; Powell, 2011).

Lisa Krekelerdefined trait theory as “distinguishing personnel characteristic and personality as a combination of trait that classifies an individual behaviour” (Krekeler, 2010).

 Today godly leadership quality is identified with the ability of the leader to understand and know his followers better. (Krekeler, 2010).

Statistic supports the motion that leadership help to design, shape and guide on organizational culture and success. Therefore, it is important that understanding the personality factors associated with leaders “helps to define and map the basis for successful leadership and organization” (Krekeler, 2010).

 The researcher strongly opines that in Ikono Area of Assemblies of God, Nigeria for Pulpit ministers as leaders through gospel ministration to succeed, there must be put into consideration that those natural or born leaders should be scholarly trained and be retrained for effective pulpit leadership ministration.     

 A sermon is an oration, lecture by a member of a religious institution or clergy. Sermons address a biblical, theological religious or moral behaviour usually expanding or a type of belief, law or behaviour within both past and present context. (freeencelopedia) Anne (2014) observed that, pulpit ministry has been an important part of Christian service since early Christianity and remains Prominent in both Catholicism and Protestantism.

 So that it can be accurately pictures and express what they believe to be true and right. A biblical understanding and application needs to be formed for proper pulpit ministry in Ikono Area, Assemblies of God, Nigeria.

 According to www.gotquests.org preaching and teaching (pulpit ministry) are major ingredients of true pulpit ministry that our preaching must be the scriptures along the only means of equipping believers and also reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and teaching sinners for life and godliness according to 2 Timothy 4:2 Paul 3:16-17 reminded Timothy to preach the word; be prepared in sean and out of season; rebuke and encourage with patience and careful instruction (ii Timothy 4:2). A gathering that does not include the word of God (sermon) that is the pulpit ministry with well-behaved character misses a format for biblical pulpit ministration.

 “The Holy Spirit theory” on the other hand holds that the Holy Spirit is the director of the Pulpit ministry. All the pulpit ministry regardless of propounded theories or facts, would believe that the Holy Spirit is their guide in theory and their application of the theories; we always need the guidance of the Holy Spirit, this is the basis Christian faith. Three present in the Holy Spirit theory are: First, the Holy Spirit always guide the pulpit ministration to the will of God as it is found in the Bible, the scriptures. Secondly, those who adopted theory actually do follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit about what is considered essential for being pulpit ministers as against self-assumptions.Finally, those who hold to this theory often believe that as the key to creative pulpit ministry – the Holy Spirit.

 Rick (2016) maintains that “many pulpit ministers are held, but pulpit ministry doesn’t always happen. One reason is that we sometimes fail to allow the Holy Spirit to fulfil his role in the pulpit ministry.

 In honouring God the father and lifting up Christ, we pulpit ministers must be careful to give proper place to the Holy Spirit. Christ commanded that true worshippers, worship in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24). The Apostle Paul explained that “we worship by the Spirit of God” (Pulpit Ministry) (Philippians 3:3) meaning that true worship regarding pulpit, the pulpit ministry must and only come from those who are saved by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and have the Holy Spirit living in theirhearts, attribute, not simply adhering to rites rituals. (www.gotquestion.org/worship-service.html).

 According to Muchow(2016), the Holy Spirit is the living gift to all believers and He is the Devine source of Spiritual power and ministry (John 7:37-39; Acts 11:16-17; Romans 5:5). Excellent pulpit ministry cannot substitute for the spirits power in the pulpit. Eloquent speaking cannot replace power of the spirit in a minister’s heart. He further added, authentic Christian Pulpit Ministry happens at a Spiritual level.The real pulpit ministry happens when the Holy Spirit in us rises to magnify the Almighty God, giving the father the honour He deserves and lifting His son, Jesus. A good understanding of the pulpit ministry according to 2 Timothy 4:2 provides adequate application to the Ikono Area of Assemblies of God, Nigeria.

