By Elkanah Cheboi, PhD in Biblical & Theological Studies

The problem of cults (false or heretical teaching/ preaching and false prophecies) is an old problem. It confronted the community of faith in the Old Testament, the church in the New Testament and throughout history to date. How do we recognize cults or heretical movements, avoid them, and respond to them?

Below we address the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) concerning cults/ heretical groups or movements.

  1. What is a cult?

A cult is a religious group that differs significantly from one or more fundamental biblical beliefs and practices of historical/traditional Christianity (considered normative). Yet, they still insist on being regarded as Christians.

2) Does the Bible address the issue of Cults/false teachings/false prophecies? (Yes, below are select references)


"If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder,  2 and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,'  3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Deut 13:1-3 NAS


"For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many." (Matt. 24:5 NAS)

Jesus described the false teachers/preachers/prophets using strong terms, “ravenous wolves”: 

"Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit." A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. (Matt. 7:15-18 NAS)

Apostle Paul:

"I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;  30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.  (Acts 20:29-30 NAS)

Apostle Peter:

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.  2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned;  3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. (2 Pet. 2:1-3 NAS)

Apostle John:

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 Jn. 4:1 NAS)

To be forewarned is to be forearmed-

3) What authority/ criteria/ basis determines which group is cultic?

  • First, the Bible is an authority in matters of faith/belief and practice/behaviour. Any deviation from the Scriptures is utter falsehood and deception.
  • Second, the ecumenical church councils (during the fourth and fifth century AD)  gave the universal church some creeds or statements of faith affirmation that summarize the fundamental Christian beliefs as taught in the Bible (i.e., the Nicene Creed on the nature of Jesus Christ). We also have the Apostles Creed that predates these councils. In these ecumenical councils, Roman Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Protestants converge. (The Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 determined how one is saved). Anyone who differs from these Christian affirmations is definitely a heretic/cultic.

4) What are some of the characteristics of a cultic leader?

  • False messianism- some claim to be “messiah’s” or prominent biblical figures.
  • What the leader says or writes is final. No one is supposed to question his life, behaviour, or words.
  • The leader (as opposed to the Bible) and his interpretation is final.
  • Because their goal is materialistic, they distort biblical messages on health and wealth.
  • The leader claims to give “NEW revelation/new light/new truth” (other than what is taught in the Bible). And since they have this “new revelation,” they are also authoritative in their interpretation. Realize that the canon of the Scripture was closed (Rev. 22:18-19 warns against adding or subtracting from the canon).
  • The leaders are mostly illiterate. Hence they reject education, healthcare, and employment (thus isolating them further from family and society). They dictate what the followers wear, think, spend money on, eat, sleep, date/marry, how they act, etc. These are often dictated by the leader’s standards or convictions instead of what the Bible teaches.
  • They have syncretistic practices of mixing Christian teachings with cultural beliefs, in some cases with some philosophical beliefs. Many of these false preachers are more traditional witch doctors than pastors. They claim to have answers for anything and everything.
  • They have extreme views of culture and how it relates to Christianity.
  • They give false prophecies.

Additional Characteristics of false teachers according to 1 Peter 2:  They introduce destructive teachings, deny the Sovereign Lord, lead many to shameful ways, bring the way of truth into disrepute, are experts in greed, exploit people with made-up stories, are arrogant, slanderous, they blaspheme, are like brute beasts, immoral, they never stop sinning, they leave the straight way of the truth, they are springs without water and mist driven by a storm, they mouth empty and boastful words, controlled by the sinful human nature, and “they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.”

5) According to the Bible, what is the fate of cultic leaders? (2 Peter 2; Jude 4-16

  • They bring swift destruction upon themselves.
  • Their condemnation is definite, and their destruction is sure.
  • “They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done” 2 Peter2: 13

6) What are some characteristics of cultic groups/ heretical movements?

