Celestial Church Of Christ is more than seventy years old but we are yet to get near the achievement of her vision and mission to the world as prescribed by the holy Spirit through the prophet founder of Celestial Church Of Christ (CCC) in the year 1947.
The CCC of today is like a church for only west africans. It is operated mostly worldwide like a cult. Parishes of Nigerian ownership would be established in UK, USA etc for their family, the yorubas, fellow nigerians and CCC members. So also in Lagos which mostly comprises of all nigerian tribes and other nationals. This is abnormal because the Church was founded for the salvation of the world, not just africans. We have been given the privilege to start this great mission but more importantly to spread to far and wide internationally in accordance of the church mission and vision which is the salvation of mankind worldwide. I believe the major problem of CCC is from Nigeria and so also solutions can go faster and better through the World from CCC Nigeria. Nigeria is the country most popular with CCC members and parishes. Nigeria is the biggest deal for CCC.
I will not criticise anyone but I will note some of the top issues around this topic and leave it for the Church authorities and members to ponder on.
✓LACK OF ONENESS
Can you imagine the respect, Achievement and accord that CCC would have gained locally and internationally if she is of one authority and standard organisation?
✓IGNORING HOST AND INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGES
Language is a key essence to promoting contents across your border and worldwide. For your contents to be engaged more by different races and tribes, there is need to make use of an international or interpretations to local languages. And that is why media giants like google, facebook, twitter, Telemondo, ZeeWorld etc have prospered internationally. Other important examples are the bible, rhapsodies of reality, various religious devotions and even the quran which is translated to top international languages. We have materials that can benefit the world like our hymn books, constitution, bible yearly lessons etc. All these need to be translated and promoted worldwide. Our hymn book is yet to be standardized in English language. The french african countries are doing well and developing much in that aspect. But CCC Nigeria that have more millions of people is yet to standardize the hymn book for utmost general usage in CCC churches and popular events.
Another issue is CCC parishes always having yoruba service in europe, north america and asia. I really give kudos to the Francophone countries like Benin Republic, ivory coast and Togo that had established parishes in french countries outside africa and have been able to convert many foreign nationalities. Most converts of the white colours are french speaking, thanks to the french countries with their high use of French language in services and CCC hymns accompanied by more practical use of Television/Radio media in west africa.
✓POOR MEDIA UTILISATION
CCC lacks proper use of media such as social media, online broadcast, broadcast media, print and radio.
There are no weekly/Periodic programs or publishing of CCC heritage and services on national, satelite or state radio, television, print media etc. Take a look on how the Alleluia TV station in Benin Republic is thriving and penetrating into population of french speaking people. Just imagine such typical TV station in nigeria that is on satelite placement like DStv etc.
What breaks out of CCC mostly on media are news of awful CCC members and their disgraceful acts. There should be more goodnews of a church than the bad news. CCC has a huge presence on social media but there is lack of professionalism and regulations. It is like scattered sheep without a shepherd.
Even till now, the church authority would not consider the proper use of media as a significant tool to achieving the mission and vision of the church worldwide.
✓FAILURE TO ADOPT MEASURES IN ACCOMODATING NON-CCC MEMBERS
We have failed to take certain steps that would make any race trust us and feel comfortable in our midst through the poor use of international languages, modeling the church as an organisation for west africans only.
One way to get over this is to have a TV channel where mainly international languages according to the location are being broadcasted. For instance in Nigeria, few standard parishes where english service is always done and good word ministers speak should be broadcasted live especially of sunday/Wednesdays/fridays/newmoon/morning devotional Services, vigils, crusade, key programs etc. Also there could be be sponsored Live streaming of sunday and important programs online. LET US SHOW THE WORLD We are not a yoruba church, we are not occultic, we also recite the apostles creed, Lord’s prayers, make use of the bible, preach the word, pray and sing in Jesus name etc.
Another big issue is how we discourage new and propective members by being too strict and pressuring them with our doctrines and tenets. Most shepherds, church workers and sidemen/women lack the psychological manner to approach such members. Our attitudes and awful actions have chased so many people away from the church.
An important way is for the church authority and parishes to do philanthropy and partnerships across Nigeria. Organising humanitarian events and programs in conjunction with international bodies and entities. Through these, people will start to get the right orientation of CCC.
✓PRESENTING AND REPRESENTING A LOCAL CHURCH. ‘ONLY FOR AFRICANS’ CHURCH’.
We have all discouraged propective members from being members of the church with the manner at which we run affairs of the church.
-Imagine parishes in USA, UK, France, India, South Africa, canada, Belgium, sweden, ireland conducting yoruba service/sermon at every services! I wonder if the parish is for yorubas, your family and CCC alone. Do they forget why the Church was established in year 1947?
-Imagine the CCC hymns are most popular in yoruba! Our hymnal collection is the best worldwide, how interesting it would be if its standardized in at least four top international languages. Our hymns bring healing, salvation and deliverance. So should only africans benefit from those?
-Imagine the bible lesson book which also serve as a bible guide book in english is not well publicized across the CCC borders. In my next article, i will make suggestions on the bible lessons to be more standard and well equipped.
-Imagine student parishes in nigeria conducting yoruba services weekly! Student parishes could be the most successful set of parishes if they do what is right. First is the adoption of all English-speaking parish, also House to house evangelism and Cell meetings. There are many of their friends in school and environs who could join them as Celestians.
-Imagine 99.9 percent of CCC choirs and artists in Nigeria can only perform/minister wonderfully in yoruba!. No wonder CCC artists are rated grade C in gospel music nationwide.
-Imagine the belief of some CCC members and elders that CCC angels do not understand english and spirit cannot bestow well during renditions of english music and ordering of services. Is that not blasphemy against the trinity?
-Imagine most CCC parish clergies priotise spiritual works and doctrines(ilana) more than the church service itself. I love CCC services. Our services are CCC pride, not the garment! If only we could show such standard side to the world regularly.
I have stated those opinions as a bonafide member of CCC to better Development of the church. I want a better CCC and i hope you do too. This is a reminder of CCC mission, challenge and encouragement to every members especially the youths and influencial personalities of the church.
By SEUN ELIJAH (TheCatalyst)