Assessment of Home-Based Factors Contributing to Church Absenteeism in Methodist Churches of Kenya in Nyambene Synod, Meru County, Kenya
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Regular church attendance is often an indicator of Christians’ commitment and faith in God. It follows then that absenteeism undermines both the Christian faith and the ability of the church to meet ministry goals. The objectives of this study were to assess the home-based factors that contribute to church absenteeism in Methodist Churches of Kenya in Nyambene Synod, Meru County, Kenya. The study was guided by secularization theory under postmodernism philosophy which maintains that as science and technology continue to shape the world social changes in power and class structure tend to persist in similar forms as well (Heywood 2012). A descriptive survey research design was employed for this study, with a sample of 379 respondents selected through simple random sampling. The target population comprised of 28,015 men, women and youth church members taken from 177 congregations in Methodist Church in Kenya, Nyambene Synod. Data was collected using documentation and two questionnaires; one for the youth, and the other for adult members. A pilot study with a sample of 38 respondents was conducted in Miathene Synod. Analysis was done using SPSS (Version 25). The researcher performed descriptive statistical analyses to determine and rank specific factors that affected church attendance. The study concluded that poor family background, lack of monies to give out during fundraisers, unfriendly relationships between youth and parents, and lack of parental guidance greatly contributed to church absenteeism. The reasons for absenteeism can be addressed by church leaders through frequent pastoral visits to the absentee members, conducting youth and adult’s seminars or fellowship to discuss the importance of attending church services, and encouraging church leadership to look for other means of income to avoid victimization of the poor families during church fundraisers. The church leadership can also reach out to the absentee members through the cell group leaders and group fellowships such as women, youth and men fellowships. Future studies need to be extended to other Churches to assess whether different findings may be reached as regarding home based factors contributing to Church absenteeism.
International Journal of Professional Practice