The pulpit ministry in Ikono Area Assemblies of God, Nigeria would be appropriate when linked to appropriate theoretical frame work. Rober (1999).

 Samuel (2012) also points out the need to display the pulpit ministry in the spirit as He (Holy Spirit) empowers the Pulpitiers. The pulpit ministry structure theories from the study basis its principles, acknowledges sermon delivery as major component of pulpit ministry. The Holy Spirit is the director or Pulpit ministry. The theories provided the roles of the Holy Spirit in the understanding and proper application of Pulpit ministry in Assemblies of God Ikono Area. Hence the pulpit ministry is an open expression of the church’s beliefs, values and expectations. Therefore it is important that the Ikono Area of Assemblies of God Nigeria, particularly should design her pulpit ministry through the following ways, thus, allowing the owner of the church to shape the church, train and retrain ministers of the gospel in that unit and facilitate the ministry with enough finances. Let me say this in line with Apostle Paul, “We worship by the spirit of God”.

 SERVANT LEADERSHIP THEORY: (1960s and 1970s, Robert Greenleaf) Introduced the concept of servant leadership. During this period, the Unites state of America was in turmoil over its involvement in the Vietnam War. Students took issue with the political leadership of the country and were seemingly devoid of hope (Cooper, 2005) Demonstration, riots and violence were campuses. Some colleges had Christian leaders who help to bring stability to volatile issue. From this context, Greenleaf formed his idea of servant leadership, in which he posited that serving was the first priority of a leader (cooper, 2005).

 The researcher now states that for effective and godly pulpit ministry in the Ikono Area, Assemblies of God. Nigeria Pulpit ministers must of a necessity implement servant leadership theory especially during enter cultural crisis or within the denominational turmoil in order to bring stability within the church community and in the churches found in Colleges and University. The Ministers of the gospel must not be key participants in the violence and crisis on the churches or communities they are pastoring and also pulpit ministers and their family members should show godly exemplary character right now there is a problem, called South South G/C Assemblies of God issue where ministers should lead the members aright but a good numbers of them in Ikono Area are taking active part in dividing the church to form they call south south general council of Assemblies of God. And they do this with use of hoodlum, Police arrest, villagehead and other instruments that should not be used in pulpit ministry instead of the trench ministers of the gospel who had the theological training.

 Transformational and transactional difference most of the studies involved transformational leadership. For the purposes of this study, the researcher will give an overview of transformational leadership. First, the researcher will consider the differences between transformational and transformational leadership. Additionally presented in this section will be both secular and pulpit ministry leadership literature.

 The first transformational leaders articulate a vision and sheare it with peers. However the transactional leader operates with an existing system, by maintaining the status quo rather than changing it (Corbett, 2009) secondly, transformational leadership helps the leader motivate his or her followers to be satisfied with their work. On the other hand, transactional leaders use a rewords and punishment methodology.

 The transformational should act as mentors to their followers, at least use fire dimensions such as: idealized influences (attributed), idealized influence (behavioural), individual considerate, inspirational motivation and intellectual characteristics of successful Pastors, stimulation. The first dimension, idealize influence (attributed), refers to the “socialized charisma of the leader and whether or not the leader appears to be confident and committed to high order ideals” (Harms &Crede, 2010). The second dimension, individual consideration, concerns how the leader involves himself or herself with giving the constituency social-emotional support. The leader gets involved by being relational and mentoring the followers.

 The fourth dimension, individual motivation, concerns setting goals and providing inspiration to followers in attaining those goals. The final dimension is intellection situation and it refers to the leader’s ability to engage followers in challenging their assumption; thinking creativity, and participating intellectually,   And participating intellectually (Harms &Crede, 2007).

 Traditional leadership involves three dimensions. They are contingent reward, management by exception (active), and management by exception (positive). The contingent rewards involve the leader or manager setting goals and rewarding employees that accomplish the goals. The next dimension is management by exception (active), here the leader monitors the work of followers for mistake and tries to correct the mistakes.

