IMPACT OF COHABITATION OF CONVERTS ON CHURCH GROWTH

:
A CASESTUDY OF SELECTED CHURCHES IN IBEJU LEKKI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, LAGOS

BY

EZE OKECHUKWU STEPHEN 2012/MA/78866

BY

AUGUST 2012

[i]

IMPACT OF COHABITATION OF CONVERTS ON CHURCH GROWTH: A CASESTUDY OF SELECTED CHURCHES IN IBEJU LEKKI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA. LAGOS BY EZE OKECHUKWU STEPHEN 2012/MA/78866 A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED TO THE REDEEMED CHRISTIAN BIBLE COLLEGE IN PARTIAL FUFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AWARD OF MASTER OF ARTS DEGREE IN THEOLOGY AUGUST 2012 CERTIFICATION [ii] .

……………………………………………………………………… Dr.I certify that the research embodied in this project work was carried out by EZE. Redemption Camp under my supervision. the Redeemed Christian Bible College. Okechukwu Stephen of the Department of Christian Education. Dare Ajayi SUPERVISOR [iii] .

my greatest teacher. wife and daughter. ABSTRACT [iv] . my parents.DEDICATION This work is dedicated to the Holy Spirit. My Congregation and my Sponsor to the glory of God.

The First Chapter introduces the essay with a brief look at Cohabitation and how it has continued to be on the rise in Nigeria. "partnering. Since the term itself carries in our society a negative or pejorative connotation there is a tendency to replace it with a new and more technical one. but that is no longer the case. It also revealed that though some of the victims may increase the numerical growth of the Church. a suburb of Lagos State. The practice of cohabitation was usually understood to be an indication of moral social decadence and was considered to be a case of fornication. This essay is divided into five chapters with each chapter dealing with specific topics which are nevertheless inter-related. A total of five research questions were formulated for the study. This work is embarked upon with a view to bring into light the extent of the impact of cohabitation of converts on church growth. A total of 200 Christians. their activities may bring about reduced commitment and pollute the spiritual healthy growth of the Church. namely. the several factors that could make people engage in cohabitation." The topic itself is complex and difficult to address. The challenges those in this kind of relationship are likely to face as a result of their disobedience to God’s word and violation of Godly Christian marriage principles. ministers especially pastors. Data were analyzed using frequency courts and simple percentage. The Second Chapter focuses its attention on providing a conceptual background to the study and there was a review of relevant literature and research questions were distributed among various Churches within Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area. men.The practice of cohabitation is becoming more and more common in Nigeria as a substitute for Christian marriage in a secular society. The Focus of attention in Chapter Three will be on Research Methodology and the simple random sample technique was employed in selecting the sample used for the research. A structured self-developed questionnaire was used as the instrument to elicit responses from the respondents. Besides. a suburb of Lagos State. [v] . women. but we should be willing to explore it. Most people are accepting it as a modern type of marriage that society itself encourages by penalizing married couples through high tax laws and by reducing the social benefits of widows or widowers who remarry. there are Church members who are involved in cohabitation or those whose marriages are not properly contracted. and youths formed the sample for the study. The purpose of this work is an examination of the impact of cohabitation of converts on church growth and this research was only limited to Churches within Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area. The term "cohabitation" is usually defined as a short or long-term heterosexual relationship outside marriage. The Fourth Chapter will examine the result of the analysis showed among other findings. It is also the aim of this work to analyse the problem encountered in the process of helping couples living in cohabitation to be united in Christian marriage. cohabitation is promoted and even glamorized by the Media as a valid alternative to the traditional understanding of marriage.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT [vi] .The Focus of attention in Chapter Five will be on discussion. The Fifth Chapter highlighted the importance of proper counseling to those who are already involved in cohabitation on the need to revisit their marital foundation for possible righting every wrong. summary and conclusion of the topic which give us the opportunity to proffer solution to the implication of the finding as well as the role of the Church as well as Christian pastors in reducing the practice of cohabitation among Christian converts in Nigeria.

a minister of God with a compassionate spirit. and above all. I exalt the name of the Most High God. Dare Ajayi who supervised the conduct of this research work. the Computer Engineer. my beloved wife and precious daughter for their love and encouragement. Ibeju. I express my profound gratitude to my good and understanding parents. I am grateful to my lecturers in Christian Education Department. Pastor Nwose Kalu for providing me with both financial and moral support I needed to successfully complete this programme. To Him be glory forever Amen. My gratitude also goes to the head of my department and all the lecturers in the department who had contributed in impacting my life and equipping me for God’s work. Finally. bearing with me during the programme. My Saviour Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit who by His grace has made possible the actualization of my academic vision and for His protection and provision throughout my course of study. The Almighty God will continually remember your good work and richly reward you. I am so much encourage by his proper guidance and useful corrections in the course of writing this research work. I will not fail to appreciate the co-operation of my congregation RCCG Grace Pavilion Parish.I am sincerely grateful to my project Supervisor Dr. Ilemobade Oyedun who helped me in typing my dissertation for taking his time to type this work on time. Stephen TABLE OF CONTENTS [vii] . Eze O. My special thanks go to my sponsor.

2 CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION Background to the Study Statement of the Problem 1 .2 CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELEVANT LITERATURE Theoretical Framework Empirical Review of Literature 11 .1 2.5 1.1 1.5 2.3 2.4 2.3 1.8 Limitations/Challenges of the Study Purpose of the Study Research Question/Hypothesis Scope of the Study Significance of the Study Operational Definition of Terms 2.8 Consequences of Cohabitation Marriage versus Cohabitation How Cohabitation Differs From Marriage Types of Marriage Arrangements: Qualification for Marriage Laying a Solid Foundation for Marriage [viii] .7 2.6 1.10 1.0 1.Cover Page Title Page Certification Dedication Abstract Acknowledgement Table of Contents I II III IV V VII VIII 1.4 1.7 1.0 2.31 2.6 2.

0 5.3 3.3 3.6 CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Research Design/Type Population Sampling and Sampling Technique Instrumentation Administration of Instruments Data Analysis 32 .2 CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS Results of the Findings Critical Evaluation of the Study 34 .5 3.45 5.2 3.2.4 3.0 4.5 What Is Church Growth? Factors That Influence Church Growth The Relationship between Christian Marriage and Church Growth.53 REFERENCES 54 [ix] .3 5. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS Further Discussion of the Findings Implication of the Findings Contribution to Knowledge Summary.2.4 CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSIONS. 3. Recommendations and suggestions for further research 46 .1 3.1 5.1 4.1 3.0 3.4 3.0 3.2 5. God’s Purpose for Christian Marriage Principles of a Happy Marriage Cohabiting Converts versus Church Growth Reason for Cohabitation 3.9 3.33 4.

Appendix A: Introduction letter Appendix B: Questionnaire 55 56 [x] .

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