By Alex Nduhura
Previously surrounded by controversy, marred by financial mess, sale of church land, perception of lack of vision, the Ankole University fiasco, the Church of Uganda is silently moving from good to great like other faithful’s in the Catholic Church.
With investments such as the Church House, expansion of Bukoto church and All Saints expansion, new Diocese coming up like the North West Ankole there is much more reason for the world to ask God to continue guiding and blessing the leadership of the Anglican Church like He has done with the Catholic church and others.
The success of the church’s journey however will continue to depend on how well financial sustainability is handled. Previously church activities were funded by donations that are no longer substantial.
The historical faithful that have previously contributed to the church’s investment projects are ageing and treatment of age associated disease is in competition with their wish to donate or contribute to church activities as healthcare pricing continues to take an upward trend.
Amidst, this church is experiencing a growing number of millennials as youth continue to bulge the population of nations. This has added expense to the church as preaching the gospel to the youth requires an extended portfolio of instruments, guest preachers, an extra ‘English’ service(s) and fancy outreach campaigns to match the millennial challenge.
Millenials are faced with high level of unemployment, limited assets or no assets, urbanisation and the need to comply with urban life, high cost of living. Failure to match with the trends has costed heritage churches like the Anglican and Catholic Church numbers as teens and youth migrate to new faiths.
According to UBOS (2014) trends in religion from 2002 to 2014 were as follows; Catholics 2002(41.6%):2014(39.3%), Anglicans 2002(36.7%):2014(32.0%), Pentecostals/Born Again/Evangelists 2002(4.7%):2014(11.1%), Moslems 2002(12.4%):2014 (13.7%), Baptist 2002(1.5%); 2014(1.7)
The future of the church lies in reconnecting dreams of its faithful with reality. The catalyst to making this happen is and will continue to be defined by financial sustainability of the church to drive church activities.
As the church’s aged and loyal givers face financial disabilities, there is need to think strategy to encourage Millennials to give like their grandees while seeking to undertake investments capable of providing church with fixed and sustainable income.
The future of the church is great and no matter which affiliation we belong too, the future of the church/masgid needs to focus on Millenials that were previously unimportant.