  • It is a group gathered around a specific person.
  • The source of authority is the leader/founder (and his writings).
  • Their focus is not on winning souls to Christ.
  • They are self-appointed leaders, often with no credible theological education.
  • Some believe Christ is not God.
  • Scriptures are interpreted irrespective of their historical and social context.
  • They denounce other Christians and teach their members they are the only true ones. According to them, the rest of the Christians are “defiled/ corrupted” and “lost.” Their movement is the only way to heaven as they are the only “remnants.” This antagonistic and intolerant attitude isolates them further from the outside world.
  • Since they have no reference point, some cults keep changing their theologies.
  • They manipulate their followers by brainwashing, radicalizing and feeding them with false ideologies.
  • They have a keen focus on the life to come, life in Paradise (hence they resign from anything involving this life).

7) What strategies do cultic or heretical movements use?

  • Deception (empty promises, fake miracles, or use powers of the dark world to perform miracles that mislead- Exodus 7:8-13 shows that powers of sorcery and magic can do extra-ordinary things). Deception is of the enemy.
  • Threats (with curses, death, unproductive life)
  • Emotional control-Instilling fear, guilt and secrecy codes among its adherents.
  • Brainwashing- In the indoctrination process, they discourage reason, and critical thinking.
  • Manipulation- they distort information and claim to have other knowledge, i.e. through visions and dreams.

8) Are the less educated, underprivileged and poor the only victims of cults? NO. Everyone can fall victim to cultic beliefs and practices. These groups seek to fill the void in every human heart for divine connection. But they do it in the wrong way. Even well-trained theologians, if not careful in their belief, can fall victim to cultic movements.

9) How come cults can attract/deceive many people?

  • They capitalize on people’s needs, fears, and hopelessness and cunningly promise hopes (deception)
  • They use psychological games to manipulate their followers.
  • Some use the powers of the dark world to win and maintain their following

10) What is the nature of salvation offered in cultic movements?

Sometimes, they may talk about salvation by grace, but the practical emphasis is salvation by works. It is based on what you do or what you do not do. This amounts to a distortion of the true gospel.

11) What nature of interpretations do cultic leaders or movements use?

  • They have a bend toward apocalyptic or eschatological literature. You will find that they mostly base their teachings on prophetic literature, allowing them to generate their own interpretations that suit their selfish ends.
  • They employ much of allegorical interpretation even where the text should be interpreted literally.

12) What are some of the dangers of false teachings?

  • Loss of lives (i.e., through mass suicides)
  • Endangers people’s health
  • Loss of property in the name of generous living
  • Loss of employment in the name of the world is ending. Some also are told to discontinue their educational pursuits.
  • It leads to radicalization and brainwashing.
  • It leads to a mental breakdown.
  • It leads to family and relationship breakdown.

13) Is Jehova’s Witnesses a cultic movement? Yes, (Let’s pick one critical component of the Christian faith, the nature and Identity of Christ, and see how JW teachings render it)

They have a defective belief in Christ (Christology):

“The true Scriptures speak of God’s Son, the Word, as ‘a god.’ He is a ‘mighty god,’ but not the Almighty God who is Jehovah” (The Truth Shall Make you Free, 47).

Jesus is the first and direct creation of God (The Kingdom Is at Hand, 46-47, 49).

The founder, Charles Taze, describes Jesus as having been Michael the archangel prior to his leaving his angelic nature to appear in the world as a perfect man (Studies in Scriptures, 5:84)

14) Is the Church of the Latter-day Saints (Mormonism) a cult? YES ,(Let’s pick one critical component of the Christian faith, the nature and Identity of Christ, and see how the Mormon religion renders it)

Their god is one among many gods: “Each of these gods, including Jesus Christ, and his Father, being in possession of not merely an organized spirit, but a glorious body of flesh and bones.” (Parley P. Pratt, Key to the Science of Theology{1973, ed.}, 44); see also, Doctrine and Covenants, 130:22.

15) How can one avoid falling victim to cultic movements?

  • Seek to know the truth as taught in the Bible. This will enable one to discern truth from falsehood (John 10:10b, truth liberates)
  • Examine the Scriptures and be critical (Acts 17:11)
  • Persevere in the truth
  • “Test spirits” to see whether they are of or from God (1 John 4:1)
  • Recognize them by their fruit (Mathew 7:16). Their doctrinal, moral and ethical fruit… Are they like Christ? If not, they are not of God.
  • Be on your guard/ keep watch over yourself (Acts 20-31), build yourself in the holy faith, pray, and keep yourselves in God’s love (Jude 20-21). Watch your belief and conduct closely. Refuse to be led by people not adequately trained to lead the church or shepherd souls.

