Globalization and the involvement of young people in the Methodist Church in Kenya
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The Methodist Church in Kenya has suffered the decrease of youth membership the past few years which raised a concern in the churches across the country. However, some churches seemed to manage this situation and attracted more youth. This research seeks to find out the connection between globalization and the Involvement of young people in the Methodist Church Kenyan. I did a comparative study of two Methodist churches: Ribe which has few youth members and Mbungoni which has more youths. I used three aspects of globalization theory to test my findings against. They included: globalization and the youth culture, Pentecostal Spirituality as a global trend, and democracy as a global trend. I did a qualitative study and employed a comparative design. I collected data using semi- structured interviews for both individuals and focus groups and also used unstructured observation strategy. I selected 27 participants using purposive sampling who included: youth members, youth leaders, church council (leaders), a minister and a youth patron (counsellors). The collected data was coded and analysed following the three themes in the theory. The study revealed that technoCulture was practiced in both churches seen through the use of mobile phones and internet. The internet and education had introduced many changes hence differences between youth and old people’s culture and the churches that embraced an open attitude towards change and youth culture attracted and increased youth involvement. It was also discovered that the youth in Kenya practiced terrorCulture and the causes for this were: poverty, unemployment, bad politics and poor parenting. Music culture was a new discovery in this research where modern musical instruments were a big source of attraction to youth in churches and they increased the involvement of youth. Pentecostal Spirituality had permeated worship in both churches evidenced by the use of public address system and musical instruments, a change in the traditional Methodist order of service to allow singing, dancing and clapping and spontaneous prayers, singing of English songs, and young people confessing that they are born-again. This worship attracted more youth in churches and was more involving for the youth than the traditional service. However, some old people were concerned about loss of identity of the Methodist Church. Lastly, the research found out that youth participation increased with the freedom accorded to them especially by church leaders to effect any proposed changes. Also churches that practiced social and diaconal ministries attracted more youth than those that did not.