The Effect of Pastor’s Theological Training on the Growth Challenges of Pentecostal Churches in Kenya: A Case Study of Selected Churches in Nairobi
The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of pastor’s theological training on the growth challenges Pentecostal churches in Kenya with focus on selected churches in Nairobi which are struggling with growth. The objectives of the study were to investigate the extent the pastors have received theological training, establish effect of theological training on equipping pastor for the ministry, and evaluate effect of pastors’ theological training on church growth. The study was carried out in branches of four churches namely, Full Gospel Churches of Kenya, Kenya Assemblies of God, Pentecostal Evangelism Fellowship of Africa, and Worldwide Gospel Church of Kenya which experienced growth challenges. The study used qualitative research approach as it intended to collect data based on participants’ subjective experience, and its ability to uncover unexpected and exploring new avenues. The target population was church leaders who have been in the church for at least two years. Proportionate stratified sampling was used to sample 84 respondents where equal number of units was selected from each stratum. Data was collected using face-to-face individual interview schedule. Results were analyzed using the thematic content analysis method. The study established that most of the pastors had theological training. However three pastors lacked theological training. The study established that respondents noted that the training was important in equipping the pastors for the ministry. Respondents also noted that the theological training was important in enabling the pastor deal effectively with all issues in the church. The trainings according to respondents were important in building the pastor’s confidence in analyzing the bible and bringing the truths and misconceptions that members may have on spiritual matters, besides the pastor is able to articulate the word of God in a better way. Respondents noted that theological training has helped the pastors to provide leadership in a better way. The respondents noted that pastor’s theological training enhanced church growth as the pastor was vast in skills necessary for running the church. The study found that the pastors with o training had their churches experience frequent conflicts which negatively affected the church. The study recommended that theological training should be made mandatory for pastors.