On April 24, 1987, while I was approaching the pulpit to minister during our Easter Convention in Kaduna, I heard the Spirit of the Lord saying to me,
"It is time to spread out" April 24, 1987
Immediately I picked the understanding that God was delivering a Church Planting Mandate. There and then I announced to the congregation and by the month that followed, five new churches were planted in the Northern part of Nigeria in the following cities and towns – Maiduguri, Biu, Bauchi, Azare and Mubi. I believe that the purpose of this commanded spread is to make the Liberation message accessible to more people particularly at the grassroots.
This mandate is not just about planting churches but also seeking to have them established. The following are to be noted:
i. All churches shall be built on our well tested and proven approach of teaching the people how to walk with God.
ii. Teaching them how to prosper and be in good health.
iii. Giving them knowledge and understanding on how to engage in covenant practice for their desired change of story.
iv. Scripturally, welfare is not a factor for church growth and any church built on welfare shall have stunted growth and may eventually crash. Strong and growing churches are built on the Word. This is, however, without prejudice to ministering to the needs of the needy among us mainly through interpersonal relationships, love and affection of one towards another which is made possible through our WSF and service units where people are encouraged to be one another one's keeper.
Church Planting Procedures Planting new churches is a life time responsibility of the church of Christ because the Church is a living thing and every living thing grows .The following procedure shall, however, be observed:
i. Every new church planted shall be planted by a mother church.
ii. All mainline churches shall be charged with the responsibility of planting new churches.
iii. All newly planted churches shall be known as infant churches.
iv. An infant church is a church that is not self-running/sustaining.
v. All heads of infant churches shall be called Pastor-In Charge.
Inter-City Church Planting
i. These are churches planted in locations that do not have existing Living Faith Churches prior to this time. They can be located in various cities, towns or villages.
Supervising churches shall be identified and assigned.
Churches that are planted must be seen to be growing and should not be hampered by supervising church’s inability to make basic provisions available.
It must be in a viable location with consideration for population, available facilities, social environment and guaranteed security
It must ensure availability of competent manpower.
It must observe the sequence of moving from church planting to church expansion before moving on to building construction
The part time or associate manpower to be engaged must have a stable job, possess requisite spiritual capacity, integrity and undying passion for the church.
Where a new church is to be planted an existing church within the locality shall be appointed with the following responsibilities
Identify members of the church within the area of the new church under consideration to serve as resource persons to help in locating good venue, accommodation etc.
Evolve budgetary demands for the new church.
Make proposals and survey of the new location for verification.
Inaugural service to be held by the Resident Pastor of the appointed church or his designate.
Shall serve as mother church until the newly planted church is established and becomes financially independent.
Intra-City Church Planting
This shall be church spread within the city where Living Faith Church already has a presence.
Rented or sowed facility should be used until it has developed capacity to build or have possession of other befitting facilities.
New location should not be less than 2 km radius from the main church or any other existing Living Faith Church.
There must be proven viability of the specific site for the new church i.e. population, availability of facilities, etc
There must be prepared pastoral hands to shepherd the new church
No Full-time Pastor shall take over growing churches from Part time pastors no matter the status except where such pastors have performance or integrity challenges or where availability is uncertain.
Newly planted Intra-City churches shall be supervised by a mainline (mother) church within the city which shall accept responsibility for growth and establishment of the newly planted church.
The supervisory churches must have the leadership maturity and financial capacity to cater for the need of the newly planted churches.
The supervisory churches will be charged with the following responsibilities for effecting smooth take off of the new churches:
a. Identify viable locations for church site (good rental facility)
b. Identify viable WSF district/zone that can metamorphose into a full-fledged church
c. Embark on grassroots evangelism and seminars to launch the new church
d. Draw up budget, surveys and proposals for verification.
e. Inaugural service shall be held by the Resident Pastor of the supervising church or his designate.