NEGATIVE ATTITUDES OF CHILDREN OF CHURCH MINISTERS AND ITS EFFECTS ON PREACHING THE GOSPEL: CASE STUDIES OF ALL CHURCHES

Abstract
This study examines the negative attitudes of children of church ministers and its effects on preaching the gospel in Nigerian churches. It was noted that the family of church ministers experience specific challenges, particularly in relation to the maintenance of boundaries between their personal lives and the individual needs of each member of their family, and the public pastoral roles of a church minister.The main aim of the research is to examine the effects of negative attitudes of church minister’s children on spreading the gospel of Christ. The study made use of primary data from the information obtained from the distribution of research questionnaire to members of the selected denominations. The research design adopted for this study is cross –sectional survey and descriptive analysis on a randomly selected sample of the different categories of churches (Catholic, Pentecostal and Orthodox). The study made use of a total population of 100. The sample of 40 was considered for the study, the data hypothesis was analyzed using the chi-square method. Findings shows that, in today’s church most of the minister’s children misbehavior have been overlooked, with the view of not trying to touch an anointed vessel’s property.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the study
The young generation today especially “clergy children”has decline from following their father’s foo steps of spreading the gospel and settled for worldly life styles to suit into the contemporary society. But for the gospel to be passed down from generation to generation in order to grow the body of Christ, the issues of negatives attitudes of church ministers children needs to be given urgent attention. Biblical history reveals few smooth generational transfers of faith. The tragic words of Judges 2:10 suggest a pattern repeated throughout the biblical narrative: “And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD or the work that he had done for Israel.” This text refers to the first generation of Israelites born in the Promised Land, a group whose fathers had rushed over the crumbled walls of Jericho and whosegrandparents had crossed the Red Sea. Surely this godless generation’s ancestors had not neglected to pass their faith stories and religious traditions on to their children. No, the problem of the Judges 2 generation was not a lack of information about God, but a lack of personal knowledge of the presence and the covenant love of God.

A mind blowing question was posted on a Nigerian website named “Nairaland”on August 18, 2005. The question read, “Why Pastor’sChildren often Embrace Cultism, Prostitution Etc?”. As much as 1,360 responsescame in ranging from blame on pastors children for just wanting to destroy their parents’ ministry to pastor-parents not spending enough time to train their children, toindifference–pastors children are just like any other children and they are accountablefor their lives (www.nairaland.com).

The question, the responses and discussions that ensued were quite interesting,challenging but in a more reflective mood, pathetic. The poser of the question was noteven asking why Pastor’s children occasionally misbehave. He asked why they“often” misbehave. The poser was not just asking why there is some minormisconduct among pastors’ children, he was asking of why pastor’s children engagein such gross misconduct as cultism and prostitution. This is a great indictment on theministry of the clergy and it calls for a close examination if there will be a solution tosuch things that are bringing shame and reproach to the gospel of the Lord JesusChrist. What some pastor’s children engage in could be as terrible as stealing or worststill, armed-robbery, sexual immorality including teenage pregnancy, use of harddrugs, drunkenness, bullying and other acts of misdemeanor.

Young people in every generation must wrestle with the faith handed down from their forefathers, grappling with the written words, presence, and mission of God until their own story joins the stream of His story. Likewise, people of God in each maturing generation reach out to the younger generation, striving to transmit a living faith to those who come behind them. The beauty and importance of the intergenerational chain of grace leap from the pen of the psalmist who says, “I will sing of the steadfast love of the LORD forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations” (Ps. 89:1).

Some studies found out that averagely, 1 in 3 young people growing up in a Christian home walk away from their inherent Christian values by age 18 (Barna Research Group, 2011). Despite spiritual value systems a Christian home provides, teaching the Christian faith does not guarantee salvation. For each young person choosing to walk away from their upbringing, there are parents left in the wake of an adolescents faithless lifestyle; parents who have sleepless nights, and families that implode from the social, spiritual, emotional, and physical fallout of their child’s behavior. Even when pastoral parents spend time training their child in the direction they should go, some will disregard the gospel message(Colorado Springs, CO: Biblica, Inc., 2011) Parents desire the best for their children, and have faith they will become productive members of society. Even more, Christian parents yearn for their children to become productive members for the Kingdom of God. As children grow older, they take on the responsibility for making choices outside of the parent’s control (Elyse Fitzpatrick, 2005). For a pastor’s child, these choices not only influence the family, but also additional ministerial obligations parent-pastors 4 have to their congregations. This studytherefore look at what informs the society’sexpectation of what pastors’ children ought to be and what are the factors thatultimately affects pastor’s children’s conduct or behavior negatively.The researcher then looks at the building blocks for developing ethical life and conduct in pastors’ children.

