Recently, the Government of Kenya constituted the National Task Force to develop a framework on guidelines for the establishment of Chaplaincy in learning institutions. This is seen as the panacea for strengthening moral and religious values amongst learners in public institutions in line with the objectives of National Goals of Education, one being inculcation of sound moral and religious values; the provisions of the Constitution of Kenya, Article 10 on National Values and the Basic Education Act, 2013, Section 27 (b), (d) and Section 4 (1).
This is a golden opportunity for the Church in Kenya – to model a school ministry that is rooted in structured discipleship offering a majority of children and youth equal opportunity to come to a living relationship with Jesus Christ. Coming at a time when the government is rolling out the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) whose vision is “An Engaged, Empowered, and Ethical Citizen”, with Values being one of the Pillars, is in itself a blessing. At the core of the new curriculum are two things:
- Skills-based learning where each student is guided to discover their own potential as means to livelihood, and
- Character formation that provides each learner with opportunity to develop sound character and worldview towards life.
It is in the second core principle that the Church has a window to shape the destiny of children and young people in Kenya and Africa as a whole.
The Kenya Government recently released the 2019 census results. Our attention is drawn to the following facts:
- Kenyans below 35 years stand at 35.7 million, thus 75.1% of total population,
- Children (0-14 years) stand at 18.5 million, thus 39% of total population
- Adolescents (10-19 years) are 11.6 million, thus 24.5%
- The youth aged between 18 and 34 years are 13.8 million, thus 29%
What are the implications of these statistics in relation to opportunities for evangelism and discipleship or disciple making?
- The bulk of this group will be found in institutions of learning – from Early Childhood Education (ECD – pre primary) to University. Thus, any meaningful outreach should in essence focus on the institutions of learning as they offer the best national infrastructure for evangelism and disciple making;
- In Kenya, there are three strategic organizations who work across this spectrum of learning institutions, namely: Scripture Union (ECDEs and Primary Schools), Kenya Students Christians Fellowship – KSCF (Secondary Schools), and Fellowship of Christian Unions FOCUS (universities and colleges). The three sister organizations have a vibrant working relationship that views the child’s discipleship process from a “continuum” perspective.
- Learners are most receptive to information, formation and transformation. Therefore, targeting these groups while in school is the best sure way of forming and transforming their values, faith, attitudes, ambitions and priorities to be aligned with and emanate from their knowledge of and believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour;
- The opportunity to evangelize and make disciples in schools is a life time blessing nd opportunity that cannot be taken for granted. No one knows how long this open door will remain open. There is a serious call for urgency in reaching to this group through collaboration with the three institutions earlier mentioned
- The table below shows the number of ECDE, Primary and Secondary schools as at 2014:
No of institutions
No. of leaners
Early Childhood Education (ECD)
Primary School Education
2.0 Urgency of reaching children and youth in schools and universities:
- The first and more important is turning all learning institutions into mission frontiers. Learning institutions provide opportunity of reaching thousands and millions of young people, all of them into confined spaces with open minds, to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Second, schools, colleges and universities are Centers of influence for both positive and negative worldviews/ideologies and philosophies that contradict Biblical faith thus subjecting majority of young people to embrace secular trends and lose out on their Christian faith.
- Third and the most pressing is the growing culture that encourages alternative life styles and trends driven by secular humanism that is in constant denial of God and promoting self-centeredness and values that are not in line with Biblical values. Young people are the main target and easy prey for all these negative vices in societies across the world.
NOTE: The only way the church can counter these destructive ideologies is to take advantage of the governments good will and take mission to schools with clear purpose of winning young people to Christian faith and discipling them to embrace Biblical values as cardinal principles for life
3.0 Anglican Missions Africa (AMA) – Nurturing a Collaborative Approach to Jesus Film
Anglican Missions Africa (AMA) as an arm of the Church, has an express mandate of nurturing a healthy and sustainable Church in Africa through four key commissions:
- To fervently proclaim the gospel of Christ to all and bring everyone to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and lead them to repentance of sin and live a life that glorifies God.
