Lawrence Kariuki Kinuthia
My name is Lawrence Kariuki Kinuthia and I was born on May 9, 1984 in Nairobi Kenya. I am the Lead Pastor of Gaborone Chapel. My wife, Maryanne Mwikali (Macki) are Church Planters from Kenya to Botswana, sent by Nairobi Chapel. We have been married for 6 years since October 20, 2012. We are compelled by Christ’s love that we should no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave us everything so that we may have eternal life. On the mission field, we have been blessed by two children, Zahara (2-Year-old girl) and Jaba (4-month-old boy). We are passionate about discipling the youth and children so that we can prepare the next generation of leaders for the coming of Christ and expansion of God’s Kingdom.
I am well conversant in English and Swahili both in writing and speaking.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Sociology from the University of Nairobi. In 2009, after my undergraduate studies, I joined the Leadership Development Program, Kinara, at Nairobi Chapel. This residency program aims to equip upcoming leaders with Compassion, Competence, Conviction, and Character. In 2013 I graduated from International Leadership University with a master’s in Biblical and Theological studies.
I became a Christian on April 8, 1995 at a Word of Life Camp in Kiambu. In this camp I saw the power of the Holy Spirit at work through miracles and was convicted of my sins. I decided to repent and turn away from my sins. Growing up as a Christian in the ghetto of Nairobi at Umoja was not easy. This was because there was a lot peer pressure to experiment with drugs, sex and other vices. However, through discipleship from the age of 11 years, I grew in my faith and was able to withstand temptations. This is the main reason why I am passionate about Youth and Children’s ministry. I know that when youth and children are properly discipled, they will be faithful and have a firm foundation in Christ and an active devotional life. Then comes being involved in the Kingdom, transformed character, and heart for the Lost. My discipleship continued in high school, University and Post Campus through Scripture Union, Campus Crusade and Nairobi Chapel. As the Bible states where “much is given much is required”. And I want to be an agent of change starting from my immediate context to the rest of the world.
My call to ministry began when I was filled by the Holy Spirit and I felt an urgency to tell people about Christ and desired to see them grow in Christ. When I was about to finish my undergraduate degree, the Lord spoke to me through our Nairobi Chapel Campus Ministry Pastor, Edward Ondachi, in a sermon dubbed “dying empty”. After the sermon I rushed home to my room, and I started journaling because the conviction was so compelling. When I opened my journal, I saw this bookmark which I had been given 5 years earlier which said, “Where the will of the Lord leads, His grace will keep you”. Later my friends confirmed it by asking me to join the Leadership Development program at Nairobi Chapel. To me this was a full circle. Immediately I finished my undergraduate studies and joined Nairobi Chapel as an intern in the Leadership development program, Kinara. As a protégé at the Nairobi Chapel, I pioneered a High School Ex- Candidates program and led the Junior High School program called Crossroads. In both programs we help youth transition well from Primary School to High School and from High School to University. After being in Youth Ministry in Nairobi Chapel for about five Years, the Chapel leadership gave me the opportunity to plant a church in Botswana. In Botswana our focus has been children and youth. We were privileged to partner with other churches in Gaborone City to start a Teens Empowerment/Discipleship program called Generation 412. Our mantra is 1st Timothy 4:12, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” When we started as the main leaders of the group, we did not know how to train the leaders.
But just at the right time, God made it possible for me to meet Pastor Fred Abok who came to Botswana to facilitate a Jesus-Focused Youth Ministry Forum. After the training, Fred left me with the assignment to implement the lessons, which I learned from the training. He also left me with the Reach Out resources, which I have used to train and equip other leaders. I want the youth of Botswana to be disciples! The Jesus-Focused Youth Focused Ministry material and training has helped me to understand that discipleship begins with a deep relationship with Jesus, which overflows as we do life with the teenagers. Secondly, we need to integrate the parents with the teens’ discipleship training to foster the values at home. This has led us to holding parent empowerment meetings to help reinforce discipleship at home. Last, but not least, we have created outreach opportunities through street parties with dee jays and barbecue or what we call braai in Southern Africa.
In addition, we not only reach out to teens but also Campus students. At the University of Botswana, we have a Campus Ministry called Lifeline and our mantra is holistic transformation in Christ.