A Retirement Home


Isaac Mathembe

It’s the middle of the night here in Kenya, and in a rare quiet moment, I’ve been thinking (which is often a trouble-causing endeavor for a man like me).

Most pastors spend their lives looking for their last job: that one church where they can comfortably minister to their dying day. It’s a congregation abounding in kindness and love toward the pastor and his family, money isn’t a problem, there are lots of children to see grow up and marry without the usual burdens that come from an elderly congregation, and it’s in a community where people go to church because that’s what they do.

Isaac Mathembe isn’t looking for his last job. This young Kenyan isn’t a “comfortable” pastor; he has the heart of the Apostle Paul.

Pastor Isaac and his beautiful and strong wife Tabitha live in the town of Kangundo, Kenya, but the church he currently pastors is a long distance away. He goes to a village or town where there are few or no Bible-believing churches and he begins one under a tree or in a small store-front building. It may just be himself, his wife, and their two children, but that doesn’t matter. He preaches the Word of God and invests himself in discipling whomever God brings along.

As he teaches the Scriptures to the few, God raises up and gifts some of them as leaders. Then, after a year or two, Isaac and Tabitha say their goodbyes, turn the church over to the leaders he’s trained in the Bible, and finds another town that needs a church. This is exactly what the Apostle Paul did and you can read about in the Book of Acts.

Such ministry is very difficult. Relationships come and go. The appearance of failure is a daily threat. Monetary gain doesn’t exist. There is no time for playing golf.  Towns and villages and neighborhoods need the Good News of Jesus. They are Gospel pioneers – not settlers.

Pray for my dear friend Isaac, and those like him, who aren’t looking for a church to become their retirement home.

You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8).

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2 thoughts on “A Retirement Home

  1. Isaac Mathembe

    Amen and Amen.Thanks Richard for sharing my story.As i write this i am hearing a call to move to a place called Matetani.This place is not far from Kangundo town but it has a real need for a church.The Matuu church is still a baby and alot of work is needed for it to grow before i hand it over.The Mutalia church is doing pretty well.Thanks all who have take upon themselves to pray and offer your support,however small it touches our hearts a great way.

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