Pastoral Letter: 2nd Quarter 2018

 AFM Pastoral Letter: Download the PDF version here

Dear Colleague,

On Friday the 25th of May the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa celebrated its 110th birthday! This historic milestone was marked with a special event that was held at the AGS Centurion Assembly in Pretoria, with Pastor Rudi Briel and Mariesa Briel as hosts. The theme for the service was “The Going Gospel – Moving Forward” and illustrated by means of a 110-Year emblem that was specifically designed for the occasion. The main feature of the emblem is the arrow that symbolises the AFM’s apostolic DNA of breaking new ground and moving forward with the mission.

Guests included the National Office Bearers, Regional Office Bearers in and around the Gauteng area (representing AFM regions, networks and national departments), the AFM national office staff, leadership of the AGS Centurion Assembly as well as special guests from the Pentecostal/Charismatic Christian community. In this letter we share the messages that were delivered by our key note speakers that morning. My wish is that this Pastoral Letter will bless you by reminding you:

  • Where the AFM comes from (Rewind…)
  • What the current footprint and impact of the AFM is (Pause…)
  • And where the AFM is heading in the future (Play…)

 

REWIND – TO MOVE FORWARD, WE NEED TO REMEMBER OUR MISSIONAL ROOTS

Dr. I.S. Burger – Former President of the AFM

The term “Missional” has become a buzz-word in church-circles today, but the concept itself is as old as the church. The church is in fact the result of God’s mission. How far should we then go back? The missional concept starts with God, He is the great Missionary. He is also the first “Sender”. We call this the Missio Dei. The Father sent His Son (John 3:16). The Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit. Then the Father, Son and Spirit sent us (John 20:21). The church in essence is therefore a “sent-entity”, both individually and collectively.

The early church, particularly in Antioch, was a missional church.
While the church in Jerusalem was centripetal (in other words moving towards the centre), the church in Antioch was centrifugal (in other words moving away from the centre). The church in Jerusalem tend to focus on the Jews and the disciples were reluctant to leave the city. They were also hesitant to acknowledge the Christianization of non-Jews, e.g. Cornelius and his household (Acts 10). Remember also the council-meeting in Jerusalem in Acts 15. Antioch (in modern-day Turkey) was a missional church, sending out Paul and others on different missionary journeys. It is necessary that we evaluate ourselves in this regard. Do we reflect the attitude and mind of the church in Jerusalem or the church in Antioch? To put it differently; are we missional or attractional? Are we a “Go and be” or a “Come and see” church?

“…missionality implies the incarnation of Christ in our communities through us, His Church.”

We have to accept that God’s most important point of connection with the world is not the church building but the market place. We refer to the incarnation of Christ to emphasize the fact that God became man. In a derived sense missionality implies the incarnation of Christ in our communities through us, His Church. Christ must be manifested through us. Acts 4:13, gives expression to this: “They marvelled, and took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”

What the early church did not have, was a missionary board or missionary program. Missions was not a program, it was the essence of being church. God’s mission in the world is still redemptive. He wants to use His church as His main instrument. To use the metaphor of a wheel – missions was never intended to be a spoke in the wheel, but the hub, the cone. Every other ministry and activity are the spokes that find their significance, sense and meaning by being part of the hub – anchored in the Missio Dei.

“Missions was not a program, it was the essence of being church.”

While the term/concept of missional is a “modern” word, the true meaning thereof was initially part and parcel of the AFM:

  • John G Lake and his companions from America came to do mission-work.
  • The baptism of the Holy Spirit, as in the early church, stirred believers to witness and work for God. (Acts 1:8)
  • There were only a few full-time workers but many full-time witnesses.
  • The role of divine healing overcame the negative sentiments of many.

“The early AFM was indeed in practice and spontaneously a Missional Church.”
The early AFM was indeed in practice and spontaneously a Missional Church. It is God’s mission (Missio Dei) that calls the church into existence. We can no longer see the church as the starting point when thinking about mission. The church must be seen as the result of God’s mission. There was a Mission before there was a church. In the words of South African missiologist David Bosch: It is not the church which undertakes mission; it is the missio Dei which constitutes the church.

Or stated in a slightly different manner; It is not so much that God has a mission for his church in the world, but that God has a church for His mission in the world.(Christopher Wright) The AFM indeed was such a church and ought to be dead-serious to be such again!

