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Church of Christ in Nations formerly Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN)


Church of Christ in Nations formerly Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN)

COCIN stands for “Church of Christ in Nations,” which is a Christian denomination in Nigeria. It was founded in 1948 and is currently one of the largest indigenous Protestant denominations in the country. The church places a strong emphasis on education and has established a number of schools and universities throughout Nigeria. It also operates hospitals and clinics, and is involved in various social and community development programs. The headquarters of the church is located in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria.

THE CHURCH

The Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) is a Christian denomination in Nigeria. COCIN was founded in 1904 and believes in the infallibility of the Bible. COCIN is a member of the World Council of Churches. Furthermore, COCIN is a member of the Christian Association of Nigeria, the Reformed Ecumenical Council and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. The Church has been in the fore-front of providing basic services to the people

VISION: A matured church committed to the work of the gospel of Jesus Christ and impacting the world till His return

MISSION: To glorify God by edifying and equipping the church of Jesus Christ for global missions

BACKGROUND

TO GOD BE THE GLORY. I humbly stand before you today as the 8th President of Church of Christ in Nations formerly Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN). I stand here before you as the embodiment of unity and oneness of the Church of Christ in Nations. I believe I am not the most qualified person to be the President of this great denomination, COCIN. It is His grace and it is His doing. It is marvelous in His sight.

Previous services of my predecessors:

a) Rev. Damina Bawado – served for 30 years
b) Rev. Luther Cishak – served for 9 years
c) Rev. Dr. Musa Gotom – served for 9 years
d) Rev. Alexander Lar – served for 5 years
e) Rev. Prof. Pandang Yamsat – served for 8 years
f) Rev. Prof. Soja Joseph Bewarang – served for 2 years
g) Rev. Prof. Dachollom C. Datiri – retires today after 8 years.

CURRENT PRESIDENT OF COCIN

REV. DR. AMOS MUSA MOHZO COCIN President

REV DR AMOS MUSA MOHZO COCIN
REV DR AMOS MUSA MOHZO COCIN

PREAMBLE

2 Chron 1:8-10 HCSB 8 And Solomon said to God: “You have shown great faithful love to my father David, and You have made me king in his place. 9 Lord God, let Your promise to my father David now come true. For You have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust 10 of the earth. Now, grant me wisdom and knowledge so that I may lead these people, for who can judge this great people of Yours?”

Ps 27:1-4 NIV
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall, I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my
enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war
break out against me, even then will I be confident.
4 One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in
the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the
beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
– I am a debtor of the Lord Jesus Christ, having been mandated
14 to pay to the people around me “ I am a debtor both to
Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.
15 So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel
to you who are in Rome also”.
– Give me the boldness to share the gospel with those around me,
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the
power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for
the Jew first and also for the Greek”.

a) Rev. Damina Bawado – served for 30 years
b) Rev. Luther Cishak – served for 9 years
c) Rev. Dr. Musa Gotom – served for 9 years
d) Rev. Alexander Lar – served for 5 years
e) Rev. Prof. Pandang Yamsat – served for 8 years
f) Rev. Prof. Soja Joseph Bewarang – served for 2 years
g) Rev. Prof. Dachollom C. Datiri – retires today after 8 years.

These great leaders led COCIN from where our missionaries handed over the baton of leadership to indigenous leadership. The Church of Christ in Nations has been in existence for 118 years. It is astounding. As long as Christ’s coming tarries, it is an opportunity to make greater exploits for the Kingdom. We remain resilient to obeying and achieving the command of our Lord Jesus as stated in Matt. 28:19-20: 19“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” I want to thank Rev. Prof. Dachollom C. Datiri from whom I receive the handover of the mantle of leadership to preside over the affairs of the Church. On behalf of the entire COCIN family, I express our profound gratitude to you for leading the Church for the past eight years. Apostle Paul says in 1 Cor 3:14-15, “If anyone’s work which he has built on it 15 endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire”. Therefore, besides human appreciation, God will reward your service, which you rendered to the Church. The Church of Christ in Nations has come a long way. What started in Wase, Plateau State in 1904 has become global. Little did the first four missionaries (Dr. Karl Kumm, Mr. Lowrey Maxwell, Mr. John Burt, and Dr.

