When we first got here, we visited an African village church for their Sunday service (although it was Monday, they made a gracious accommodation for us). This was a great experience and I learned a lot. One thing I learned is that the church is the church wherever you go. There are loving Christian folks, happy children, praise and worship, and learning from God’s word.
I also made some observations about the structure and government of a local church. The preacher, John, had the leaders of the church stand and introduce themselves. There were two men who identified themselves as “elders.” There was a woman who identified herself as a “mother of the church.” There was another woman who said she was a “sister elder of the church.” What does this mean? I think it means that church government naturally reflects certain elements of the local society where it lives. These were titles at home in the African village, and made sense in this local congregation. Did they have women elders? Not exactly, but it would be wrong to say they didn’t have anything like that.
A third little thing I noticed is that I guy was texting on his phone during the service. He was a visiting pastor from another church. I guess the ubiquitous cell phone is also present in the remote villages of Uganda! Fascinating!
Nebraska Christian College