A three-day international conference on the eruption of mega-churches in the Global South opened at Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Redemption Camp, Km 46, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, on Monday.
Advocate.ng reports that the conference with the theme, “Imaging Mega Churches in the Global South and Beyond: Trends, Trajectories, and Impacts, was jointly organized by RCCG and U.S based John Templeton Foundation.
Advocate.ng learned that countries in the Latin America, Sub-Sahara Africa, and the Asian Pacific areas are referred to as the Global South.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, General Overseer of the RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, stressed the need to explore the reasons why churches in the Global South had continued to grow so enormously in the ever-competitive global religious environment in the last 30 years.
Adeboye was represented by Pastor Johnson Odesola, the RCCG Intercontinental Overseer for the African Region.
The General Overseer, who noted that the mega-churches in the Global South had continued to spread their religious frontiers to the global North, including Europe and North America, described the growth as “a global phenomenon”.
He explained that most of the mega-churches shared similar and identifiable characteristics in leadership model, technology, and religious idiosyncrasies.
Adeboye stated further that the churches had arguably continued to affect the lives of their members positively as well as shaped their relationships with their various societies.
According to him, most of the mega churches are largely Pentecostal charismatic in outlook.
The cleric, however, noted that the churches and their leaders had attracted scholarly attention and public scrutiny “partly due to the problem of lack or inadequate commitment to the concept of good corporate governance because of the problem of accountability”.
Adeboye, who expressed hope that the conference would come up with fresh ideas on the issue, urged them to reflect on the Dynamics and trend of the “digital church” and to leverage on social media and other veritable tools in expanding the frontiers of the church in the new normal.
The convener of the conference, Prof. Afe Adogame, in his remarks, said that the conference was preparatory to a project research of 20 diverse mega-churches in 10 different countries.
He listed the countries as Elsalvador, Guatemala, Brazil, India, Ghana, and Kenya.
Others are Nigeria, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the South- Korea.
Adogame explained that the project, which would be funded by the John Templeton Foundation, would be carried out by an interdisciplinary team of scholars, adding that the findings would be disseminated to the public.
The conference, which is expected to end on Wednesday, drew scholars, religious experts, clerics, and other stakeholders from across the globe. (NAN)