We are once again visiting with our friend Reverend Kenneth Mbugua. As you know, church history is ongoing, and someday, they’ll write church history textbooks about what the church in the twenty-first century is doing. I think it’s very helpful for us, especially us in the American church context, to hear about what God is doing in the global church. Could you take a few moments and let us know some of the highlights of how God is at work in the church in Kenya?
Reverend Kenneth Mbugua:
When I look at church history, it’s interesting to me to see how, in so many different periods, the health of the church has been connected to the state of preaching. The coming in of revivals or reformation have come behind or along the reclaiming of biblical preaching in those contexts. If you look at the men that we look at and highlight in church history, so many of those men were people who opened up God’s Word and proclaimed.
They were pastors.
Reverend Kenneth Mbugua:
They were pastors.
Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, Martin Luther.
That’s exactly it. When I look at Africa now, I won’t mention names, only because it’s not yet history. It’s still the present.
It’s history in the making.
It’s history in the making. But I am encouraged that we actually might be in a time where we are going to see that transformation we have been praying for, that reformation, if it’s going to come truly from God. And the reason I’m hopeful that’s going to happen is because of the number of biblical preachers we have.
Transformation comes from God’s Word, and I think God’s Word is most potently being applied to God’s people when it is being proclaimed authoritatively, this authoritative monologue. It’s not just a discussion: “What do you think about this? Here’s what I think about this.” But it’s someone opening up God’s Word and saying, “Thus saith the Lord.” And in Africa right now, I will run out of fingers when I’m counting the number of men who are faithful, expository preachers in churches where they are regularly proclaiming God’s truth. That’s what makes me most hopeful and excited about Africa.
It’s so encouraging for us to hear. This is the only thing that God promises will not return void, that His Word will accomplish what God sends it for us to do. I love how you zeroed in on biblical preaching. There’s no secret formula here that we need to uncover. God was very clear on how His church advances, and it’s wonderful for us to hear that and to see what God will do.
You are also with Ekklesia Afrika, which is about providing biblical resources for people. There’s biblical preaching and there’s also biblical study. Can you tell us little bit about that?
Again, our confidence is simply in the Word. You want to plant that seed, go to sleep, and wake up and see what the Lord has done. We love the fact that God has given us the grace of being able to read books. Books are basically preachers of God’s Word that you are able to transport from here to the far reaches of a continent. And if you have a book by a John MacArthur or a Mark Dever or a John Calvin or a Martin Luther, there are people sitting in a corner of Africa who can be able to interact with God’s Word as taught by some of the most gifted brothers that the Lord has blessed the church with.
So, at Ekklesia Afrika, that’s one of our excitements: to be able to set up a publishing arm of the entity that brings in all of the good stuff from history, people who are already long dead, and from the West, people who might not be able to come into Africa. We take the many books that they have printed, select them carefully, and print them in Nairobi. Then we send them out to different parts of our region.
So far, the experience has been that we require pastors to meet once a month. Pastors, for multiple reasons, enjoy fellowship, especially amongst other pastors, but they also enjoy learning together, and are quite encouraged by the lights that are coming on. And that portion, only the Holy Spirit can accomplish. Even after they have read, I think it’s Calvin who says, it’s the bare word, and it needs the Spirit to potently apply it to their hearts.
We are encouraged by the ways in which God has taken pleasure to use that simple curriculum and allow many pastors to start seeing the light and to start beginning the process of transforming what they’re doing with their local churches.
Well, as you share that, that is truly encouraging for us. May God bless these efforts of biblical preaching and putting these biblical resources into the hands of the people of God in Kenya and across Africa.