SUBTITLE: A practical introduction to African Instituted Churches and their sense of mission
SUMMARY: The African Instituted Churches (AICs) have become a major factor on the African continent. They are also called African Independent, or African Indigenous, or African Initiated Churches (in any case AIC for short).
They are churches started by Africans rather than missionaries. Some of them are generations old. New ones are popping up everywhere. They come in many sizes and shapes. They often attract the youth, but also older members of the community. They are growing very rapidly.
These churches have become a big challenge to the so-called mainline churches. For a long time there has been a tragic gap between mainline churches and AICs. Generally the AICs were regarded as “separatistic”
groups posing a threat to the established churches. Their way of doing was viewed with suspicion.
In this manual four authors who have for many years been practically involved with these churches in their ministry are trying to bridge the gap by introducing the AICs to the mainline churches. They focus specifically on their sense of mission. It becomes clear that the AICs are really doing “mission in an African way” and that the mainline churches can learn a lot from them. They are obviously meeting the real needs of people in the African context at the grassroots level. They are drawing people to God by contextualising and inculturating the Gospel for African people. Their approach is a significant contribution to the proper understanding of Christian mission and can no longer be ignored.
This timely publication is an excellent treatment of AICs’ contribution to Christian mission. The manual will meet the needs of various categories of readers from Bible College to university level. The manual should be adopted as a course book in the study of African Christianity – Dr Philomena N. Mwaura, Kenyatta University; President of the IAMS.
This book is a simple, clearly-written, introduction to AICs, by authors who have considerable personal experience of AICs. It will help pastors and members of evangelical, Pentecostal and ‘main-line’ churches to understand what drives the AICs – their calling to Christian mission while maintaining their integrity and values as Africans– Archbishop Njeru Wambugu, National Independent Church of Africa and former General Secretary of the OAIC.