Chairman’s Report 2014/2015

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The Church Council Chairman’s report presented at the Annual General Meeting held on 12th April 2015:

On behalf of the Church Council, I am pleased to welcome you to the 2015 Annual General Meeting of Victoria Fellowship Church. I also want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and counsel to the current Church Council.

The last one year has been a very challenging one for the body of Christ with the rising activities of Islamic terrorist around the world and here in Nigeria. We have just come out from a cliff-hanger of a Presidential election. Our response to these challenging times has been and will continue to be prayers and more prayers.

For the past one year we sent out Daily Prayer points to 120 active members of the Church, and I want to express my appreciation to the 28 members that regularly responded, and encourage those who have not been responding to reconsider their stance. Remember the words of the Lord, \

“Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the son of man”. Luke 21:36

1.0 CHALLENGES

We have had some local challenges, as a Council, but in it the entire Lord has been glorified. Permit me, Brothers and Sisters to enumerate some of these challenges and it cuts through various Directorates:

  1. Youth agitation for a more contemporary mode of service.
  2. Increased budget for Missions and Evangelism by about 50% over and above the preceding year.
  3. Extra strain on Children’s Directorate budget due to the Evening Service children’s education.
  4. Technical problems with the Public Address system resulting in frequent squabbles between the Instrumentalists and the Sound Technical crew.
  5. Synchronising the activities of the main Church Choir with those of the VFC Ensemble (Youth Choir), as they have different styles and approach to music.Harmonising and deepening Discipleship and Counselling across all directorates.
  6. Implementing the strategic positions adopted by the Church at the Easter Retreat of 2011 which was gathering dust in the shelf.
  7. Keeping our website up to date with events in the church, and more interactive with the youth.

2.0 RESOURCE ALLOCATION

The Treasury will give the details of the financials of the Church, but the chart below summarises the financial expenditure of the different Directorates.

vfc expense

2.0 CHURCH OFFICE

2.1 Staff strength remained the same as previous year and stands at 3 full time and 12 contract staff. The former Choirmaster Mr. Korede Omopeloye, who had spent 9 years with VFC resigned, and we hired a new Choirmaster Mr. Babatunde Shosanya

2.2 Management of Funds: We modified the financial guidelines for prudent management of Church funds to include a Standard Operating Procedure for grants and loans to members and the needy in society.

2.3 Perfection of Title: Perfection of title documents of both landed properties of the church is steal in progress. And our solicitors, Consolex is still pursuing the registration vigorously.

2.4 Fire and Safety Drill: We organized the first fire and safety drill in VFC in line with the laws of Lagos State.

2.5 Membership: We have 791 members on our register and below is the Summary of Key Membership Statistics:

SUMMARY OF KEY STATISTICS IN 2014/2015

Church Activity/Event. Under 16 Years Adults TOTAL
Morning Service 120 350 470
Evening Service 81 72 153
Adult Sunday School 60
Home Fellowship 90
Foundation Class 8
No. Of Members inducted 30
No. Of Births 6
No. Of Deaths 1

 

 3.0 WORSHIP

3.1 At the commencement of this church year there was no functional Worship Committee but this was reconstituted with the approval of the Pastoral Affairs Committee (PAC). The Worship committee met weekly to pray and as the need arises, deliberate on issues affecting our worship services.

3.2 Quarterly sermon series were prepared for Sunday morning services and for the first time the directorate was given the additional job of preparing that for the Sunday evening service and also sourcing of Preachers for same from amongst church members.

3.2 Lay assistant training held on the 8th of February 2015. The PAC directed that the training be held more regularly so that more people can be trained as only people who attend the training will be allowed to officiate in church services.

3.3 The major challenge in the Directorate is the low / fluctuating attendance to some services like the All night prayers and the monthly prayer and fasting meeting. Though these services were successfully held, we would have loved a greater participation by members. Members are encouraged to attend these programmes as the days are evil.

3.5 The other challenge is the issue of non availability of Lay Assistants for the evening services. We will need volunteers for this role. Let us remember that we are a lay led Church, and not a laid back Church.

3.6 Church Retreats: Our theme for the Easter Retreat 2015 was “Revive Us Oh Lord”, and we had a wonderful time in God’s presence.

4.0 FELLOWSHIP

The Directorate has undergone major consolidation to build on the successes achieved by the previous Council. Hereunder are the highlights:

4.1 The Welcome Group

The Welcome Centre has been relocated from the fire escape Entrance, where we had serious distraction, to a more conducive section of the Sunday school building. This has also provided the right ambience for counselling and Discipleship. We have also consolidated the follow-up team and are providing weekly feedback report to the welcome team and the house fellowship leaders.

4.2 Foundation Class

This year witnessed the commencement of the foundation class after we noticed a gap in our current discipleship arrangement for new believers. We have combined this class with the Baptismal class which used to be organized when needed. The class currently uses the NIFES Discipleship manual. Members are to go through 10 study classes leading to baptism by immersion, where needed.

