Evangelical Alliance of Kenya (EAK) National Leaders envisioning meeting held on 22nd to 23rd February 2022
at Amboseli Serena Lodge
Evangelical Alliance of Kenya (EAK)
National Leaders Consultative Retreat
Held on 21st to 23rd February 2022 at the Amboseli Serena Lodge
Evangelical Alliance of Kenya National Transformative agenda
The two-day Evangelical Church Leaders Retreat was organized by the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya (EAK) in partnership with Christian Alliance, a Kenya based ministry that supports churches in their efforts to impact society. The retreat was a response to the challenges which face the church leaders in an effort to share ideas on strategies which work for them to positively impact their churches and society as a whole. The impact of COVID 19 pandemic in Kenya and to the globe as whole had adverse effects to congregants and their shepherds alike.
It is common for people to seek for hope and direction from their Religious leaders whenever they face challenges and this raises the fundamental question on who ministers to the ministers when they are equally affected. Taking care of people’s needs requires skills and patience which the minister has to embrace and handle the delicate situations facing their congregants. This at times can lead to burn out necessitating for rejuvenation as ministers find they weary and burdened down by the enormous responsibilities on their shoulders.
The closure of places of worship and the pressures of dealing with the wave of grief and fear as congregants tried to cope with COVID has had a profound impact on churches. Many are struggling to retain followers who are also struggling to survive under harsh economic conditions. Many congregations are drifting with members looking to their church leaders to help them navigate this changing, unpredictable world. Whereas life is slowly normalizing, the sense of loss and hopelessness remains real among congregants who have questions as they face uncertain future The ministers and their followers alike are faced with fundamental questions like what the post-coronavirus church will look like and if there is hope to slide back to pre-Covid Life; and if perhaps there is a way to rethink and focus on what needs to be done to avoid a situation of burying their heads in sand and refusing to take stock of the emerging realities.
The two-day retreat provided the Senior evangelical leaders a chance for rejuvenation as well as an opportunity to pause, reflect and pray together over the critical social, economic and technological issues that the church must come to terms with in today’s unpredictable world of accelerating change. It was a great opportunity to take stock of emerging realities and jointly explore what strategies need to be embraced to contribute to holistic wellbeing of Kenyans. The deliberations gave Church leaders an opportunity to appreciate why they must be prepared to question long-held norms and traditions and adapt to the new emerging season. Adapting however came with a caution not to “conform to the patterns of this world”. The leaders alluded to the fact that there is need to deliberately and purposefully pause – to be still and hear a Word from God who never changes, and whose Word remains constant in spite of all the turbulence and uncertainties we may face.
The 2 day retreat therefore intended to provide an opportunity for renewal, healing and strengthening of relationships. It was deliberately designed to be a time of introspection and a chance for the leaders to gain new insight and inspiration to navigate the complications and complexities of our day.
2.0 RETREAT PROGRAMME
The program for the two-day gathering was divided into Five distinct sessions namely looking back, looking around, looking ahead, looking within and looking up which are summarized below:
❖ Looking up entailed reflection and sharing
❖ Looking around focused on key contemporary social, political, economic and technological realities that are shaping society, and which the church cannot ignore hence must address and remain true to her mandate
❖ Looking Ahead in face of uncertainties was an opportunity to reflect on the emerging trends that are shaping the future. Delegates were able to explore strategies that church may tale to weather the unpredictable storms to remain proactive in her engagement
❖ Looking Within was done through guided group discussions, peer-to-peer networking and personal reflection provided a chance for participants to take an honest look at their own lives as leaders
❖ Looking up was the culmination of the retreat and included a time of prayer for each other, for unity of the body of Christ and for the work of God in the country.
The detailed programme
Monday 21 February
Key leaders and the board assemble at Kimana to dedicate EAK Land
12:00 - 1:00
Arrival, Check-in and Registration
1:00 - 2:00pm Lunch
2:00 – 3:00
Rest/ Free Time
4:00 - 5:30
Plenary - Self Introductions (in groups) - name tags, write the name you wish to be called during the retreat
5:30 – 6:30
Setting the Agenda
Dinner and Informal interactions
Ezekiel Baraza & Nick Korir
Tuesday 22 February
8:30 - 9:30
Challenge to the Kenya Church (A call to the Evangelical Church to take up Leadership role for the church- local and global, for this and the next generation, and Embrace each other)
9:30 - 10:30
Guided Plenary Discussion (Response to the speaker above)
10:30 - 11:00am Refreshments Break
11:00 - 12:00
Guided Plenary Prayer Response
LOOKING AROUND/ LOOKING UP SMALL GROUP DISCUSSIONS
What are we hearing / seeing? (challenges, opportunities, societal shifts
church, national and global etc)
What is God saying / doing? (discernment, prophecies, testimonies etc)
1:00 - 2:00pm Lunch
2:00 - 3:00
SMALL GROUPS CONTINUATION
3:00 - 3:30pm Refreshments & Fellowship
3:30 –5 :00
Highlights of Small Group Discussions
Tim Kirui & Tim Innes
Bonfire Dinner and Informal Interactions
Ezekiel Baraza & Nick Korir
Wednesday 23 February
Game Drive/ breakfast
8:00 - 9:00 Breakfast
High Impact Church
Guided Plenary Discussion:
Calisto Odede & JB Masinde
11:30 - 12:00
Wrap Up and Closing Prayer
Pastoral Letter and Media Briefing
Nelson Makanda, David Oginde,
1:00 - 2:00pm Lunch
Checkout and Departure
The Evangelical Leaders’ retreat under the thematic area on strengthening member churches and organizations with the following objectives:
(i) To enhance Leadership capacity of EAK member churches and organizations.
