The Primate, Archbishop Henry Chukwudum Ndukuba, has pledged that the next 10 years in the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) would be dedicated to growing the Church in faith and membership.
The Primate said it was time for the Anglican Church in Nigeria to engage in pragmatic evangelism, fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus Christ while waiting eagerly for His glorious return.
In his charge at the formal opening of the 10th Divine Commonwealth Conference (DIVCCON) on Monday, November 16, 2020, at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, Archbishop Ndukuba said it was worrisome that the world and the present generation were turning against God.
‘‘Daily we are seeing world government policies that 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,’’ he said.
The Primate, who is presiding over DIVCCON for the first time since his presentation as the leader of Anglican Church in Nigeria, also used the occasion to expound on the vision God gave him for the Church, leading to the declaration of 2020-2030 as ‘‘THE DECADE OF THE REIGN OF GOD’’.
‘‘As required by the Constitution and Canons of the Church of Nigeria [Anglican Communion] (1997 ) as Amended, Archbishop Nicholas D. Okoh retired as the administrative 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 Decade of God’s Reign” [Isaiah 52:7-10].
‘‘The Gospel which we proclaim is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
‘‘The Ministry which we exercise is that of the Kingdom and our prayer is focused 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 interests and possessions.
‘‘Therefore, a situation wherein people act and behave as 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 Lord and Saviour of our lives, His Church and His World,’’ he said.
Expatiating further on the vision, the Archbishop declared that indiscipline and corruption must not become a way of life in the Church, stressing that ‘‘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 is very vital to the work of the Church.
‘‘We hope to re-engage and Re-evangelize and Disciple our members and as many as God will bring our way,’’ he said.
On some challenges facing the Church of Nigeria which has necessitated the need to re-evangelize and embark on intentional discipleship, the Primate said there was an 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 the disconnect between our profession of faith and real Christian living demands that we must re-evangelize and carry through an intentional Discipleship. This shall be a Decade of Re-evangelization and Discipleship,’’ he said.
Affirming that Mission, Evangelism, and Discipleship will remain core to the Ministry of the Church of Nigeria [Anglican Communion], the Primate vowed:
‘‘Our heart is set on serving the purpose of God for His Church, there is no room for warfare and quarrel.
‘‘As we work for unity and peace we shall also work to maintain truth and godly discipline and set everything in order in the Church of God’’.
Archbishop Ndukuba, who is the fifth Primate of the Church of Nigeria, praised the achievements of his predecessors- including Archbishops, Timothy Olufosoye, Joseph Adetiloye, Peter J. Akinola, and Nicholas D. Okoh-, pledging that their labour of love in God’s vineyard will be sustained and built upon.