CWME Nairobi

Leadership of the WCC's Commission on World Mission & Evangelism during worship at Arch Angel Michael Orthodox Church in Nairobi, Kenya.


The commission is meeting in Nairobi, from 5-11 July, under the theme Preparing the Way: Mission as Counter-Creating.”

In the city, churches are growing, as in the rest of the country. From the cathedrals to churches in informal settlements, thousands of Christians throng the sanctuaries every Sunday for spiritual and physical needs. Apart from pastoral work, the churches also run numerous hospitals, schools, universities, and development programmes.

At St Andrews Anglican Church of Kenya in the Zimmerman area in Nairobis north, Rev. Dr Berdine Van den Toren-Lekkerkerker, director, Mission Council in the Netherlands, delivered the Sunday sermon.

When we speak of mission, often we speak of being sent,” she told the congregation.

Fredrick Nzwili/WCC

CWME Commissioners attended the Sunday worship at St. Andrew's Zimmerman Parish, Diocese Of Nairobi, Anglican Church of Kenya.


Toren-Lekkerkerker, an assistant professor of Missiology, said this meant leaving places of comfort and security to share ones life with those who might least expect it—those on the edge, at the margins, and the excluded.

We are sent to share our lives, including with our needs and vulnerabilities. We are called to be a person just like the other, so that together, we can find salvation [and] so that salvation can find us,” she said.

The church is the only institution that existed for its non-members and those on the outside, she observed, while explaining that this was not about the beautiful building, the quality of the music or the numbers, but about the church in the midst of society and as part of the world.

If today, Jesus would be in Kenya, in Nairobi, where would we find him?” Toren Lekkerkerker had posed. In the churches? Maybe. Sometimes, but more often, he would be among the people we would rather avoid. We would find him on the street among the beggars, playing a game with the street children.”

Arch Angel Michael Orthodox Church in the Kinoo area in the west of Nairobi hosted nine of the participants. Here, they bore witness to the graceful welcome and livelihood of the community. The congregation bore witness through sharing not only their space, but also their worship, their songs, and their lives – if even just for a few hours – with the commissioners. 

 Presbyterian Church of East Africa

Another team of participants worshipped at the Presbyterian Church of East Africa Stevenson Githii Memorial Church in Kinoo Parish, west of Nairobi.



The mission of the church is the mission of witness,” said Fr Dr John Njoroge, head of Theology and Interfaith Relations at the All Africa Conference of Churches.

"The call (to mission) that Matthew is writing about (in today's reading) is a special call. It is an extraordinary call. It is a transforming call. It is a call from Jesus.” 

The Commission (on World Mission and Evangelism) carries an extraordinary call, for the sake of all people,” added the Orthodox priest from Nyeri Diocese and Mount Kenya region.

At the worship, the commissioners sang the hymn: I Have Decided to Follow Jesus,” at the request of the church officials.

The commissioners had chosen the song for its energy and because all of them were familiar with it. It also told of what they had witnessed in the congregation – an exuberant desire to follow Jesus Christ.

Kenyan church

Another team of participants worshipped at the Presbyterian Church of East Africa Stevenson Githii Memorial Church in Kinoo Parish, west of Nairobi. Early missionaries in Kenya established the church in 1908, but African clergy lead it presently.

The church, whose pillar is mission and evangelism, is composed mainly of the Kikuyu, Kenya’s largest ethnic group.

Here, commissioners experienced prayers from youth and children, delivered in both the native Kikuyu dialect and English. African dance accompanied the vibrant praise and lively choir presentations.

Delivering the day’s sermon, Fr Dr Reji Mathew from the Malanka Orthodox Syrian Church in India urged the congregation not to relent in doing mission and evangelism work despite the challenges.

"The young men were dejected, despite having immense fishing expertise; they had tried fishing the whole night with no success. But Jesus asked them to still go back and cast the net in the high sea. They obeyed and the catch was enormous. They had to call friends to help lift the net and were transformed to be fishers of men,” said the New Testament Professor, basing his sermon on Luke 5: 1-11.

The Presbyterian Church of East Africa church, which has over 2,000 members, runs various programmes including mission and evangelism, church school, youth ministry, women’s guild, men’s fellowship, and a primary and junior secondary school.

Photo gallery

WCC Commission on World Mission and Evangelism begins work rooted in hope and transformation (WCC news release, 7 July 2024)

WCC general secretary to Commission on World Mission and Evangelism: “you are shapers of the next phase of Christian mission” (WCC news release, 6 July 2024)