(ii) Strengthen partnership, networking, collaboration, peer learning and mutual accountability among member leaders
(iii) To create safe spaces for church leaders to reflect on their situations in a supportive environment
pg. 5 Evangelical Alliance of Kenya (EAK) National Leaders envisioning meeting held on 22nd to 23rd February 2022
at Amboseli Serena Lodge
(i) Enhanced networks
(ii) Mutual accountability enhanced
(iii) Peer support enhanced
(iv) Identified issues prioritized and addressed
(v) Strategies to respond to emerging issues while remaining true to Church mandate identified
A total of 61 leaders from 44 different denominations and organizations attended the retreat, whose details are summarized below.
The list of denominations and organizations are attached at appendix 1.
4.1 The gender distribution:
Label Meaning Percentage
F Female 17.7%
M Male 82.3%
4.2 Designation Represented
There were many bishops and senior Pastors present. This is since the meeting targeted senior church leaders and heads of para church organizations who form part of the EAK membership.
5.0 RETREAT PROCEEDINGS
The first official session started at 4.00pm due to different timings in delegates’ arrivals. The agenda was set and all were in agreement that it was necessary to use the available time for effective reflection and recuperation as well as tackle the issues facing the society as those mandated to be the watchmen.
5.1 Introductions and Welcome Remarks
The EAK General Secretary, Dr. Nelson Makanda began the first session by appreciating the Evangelical Leaders for their acceptance to be part of this retreat. Whereas the recent past was indeed a difficult time for senior clergy, this was an opportune time to touch base with one another in a fellowship whose end results were to be beneficial to both the leaders and the Church of Christ in Kenya. Converging together for fellowship with the senior clergy was a great opportunity to map out viable strategies for the senior clergy to transform the nation and to impact the church and Kenya at large. Taking advantage of this time had prospects of an enhanced fellowship and strengthened networks necessary for community transformation. After the welcoming remarks, members were requested to turn to their neighbors and introduce themselves to one another which proved to be an effective way of getting to know each other. The delegates wrote their name tags using the name they were comfortable with which was to be used up to the end of the project.
The preliminaries paved way for the EAK Chairperson Bishop Dr. David Oginde to speak set the Agenda on need for reflection and to listen to the voice of God as senior clergy.
5.2 Setting the Agenda
This session was facilitated by the EAK Chairman, Bishop Dr. David Oginde who started by appreciating each leader present for creating time to fellowship with other leaders in spite of their busy schedules with other competing responsibilities. In reference to COVID pandemic season, the chairman noted that this had been a tough time for the Church of Christ at large but key lessons could be drawn from the experiences that the church had to go through. The chairman’s presentation is summarized below:
(i) During this difficult season, God in His faithfulness chose to bring EAK to another level. In comparing this to the story of the Israelites who crossed Jordan at flood stage when the river was swollen, God was doing a similar thing with EAK which is a miracle
(ii) EAK’s desire for this season is for clergy nationwide to come together to do the work that God has called them for and make a difference in the nation.
(iii) The season now is one where the church is unapologetically despised by the world and many are not afraid to openly insult God and call Him and Jesus names unlike several years ago when this name was highly respected. The paradox is that when facing hard times and things get bad especially in this country, the first places many run to is to the church and ask where the church stands in all that is going on.
(iv) Whereas the church may be despised, general questions asked in times of crises by people which include “Where is the church?”, “What are you people doing?”, “What is the church saying”, “What is the church thinking?”, “What is the doing?” often raised are a clear indication that deep down people’s hearts, there is a belief that the church is a reflection of God. People believe that God somehow reveals to the church or to clergy what should be done.
(v) The Church ministers are the sons of Issachar of today who should know what should be done at every moment. When inaction or confusion reign and church ministers appear to be lost or not available, people also seem lost and they do not know what to do. This leads them to ask “So where is the church?”, “What is the church saying?”, “What is the church doing?”
