Being a visitor in Kenyan churches

Being a visitor in a Kenyan church is a wonderful experience, but one that you may find a little different from visiting a church in America.

In America, churches will often ask the visitors to fill out a visitor card or perhaps the church might even be so bold to ask the visitor to raise their hand, so they can receive some information about the church. Our experiences visiting churches in Kenya the last 6 weeks has offered a different perspective that we might not feel so comfortable with in America. In smaller churches here, the visitors are expected to stand and introduce themselves to the congregation (with a microphone if available). African’s place great importance on formal greetings, so wherever you are coming from, it is important to bring with you greetings from your home church. Following formal introductions, you will most likely be invited to stay for

Visiting St. James Secondary School Church in Machakos, Kenya

Visiting St. James Secondary School for church in Machakos, Kenya

Chai or lunch following the service. Lunch might be a simple stew over rice. After service there is no quick departure to get to the next event, a formal time of welcoming commences for all the visitors.


So come prepared as a visitor to a Kenyan church. It will certainly stretch what is ‘normal’, when compared to the American church visiting experience, but you will love the gracious hospitality that is so affectionately displayed! ~Dan~