The lawyer, Mike Oyagha, wasn’t thinking about writing Church Administration in Nigeria in the Eye of the Law. But, sometime in September 2018, he was ministered to by God to write the book.
“The only thing I changed in the message I got was ‘In the Eye of the Law’,” he said at the recent public presentation of his fourth book at All Saints’ Anglican Church Hall, Ikosi Road, Lagos.
Before the review of the book by Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye, the Attorney-General of Oyo State, Mr Oluwaseun Abimbola, represented by Wole Ogundiran, presented a paper on “Church Administration in the Eye of the Law”.
He said, upon incorporation, “a church becomes a legal entity in the eye of the law, consequently the church enjoys some rights, and it is also saddled with obligations which its governing body must strictly adhere to, and must be also be reflected in its governing documents.”
Many principles, procedures and techniques used in today’s business, he explained, also applied in churches and its leadership. He added that very nasty disputes stemmed from unclear or poorly-worded governing documents or simply from misunderstood governance structures and principles, but having a binding and mandatory Christian mediation or arbitration clauses helped in resolving disputes over membership and leadership.
“A disgruntled member who cannot sue the church in civil court will resolve the dispute in a much healthier and confidential way than a disgruntled member who can make a public spectacle in open court. Governing documents should be carefully crafted to represent the religious stance of the church and while subject to the law,” he said.
Bishop Sola Ore, Chairman of the PFN, who chaired the occasion, said the book was what the church needed at this particular time, for “church administration is almost non-existent” and “because of that, we are having problem with the authorities. There is virtually little or no administration, especially when we have ministries with husbands and wives at the helm.” He recommended that men of God should be more involved in politics.
Speaking on how the idea for the book came about, the author of the book said, as a company lawyer, he was conversant with church administration in Nigeria, and could tell it wasn’t the best.
“It’s important to take the message to our church leaders,” he echoed, adding, “It is a book that somebody that has something to do with the church must read. The issues treated are contemporary,” he remarked.
The reviewer, Ejinkeonye, in his review, said “Mike Oyagha has given the Church an invaluable gift – one if well studied and appreciated, and its lessons imbibed and applied, would go a long way to save the Church from many hurtful incidences that have given non-believers occasions to mock the body of Christ.”
The book was unveiled by Pastor Mike Iheanacho, who said, in his subsequent remarks, that, as a pastor, he had discovered many things which could be remedied in the church, which had been taken for granted over the years. He was confident that, “With the book in the hands of the church, we can quantify what we have.”
He echoed what God said in the Bible that His people perished for lack knowledge.
Till date, he believed that the church was still suffering from ignorance. However, “If they read this book,” he echoed, “they will know what they are supposed to know, and take the right actions they are supposed to take. Now, our people will not be destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
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