(vi) The desire for EAK governance is that those questions that people ask in times of crises are scaled down through concerted efforts and through strategic thinking on how to effectively lead and guide the nation.
(vii) Through the gathering at Amboseli Serena Lodge, it was evident that God wanted to remove the shame, the embarrassment and all those negative things that were in the past associated with EAK. Past mention of EAK was not well received even by nonbelievers based on how evangelicals had disgraced themselves to an extent that a serious person was not to be associated with the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya.
(viii) The Chairman pointed out that it was possible that some of the people that had that negative notion of EAK were in this meeting and might have just attended secretly out of respect maybe for the General Secretary hence not wanting anyone to know and covering up with “We are going to Amboseli Serena to see elephants”, a statement that led people burst into deep laughter.
(ix) The Chairman reiterated that the time for circumcision had reached if there was anyone in the room that had such a notion in the past about EAK. It was therefore time to look around, look within, look up and look ahead with confidence that God will use His servants to accomplish His will for His own glory when there is harmony and unity.
This was facilitated by Tim Innes and Dave Holden from Living on the Edge, an organization which has partnered with EAK in empowering the clergy for High Impact Church through Attitude, Resources and Theology (A.R.T) of Survival by Chip Ingram Ministry. The organization has made provision for pastors in Kenya to be trained and access ART booklet which encourages pastors to overcome challenges. Kenya has already embarked on training pastors through EAK and it was evident that God had already started a new thing as the movement to transform communities was evident in the top leadership. The LOTE Master Trainer, Dave Holden had been in Kenya and had covered more than 4,000 Kilometers to contribute to EAK’s current them in strategic theme, which is “…….Transforming Kenya, County by County.”
Dave Holden shared the devotion for the day and highlighted the following:
(i) That God has given an audience to the Church Ministers that surrounds them each and every day; and these are people that God would call them to go to. These are men and women that surround the church. These people are church’s “Community” because in this Community, are all the people that need a relationship with Jesus Christ; hence the reason that church ministers are called “Fishers of men”.
(ii) Jesus makes a promise in Mathew 4:6, “If you follow me, I would make you fishers of men”. Going fishing in this community raises fundamental practical questions like how to fish; like the need for bait and a river or pond or lake. The use of bait is necessary as it has potential to attract the fish to swim towards it. The bait in Christianity is through “Those questions often asked on what the church is doing, and what the church is saying are clear indication that deep down people’s hearts, there is a belief that the church is a reflection of God. People believe that God somehow reveals to the church or to clergy what should be done” Bishop Dr. David Oginde, Chairperson Evangelical Alliance of Kenya Jesus Christ as per His statement….. “If you will let your good works shine before all men, one day they will glorify the father in heaven”. When one has Christ in them they are able to preach the Gospel with action which attracts dear souls or “Fish” to start swimming closer and closer to the bait and with the Gospel, they are brought to the second new circle, the circle of the crowd.
(iii) The circle of the crowd shows that any of the fish that will swim into the net become part of the crowd. It is here that they get caught, and they cannot leave. Keeping or retaining them requires a concerted effort as no fisherman will catch all the fish without assistance. It is necessary to take stock of the people that attend church which entails counting the crowd and giving the total number. The church leader and workers need to have this question in mind….. “How many of those have committed their lives to Jesus?”
(iv) A red line was drawn on the next circle of congregation to show that these people in the crowd must come to God through the blood of Jesus Christ. The red line was an illustration that one is born again. It is in crossing this line by saying, “Jesus forgive my sin” get baptized, have a testimony, which come about with salvation and transformed lives. One is no longer lonely for they have a family. Whereas one was a sinner, one is instantly forgiven by crossing the line. One was going to hell, but now heaven is the destination. This fish which is born again after crossing the line is no longer fish but a miracle happened and it became sheep and a Pastor is the shepherd of that sheep whose role is to preach the Gospel, make disciples, and bring them into fellowship through baptism.
(v) At this point, training is imperative for this group of people to be brought to the circle of the Committed who ultimately move to the Core and receive ministry. The progression is worship, ministry, evangelism, discipleship and fellowship and these are the commands of Christ. How does one make disciples? was a question the trainer asked and Jesus would respond to it that there was need to teach them to obey all he commandments, engage in ministry, worship, evangelism, discipleship, and fellowship.
6.0 A CALL TO TAKE UP LOCAL AND GLOBAL LEADERSHIP ROLE FOR THE CHURCH
6.1 Challenge to the Kenyan Church
The facilitator, Bishop Oscar Muriu started the session by making reference to the previous day’s session on setting the agenda by the EAK chairman. The story of Joshua just after they had entered the promised land is interesting since earlier in Numbers 13 the same Joshua was part of the team of spies who had gone to scout the promised land. Their report back to Moses at that time was that “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” Whereas Joshua disputed the report of persuading people not to go into the promised land, he did not dispute the report about giants because indeed they were there, strong and their cities were fortified.
