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CHURCH THEN AND NOW

Issue #67 - November 2017
This month, Pastor Peter Mugabi shares his thoughts on the differences
and similarities between the early church and the church today. Pastor Peter Mugabi
1. When you hear the word church, what comes to your mind? Pastor Peter Mugabi is the General
Church is individuals who gather to fellowship and worship the Lord Jesus Christ, they live Secretary of the Baptist Union of Uganda.
out His purpose and His calling. This is usually done on Sunday but it can also be through He is married to Rose Mugabi and together
all the seven days of the week. they have 5 children.
2. Based on scripture, do you think the church of Christ in Uganda is still on track or He was an active member of Kampala
has it swayed away from its mandate? Baptist Church from 1983 – 1984 before
If I am to make a comparison, I would definitely need to come from where the church moving on to start New Life Baptist Church
starts in the Acts of the Apostles after Christ’s ascension. They were united as they (formerly Nakawa Baptist Church) which he
waited for the promise of the Holy Spirit and when the Holy Spirit came, He found them
pastored for 18 years and now serves as an
patiently praying together. The church then, was sold out to fulfill the Great Commission.
In Acts 2, we see them passionately preaching and calling for repentance, which is a rare Elder.
calling today. We see them having things in common far from what you see today in the He was also a teacher at Kyambogo College for 21 years from 1992-2013
present church. They knew Christ would come back soon and so they tried to live a life in before retiring into fulltime ministry with Baptist Union of Uganda.
such a way that when He returned, they would be ready. They were very prayerful,
passionate, generous and sacrificial in so many ways. Many of them, like Stephen, were testify and share the gospel and everybody says “Amen”. Being a Pastor is a high calling
martyred and they joyfully died for their faith. We see people like John and Peter who because you are a counsellor, teacher, parent and a shepherd who fights for and protects
didn’t have much but went by the beautiful gate, met this lame man without silver or gold his sheep. There must be an identified need for a church to be planted. Churches today
and healed him in the name of Jesus Christ. The church then had strong faith which was are planted in order to compete. Peter puts up a church here and John puts up a church
geared towards heaven and pleasing the Lord. That is not what you would find in many of right next to it with loud speakers facing each other so they can compete on who has the
our churches today. God have mercy on us. loudest hallelujah, the best music, dancers, most number of vehicles, etc. Planting a
Today in Africa, we don’t see the kind of church like that in the Acts of the Apostles, the church must be a process with the mother church agreeing to actually plant a church, not
different churches Paul wrote to: the church in Jerusalem, the churches in Macedonia (2 somebody running off because the pastor rebuked them about how they dress or for
Corinthians 8 and 9) and the seven churches that John writes about in Revelation. There being possessive. Sometimes it is out of pride that people start new churches not
are some churches that are doing their best but that is about 20% of the churches in humility.
Africa geared towards fulfilling the purpose of the calling. The same is true for Uganda The church must come out of one’s mother church. When Kampala Baptist Church thinks
today, the motivations of church growth and developments are very different compared of starting a congregation in a certain area and plant there an opportunity for Christians
to the first church and the original church ideology has gotten lost. The church in Uganda to gather, the church actually goes there and does ministry among the people in that
is said to be a mile spread but an inch deep in faith. Church today is seen as a trend, it is area. This could even be in form of a cell group that eventually grows into a church. Here
the ‘in thing’ now. Churches are flooded with so many people but whether those churches at the Union we say that when a cell group grows to 30 members or more, it then can
are still on track is a different story altogether. constitute itself into a church. We define the church based on its size and its ability to
co-exist on its own with capable leadership not just in the Word but in other areas of
worship as well. For example Nakawa Baptist Church was a mission church planted by

There is a business syndrome Kampala Baptist Church. People came from KBC and were called to go and start a
ministry so they can subscribe to KBC as a mother church. And I think that is the best
way to plant a church. Agape Baptist Church and Lugogo Baptist Church started in a
now driving the churches similar way.

As the Baptist Union of Uganda we are trying to keep the church on the authentic path of
Christ, which is a challenge. We have a divine assignment as a church by the authority
entrusted to us to go and make disciples of all nations but instead of making disciples
today, we make converts. There is an economic or business syndrome now driving the
churches and affecting discipleship making. People start churches to survive or for
livelihood. If one is a good comedian and has the ability to give their audience a good
laugh, they add a couple of scriptures and then start a church. People fill these churches
because they are given hope for things on earth and not things in heaven – ‘promises of a
good life’.
Church leaders are more after positions and titles. People today are no longer focused on
the calling where Jesus said “carry your cross daily and follow me” not just on Sundays
but daily. The church today focuses on things that overshadow the cross like cash, cars,
comfort, cellphones, ‘chics’ (slang for girls). All these other C’s have covered the main C’s
that is Christ, the Cross and the Calling. The servant attitude demonstrated by Jesus
Christ in John 13 when He washed the disciples’ feet has been totally neglected. So if you
look at the church in the Bible and the church today, our passion and their passion, the
purposes we pursue and the purposes they pursued are completely different.
Ps. Peter Mugabi with his wife, Rose and their last born Jubilee
3. Which is the right way to plant a church? Should one start with fellowship and then The KEY RING is a monthly publication by the Kampala Baptist Church Media
build a physical structure or is it the other way round? Team that seeks to provide an avenue where men and women can share
I think the right way to start a church begins with a call to leadership from the Lord. Then knowledge and understanding of the word of God, experiences and encourage
one must have been mentored by their pastor who must also identify with the calling. one another as the older perform the act of ‘paralambano’ to the younger.
Leading a church is not a self-imposed thing simply because one knows how to pray, Our prayer is that the Lord will speak to you through this publication.

Drop us an email at kbcmediateam@gmail.com Visit the church website at www.kbcuganda.org