Discipleship work in South-West Nigeria

Our International office moved to Ibadan in the South-West of Nigeria a few years ago. It was primarily because we needed a more central place from where our growing international presence could be coordinated, but little did we realize that there was more to that move than we had expected. We soon began to experience first-hand the true state of the Gospel in this part of the nation that most people and reports consider reached with the Gospel. We came in contact with the true depth of Christianity, the almost complete absence of discipleship among professing Christians and the staggering growth of Islam in the state and region.

In just a few months, it became obvious that there may be more for us to do here than just run an international office and coordinate the work of missions going on in other parts of the world. We knew we had to engage with our new immediate community. After much prayer and planning, we set out with a new ministry focus targeting the Ibadan area and its immediate environs. Ibadan is Nigeria’s third most populous city (after Lagos and Kano) but is the country’s largest by geographical area. Our ministry focus here is a Discipleship Outreach to children, teens and youth with a goal of rebuilding the foundations, restoring knowledge of the truth & deepening roots of faith to raise a generation that can stand for the truth and keep the faith.

Why Discipleship?

Religious organizations are everywhere in the city and state, but we observed that discipleship, especially to children and young people have been significantly ignored in churches, families and schools and this makes it easy for these young people to be swept away by every doctrine or religion. The new wave of Islamic teachings sweeping through the South of Nigeria now needs well discipled Christians to be able to withstand and oppose. This is why we rather choose to setup strong discipleship structures and integrate to existing religious systems where possible, or work with available neutral systems that have less complications.

This new ministry focus has three outreach arms:

  1. Bible Clubs Across The City

A movement for the establishment of viable bible clubs in communities across the city, with the following objectives:

  1. Encourage Christian homes to open their doors to neigbourhood kids.
  2. Get volunteer children teachers/evangelists to maintain weekly 60-90 minutes Bible Clubs, teaching illustrated Bible Stories with the aim of leading kids to commit their lives to Christ and grow in the knowledge of the Bible.
  3. Give the children opportunities for creativity and fun in godly and educative ways.
  4. Work With Secondary School Fellowships
    1. Encourage the Christian Fellowships in Secondary schools across the city and state through visitations by teams of volunteers.
    2. Encourage Bible reading and studies among secondary school students
    3. Organize Bible Quiz competitions at school, Area and LGA levels
  5. Rural Community Outreaches
    1. Discipleship through Oral Bible stories and other methods among Church members.
    2. Holistic community development activities together with community members and leaders.

Through these ministry outreaches, we hope to make significant contribution to the existing work of discipleship on-going in this region. We know it is a critical activity and we are giving it the attention it needs which is why we have begun to build a team that will work in this new part of the country – something that is new to our general ministry. Although we have been used to rural ministry, but with this, we see God calling us to new responsibilities and we are wholeheartedly responding to this call.

Needs of the Outreach

  1. Mobile battery-powered Public Address Systems (each costs about $200)
  2. Team Mobility: a strong and rugged mid-sized Van or SUV for the team (a good one costs between $5,000 – $6,000)
  3. More volunteers
    1. Core Team Members (Missionaries who will live and work in Ibadan and will form part of the central leadership team for this new outreach)
    2. Bible Club Hosts: make your home or building available to be used as a bible club centre
    3. Bible Club Teachers: volunteer to lead a centre and teach kids at a centre where they meet. Doesn’t have to be your house
    4. Secondary School Fellowship Mentors: Volunteers who may be able to visit and supervise fellowships in different secondary schools from time to time, liaise with school management and help organize bible competitions in school from time to time.

Once again, this is not about expanding a ministry presence, it is about sensing the need the Lord is drawing our attention to it and responding wholeheartedly. The Lord who has begun this work will sure empower us to work with Him on this too. We invite you to join us in prayer, volunteering or giving to make this ministry work. We know that the spiritual future of several young people depend on how well this ministry impacts their lives today.

Posted in Field Reports, Missions.

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