The reality of global, regional and local challenges facing the church and society as a whole can not be wished away, hence the call by the chairman in his session imploring the delegates, the senior clergy, to enter a new season of leadership in Evangelical Alliance because the reproach of Egypt has been rolled away. Taking the Promised Land by the the church requires taking care of the current giants which are affecting the current and future generations. This needs to have a leadership which is focused and open to hear from what God has to say.
The following 6 giants, which are not exhaustive, will need to be conquered or wrestled with for the church in Kenya to have impact.
The giant of poverty shames the church and God by the numbers of people it has held captive in chains of bondage.
As per a 2014 study conducted by IPSOS, the distribution of the Kenyan populace in terms of ability to income indicated that the Social shape of Kenya reflects a pyramid shape with very few, rich and wealthy at the top with massive numbers at the very bottom who are poor. In the pyramid illustration, 1% of the population are very rich earning over Ksh500,000 and above; 6% are middle class earners with an income of Ksh50,000 to Ksh500,000; 43% are low income earners with an income ranging from Ksh7,000 to Ksh50,000; 40% are poor earning less than Ksh7,000; and 10% are destitute poor who earn nothing and cannot afford a meal a day. This study revealed that 93% of Kenyans live in the poverty gap. Due to the 2 years of COVID 19 pandemic, the government reported that 10% of the working population have fallen from middle class and low income earners to the category of the poor earning Us 1.5 a day or Ksh150 a day. Subduing the giant of poverty requires new strategies as opposed to consultative seminars which tend to share the challenges and never go beyond this. This scenario of consultation was compared to the story of Goliath in 1Samuel 17: 16 – 24 on how the Philistine for 40 days taunted the army of Israel morning and evening as he took his position everyday mocking them daily by asking “Who will fight me from Israel?” The generals ran away with great fear whenever Goliath appeared. Some of the generals in Kenya are not in touch with the populace and do not know what know what hunger is, neither do thy know the plight of the mwananchi.
The church leaders could easily fall in this category of generals when they fail to not connect with their sheep to know what is really going on in their lives. Like other Kenyan leadership, church leaders meet and they talk about the giant of poverty that traverses the land in seminars and papers. Whereas Kenya has one of the most impressive policy papers in the world, these remain in shelves with no follow up to implement them. Just like the Israelite generals would consult over Goliath and highlight big he was, his muscles and size, the fact that they were not fighting him yet they had all the statistics compares to the situation in Kenya today.
It is possible that the Israelite generals were consuming resources, food was being delivered to them, trying to figure out what to do with their soldiers that were sleeping late but none although none tried to fight this giant. David’s entry brings a new dimension to the scene as someone had to step up and deal with the giant in a different way. David applied what Christians should apply today as he faced the giant in the name of the Lord. The Church of Christ needs to face the giant of poverty guided and emulate David who must knew God as the source of strength – Daniel 11:32 “A people who know their God shall renew their strength and they shall do mighty exploits”
The second giant that traverse Kenya is corruption, which is a twin brother of the first giant because they we feed on each other. The History of corruption in Kenya spans from the first government of President Jomo Kenyatta to the current one with national controversies/scandals like the Goldenberg, Turkwel Dam, Council Motors, the secret military communication center in Karen, 20 Million USD Passport equipment system from France, Crew Report, Standard Bank Limited, Grand Regency scandal, Embassy land in Japan, the Aror and Kimwarer dams, the SGR, the National Youth Service, the Kenya Pipeline Company, the National Cereals and Produce Board, NHIF with this list going on and on. There are Commissions upon commissions, cases upon cases but nobody has been thrown in. Who will wrestle this giant which is mocking the church and God with the brunt being felt by the poor who are taxed heavily to recover the losses. In the Corruption Perceptions Index 2020 Kenya is ranked 124th out of 180 countries for corruption, tied with Bolivia, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, and Pakistan (least corrupt countries are at the top of the list).1
The role of church in fighting the giant of poverty should be a concerted one with a clear motivation, which is to glorify God just like David’s words in 1st Samuel 17:45. As the church of Church of Christ, prevailing against the giant will remain a challenge if the motivating factor is personal gain and favor.
6.1.3 The Giant of Kenya’s Growing Population
Africa’s population is growing while the rest of continents have slowed down with Asia still growing but almost at the peak. Since 2000, Africa’s population has increased by one billion people and the trend is projected to continue. Closer to home, Kenya’s population stands at 56 million people and is projected to double by 2050.
The following projections were shared:
(i) Currently, one out of 7 people in the world are African
(ii) By 2050, 1 out of 4 people will be African.
(iii) By 2100, almost 1 out of every 2 people in the world will be African (40% of the world).
(iv) Currently, 4 out of every 10 people in Africa live in cities.
