God's Design for the Church: A Guide for African Pastors and Ministry Leaders

Foreword by Glenn Lyons

By Conrad Mbewe

The church in Africa is growing rapidly, but its growth has come at the expense of depth and maturity. Because of this, there is a dire need for a biblical understanding of what the church should be. Drawing from over 30 years of pastoral experience in Lusaka, Zambia, Conrad Mbewe details what a biblical church looks like in a way that is relatable to African contexts, by focusing on relevant topics such as family and tribal ties, the influence of African traditional religion, and more. Mbewe uses African illustrations to bring home vital truths touching on some of the most pressing issues facing the church in Africa.


Conrad Mbewe (PhD, University of Pretoria) is pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church in Lusaka, Zambia, and senior lecturer at the African Christian University. Conrad has authored over nine books as well as contributed to many volumes. He and his wife, Felistas, have three children and three foster children. 


Format: Paperback
Case Quantity: 10
Page Count: 240
ISBN-10: 1-4335-6642-7
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-6642-4
Size: 6.0” x 9.0”
Weight: 8.0 ounces
Published: October 06, 2020

Table of Contents

1. What is the church? To most people in Africa, “church” is equated to a church building and what happens there. 

2. What is the church’s purpose in the world? It is fast becoming an opposition party in politics or a place where social needs are met. 

3. Why is the gospel so important to the church? The doctrinal definition of the gospel has largely been lost and seriously needs to be restored. 

4. Who is the church’s founder and head? There has been a multiplication of leaders who are church founders and so are untouchable. 

5. Who should be in the church’s membership? Regenerate membership has largely been replaced by anyone who is a tribes’ mate, etc. 

6. What is the role of ordinary church members? Singing in the choir and teaching children’s Sunday school are all most people know. 

7. Who should lead the church? “The man of God,” the rich man, and the tribal leader but rarely is it godly elders/deacons. 

8. Why have baptism and the Lord's Supper? Baptism is seen as salvific and there is an almost magical view of the Lord’s Supper. 

9. What should happen during church services? They have become largely “healing” or “miracle” services, places for various choirs to compete, and hardly any true preaching and teaching is taking place there. 

10. How should the church raise its money? Christians are being tricked into “sowing seeds” while they fail to be faithful and generous. 

11. Should your church be involved in missions? The African church is still very much with a “receiving” mentality. This must change! 

12. Should your church be involved in training pastors? If there is one area that has really been neglected by the church in Africa it is precisely this. 

13. What about the whole question of discipline? Social, tribal, and cultural issues have tended to undermine discipline in the African church. 

14. Does it matter what your church believes? Most churches are tribal, and so doctrine has been neglected and we are reaping the results. 

15. How should your church grow in maturity? This is a question that is hardly ever asked and so the African church largely has little depth.

16. How should your church grow numerically? Church buildings are full to overflowing in Africa but the growth is achieved wrongly. 

17. How does the church offend or please God? This is the conclusion; the African church needs to be God-centered and not man-centered.