Effects of barriers of women ministry on the growth of the church: a case study of the church of The Nazarene in Western Kenya District, Kenya
Owuor, Julius Omondi
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Women in ministry face various setbacks. The churches of the Kenya Western District (KWD) of the Church of the Nazarene are not growing numerically. The study sought to clarify the extent the stagnation of the growth of KWD was due to the untapped potential of women in leadership. The purpose of the research, therefore, was to assess the effects of barriers of women ministry on the growth of the church: a case study of the Church of the Nazarene in Kenya Western District, Kenya. The study was guided by five objectives. The first objective sought to weigh the extent to which theological beliefs have inhibited the involvement of KWD women in ministry. The second objective sought to measure the extents to which poverty have inhibited the involvement of KWD women in ministry. The third objective sought to assess the extent to which illiteracy have inhibited the involvement of KWD women in ministry. Whereas, the fourth objective sought to consider the extent to which inferiority have inhibited the involvement of KWD women in ministry. The fifth objective of the study was to estimate the cumulative effect of each of the barriers on the growth of the Church of the Nazarene in Western Kenya District, Kenya. The research was conducted through the descriptive designs that allowed the use of the quantitative and qualitative methods of research. This research was carried out among the members of the Church of the Nazarene and their pastors in KWD. The research covered Nazarene churches in Kakamega, Busia and Bungoma counties. The researcher used probability sampling with the specification of simple random sampling. The targeted population was 550 members in the Church of the Nazarene in the area mentioned according to the 2018 annual pastors’ reports submitted to the district assembly. Ten percent of the number was sampled randomly. A descriptive survey was used in the study and therefore instruments such as questionnaires and interviews were of great help in getting qualitative and quantitative data. In order to analyze process and present the data the researcher used the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 16.0 (SPSS). This involved the use of histograms, frequencies and percentages. The key findings showed that the women needed to be empowered economically and be encouraged to participate if the church is to grow. The hypothesis was intended to find if there was any correlation between the barriers and the growth of the church. The null hypothesis was confirmed as they did not inhibit the involvement of women in ministry hence did not affect their involvement in the ministry of the church and not resulting in the lack of growth. The study recommended that women be encouraged by pastors to plant high yield crops. Women empowerment was a necessity as such the study suggested that women be encouraged to attend TVET colleges where they will learn life skills that will help them get employed. It was also recommended that pastors liaise with the local administration and NGO’s to facilitate women trainings. The study also recommended that women be urged to train for ministry and where possible be given financial boosts towards the tuition. The pastors were also recommended to be mentor female assistants. The other recommendations suggested that local churches come up with adult education programs to help that will eradicate illiteracy among both women and men in the church. The last recommendations urged the district to put in place structures that will absorb those who have been trained through the NBCEA program. The study also suggested areas of further studies.
Africa Nazarene University