 4.3    The Care Group

This year, the Care Group embarked on an effort to empower the needy in the community, who have been attending the evening services, to make them self-reliant and get off welfare.
About 21 of them were trained on bead making and skills required to run a small a business.
We thank those who donated to this course and we will welcome more donations.

4.4    Together with the Missions and Evangelism Directorate, they established the evening service. An average of 72 adults and 48 children currently attend the service, held in Pidgin English and translated to Yoruba. We thank those who donated to this cause and we welcome more donations.

4.5    The Home Fellowship Group

We held the Annual Home Fellowship Sunday this year where members were sensitized on the need for fellowship. As a result of this event, the dedication and attendance increased in several centres. In the course of the year, we added four (4) new home fellowship centres namely Lekki Phase 1, Osapa London , Pinnock Beach Estate and Surulere centre.

4.6    We are currently using a book titled “Prayer Study Course” by Rev. Kenneth Hagin in all the centres. We had a training session or the home fellowship leaders and hosts in which a decision was reached to develop new study materials that will be tied to each quarter theme. This is now being proposed for approval. The material will be sermon application driven.

4.7    Publications/Publicity

A publication committee has been constituted and we are expecting quarterly publication of the Voice Journal in the coming year. Our new website is now up and social media account now open. A Social Media Ministry committee was constituted to help in our reaching the digital world initiated by the Outlook committee.

 

5.0   Pastoral Affairs Committee

5.1 The PAC, in conjunction with the Council, set up two very important Committees; the 18-25 Focus group to address the challenges being faced by the youth, and the Outlook Committee to address strategic issues of the church.

5.2 It established the criteria for administering the Pastoral Fund which has now been incorporated into the Standard Operating Procedure for loans and grants.

5.3 It reconstituted the Counselling Committee in VFC.

5.4 It revised the liturgy for Baptism in VFC.

6.0   MISSIONS AND EVANGELISM

6.1 Financial support to Missionaries and Groups: The Lord enabled the Church to fulfill this stewardship 100% despite our own needs. May the Lord continue to bless His people. Let me also note here, that in spite of spending 61% of total Income on Missions and Evangelism, our money is yet to reach persecuted Christians in the Arab world as agreed during the 2011 Strategic retreat. The Church has to take a decision on this issue.

6.2 Financial and material support to the Internally Displaced People: Money and materials (food stuffs, clothing and even a car) were donated by Church members and sent to our brethren in the crisis region of the North East. Donations are welcome.

6.3 Free medical outreach: This has become an annual event of the Directorate, as a way of reaching out to the people in our neighbourhood in benevolence and the gospel. We had one in Ilasan community where over 300 people were attended to medically. Some received free prescription glasses for different eye conditions. About 100 made decisions to follow Jesus and were handed over to the churches in the community to follow up. We worked in partnership with two Redeemed Christian Church of God parishes, one Assemblies of God Church and one Christ Apostolic Church, all located in the community.

6.4 Prison Evangelism: We continued the outreach to Kirikiri Prisons – Medium, Female, and Maximum once a month. The activities centred on fellowship with the inmates, offering counselling, legal aids, and provision of material needs allowed in the prison environment. Requests for a desk top computer has been made by Medium Prison Welfare Office, public address system for worship by the inmates Pastor of the Maximum and a spare part for the sewing machine in the female section. We are trusting God to help us meet these needs, and donations will be highly welcome.

6.5 Prayer-Stand Evangelism: This is an innovation in one-on-one evangelism. The Directorate has gone out twice with this equipment since it was imported and it has been a wonderful experience. We encourage more brethren to participate in this Directorate’s soul winning activities.

 

7.0 MUSIC

7.1 The choir held the first Easter Cantata in VFC on 29th March 2015 with the theme “THE CROSS OF CHRIST”. We thank God for the sacrifice and dedication of the members and the new Choirmaster Mr. Babatunde Shosanya.

7.2 The Technical Problem with the PA System: This problem has been addressed by inviting reputable Sound Engineers to train our Technical Crew, carry out sound optimisation of our PA system and advise on the necessary upgrade. The training has since been concluded and a new digital Console purchased. The result is improved sound quality, and harmony between the Choir and the crew.

7.3 Synchronising the Adult Choir with the VFC Ensemble: We have decided to have both groups perform their style of worship music at various church events. There are plans to hold joint seminars and training in a bid to harmonise the different styles of music.

7.4 The choir is also muttering the idea of purchasing a new church organ. We are yet to take a decision on the issue.

 

8.0 CHILDREN’S EDUCATION DIRECTORATE

 7.1 ACTIVITIES: Some of the activities of this Directorate in the course of the year, include, but not limited to the following:

  • Continued use of Scripture Union Sunday school teaching material, currently mported on a quarterly basis from the United Kingdom.
  • Teacher training facilitated by the Child evangelism Fellowship of Nigeria Inc, Lagos State branch and Mrs Modupe Adeyinka–Oni, the proprietor of Standard Bearer’s School (also a VFC member)
  • Music Lessons: Free drum, Piano and Guitar lessons for children interested at 8am on Sundays
  • Visit to a local orphanage, joint service with their children and presentation of gifts to the children.
  • Bake sale arranged by some of the children to raise funds for Stephens Home, for children displaced by the Boko Haram insurgents.
  • Annual Christmas Play by the children called ‘The Peace Child’
  • Annual Christmas Party for children both the Morning and evening service children.

