Saturday, January 06, 2007

Giving Vision

Along with celebrating with the Bible Institute graduates, Pastor Paul Gichuki asked me to be a part of three-day conference for the Makutano Baptist Church. MBC was the first church we established back in 1977 and Sandy and I were honored to be a part of the teaching program.

In the past seventeen years that we have been out of Kenya we have learned a lot, visited over forty countries and have a different perspective of the task world evangelism than when we left in 1989. With fresh, though older eyes, I challenged the church to think less about their own needs and emphasized taking the Gospel beyond their region and taking the Good News to those who have never heard.

In some areas of Kenya the people have more than an adequate witness. In fact, in many places there are so many churches that if half of them died today there would probably still be too many. I revealed to the members of MBC that over ninety-five percent of Christian work in Kenya were to those who have already heard, but less than five percent were working among the unreached people groups of animism, Hinduism or Islam. My challenge to MBC was to think about missions, about preparing people for cross-cultural ministries and to their neighboring countries Sudan or Somali.

Sandy, whose passion is in-depth and quality Bible study, challenged the congregation to go beyond mere surface study of God’s Word; to go to a higher level in their spiritual walk. Sandy’s right, we don’t need more churches, we need better churches.

From our time in West Pokot last month, Sandy and I are thinking and praying about facilitating those things we spoke to MBC about. The vision is to establish a Center for Advanced Missions Studies (CAMS), which will provide training for nationals, on-field training for North Americans and to provide teachers (from seminaries, pastors and professional laymen) in helping the church go to that next level.

What will it take to make it happen? One or two couples who have a MDiv. who would be willing to develop a quality training program; partners in the states who will provide work teams, teaching and financial assistance. Let’s pray and see where God will lead.