Integration of African indigenous guidance practices to adolescents' pastoral care and counselling programmes in selected churches of Nairobi
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The purpose of this study was threefold. First, to find out the pastoral counseling given to adolescents in selected Nairobi churches. Second, to assess the element(s) of African indigenous counseling techniques already incorporated in the pastoral counselling techniques. Third, to examine the sources of guidance utilized by adolescents. Through purposive sampling method, seven churches in Nairobi from the main denominations in Kenya were selected for research. These are the Consolata Shrine Westlands, The Kings Church Githurai Kimbo, The African Church of the Holy Spirit (ACOHS) Pumwani, Chrisco City Church, Kenya Assemblies of God (Bahati), Riruta Baptist Church, African Independent Pentecostal Church of African (AIPCA) Dandora and the Salvation Army Kibera. Basic methods of fact-finding were utilized. The subject respondents included adolescents, pastoral workers, parents of adolescents and key leaders of sampled churches. In total a sample of 160 respondents were interviewed from population approximately not less than 10,400 church attendees. The data for the study were collected through the use of questionnaires, participant observation and analysis of documents from library sources. The overall data were collated, analyzed, interpreted and discussed in the light of Erickson's theory of identity and development. The theory shows that unless the adolescents grow holistically, they would result to social deviancy observed through withdrawal, fanaticism and rejection of cultural standards or give a passive stand that brings role confusion. The research findings revealed that adolescents in Nairobi were having unresolved problems and concerns such as boy/girl relationships, drug abuse and anxiety about bodily changes. In spite of this, the methods utilized by the pastoral workers in giving guidance in the seven churches, did not effectively help resolve adolescents' problems. The study recommends that for churches to be able to guide adolescents more effectively, church leaders need to look into issues such as establishing a good rapport with adolescents, training lay church workers specifically on the needs of the youth and creating ample time and space for adolescents' needs. The leaders will also need to identify with the seclusion camp model suggested in the study so as to guide and counsel adolescents in a more relevant manner. This would help stabilize the adolescents' inner person that craves for identify and recognition.