Economic empowerment for missions: Empowering the church in Kenya for holistic and cross-cultural ministry
TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT ii ENGLISH LANGUAGE DISCLAIMER iv DEDICATION v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS vi TABLE OF CONTENTS viii LIST OF TABLES xiii LIST OF FIGURES xiv LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS xv INTRODUCTION 1 Background 1 Why This Study 3 Purpose 7 Research Goals 7 Significance 8 Central Research Issue 8 Research Questions 8 Definitions 9 Assumptions 10 Delimitations 11 Overview of the Study 11 PART I FOUNDATIONS FOR THE STUDY 13 CHAPTER 1 PRECEDENT LITERATURE REVIEW 14 Christianity and the Global Shift 14 The Local Church as God's Missionary People 18 Missions from the Third World 20 Missions and Money 24 Poverty and Affluence 27 Dependency and Interdependency 32 Summary 37 vm
CHAPTER 2 THE MISSIONARY FACTOR IN THE GROWTH OF CHRISTIANITY IN KENYA 38 Initial Missionary Contacts 38 Protestant Pioneers: 1844-1890 39 The Roman Catholic Societies: 1889-1940 41 The Quaker Missionaries 42 Colonialism and Neo-colonialism 43 Mission Stations 46 Western Education 49 Western Funding 52 Indigenous Christianity 55 Growth and Expansion of Christianity within Kenya 56 Holistic Approach to Ministry 57 African Leadership and Involvement 58 The East African Revival 61 The Pentecostal Movement 64 People Movements 66 Summary 70 CHAPTER 3 THEOLOGY OF WORK AND BUSINESS ACTIVITIES 72 Theology of Work 72 Work in the Scriptures 74 The Doctrine of Vocation 75 Work and Sustenance of Life 81 Wealth Creation 83 Profit-Making 85 Capitalism and Private Ownership of Property 88 African Theology of Development 92 Summary 95 PART II EMPOWERING THE CHURCH ECONOMICALLY: A THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK 97 CHAPTER 4 FUNDRAISING FOR THE CHURCH AND ITS MISSION 98 Understanding Stewardship 98 The Ministry of Fund-raising 100 Fund-Raising in the Local Church 102 Fund-Raising as a Marketing Concept 104 Fund-Raising Sources 107 Donor Support 107 Tithes and Offerings 110 Mission Sundays 112 Faith Pledges 114 Special Events 115 Sales of Merchandise 117 Harambees as a Fund-raising Method 118 IX
Challenges of Fund-raising in Kenya 123 Unhealthy Partnerships 123 Trust and Mutual Respect 126 Sustainable and Goal Oriented 127 Clear Vision 129 Faulty Theology 130 Leadership 131 Technology 133 Summary 134 CHAPTER 5 TENTMAKING AND KINGDOM BUSINESS 135 Introduction to Tentmaking 135 Defining Tentmaking 138 Critical Considerations for Tent-Making 140 Call to Ministry 141 Intentionality for Ministry 142 Financial Component 143 Kingdom Business 146 Defining Kingdom Business 147 Job Creation 149 Business as Mission in Third World 151 Business Partnership Models 154 Ministry Service Businesses 154 Ministry Endowment Enterprises 156 Tent Making Enterprises 157 Summary 158 CHAPTER 6 CHRISTIAN MICROENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT (CMED) 159 Introduction to Development 159 Development from a Christian Perspective 161 Transformational Development 163 Microenterprise Development (MED) 165 Defining Microenterprise Development 167 Lending Approaches 169 Business Incubators 170 Solidarity Groups 172 Village Banking 174 Individual Loans 175 Credit Principles 176 Savings Principles 178 Advocacy, Lobbying, and Political Involvement 181 The Local Church and Christian MED Services 184 The Church as a Provider of MED Services 185 The Critical Role of Holistic Teaching 188 The Church as a Partner with MEDs 190 x
The Church as a Promoter of MED Services 192 Challenges Facing Christian MEDs 194 Serving the Very Poor 194 Funding and Sustainability 197 Commercialization of MEDs 200 Microfranchising 204 Summary 206 PART III DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS 207 CHAPTER 7 METHODOLOGY 208 Data Collection 208 Focus Groups 209 Survey Research 212 In-depth Personal Interviews 214 Data Analysis 215 Limitations 216 Summary 217 CHAPTER 8 GIVING PATTERNS AND FUND-RAISING PRACTICES IN KENYA 218 Doing Cross-cultural Missions in Kenya 218 Current Approaches 220 Short Term Missions 220 Cross-Cultural Church Planting 221 Financial Support 221 Community Development and Charity Ministries 222 Migration 223 Students Ministry 224 Hindrances to Cross-Cultural Missions 225 Finances 225 Training 227 Mobilization 228 Prioritization of Missions 229 Dependable Sources of Funding 231 Tithes and Offerings 232 Mission Sundays 233 Harambees 234 Faith Pledges and Special Commitments 235 Harvest and Thanksgiving Sundays 237 The Power of Networking and Partnerships: A Case Study 238 Issues Pertinent to Giving Within Churches 242 Sound and Proper Teachings 242 Accountability and Transparency 243 Summary 244 xi
