As many of you have probably heard later this month I have the privilege of visiting Nairobi, Kenya with Tim Brown and some other pastors from Growing Healthy Churches (including my friend Gerry Mann). During our time there we are going to be meeting with members of the staff of Nairobi Chapel: http://nairobichapel.net
This church has grown from a Plymouth Brethren assembly of 8-10 people in 1952 to being a mega church that has already planted 25 churches in Nairobi alone . One of the most striking elements of the churches strategic plan is to plant 300 churches all over the African continent and the rest of the world by 2020. One of the locations there are considering is the San Francisco Bay Area. We are going to have some conversations with them to see if there are any ways in which we can partner with them.
In preparation for the trip I have listened to the lead pastor, Oscar Murui, speak on the subject of church planting (https://exponential.org/rapid-growth/) and read various articles about the church (http://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2007/spring/3.96.html). It is clear to me that, rather than having much to offer, this is an amazing opportunity for me to learn. Their five year strategic plan, drawn up in 2015, (http://nairobichapel.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Nairobi-Chapel-Strategic-Plan-Goals.pdf) includes so much that I would dream for New Life and I am fascinated to hear how they are progressing.
I am particularly struck by their passion for youth and children’s ministry. The average age of an adult in Kenya is 40, mainly as a consequence of the AID’s epidemic and so seeing young people as the church of today as well as tomorrow is a stark reality for them. The demographic of their churches range from the relatively wealthy to the destitute and I sense there is much to learn about ministry in such varied environments.
The second part of our trip is a visit to the work of Furaha Community Foundation in some of the poorest slums of Nairobi. GHC partners with this foundation in supporting and training pastors. We have added the work of “ When I grow up” (https://whenigrowup-global.com/) to our regular missionary commitment and I am hoping to learn more about their work amongst the children in this part of the city.
I am so grateful to GHC for making it possible for me to go on the trip and I am looking forward to sharing with you all the lessons I know I will learn when I return.