Redeemed Gospel Church Pipeline (RGCP) sits in the Mukuru Kwa Njenga slums in Nairobi where more than 500,000 people live in extremely poor conditions. The church was started in 1996 to express God’s love to quarry miners who lived in this neighbourhood.
Before 2012, the church struggled to meet the growing needs of its members and the wider community. Local people had high expectations of the church and were always asking why it was not more visible. On the other hand, the church was overwhelmed by demands from the slums. It was inward-looking and felt it lacked the resources to meet the many needs of the people. That was until the church started to use its God-given resources to transform its immediate community.
Using the church and community mobilisation process (CCMP) Bible studies, the church has established 47 Home Bible Churches that meet weekly in homes within the community for fellowship and Bible study. Each Home Bible Church has a facilitator and co-facilitator, and a guide based on Tearfund’s CCMP manual and materials. These leaders have helped their groups to discover God’s purpose for them, as well as their talents and opportunities to serve in the church and community in different ways. The groups started out by mentoring people, delivering healthcare, ministry to orphans and caring for families living on the streets.
‘I had a background in theological training, but I found church ministry in the slum needed a more holistic approach,’ says Rev Josephine Chavaseki of RGCP. ‘Integral mission is a gradual process that needs prayer, dedication, whole-heart sacrifice and patience. I am grateful to almighty God because integral mission has helped believers to discover their value, potential and talents.’
In this case, CCMP enabled all these elements of Christian growth to occur holistically as believers developed and gained new perspectives through the Bible studies available in the CCMP manual (English/French only). This helped them to grow spiritually in discipleship. Members started to help each other in pastoral care. They improved their leadership skills, and reached out to their immediate communities in love. Their aim was to be light and salt to the world as in Matthew 5:13-16.
This began to happen when the church started a community centre with a primary school, training for tailoring and computer skills, and a welfare association of more than 300 members to strengthen church and community relationships. ‘The church has gradually grown to more than a thousand people, but the introduction of integral mission has released every believer to unleash their power and potential,’ says Rev Josephine. ‘By God’s grace the church has vibrant ministries for children, young people and families focusing both on church and communities.’