CHAPTER 9 EMPOWERMENT THROUGH ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES 246 Introduction: The Empowerment Process 246 Income-Generation Projects in the Local Church 247 Church-Run Schools 250 Real Estate and Other forms of Investments 251 The Church Commissioners: A Mini-Case Study 253 Initial Capital 254 Professionalism 255 Empowerment 257 Other Creative Ways of Generating Resources 258 The Effectiveness of Christian MEDs in Kenya 259 Stringent Requirements 260 Information and Training 262 Leadership 264 Nairobi Missions Center (NMC) SACCO: A Case Study 265 Tentmaking (Bi-Vocational Ministry) 267 Summary 270 CHAPTER 10 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 272 Conceptual Issues for Development of Economic Stability for Kenyan Churches 272 Flexibility and Cultural Adaptation 274 Changed Mindset 274 Local Involvement and Training 275 Intentionality and Commitment 275 Holistic Approach 276 Redeemed Relationships 277 Recommendations 277 Further Research 280 APPENDIX A FOCUS GROUP GUIDING QUESTIONS # 1 282 APPENDIX B FOCUS GROUP GUIDING QUESTIONS #2 283 APPENDIX C OPEN ENDED QUESTIONNAIRE FOR KEY INFORMANTS 284 APPENDIX D SURVEY INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND RESPONSES 285 REFERENCES CITED 290 INDEX 316 VITA 321 xn
LIST OF TABLES TABLE 1 MAJOR KENYA CONVENTIONS OF THE EAST AFRICAN REVIVAL FELLOWSHIP, 1947-1971 64 TABLE 2 VASTORS'VIEWS ON HARAMBEES 122 TABLE 3 CHARACTERISTICS OF DESIRED PARTNERSHIPS AND NETWORK RELATIONSHIPS 125 TABLE 4 DESIGN FEATURES FOR ENSURING HIGH REPAYMENT RATES ON LOANS AND ENABLING POOR PEOPLE TO ACCESS CREDIT: 179 TABLE 5 HYPOTHESIS FOR INSTITUTION THEORY OF SAVINGS; MODIFIED 181 TABLE 6 CODING OF FOCUS GROUPS 211 TABLE 7 CODING OF IN-DEPTH PERSONAL INTERVIEWS 215 TABLE 8 TERMS USED IN FAVOR OF MICROENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT IN THE CHURCH 249 Xl l l
LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE 1 LARRY JOHNSTON'S DIAGRAM OF INTERACTIVE, DIALECTICAL, PLANNING PROCESS 109 FIGURE 2 DENOMINATIONAL REPRESENTATION OF SURVEY RESPONDENTS (TOTAL NUMBER OF CHURCHES REPRESENTED 213 FIGURE 3 THE NATURE OF CROSS-CULTURAL INVOLVEMENT IN KENYA 220 FIGURE 4 PASTORS' VIEWS ON THE DEPENDABILITY OF DIFFERENT SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR NORMAL CHURCH PROGRAMS 231 FIGURE 5 PASTORS' VIEWS ON THE DEPENDABILITY OF DIFFERENT SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR CROSS-CULTURAL MISSIONS 232 FIGURE 6 DEPENDABILITY OF TITHES AND OFFERINGS AS A SOURCE OF FUNDING THE CHURCH 233 FIGURE 7 DEPENDABILITY OF HARAMBEES AS A FUND-RAISING METHOD FOR THE CHURCH 235 FIGURE 8 DEPENDABILITY OF HARAMBEES AS A FUND-RAISING METHOD FOR CROSS-CULTURAL MISSIONS 236 xiv
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ACMED AIDS AEE AIM ACK ACM AMFI ASCA CCEA CDO CMED CMF CMS FOCUS FTT GCOWE GRSO HIV Kshs KCA Africa Christian Microenterprise Development Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome African Evangelistic Enterprise Africa Inland Mission Anglican Church of Kenya Africa Christian Missions Association of Micro finance Institutions Accumulating Savings and Credit Association Christian Churches Education Association Christian Development Organizations Christian Microenterprise Development Christian Missions Fellowship Church Missionary Society Fellowship of Christian Unions Finish the Task Global Consultation on World Evangelization Grass Root Support Organizations Human Immunodeficiency Virus Kenya Shillings Kikuyu Central Association
