Nigeria has been called “the most religious country on earth.” According to a recent BBC poll, 100% of the participants believe in God. That astonishing statistic is easy to accept when you notice the large, hangar-like structures that dot the country: churches where worshippers come in the thousands. Hundreds of thousands, even. The largest has a membership of 2 million people.
It might be easy to wonder, “Why plant a church in a city with this amount of religious observance?”
While church attendance is high, the proliferation of prosperity gospel theology leaves many disillusioned with God and the church. Author Conrad Mbewe describes,
“Everywhere, especially on radio and television, almost all you hear is this message about how God wants us to be physically healthy and materially prosperous…and every day we have to deal with disillusioned individuals who have woken up when it’s too late. This teaching is wreaking havoc in the lives of many Christians.”
God’s grace made visible and tangible through the person of Jesus can get lost in the tempting message that material wealth is a sign of God’s blessing. Into this cultural stream, it matters to have churches that teach the gospel clearly. CITY CHURCH in Lagos is now one year old. Dami Aderemi from the church says, “It’s been so refreshing to hear people say week after week that the gospel-centered sermons are changing them. For people who live in a city where most preaching they hear is people-centered and mostly therapeutic, this is particularly delightful.”
Over the next weeks, City Church is hosting an initiative called “Lagos Questions Christianity,” a series to help address common objections. It is a hope that this outreach will help people follow Jesus. City Church is growing, which is exciting but presents the need to find a new place to worship as they have outgrown their space. They just celebrated their 1st birthday in January.
Keep up the excellent work, City Church!