Creative Ministry: Using the Arts to Reach the Youth of Kenya

December 3, 2019

This blog features stories about the Wheaton College Graduate School. In this interview, we sat down with Max Macharia of the M.A. in Evangelism and Leadership '20 from Nairobi, Kenya to hear about what brought him to Wheaton College Graduate School and the passion behind his studies. He brings his love for the Word of God, youth, and the arts to the Wheaton College Graduate School.

Creative Ministry: Using the Arts to Reach the Youth of Kenya

A student behind his computer smilingQ. What did you do before coming to Wheaton?

Max: For the past six years, I have been heavily involved in youth ministry in Kenya. In terms of my talents and gifting, I’m involved in arts. That’s my thing. So I try to balance Christian teaching with the arts. I love to develop the youth by focusing on arts, media, and entertainment like dance choreography, as well as local church ministry. I believe if the youth of Africa has a good foundational connection to the church and that if the church invests in their talents and gifts, they will be able to strengthen their faith and gain purpose and vision. 

Q. What brought you to Wheaton?

Max: My reasons for coming to Wheaton can be summarized in three points:

  1. Vision – I pray for God to create within me a new sense of vision in terms of ministry. I’m getting to a new phase of life, so I’m asking, “what is the next thing God wants me to do ?”
  2. Relationships – I want to network with people from all over the world and hear stories from Asia, New Zealand, Australia, and here in America. We are one body of Christ, but different tribes, different ethnicities. I’m constantly going against the perspective of ethnocentrism, that thinking that only you have the basis of what the Gospel is about, so I’m here to open my mind.
  3. Knowledge – I want to expand my capacity of knowledge and to refine my perspectives and my worldview. But there’s a catch to it. I’m studying in an American school so I have to get this knowledge and translate it to an African context. Some of the things I learn here cannot be transferred. I have to work extra hard because I have to learn and then digest the information and ask myself, “how can this be applied in my context?” It’s not a “copy and paste” because of the uniqueness of my own culture and environment. 

Q. What do you hope for post-degree?

Max: That’s a good question. One, I’m going back to Kenya and to serve my church, Northgate Church, to create new youth models and movements by which we can disciple the young people of Africa. The median age in Africa is 19. It’s a young continent! Secondly, I’m going to start a nonprofit organization to develop and release the gifts of young people in the area of arts. Lastly, I hope to create a network of young African leaders who will be catalysts for the next move of revival in the continent.

Q. Why do you want to start a nonprofit?

Max: I’m passionate about the nonprofit because I grew up in a village and many people have invested in my life, especially by giving me educational opportunities through scholarship and mentorship. I want to extend that to other young people who do not have access to these important resources. I just want to be an asset to them and be able to lift them up from their situation.

Q. What keeps you focused?

Max: I asked myself, “what is the most important thing I can do for my community?” I realized only two things will last forever: the Word of God and people. Buildings will change. Economic landscape will change. Geography is changing. But only two things will last forever. God's Word and God's people. I want to stand in between those two: to bring the Word to the young people and see young people connect to the Word.

- Dana Krol 

M.A. in Evangelism and Leadership

The M.A. in Evangelism and Leadership will motivate and equip you to become a change agent for the gospel in whatever church, organizational, marketplace, or missionary context in which you find yourself. 

How to Apply

Learn about requirements, deadlines, and the application process for the M.A. in Evangelism and Leadership.