(v) By 2050, 30 years from now, 6 out of 10 people in Africa will live in cities.
(vi) Nairobi’s population in 2022 is estimated to be about 5.1 million.
(vii) By 2025, Nairobi’s population is projected to have risen to 6.5 million
(viii) By 2050 Nairobi’s population would have risen to 14 million
(ix) By 2100 Nairobi’s population would have risen to 46 million and will be the twelfth largest city in the world.
Whereas this rate of urbanization is astronomical, the giant of population growth in Africa defies the church because the rate of church growth in Africa is much slower than the population growth. This calls upon the church leadership in Africa to seek ways to deal with the giant of population. Maintaining a situation where maybe 20% of Kenya is in church on Sunday would mean that the heads of churches in Kenya will each need to work to double the number of churches currently in place within the next 10 years. Winning this country for Christ means that each head of church needs to plant 10 times the number of churches of what is currently in place within the next 30 years. This giant of growing population again mocks the Church as many of the churches are no-longer growing, and church planting is slowing down from year to year. What is it that the church leaders need to do to minister to the growing population. There is need for responsive programmes for all ages and intentional outreach to grow. The Church, sadly to note, is losing the battle already because leaders and followers alike are satisfied with the size and number of our churches.
6.1.4 The Giant of Aging Church
The average age of America is 40 yrs. The average age of Kenya is 20 years old and 74% of population is under the age of 30 years. And yet, Kenya on the African continent is considered to be an old country even with an average age of 20 years when compared to 10 of the world’s youngest populations are in Africa outlined below:
Bukina Faso 17
The above data indicate that Africa is a continent of teenagers but the the average age of the Kenyan church is 4- 50 years, with church leadership probably at 60+ years old. What this means is that many of these church leaders are out of touch with the youth population of Kenya as evident from the musicology of the church in Kenya; most churches still singing hymns from the 1900’s and old pambios from the 1970’s. How does the leadership expect the children and grandchildren to relate to these songs of the church when they are on another level due to exposure and technology evolution which has brought about global villages. There is rapidly a rising up generation that neither understands the music or style of preaching today. If this giant is not addressed, there will be a next generation who will not know the God of their fathers. If the churches in Kenya were in touch with the reality and demographics, then the churches average age should also be 20 years old.
Churches in Kenya celebrate that they have so many members, but in truth the congregations are aging with the leaders and all are growing older and older each year while losing touch with the young and next generation. The further and further away the average age of the congregation is from 20 years, the closer and closer the churches are to their deathbeds.
The biggest age group in Kenya and continent is children under the age of 10 years, yet many churches do not put any significant energy into child evangelism or Sunday school. This translates to losing the battle of winning Kenya for Christ even before it is started because as a church we are losing the children, even though the children are the richest gospel field in the world. Most conversions to Christ happen before the age of 15 years.
6.1.5 The Giant of Our Unhealthy Churches
The giant of unhealthy churches is fueled by concentrating on numerical strength or counting the wrong things. Some of indictors of success in the churches is growing numbers, increased giving, beautiful new buildings and acquisition of property. Whereas numerical growth is great, these people should be out in the mission field for there is nowhere in the Bible where Jesus commanded the disciples with “Go ye therefore and fill-up bank accounts and church building for me”. The church leadership should use the numerical strength to make disciples in line with Jesus’ great commission which is “Go ye therefore and make disciples”. The Kenyan Church does not know how to make disciples, but it is very good at producing Christians. This poses the question to the church leaders to reflect on what a disciple is and how to make it their business to make disciples using the available resources which include the congregants so that they do not reach the comfort zone by being members of a church.
The Church in in Kenya is not healthy although they are full. The perception of being considered successful because they are full and their bank accounts are fat does not make the church healthy. This calls for clear standards to fight the giant of unhealthy church and delegates where challenged to mandate EAK think tank to sit down and write out clear standards with new matrices to measure the church performance taking into account the giants outlined during the meeting. Some of the characteristics of a healthy church include but are not limited to the following:
(i) Clearly focused on worshipping God and bringing honor to his name.
(ii) Uncompromising in teaching the truth of God’s Word.
(iii) Has a godly, accountable, servant leadership
(iv) Makes disciple as evidenced by the 5 marks of a true disciple.
Fighting the giant of unhealthy church calls for a biblical standard because too many of church leaders are counting the wrong things; and many have hijacked the mission of Christ and replaced it with a “Shadow-Mission” of the Bishop – worshipping the man of God; teaching from secularized, leadership gurus; building numbers through Sunday entertainment shows instead of clear biblical preaching; leadership that is rogue and cannot be confronted, and will not submit to correction or accountability. Whereas the church needs to work on multiplying her members to match the growth population, they need to be clear and aware that that the strength of a church is not in its seating capacity, but in its sending capacity. The church leadership needs to fight the giant of unhealthy church by planting healthy churches; but failure to submit to the will of God and do His work for His glory without motivation for personal gain translates to unhealthy leaders who will end up plant unhealthy churches.
