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Why Our Church Dropped The Translated Worship Service

Updated: Oct 14, 2021

Six years ago this year Phionah and I planted University Community Church in Gulu. Our vision was to plant a gospel-centred church that is committed to making disciples and planting churches on universities across our nation.

Since then, we’ve seen tremendous growth and influence in those six years. God has used UCC, as we call it, to touch the lives of many campus youth and equip them as disciples of Jesus. Some are now serving as lawyers, teachers and doctors; living their faith in the world.

After celebrating ”5 Years of UCC”, we revisited the vision and came up with two decisions: to refocus our vision and to buy land for our church.

In this post I will share with you why in refocusing our vision, we had to drop our translated service and stick to our English-only worship service. In my next post, I will share more about our progress in buying land for the church.

We’ve since learnt that to succeed as a church, we need to remain focused on the vision. Our translated service was growing in attendance more and more. However, it was also keeping away university students, who were being put off by the translation.

Dropping it was a tough decision to make. It meant losing a part of the congregation. So we had to prepare for it. I preached a sermon series that helped to clarify the vision and prepare people for the transition we were about to make.

Strategically, we saw two reasons for this transition:

First, English is the uniting language on the university campus. A public university like Gulu University brings people from all walks of life and English is quickest way to communicate to them.

Secondly, we had become convinced that we needed to have only one service where everybody met together and received the same teaching. So dropping the translated service would leave us with only one service.

We were encouraged because in the same community there are several churches that reached out to those who are non-English speaking. In fact they do a better job serving them than we would. So we had to bless and released them to go find a suitable congregation.

Now that we’ve refocused our vision, we’re beginning to see growth in the right direction. We are set to grow and to create impact by discipling university youth to transform their world with the gospel.

What’s the strategic challenge that you are facing as an individual, church, business or organisation?

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