In the year 2013 alone, Mavuno church collected KES 281,615,836, paid their staff KES 84,118,582, that’s 30% of the total gross income received (who starts a church in Kenya to share 30% of net income) and that includes the senior pastors. On top of that they pay their taxes and P.A.Y.E as everyone else according to their audited books of accounts by audit firm Deloitte and Touche. They go ahead and explain in detail how all monies have been expended, I wonder which other church in Kenya does this? Founded in 2005 but traces its roots back to British settlers’ that’s a long story for another day. Mavuno has a big vision ‘’to plant a culture defining church in all the cities of AFRICA and all the gateway cities of the world by 2035’’and the man behind it is Pastor Muriithi Wanjau. Its mission turning ordinary people into fearless influence-rs of society. I have a feeling Mavuno and its philosophy will be bigger outside Kenya than it will be here back at home and the reason why? Have you ever noticed how mavunities lack the boldness and conviction to claim their church? Well partly because Mavuno church and controversy cannot be separated. This organization is bold. I have to give to leadership they set the standard when it comes to unconventional ways of applying the word and work of God.
Fast forward, its 2035 and the setting is at a beautiful lake side resort. Meet Mary a Kenyan girl brought up in a foreign African country, she looks fabulous and all eyes are on her. Her hair is nicely set and nails have been professionally manicured. As she sits to get her make up done, she seems to have butterflies in her tummy because she is set to be giving her hand in marriage to Steve. The thing here is that, Steve is a local guy who is abundantly loved by Mary’s parents. He goes to their local church which Mary’s parents helped with establishing years back. His in-laws have watched him grow from a toddler so they understand and appreciate his value system.
Mary’s parents moved from Nairobi 23 years ago, particularly to be a part of establishing the aforementioned church in a young and developing Africa. This was roughly the same time frame when I joined Mavuno between the years 2012 and 2013. I heard about this church from my neighbors, first it was about how they play secular music in church, thought it was strange but I never really paid much attention. Two of my closest friends got me to try Mavuno they couldn’t stop raving about it. I tried it and for a while I was on and off about it then one day Pastor Muriithi Wanjau delivered the sermon. That was it, he made me stay; there is just something about this man of God.
Now, as Mary is walking down the aisle of the church with both her parents, the mum tears down as she remembers the years of sacrifice. Back in the day when they left their well-paying jobs to come serve the lord in a far flung country to bring this Mavuno philosophy and the marathon experience. Not only were Mary’s parents proud but they also felt blessed.
I first heard about the marathon experience during service but I wasn’t too keen. I loved coming to church and always looked forward to it because it was different. I was raised in P.C.E.A which after a while eventually got boring for me. For some time I stopped going to church, just because I guess. Then enters Mavuno: Mizizi!! Mizizi!! Mizizi!! If you come to Mavuno and haven’t done this class you will not hear the end of it. They will tell you to sign up so many times you will wonder why. I did not sign up and was not intending to, then one day my pal Juliet signed me up, God bless you girl. This experience changed my view on life and connected me to the purpose God intends for me. For me it answered the age old question, “Why are you living??” It’s a 10 week program so I went to class with an open mind. You know church demographics are skewed towards women so I ended up in a class of 12 beautiful girls and 3 guys. The other part of Mizizi is making friends, what wasn’t to love about that I was single then? If you are a guy and haven’t done it yet hope you get lucky like I was. Yes Mavuno is a church of very many pretty ladies. Let’s get back to Mizizi, I learnt so much about myself and the transformation started. I made some great friends, experienced spiritual growth, started serving in church, networking in church and generally a significant part of my social circle has people I go to church with.
To be honest the reason I choose Mavuno is because I believe in its vision and the rate at which they are exporting their marathon experience especially Mizizi is commendable. This particular experience I can confidently assert that you will hear about it whether you like it or not. However, there are still a few things I am conflicted about Mavuno but the blessings and experience I have attained this far, supersedes the conflict. I have meet some really cool people and have carefully kept away from potential social land mines, because the church is made of people and human beings are who they are. Mavuno at the same time has these ordinary individuals who have been inspired to start initiatives that are changing this nation. Notwithstanding, the Sunday school program for children, premarital programs, praying forums, social impacting programs and the rest of the transforming activities come highly recommended for spiritual growth.
I know Mavuno still remains a mystery to so many people and it has been misrepresented from time to time. Mary’s parents Mike and Makenna, as they gave her away on her wedding day, were part of that. They were well learned, knew it all and were vehemently critical about Mavuno. Reason being, they dared to reach out to those who were considered “unacceptable” by the church. Little do people know that Mavuno targets the unchurched; you who is in the club and you want to join a more hype church? Mavuno is for the idiots who troll others on the internet, the ignorant who lack information about God, that individual struggling with alcoholism, the girl struggling with rejection, the man who is not perfect, if you are a homosexual (hill city mwisho my guy) and mostly the haters the people who are just trigger happy on social media at the mention of Mavuno, you will be surprised how many have led this path before.
So criticism is good for growth it means you have departed from the conventional and people do not like that. God is the one who convicts each soul and everyone has their time and season.
Written by; Waweru Muchina.