PAUSE –  CELEBRATE THE AFM FOOTPRINT IN SA

Dr. H.J. Weideman – General Secretary

The AFM started with one assembly in Doornfontein. At the beginning of 1911 there were 513 untrained workers (338 black & 175 white), sometimes referred to as Apostolic Faith Missionaries. Over the years the AFM grew to over 1.4 million members, structured into 43 Regions and Networks, with 1806 congregations, 2498 pastors, 5 National Departments (Children, Youth, Men, Sisters, Welfare), 9 Specialised Ministries and a Theological College. The administrative Head office is in Central Office Park, 257 Jean Avenue, Centurion.

Early AFM members regarded the missionary task as their main interest and Commission. At that stage the names Apostolic Faith Mission and Apostolic Faith Movement were used alternately as synonyms, even in the minutes of the Executive Council.

“Every member should understand what it means to be missional…”

Today the AFM is in the process of becoming a modern-day missional movement. Every member should understand what it means to be missional and be able to live daily from the basis of being sent into his/her community and every sphere of society, as an agent of change: Impacting the lives of others with the message, values, character and love of Jesus.

Our One AFM Game Plan is the communication platform that re-aligns various levels of AFM leadership with modern-day missionality. Our Missional Strategy was launched in November 2013 and has five drivers, or focus areas namely:

  1. Discipleship -guiding our members to become true followers of Jesus and not only fans. To move believers from only being church members, or spectators to active team members.
  2. Empowerment – of all members for missional living.
  3. Ecumenical Involvement – recognizing the body of Christ as all life-giving churches, working together where possible to fulfil our mission.
  4. Community Involvement – addressing the real needs in our communities, to be socio-economically and Spiritually relevant.
  5. Governance – to structure, lead and govern ourselves with integrity and accountability, as part of our everyday witness as followers of Christ.

Under the leadership of our president, Pastor M.G. Mahlobo the AFM also strives to deepen our unity and cohesion, while celebrating our God-given diversity.

PAUSE – CELEBRATE THE AFM FOOTPRINT GLOBALLY

Rev. F.C. Chikane – President of AFM International

Not many churches have had the privilege of celebrating a 110th year anniversary, especially Pentecostal and Charismatic churches globally. The AFM is one of the oldest Pentecostal churches born out of the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, California, USA. The AFM International has a presence in about 35 countries found in 6 continents of the world. The AFM was born out of the power of the Holy Spirit (Revival led by the Spirit). The AFM’s growth globally took place in 5 “waves”:

“The AFM International has a presence in about 35 countries found in 6 continents of the world.”

  • The Acts Way. Ordinary converts (in the era of the diamonds and gold rush and miners from neighbouring states) becoming witness to what they had experienced (Acts 1:8).
  • Organised missions. Covering the Southern African region, Kenya, Russia, and Nigeria.
  • Decentralised forms of mission. Individual congregations, hubs, lone missionaries etc. Covering Belgium, Brazil, Portugal, Mauritius, Russia, India, Pakistan, Fiji etc.
  • The Zimbabwe model. Political and economic crisis leading to migration to other parts of the world – wherever they found themselves they planted the AFM – covering the UK, Ireland, USA, Australia, United Arab Emirates etc.
  • Discipling the World (on our doorsteps) in South Africa and sending them back to countries where they came from, for example Ethiopia and Eritrea.

The unity that was achieved in the AFM in 1996 opened the door for the development, growth and expansion of “mission” churches. Outreach to challenging areas, and the development of the international fellowship of AFM churches internationally followed, that is the AFM International.

“I hope that all AFM members can be like Hezmalhalch and Lake and act as missional agents to reach the unreached and the post Christians of the world.”

I doubt that Thomas Hezmalhalch and John G Lake and their party ever thought that what they had planted would be what it is today. The lesson we must learn is that small things (or what we consider as insignificant) – like the mustard seed – can lead to great things! I hope that all AFM members can be like Hezmalhalch and Lake and act as missional agents to reach the unreached and the post Christians of the world.

 

PLAY – THE AFM IS MOVING FORWARD INTO THE FUTURE!

Past. M.G. Mahlobo – President

TIMES HAVE CHANGED
One of the significant changes from the inception date of the church to the current times, is the context in which the church finds itself today. Commuting systems changed from coal and steam locomotives to the rapid railway system (such as speed trains like the Gautrain). The pace of communication is much quicker than in 1908. This is evident in the gradual replacement of “snail mail” by emails and social network options. The availability of information is abundant and easily accessible.

