Owning a church

Recently, a video surfaced online of a bishop in Kenya abusing bishops in his church over disrespecting his wife, he said it wouldn’t matter even if that bishop was his sibling.

In the six-minute clip, Pastor James Ng’ang’a of Neno Evangelism Centre is seen cautioning some bishops against disrespecting his wife.

“If you are not going to respect my wife, I will kick you out of my ministry, whoever you are. I don’t care if we grew up together. 

“This time round I will show you my power. If you don’t respect her, leave my church and go start yours,” he said, referring to his human power I guess.

He warned the women who serve in the church too, telling them to start their own church if they want. He called them stupid, arrogant and all demeaning names one could think of because they had acquired wealth while there and they ought not to forget their place in that ministry.

He said the devil wants to bring his ministry down and that is why he is being fought. He arrogantly reminded them of how they came to the church looking like beggars.

The ‘owner’ of the church said even in politics people are thrown out of parties when they disrespect the party constitution.  At the end of the barrage of abuses and insults, he told them he would close their ‘kiosks’—referring to branches of the church. A Friday overnight service went south.

To a very large extent today the church is a business and in most cases family owned!

These days, someone has some little capital and will set up a church, then advertise to build a congregation in order to attract ‘investors.’ They will start a few projects, including a babies home and health centre, because that makes it easy for investors to inject in money.

At this point, there are a few talented people from the community that lead the choir and head other church ministries until one day, all hell breaks loose, for there is seemingly no proper accountability of the money coming in or now the ranks within the church are saturated.

Proper fallout is witnessed, one so serious like what you see in secular businesses. The person that exits does not join another church, they start their own and the war continues.

Church is somewhat regulated in Rwanda, but elsewhere in the region, the more they mushroom the more arrogant they become and the more the fights.

Early in the week, a letter was written by Christ Heart Ministries distancing themselves from Phaneroo Ministries in Uganda.

The two used to operate as one but not anymore. In fact, the former accuses the later of being immoral and not heeding to God’s word. What we are seeing more and more is personalisation of churches, the head pastor and proprietor is given a very big title as the wife is called the first lady of the church.

The other small bishops and their wives will serve in second place unless the spiritual ‘head’ of the ministry decides otherwise.

Church business is handed down to family members like it has always been with big enterprises. Does spirituality/religion still serve its purpose or should we try elsewhere?