Here is a question that has been bothering me a lot lately; there seems to be a new church – or at least a fellowship in every corner of Kampala, so do we really need more new churches?
This brings me to the numerous reports that have mired media purporting that Churches are uncontrollably “mushrooming” in Uganda hence need to be controlled and ordered to pay tax.
The saying “church on every street corner in Kampala” is not far from the truth however, the answer to whether we have enough Churches or not does not compare to knowing how many of those running are Gospel advancing churches.
As long as there are people in Kampala not being reached with the TRUE gospel, we need to revitalize and plant healthy gospel-centered churches, period.
The most important question any church planter should ask is “Why am I planting a church?” I have seen some reports in main stream media and I think many religious leaders are struggling with that question.
All of us struggle with why we are in ministry should have well laid out motives. Recently one Born-again Church leader blamed government for the deepening crisis in the born-again churches.
He said that the internal affairs ministry failed in its obligations to monitor the activities of Pentecostal churches which are expected to be registered as Non Governmental organisations. His suggestion to authorities was to have all deregisted, and begin the process afresh. But can this entirely solve the gospel crisis fought against spiritual strong holds?
The second chapter of Mark narrates about Jesus calling Levi to be his disciple, a couple of things jumped out at me that I think apply to Church planters and leaders of those already existing within the Capital.
We need already existing churches to drop an evangelistic engine into their church chassis. We need new churches planted that grow primarily through new believers being added (as opposed to transfer growth – which is why we see churches at war over claims that one pastor’s flock is moving to the others).
If you are in an established church work with all your heart to get the people there making and multiplying disciples. Many of us take the message of Jesus, and we omit some of the more intense parts because they might scare people away. By this we make just converts instead of disciples.
Popular author Ted Wards says; when we sell people on a Jesus who is easy to follow, can we really blame them for bailing out or drifting off when things don’t go smoothly?
“That’s what our culture is all about. So watering down the Gospel to reflect the culture can be an easy trap to fall into – Converts are new believers. We all start as converts. Too often we stop there. We make Christianity all about what we believe. Converts aren’t bad or wrong. They are like babies. There’s nothing wrong with being a baby,” he explains.
“The problem comes when that doesn’t change. When a baby acts like a baby, it’s cute. When a 35-year-old does, it’s sad. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”” he adds.
So, if what we have in Kampala are Gospel advancing churches, thank God, for we can be sure of more multiplication and discipleship. The good news is that even if there are already plenty of churches, the market is wide open still for millions and millions more of rescue missions for the lost and dying!
By Samuel Ballagadde.