(An extract of the Primate Address, the Most Revd Henry C. Ndukuba at the 2020 DIVCCON held at National Christian Centre, Abuja, Nigeria)
As required by the Constitution and Canons of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 1997 (as amended) Archbishop Nicholas D. Okoh retired administratively as the Primate of All Nigeria and Archbishop Henry Chukwudum Ndukuba was presented as the 5th Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of the Church of Nigeria on the 25th March 2020. by the leading of God it was declared as the “The Decade of God’s Reign” (Isaiah 52:7-10). The Gospel which we proclaimed is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. The Ministry which we exercise is that of the Kingdom and our prayer is focussed on the Kingdom, the Authority and Power of the Sovereign God, our Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. His will and purpose shall be done in His world and in His Church.
The Ministry of the Church is about God and the very lives of the people and not about our positions, our group interest and possessions. Therefore, a situation wherein people act and behave ad though the Church belongs to them is the height of blasphemy against God. The idols that occupy the place of God must be cast down and out; Jesus Christ must be ord and Saviour of our lives, His Church and His World. Indiscipline and corruption must not become a way of life. All life must be sanctified unto God. This is the Decade of the Reign of God and raising the citizens of God’s Kingdom through purposeful Discipleship as very vital to the work of the Church.
We hope to re-engage and Re-evangelise and Disciple our members and as many as God will bring our way. The impact of the Boko Haram, Herdsmen attacks in communities, Banditry and kidnapping and violence is such that in many places we have lost lives and property. In some parts of our Church, the average age of the Anglican Church attendance is above 50years, we have continued to lose our children and youth to the new generation churches. This haemorrhage occurs more from the teenage to young adults and especially, when they go into tertiary institutions. The current movement of the young Muslims to cities in the South opens up a new Mission field.
Some years ago, we had considered the replanting of Christianity in the Northern part of this county as a response to the devastations around us. More so, the creation of the Missionary Dioceses as part of our response tot eh Decade of Evangelism has opened up this country for the Gospel and placed the Anglican Communion in a strategic position throughout the Nation. One considers that this Decade will be dedicated to growing the Church in faith, membership and a Church that is indeed engaging in pragmatic Evangelism and fulfilling the Great Commission of Christ the Lord and waiting eagerly for His glorious return. For this purpose, Mission, evangelism and Discipleship will remain core to the Ministry of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).
Our heart is set on serving the purpose of God for the Church; there is no room for warfare and quarrel. As we work for the unity and peace we shall also work to maintain truth and godly Discipline and set everything in order in the church of God. The achievement of Archbishops Timothy Olufosoye, Joseph Adetiloye, Peter J. Akinola and Nicholas D. Okoh will be sustained and built upon. We shall give our energy to serving this Church in humility to consolidate the growth of the Church of Nigeria and her Ministry to the world. In order to sustain the growth of the Church we will build the Institutions of the Church which will support the work of the Provinces, Dioceses and local Parishes. A strong national Church will be a great safeguard for Mission, Ministry and support for the weaker and missionary areas of the Church.
RE-EVANGELISATION AND DISCIPLESHIP
The world and our generation are turning against God, His righteousness and Kingdom. Daily we are seeing world government policies are anti-Christ and against the Word of God. The modern Babylon and its ungodly harlotry are being promoted by the systems; homosexuality, immorality, violence and wickedness seem to be reigning. But contrary to the world agenda, the Church has Good News of salvation from sin and deliverance from the power of Satan and the world in Jesus Christ. Faith in Jesus Christ is God’s way of peace, reconciliation and victory. As Paul said “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe, first to the Jews and then the Gentiles. In the Gospel a righteousness of God from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written ‘the righteous shall live by faith” (Rom 1:16-17). We proclaim Jesus Christ who is for us the righteousness of God and the radiance of His glory (Rom 1:16-17). We proclaim Jesus Christ who is for us the righteousness of God and the radiance of His glory and more so, in Him we proclaimed the reign and presence of God.
These challenges coupled with the increasing shallow understanding of the Word of God and personal commitment to walk with God, the aging membership of our Church and loss of young people, indiscipline and politicization of the Church ministry, and disconnect between our profession of faith and real Christian living demands that we must re-evangelize and carry through an intentional Discipleship.
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