Ambrose Bateman), know that what they started as a mustard seed would grow to become an international Church. Not only that, the four mission stations (Langtang, Kabwir, Panyam, and Foron) through their indigenous Pastors took the gospel to neighboring states like Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, and Nasarawa. The Church of Christ in Nations has spread to almost all the states in Nigeria and now in other nations of the world. It is the Lord’s doing. It was through the activities of the early missionaries of Sudan United Mission (SUM) and later supported by indigenous missionaries that the Church of Christ in Nations came to Borno in 1937, which means the Church of Christ in Nations has been in existence for 85 years in Borno. The Kanuri nation has been very peaceful, accommodating and friendly, particularly, the traditional institution, the Shehu of Borno has been tolerant and receptive. The Molai General Hospital started as a leprosy colony alongside the worship center at Kirikasama. The settlement in Molai was officially opened by the Shehu of Borno. All these events were unfolding in history without any prediction or foreknowledge that one day the President of the Church of Christ in Nations will come from Borno. The first missionary to Gwoza, Ishaya Dashwet from Panyam came in 1954, which means that the missionaries spent 17 years in Maiduguri before they could reach the Gwoza tribes with the gospel of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Eventually, the group of young missionaries under the auspices of New Life for All (NLFA) arrived Ngoshe-Sama in 1968. It was the first missionary trip to the village where I was born. In 1971 Rev. Daniel Wuyep, a missionary from former Langtang Province arrived Ngoshe-Sama. Truly, it has been a long way to arrive here today. It is the grace of God. My past does not determine my future anyway. It is the call of God beyond human comprehension. I know you are expecting much from me. I can feel your yearning and desire. COCIN is my church, your church, and our church. I have confidence in God’s promise, for he said, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty”. We will continue with the legacy of our parents. I thank you for this exceptional trust you have accorded me. The Bible says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength”. I promise to serve my God with all my heart, soul, and strength. Amen.

COCIN VISION AND MISSION

a) Vision “A matured Church committed to the work of the gospel of Jesus Christ and impacting the world till His return.” Our vision is very clear; therefore, I immediately solicit your support to pursue this vision meticulously. This is a call for our collective commitment to live for Christ and to allow Him to be the Lord of our lives.

COCIN Mission

“To glorify God by edifying and equipping the Church of Jesus Christ for global missions.” It is very easy for individuals to pursue self-glorification, selfaggrandizement, and self-deification. The contemporary churches seem to be facing these challenges of seaway distraction. The Church of Christ in Nations has the mission mandate to edify and equip the saints for global missions. I invite you all to key into this mission statement for maximum growth. We shall not relent in pursuing our vision and mission statements.

COCIN CORE VALUES

“Self-propagating, Self-sustaining, and Self-governing; Unity, Accountability, Transparency, and teamwork”. These core values make our distinctiveness as a denomination; therefore, we shall continue to uphold and improve on them. The Church of Christ in

Nations by its system of administration is Presbyterian/Congregational. We cannot begin to squabble for relevance at this point because it will cause us a lot if we allow politics to overpower our conscience. The Church of Christ in Nations for these 118 years has developed its constitution, bye-laws, and policies that direct and guide the Church’s affairs. I will do my best to make decisions in council participatory and to take into account contributions of teammates at various levels of the Church.

A BRIEF OVER VIEW OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IN NATIONS TODAY

The Church has experienced steady growth, since its inception in 1904. It started with three indigenous Pastors from Langtang, Panyam, and Foron. The Church has ordained Pastors, and Non ordained Pastors. It has 15 Provincial Church Councils, 101 RCCs, 1,613 LCCs and 3,334 CCs. To God be the glory. There are staff at the RCCs and LCC levels that cannot be included in the GCC statistics. The number of retirees has been increasing over the years; therefore, we have 160 retired ordained pastors, 51 nonordained pastors, 96 non clergy giving us a total of 307 on the Church pension payroll. This is an indicator that gradually the Church’s responsibilities are increasing and there is a need, therefore, to diversify the church’s sources of funding. For this reason, workers must brace up for an increase in productivity. The Church has grown from the initial four districts (Langtang, Kabwir, Panyam, and Foron Districts) to 101 RCCs, 7 more to be inaugurated as soon as possible this year. The Church has 15 Provincial Church Councils (PCCs). It has 8 departments. There are eight PCCs with Bible Schools, but PCC Borno has suspended academic activities at her Bible School in Limankara because of the Boko Haram insurgency. Most Regional Church Councils (RCCs) have secondary, primary, and nursery schools. The Church is committed to Missions and Evangelism as her number one priority.