KISA KSCF MED MFI NCCK NGO NMC PCEA ROSCA SACCOS SIM SMEP SU WWB Kenya Independent Schools Association Kenya Students Christian Fellowship Microenterprise Development Microfinance Organization National Council Churches of Kenya Non-Governmental Organization Nairobi Missions Center Presbyterian Church of East Africa Rotating Savings and Credit Association Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies Serving In Missions Small and Micro Enterprise Program Scripture Union Women World Banking XVI
INTRODUCTION Spiritual vibrancy and the passion for holistic and cross-cultural ministry could be hindered by lack of adequate funding in many Majority World countries. This chapter discusses the basis of the study and the rationale for the interest in the topic of study. It sets the background of the study and discusses the researcher's personal pilgrimage which led to the interest to the topic of study. The chapter also articulates the purpose and the goals of the study as well as the central research issue. Finally, key terms are defined and the assumptions of the study stated. Background The Global Consultation on World Evangelism (GCOWE) '97 brought together 4,000 Christian leaders from 135 countries to Pretoria, South Africa from June 30 to July 5, 1997.1 The goal was to "encourage and assess the mobilization and implementation plans of key AD2000 Global Initiatives towards the fulfillment of the goal of 'a church for every people and the gospel for every person by the year 2000', with a special emphasis on Africa's involvement."2 One of the highlights of this consultation was the involvement of Africans in missions to the un-reached people groups. As a follow up of the GCOWE '97 and in response to the challenge of evangelizing the World by the year 2000, a group of key church leaders in Kenya came together in 1999 to be part of the AD 2000 movement also referred to as "Finish the Task 1 http://www.ad2000.org/re70911.htm. Accessed; May 27, 2009. 2 http://www.ad2000.org/gcowe97/brochure.htm. Accessed; May 27, 2009. 1
2 (FTT)."3 One of their major goals was to mobilize local churches to reach the then twenty-three unreached people groups in Kenya with the gospel. Their strategy was to encourage individual local churches and denominations to adopt particular people groups. Kenyan local churches would send and support local missionaries to the un-reached people groups.4 Africa Center for Missions (ACM) was birthed out of this initiative. By the year 2000 there were Kenyan missionaries in every one of these people groups.5 It did not take long however before some of the local churches began to feel the financial weight of this task forcing them to withdraw their support and missionaries. Although our church had not been involved initially Christian Missions Fellowship stepped in and adopted one of the people groups whose support and missionaries were withdrawn for lack of finances. The news of sending our first ever cross-cultural missionaries was received positively by our church members. There was such joy and excitement as the congregation donated money and clothes and released two missionaries to Laisamis, in Northern Kenya to work among the Rendille people group. The two young men were well received in the community and were leading people to Christ within a short period of time. Unfortunately this did not go on for very long. After a period of one year our church also began to feel the financial weight of sustaining the two missionaries. Witnessing to this community required integration of both Word and deed. Our initial entry point to the community was an adult literacy class, which attracted fifty people in the first month. The success of the adult literacy class gave way to the introduction of a pre-school and a feeding program for children. From time to time we take medical camps which have been very instrumental. This means that, besides supporting our two missionaries, our church had to raise money to pay at least the pre-school teacher and a cook. Although 3 http://www.ad2000.org/re90311.htm. Accessed; May 27, 2009. 4 http://www.ad2000.org/conferences/ken498.htm. Accessed May 27, 2009. 5 http://ke.forministry.com/KENAIROBIANGCKFAFAF/. Accessed; May 28, 2009.
