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

The Government Should Crack Its Whip And Regulate Religion To Protect The Innocent Citizens.

Written by: on March 10, 2019

This was the conclusion of a long worded statement of a newscaster on a popular television station in response to a story trending in the media of the misdeeds of a well know preacher, who has been christened “The mighty prophet of God” by his followers. The newscaster was angry at the “man of God” and his ways of taking advantage of his flock to “enrich himself” and therefore took it upon himself to generalize and condemned all evangelical preachers as the same and should be tamed by imposing strict government regulation on all religious organizations, especially the church. In his words, these “evangelical vampires” should be tamed and the government should move with speed to protect it’s gullible citizens from being “extorted” by these errant preachers. He gave examples of how over 6,000 churches were closed in Rwanda when the the current president ordered regulatory measures on churches. He makes reference to the past where the Rwandan president decided to regulate churches and goes automatically to the realm of the probable to recommend the same remedy for a “similar” situation in our country. In my mind, I see a much more complex situation that requires new thinking to come up with a better solution which is one of the reasons I chose my dissertation topic of financial literacy. I’m persuaded that the problem is more complex and not just about rogue preachers and calls for new thinking to come up with a lasting solution.

 

As I listened to this young journalist, I could identify with his anger but I could not also help but be judgmental of him for his universal condemnation of all the evangelical preachers and use of such derogative and abusive language to call them vampires. He has definitely drawn equal ire and anger from the preachers and other concerned Christians, who feel that he overstepped his mandate and that his suggestions of direct government regulation, borders on infringement of the religious rights that are enshrined in the constitution.  The churches would prefer a self regulation mechanism within the existing church leadership structures where the a private regulatory body would be managed by religious leaders without government interference

I however realized as I read the book simple Habits for Complex Times[1] that we are all prone to default to “one key mistake we make, to fill in the Connection between cause and effect with very little data”[2] and make hasty decisions or judge other people. As Berger highlights the default mindset[3] that most leaders have is “People are the problem”[4] and the “supervisor has the super-vision”[5] mindsets where the leader is quick to point out the problem but also gives the answer to the problem with part of the data. Berger awakens us to the reality of the day that we no longer live in times that are predictable where the cause and effect linear model makes it easy as leader to make decisions and communicate a clear and predictable vision of the future. Things are a little more complex and a little more overwhelming than one would like, as a leader you’ve to balance the needs of more people and there’s volatility of perspective than it used to be before, change is happening faster than we can cope with.[6] She points to the fact there is a universal rise of volatility, ambiguity, complexity, uncertainty (VUCA) and its everywhere and coping with these changes requires new ways of making sense of the world and taking action to make a difference.[7] This book is an eye opener for me and I can relate to my current context as the CEO of our ministry organization. We’re currently facing challenges in our child sponsorship IT system and I realized how as a management team we’re looking for a solution in the realm of the probable rather than being open to the possible. I’m glad that now I can lead my team in being open to looking for more solutions Beyond the simple probable model by: determining what’s predictable and what’s not, and lean in to leading in unpredictable settings; create a feedback-rich organization in which we can constantly learn together the areas that need change; objectively choosing of a direction and building of necessary guardrails; objectively examining of the present, and look for attractors; creation of a safe-to-fail Experiment and learning environment; Communicating clearly in uncertain times; and intentionally develop a growth mindset across the organization.[8] This approach will thus create and a conducive environment for successful change and growth across the organization.

 

 

[1] Jennifer Garvey Berger & Keith Johnson.  Simple Habits For Complex Times: Powerful Practices For Leaders. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. 2015.

[2] Ibid., pg 36.

[3] Ibid., pg 63

[4] Barry Jentz & Joan Wofford. Talk Sense: Communicating To Lead and Learn, Acton, MA, Research for Better Teaching. 2007

[5] Robert Kegan & Lisa Lacey. How The Way We Talk, Can Change The Way We Work: Seven Languages For Transformation. San Francisco, CA, Jossy-Bass. 2001.

[6] Jennifer Garvey Berger & Keith Johnson.  Simple Habits For Complex Times: Powerful Practices For Leaders. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. 2015.. pg 1

[7] Ibid…, pg.8

[8] Ibid.., pg 207.

About the Author

mm

Wallace Kamau

Wallace is a believer in Christ, Married to Mary Kamau (Founder and Executive Director of Missions of Hope International) and father to 3 Wonderful children, Imani Kamau (Graduate student at London School of Economics, UK), Victory Kamau (Undergraduate student at Portland state University, Oregon, USA) and David Kamau ( Grade student at Rosslyn Academy). Founder and Director, Missions of Hope International (www.mohiafrica.org), CPA, BAchelor of Commerce (Accounting) from University of Nairobi, Masters of Arts (Leadership) from Pan African Christian University.

5 responses to “The Government Should Crack Its Whip And Regulate Religion To Protect The Innocent Citizens.”

  1. It strange that the post did not take up the 8 references when copied. I will work to ensure its edited to accept the references.

  2. mm Jenn Burnett says:

    I appreciate your thoughts Wallace. It is disheartening about the generalisations of the church in the media based on one personality. I also appreciate you drawing out the nature of cause and effect when the answers may be more complex. What other perspectives would you suggest the journalist prioritize for a more full view of the church’s current reality?

  3. Thank you Jenn, I believe the media has an opportunity to open up debate on the matter by inviting other ministers of the Gospel to debate this matter. This way, there would be more feedback from different stakeholders and I’m sure it would be more helpful in coming up with a more objective solution or change process.

  4. mm Nancy VanderRoest says:

    Thank you for sharing, Wallace. Your focus on financial literacy with be a very important dissertation project for many to learn from. I appreciate your comment that you are ‘persuaded that the problem is more complex and not just about rogue preachers and calls for new thinking to come up with a lasting solution.’ This is very powerful and will provide positive footing for your research. Thanks for sharing, Wallace.

  5. Thank you Nancy, I’m passionate about this topic because I ran into debt despite of being a financial expert and professional but I learnt from the Bible how to come out of debt and to become a better steward of money and other earthly possessions. I believe that understanding our agency (stewardship) relationship with God is key and this knowledge should be readily available to as many as possible.

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