It seems marvellously appropriate for me to interrupt my series on Newfrontiers transition with a report on my recent visit to John Kpikpi’s apostolic sphere based in Accra, Ghana, reaching now into seven nations across West Africa. (Amazingly I went there for the weekend!) [The website link given above takes you to a site that is not very up to date. A new site is being developed and you can view that by going to http://www.cityofgodchurch.net]
What John and his team are accomplishing exemplifies perfectly the sort of process that must take place as Newfrontiers presses forward in transition. John, a PhD student in Brighton some years ago, was captivated by our vision for New Testament church life, returned to Accra and started a church initially in his own home. Now he leads a thriving church, meeting in its own large premises, and oversees a team of men working into a growing number of West African nations.
His wife, Alex, is the headmistress of New Nation School, served by 90 staff and providing education for approximately 550 children. The school boasts science and computer rooms, and a developing library.
The Christian values taught in the school are revolutionary against the backdrop of normal Ghanaian education, and the standards are superb. It seems amazing that this school was started only a few years ago with 30 students.
Not only is John leading the growing church but also broadcasting weekly on television, which reaches across Ghana and beyond. Some of the people who attended the leadership meetings at which I spoke had travelled 300 and 400 kilometres to be there as a result of seeing the TV broadcast.
It was a joy to renew fellowship with such men as Michael, who together with his wife Mabel and child Enam, have gone out to plant a new church which is already developing medical outreach in the region.
Ian and Rosemary McDonald from the UK, who have joined John in Accra, have provided magnificent back-up to Alex in serving in the school as well as being involved with John in other situations.
Being in the meetings is an absolute joy. Worship, accompanied by enthusiastic musicians and a great singing group, is full of delight in God. It’s wonderful to realise that so many of the people now singing and dancing were not so long ago without any knowledge of God. Now they wholeheartedly worship Him and tell their friends and neighbours about Him.
Sam Amara had brought some of his leaders from Lagos, Nigeria where his church continues to grow and plant out new congregations.
It’s hard to describe the joy and excitement that one feels when thinking that John came amongst us as a student with no awareness that God had plans for him to become a church planter and an apostle of great wisdom and skill to build. His book God’s New Tribe is full of apostolic doctrine underlining the significance of the church in God’s purpose, and his people applaud enthusiastically when ever one teaches into these vital themes.
Certainly ‘The Future of Newfrontiers’, as I am calling my current series of blogs, looks wonderfully healthy in this part of the world and I cannot thank God enough.