16)How can the church overcome cultic movements?

  • Teach the truth. Cults capitalize on the ignorance of the Bible’s teachings.
  • Show compassion and love to those who are enmeshed in the teachings of false prophets
  • Passionately oppose/refute their teachings. Point flaws in the cultic systems
  • Set Christ as Lord and be ready to give answer anyone to seekers for their hope in Christ.
  • Reach out (through evangelism and missions), and plant Bible-teaching churches. “…snatch others from the fire and save them” Jude 23.

17) How can I help someone out of a cultic movement?

  • Pray for them that God may change their hearts and open their eyes (2 Corinthians 4:4). Without God’s power, it is hard to convince a person imprisoned by cultic ideologies. In fact, those who are on suicide mission, would not even accept to be rescued.
  • Live the truth and be bold to share the gospel.

Perfecting our Love for One Another By Dealing with Bitterness

In Genesis 4:1-9, we are introduced to the lives of the two sons of Adam (4:1-2a): Cain and Abel.

These two sons had parallel interests:  Abel kept the flock, and Cain worked the soil (4:2b).

Two nature of offering they offered (vv.3-4a): On one occasion, they brought offerings before the Lord. Cain brought some of the fruit of the soil, while Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flocks.

Two Responses (vv.4a)-: The Lord looked with favor on Abel his offering; he did not look with favor on Cain and his offering.

Why? Is it because of the offering or the offerer? Certainly, this has to do with the heart condition of the worshipper.

We are later told that Abel was a righteous man (Heb. 11:4), and his heart was right with God therefore, his offering was readily accepted.

However, Cain’s heart wasn’t right with God. And this was something that could not be substituted with sacrifices or plenty of sacrifices.

How do we know this?

Bible records, in Samuel 15:22, “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” God wants us to obey Him rather than perform superficial religious rituals.

Also, God does not delight in the multitude of offerings (Cain may have been tempted to think this way); rather, he wants us to be righteous, shun evil, seek justice, and defend the cause of the vulnerable in society (Isa. 1). Prophet Micah (6:8) instructs, “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Therefore, the rejection of Cain’s offering was due to a lack of faith and obedience. He was only fulfilling a religious duty, honoring God with his lips but not with a contrite heart (Ps. 51:17).

The nature of his heart was laid bare when God accepted Abel’s sacrifice. Cain was BURDENED WITH ANGER, and this became a source of conflict.

Manifestation of a Destructive Emotion (v.6): Cain became angry, jealous, and downcast; why? Simply because his brother’s offering was accepted and he was not. He basically had a problem with the declaration of his brother as righteous. His heart was full of hatred, resentment, jealousy, and covetousness.

This is not something utterly new; this is the true reflection of the human heart. Bible teaches that the heart of man is hostile and deceitful above all things and is beyond cure (Jer. 17:9); “For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and makes a man ‘unclean’” (Mark 7:21-23; see also Rom. 3:10,13-18). This informs us why Cain was angry and bitter over his brother.

These attitudes of the heart are not strange today. There are people who, like Cain, silently in their hearts, cannot stand seeing their friends/colleagues get promoted, move to a new house, get a life partner, get married, or get a scholarship; when these good things happen, they wish that the world of their favored colleagues would collapse or shutdown. These destructive emotions (anger, resentment, jealousy, bitterness, envy) motivate people to pull others down, call people names and ensure by all means everyone is on ground zero (like them)

Realize that in this case, it wasn’t even a friend; it was a BROTHER (repeated three times for emphasis); having an ill motive against a brother. Cain burned with anger against his own brother. I see a similarity between Cain and the prodigal son’s brother, who felt so bad when his lost brother returned home. He was so angry, yet he was not footing the homecoming party bill!

If you have a problem with people becoming better, you will always have a problematic life because there are always people who can do things better and are smarter than you in one way or the other. Yes, you are a unique and special person, but that does not eclipse the fact that God has gifted others differently. In fact, God favors those who walk humbly before him.