3 the government has been partnering with us and pays the adult literacy teacher, the financial challenge was overwhelming for our congregation in Nairobi. As a result, our missionaries and support staff sometimes go for months without salaries. Despite the openness of this community to the gospel, the opportunity of witnessing the love of Christ is being sacrificed at the altar of financial lack. The spirit is willing but the financial base is weak. Why This Study The financial challenges described above are not new or unique to our ministry alone but are common among many churches and Christian organizations with a passion for holistic and cross-cultural missions. My experience with students and Para-church ministries also bear witness to the fact that God's work, and missions in particular, could be hampered by lack of adequate funding. Although leading students in missions and outreach was very exciting, the financial responsibility was sometimes overwhelming. In spite of the fact that God was greatly using us among the students' fraternity, affording the resources needed for the task often became a challenge. In many instances our leadership would be left taking care of debts after very successful meetings. The excitement of what God was doing among students was therefore overshadowed by the financial challenges. I however assumed these problems were unique to students. After graduating from Nairobi University, I had an opportunity to serve with Kenya Students Christian Fellowship (KSCF).6 As the Urban Ministry Coordinator, my job description involved working with students in the city schools. Although local fund- raising was not spelt out in the job description, it was implied. This involved organizing 6 KSCF works among High Schools and junior colleges in Kenya to foster Christian growth among students through bible studies, rallies and conventions. It also acts as an advocate for Christian students in these institutions and arbitrates between them and administration when there is misunderstanding.
4 fund-raising dinners as well as mail and phone solicitations. To a young man who had resigned from a "secular career" to join "full-time ministry," this was a distraction. I therefore resigned from KSCF and joined African Enterprises Kenya (AE) to be their Missions Coordinator. I was hoping that this would give me more opportunity to do what I loved most, missions. To my surprise and dismay, the issue of fund-raising was constant in our staff and planning meetings. Although this was a well funded international organization, money could not be assumed. Again I found myself frustrated at the fact that my "ministry time" was being used to fund-raise. From AE I moved to full-time pastoral work and started Christian Missions Fellowship (CMF) in Nairobi. As the founding pastor and overseer my vision was to establish local churches which would serve as mission centers for world evangelism. No sooner had I launched the ministry than I was confronted with the reality that such a vision required not only mobilizing personnel but also resources. Although the church grew reasonably fast and attracted many people who were committed to the vision of world evangelism, the limited resources could hardly pay the pastor's salary; leave alone support short-term missions and church planting. Given that many of our church members were unemployed and others earned only a meager income, fund-raising became a constant challenge. Establishing a local church in this community, let alone holistic and cross-cultural missions, required not only excitement, but also resources. My passion for this topic is therefore birthed from years of ministering among very vibrant Christians yet economically disadvantaged due to macro-economic factors, sometimes beyond their control. No matter how much we taught about giving it seemed we would never raise enough money to do what we felt God had called us to do. We therefore had to think of alternative ways of empowering the people whose zeal for the Lord and love for missions was unquestionable. It did not make sense to continue encouraging people to give without thinking of their income. To minister to the
