Pastor Sammy Nila planted two churches in Kenya over the years. But his strategy changed dramatically when planting the second one with help from Christian Reformed World Missions.
For his first church plant, Sammy used a method he calls “open air crusades.” He entered the community with little preparation and simply started preaching and calling people to the Lord. Those who responded started attending the church.
“Building a church that way wasn’t easy,” said Sammy. “It wasn’t effective, and at times it felt like I was doing this work all alone.” Sammy felt God calling him to continue planting churches, but doing so without a proper network of support discouraged him. Then he took part in a CRWM leadership training event using materials from the Timothy Leadership Training Institute.
“I took the course with several pastors from other denominations,” Sammy said. “I built up fellowship, new friends, and new contacts.” Along with the connections Sammy made, he gained useful skills to help him care for his church members. He realized that planting a church would be more effective if he got to know members of the community before trying to start a new church.
“It suddenly wasn’t so hard to say yes [to planting a new church],” said Sammy. “It’s so intimate when you’re visiting someone in Christ’s name, hearing their stories, and praying with them.”
Now this rural community in Kenya has a healthy growing church, and Sammy continues to put the skills he has learned through this training to practical use.
“This training has given me confidence to continue planting churches,” Sammy said.