Summary: Learning How To Plant and Grow Village Churches A Case Study in Village Evangelism
Learning How To Plant and Grow Village Churches
A Case Study in Village Evangelism
1. The students will be able to describe four ways to plant a church in a village setting.
2. The students will be able to explain how Malam Maudi overcame the forces of evil in village church planting.
3. The students will be able to list three hindering factors in the growth of the church in a village setting.
Introduction - One of the reasons we want to study case studies is to learn through history. By observing the patterns, trends, causes, motives, and reactions of the people, we can learn errors to avoid in our evangelism today. One such case study from Kwoi in Kaduna state presented by a student a Jos seminary, Emmanuel Doyaro about his evangelist-grandfather, sheds light on how the Lord used men to begin the church in Kwoi. Let us look for Biblical models that he used or neglected. Let us also look for the way that God worked to convince the people of the truth of Malam Maudi’s message. By examining the perceptions of the people, the resistances they had to the gospel, and the ways God undertook to see His church started, we can learn valuable lessons for evangelism today!!!
I. The Effects of Culture and Traditional Religious Perspectives on Village Church Planting
We know that cultural values affect decision-making of all types. Therefore, we must ask God’s wisdom in understanding the cultural, spiritual, religious, physical, educational, and family framework with whom we wish to evangelize. By examining the historical record of how the gospel came to Kwoi area we can learn how to start churches in new areas. Perhaps, we may learn how to revitalize lukewarm churches in other areas. At any rate, by examining the precedents set by the early church planters, we can gain valuable insights into the best ways to do evangelism today!
In many Nigerian villages, the belief that the world consists of a hierarchy of gods is common. Some gods may be directly involved in the affairs of humans, others may control animal fertility rates, weather patterns, or insect infestations. In the following case study, we learn how God used an evangelist to prove His superior power, authority, and dominion over the gods of the people of Kwoi. When they recognized Malam Maudi’s God’s power, they turned their allegiance from ``idols to serve the living and the true God.’’
Malam Maudi, a recent convert to Christianity through the ministry of the late Rev. Archibald of the Sudan Interior Mission, began his church planting ministry by constructing a small mud bricked building for the church and his home in Kwoi area. The pagans in the village started reacting in a negative manner toward the messages preached by the evangelist. Apparently, the pagans became afraid that if the Christian believers continued in their worship to the ``new’’ God, their animistic gods would be upset and trouble would come to the village. They began to make life hard for Malam Maudi!
Problems were compounded for Malam Maudi by the fact that the chief of Kwoi, at that time, was also a pagan. As the chief sided with the views of the majority of the people against the evangelist, warning to leave the village came swiftly to the young preacher.