The Effect Of Social Responsibility On Church Growth
The study examined the effect of social responsibility on church growth, a study of Redeem Christian Church of God.
The study employed the survey design and the purposive sampling technique to select 450 Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committees. A well-constructed questionnaire, which was adjudged valid and reliable, was used for collection of data from the respondents. The data obtained through the administration of the questionnaires was analyzed using the Pearson correlation analysis.
The results showed that social responsibility and Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee (r=0.772; p<0.05). Relationship exists between challenges and social responsibilities (r=.896; p<0.05). Relationship exists between Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee’s social responsibility and development (r=0.772; p<0.05). Relationship exists between Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee and church growth (r=.896; p<0.05).
The study concluded that social responsibility of Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committees has significant effect on church growth in Redeem Christian Church of God.
The study suggested that; Churches needs an urgent reappraisal. Ministers have expressed that they need to interrogate the definitions and movements that have proliferated – and arrive at common positions of what is the Pentecostal/Charismatic Church; The Church must become contextually relevant to communities, not Church members. The Church needs to become strategic in assessing societal challenges and develop appropriately structured social programmes; The Church needs to dissolve its fragments, even within individual Churches, and coalesce into a collective voice if it is to be impacting; The Church needs to develop good governance principles. It needs to develop a set of guiding principles and policies that defines its spiritual and social mandate, and that addresses issues of integrity and ethics.
1.1 Background to the Study
In last few decades the concept of social responsibility has grown exponentially among the international community. Many organizations now find it as an obligation to give back to the community in which they operate as a means of public relations between the organization and their immediate communities. However, the concept of social responsibility among faith based organizations is a relatively new one.
According to Palmer (2012) social responsibility is an ethical framework and suggests that an entity, be it an organization or individual, has an obligation to act for the benefit of society at large. Social responsibility involves activities which can be passive, by avoiding engaging in socially harmful acts, or active, by performing activities that directly advance social goals (Inverzinni, Locatelli & Brookes, 2017). The theme surrounding social responsibility has always been that of business ethics or environmental sustainability. Majority of the focus around social responsibility has been centered on the obligation of business organizations to give towards the development and sustainability of their community. However, Palmer (2012) argued that social responsibility does not only involve business organizations but all organizations and individuals that are in positions to impact their social community. These include non-profit organizations of which the church is a part of. According to Hwa-Yoeng (1986), the Church cannot exist without local societies; therefore it is proper that the society and the church participate in social problems. According to Kim (2012), the Church gave birth to Social Welfare and is mother to it. This means that the church is the building block of social welfare. The main aim of the church is to spread the gospel and to help people grow to be the children of God (Kang, 2010). Before being defined as a building, Church means “Gods people” (Min, 2004). However, Kang (2010) argued that many members of the community can be referred to as God’s people and it is the duty of the church to not only preach the gospel to them but show them the way of Christ in kind acts and generous giving.
Furthermore, according to Akinjaiye (2010) social welfare not only includes giving to the less privilege in the society or community, it also means catering and attending to the needs of the residents within a particular community. The church has the responsibility of identifying and spotting necessities that are lacking within their environment and providing it. This has been a legacy in which the church has been built on. According to Mgadla (1997), throughout history, the church has always been known for the significant role it has played in the transformation and development of many underdeveloped communities and countries. The church has been at the centre of educational advancement, advancement in medicine and infrastructural developments in many communities where the gospel was brought. These acts of social welfare enabled the gospel to be spread easily and it enabled members of these communities to be more attentive to the gospel as some of their worrying needs were solved. Therefore, it has been evident right from time that social welfare has been a prominent tool in advancing the spread of the gospel and building disciples. Thus with the aim of achieving the feat of social welfare, the Redeemed Church of God established the The Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee. The Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee was established with the aim of empowering the church (Redeemed Christian Church of God) and its host communities towards living a healthier life through behavioral change communication, access to reproductive health information and products as well as quality health care services and support for less privileged in the society. However, the main activities of RAPAC have focused on HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). RAPAC currently has HIV/AIDS activities in 50 communities in 10 states of Nigeria spanning the six-geo-political zones.
