Influence of empowerment programmes on youth retention in the church; (the case of churches in Tigania East District, Meru County).
For a long time the Church has been existing as an agent of change and bringing solutions of life to the society. Young people are said to be the future of any society. Empowering them is to empower tomorrows’ leaders. Assuming them is killing two generations, the current generation and future generation. Church like any other institution need to open their years and listen to the demands of the young people and try to address immediate issues that are affecting their lives. Young people today need to be participants in church programs and not observers. The main purpose of this research study now is to find out the influence that empowerment programmes can cause to the retention of young people in the Church. These empowerment programmes include training youth in life skills, for example leadership skills, sex and marriage skills, rite of passage, career formation skills. The study also reflected on community services programmes focusing on less privileged, public mass clean up public donations etc. The study also touched on income generating activities as a program in the church and finally talent management and development. All these independent variables have been compared against the dependent variable which is retention of youth in the church. We have church policy as moderating variables and government policy as intervening variables. This study was carried in the denominations that are in Tigania East District, Meru County. The researcher randomly selected 14 churches that represented all other churches within the district. There were three methods of data collection used that is questionnaire, interviews, and observation. Among the 14 churches, questionnaires were distributed to young people of age 14 to 35, parents and a few clergy. The respondents gave very genuine response and the findings of this study brought forth the following recommendations. Various churches to check on economic empowerment of their youths since a big number of the churches did not consider it important. Churches should engage more effort in creating awareness on sex and marriage to our young people. This will help them to become responsible, mature and potential youths who can bring stable families in future hence stable churches. Parents and church leaders should come up with potential youth patrons who can give them spiritual guidance, and at the same time church leaders should encourage old youths and junior youth to integrate freely while mentoring each other. Allow young people to come up with their own programs that they can work on and enjoy in the implementation and not getting imposed programs from the above. Not to engage young people with the same program for a long period. Church and youth leaders should work together to make sure that they are coming up with new products every now and then in order to avoid monotony. Where possible churches should be having variety of activities done frequently and with consistency. Where possible different denominations can create common programs and do them together so as to nurture the spirit of connectivity and unity. With such being adapted young people will not be moving from one church to the other in search of the programs that are not offered in their church. So churches will be able to retain their own members.