MAJOR AREAS OF ATTENTION

i) Mission and Evangelism The Church of Christ in Nations is founded on Missions and Evangelism. It is the heartbeat of the church; therefore, we have been commissioned by the Lord Jesus Christ to Go! Preach and make disciples of all nations… The Church commissioned pioneer missionaries to the United Kingdom, Uganda, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa on 13th January 2013. I want to deeply appreciate the efforts of my predecessors. I want to also thank COCIN members for their relentless effort in sustaining the vision through generous giving. It is almost ten years now since the Lord led the church to embark vigorously on a Mission to the Nations focus, which resulted in sending of missionaries to the Nations of the world in obedience to the great commission. This has led to the ordination of pastors from some of these countries. Unfortunately, our church in Tanzania has been facing challenges that led to the deportation of the missionary back to Nigeria because of international law on foreign missionaries. As we continue to praise God for this growth, the church must evaluate how we have feared in this area and learn from the experience. The church needs to evaluate her mission activities in those nations and aggregate her achievements over the years. The church is a movement, therefore, COCIN needs to link up with other mission bodies through collaborations and partnerships to maximize the benefit of globalization. The Church could do more if she opens up to mutual and critical interaction with credible mission bodies in other countries. Planting COCIN in other nations remains a paramount goal of the church. Nevertheless, there must be a deliberate effort to blend our method of approach with the current international trend in mission partnership and explore new networks because of the need for interdependence for the effective proclamation of the gospel. The reason for our existence is to preach the gospel and remain salt and light of the world that we will not forget!

a) Mission work in Neighbouring Countries We have done very well by planting churches in East African countries, but we need to remind ourselves that there is much to be done in West Africa, where syncretism and materialism have ruined and made the church face spiritual bankruptcy. Besides, other faiths and false gospel are threatening the church to extinction, therefore, there is a need to focus our attention on strengthening COCIN in Cameroon, Chad, and Burkina Faso.

b) Planting more Churches in the South East of Nigeria to create more RCCs The Missions and Evangelism Department is doing very well in maintaining the church vision at national and international levels respectively. However, the church should deliberately focus on mission work in the South Eastern part of Nigeria, where only one RCC (Port Harcourt) exists. The evangelistic activities of the COCIN Community Mission in those states would be thoughtfully supported to plant more COCIN churches in the areas. I urge the COCIN family, as we have done over the years, to support missions and evangelism. The leadership will make specific needs available as we move toward achieving one goal – presenting Christ to nations.

c) Church Groups The enormous contributions of church groups to the spiritual wellbeing of members and other groups of the church cannot be over emphasised. I commend the leadership and members of the groups which include the COCIN Women Fellowship (CWF),COCIN Men Fellowship (CMF), COCIN Choir and COCIN Youth Fellowship. Through God’s enablement, we shall strive to enhance fellowship, spiritual and physical growth of our groups.

ii) Spiritual Growth of Members
The leaves of a tree cannot be blossoming, while the stem is decaying.
COCIN cannot be blossoming outside, while internally eaten up by
worms of discord, greed, tribalism, immorality, hatred, selfishness,
and vindictiveness. The Church must hold on to doctrinal purity and
Biblical morality. God is holy and his people must be holy. Above all,
without holiness, no one can see God. The Church has put in place
platforms for spiritual maturity: EBS, ETC, Bible Study Manuals,
group fellowships, devotionals, teaching programs, and revival
ministrations. This is the most challenging period of our history;
therefore, we must collectively work toward holding one another on
the path of righteousness.
Revival is coming and we must be prepared for it. For this reason,
we are to spur one another to grow in the grace and peace of God. I will
explore and promote avenues for Spiritual Growth.
a) Improve Existing Collaboration with Peace House for formidable

