This is a question that most churches in the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area (ZEA) face. The church in Zimbabwe has been growing at a fast pace and this has been evident through new church starts and the need for church buildings in Zimbabwe.
To help address the situation, two WPAUMC districts are focusing on church construction projects as part of their district-to-district relationships within the Conference Zimbabwe Partnership.
Kane District is partnered with the Masvingo District. Their district project was the construction of Runyararo West Circuit, a new church start within the city of Masvingo.
The Zimbabwe Episcopal Area recognized a need for a church start in a strategic place where residential areas were booming at an alarming rate, thereby making it a community church, situated just where people are.
First thing to be constructed was a toilet/bathroom block, but instead of completing the construction and dividing it into toilets for men and women, the congregation decided to use it as their place of worship. As a result of congregational growth, this building does not have the capacity to hold everybody. So every Sunday not only is the building full, but people can be seen sitting outside of the building to hear the word of God.
Another example is the Washington District partnership with the Mutasa Nyanga District, where the project is the Mazimauya Church. This was another new church start where all they had was land. The congregants decided to build a temporary structure and used bricks for seats in the structure.
Both the Kane and Washington District have done an extraordinary job of fundraising for the places where the church building construction is underway.
As reflected by Bishop Nhiwatiwa, we too need to go on a Safari and hunt for disciples. We need to start being proactive and we must not tire; we need to bring more souls to Christ.
Although this is Zimbabwe and a different economic situation, the question we need to ask ourselves as Western Pennsylvanians is what will it take for us to reach this point? What are we doing right to transform the lives of many and what are we doing wrong? How are we reaching out to our communities?
Will there be a day where we can say our church is too small to hold our congregants?