God works in mysterious ways. Sometimes, just like in the case of Cain and Abel, the older is rejected in favor of the younger, turning the normative ancient Near East societal custom around. Cain was special, but because of his sin, Seth took over his place (4:25); Ishmael was Abraham’s firstborn, but God bypassed him and chose Isaac. Esau was Isaac’s firstborn son but was rejected, and Jacob was picked. Jacob’s firstborn son Reuben was replaced by Joseph’s sons (49:3-4; 1 Chron. 5:1-2). In fact, God even “rearranged” the birth order of Joseph’s sons (Gen. 48:8-22). God exercises his sovereignty in his choices of those who receive his blessing, for all we receive is because of God’s grace.

Envy is such a disastrous sin in any kind of relationship. Envy or covetousness is simply wanting right things or wrong things at a wrong amount, at the wrong time, and in a wrong manner.

What was God’s response? Two Action Points for Cain (v.7):

Do what is Right– If Cain does what is right, the Lord will graciously accept him because the Lord does not show favoritism. The Lord was telling Cain to get his heart right with him. Does the Lord reject a person who serves him wholeheartedly? Has the Lord ever rejected a repentant sinner? If Cain had humbled himself and listened to God’s voice, he would certainly have been accepted unconditionally. 

However, Cain needed to get things right and do them right. The Lord is more interested in the worshipper than the offering; the Lord is not interested in the multitude of offerings.

In other words, Cain was told to go back and redo the assignment, and the retake will be accepted. Go back and do what is right, and your anger and envy will GO AWAY. This was a great opportunity for repentance.

As believers, we need to ask God to examine our hearts and minds to rid us of any of these destructive emotions. We need to learn what is right from God’s word and do it in God’s way.

Here’s the warning Cain was given: If he does not do what is right, then sin was crouching at his door like an animal waiting to destroy him. Cain’s destructive anger, envy, and bitterness could potentially lead to more sin. Thus,

He Must Master His Sin– (Rule over it/subdue it)- Since sin was crouching at his door, Cain needed to rule over/ master it.  Otherwise, it would master him. God had seen a (pre) meditated crime in his anger.

Sin is not a powerless thing to wish away. No. It is a POWER; it is a MASTER. It has the capacity to control us. It is a power that must be subdued.

Further, sin has the capacity to grow and even multiply. Therefore, it was necessary to master/subdue sin at its early stages. It is easy to master our tendencies before it grows and masters us. Sin, in the beginning, might look harmless, but with it is the capacity to bring massive destruction. Like the Trojan Horse- The ancient Greek city of Troy was given a gift-a huge wooden horse. It looked harmless, but hidden inside were soldiers ready to destroy the city. Deal with your sin; deal with your destructive emotions against others at their early stages before it grows (Heb. 12:1).

A bitter, jealous and envious heart that is not controlled can soon wreak havoc in relationships. The unforgiving spirit that is not mastered is like a time bomb. The greatest excuse is “I got angry.” Anger is a cover-up for some other areas of disobedience in our lives. Sin is not a weakness but a power that should be defeated.

Lack of self-control is not a family problem; it is a personal heart problem that should be decisively mastered.

A foothold given to the devil soon becomes a stronghold. Let not sin find a lodging place in your heart. Deal with sin radically and quickly. Otherwise, if it moves in and takes over, it will make you its slave.

Thus, we need to master our thoughts, language, and tongues, for it can be disastrous when it gets out of control (like fire).

If one refuses to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at their door, eager to control them, but one must subdue it and be its master. Master it so you can be a good steward of the body, influence, resources, and talents God has given you. Bible reminds us that we are no longer slaves but free. We are not to be controlled by flesh desires.

We can truly celebrate the win of others when God has renewed our hearts; we can only be pacesetters for others when we have conquered the self; we can only hold the ladders for others to climb when we have mastered our self-centeredness.

Unrestrained Emotions (v.8):

In verse 8, we see Cain luring his ‘brother’ to his death. Realize that the seeds of murder were nurtured when he never mastered selfishness, anger, hatred, envy, and resentment. Sin matured and gave birth to death (physical, social, spiritual). What began in the heart and mind was now executed using the hands. Sin begins at heart… and, if not checked, moves into wrong emotions and actions.

