The Church Council Chairman’s report presented at the Annual General Meeting held on 13th April 2014:
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. I welcome you to the 2014 Annual General Meeting, grateful for the opportunity you gave us to serve you and for your unwavering support in prayers and counsel.
I present to you the highlights of our stewardship for the year.
In the past VFC year, we continued to concentrate on the core areas of prayer, evangelism, discipleship and care for our members.
1.0 CHURCH OFFICE
1.1 Staff strength at the close of the year stood at 3 full time and 12 contract staff. Council has resolved that we engage a VFC brother as a Sound Technician to man the sound equipment at each VFC programme.
1.2 At the Easter Retreat 2011, the need was identified for an Administrative Manager to run the administrative functions of the Church. In taking stock of administrative issues in the last 2 years, the main challenges encountered were as follows, amongst others:
- Monitoring, execution and unclear ownership of church administrative functions vis-à-vis projects, maintenance of properties and running of the Church.
- On account of job commitments, inability of Directors to devote needed time.
- Growth in membership numbers and complexities in logistics, requiring more attention
- Purchase of Accounting Software requiring the need of a professional and permanent employee to take charge of the growing needs of the Church.
- Inability to directly coach, mentor and supervise full time employees especially as they report to different Directors and to effectively monitor their Key Performance Indicators.
1.3 Council has deliberated fully on this and is of the view that the exigencies of the church administration require the employment of a Manager to handle the administration of the Church. To this end, as agreed at the Easter Retreat 2011, we propose, with your approval, to employ a Church Administrator reporting to the Council Chairman and Finance Director.
1.4 Management of Funds
We introduced more guidelines for prudent management of Church funds. For example, any request for funds of a certain amount must have the approval of the Chairman while approval of an amount above the limit for Chairman’s approval must have the approval of the Tenders Board.
1.5 The cost of refreshments at Council meetings came up at last year’s AGM. We recognised the need to address this. In the past year this cost was reduced by almost 50%. It is recommended that, for its refreshments, each group should take offerings at its meetings. We commend groups that are already bearing the cost of their refreshments.
1.6 Perfection of Title
Perfection of title documents of both landed properties of the church is in progress. We are grateful to our solicitors, Consolex.
1.7 Compliance Issues
We formally registered, at the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja, the change of trustees of the church and the amendment of our constitution.
We obtained the consent of the Ibeju-Lekki Local Government to name our Close. It is now known as “VFC Close.”
1.9 We applied to Lagos State Advertising Agency for our Church sign to be placed on the expressway. Lekki Concession Company (“LCC”) appears to control all advertisements on the Expressway. We have applied to LCC and await their response.
Our Church is now fully insured.
1.11 Fire and Safety Drill
We shall soon organize fire and safety drill in line with the laws of Lagos State.
We compiled a membership statistics drive in January 2014, which revealed growth as follows:
|Membership Nos.||Under 16 Years||Adults||TOTAL|
- Note: 2013 figures are inclusive of those attending Evening Service.
Our Library was dedicated on 30th March 2014. It must be noted that the Women’s Fellowship became the anchor for this project through purchasing, leasing and cataloguing of books and donations made for furniture. We thank them as well as all members that donated books and materials to the library.
To ensure smooth elections, Council approved guidelines for the electoral process. For example the nomination papers for election are now numbered, dated and signed.
2.1 A weekly prayer meeting at 6 a.m. – 7 a.m. on Wednesdays was introduced, with good attendance.
2.2 We are looking at the possibility of live streaming of our services on the website of the Church and also to upload the audio of our services.
2.3 Sunday morning worship service is preceded by an Adult Bible Study and Leaders’ pre-service prayer meeting.
2.4 Other planned services were held – Thanksgiving Service 2013, Christmas Service 2013, New Year Eve Service, etc.
With regard to prayers, each day the VFC Council, Prayer Platoon and some members share prayer points through emails praying for needs of members, etc. Members are encouraged to use the prayer boxes in church or text or email their prayer requests to the church leadership, prayer platoon or the church office.
2.6 The Prayer Platoon meets to pray once a month.
2.7 Night Vigils were held with good attendance. We thank all the families that, after the order of Obed-Edom, hosted the church during these vigils.
2.8 Church Retreats
Our theme for the Easter Retreat 2013 was “Focus on the Family”. We have also planned another refreshing Easter Retreat for 2014.
