The Movements and Money Seminar co-convened by CWC and the AIU school of business studies gathered over 50 people at the Nairobi Baptist on the 21st of April 2016. The delegates received insight on the foundational principles of financial accountability for churches. The impetus for the seminar arose from the understanding that matters of financial transparency and accountability are an area of concern in the church in Africa today. Recent public discourse and government interventions in Kenya highlight this concern.
The seminar began with a plenary session by David Gatende. He is the Managing Director of Davis and Shirtliff, a water technology company operating in 7 countries in Africa. He has also been highly involved in church, chairing elder boards in two churches that are committed to accountability in every area of ministry. He spoke from his experiences leading the elders through the setting up of structures in church plants that have grown to become influential communities in Nairobi.
After the tea break came a panel discussion with the facilitators. The rich discussion included comments and questions on church projects, investment of church cash reserves, the differences between for-profit and non-profit accounts, perception disparities between Kenyan and American charity relationships, and the relationship between accounts teams and pastoral staff.
The seminar benefitted from the expertise of several experienced facilitators. They included – Alvin Mwangura who currently works as a micro-finance consultant, author and trainer. He has in the past worked in both corporate and church settings in accounts and finance; Anthony Mwaniki, a Project Management consultant, and chair of Acorn Group Africa. He has in the past also served as an executive pastor of Operations at Mavuno church, and also as project manager for several large scale church projects; Humphrey Muga, a Business and Finance Lecturer at Africa International University. He has extensive experience at the Kenya Treasury and Capital Markets Authority; Jim Rogers, a seasoned business man who has since semi-retired from active daily management. He now devotes his time facilitating partnerships that foster education initiatives in Africa, mainly in Kenya. He has much experience working with non-profits in the US and here in Kenya; and, Sam Mwaura, the Chief Operating Officer and Finance Director at the AIC Kijabe Hospital. He has accumulated much corporate experience in finance and has also been highly involved in church ministry activities. He also has a passion for financial stewardship in churches.
After lunch the participants reconstituted themselves after lunch into three focus groups. One of the groups discussed financial accountability from the perspective of senior pastors and church planters. Another group focussed on financial accountability structures for pastors in training and department heads. A final group delved into the technicalities of finance structures for participants who have a background in accounts and finance. Each focus group then appointed a leader who presented their key lessons to the larger group.
After the presentations, the gathered group received a greeting and an encouragement to engage from Charles Awanda, the NCCK representative in charge of the Nairobi region. Nyambura Kamau from the Africa Study Bible project also gave a brief on the project and its significance for pastors in Nairobi. The African Council for Accreditation and Accountability [AfCAA see Afcaa.org] was also represented by several members among them the founding executive director, Valentine Gitoho.
The day ended with a joint public declaration of the participants’ commitment to, in obedience to God and His word, be financially accountable leaders. After a commissioning prayer, the participants were issued with certificates of participation.