Our world has been reduced into a “small village.” All these changes have their advantages and disadvantages, but these changes have brought more positives than negatives for the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They have made it possible for the church to reach a vast number of people all over the world within a short space of time.

On the negative side these developments have also facilitated the spreading of a secularizing culture. This secular culture tends to confine faith into a private personal matter – which is contrary to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). It thrives on humanistic tendencies which promote human interest and push God to the periphery (materialism and hedonism). In this context the sole driving force for existence would is the ‘pursuit of happiness’. Religious pluralism is “the belief that the differences between the religions are not a matter of truth and falsehood, but of different perceptions of the one truth”. All these negatives present the church with an opportunity to represent God’s Kingdom by being the salt and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-14).

OUR VISION
The vision of the AFM is: “We see a church (AFM) that is accessible to all people, celebrating its unity and a God-given diversity, empowering its members for caring and transforming communities to the glory of God.” The vision statement reflects four critical components:

  • Accessibility
  • Celebration
  • Care
  • Transformation.

STRATEGY
The rise of the missional church is the single biggest development in Christianity since the Reformation. Being missional is not doing “church-as-usual”. Going missional requires three shifts. These shifts have to do with ministry focus, people development and the leadership agenda. It is a shift from internal to external in terms of ministry focus, from program development to people development in terms of core activity and from church-based to kingdom-based in terms of leadership agenda (Reggie McNeal 2009).

The early history of the AFM of SA bears an unmistakable evidence that every activity in the church was driven by the passion to win souls through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This instinctive obedience to the Great Commission was part and parcel of being filled with the Holy Spirit. This is how we should understand our name: Apostolic Faith Mission.

We want to be a community of God’s people that defines and organizes its life around its real purpose…”

That is why the concept of missional church is the basis for our strategy. We want to be a community of God’s people that defines and organizes its life around its real purpose –that of being an agent of God’s mission to the world. It is a church whose members and leaders regard themselves as the “sent people of God – sent on the Mission of Jesus.” Our One AFM Game Plan is the platform we use to create understanding about our missionality and also on how to practically implement.

IMPLEMENTING MISSIONALITY
On our journey to become a missional church again, there are two major shifts that will guide future implementation – and it has to do with our members and our Pastors.

Members. At its inception the AFM did not make a distinction between lay and clergy members. We referred to each other as Brothers and Sisters. Every member and leader of the church was expected to be a witness of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit wherever he/she was. This is how the AFM grew to be what it is today in South Africa, in various African countries and other parts of the world. Ordinary AFM members who were baptized with the Holy Spirit were on fire to share their testimonies. And the Lord worked with them, confirming their witnesses through signs and wonders. The key to being a missional church lies with its members. Its members act as apostolic agents in the world. My message to our members is none other than the one ascribed to Francis of Assisi: “Preach the Gospel all the time, if necessary use the words”. Our conduct should speak louder than our words and sermons.

“The key to being a missional church lies with its members.”

Pastors. One of the key shifts that our pastors will have to make is to becoming coaches. This may be illustrated as a shift from being just a Shepherd to being a Coach. The table below show some of the most important differences between the two:

CONCLUSION

I trust that this Pastoral Letter took you on a journey into the AFM’s missional past, current footprint in South Africa and globally and its glorious future! My message to you is to keep on “Moving Forward” as a church. May God continue to use the AFM as His instrument to accomplish His Mission in this world. May every AFM member claim their position as a modern-day Apostolic agent and Kingdom Worker. May every AFM Pastor and Leader step into their role as coach and equipper of the saints – empowering our members to transform and care for their communities. In such a way glorifies God.

Forward AFM! Forward with the “Going Gospel”!

AGS Pastorale Brief: 2de Kwartaal 2018

 AGS Pastorale Brief: Laai die PDF weergawe hier af

Liewe kollega,

Op Vrydag die 25ste Mei is die Apostoliese Geloofsending van Suid Afrika se 110de verjaarsdag gevier!  Hierdie historiese mylpaal is gevier met ‘n spesiale byeenkoms wat gehou is by die AGS Centurion gemeente in Pretoria met Pastoor Rudi Briel en Mariesa Briel as gasheer en gasvrou. Die tema van die diens was “The Going Gospel – Moving Forward” en is uitgebeeld deur middel van ‘n 110-jaar embleem wat spesifiek vir die geleentheid ontwerp was. Die kern van die embleem is die pyl wat simbolies is van die AGS se apostoliese DNA – simbolies van nuwe grond wat betreë word en die missie wat voortgedra word.