3.1 The Welcome Group has been attending to first time worshippers. They also follow up new members until they are integrated into the church.
3.2 We thank those who sponsor the after service refreshments for new worshippers and the entire Church, and we welcome new sponsors. The space we currently use for welcome is not ideal, and there are limited options. We will take steps to upgrade the comfort level of the centre.
3.3 The Care Group
The Welfare Group has been doing a tremendous job of attending to the physical and spiritual needs of the poor, and brethren in distress, to the limit of their financial ability. They pay school fees and hospital bills of indigent members and distribute foodstuff to the poor on a monthly basis.
3.4 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.
3.5 The Home Fellowship Group
The House fellowship centres have been increased to 14 from the 6 we met on assumption of office.
3.6 We encourage the centres to engage in social responsibility and evangelism. Some of them have been reaching out to the less privileged within their communities.
To promote a sense of community, we introduced an electronic weekly bulletin that summarizes our weekly activities. We need volunteers for the hard copy of The Voice Publication to enable us publish regularly.
4.1 The PAC was very active and involved in the spiritual development and care of our members. For example, it held a special prayer and fasting meeting for today’s elections. Its members also led many of the programs of the church including prayer meetings.
4.2 It diligently administered the Pastoral Fund for meeting the needs of our members.
4.3 It set up a committee that has reviewed the discipleship and counselling needs of every group in VFC.
4.4 It introduced guidelines for conducting marriages in VFC.
5.0 MISSIONS AND EVANGELISM
5.1 We had evangelism twice at Elegushi Beach.
5.2 The Lord opened doors for us to minister in all the prisons in Lagos State. So far, we have made two visits each to Kirikiri medium, female and maximum prisons. The experience has been wonderful with souls saved, the sick prayed for, physical provisions/materials given and legal aid currently on for a brother that attends VFC, whom we met in Kirikiri Medium Prison.
5.3 We are also planning to import evangelism stands which can be put up in a public place such as a supermarket parking lot with a sign calling people for prayers; while members would go round with tracts and materials to invite people. When they visit the stand, they would be preached to and prayed for.
5.4 We paid a visit to Akodo General Hospital in Ibeju-Lekki Local Government. We ministered the gospel, shared tracts, prayed for the sick and gave physical provisions. On Easter Monday we shall hold another medical outreach.
5.5 We encourage more brethren to participate in this Directorate’s soul winning activities.
6.1 The Music ministry was very vibrant. The Youth wing of the Choir ministered every third Sunday of the month. It added freshness to our mode of worship as they provided the needed variety.
6.2 Added commitment was also noticed on the part of the Adult Choir as they regularly participated in all Sunday worship services except the Sundays dedicated to the Youth. The Choir also featured in several weddings/funerals in and out of VFC.
6.3 The church organ received the first major servicing. Plans are in place to renovate the Choir stall to improve the sound quality of the Choir.
7.0 CHILDREN’S EDUCATION DIRECTORATE
7.1 In 2013 we had our annual formal teachers’ training day and are in the process of planning one for 2014.
7.2 We have started music lessons before Sunday Service and have children learning keyboard, guitar and drums.
7.3 The children have initiated some fund raising initiatives most memorably in support of the displaced Christians in Northern Nigeria.
7.4 We initially started a separate mixed age vernacular class for some of the children who struggled with understanding the English classes that we run. Most of these children now attend the Evening Service and so a children’s Sunday school is run at that time. We are looking for volunteers to teach and train teachers to take those evening classes.
7.5 We thank God for one of the members who paid for the replacement of all the chairs in the Children’s Sunday School. We have also purchased a set of drums and various keyboards as well as a projector for the Children’s church. We will soon be replacing the TV in the birth-to-3-year old class. Also we plan to purchase a computer to work with our projector as well as stock our kitchenette.
8.1 In the past year, the Lord helped the PDGEN to study and learn from the lives of Bible Characters. The PDGEN also spiced up its monthly bible study by changing the venues/environment for its studies. Thank God for the brethren who lovingly accepted to host the PDGEN in their homes.
8.2 The PDGEN presented a number of skits/dramas through which the Lord ministered to several lives notably on the annual youth celebration day and the cross over service night. We also thank God for helping us integrate some of the Sunday School teenagers into some of our presentations.
8.3 The PDGEN also organized a wonderful Relationship forum in which we had diverse speakers come together to teach us as well as entertain our questions. This was successful as, shortly after the seminar, we started witnessing more weddings than usual.
