In the majority of African nations, missionary work was established in rural and remote communities. Pastoral training, therefore, prepared African church leaders to work in those same rural, mostly monocultural contexts. As rural-to-urban migration has grown, it’s become necessary to plant more churches in the urban centers.*
In rural communities, church workers might have sufficient supplementary income from a garden or through relatives who are willing to share their crops. In the urban context, however, no gardens exist and family support is fragmented. Nearly 70 percent of those who pastor must be bivocational. If the pastor’s wife has a sufficient level of education, she might be able to work or start a small business to supplement their income.
Church workers who once served in rural economies with subsistence-level pay are finding it difficult to adapt when they move into an urban economy, with its higher expenses for electricity, water, health care and more. Every month in these congregations, it’s common to set aside one Sunday when church members give practical gifts—such as sugar, milk, soap, fish and clothing—for the pastor’s family. This means of assistance is now seen in many different churches in Kinshasa.