It isn’t every day that you get to spend quality time with Christians from across the globe in their local setting. Here are a few of my preliminary reflections on my time with these godly leaders.
- There are no safe harbors from the encroaching aggressive secularism of the West: One can see the influence of Western cultural values almost everywhere. We are used to thinking of Africa as a place where Christianity is growing and flourishing even as Christianity in the west diminishes. This is still true in Africa, and in Kenya the Anglican Church still has a powerful voice and influence on the national life. But I heard concerns from many leaders about seeing some of the same things we have faced here in North America—declining and aging congregations, failure to reach a younger generation and undermining of the clarity and authority of the Bible in the Church. And this does not include the active persecution of Christians in places where theIslamization of the country is advancing.
- We need to invest in the next generation of leaders now: I was blessed to see over 100 children in Mombasa Memorial cathedral (where I preached on Sunday) come forward to share what they had learned during their Bible school week. Many of them had memorized scriptures and recited them perfectly. I was reminded in conversations with the Assisting Bishop of Mt. Kenya South that their Cathedral Youth Service on Sunday mornings continues to draw 800-1000 youth weekly through Gospel preaching, contemporary worship and liturgy. And I was blessed to hear the Rev. Canon Rinji Kwashi thoughts on the kind of spirit-filled, visionary leadership younger leaders can to bring to evangelism and mission—regardless of the cost they may face, and without any regard to the positions and perks that often characterize the institutional church.
- More than ever, we need to call upon the person and power of the Holy Spirit: As Archbishop Ben Kwashi shared, and as we were all able to agree in powerful prayer times, we cannot do the evangelism, mission and Kingdom ministry God is calling us to do by our own wits and gifts. It is simply impossible and fruitless to do so. We heard wonderful testimonies of how the Holy Spirit “overshadowed” leaders’ own limitations to accomplish great things for God and his Kingdom.
— American Anglican (@AnglicanCouncil) April 27, 2018