Strictly Speaking! Investment groups and the Church Platform-A time bomb in the making.
“Any good viable business would be able to stand on its own platform, create its own clientele, business partners and investors using its resources without relying on a church platform to market its product”
In the early years of President Mwai Kibaki’s presidency, one of the key elements towards the success of his administration was stopping and banning of harambees. While the thought of it was looked at in different perspectives in form of criticism or praise, one thing became ultimately clear, There would not be any more coercion or pressure from the Provincial administration through its local leaders to extort money from the public in the name of development. Kenyans would no longer have to plan to give that which they did not have to appease the powers that be.
Being an economist and a shrewd business manager, President Kibaki knew that the government would have to change its way of thinking attitude and approach to matters related to finance and development, make do with what it collected legally and officially through its revenue collection systems. The people got a sigh of relief. In retrospect, the Provincial administration use of its machinery to coerce the common mwananchi to give towards their agendas would not be possible had they not had POWER over their subjects.
Fast forward to 2010 moving forward, The Government has now found a way to support its agenda without directly involving the mwananchi to give more than their obligated Tax but a new wind of human exploitation in Kenya has now been perfected by shrewd businessmen and corporations to feed their ever growing appetite to build new portfolios and raise money towards their investment agendas through shrewd mechanism and by utilizing the Church platform once again!.
In the past 4 years, there have been an exploitation of feeding the ever present human need of wanting to make more money in the shortest time possible using the least effort and most start companies have exploited this opportunity of luring unsuspecting members of the public through influence from fellow peers by using the ever present platform that brings together people from all walks of life every Sunday, The church and its leaders. How else can a business ignore the fact that they are able to present their Investments agendas on such short notice especially in the Diaspora where its ever hard to get people together due to their stringent working schedules without the added costs of Marketing and adverting through its leaders, pastors and fathers who have no clue or any tangible idea about the viability of the concepts being discussed since they do not have the training necessary to vet for their congregation.
The churches have once again fallen for and set a precedence of a possible repeat of the 2007 shame on themselves by allowing their members to be ambushed once again. What they haven’t noticed is that unlike the Government which used its POWER during the harambee days of raising money, Investment groups are using their INTELLECT against an unsuspecting crowd through their less intelligent leaders when it comes to investment matters since Pastors just like the Provincial administration machinery have a system that brings them free hard earned money every Sunday in form of offerings and thus do not care what happens after they expose their members to these investment groups.
Possible outcomes are bound to happen when an investment group decides to use the Church platform to front its agenda by marketing and selling its products through the church platform. Even though the announcement done in the church to its members through the pastors is supposedly meant only for informative purposes it in effects creates an excitement that spreads like bonfire to other churches thus making the pastors indirectly liable for any future outcomes in case there is a downside and thing don’t turn out as promised. The Pastor become the first point of attack and criticism from their members since they agreed to and gave the investment group their platform and access to its congregation and through its members it trickles down directly to its people in the community.
When this investment group presents to a congregation in the church they are cunningly aware that they are presenting directly or indirectly to two kinds of people in that crowd. First, The people that came to that service specifically because of the said investment seminar or session making them willing participant and the second group which should be pastors main concern is the members of that specific church who get caught in-between the curiosity of new members coming for the seminar and need to know what this is all about thus enticing them to stay in for the presentation and get caught up in the ensuing urge to join the said group of people so they do not get left behind.
While the churches and pastors view, hope and prayer is to create a sense of freedom to its members on use of the church and encouraging new members it would be wise to have a consultative team to decide what form of agendas to allow with basic guidelines and reasons as to why they would encourage or discourage an event or presentation to take place in their platform. A good example would be if the Church does not have a hall they can rent to the said investment groups then, they should make it clear that the churches main hall is strictly for specific purpose and select function this way the Pastor would not subject themselves to unpredictable future embarrassment for have offered the Church platform. If the Church does have a hall, then the best way would be to make it official business and rent the hall to the said investment group without the pastor being seen to be directly connected to the group by offering their platform and direct access to their congregation. This would then be looked at as a community agenda instead of a specific church program.
It would be wise for the government to get involved and protect its people by setting up specific rules and guidelines that would protect the common mwananchi by discouraging business and investments from conducting any forms of sales pitches through the church. If a business is what it says it is, it should be able to afford itself a decent venue and conference halls through its marketing and advertising budgets without relying on free platforms, Secondly, If the product being sold is worth its Penny then it would not be a problem to gather a crowd of interested parties instead of addressing a mixed bag of unsuspecting members of society locally or internationally.
The way an organization does its business marketing its product would be key to let you know what it’s made of and if it’s worth what it says it can do. The Churches on the other hand need to stick to what they know and not lead a flock to slaughter because of ideas that look good in paper because they are presented by professional marketing geniuses.
Any good business would be able to stand on its own and create its own clientele, business partners and investors using its resources without relying on a church platform to market its product. Because a mix of Investments and the church is like mixing oil and water and ultimately a future time bomb.
Economist & Freelance Investment consultant.