This has shown the commitment of the The Redeemed Christian Church of God to the social welfare of its community as it relates to their reproductive health and wellbeing. However, despite these achievements there needs to be an assessment of how successful these welfare programmes have been in increasing membership in RCCG churches. This is the basis upon which this research is embarked on.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The essence and importance of social welfare by the church cannot be denied and is evident in the impact it has caused in many communities all over the world. However, there has been a question of how effective it has been in achieving the desired growth of gospel all over the world. Narrowing it down to Nigeria, many critics have suggested that many social welfare programmes championed by faith based organizations have been used as smoke screens for the embezzlement of money in these organizations and that the establishment of social welfare programmes are not necessary for the spread of the gospel (Jacobs, Onuegbu, Duru, Ebirim, Edukugho & Anibeze, 2014).
Furthermore, the church is an organization and every organization needs to achieve its aims and objectives in the most effective and efficient way possible. One of the major aims of the church is to increase it’s membership in accordance to the great commission given by Jesus Christ to Christians which is to make disciples of all nations. Therefore, it is expedient that the church assesses the means through which it aims to achieve this goal and objective and determine whether it is efficient and effective in terms of costs and results. For RCCG, one of the ways it aims to increase its membership is through RAPAC. Therefore there is a need to assess if RAPAC has been effective in delivering this goal.
It is against this backdrop that the study will investigate the impact of social responsibility among churches on church growth in Nigeria using the case study of RAPAC.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The major objective of the study is to determine the impact of social responsibility among churches on church growth in Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study are:
- To determine the level of social responsibility done by Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee.
- To determine the challenges Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee face in carrying out their social responsibilities.
- To determine the impact of Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee’s social responsibility on the development of their host communities.
- To determine the impact of Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee on the church growth of Redeemed Christian Church of God.
1.4. Research Questions
The following questions will be answered during the course of this research:
- What is the level of social responsibility done by Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee?
- What are the challenges Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee face in carrying out their social responsibilities?
- Is there a significant impact of Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee’s social responsibility on the development of their host communities?
- Is there a significant impact of Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee on the church growth of Redeemed Christian Church of God?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses will be tested during the course of this study:
- H0: There is no significant level of social responsibility done by Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee
- H1: There is a significant level of social responsibility done by Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee
- H0: There are no significant challenges of Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee face in carrying out their social responsibilities
- H1: There are significant challenges of Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee face in carrying out their social responsibilities
- H0: There is no significant impact of Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee’s social responsibility on the development of their host communities
- H1: There is a significant impact of Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee’s social responsibility on the development of their host communities
- H0: There is no significant impact of Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee on the church growth of Redeemed Christian Church of God
- H1: There is a significant impact of Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee on the church growth of Redeemed Christian Church of God
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study will be significant to the following people:
The study will be significant to the management of the Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee as it will show them the benefit of social responsibilities and the impact it has in increasing membership in the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
The study will be significant in showing the Redeemed Christian Church of God the importance of the role that the Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee and it will further enlighten them on the effectiveness of the committee in carrying out their social responsibilities. Furthermore, it will enable the leadership of the Redeemed Christian Church of God assess the impact of the activities of the Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee in improving the membership of RCCG churches.
Christian Association of Nigeria:
The study will show the Christian Association of Nigeria the need to organize nationwide social responsibility programmes as a means of reaching out to lost souls in the country. The study will also show the need for the Christian Association of Nigeria to create departments and parastatals that cater for social well being of Christian all over Nigeria.
The study will show the need for every Christian to engage in social responsibilities in any way they can. This is so because by doing so they are extending the love of Christ to others in their society who are not Christians and by so doing they will be able to win souls for Christ.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study is designed to ascertain the effect of social responsibility on church growth. The study would be carried out between October 2017 and April 2017 (7 months). The study will be using the Redeemed Aids Programme Action Committee as its case study.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
The major limitation in this study was the time allocated for the research. The time range allocated for the completion of this project might hinder some of the necessary steps to be taken in carrying out the project hereby limiting the results of the study.
1.9 Outline of Chapters
The research work is divided into five chapters. Chapter one focuses on the general introduction to the study comprising of the following; background of study, statement of research problem, objective of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, scope of study, significance of study, limitation of study, outline of chapters, and definition of terms. Chapter two focuses on review of relevant literature on social responsibility and church growth as well as theoretical framework of the study. Chapter three focuses on research methods which describe the methods of data analysis. Chapter four focuses on data presentation, analysis and interpretation while chapter five focuses on the summary of findings, conclusions and recommendations for future research study.
1.10 Definition of Terms
Social responsibility is an ethical framework and suggests that an entity, be it an organization or individual, has an obligation to act for the benefit of society at large.
Church Growth is a movement within evangelical Christianity which aims to grow churches based on research, sociology, analysis, etc.
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