DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Parenting and Church Growth

Written by: on June 2, 2019

The reading this week has touched mainly on the reality of our day to day life of the mother raising her children and the  Clergy’s role in the church and community. I remember when we were growing our first born girl, my wife was prudent to follow what nurses guided her at the hospital where she delivered. But even following all the instructions, she was always feeling not doing better than she should have done. She was ever feeling inadequate and not being a better tenon than she should be. We longed to see our child grow to go to Schoo pool so that we would not have the problem of the nannies disturbing and not being available. Our daughter went to school, but we were still not feeling her security well. Bands every stage she grew to was a working staged to this adult stage, a graduate from high school, we are still concerned with somethings in her life. The question I ask, does parenting ever comes to an end? Before my mother died five years ago at 87 years, and I was 48 years old, but she still called a child and would get worried about me when I travel.


Emma Percy, in her book What Clergy can do: Especially when it looks like nothing, speaks to this condition and in her statement, she stressed so much on the parenting challenges. Bringing up children has been, and continues to be, a process of negotiating, allowing space for independent explorations while being expected to be dependable whenever I am needed.[1] I can connect well with Percy’s reasoning here, especially the point where he mentions,  “a process of negotiating and allowing space of independent exploration.”  The situation is not different from the church and especially the clergy responsibilities to members in the local congregation. I remember when I was a young person at the age of 25 after college and working and actively involved in the youth programs in my church in Nairobi, complained so much about the older people who were not running the church well and hence many young people were leaving the church. We made noise asking for a change in the way the church was being done to accommodate the youth. We blamed everything that went wrong to the church elders whom we saw as being a hindrance to dynamic changes in the Quaker church in Nairobi. We blamed the pastors for not being sensitive typo the young people and also not being focused but neglecting to young people and doing a mission to the community. Now we have grown and leaders in the church we are still getting the same accusations by there you game people that we are not letting the youth take responsibilities. They need changes in the manner the church is running. The same issues we complained over 30 years ago our children are protesting in the same way. When does the change become change? What is real change in church and parenting? Hey, continue Tigoi feel guilty of failing to deliver in the capacity as parent and the clergy. Alongside the ambivalence is guilt: guilt for not being spiritual enough, patient enough and compassionate enough. Alongside the uncertainty is guilt: guilt for not being spiritual enough, patient enough and compassionate enough.[2]


In conclusion, every generation comes with its ways of looking at things, and they will always complain about what happened way before their time. I find no change nor parenting that is perfect that every clergy and parent should adopt to raise their children well and do church well by satisfying everybody, realizing growth, doing missions effectively and all working positively.  Emma, Percy is speaking to what we are facing right now in our Quaker church in Kenya. I appreciate the selection of these books and especially the last two we have just read, have seriously spoken to our condition here in the Quaker church in Kenya.

[1] (Percy, 2014) Loc. 65 Kindle Edition

[2] (Percy, 2014)Loc. 145 Kindle Edition

About the Author


John Muhanji

I am the Director Africa Ministries Office of Friends United Meeting. I coordinate all Quaker activities and programs in the Quaker churches and school mostly in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The focus of my work is more on leadership development and church planting in the region especially in Tanzania.. Am married with three children all grown up now. I love playing golf as my exercise hobby. I also love reading.

3 responses to “Parenting and Church Growth”

  1. mm Rev Jacob Bolton says:

    Amazing post John. Thank you for sharing with us the fascinating story of the church in Kenya.

  2. mm Harry Fritzenschaft says:

    Thanks so much for being in our cohort and sharing the unique challenges of the Quaker Church in Kenya. Your perspectives enrich our learning and expose us to parts of the church far beyond our own context. I really appreciate your thoughts, H

  3. Thank you John, it is obvious that you enjoy being a shepherd and a leader in the church, you have helped to learn through your continuous sharing about the Quaker church. You’re a big encouragement in this cohort.

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