The influence of prosperity gospel on the well-being of the youth: a case study of contemporary christian churches, Nairobi county.
The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of prosperity gospel on the well-being of the youth in Nairobi County. The specific objectives were to establish the causes behind their fast growth, methods used to attract followers, influence of doctrines on its followers and followers perception on this gospel and how in turn affects their well-being. The study made use of Emile Durkheim functionalist theory where he views religion as a key factor in influencing the thinking and behavior of individuals. Social movement theory was vital to the study in explaining how these churches emerge and the reason why many join, and Max Weber’s work; the protestant Ethic and spirit of capitalism, whereby individuals believe that having material possessions, good health and success is a sign to prove Gods blessings. The study targeted all youth who attend prosperity Gospel churches in Nairobi County. The research used a total sample size of 86 members and 5 leaders who were used as Key Informants. The study was conducted by use of descriptive-survey research design by making use of secondary and primary data through questionnaires, interviews and oral observation. Secondary data was obtained from churches database and the internet. Primary data were collected, analyzed, classified and tabulated in frequencies and percentages then data was presented using tables and pie charts. The study findings indicated that youth and especially females were the major adherents in these churches. The main cause contributing towards church growth was the use of social media. Vibrant worship, church leadership, motivating testimonies, Sunday services and the church teachings were major attractions. The study found that church teachings were relevant on the generation today hence able to survive in a dynamic society. The study recommends that youth organizations should focus much in supporting youth programmes as these have shown to be a key factor in addressing the issues affecting the youth in our society. Finally, despite some negativity in these churches to a larger extent they have had a positive contribution to its members. This is so since, it tends to create a positive mind, motivates and empowers persons who desire to improve their lives at whatever cost.
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