Conflicts are matters of the heart; they can better be managed at the heart level. It can get out of hand if not managed at the heart level. One can kill not just with a weapon but also with words (killing other people’s dreams, reputations, etc.). That is why people can easily use a weapon, or words, to address a conflict.

Anger is a powerful emotion that can lead to violence and even murder. Jesus taught that anger in the heart is the moral equivalence of murder with the hands (Matt. 5:21-26. Angry drivers cause accidents; angry people hurt others. Had Cain heeded God’s warning and accepted His gracious invitation, he would never have become a murderer.

It begins with wrong thoughts, then wrong feelings, then wrong feelings translate to wrong words, wrong words to wrong actions, and wrong actions to wrong habits. God is saying, ‘Deal with your sin now. If you let it go on, it will grow and destroy you (not just others).

So how can we deal with our hearts? Two Ways:

The way of Cain: “The way of Cain” (Jude 11); which is a way of self-belief and unbelief. Out of a heart ruled by human nature come pride, murder, unwholesome talk, and falsehood. When we hate others, it is a sign that we are not walking in the light and don’t have God’s love in our hearts (1 John 2:9-11).

The Way of Jesus (1 Jn 3:11-20- of loving one another)– Follow the way of Jesus, the life-giver. If we love God, then we should be able to love. God commands a blessing when we love and are united. The heart that says, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ or ‘I don’t care needs transformation. Jesus is able to fill our hearts with love and life. Jesus teaches us to love truly and to celebrate the success of others. Christ gives us the power to rule over sin.

We equally have a responsibility to guard our hearts against becoming sinful (no longer desiring to please God), unbelieving hearts (loss of faith and trust in God), turning away and being hardened. This is a daily work, asking God to search us try us, and consume our darkness.

Deal with temptation in the first instance. Temptations start small. At first, it may seem inconsequential, but once we yield to it, sin gains strength in our lives, and thereby our ability to subdue it diminishes.

In conclusion, we need to perfect our love for one another by conquering the self and dealing with destructive emotions.

God pictures sin as a wild animal ready to attack. It has a desire for you, it thirsts for your blood, it is your enemy… but you must master it. Deal with your sin. Don’t assume that it will go away, don’t underrate it, or else you will soon find yourself in the grip of a monster you can’t control. Samson fooled himself that God was always with him, and never realized that the Spirit of the Lord had long left him (Judg. 16:20).

Has your sin overtaken you, mastered you, or has become a  deep-rooted habit? You need God’s grace and Jesus to transform you and give you a contrite heart.

You need Jesus the chain breaker to break these negative emotions and strongholds of the enemy.


As the news of Jesus’ teachings and works spread far and wide, John the Baptist in prison received these reports and decided to send his disciples to ask him: “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matt. 11:2-6).

John the Baptist had heard reports about the blind receiving sight, the lame walking, the sick getting healed, the deaf hearing, the dead are raised, demons cast, and the good news being preached to the poor. All these indicators pointed to the prophetic description of the identity and work of the coming Messiah. However, he needed confirmation.

He wanted to find out whether this was the long-awaited kairos/divine moment and whether this was the person to bring good news to the world. He must have pondered, is this the Christ who will usher in a new period, a kingdom of justice and righteousness? Is he the light that is come to shine on all living in darkness? Is he the merciful one who brings true peace and salvation to God’s people? Is he the one sent by God to heal the broken-hearted, bring redemption, release the oppressed and proclaim true freedom?

For John to make his informed conclusion, Jesus’ response pointed to the prophetic utterances and signs characterizing his ministry.

More relevantly, since 1963 independence, Kenya has struggled through four regimes. Admittedly, although there have been some gains here and there in the last 59 years, Kenya still struggles with injustices, brutalities, corruption, mismanagement of resources, abject poverty, politics of exclusion, tribalism, and nepotism, among other threats.

In 2013, the Jubilee government came in with great promises. Their coming in after fifty years of independence and their use of the biblical analogy of “Jubilee” brought some renewed optimism among the populace. Biblically, the word “Jubilee” (Lev. 25) signifies a year of freedom, abundance, redemption, and rest. It is a year of restitution and releasing people from debts and slavery. It is a year that presented an opportunity to start off anew. But, strictly speaking, the Jubilee government has fallen short of this expectation.