- To establish shalom in all communities in Kenya through discipleship and raising Christians that are responsible and accountable both to God and established systems and structures in society.
- To promote Social mission by developing programs that seek to empower societies to become self-socio-economic and socio-political sustaining.
- To share its spiritual heritage with other countries in Africa and beyond.
Consequently, AMA is fully cognizant that the Church remains the only God ordained institution with mandate to fulfill the Great Commission.
AMA affirms the diversity of gifts within the body of Christ, which are given by the Spirit of God towards service (1 Corinthians 12:1-4). Towards this, AMA will serve as a frontier mission agency in all schools, ensuring that Jesus Film and other relevant outreach programs are carried out in all learning institutions – from ECD to Universities, in partnership with Scripture Union of Kenya (SUK), Kenya Students Christian Fellowship (KSCF) and Fellowship of Christian Unions (FOCUS).
It is anticipated that this project and collaboration will lead to the formation of Bible clubs in primary schools, and growth of the Christian Unions in post-primary institutions. The ultimate goal is to win and disciple the next generation for Christ.
4.0 Collaborating Organizations:
- Scripture Union of Kenya (SUK)
SUK is mandated and allowed by the government to facilitate programmes of spiritual nurture in all primary schools in Kenya. Consequently, AMA will collaborate with SUK to:
- ascertain that Jesus Film is shown to children aged four (4) to Fourteen (14) across all the schools in Kenya;
- establish and strengthen Bible Clubs in the respective schools as the units and effective forums for coordinated and concerted discipleship programme geared towards nurturing children into Christian faith;
- train Chaplains, Bible Club Teachers and Patrons, and facilitators for Programme for Pastoral Instructions (PPI) to effectively offer discipleship support to the children who give their lives to Christ;
- facilitate the recruitment and capacity building of Volunteer Worker as a necessary and effective resource for showing the Jesus film and overseeing follow up towards sustenance of the outcomes of the project.
Once implemented, the Jesus Film Project will facilitate the implementation of a tripartite model of school engagement, thus:
- Kenya Students Christian Fellowship (KSCF)
KSCF works with all secondary schools in Kenya promoting Christian Mission and discipling young people aged between fourteen (14) and eighteen (18). It achieves this by establishing and coordinating affairs of all Christian Unions in secondary schools in Kenya, and thus mentoring and walking with young people through their journey of faith. AMA shall collaborate with KSCF to:
- ascertain that Jesus Film has been shown to youth aged fourteen (14) to eighteen (18) across all secondary schools in Kenya;
- establish and strengthen Christian Unions in the respective schools as the units and effective forums for coordinated and concerted discipleship programme geared towards nurturing youth/teens into Christian faith;
- mobilize and capacity build all Chaplains, Christian teachers and CU Patrons to become agents of change by propagating the gospel of Jesus Christ through Jesus Film and setting up of Christian Unions, and nurturing teenagers to mature into Christian faith.
iii. Fellowship of Christian Unions (FOCUS)
FOCUS works with all Colleges and Universities to mentor young people and upcoming professionals aged between nineteen (19) and twenty-five (25) years. AMA shall collaborate with FOCUS leadership to:
- mobilize and capacity build university students and faculty members who are Christians to carry out aggressive evangelization and disciple making in the Universities and colleges in Kenya;
- mentor university students to grow as sound professional Christians established in right values and positioned as transformative leaders;
- train Chaplains, Christian Union Patrons to effectively offer discipleship support to the young professionals who give their lives to Christ;
5.0 Essence Statement
The importance of having a well thought out strategy cutting across the learning continuum – Primary school up to University – lies in the expected high retention of many children and young people who will commit their lives to Christ (in the lifespan of this project) to grow in an environment that safeguards their faith without leaving it to chance.