7.2 ACHIEVEMENTS:

  • Published a document specifying the requirements for becoming a Sunday School Teacher.
  • Listed useful information for Sunday school teachers.
  • Listed a guide for teachers for holding classes.
  • Provision of water dispensers in all classes to reduce movement in and out of classes in search of water.
  • Computer acquired for Sunday school for use with projector.
  • Acquired bibles for church use only, for children from age five and above, so all are reading the same version of bible during classes and joint decision by teachers to use NIV version in all classes.

7.3 CHALLENGES:

  • Getting teachers to volunteer and commit to teaching.
  • Getting regular committed teachers for the Evening Church Sunday school

7.4 2015 GOALS

  • Easter two day non-residential Camp for teenagers.
  • Combined service for all Sunday school with a film show once in a month.
  • Summer camp for both teachers and children.

8.0 YOUTH MINISTRY

There has been increased agitation from the youth in church for a separate service where they can freely worship with their style of music. There exist also, within the church, a band of young VFC members who neither fit in Children’s Sunday School nor in PDGEN. In the words of a member who aptly described it, “they are caught within an identity transition with very specific needs that the adult church does not meet”.

To mitigate these challenges, the Council, in conjunction with the PAC, took the following decisions after much deliberations:

8.1       The Youth ministry will now comprise of the 18-25 Focus Group (they are yet to come up with a name), and the PDGEN for the 25-35 bracket.

8.2       The PDGEN has been authorised, and has since commenced Evening services where they can worship in a more contemporary style.

8.3       The 18-25 Focus Group will have their own break our services at same time that the children and young adults leave for Sunday School. We are in the process of procuring an air-conditioned marquee for their use, but ultimately the church has to start making serious efforts towards building a Youth Hall in the new plot of land.

8.4 Other Activities of the PDGEN

  • Monthly Bible Study: In the past year, God has been helping us as we looked at the “Parables of Jesus” in our bible study meetings. We have noticed significant increase in attendance and participation.
  • PDGen Drama Presentations: Under God’s guidance, the PDGen ministered severally through drama/skit presentations in the past year and the notably on the annual youth celebration day and on the cross over service.
  • Empowerment Trainings: There has been series of training. It started with special sessions on financial intelligence followed by a session on writing YOUWIN proposals. Young people were taught how to properly manage and grow their money. The attendance was quite encouraging.
  • 2014 Family Day Celebration: The 2014 Family day celebration was uniquely anchored by the PDGen on a new venue.
  • Outreaches: The PDGen collaborated with Mission and Evangelism to anchor the Ilado evangelism outreach program. We look forward to further collaborations in the future.
  • Youth Outings: There were several Youth outings, including trips to Lekki Leisure Lake, GET Arena and a wonderful Movie Evening Together.

 

9.0 CAPITAL PROJECTS

9.1 Pavement of VFC Close:

The pavement of VFC Close has been made possible with generous donations from about 5 members of the Church. We are yet to complete the payment, and donations from members will be appreciated.

9.2 The Youth Hall.

It is important to commence a fund drive for the construction of the facility in the adjacent plot that will house the youth hall. This building has become necessary in order to give our youth a place to worship the Lord and express themselves under our watchful eyes. There are many churches, shallow in doctrine but with attractive mode of worship that hold much attraction for them.

9.3   Power Generator

We are currently using up to 90% of the capacity of the existing 9 year old 110 KVA generator. It is recommended that we purchase a new 200 KVA generator that will accommodate future expansion.

10.0 OUTLOOK

The Council, in conjunction with the PAC, has set up an 8 man committee to look into the recommendations made at our Easter 2011 Strategic Retreat, and ensure we do not take our legs off the pedal in actualising the set goals. They have since commenced work and their work will cut across every aspect of our church life.

I crave the indulgence of the church to have them present their report at this Annual General meeting.

It is also recommended that the Church should organise another retreat in Easter of 2016 to look at emerging trends, reappraise our stand, and evolve a 5 year strategic plan for the Church.

THANKS

VFC is growing both numerically and in spiritual depth, demanding more work, and credit goes to all volunteers in various Directorates and units, the church staff, the PAC, and of course the Council members. You give your ideas, your time, your passion and your enthusiasm to the work of God. Your sacrifice and commitment have clearly shown that lay led Church is not another name for a laid back Church. May your labour of love be richly rewarded by the Lord.

I want to thank our families for their support and sacrifice. Let us always remember that, we can do all things through Christ that strengthens us.

Thank you VFC for the opportunity to serve you and God bless you.

 

Eddy Atumonyogo

Chairman, Church Council

12th April, 2015.