Why We Exist
It is no longer news that the numeric heartlands of Christianity have shifted from the global North to the majority world. The epicenter of the contemporary world Christianity is now located mainly in Africa, Asia, Latin-America and the Pacific. Never in history has the African church had the opportunity to make significant contribution to the vitality of the wider global church like now. New churches are being planted on daily basis across the African continent, while several existing churches are involved in reversed missionary enterprise to the global North and elsewhere. The expansion of Christianity particularly in Africa in the last half a century has been phenomenal. However, a general observation reveals that the Christian faith has minimal impact on the moral conducts of most people in Africa. In spite of our deep religiosity, issues of corruption, impunity, injustice, poverty, crime, bad leadership, poor governance, war, communal clashes, and incessant violation of human rights are more pronounced in Africa than any other parts of the world. These realities are some of the factors undermining the impact of Christianity in Africa. Unfortunately, several “Christians” and “Pastoral Practitioners” are on daily basis seen to be involved in these unchristian practices. To worsen the matter, less than thirty percent of pastoral practitioners in Africa are theological trained; while most of the training of those trained is either irrelevant or inadequate. So, where is the impact of Christianity in the public and day to day life of people living in Africa? How may the church in Africa now contribute to the health of the world church? The need for biblical discipleship is therefore urgent! The Centre for Biblical Christianity in Africa (CBCAfrica) exists to bridge this gap by deepening the roots of biblical Christianity in Africa with a specific focus on the discipleship of Christian-ministry practitioners (clergy and lay leaders) in Africa. We believe that where biblical discipleship exists, there will be biblical Christianity which automatically leads to vitality, that is, the church of Jesus Christ in good health.
Our primary goal in CBCAfrica, therefore, is to glorify God by deepening the vitality of the church in Africa and widening the transformative impact of the Christian message in the public sphere. We seek to achieve this in the following ways:
- Through our specialized gatherings (known as Vitality Conference, Vitality Lecture Series, Vitality Workshop, Vitality Seminar, Vitality Retreats and short-courses) aimed at addressing the broader subject of biblical discipleship and others areas of needs where available theological education may be inadequate to stimulate best ministry practices.
- Additionally, since it is essential for knowledge to inform the practice of pastoral ministry, CBCAfrica exists to conduct innovative investigations and facilitate the publication of scholarly and practical materials on discipleship and the practice of pastoral ministry in Africa. We seek to achieve this through the publication of resource materials delivered in our formal gatherings, production of audio-visual materials, and blogging.
- Finally, the challenges facing the Church of Jesus Christ in Africa cannot be surmounted by a singular effort, initiative or approach. Securing solutions would require intentional integration and collaboration, coordination of efforts, specific skills, opportunities and approaches. So, creating and encouraging local, Pan-African and global opportunities for networking, partnership and peer mentoring amongst pastoral trainers and practitioners is one of the major pursuits of CBCAfrica.
We, in CBCAfrica, are strongly persuaded that this initiative is already contributing to deepening the roots of biblical Christianity, increasing the vitality of the church and pushing the limit of theological understanding in Africa forward.