Die gaste was onder andere die Nasionale Ampsdraers, Streeks Ampsdraers in en rondom die Gauteng provinsie (verteenwoordigend van streke, netwerke en nasionale departemente), die AGS Nasionale Kantoor personeel, die leierskap van die AGS Centurion gemeente asook spesiale gaste van die Pinkster/Charismatiese Christen gemeenskap. In hierdie brief deel ons die boodskap wat gelewer is deur ons gassprekers op daardie oggend. My wens is dat hierdie Pastorale Brief jou sal seën deur jou te herinner aan:

  • Waar die AGS vandaan kom (Kyk terug…)
  • Die huidige impak en groei van die AGS (Kyk om ons…)
  • Die toekomspad van die AGS (Kyk vorentoe…)

KYK TERUG… – OM VORENTOE TE BEWEEG MOET ONS ONTHOU WAAR ONS MISSIONALITEIT VANDAAN KOM

Dr. I.S. Burger – Voormalige President van die AGS

Die term “missionaal” het vandag ‘n sleutelwoord in kerkkringe geword, maar die konsep self is net so oud soos die kerk. Die kerk is in werklikheid die resultaat van God se missie. Hoe ver moet ons dan terug kyk? Die missionale konsep begin met God, Hy is die groot Sendeling. Hy is ook die eerste Afsender.  Ons noem dit die Missio Dei.  Die Vader stuur Sy Seun (Joh 3:16). Die Vader en die Seun stuur die Heilige Gees. Dan stuur die Vader, Seun en Heilige Gees ons (Joh 20:21). Die kerk is in wese a gestuurde entiteit, beide individueel en kollektief.

Die vroeë kerk, in besonder die kerk in Antioch, was ‘n missionale kerk.
Die kerk in Jerusalem was sentripetaal (m.a.w. middelpuntsoekend – beweeg na die middelpunt) terwyl die kerk in Antioch sentrifugaal was  (m.a.w. middelpuntvliedend – beweeg weg van die middelpunt).  Die kerk in Jerusalem was geneig om te fokus op die Jode en die dissipels was teësinnig om die stad te verlaat. Hulle was ook huiwerig om die bekering van nie-Jode te erken, bv. Cornelius en sy huishouding (Handelinge 10). Onthou ook die raadsvergadering in Handelinge 15. Antioch (in hedendaagse Turkeye) was ‘n missionale kerk wat Paul, sowel as ander, op verskillende missionale reise gestuur het.  Dit is nodig dat ons onsself evalueer ten opsigte van hierdie aspek. Reflekteer ons die houding en ingesteldheid van die kerk in Jerusalem of van die kerk in Antioch?  Om dit anders te stel:  is ons “missional” of “attractional”?  Is ons ‘n “Gaan en wees” kerk of ‘n “Kom en kyk” kerk?

“…impliseer missionaliteit die inkarnasie van Christus in ons gemeenskappe deur óns, Sy Kerk.”

Ons moet aanvaar dat God se belangrikste ontmoetingspunt met die wêreld nie ‘n kerkgebou is nie, maar die markplein (m.a.w. daar waar mense daagliks funksioneer). Ons verwys na die inkarnasie van Christus om te benadruk dat God mens geword het. In ‘n afgeleide betekenis impliseer missionaliteit die inkarnasie van Christus in ons gemeenskappe deur óns, Sy Kerk.  Christus moet sigbaar wees deur ons. Hand 4:13 gee uitdrukking hieraan:  “En toe hulle die vrymoedigheid van Petrus en Johannes sien en verstaan dat hulle ongeleerde en eenvoudige manne was, was hulle verwonderd en het hulle as metgeselle van Jesus herken.”

Wat die vroeë kerk nie gehad het nie, was ‘n missionale bestuursraad of ‘n missionale program.  Sendingwerk was nie ‘n “program” nie, dit was die wese en kern van kerk-wees.  God se missie in die wêreld is nog steeds verlossend.  Hy wil Sy kerk gebruik as Sy hoof instrument.  Om die metafoor van ‘n wiel te gebruik – sendingwerk was nooit bedoel om ‘n speek in die wiel te wees nie, maar die wielnaaf (of te wel die “hub”), die kern.  Alle ander bedieninge en aktiwiteite is die speke wat hulle belangrikheid, waarde en betekenis vind deur deel te wees van die wielnaaf – geankerd in die Missio Dei.

