The contemporary context creates complexities for the young person. These include the political and socio-economic realities of African states, the cultural renaissance of Africanism and the reality of postmodernity. From both a practical theological perspective as well as experience in higher education, the author claims that ministers in the Presbyterian Church lack a missional perspective to the contemporary African (Kenyan) youth. The author proposes that theological education in Kenya must seriously consider youth ministry education. Second, Presbyterian ecclesiology must be missional minded by moving from an inward posture to a missional posture that considers the African (Kenyan) youth. This reflection will engage practical ministry and higher education experience, as well as an inter-disciplinary literature survey, to offer a missional perspective for the church and theological education.
Faith formation is a crucial area in youth ministry. Although the area of apologetics may be a helpful bridge, the theory and praxis of apologetics in the African context is scanty. The work of apologists such as William Lane Craig, John Frame, Ravi Zacharias, and John Lennox has responded to the post-Christian context of Europe and North America. Much needs to be done in light of the African contextual realities. Using a practical theological methodology, this paper considers how ubuntu apologetics – which honors both the cognitive and affective development of adolescents – can lead to holistic faith formation of African youth. This research paper will 1) consider youth ministry contextual realities in Kenya and Africa; 2) analyze foundational methods of apologetics; 3) utilize an ethnographic methodology in analyzing the data and 4) offer recommendations for youth ministry education and practice in Nairobi and Africa at large.
The Kenyan post-election violence of 2007 deepened the ethnic differences that have been growing for the past decades after independence. While the August 2022 elections revealed political maturity, the October 2017 re-elections indicated that the hostility was not a settled issue. Kenyan churches in the post-democratic space have courted with political alliances along ethnic blocs. Additionally, some of the protestant churches in Kenya such as Presbyterian, Methodist and Friends, are largely monoethnic despite their long history. To what extent can these churches follow the biblical vision of a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic church? This topic has generated theological interest yet few have assessed the role of the youth in ethnic reconciliation. This article will 1) survey the issue of ethnicity and the church; 2) offer a biblical-theological reflection on ethnicity, and 3) suggest how an inclusive-congregational youth ministry model can revitalize ethnic reconciliation in the church and by extension, society.
Youth ministry continues to be a salient focus area in theological research and practical ministry. This paper focuses on faith formation of young people in urban African cities, with a specific focus on Nairobi. Within the urban African context, plural worldviews and religious belonging, technological integration in youth culture, youth marginalization and mental health complexities, especially in a post-covid context, are critical factors in any meaningful youth engagement. This paper considers the contemporary youth ministry research in Africa, examining the classical youth ministry models that have been proposed and drawing out themes that should be considered for a holistic approach to faith formation among youth in African cities. This research summarizes research findings of the author from his doctoral research in Practical Theology at the University of South Africa, titled The Influence of Youth Culture on Holistic Faith Formation of Youth in Nairobi City: A Practical Theological Approach.