The Standard Group Plc is a multi-media organization with investments in media platforms spanning newspaper print operations, television, radio broadcasting, digital and online services. The Standard Group is recognized as a leading multi-media house in Kenya with a key influence in matters of national and international interest.
  • Standard Group Plc HQ Office,
  • The Standard Group Center,Mombasa Road.
  • P.O Box 30080-00100,Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Telephone number: 0203222111, 0719012111
  • Email: [email protected]

The church will need to reform if it's to have any impact this year

 A Church of Mega Proportions. [Getty Images]

The church in Kenya is good at keeping “holy” boundaries.  While this ascetic tendency is good in preserving the church’s identity, it must be checked against the role of the church as the salt of the earth. In the academic world, the trend now is interdisciplinary – where one discipline utilises the concepts in another to reinforce a contribution. “Kwa ground” the church needs to expand its connectedness with other actors in the community. 

For instance, intentional interaction with science-based institutions and partnership in their initiatives would add value to the ministry of the church. This is supported by the fact that congregants come from a spectrum of professions. To commission them into the world is to affirm the value of each discipline. Isolationism leads to myopia.

Unilingualism: The church largely interacts with only one face of politics – election politics. But this is not all there is. This narrow understanding limits the church’s ability to convert its value in the elections phase into gain in the governing phase. Politics is multi-faceted and for the church to increase its effectiveness, it must up itself to a multilingual competency. Without such knowledge, the church will continue to suffer the “use-and-dump” treatment as politicians tap into its ignorance. Improving political illiteracy by expanding its political alphabet is imperative. Limitation in language disables the church’s ability to make a robust plan on how to influence Kenyan politics.   

Fractionalism: Strangely, the church is proud of its divisions, a total contradiction of the call to unity made by Christ. Little investment is made towards comprehensive unions. Lethargy around uniting efforts is apparent. People are competitively proud of their denominations that they do not realise the danger posed by the cracks between Christians. If unity efforts at the level of umbrella bodies are slow, church leaders can intensify cooperation between denominations at the level of local neighbourhoods. A united church is a force that no actor in the community can ignore.

Paralysis: The church talks too much, a talk devoid of power. Much of the talk expounds on the ideas of others. The church in Kenya suffers a severe originality drought. While the place of prayer cannot be undermined, the church sometimes prays too long that in the closed-eyes moment, it becomes prey to people who understand its weaknesses.  Paralysis yields reactionism. Paralysis by intercession snuffs out proactivism. A paralysed church is numb.  Its sensitivity to matters of public interest is compromised.  Insensitivity portrays a church that is out of touch with its revealing Lord. The church chokes on its own saliva. Active participation in a community-transforming initiative is a form of prayer too!

Proximism: A section of the contemporary church is very close to political power. But what is the value of this proximity? The biblical Esther used her proximity to the king to save her people. But many of the church leaders are using the proximity to boost their personal profiles. Instead of understanding proximity as an opportunity to do good for all, leaders are choosing to enjoy the palace and not bother the king. Proximity without planned impact is wasted grace.  

Traditionalism: The world is moving so fast but a cluster of churches is determined to remain unmoved. This stoicism is confusing when the Scriptures tell of a radical God who injects the “new.” It is contradictory when the church claims to be the custodian of the most futuristic existence – heaven – yet hardly exhibits forwardness. Traditions are presented as a source of denominational pride but such packaging may also be a way of concealing a church’s inability to innovate. The church should remove the lid of mystery on its traditions and expose them to the elements of our times. If they are truly of value, they will pass the test. The ones that fail create an opportunity for the church to innovate new cultural beacons.   

Repulsive: Actors in the community are actively seeking the loyalty of young people. A serious church must get into this scrabble for young people. Its message of salvation stands a chance to shield them from ill-intending hunters. One way of assessing the seriousness of the church’s message is by assessing its passion for young people. Church  leaders keep asking “Where are our youth going?” The biblical response is to go look for them! Young people leave the church and no investment is made towards knowing where they went. This raises the question of whether they were cared for. To sideline the youth is to sign up for extinction.  The institution that gets young people gets the future.  

Stagism: “One-two-three action!” There is an expanding trendy church that stages worship as a performance. Skill is paramount. This approach erects high barriers to ministry entry.  Making a joyful noise is not allowed. Only the refined are worthy of the stage. The church service must exhibit excellence. These trendy churches are a reaction to those on the other side of time who are not respecters of skill. The worship space is themed – so is the preacher’s outfit. Perfection is loud. Mediocrity is exorcised. But when “stagism” is fully matured, the applause of the fans is the measure of success. 

Being a popular church is a key objective. Caution not to offend the worshippers is emphasised. Leaders should express themselves creatively but must stay behind a described line. The cost of jeering fans is too expensive.  The wealthy attendees of the church must never be put in a situation where they demand their offertory back! Therefore preach but do not offend. Meet the needs of the people but hold back any radical call for reform.  Stagism presents a Christ on brakes!

Related Topics


Trending Now


Popular this week