5 community effectively the church needed to address not only the spiritual needs of the people but also their socio-economic needs. Our first strategy in dealing with the issue of economic empowerment was by starting a Christian School for the community. The school was to be run as a business enterprise for the church hence generating income from the profits. It was to empower the poor through creation of employment and empower the local church by generation of extra income. Achieving this goal has not been an easy task. In the first place, the idea of involving the local church in entrepreneurial activities and profit-making provoked different responses. It seemed foreign, if not erroneous, to many Christian believers. Secondly, raising initial capital to invest in this kind of business has not been easy. Our options have been limited and we have had to depend on the church offerings and borrowing from individuals. As a result, it has become difficult to attract and maintain qualified staff let alone to furnish the school with the right furniture, equipment and technology. Finally, separating the running of the school and the church administratively has also been a challenge. Not only does the school belong to the church but it also operates on the church compound. The tension between the two, though unfortunate, has had some negative implications on both. Despite the challenges mentioned, the school has created employment for over twenty employees whose families are dependent on it for daily earning. Some of the employees also serve the church as volunteers relieving the church of the need to hire extra full-time staff, which it cannot afford. It has therefore provided opportunity for tent- making. The school facilities, which are built using the school's resources, are also used for children's church and other church functions. The CMF church in Nairobi is only one example of how churches in Kenya, though vibrant and excited about missions grapple with issues of economic empowerment. My desire to see the church in Africa overcome these obstacles and step
6 into its destiny in missions makes me think of many possibilities. There must be a way out of this economic trap that the church in Africa finds itself in due to its colonial heritage and narrow view of missions. This study therefore explores some of the possibilities available for the church among the poor. I believe this is Africa's hour and concur with Bishop John Gatu that "The Time has come" (Gatu 2006:169-176).7 In response to the assurance that the Sudanese government would welcome African Christian Missionaries from other continents Gatu observes: It is true that most Christian organizations and denominations are in difficulties in many ways, chief of which are chronic shortage of staff and an inadequate budget, even for the local needs. That being the case, it would seem hopeless for churches in Africa to undertake serious responsibility of sending African Christian missionaries to the Sudan. But it is a happy challenge which the churches in Africa could well meet in faith and trust (2006:169-170). The openness of Sudan is only one example of the need for African missionaries in Africa and elsewhere. It is a challenge for the church in Africa to address, not only the spiritual dimension of missions, but also to establish political and socio-economical structures to address the same. Orlando Costas' call to "mobilize all our resources, manpower, finances..." (Costas 1974:313) is therefore critical. Church outreach and economic development have always gone hand in hand and are therefore complementary. David Befus is right to observe that whereas "Some factors can be addressed by prayer,...others, such as access to land, capital, markets or production technology, may require assistance" (1999:83). While appreciating that the church in Africa is relatively strong in prayer and spiritual warfare (Kalu 2001), the challenge of poverty requires "confronting worldviews inadequacies of the people 7 John G. Gatu is a retired moderator of Presbyterian Church of East Africa General Assembly (PCEA). He is a respected prominent Christian leader not only in Kenya but in Africa. He has served as a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches and as a Vice- Chairman of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission on Faith and Order. He has also served as President of the General Committee of the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) and is the author of several books including; Joyfully Christian +Truly African (2006).
