To facilitate as many bi-vocational mentors, pastors and planters, Calvary Church Planting Network Roundtables in the United States are a few hours in length. It’s not that way here in East Africa.
The recent CCPN Roundtable hosted at Calvary Chapel Githruai in Kenya took the tone of a retreat as several pastors came early from around the country and Tanzania to spend the night together in prayer and fellowship at the church building. By morning there were groups of church planters, mentors and lead pastors gathered around chai in prayer and fellowship long before the official first session. Old friendships were rekindled, new ones were made.
The first session was Who Should Plant a Church and I was honored to teach it. I wanted people to realize where they fit on the church planting team. My points were the Good Shepherd is building His church, His Spirit is calling out workers to join in, and all people in all churches have a place on the team.
My points were the Good Shepherd is building His church, His Spirit is calling out workers to join in, and all people in all churches have a place on the team.
Pastor Stephen Otieno Nyadenge from Calvary Chapel Lakeside represented the Calvary Chapel Association board of East Africa in the second session by giving an informational message on the affiliation process. Being a mentor of multiple church planters, Pastor Stephen was able to relate the practical side of being sent out and the steps someone goes through to become an affiliated pastor.
The third session was by the roundtable’s Githurai host, Pastor Murigi Kariuki. He titled the message, Nurturing a Church Planting Culture and addressed established churches as well as the new churches represented in the roundtable. His points were based on purposing to plant churches, training to plant churches and equipping those called to plant churches. Pastor Murigi suggested one benefit of the community of Calvary Chapel churches gathered together was to discuss the advantages exchanging interns so potential planters could spend time with other churches with specific agenda points to aid in their calling.
Pastor Steve Kaburia from Evangelical Community Church in Naivasha and in Mataara gave a heart felt and passioned plea in the fourth message and titled it, Following God’s Leading. His message was partially based on the testimony of how God had his team labor in the urban community of Naivasha, but was at the same time tilling soil in a nearby rural tea farming community. While the urban church was in its fledgling stages, it was used to plant the new church in Mataara. He laughed while explaining the first church plant did not seem mature enough to launch a plant, but God found it good to grow the second church to double the size of the first church plant. Appropriately, his object for mentors and planters was not to be locked into preconceived systems or patterns, but to be sensitive to God’s leading.
Pastor Evanson Gitu from Calvary Chapel Rongai is received as a mzee (honored elder) among the Calvary Chapel pastors for his years of service and gave the final teaching. After spending considerable time dealing with the Kenya Revenue Authority (similar to the I.R.S.) to understand the obligations of churches to the government, he gave an informative teaching titled, Give Unto Cesar. Many were surprised to learn of the taxes a church must pay and the penalties for ignoring the law. His exhortation was to protect the churches by honoring the words of Jesus.
His exhortation was to protect the churches by honoring the words of Jesus.
As the day ended, pastors, planters, mentors, visitors and missionaries continued to talk and pray. More worship songs were sung, more chai was drank and then more talk and more prayer. Pastor Stephen Otieno Nyadenge from Calvary Chapel Lakeside invited as many that would come to spend a couple days for the 2016 CCPN Roundtable beginning Monday, August 1.
Ed Compean is a church planting coach based in Nairobi with his wife Kelli, but soon to transition back to the States to serve as director with SSMF. You can read their blog or follow him on Twitter @Ed_Compean.