OPINION – It is on social media that I recently came across a news article about a 7-year-old starting a Church. Different people call him different names. What unites their description is the fact that Alex Kityo came to the limelight after praying for influential singer, Bobi Wine to win a parliamentary seat.
I learnt from the Observer that Alex Kityo is constructing a church in Manyangwa next to his parents’ home. How was he able to do this? Funds and donations towards the construction reportedly came from his followers and well-wishers.
7-year-old.. starting a Church? Apparently, I’m the only one who found this reality hard to digest. We have seen many preaching out there but, starting a Church is a whole different idea. Several Ugandans have since taken to social media conflicting reactions and interests towards the matter. Christians quoting all manner of scripture and our other brothers and sisters addressing the matter from an obvious ‘common sense’ angle.
Two things immediately stand out to me from issue: first, what is this young man’s calling?
Ephesians 4:11 says in part; And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
The bit about prayer, performing miracles – which are gifts/fruits – the Observer said (a one) Melian Kabatooro, one of Kityo’s followers, said it started as a joke, but they are witnessing miracles and transformation of people’s lives.
Harriet Nakabuubi, Kityo’s teacher at Bright Future primary school Gayaza, is quoted as saying, they noticed Kityo’s gift when he prayed for his colleagues and they appointed him to lead prayers during school assembly. Many reactors to this young man’s decision urged that he should first finish studies. (Currently in Primary one.) Alex Kityo aside, lets address the matter from a general perspective. Does age matter when starting a church?
Let me say this, if God could use a donkey to send out a message, He will use just about anyone. If stones can sing praises…any one can. Please read this article to the end before coming to a conclusion. Let me be frank on one this, I believe youthhood doesn’t disqualify one from Pastoring, just as old age doesn’t necessarily qualify one to Pastor.
I’m one of those Christians that encourages Bible courses and relates studies for anyone who would like to minister in God’s word. But I also believe that God is unlimited. God’s power is infinite. It is a matter of saying “yes” to God when He calls us.
God does not give children a junior Holy Spirit. Every believer is indwelt by the same Holy Spirit, and it is He who instructs, equips and teaches. As Paul encouraged Timothy when he was young and starting out in ministry: his gift was given by God, so he had to make sure to “not neglect his gifts” (1 Timothy 4:14), but rather “fan them into flame” (2 Timothy 1:6).
I simply pray that this young man will have the right mentors as he does this. Scripture has precedent for us not to be afraid of developing the gifts we have: Timothy was specifically enjoined to devote himself to preaching, teaching and the public reading of Scripture (1 Timothy 4:13); and in doing so, to not let anyone look down on him because he was young (1 Timothy 4:12).
As I conclude I must also say, much as age doesn’t necessarily qualify us to teach, one thing age can give is maturity and a variety of life perspectives gained by different life experiences. Any authority we hold in teaching Scripture comes from Scripture itself, not from our own credentials. People should pay attention because it’s God’s word, not ours.
By Evangelist Ballagadde Samuel.
Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of UG Christian News or its editors.