7 involved and demands more than just being cultural sensitive" (Christian 1999:14). The shift of global Christianity from the North to the South presents great opportunities for world evangelism for churches in the Majority World as well as major challenges. The current world crisis manifested by deteriorating economies, poverty, high level of unemployment, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic require a holistic and global approach demands the church in Majority World countries not only minister and respond to people's needs locally but also globally. The challenge for the church in Kenya to be holistic and cross-cultural is therefore imminent given the political and socio-economic challenges. This study therefore seeks to establish theoretical foundations for economic empowerment for churches working among the poor. It provides guidelines for economic empowerment for holistic and cross-cultural ministry in Kenya. Purpose The purpose of this study is to explore theoretical foundations for economic empowerment in reference to the evangelical church in Kenya in its holistic and cross- cultural ministry. Research Goals The overall goal of this research is to understand economic models for empowering evangelical churches in Kenya economically for holistic and cross-cultural ministry. Specifically this research will endeavor to: 1. Identify the feelings, attitudes and opinions of Kenyan pastors towards holistic ministry and cross-cultural missions 2. Identify the patterns of giving and fund-raising practices among the Kenyan churches
8 2. Understand the potential role of microenterprise development in empowering the church for holistic and cross cultural missions. 3. Identify key components in tent-making and kingdom business as they relate to economic empowerment for the church in Kenya. Significance This research is significant to me because I am a Christian leader in search of theories and models of economic empowerment for the church in Kenya. My passion is to see the evangelical church in Kenya respond appropriately and holistically to the opportunities and challenges of globalization. The study is significant to Christian Missions Fellowship and its associate ministries in their commitment to empowerment through holistic ministry and their endeavor to establish missional congregations in low income areas. Finally, the research is significant to missiology because it will contribute to the development of theories related to economic empowerment for churches in Majority World countries in view of the shift of Global Christianity as it relates to holistic and cross-cultural missions. Central Research Issue The Central Research Issue in this study is to examine the role of economic empowerment as it relates to the evangelical church in Kenya in fulfillment of holistic and cross-cultural missions. Research Questions 1. Based on the history of Christianity in Kenya, what are the identifiable factors of communicating the gospel cross-culturally? 2. What are the general perceptions and attitudes of Kenyan pastors towards cross- cultural missions and how does this affect the church's involvement in holistic and cross-cultural ministry?
9 3. What are the principles of biblical stewardship in practice and how do they affect fund-raising and giving patterns for the Kenyan church? 4. What is the role of Christian Micro-enterprise Development (CMEDs) in empowering the poor and supporting the church in holistic and cross-cultural ministry? 5. What role does tent-making and business as mission play in empowering the church Kenya for holistic and cross-cultural ministry? 6. What identifiable economic models are the churches in Kenya using to empower the poor and to support holistic and cross-cultural ministry? Definitions Microenterprise Development: a development strategy that provides financial services (savings, credit, and insurance) to entrepreneurs and the poor to enable them to operate their own business enterprises. Cross-Cultural Missions: The art of intentionally crossing barriers from church to non- church to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ through word and deed. For the church in Kenya this means going beyond ethnic and tribal barriers as well as crossing geographical and national boundaries. Church in Kenya: Evangelical Christian Churches in Kenya which value holistic and cross-cultural ministry. Economic empowerment: Capacity or ability to understand, improve and gain control over ones financial situation.8 Partnership: The act of complementing each other by sharing resources, ideas and personnel in the spirit of reciprocity and responsibility in a give and take relationship. In healthy partnerships, the parties involved share a sense of ownership, mutual respect and trust. ° From: William J. Clinton Foundation website: http://www.clintonfoundation.org/programs- ee.htm. Accessed 2/10/2008.
10 Holistic teachings. Sound and balanced teachings of the scriptures incorporating the spiritual and the practical, faith and deed as well as life now and life to come aspects of the scriptures. Assumptions This study assumes that the evangelical church in Kenya has a holistic and cross- cultural missional role. The holistic mandate is the Great Commandment (Matt. 22;39) obligates the church not only to preach the Word but also to respond to socio-economic needs of the community hence the integration of Word and deed. The cross-cultural mandate is the Great Commission (Matt.28:19) which obligates the church to preach the gospel not only in its immediate neighborhood (Jerusalem) but also to go beyond its geographical and cultural boundaries (Acts 1:8). Secondly, this study assumes poverty is a social evil and a sign of the fallen nature of humanity and that the good news of the kingdom restores people not only spiritually but also, socially and economically. As a result the church has a moral and social responsibility to reduce and eradicate poverty and to empower the poor. The study also assumes that poverty impedes the church's effectiveness in holistic and cross- cultural ministry and that the Kenyan Church has the commitment, the spirit power and personnel but lacks the money power to effectively engage in holistic and cross-cultural ministry. A church that is committed to holistic ministry and cross-cultural missions must overcome poverty in order to effectively fulfill its mission, one of which is actually to empower its members economically. Finally this study assumes that Christian microenterprise development is not the only model of empowering the local church for holistic and cross-cultural missions. From the onset therefore the study considers other practices of economic empowerment including kingdom business, tent-making and fund-raising.