6.1.6 The Future of Global Missions
The History of missions can be equated to a relay.
(i) In chapter 1, the race started after the ascension of Jesus, after which the early church in Palestine became the center of Christianity with Paul and the disciples running the race of planting churches around the Roman Empire.
(ii) In the second chapter of missions, the baton of missions was passed onto the church in Rome, the Roman Empire under Constantine became Christian and the gospel continued to spread.
(iii) In the 3rd Chapter, the baton was passed onto the church in Europe and Europe was reached for Christ by the likes of St Patrick of Ireland.
(iv) In the 4th chapter of missions, the baton was passed onto the church in the UK, Spain and Italy. These countries went onto the high seas and under colonialism took the gospel to the New World, to the Far East and to Africa.
(v) In the 5th chapter of missions, the center of Christianity moved to North America, which further took the gospel to all the other places in the world globalizing missions to a new level. They founded schools, mission stations and hospitals all around the world, and they sent out thousands of missionaries. Hundreds of students also went out under the Student
Volunteer movement. Billy Graham with Youth For Christ; and others like John Mott under YMCA and his popular saying “The evangelization of the World in this Generation”.
(vi) Currently, this is the 6th Chapter of missions and the baton of missions has been passed onto the African Church. Today the African church is the fastest growing church in the world in spite of its inability to match the population growth while the church in the Northern hemisphere, especially Europe, is in decline. Latin America is still in the strong grip of Catholicism; and North America has plateaued as more and more churches are closing down.
As observed by Dr. Mark Noll in The New Shape of World Christianity2, the professor of History at the University of Notre Dame,
(i) There are more Anglicans attended church in each of the countries of Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda than Anglicans attended church in Britain, Canada and all of the United States combined.
(ii) The single country of Nigeria alone has more Anglicans than the whole of Europe and America put together.
(iii) This past Sunday there were more Presbyterians in the church in Ghana than in the whole of Scotland, where Presbyterianism began.
(iv) And this past week in Great Britain at least 15,000 Christian foreign missionaries were hard at work evangelizing the local English, and most of these missionaries are from Africa and Asia.”
Today, 75% of global Christians live in the global south, with Africa in the lead. Zambia is presently the African nation with the highest percentage of Christian residents with 95.5% of the people living there professing to be Christians. Kenya has always been the darling of foreign missions and at one point it was hosting the world’s largest mission center in Kijabe. While the future of global Christianity, global missions and global Christian revitalization is African, fundamental questions that the church in Africa have to deal with include:
(i) How will Africa evangelize the world? Does Africa even have a strategy?
(ii) When the world cries for help from Africa; when the world looks to Africa for leadership – they will be looking to you Bishop Oginde; to you Bishop Njuguna; to you Bishop Mulandi; to you Dr Tim Karuhi, and John Parit, and Meshack, and Oliver; and to all leaders in this room. The question is, does the Kenyan Church leadership have an answer for global missions or is it focused on Kenya and probably forgotten the great commission is to the ends of the earth? 2 The New Shape of World Christianity: How American Experience Reflects Global Faith Paperback – March 4, 2013
(iii) What is the church in Kenya doing to raise up global class missionaries to go re-evangelize the America’s and Europe, starting from individual churches represented in the Serena Amboseli Conference?
(iv) What new models are the leaders present developing because the old models are no longer working?
(v) Does Africa have new models or is the church leadership busy trying to copy the European models?
(vi) Will Africa manage to complete the task of missions in the 10-40 window and in Asia?
The challenges of dealing with the giant of global mission for the Church in Africa is a call to embrace strategies instead of copying what others have done in the past. David’s story in fighting Goliath clearly shows why one should never try to wear somebody’s else’s armor when fighting specific giants. In 1st Samuel 17:38, “Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.” In this passage, tries tried to help David by lending his armor, but it did not fit. Western Armor will not fit the African Church. What worked well for the Western Church will not necessarily work well for African Church hence need to use the appropriate strategies for missions to reach the unreached populations globally.
David had the courage to say no to Saul in 1 Samuel 17:40 “I cannot go in these because I am not used to them” so he took them off. What David did was to take 5 smooth stones to face the giant. The stones were common, easily accessible to him, and he was used to them. This reminds the church leadership that working with what is available will yield fruits even when there are challenges which seem to overwhelm their efforts.
God has given the church Smooth stones to fight its giants. Two of these stones include Prayer and Collaboration.
(i) Prayer – there is power of prayer, and the power of the one who acts on behalf of His children’s prayers, hence the church should not despair or take prayers lightly. It may be that indeed the only thing that has so far restrained the giants from overwhelming the land sooner, is that Kenyans have been faithful to pray hence the need to continue praying.
