1.1. BACKGROUND OF THR STUDY
Church leadership as explained in the Pastoral Epistles is expected to serve as a role model of faithfulness, truth, honesty and chastity. The focus of these epistles is on the church organization and governance of the Christian community. The central concept is conduct that is pleasing to God; a regular and reliable ecclesiastical hierarchy with clear assignment of responsibilities (Schrage,2008). The New Testament strives to shape Christian life and ethical conduct extensively. It is concerned that Christians be “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” (Matt.5:13-14) and maintain their distinctiveness even in their “good works” (Schrage, 2008). Christians are called upon to lead a quiet, peaceable, ethical life, godly and respectful in every way. The proven character of those who seek leadership in the church is more important than personality, preaching gifts, administrative abilities, or academic accomplishments (Stamps, 2002). A pastor or reverend whose quality of life is an illustration of the faith is absolutely essential for Christian leadership. Church leaders are under obligation to live by the norms of Christian ethics as stipulated in 1Tim.3:1-7, Tit.1:3-8. A bishop as God’s steward, must be blameless; he must be hospitable, must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy. In this research, much emphasis is laid on the character or ethical conduct of Church leaders rather than the position they occupy. The expectations of God and the society for ministers of the Gospel or church leaders is very high, this is because Christianity is an ethical religion hence when ministers of the Gospel, leaders from whom much is expected lacks integrity and misbehave, the result leaves so much to be desired and usually has a great consequence on their followers. There is lack of respect for church leaders and consequently the weakening of his expected godly influence over Parishioners and other persons in the church and the society .The present state of the Nigerian nation could be a reflection of the state of the Nigerian Church. The lack of integrity or the loss of it among church leaders in recent time has reached an alarming rate which has caused a high level of deterioration not only in the quality of Christians but also reflected in the current deplorable state of the Nigerian Nation. The over-emphasis on materialism occasioned by the gospel of prosperity has not left the Church the same way it met her, it is the underlying factor of most ministerial ethical misconducts. The loss of respect and influence occasioned by ethical misconducts among church leaders has impacted negatively on parishioners and members of the society who are key players in the different aspects of national leadership. Everyone who has been in national leadership goes to a religious centre and comes under the influence of a religious/church leader or a Pastor and their performance in office could be related to what influence their religious leaders had on them. At the moment, government institutions seem to be weak and failing, there is a lot of decay and rottenness in most areas of national leadership. The Political class has not been able to stay clear of corruption and there are clear evidences that despite the increase in the number of churches of different denominations, the impact of Christianity is not much felt in the society today. There is a lot of moral decadence in the lives of the citizenry such that the cultural value once celebrated as a nation such as honesty, faithfulness, patriotism, trust, and so on, are being eroded. In the light of the fore goings, it becomes necessary to understand the role that church leader’s lack of integrity or ethical misconduct proffer solutions that can help reverse the trend.
1.2. STATEMENT OF THE GENERAL PROBLEM
The poor level of ethical indiscipline amongst Nigerian church leaders, pastors and reverends have reached an alarming rate as there is no day that passes by without seeing on the media the misdeeds of supposed men of God and leaders in the church. this malady has resulted in the poor church growth and most importantly poor Christian living by the followers as the life of the leaders of the church are constantly been observed by members of the church and thus are negatively influenced by unethical misconduct of church leaders.
1.3. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
the major aim of th study is to examine the impact of ethical misconduct among nigeruan church leaders and scriptural misinterpretations for selfish purpose. other specific objectives of the study include;
1.4. RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no significant impact of ethical misconduct among Nigerian church leaders and scriptural misinterpretations on church growth.
H1: There is a significant impact of ethical misconduct among Nigerian church leaders and scriptural misinterpretations on church growth.
H0: There is no significant relationship between ethical conduct among church leaders and church growth in Nigeria.
H1: There is a significant relationship between ethical conduct among church leaders and church growth in Nigeria.
1.5. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study would be of immense importance to theologians, church leaders and church administrators as it would proffer solutions to ethical misconduct among church leaders in Nigeria. The study would also be beneficial to students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing further studies on the subject matter by being a relevant source of literature.
1.6. SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study is on the impact of ethical misconduct among Nigerian church leaders and scriptural misinterpretations for selfish purposes using the Redeemed Christian church of God(RCCG) in Lagos state as a case study.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
OTHER SIMILAR THEOLOGY PROJECTS AND MATERIALS