Finally, in management by exception (passive), the leader waits for followers to make mistakes and then tries to correct those mistakes (Harms &Crede, 2010). The researcher, comments that as the contingent in leadership is composesto pulpit ministry, the minister of the gospel in his/her pulpit ministry couple with leadership must be active and passive to help him/her get closer to the followers in order to carry on what he may motivational activities on the followers, encouraging them to put do well.

Correct mistakes passively or actively. Telling them the truth of the matter concerning the an issue.

 The transactional- transformational leadership model:

In the latter part of the twentieth century, leadership experts created the transactional transformational leadership model. Leadership theorists built this theory around how a leader behaviour and perceives (cooper, 2005). Bernard bass started that since 1980 general findings have concluded that the best leader have both aspect of transformational paradigm is not a continuum, but rather characteristic pastor. Transformational leadership add to the effectiveness of transactional leadership, rather transformational leadership must be the parent as it provides the fame it reference, the strategic boundaries with in which transactions take place. Simply understood, transformational leaders uplift the morale and modification of followers, whereas transactional. A transactional leader focuses on the exchange serves the self-interest of his or her leader any follower, while the transformation leader motivates the followers immediate self-interests. (Cooper 2005).

 Bass and Avolio posited that achievement through idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individual consideration (cooper, 2005). In closing transformative leadership characteristics appeared to be the norm for those ministers actively involved in ministry.

 Nonetheless, the transactional style at times may also be necessary. The researcher posit that since Ikono area of assemblies of God Nigeria, is a unite that no or lest pulpit ministry has been done, so the ministry, the real leadership to maturity. The minister (admiration school done systemically that 60%  be for authum while 4% is lesser-faire.

 1.7.    DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY

This research concerns itself with the Ikono Area of Assemblies of God Nigeria on their approach to pulpit matters and how best they should improve on pulpit ministry delivery.

 This research is limited to addressing pulpit ministry by ministers and how it affect members as well as visitors to your churches in Assemblies of God Ikono Area.

 1.8.    LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

In the course of the Study, the researcher encountered some difficulties and challenges. Firstly, financial constraint posed a major  challenge of the study as the researcher being a student and preacher of the gospel was unable to afford the cost of transportation and accommodation round the study area and other expenses associated with the research, especially the procurement of research materials.

Secondly, the thin layer of literature available on the research topic posed yet another challenge to the research.

Thirdly, the fear by some respondents that they would incure the anger of their superiors hindered many of them from making themselves available for interviews for the study

In spite of all these challenges encountered in the study. The researcher employed a reductionist approach to the study to ensure that the work is technically and scholarly finished.

 1.9.    OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS

In the study, most of the operational terms used are technical and as a result may not be clear to the ordinary reader. Consequently is important that those words be clearly explained within the context of this study for purpose of clarification. Below are some of the key words briefly defined.

i.        Theology: This could be said to refer to the critical study of the nature of the divine (McGrath, 1998). In the words of this research, it should be understood to mean the study of things divine.

ii.       Evaluation: According to the words of this research should be understood to mean an assessment of the value or worth of a concept. 

iii.      Pulpit: In the term of this study, should be viewed as an elevated platform from which the sermon is delivered during a religious service.

iv.      Pulpit Ministry: This refers to a church or congregation where the oversight function and authority of the preacher is delivered from the elevated platform of the sanctuary.

v.       Pulpit Minister: This refers to a leader within the congregation who serves as part of a ministry team under the oversight of the congregation’s elders. In other words, the pulpit minister serves as a preacher, teacher, counsellor, and comforter to the members of the congregation on a dedicated, full-time basis with no other employment. 

vi.      Understanding: In the context of this study refers to having insight or good judgment into a subject matter.

vii.     Application: In the words of this research refers to the action of putting a knowledge into operation or utilization. 


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