Understanding the Practice of Urban Mission in Cocin: Toward Contextual and Multicultural Church Planting

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This research seeks to understand the failure of an immigrant northern Nigerian based Christian denomination to impact the people of southern Nigeria so as to plant and grow multicultural churches in Port Harcourt. For the purpose of this research I collected qualitative data from various categories of research participants using semi-structured interviews, participant observations and participated in formal and informal discussions in the six COCIN congregations in Port Harcourt and four other denominations.

To help the reader understand the discoveries made, I have provided details of notes from participant observation, excerpts from recorded interviews and the formal discussions. The analysis is carried out using the “Social Game Theory” as developed by Lingenfelter 1998. Utilizing the social game theory enabled me to compare the perceptions of northern COCIN members and pastors with that of the various segments of southerners and southern churches. The research uncovers the fundamental cultural and social game difference between the immigrant COCIN church (its members and pastors) versus those of the southerners and the flourishing churches among them. I also uncover the challenges other multicultural evangelical churches in Port Harcourt are facing which suggests that these churches are not the best models for COCIN to follow in her quest to achieve multiculturalism in this region.

Thus, I have attempted to propose a dynamic church planting strategy for COCIN in the south-south region of Nigeria that will not reflect the prevalent social environment of the context, but one that will be multicolored and hybrid. Finally, I attempt to propose how willing boundary crossers could be utilized to start this multicultural church planting as a pilot project through an adaptive leadership strategy.

Degree Name

Doctor of Intercultural Studies (DIS)

First Advisor

Lingenfelter, Sherwood

Document Type





Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN), Plateau State, Nigeria, Church development, City missions, Game theory, Multiculturalism, Christian leadership, New Church development


Christian Denominations and Sects | Christianity | Missions and World Christianity


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