Discipleship

As we are aware that we cannot substitute our relationship with
God with mere church activities. Genuine knowledge of our Lord
Jesus Christ and our genuine relationship with him as the Lord of
our lives can only happen if all members become disciples under
the tutelage of Jesus Christ. The Church will come up with her
material and also strengthen existing collaboration with Peace
House. Not only that, there will be other discipleship resources that
will be developed by the literature committee. The focus will be on
vigorous discipleship, where every Pastor will be encouraged to
champion the cause of it.
b) Counselling Unit and Prayer /Revival Unit
We praise God for the vision to establish a Counselling Unit for the Church. The initiative has been so helpful over the years. It helps those who are struggling in the faith. It also helps erring pastors and members deal with personal issues such as backsliding, divorce, depression, addiction, trauma, mental and behavioural challenges, spiritual dryness, and another shipwreck of faith. For this reason, there is a need to strengthen and improve the unit to meet the growing demands of the church. The centrality of Prayer and Revival cannot be overemphasized in our church today. It is through prayer and revival that the entire COCIN family will be inspired to gain new converts and to call sinners to repentance. These units must be seen to complement each other with the Counselling Unit. The Church must pay close attention to their activities to ascertain their maximum proficiency.

COCIN Karl Kumm University (KKU) Vom

Karl Kumm University (KKU) Vom Karl Kumm University remains a cardinal academic project of the Church of Christ in Nations. It is our collective God-given vision that we must work collectively to its fruition. We must not allow selfishness and glocalizationto blur and mar our God-given mandate. There are many versions postulated as reasons for the suspension of academic activities by the National University Commission (NUC) among leadership and the laity of the church. But one fact remains true about what has transpired. It is shameful and the legacy is bad. We stand in the gap to build a future for our children; therefore, may I appeal that we leave sentiment and egoism behind and let us build the Church of Christ in Nations of our calling. For 18 years we have collectively pursued the cause of the Karl Kumm University and God has been on our side. Many of our illustrious sons and daughters captured the vision and contributed immensely financially and provided their expertise. We also want to thank the Plateau State Government who has also captured the vision and contributed by building Ultra-Modern Library Complex of the University which has reached 35% completion trusting God that the state will complete the complex before the end of the year. I must pause here and say, on behalf of the Church of Christ in Nations, thank you and God bless all our sons and daughters for your relentless commitment to KKU. My beloved COCIN family, the matter before us in respect to the Karl Kumm University is not about who will benefit, who will take the glory, who has contributed most; but it is about us coming together to realize the God-given mandate to build the University for the next generations to the glory of God. I plead with all levels of the COCIN structure to cooperate so that the University will soon be ready to commence academic activities. Those insinuating failure and casting aspersion of misfortune should allow our team spirit and progress to prevail. I appeal to all in the COCIN families, our collective interest in Christ is far above individual/tribal inclinations.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

The Church has a department of Information, Communication Technology. This department has been doing well in respect to the quality production of different kinds of literature, devotionals, internet services, and other general services. We do not have to invite experts to give us awareness of the globalization of the world and the challenge it poses to the Church. The Church should be able to interact largely on the platforms of the digital world to ease her stress in communication. It is the vision of the church to work hard to connect every RCC headquarters to the Headquarters in Jos, Plateau State. Our Missionaries serving in other countries should be able to attend our General Church Councils in the comfort of their homes. COCIN members should be able to observe and audit our General Church Council meetings and send in their contributions through their RCCs.