(ii) Collaboration – this is about unity, working together in line to what Bishop JB had shared earlier from Genesis 11:6 If a one people, speaking one language, you determine to do this one thing . . . NOTHING will be impossible for you! The Great Commission is too big for anyone to accomplish alone and too important for the church of Christ not to work together
This reality is a call for the evangelical leadership to rally together around EAK is an opportunity to collaborate as never done before. The task is big; the giants are big, but If as one people the church leadership, speaking one language, determine to do slay the giants . . . NOTHING will be impossible! Because, like the giant slayer put it in 1 Samuel 17:45 “Giants come against us with sword and javelin, but we come against them in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom they have defied. 46 This day the LORD will hand them over to us . . . (and)47 All will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s!”
This session was followed by guided plenary/prayer response which was moderated by Bishop Joseph Likavo, the EAK Vice Chairman. God has endowed us with a blessed nation, Kenya, which He wants to change or be transformed and it is therefore the responsibility of the church in this season to bring about the desired transformation.
The giants facing the church in Kenya required a concerted effort by the leadership if there was going to be victory. The delegates were able to engage further on the giants in small groups which tackled the following questions with responses appended as annex at the end of this report.
(i) How have we grasped the problem?
(ii) What is the desired future by the members?
(iii) What additional issues/giants are facing the church
(iv) What strategies should the church embrace to fight this giant?
Looking Around/ Looking Up: Small Group Discussions
This session was facilitated by Bishop Dr. Jesse Langat. Full report of the feedback from small groups is appended as annex 2 to this report. What came out clearly was that there was need for church leadership in Kenya to take up the responsibility of fighting the giants jointly in a coordinated manner and make all effort to remain responsive and relevant to the members’ needs. Responding to the great commission is not about filling the churches with people but Discipling their member to go out and reach the unreached.
This session paved way for the guided plenary, which was facilitated by Bishop Calisto Odede and Bishop JB Masinde. The EAK Motto, which is stronger together, is a call for each member of the team to play their role. The guiding questions were:
• How Can EAK Better Serve the Evangelical Community?
• How Can the Churches Contribute to the Success of the Alliance?
HOW EAK CAN SERVE THE EVANGELICAL COMMUNITY BETTER
As an umbrella organization, being a member of EAK makes it possible for church’s voice to be listened to, which has weight due to collective ideas and critical mass as opposed to when individual leaders speak on behalf of their denominations. EAK is currently strengthening the commissions who will steer the concerns of the members. The EAK Commissions which support EAK’s engagement include Theological and Education Commission, Evangelical Women Alliance, Evangelical youth Alliance, Leadership and Governance and Missions.
National Women Forum
Delegates were informed that Evangelical Women Alliance (EWA) is in the process of organizing a two-day national conference for women under the theme Mothers and Daughters, Arise. Nominating and supporting women leaders to attend this meeting would be a step towards strengthening this commission to realize its mandate. The Commission seeks to provide a platform for women to contribute to holistic transformation by taking their position in the family, church and government (leadership).
This being an election year, there is a need to tackle the spiritual warfare by standing against the drums of war and bloodshed in the country. Rather than start praying when the violence has broken out, the evangelical churches, as the body of Christ and the shepherds of God’s people can organise prayer in wherever they are located to close the gates before they open.
May 2022 Evangelism
This is a call to evangelism to find a way to multiply the number of believers by raising with a target of at least 30 million new believers in Africa. By the year 2030, Africa will be the epicentre of Christianity worldwide. However, the kingdom of God needs to be ready for the harvest of souls. The call therefore is to raise disciples and help them to be ready to do the work for ministry as well as to enlarge capacity to receive the harvest of souls that is about to come to us.
African Enterprise in partnership with the Luis Palau Association will be evangelizing in the city of the Nairobi in 2022, through their stratified evangelism model that has seen citywide missions, AEE through the team leader, who doubles also as a board member of the EAK, has requested EAK to adopt all AEE missions as their annual missions. This will boost synergy and acceleration of the outreach goals of the EAK.
The Inter Church Working Group
The Inter Church working group was proposed as an effective channel to address members’ needs for the body of Christ to remain healthy. The working group will work with EAK members to accompany them in dealing with issues which may derail their effective execution of their God given role. Proposed members for this team included:
(i) Dr. Bishop J B Masinde
(ii) Bishop Peter Njao
(iii) Bishop Samuel Ngaho
(iv) Bishop Paul wanjohi
(v) Bishop Julius Atsango
(vi) Joy Mdivo
(vii) Irene Kibagendi
(viii) Bishop Patrick Mutua
(ix) Bishop Abirija Kinoga
(x) Bishop Geoffrey njuguna
(xi) Nelson Makanda
(xii) Joseph Likavo
The delegates alluded to the fact that there are challenges facing the evangelicals and that these needed to be tackled. Some of action points highlighted included the following:
(i) To have clear guidelines on how to help those with wild theology to walk the straight path.