John’s question remains critical as the new government is announced and inaugurated. Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”

Kenyans are full of expectations. Do the newly elected leaders comprise a breed of servant leaders who will revive the economy, ensure food security, fight corruption, provide (affordable) healthcare and housing, alleviate the suffering of the Wananchi, increase opportunities for young people, and build a cohesive nation through good governance and the rule of law? Will they be the ones we’ve been waiting for to fix the nation socially, politically, and economically? Or are they the kawaida greedy leaders we’ve known who can’t wait to first adjust their pay and allowances upwards…

Will the new 2022 government be what Kenya has been waiting for since independence?

Kenya Kwanza government, are you the ones we’ve been waiting for, or should the wait continue? We desperately HOPE so. But TIME will tell.


We are glad to release to you the poll results of the recent research titled, “The State of the Church in Kenya after the Phased Reopening of Churches.” The survey is a follow-up study of what had been done in May/June 2020.

We are most grateful for the invaluable feedback from those who participated. We are also grateful to those who willingly circulated the survey link to church leaders within their circles.

It is hoped that the data will in a big way contribute to the understanding of the body of Christ in Kenya. We hope that you will find this summary report below helpful.

[If you would like to write something based on the polls or want to share your experience on the Church and Covid-19, you are welcome to submit a 500-word article for consideration by our editorial team. We will be glad to feature your article on this platform (as a Guest Contributor) 

Find the download below.

A Checklist for the Phased Reopening of Churches in Kenya

On 6th July 2020, the president announced a phased reopening of worship places in Kenya. This comes about 100 days since a ban on religious meetings was first issued as a containment measure against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is worth noting that reopening of places of worship is coming at a time the infections curve is on a steady upward trajectory, with no signs of flattening.

As a follow-up to the presidential directive, the Interfaith Council formed to come up with procedures for reopening places of worship announced that churches can now put in place requisite measures and resume in-person Worship Services, from 14th July 2020. How prepared are churches to meet the recommended health guidelines? (Refer to Qn. 14 of the recent polls by ShahidiHub Research & Consulting).

For now, here is a checklist of basic measures that church leaders should put in before they reopen their worship areas:

Where to Begin:

  • Constitute a COVID-19 response team (Health committee), that will monitor/oversee the adherence to the health procedures.
  • Train your Ushers/Volunteer teams on these health measures and recommendations.


  • The physical distance of 1.5metres is observed throughout the Worship Service (You may want to encourage families to sit together). A visible label on seating arrangements.
  • Social distance during singing.
  • The maximum number of congregants does not exceed 100.
  • Children under 13 years of age, and persons above 58 years of age are not allowed to attend the in person-worship services (For now, use other strategies to reach out to them).
  • The duration for every worship service must not exceed 1 hour. (You may want to enlist lay leaders to help in various church ministries including preaching in the multiple worship services).
  • All congregants to properly wear masks throughout the worship service.
  • Have a local Covid-19 hotline number, to report any case of emergency.

Invest: Guidelines with Financial Implications

  • Thermo-guns for body temperature checks (those with 38 degree Celsius are not to be allowed in).
  • Protective gears (PPE’s) for those checking temperatures at entry points.
  • Provide alcohol-based sanitizers/ disinfectant at the entry points.
  • Increased handwashing stations, with soap and running water.
  • Regular cleaning and disinfection (or fumigation) of the church building and hallways
  • Invest in additional microphones- or ensure that all shared microphones are sanitized before being handed over to another person.
  • Face masks to donate (to some members who may not afford…)


  • How Offering is collected- think of other options like Mpesa
  • Rethink how Baptism/ Holy Communion are done (disinfect hands…)
  • Introduce more worship services (but first find out if members will be comfortable with the suggested schedules)

Things to Discourage/Avoid

  • Handshaking. Giving high five… or customary ‘greet your neighbor…’
  • Socialization in church premises after a worship service.

Now that churches have been given the green light to self-regulate and resume in-person gathering from 19th July, church leaders should approach this matter with seriousness and with a sense of accountability. The church a life-giving community, hence leaders should strictly adhere to these measures for the church to continue to be a source of life, faith, love, and grace to God’s people.