v) Health & Social Services and Education Subdivisions The Church of Christ in Nations has been preaching the wholistic gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ since her inception. This philosophy has impacted lives and transformed communities for Christ. Therefore, the Health and Social Services and Education sectors have been used as part of the medium for achieving this goal. These services were carried out alongside preaching the word of salvation. For this reason, the early missionaries had valued health and education in their evangelistic enterprise. There is need for these outfits of the church to create value and support the church as it was at the beginning. Nevertheless, the church should sustain the use of these sectors by upgrading standards and tasking leadership to produce desirable results, otherwise, we continue to witness a scenario where employees are richer than the employers. “The missionary idea was to provide the early converts with a functional biblical content of the gospel, which has a holistic outlook.” It is time to move forward to make the goal more realistic and achievable. Unfortunately, these sectors are faced with obvious challenges which must be addressed equally. Tribalism and greed have been associated with the lack of progress of some of these institutions. As a Church, there is an urgent need to evaluate the vision and mission of these institutions for proper direction and guidance. It should be noted that all departments and units are church institutions and it should be completely under the control of the church for the maximum benefit of all.

COCIN Light Micro-Finance Bank Light Micro-Finance Bank

Has come to stay; therefore, we thank the Board of Directors, the Managing Director together with his management team and staff. Over the years, since its inception, the bank has contributed a lot to improve the living standards of both members and clergy. Most people who benefited from the bank have testified about its usefulness. The Church considers Light Microfinance Bank as an integral part of her wholistic evangelistic outfit in reaching humanity. The Church is committed to supporting and creating a conducive atmosphere for its services. We desire that Light Microfinance Bank should be able to compete in an open market where members can have access to services like ATMs among others. The COCIN family and all Christians are encouraged to key into her services. For this reason, the Church will continue to help Light Microfinance Bank to achieve its enviable position in the banking industry

Security Consciousness

The security situation in the Nation is unfortunately deteriorating everyday. Human life is no longer sacred in our community. An effective and reliable environment must be secured if the livelihood of Christians will mean anything in these evil days. The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria made a confessional statement on 4th October 2021 during a broadcast on the “Role of Security in the Face of Increasing Internal Threats” that: “Truth must be told, Nigeria is currently passing through turbulent and trying times, as echoes of not just insurgency but criminality have marred its nascent democracy. Crimes such as militancy, kidnapping, ritual killings, armed robbery, assassinations, destruction of public and private property and lack of relative peace appear to be on the increase in Nigeria.” While the Church supports the government in its effort to bring a lasting solution to the problems of insecurity in our communities; we must remain relentless and resilient in watchfulness and prayers. I call upon our government to work hard to curtail the dangerous activities of criminality in the country. Nigeria is our country, and we must learn to tolerate one another. It is easier to destroy, but it is extremely difficult to rebuild. Nigeria is our collective inheritance and it must be a collective effort to build it. If you think you have to drive away your enemies in the market square before you sell your goods, you may end up selling nothing. There is no forest without trees. If God allows humankind to live on planet earth despite who they are, who is man to determine who will live? I urge all Christians to protect themselves within legally allowed means at all costs. Self-defense is allowed worldwide.

The Church and The State

Paul says in Romans 13:1-3: Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will 3 bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. (NIV). I believe the Church has the mandate to provide a spiritual guide to the constituted authority. The Bible is very clear on the fact that political leadership is instituted by God for the orderliness and security of his creation. The biggest mistake the Church makes, is to throw away her responsibility, which of course, she must pay the price and suffer its consequence. No doubt that we are living in the most challenging period of our national life. I believe, it is high time for the Church to consciously be involved to create theological awareness and avoid decisive ambiguity. I believe, the Church must identify the theological pitfall that divides the Church and State. It is a dangerous illusion that creates obscurity and obliviousness. The Church must not stay out of anything that matters for the soul, spirit, and body. It is the responsibility of the Church to create impart by participating in the architectural process of production of political leadership. I believe this is a critical time the church must be ready to interact, influence, and participate to produce political leaders that are ambassadors of justice and righteousness. Therefore, I call on our theological institutions to consider including “Art of Governance”in her curriculum and I also call on our councils at all levels to discuss and make resolutions, which may eventually become a policy of the church. We must admit that the Church is threatened by unfavorable decisions, policies, and laws that are being made on her behalf in the face of which she is without anything to do to salvage herself. In talking about politics or state governance, the Church has often been left out or the Church has so often opted out. Unfortunately, either because of fear or inadequacy of knowledge or poverty, or selfseeking influence, they have become regular beggars in the corridors of political power. The Church has left the choice of the political leadership of our nation to fate or chances and later blame the political leaders or sanctify them only during the swearing in ceremonies and thanksgiving service in the Church. When Jesus was confronted by the Pharisees with the question of whether or not to pay taxes to Caesar; his answer was not only instructive but offers a roadmap for peaceful co-existence and harmonious relationship between religion and government during his dispensation. Could this inform our approach to politics today? Events in the body politics of Nigeria today have made many ask whether the Church should not also be concerned with the affairs of government rather than just caged in the world of the spiritual. I would like to suggest the following to be pursued in this leadership:

a) For the Church to have godly leaders that are men and women after God’s heart and leaders who would work for the betterment of all in the society, the Church should be involved in the choosing process of such a leader. I believe that the Church is the conscience of the nation and custodian of the morale of the people. When church leaders are involved holistically with people, members would say they have good shepherds of God’s people.God’s heart and leaders who would work for the betterment of all in the society, the Church should be involved in the choosing process of such a leader. I believe that the Church is the conscience of the nation and custodian of the morale of the people. When church leaders are involved holistically with people, members would say they have good shepherds of God’s people.

b) COCIN would resort to being more proactive in addressing comprehensively the issues of governance and justice.

c) I will do my best to foster unity and collaborative action in the state, country and moving beyond ethnic, tribal divisions that have
plagued the church.
d) Including issues of leadership, development, and governance at all levels of church education paying particular attention to the grassroot political structures.
e) Encouraging those who are called to engage in public service and
politics and help in building their capacity to do so with the highest
level of integrity as models to the entire society;

f) Form partnership roles with aspirants to respect the church’s
prophetic and pastoral models.

THE WAY FORWARD

I deeply appreciate the work of my predecessors for decking of the first floor of our denomination and the work of consolidation, which has positioned the church at the international level. This new step forward, calls for our collective commitment and unity of purpose for building the Church that is mature and committed to the work of the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is an urgent need for strong, advanced technological networking to take advantage of the globalization of our era. Firstly, we must work on connecting Regional Church Councils, Headquarters Church, Gindiri Chaplaincy, and mission stations in other nations. This will enable the church to disseminate information at all levels of her strata. It will also help coordinate partnerships and collaborations with other mission bodies. Besides, platforms shall be created for teachings and passing of critical issues, policies of the church, and encourage meetings by zooming. Indeed, the benefits cannot be overemphasized, I call for some experts within and outside the church to contribute toward making this dream achievable. Secondly, COCIN needs to work on diversifying her source of income to sustain the church. We know that God provides for his church through tithes, offering, and generous giving; however, we need to take a bold step, despite challenges to navigate other options of financial ventures. Therefore, I would like to propose that departments should be created to focus on sourcing income for the church. I have the following new departments in mind:

a) Printing Press Department – this will be a business outfit, which will focus on marketing her products with a view of enhancing financial income for the church.

b) Investment Department – this department will make business proposals with the view of enhancing the church’s financial base. There will be an opportunity to rub minds, to bring ideas together. The COCIN philosophy of three “S” has sustained the church for 118 years. We need to evaluate and add more impetus to strict guidelines for innovation. Thirdly, there will be deliberate efforts to enhance a mutual relationship with other Christian agencies that are meant to enhance evangelism, missions, and other areas of spiritual growth within the body of Christ. As a denomination, we will improve on our relationship with TEKAN, CAN, and other denominations. Not only that the church will build a relationship with traditional institutions, state governments, politicians, and members holding various positions in government. We will, no doubt maintain the status of a spiritual mentor, as well as spiritual adviser on matters of justice and righteousness in society. The church is not an island, we should strive to make our voices heard and also create value for the development of the relationship between church and state. How can the Church have its members in the Senate, House of Representatives, Local Government, in the Executive Arm of Government to make laws that can protect every citizen of the country? Unless they join partisan politics, no miracle will take those we consider good people from the Local to the Federal levels. For this reason, the Church has all the reasons on earth and in heaven to be concerned in affairs of the state and embrace national leadership of the Giver of the gift of being a politician since we are all “servants of God” or “Ministers of God” executing God’s will in different sphere of life. Nevertheless, we are aware of the fact that the church is the light and salt of the world, therefore, the church must not dare to lose its saltiness. Fourthly, if there is anytime in the history of the Church of Christ in Nations that needs a rethink of our common bond of unity, is now.

