By Dr. Stanley Mukolwe
Watching the Kanyari saga unfold on KTN left a bad taste in my mouth as I’m sure it did in many. Hebrews 5:14 teaches that “…solid food is for the mature who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” As a Christian community have we failed to teach the practice of God’s word that leads to growth and such discernment?
The existence of a fake suggests that the genuine exists. A few days after the Kanyari saga, I heard on the news of the release of an American tourist from 5 months of confinement in North Korea. His crime? He left a bilingual bible in a public toilet. A whole nation has devoted itself to searching and putting in prison those who read the bible. They will even search toilets looking for evidence to prosecute! On the one hand, the Kenyan Christian has free access to the bible but has little interest in digging deep and discovering its saving truths while on the other hand, there are places where the bible is forbidden, yet people go to prison for reading it!
In seeking to read, understand and apply the scriptures to real life, we all make mistakes. That’s why we need guidance. In Ephesians 4:11-15 the scriptures state that God has given to the church people of various calling and gifting for the purpose of equip¬ping the saints for works of service. The saints are supposed to grow in maturity to the measure of the stature that belongs to Christ. Such maturity is the only assurance of being protected from “…every wind of teaching and …the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming…” Of cunning and deceitful men, the world has abundance. Such men will capture and mesmerize many. But the raising of believers to maturity – men and women who will, in turn, pass on this heritage to others – happens slowly and often in obscure settings. It does not capture the attention of many and the media is certainly not interested. But the product that results is lasting, genuine and effective in bringing transformation to the world.
That’s what we are about at the Navigators. We are not a local church – but we work with local churches. We are not businessmen – but we work with business¬men and women. We do not all come from functional homes, but we work with families to restore function and godliness. We lead men and women to Christ and help them to establish an intimate relationship with Him. We linger with these new believers, teaching and modelling Christ for them until they are able to pass on this vision to the next generation. It’s a slow process.
Irene Mbithe first came in contact with the Navigators through my parenting class. She took the class twice, first alone then with her husband. She so liked what she was taught that she became the greatest promoter of my book “Raising Future Parents”. But deep inside, Irene knew that she did not have the kind of connection with the Lord that she heard spoken of in the class. So she asked me if I could help her connect with Christ deeper. I introduced her to Anne Mahinda, one of our women labourers. Anne immediately took Irene in and started to meet with her in the context of a small group. They studied the scriptures together and Anne modelled Christ.
One morning several weeks later, I received a phone call from Anne. “I want to talk to you about Irene”, came Anne’s serious but friendly voice. I had no idea where the conversation would go after that – then she continued, “Irene gave her life to Christ yesterday.” I could not contain my joy. Another one had been born into the Kingdom of God. Several had sowed and watered the gospel into Irene’s life including her former workmate Dr. Anzaya. The gospel gestation period had been long. Anne had the privilege of being the midwife that facilitated the new birth. The transfer from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of light had taken place (Colossians 1:13).
Irene is growing. Anne’s goal is to raise her to maturity – to the point where she will be able to raise others and model Christ to them. The greatest miracle is not the healing of a sick body – even though we must celebrate such miracles. All those who are healed will eventually die. The greatest miracle happens when one is born into the kingdom of God –a life that lives on beyond the grave. Of this we can be sure: that when the Lord starts to separate the sheep from the goats (Mathew 25:31ff), you better be a sheep! God is not mocked, whatever a man sows, that he will reap.
Many can be deceived by fake miracles and even give money to get healing. Others like, Naaman were will¬ing to pay several million dollars (2 Kings 5:5) to get healing from leprosy through the man of God. Elisha gave the healing but declined the gift.
In his book “Making sense of the ministry”, Warren Wiersbe writes:
The foundation of ministry is character.
The nature of ministry is service.
The motive for ministry is love.
The measure of ministry is sacrifice.
The authority of ministry is submission.
The purpose of ministry is the glory of God.
The tools of ministry are prayer and the word of God. The privilege (reward) of ministry is growth.
The power of ministry of is the Holy Spirit.
The model for ministry is Christ alone.
This kind of wisdom inspires our ministry at The Navigators