(ii) To develop a resource centre, a hub where we can document EAK HISTORY and chart where we have come from and where we are going
(iii) Need for a regulatory body and a capacity building body to help equip the Pastors for the work of ministry.
(iv) Training other than theological training, in finances, in HR, in discipline etc.
(v) Spiritual synergy to deal with the territorial spirits over the Nation. It needs co-operation and working together to bring a corporate anointing to break the territorial spirits that have imprisoned the Nation.
From plenary session, It was sadly noted that the reputation of EAK has been damaged by personal interests. EAK membership is used to build personal profiles rather than to build the kingdom of God. There are many leaders who used to be part of the EAK who need to be persuaded to rejoin the EAK. This is a step towards reconciliation and hearing the voice of God again since EAK is the prophetic voice to the Nation. A united EAK will make it possible to redefine the trajectory of this Nation.
There is need for an apostolic and prophetic council to help regularly listen to what God is saying to the Nation per time.
EAK leadership needs to focus on the grass roots, so the grassroots leaders can feel the warmth of the EAK. An annual convocation of prayer can be one way of reaching the grassroots. The things of the spirit need more Spirit than paperwork hence the need to convene and pray.
(i) On the part of the church, thee is need for unity as church leaders. This is a call for churches to develop common issues and have a common mind on cross cutting areas, undertake joint projects, without diluting the autonomy of the Church. It is time for the Church to start walking and working what she hs been talking all along. A united EAK will make it possible to advocate for better laws. Building the capacity of church leaders to remain responsive to the needs of the people who they lead is a priority area that may require networking and collaboration. In appreciating that everyone is digital requires EAK and her members alike to enhance digital presence. Programmes tailor made to respond to challenges facing the ministers could be explored. A starting point would be supporting and help Pastors who have fallen, and help them regain standing; as well as establishing a Pastors’ Children ministry to minister particularly to our children and help get them ready for the baton. Existing members can also assist in recruiting members to increase the numerical strength as EAK.
The things the Evangelicals agree on hence should not be compromised are conversionism, activism – evangelism and missions, Bibilism – we believe in the Bible as the Word of God and crucicentrism – the Cross and the Cross alone.
HOW THE CHRUCHES CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THE SUCCESS OF EAK
EAK will be able to deliver her mandate when the membership are supportive of the initiatives and programmes that are being implemented at both grassroots and national levels.
In exploring ways to contribute to the success of EAK, proposals were made to embrace the following:
(ii) Have an EAK Sunday
(iii) Have EAK special collections on two Sundays in the year
(iv) Strengthen or enhance grassroots participation
(v) Establish County Boards and County solution centers
(vi) Identify common platforms to share best practices
(vii) Embrace synergy like utilizing the members of the church to help do the work of the EAK.
(viii) Resources to support EAK work including in kind contributions
(ix) Meeting subscription requirements
The EAK contribution schedule for membership, which is attached as an annex at the end of this report, was shared with clear parameters on numerical strength of the denomination and corresponding annual subscription. At this juncture, the following commitments were made from the floor:
(i) That the EAK member churches present were going to support EAK to procure a car for the General Secretary. Bishop JB Masinde committed to contribute Ksh500, 000 towards this initiative whle CItam through Bishop Calisto Odede committed Ksh2m
(ii) There was an impromptu collection to support administrative costs by the EAK secretariat which was specifically for the retreat. A total of Ksh25,200 was raised in cash while Ksh60,000 was received via Mpesa and Ksh145,000 via Cheque
(iii) Members committed to meet their annual subscription.
The session was wrapped up by Bishop David Oginde who registered his appreciation to the
delegates on behalf of EAK. Closing prayers were made after which a press statement was issued
on a call for peaceful elections
A CALL FOR PEACEFUL ELECTIONS
press staement – A call to peaceful elections.docx
1 Church with 1 – 50 congregations Ksh. 20,000
2 Church with 51 – 100 Ksh. 30,000
3 Church with 101 – 500 Ksh. 40,000
4 Church with 501 – 1000 Ksh. 50,000
5 Church with 1001 – 2000 Ksh. 70,000
5 Church with over 2000 congregations Ksh. 100,000
6 Associate Membership (Para- Church Organizations) Ksh. 20,000
1. Any member Church with an annual budget of above Ksh. 50m shall pay the maximum
subscription of Ksh. 100,000.00 (one hundred thousand only), the number of
2. Each congregation is required to pay Ksh. 100.00 (one hundred shillings only) per month
or Ksh. 1200.00 (one thousand two hundred only) per year as their contribution to the
EAK. Heads of churches are requested to ensure that this communication is passed over
to their congregations.