1.2 Statement of the Problem
Church ministers who are accountable to a church congregation along with their children assume a difficult task that non-pastoral parents will never experience. The ability for ministers toescape from stressors of church and family life are challenging because both are encompassed in the pastoral lifestyle. For evangelical clergy, leading people to faith in Jesus Christ is the capstone of their pastoral duties. When children choose to walk away from the Christian faith, it can project a sense of personal failure in preaching the gospel to those who are closest to home. The minister’s ability to escape these feelings can become overwhelming, even damaging to the minister’s soul. Similar to mainstream statistics for young adults raised in Christian homes, 3 out of 4 pastors claim their child fifteen and older has experienced significant doubts of faith (Barna Research Group, 2011).Minister’s children enjoy many unique advantages, but also struggle with a set of painful challenges that can drive them away from God and the church.Minister’s children grow up with preacher parents in families influenced to an unusual degree by the members of the local church community, who are also collectively their parents’ employers. Pastor’s childrenoften feel that church people watch their every move, unfairly criticize them, and expect them to be perfect. When perfection proves impossible and criticism mounts, because of this some Pastor’s children may choose open rebellion, which drains energy from the pastoral family and produces confusion among church members. Pastoral families are often expected to model Christian family life for the church and community, and the apparent failure of Christianity in the pastors’ family can prove deeply troubling to the whole church and preaching the gospel to unbelievers.

1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this present study is to examine negative attitudes of children of church ministers and its effects on preaching the gospel. The researcher intends to cross examine the following sub objectives;

i. To cross-examine the general behavior of Minister’s children in the Nigerian churches.

ii. To examine the causes of negative attitudes of Minister’s children in our churches.

iii. To explore relevant theological framework on minister’s family issues and ministry challenges to spreading of the gospel.

iv. To proffer solutions to the challenges of negative attitudes of minister’s children to the growth of the church.

1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated by the researcher to guide the indebt of this research;

1. Does the minister’s children lifestyle go against the doctrine of the church?

2. Are church ministers and clergy men found wanting in putting their homes in order?

3. Is there any significant relationship between minister’s children negative attitudes and church growth?

4. What are the causes of negative attitudes of Minister’s children in our churches?

5. How can children of church ministers overcome these negative tendencies so as to grow the ministry of Christ?

1.5 Significance of the study
This studywill unveil the root cause, the effect and the appropriate way of solving the negative attitudes of church minister’s children so that the society, parents and church ministers will benefit from the research findings.

This research is very significant because children are the future of every societyincluding the Church. Many, if not all church denominations in Nigeria have been affected by the bad images projectedby their church minister’s children in the society. The findings of this research work will immensely assist churches, ministries, pastors, etc in discovering the vital roles their children plays in the life of a Church as they are the leaders of tomorrow and future of every church.From this research, we will discover what a healthy church is like and how Minister’s children life style can draw the world to Christ and boost church growth. Finally, the findings of this study will serve as reference materials to scholars in this field of study.

1.6 Scope and Limitations of the study
This study examines negative attitudes of children of church ministers and its effects on preaching the gospel. A research of this nature seems broad such that it cannot be exhausted in this research work. For this reason, the research shall focus on all churches from different denominations in Nigeria. There were some constraints tending to interrupt the flow of this study such as;

Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Members Reluctance: In most cases the members of the selected churches often feels reluctance over providing required information required by the researcher. This result in finding information where the structured questionnaires could not point out.

Researcher’s Commitment: The researcher, being of full time student spent most of her time on other academic activities such as test, class work, assignment, examination etc which takes average focus from this study.

Inadequate Materials: Scarcity of material is also a major hindrance. The researcher finds it difficult to lay hands on several required material which could contribute immensely to the success of this research work.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 63 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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