Nigeria: Corruption, Church Growth and Discipleship

Nigeria: Corruption, Church Growth and Discipleship

On September 20-22, readers of Operation World are praying for Nigeria. Among the matters for prayer is the plague of corruption. “The scale of corruption in Nigeria is staggering,” write the authors (643).

What is the price of this corruption?

“The impact of corruption on Nigeria is devastating and crippling.

  • It pulls others into the grasping free-for-all,
  • it undermines those who attempt good governance,
  • it inspires the imposition of shari’a,
  • it disarms the effectiveness of Christians caught in its grip,
  • it leaves the nation’s reputation in tatters,
  • and it generates such disillusionment that violent and extreme reactions appear to be the only ones that work.” (644)

Consider that this pervasive situation exists in spite of the fact that “Evangelicals have grown from 2.1 million in 1960 (5.7%) to 49 million in 2010 (30.8%).” (643)

So there may be a connection between corruption and this prayer request:

A failure of discipleship: the emphasis on evangelism and soul winning without adequate follow-up and balanced biblical teaching. Africa’s — and Nigeria’s— greatest spiritual challenge is not Islam, not corruption, not even the need for missions, but discipleship. If the Nigerian Church were truly discipled and brought to maturity in Christ, it would be an unstoppable force. (644)

Pray, therefore, for the church to go deep in shaping the hearts and minds and lives of believers. Pray that thousands of serious Bible students would make disciples “teaching them to observe all that Jesus has commanded us.” (Matthew 28:20).

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John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.