Exploring the Use of Whatsapp Cast Model to Reach Out to Children in Your Church

The recent poll results by ShahidiHub Africa showed that 64% of pastors/church leaders think that children of ages 0-11 years have not been given adequate attention through online and offline platforms during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

As a Sunday school teacher, this is worrisome because during this age bracket (0-11) children are open to learn about God, Bible, faith, and about the gospel.

While this can be attributed to the fact that children have no access to online platforms, children ministries can respond by using inexpensive mediums of sending gospel messages to children, through their parents. I propose the use of the WhatsApp cast model and SMS. Teachers can prepare and share gospel messages to parents and children’s caregivers and share it with their children.

WhatsApp cast is a recorded audio, word and visual illustrated files shared to users on WhatsApp platform and short messenger service (SMS). These services are easily accessible and inexpensive to use. It further allows teachers to send a word or audio file directly to their contacts. Each contact receives a personal message.

How to Start Whatsapp Cast

Know your audience in this case children ages 0-11 years– Segment children according to age and determine the content of your message that is age appropriate. Prepare age appropriate scripture verse activities that are simple, practical and fun. You can consider theme lessons for teaching a series of Bible lessons e.g. lesson series on God’s attributes or ten Commandments etc.

Organize your content– Make a list of what your cast will be about. This is important to keep you on track and help you avoid duplicating your topics.

Record and share your content– You have two options: record directly on WhatsApp or record the audio separately and then upload to WhatsApp.

Build your audience– Send the WhatsApp Cast, first to those in your contacts and then encourage the recipients to share the message with individuals in their contacts. Invite feedback to help you improve your content.  

Pray for the outpouring of the Spirit to guide you to choose your topics and execute the plan.

Given the widespread use of the Whatsapp, this alternative can greatly help churches reach out to the children at their homes. The Whatsapp feature is easy-to-use, accessible, and affordable to many, even during this period.

“…children ministries can respond by using inexpensive mediums of sending gospel messages to children. I propose the use of the WhatsApp cast model and SMS. Teachers can prepare and share gospel messages to parents and children’s caregivers and share it with their children.”


Mercy K. Maina, M. A. Biblical Studies;

Part Time Lecturer: Kabarak University, Teaching Bible Courses. Service: Sunday School Teacher CITAM Karen;; Interest: Bridging Teaching Skill Gaps among  Sunday School Teachers

13 Ways You Can Improve Your Children’s Ministry During the Covid-19 Season

PhotoCredts: UnSplash

According to the recently released poll by ShahidiHub Africa, “The top three groups that have not been given adequate and specific attention through the ongoing online or offline programs are:  Children (0-11Years)- (64.57%); Elderly (70+ years)- (61.07%), and, Teenage Group (12-19 Years)- (30.77%).” It is sad that children’s ministry tops the list, yet this group represents the future of the church. Together with the elderly group, children are seen as the most vulnerable during this Covid-19 pandemic period.

Below are some suggestions on how we can reach out to this important group in the body of Christ.

Creative Ways of Reaching Out, with the Gospel, to Children During Covid-19 Period

  1. Parents/guardians sensitization. In adult online sermons, remind the parents to of their God-given shepherding role to their children (Deut. 6:4-9).
  2. Conduct online interviews with professionals that help parents know how best to minister to their children in their homes.
  3. Create online children classes- Children are not small adults, they are children. We cannot rely on adult sermons for them. If a church has gone online with adult sermons, I believe it has capacity to do the same for the children.
  4. Create platforms to share ideas with parents on how to teach their children and be ready to answer their questions e.g. webinars where Children Pastors and teachers interact with parents.
  5. Developing online daily devotions (audio and/or soft copies) that are sent out to parents for printing or for children to watch.
  6. Parental participation – sing and watch the lessons with children, just as teacher does in a class setting. In discipleship a discipler walks with the disciple. Leaving the children to play the online lessons by themselves is not good enough if we want disciples out of our children during this season.
  7. Church partnerships – Pastors and church leaders in churches that are not technologically endowed should not shy away from asking for help from their neighboring churches. There should be a willingness to share God-given resources like the Early Church did in Acts 2. Our intention should be to reach out to the children with the gospel and not building empires. It is a time to share.
  8. Use other churches’ online content to evangelize children. Churches with online programs should allow other people to use the lessons for their children.
  9. Praying and checking on children and their families on phone by Children Pastors and teachers just as Paul would write letters to churches.
  10.  Children are relational, from time to time conduct zoom/Skype fellowships for them.
  11. Children love songs, encourage parents and guardians to teach children songs with messages of hope in Christ, memorize verses and give small gifts for motivation.
  12. Role modelling- Children emulate their parents and older people. If we follow Christ in our talk and actions through this season so shall they.
  13. There are numerous children radio and TV programs that edify children spiritually. Church leaders and pastors should research and vet them to recommend for their congregants.


