A Rooted in Jesus team has just returned from the Diocese of Butere, SW Kenya, where Bishop Timothy Wambunya had invited us to introduce the programme to the diocese.
The team was led by Revd Richard Morgan (from Philadelphia, US), Revd Capt Joshua Opondo (from the Diocese of Maseno South, Kenya) and Revd John Eldridge (from Wickham Market, UK); all of them are experienced RinJ trainers. The diocese held two 4 day conferences, hosted by Revd Capt Bejamin Kibara, the Diocesan Executive Secretary for Mission, and attended by a huge turnout of 300 invited delegates.
Butere is a well organised diocese with a focus on mission and discipleship – hundreds of people had made a profession of faith in a recent mission. The diocese has worked hard to equip people to lead small groups, but implementation has been slow – and Bishop Tim feels that Rooted in Jesus is the material they have been looking for. For the diocese this was the end of a long period of searching – and they are optimistic that the conferences have provided the breakthrough they were praying for.
Richard Morgan writes:
“There was a mission just before we came. Benjamin says that some hundreds of people made a profession of faith. John was speaking to one lady, Grace, who has 30 new Christians in her parish. She is just about to walk 10 kilometers back home from the conference. Some of her new Christians that she is hoping to follow up with are 8 kilometers from her – so it seems very hard for her to be able to meet with them all. There’s certainly a need for a method of distributing the task of disciple-making and equipping disciples to make disciples. If the principles of Rooted in Jesus take hold here, it will be powerful in helping the church to grow as a body.”
Watch the video
The team have put together a wonderful video report (below). If you’d like to read more about the conferences you can download a summary of their daily Facebook posts here.
Before the conference Benjamin Kibara wrote:
“As a diocese we are very keen to start Rooted in Jesus discipleship program. We have 48 parishes, 50 ordained clergy, 13 associate ministers, 176 evangelists, and 378 lay readers. We have already laid a structure where all the Christians in the diocese will be part of a small group of 10 – 12 people for discipleship.”
Afterwards Bishop Tim remarked:
“We are using Rooted in Jesus as a foundational course to train our pastorate leaders, and we are hoping that at the end of this training they will then go to establish various groups, and then we can use those groups to disciple the ten thousand or so Christians in the diocese. They seem to have embraced or understood this Rooted in Jesus training better than others, and they seem more determined from this training to then go forward and share it with other people, which we haven’t seen before in any of the other courses that we have done – and we have done many other courses! This Rooted in Jesus seems to be the one that has finally helped us turn that corner, and we are now beginning to engage in serious discipleship.”
Team leader Richard Morgan invites us to continue to pray for the Diocese as they move forward:
“Good tools are only useful when you use them! Rooted in Jesus is one of those tools. When used, it is capable of being useful… if left on the shelf it will have little or no lasting impact. I’m confident that with the leadership of Bishop Tim, and the leadership of the coordinator, Benjamin Kibara, that they will make use of this tool in this Diocese. But, at the end of the day, it relies on the Holy Spirit moving and working in the hearts and lives of many leaders in this Diocese. Do pray that the lives and ministries of many in this Diocese would be empowered and strengthened.”
We are grateful to the diocese for their careful planning, meticulous organisation and generous hospitality.
Posted 21st July 2017