INTERVIEW: Why English Speaking Assemblies should be given autonomy by DCC, Zonal headquarters- Cleric

Pastor Raphael Adegoke

Pastor Raphael Adegoke is the Minister in Charge of Christ Apostolic Church, Victory Chapel
 (An English speaking assembly)  Ketu Lagos. In this exclusive interview with CAC NEWS, Pastor Raphael speaks on why English Assemblies should be given autonomy by DCC and Zonal headquarters and some other important issues. EXCERPT ! 

Tell us briefly about Christ Apostolic Church Victory Chapel

Christ Apostolic Church Victory Chapel is a young but growing English Speaking Assembly of Christ Apostolic Church (Worldwide). It is an assembly under Ikosi District, Shomolu Districts' Coordinating Council. The assembly was formally inaugurated on 12th January, 2014 by Pastor Isaiah Olaniyi Afolayan, the Ikosi District Superintendent. The Assembly is a product of the passion of the District Superintendent, Pastor Isaiah Olaniyi Afolayan, in alignment with the vision of Christ Apostolic Church to get English Speaking Assemblies established in all the Districts' Coordinating Council, Zonal and District Headquarters. It is the English Speaking Assembly of Ikosi District Haedquaters, Ikosi, Ketu, Lagos. In over five years of its establishment, God has caused it to experience growth in all ramifications.

How has it been having an English Speaking Assembly in an environment dominated by Yorubas?

Running an English Speaking Assembly in an environment dominated by Yorubas has been by the grace of God and the help of the Holy Spirit. The Assembly has tried to maintain its uniqueness by having a niche which makes her divinely assigned congregants to come from far and near not minding the location.

What have been the challenges so far? 

Though what we take not to be challenges could be taken as challenges in some places. Notwithstanding at the initial stage we faced some challenges such as misconception, misunderstanding and feelings of threat from within and without which God helped us to manage and overcome, but presently the only challenge is the location. Being an assembly very close to a major fruit market in Lagos with a lot of vehicular obstructions, there is a form of restraints it causes our potential members who may not feel comfortable navigating that path to the Church.

The authority of Christ Apostolic Church Worldwide has said it on several occasions that English Speaking Assemblies should be given autonomy by the headquarters. Why do you think English Speaking Assemblies should be given autonomy?

Autonomy should not be seen as a challenge. It should be a natural quest if indeed we desire to experience accelerated growth. It is the quest for autonomy that makes assemblies to work hard in order to become Districts, Districts to become Zones and Zones to become Districts' Coordinating Councils. This has helped Christ Apostolic Church Worldwide to record more success in the area of Church planting, and has led to increased numerical and financial strength of the Church as a whole. Autonomy will help the English Speaking Assemblies experience growth and make more impacts on their immediate and distant environments. This will help increase the number of English Speaking Assembly Districts, Zones and Districts' Coordinating Councils. This will help people involved to connect well and avoid any form of marginalization at the District, Zonal and Districts' Coordinating Council levels which end up being a back door for members and potential members.

In what aspects do you think the lack of this autonomy can affect the growth of English Speaking Assemblies in Christ Apostolic Church?

There are several aspects of the Church that will be affected if autonomy is not granted. Where autonomy is not granted, the programmes of the assemblies are affected which could also affect membership due to the caliber of people they target; laziness is encouraged on the part of the ministers and members, numerical and infrastructural growth will be impeded, marginalization will be encouraged, the Church, though referred to as being Worldwide will continue to be seen as a Yoruba Speaking Church by people without especially in cosmopolitan areas.

What is your message to DCCs and Zones that have failed to give their English Speaking Assemblies autonomy?

My message to Districts' Coordinating Councils and Zones that have failed to give their English Speaking Assemblies autonomy is that their fears of losing their members will eventually overtake them, because some of the members they don’t want to release will eventually leave them one day. Also, the future of such Districts' Coordinating Councils and Zones is at stake and may lose relevance in the future if we are to consider the unfolding of the Biblical end time prophecies. If Districts' Coordinating Councils and Zones can give their English Speaking Assemblies autonomy, more members will be committed, the Kingdom of God will further spread, more believers will be raised, more territories will be conquered and the light of God shone more in this world of darkness. This is our ultimate goal and Christ’s desire. 

How do you think our English Speaking Assemblies can maintain the standard set by the founding fathers of our Church? 

If the standard set by our patriarchs can be maintained in many of our Campus Fellowships (CACYOF) and the power of God being experienced as the days of old, then it is possible anywhere. The major challenge, which does not just affect the English Speaking Assemblies, but also Yoruba Speaking Assemblies too, is ascendancy to pastoral office. The Church, Christ Apostolic Church Worldwide, should set up a structure that monitors the kind of people that pastor our assemblies. They should be people that understand the Church and are not novice and have probably passed through the Christ Apostolic Church Theological Seminary. They should be people with proven track records in one way and another, people who will through their lives and families reflect what the Church stands for in morals, spirituality and demonstration of our apostolic mandate.  By so doing we will not deviate from the ancient paths of our patriarchs.

What is your message to Ministers of our English Speaking Assemblies?

My message to ministers of English Speaking Assemblies is that (1) they should be fully convinced  about their salvation and not just assume it (2) they should know that English Speaking Assembly is more than just speaking in English, there is a philosophy behind an English Speaking Assembly they must understand (3) they should  open themselves up to the power of God so that the apostolic flow can continue (4) they should give themselves to learning if they will be able to feed the contemporary generation (5) they should be sensitive to the contemporary challenges faced by the contemporary generation beyond compliance to the practices of the Church (6) they should not authoritatively teach on subject matters they don’t keenly understand because knowledge is at the fingertips of the generation they lead. (7) they should be humble and transparent in all their dealings in the Church, with the Board and members (8) they should show integrity in all they do (9) they should always show signs of growth and development everyday of their lives. (10) they should always present Christ to the people in words and deeds before presenting them doctrines and practices.


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