Billy Graham Center

Ken Shingledecker interview excerpt

Kenya has one of the largest numbers of missionaries of any country around, I think second only to Japan... And that's created certain problems. The fact that even though the church is as large as it is, there are still so many missionaries involved, it creates a certain degree of dependency on missionaries, which is not healthy for the church, and yet will always be there as long as there are that many missionaries there. We used to discuss the influence of the American missionary and put it in terms of this. If you have a committee of ten people and one American on that committee, and the rest are Kenyans, the committee will always decide the way the American thinks. And that's a combination of how strong we as Americans are in the way we put forth our ideas, and how gracious the Kenyans are in not wanting to disagree. So the need as I see it is for some of those many many missionaries to kind of pull back out of decision-making positions and decision-making roles, and let the church call some of its own shots, even more than they do today.

Excerpt from oral history interview conducted by Archives staff in 1985 with Kenneth Shingledecker. Shingledecker grew up in a missionary family in Burundi, and worked for Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship in the United States (1974-1980). He joined Daystar Communications in Nairobi in 1981 and later Daystar University College, where he continues to work. Shingledecker graduated from Wheaton College Graduate School in 1985. More information about Shingledecker and the interview with him is described in the guide to Collection 297, which you can review by clicking here

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Last Revised: 8/8/00
Expiration: indefinite

Wheaton College 2005