8.4 The PDGEN takes charge of the service on the third Sunday of each month. More of its members now step up to take the lay assistant role for the first time. Others have improved as they now take on the prayers and bible reading roles with more ease. These assignments are an opportunity for engaging PDGEN members and build them up for large roles.
8.5 The 2013 family day celebration was a memorable day. We thank God for all those who made it a success.
8.6 Other Activities of the PDGEN
We saw an increase in membership participation using social media platforms (whatsapp and BBM groups). The gospel is going digitally social.
8.7 God has enabled us create subdivisions for more participation for the youth. We now have the bible study division, the outing planning division, the security division that guards the interior and our car park; and others.
8.8 The PDGen was represented in the recent trip to the Stephen’s Children’s Home. We believe that God will carve out a niche where the PDGEN can be of help to that Home in the future.
9.0 PROPOSED NEW BUILDING
The design of the new building the church is planning to put up, is on the board.
10.0 GOALS ACHIEVED/YET TO BE ACHIEVED
10.1 Some of the goals reached during the tenure of the current Church Council are
- Purchase of land
- Engagement of Church Administrator (subject to approval of AGM)
- Engagement of Sound Technician to be present at all VFC functions
- More stringent written Financial Guidelines for management of Church funds
- Auditing of church accounts by external auditors.
- Commencement of Perfection of Title to the land on which our church was built as well as new land.
- Obtained formal approval of the Corporate Affairs Commission (‘CAC”) to the amendment of VFC Constitution.
- Obtained formal approval of CAC to the change of our trustees.
- Formally named our Close as “VFC Close”
- Initiated and completed the insurance of the church building and its contents.
- Initiated fire and safety drill
- Commenced Evening Service
- Commenced Wednesday Morning Service
- Commenced Welcome Section for 1st timers.
- Commenced hospital visitation.
- Commenced Prison visitation.
- Library established
- Detailed Election guidelines and procedure
- A 3rd Adult Sunday School class established.
- Daily prayer emails exchanged by church leadership and members, to pray for VFC, etc.
- Introduced Weekly online newsletter.
- Monthly Prayer Schedule introduced with prayers for each day of the month
- Established 8 new fellowship centres bringing the total to 14.
- The first major servicing of the church organ.
- Musical instruments lessons for our members especially the children
- Business Seminar for our members.
- Evangelism Training
- Held evangelism luncheons in restaurants
- Follow-Up Training
- PDGEN visited Children’s Homes
- PDGEN conducted relationship seminar that contributed to more weddings
- Congratulatory sms and or birthday cards for wedding anniversary and birthday celebrators
- Members acting as “Holy Police” for the interior and car parks of VFC building
- Revived and maintained the VFC website.
- Marriage guidelines introduced.
- Church building and assets valued by professional Valuers
- Prayer meeting preceded every Council meeting.
10.2 GOALS FOR THE FUTURE INCLUDE:
- Weekly evangelism activity by VFC Missions and Evangelism Directorate.
- CCTV cameras
- Live streaming of VFC services on the internet
- Exploring possibility of placing VFC sermons on radio and TV
- Audio of VFC sermons on the internet
- Quarterly production of hard copy of Voice magazine
- Importation of specialised evangelism stands for use in soul winning.
- Training in counselling, ushering and other directorates that did not undergo training during the tenure of the current council
- Standing committee dedicated exclusively to follow up of visitors and new converts
- Discipleship/Beginners class for new converts
- Drafting of booklet to be given to new converts
- One schedule indicating the resource persons for all the programmes of VFC
- Further training of current Sound Technicians and or engagement of Sound Engineer
We are thankful to God for the vessels he used, in the church year under review, to bless us as guest and resident Speakers, Lay Assistants, Panellists, Holy Communion Servers, Ushers, Choir, the Youth, Instrumentalists, Sound technicians, Adult and Children’s Bible Study Teachers, the directorates, departments, committees, groups, and all who ministered in one office or the other to His church. My gratitude also goes to the Church Council and the Pastoral Affairs Committee, for their labour of love and indeed the entire congregation for your support, prayers and regular encouragement. May the Lord reward you all as only He can.
I also thank my dear wife, Ngozi, an ever present pillar and help.
Finally I thank the Lord Almighty for honouring me, little as I am, with this opportunity to serve in His vineyard and rewarding me far beyond my imagination.
God bless you all.
Chairman, Church Council
13th April, 2014.