Caroline Gitimu Kiragu

Children Pastor,

PCEA Loresho Parish.

Caroline holds a Master of Divinity in Theological Studies from Africa International University, a Bachelor of Education (Science) and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). She also holds a diploma in Holistic Nurturing of Children.

Caroline Gitimu Kiragu

In discipleship a discipler walks with the disciple. Leaving the children to play the online lessons by themselves is not good enough if we want disciples out of our children during this season.

“Children are not small adults, they are children. We cannot rely on adult sermons for them. If a church has gone online with adult sermons, I believe it has capacity to do the same for the children.”

Also from the Guest Author, Read Importance of Investing in Children’s Ministry During the Covid-19 Period

Importance of Investing in Children’s Ministry During the Covid-19 Period

According to the recently released poll by ShahidiHub Africa on, “The State of the Church in Kenya During the Covid-19 Pandemic,”

“The top three groups that have not been given adequate and specific attention through the ongoing online or offline programs are Children (0-11Years)- (64.57%); Elderly (70+ years)- (61.07%), and, Teenage Group (12-19 Years)- (30.77%).”

It is sad that the Children’s ministry tops the list, yet this group represents the future of the church.

Spiritual formation is of great essence for every believer, including children. But how can the church of Christ be spiritually formed to transform the world amid crisis, suffering, evil, and uncertainties? To be even more specific, how can the church sustain children’s spiritual formation in such times and not neglect it as it is often the case even during ‘normal’ times.

Bill Hybels, a renowned leader’s trainer said “The local church is the hope of the world” The church, which is the community of believers, has a big role to play in the restoration and transformation of children who will in turn transform the world now and in the future. The family unit plays a key role in promoting this local church function.

In Genesis 18:19, God gives the reason why he had chosen Abraham; “…so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord may bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” We later see this same principle repeated in Deut. 6. The primary responsibility of discipling children lies with their parents & guardians; “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down, and when you get up…” (Deut. 6:6-7). 

It is within our home environment – the smallest church unit! As such, this responsibility is not to be delegated to other platforms no matter how wonderful they may be, these are there to assist and guide us in what we are called to do – to disciple our children.

It is time to go back to the basics, to strengthen the family altar, and the church will grow despite the shake ups of not meeting together. He has promised!

It is highly likely that upon resumption of normal church gatherings after the Covid-19 curve flattens, a number of parents will still be hesitant to take their children to church for a period of time thus the need to think of creative ways of ministering to the children during this season and beyond. There is a need for church leaders and ministers to:

  1. Realize the great need for systematic teaching of the word of God to children.
  2. Find out approaches and methods of teaching children in the new normal.
  3. See how we can improve the existing delivery of the gospel to the children.

The importance of ministering to children during this period is underscored by the fact that children have questions about God cannot be overlooked. The home is the place and environment where children should hear the word of God being taught and modelled.

It is highly likely that upon resumption of normal church gatherings, after the Covid-19 curve flattens, a number of parents will still be hesitant to take their children to church for a period of time thus the need to think of creative ways of ministering to the children during this season and beyond.

Also, an article by the same author, 13 Creative Ways of Improving Your Children’s Ministry During the Covid-19 Pandemic Season.


Caroline Gitimu Kiragu
Children Pastor,
PCEA Loresho Parish.
Caroline holds a Master of Divinity in Theological Studies from Africa International University, a Bachelor of Education (Science) and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). She also holds a diploma in Holistic Nurturing of Children.

Caroline Gitimu Kiragu

Promoting God's Kingdom in Africa through Research, News Perspectives, and Publication