Management of christian community services in the Anglican church of Kenya dioceses of Maseno South and Maseno West (Kenya)
Okeyo, Arudo T. O.
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Provision of community services through the church has a history that dates back to the missionary era and forms part of the social gospel. In their earlier work, missionaries provided education, health and other social services among communities. With the coming of Kenya's independence, the government took over provision of these essential services, leaving the church only as sponsor, or managers of the schools or health services albeit with a limited number remaining autonomous. In the 1970s, the Church of Province o f Kenya (CPK) currently Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) initiated Christian Community Services (CCS) in the then Diocese of Maseno South (Nyanza Province). This was through a programme known as Integrated Rural Development Projects (IRDP). Its mission was based on John 10:10 hence, providing abundant life that was Christ's mission to humanity regardless of gender, creed, race or religious affiliation. However, with time, a number of these projects that had enjoyed sponsorship from various international organisations begun to experience challenges. Sustainability and ownership he came a major challenge. Some of them struggled to survive through management conflicts, making them to operate below capacity others simply closed down altogether. The question was why such commendable initiatives failed to see the light of the day. What failed these church sponsored projects at a time the local communities W ere eager to be free from poverty, disease and want? This study set out to investigate the source of the problems by limiting itself to diocese of Maseno South and diocese of Maseno West. It established that the core problem was misinterpretation of the mission goals. The goals were designed by the clergy the project patrons and implemented by project managers. The background training of these two organs was very different. Moreover, the traditional goals of the church and that of CCS seemed to differ from each other. Besides, the beneficiaries failed to own the projects which they viewed as either church projects, Bishop Okullu's projects or they simply associated them with donors or some of the project leaders. They failed to see success or failures of the projects as their own. Data collection was conducted by the researcher with the help of four trained research assistants. The data were analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative techniques. The qualitative data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The quantitative data were analyzed through content analysis. The study concluded that for CCS (now Inter-Diocesan Christian Community Services - IDCCS) to become sustainable, the church should retrain the old clergy in community development. In so doing, training curriculum in theological colleges must incorporate community development and management skills.