From a survey we carried out earlier this year, there are well over 40 churches in Kikuyu township. One wonders therefore if the spiritual needs of the area are not adequately covered. But the matter is a little more complex than mere numbers.
Staying with numbers however, we observed that the average church in Kikuyu has about 300 members and 100 children. But there are well over 240,000 people in the area according to the county government website. Although the figures cited might be for the larger Kikuyu urban area, the township and its environs certainly has more than 100,000 dwellers. This means the current 40 churches are serving about 20,000 people. If numbers could build a case for church planting then there are a lot of people to evangelise.
But numbers can be deceptive. A major assumption in the postulation above is that people living in Kikuyu attend churches in Kikuyu and that the churches in Kikuyu serve the people living there. It is not uncommon to see buses belonging to churches in the city ferrying folk from Kikuyu on Sunday mornings. A good number of city churches have cell groups in Kikuyu suggesting that a good number of Kikuyu folk actually go far in search of christian fellowship.
Whereas people going far in search of church is an indicator of many things, it certainly shows that folk are spiritually hungry and that community is not defined in geographical terms. It might also point to the need for more churches in a given locality since some needs are not being met, hence the long drives to look for it.
But church, like all other things, needs to be local. The Biblical pattern for church throughout the NT is that it was localised to a given place – whether a home, a city or town. Gospel ministry can only be lasting in an area if the local church is a faithful witness to it. There cannot be transforming a society if the people living there are not part of the vision for its transformation.
There is need for more solid, faithful Bible teaching churches in Kikuyu – not 1 or 2 but many to evangelise and disciple the thousands who are not yet in the fold.
By Rev. Mungai Macharia