God’s Design for the Church in Africa

Fully Funded

This project is fully funded. Check back later for more updates. To find out how you can partner with Crossway on other similar ministry projects, please visit crossway.org/donate.

The Blessing and Challenge of Christianity in Africa

The Church in Africa is flourishing. Estimates are that at the start of the 20th century, there were 9 million Christians on the continent; by the end of the 20th century, there were 380 million.

There is much to praise God for in this growth, but evangelistic zeal has outpaced the raising up of adequately equipped church leaders. Many African pastors serve their local churches with only an elementary knowledge of the Bible and what a God-fearing, biblically faithful church should look like.

Listen to our interview with Conrad Mbewe about the state of the church in Africa

A Resource for African Leaders

As a pastor serving in Lusaka, Zambia for over 30 years, Conrad Mbewe has witnessed firsthand both the explosive growth of Christianity in Africa, and how a majority of church leaders remain under-equipped to address challenges specific to the African context.

In God’s Design for the Church: A Guide for African Pastors and Ministry Leaders, Mbewe addresses head-on “some of the major issues that are hindering the church in Africa from being what God designed it to be.”

Download Chapter 1

Download the first chapter from God’s Design for the Church: A Guide for African Pastors and Ministry Leaders by Conrad Mbewe.

Written specifically for African pastors and church leaders, this resource answers 20 crucial questions about the local church, ranging from the foundational (Why is the gospel so important to the church?) to the pragmatic (How should the church raise its money?). In doing so, Mbewe addresses many of the key issues facing the church in Africa today, including widespread poverty, political instability, the importance of tribal identity, rampant false teaching, and the proliferation of “Christian” cults focused on high-profile leaders.

Crossway has committed to addressing these important issues by deploying this book to help equip the African church. To date, over 87,000 copies of the English version of the book have been or are being printed in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, and Zambia, and freely provided throughout 14 African countries in total. Additionally, the book is currently being translated into five of the most common trade languages spoken throughout Africa (French, Swahili, Portuguese, Amharic, and Zulu), making the book accessible to African church leaders across the continent.

As we approach project completion, we expect to distribute 150,000 copies across all language versions and countries.

“[As a result of reading God’s Design for the Church,] I've come to scripturally understand what God has purposed for the church (meaning the physical body of persons) and how we can together guide one another in the truth while still being charitable when we disagree.” —David, student at Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria

Please pray that God will use this strategic resource to strengthen and equip pastors and church leaders across Africa. Ask him to breathe life and health into thousands of congregations throughout the continent.

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The Great Commission: A Command for the African Church Too

As of 2020, Africa is the continent home to the most Christians in the world, with 26.1% of the African population professing faith in Christ. As it grows, many Christians in Africa are beginning to see that they aren’t just recipients of the Great Commission; they can take part in it too.

Preach the Gospel, and If Necessary Use Soap

Through the creation and manufacturing of soap, gospel work was allowed to continue, even when the devil attempted to destroy their efforts. And what missionary James Cameron did in making the Bible available in Madagascar has led the way for gospel growth and additional ingenuity in sharing it across the country.

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