In Ephesians 2:13-16, Paul says,

13 “ But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been 14 brought near by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace, who has made both one and has broken down the middle wall of 15 separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, to create in 16 Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity” (NKJV).

It took the cross to break down the barrier between different tribes and to reconcile these diverse tribes’ formerly alienated groups into one body in the church. I beg to use this phrase at this juncture: “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” Since Christ died for the unity of the church, it is an extremely important subject that we must labor to preserve and display. In recent years, the church has been experiencing a growing trend of endemic corruption, intellectual pride, mediocrity, tribalism, nepotism, the arrogance of power, hatred for constructive criticism, vindictiveness, and using sentiments to manipulate dominance. There is no reason, we should resort to glocalistic mentality at this crucial period of our existent. I plead with all ordained, non-ordained, and all members of our dear church at all levels, let us join hands to build COCIN. United we stand and divided we fall; the unity of Christ with the Father is set forth as the image and goal of unity among us. The gifts of Christ to his disciples in John 17:20-23 are intended to achieve unity. In the same vein, Paul made an urgent appeal to the divided Corinthian Church for unity in Christ (1 Cor. 1:10-13). May I reiterate that since Christ is one, the Church must be one also. We derive our unity from the cross of Christ, not at all from tribalism. I understand that some groups of persons have customized Jesus to tribal Christ, communal nature of our Christian faith has been syncretized to become a platform for tribal forums and ethnic fellowships. It is unfortunate that with the enormous legacy given to us by our parents, that the crucifixion accomplished the salvation received in baptism, we are still wanting to go back to our former ways. Therefore, the fundamental Christian experience of salvation in Christ argues against division. It is a sin to be divided by works of the flesh. Some members are very bold to lock churches and to create upheavals among innocent members. Let us, therefore, join hands to build the true Church of Jesus Christ where justice, mercy, love, and righteousness will roll like a river. We can do it! Let us throw away our differences and embrace, and cherish our togetherness with faith in Jesus Christ as we maintain our saltiness and light to the world.

CHALLENGES

There is no vibrant institution without challenges, therefore, the Church of Christ in Nations is not an exception. The challenges facing COCIN are twofold: Challenges that come with her growth and challenges that are carefully schemed by some individuals for their ungodly purposes. Nevertheless, we shall surmount them by God’s grace. However, God expects us to be faithful, transparent, obedient to his word, commitment to justice and righteousness. I appeal to the entire COCIN family to work as a team, so, that we can deliver together for God’s glory. The immediate major challenges are as follows:

a) Division


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We do not need to invite a Prophet to prophecy to us about the menace of tribalism, nepotism, greed, unfaithfulness which is threatening our unity in Christ. It is time for us to collectively allow the blood of Jesus Christ to bind us together. Divides on ethnicity have become the cankerworm in the church. I would like us to work on our relationship with one another. I have a dream, one day every pastor, despite tribe and ethnic affiliations will serve freely wherever he is posted to serve. There will be no segregation, clannishness, and favoritism in the body of Christ.

b) Deceptions/assumptions

The Church has a critical challenge that has to do with deceptions and assumptions. Some groups of people are insinuating that they have been cheated, hated, and side-lined. They must, therefore, do whatever within their reach to exact power, dominion, and despotism, which leads to forming cliques, politics, and propaganda. These vices are emanating from the works of the flesh. We must fight against this monster and deal with it headlong.

CONCLUSION

Thank you for listening, and may the Lord guide and protect us to be worthy servants in His vine yard to achieve his purpose. Thank you again and remain blessed.

Finally,
God bless COCIN.
God bless Plateau State.
God bless Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Amen.

REV. DR. AMOS MUSA MOHZO COCIN President


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Open Heavens Daily Devotional guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer’s Ministries. The Open Heavens devotional application is available across all mobile platforms and operating systems: iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Mobile and PC.

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