“Sendingwerk was nie ‘n “program” nie, dit was die wese en kern van kerk-wees.”

Terwyl die term/konsep missionaal ‘n “moderne” woord is, was die ware betekenis daarvan aanvanklik deel van die AGS:

  • John G Lake en sy metgeselle kom vanaf Amerika om sending/missionale werk te doen.
  • Die doping van die Heilige Gees, net soos in die vroeë kerk, het gelowiges gemobiliseer om te getuig en te werk vir God.  (Hand 1:8)
  • Daar was slegs ‘n paar voltydse werkers, maar menigte voltydse getuies.
  • Die rol van Goddellike genesing het die negatiewe sentimente van baie oorkom.

“Die vroeë AGS was inderdaad in praktyk en spontaan ‘n missionale kerk.”
Die vroeë AGS was inderdaad in praktyk en spontaan ‘n missionale kerk.  Dit is God se missie (Missio Dei) wat die kerk in bestaan roep. Ons kan nie langer die kerk sien as die beginpunt wanneer daar oor missionaliteit gedink word nie.  Die kerk moet gesien word as die resultaat van God se missie. Daar was ‘n missie voordat daar ‘n kerk was.  In die woorde van ‘n Suid-Afrikaanse missioloog David Bosch:  It is not the church which undertakes mission; it is the missio Dei which constitutes the church.

Of om dit op ‘n ietwat ander manier te sê:  It is not so much that God has a mission for his church in the world, but that God has a church for His mission in the world.(Christopher Wright). Die AGS was inderdaad so ‘n kerk en behoort baie ernstig daaroor te wees om weer so te wees.

KYK OM ONS… – VIER DIE AGS SE IMPAK IN SUID-AFRIKA

Dr. H.J. Weideman – Algemene Sekretaris

Die AGS het met een gemeente in Doornfontein begin. In die begin van 1911 was daar 513 onopgeleide werkers (338 swart & 175 wit), waarna soms verwys is as die “Apostolic Faith Missionaries”. Oor die jare het die AGS gegroei tot 1.4 miljoen lede, gestruktureerd in 43 streke en netwerke, 1806 gemeentes, 2498 Pastore, 5 nasionale departemente (Kinder, Jeug, Mans, Susters, Welsyn), 9 gespesialiseerde bedieninge en ‘n Teologiese Kollege. Die administratiewe Hoofkantoor is in Central Office Park, Jeanstraat 257, Centurion.

Vroeë AGS lidmate het die missionale taak beskou as hulle hooftaak, kommissie of opdrag. Op daardie stadium was die name “Apostoliese Geloofsending” en “Apostoliese Geloofsbeweging” gebruik as sinonieme, selfs in die notules van die Uitvoerende Raad.

“Elke lidmaat behoort te verstaan wat dit beteken om
missionaal te wees…”

Vandag is die AGS in die proses om ‘n hedendaagse missionale beweging te word.  Elke lidmaat behoort te verstaan wat dit beteken om missionaal te wees: Om daagliks te lewe vanaf die basis om “gestuur” te wees in sy/haar gemeenskap en op elke terrein van die samelewing as ‘n agent van verandering op te tree. Elke lidmaat behoort ‘n impak te maak op die lewens van ander met die boodskap, waardes, karakter en liefde van Jesus.

Ons “One AFM Game Plan” is die kommunikasie platform wat verskeie vlakke van AGS leierskap herbelyn met hendendaagse missionaliteit. Ons missionale strategie is geloods gedurende November 2013 en het vyf drywers of fokuspunte, naamlik:

  1. Dissipelskap –begeleiding van ons lidmate om ware volgelinge van Jesus te word en nie net slegs aanhangers (of te wel “fans”) nie. Om gelowiges te begelei om nie net kerklidmate of toeskouers te wees nie, maar aktiewe spanlede in die Groot Opdrag.
  2. Bemagtiging – van alle lidmate tot ‘n missionale leefwyse.
  3. Ekumeniese Betrokkenheid – om die liggaam van Christus te herken as alle lewegewende kerke en saam te werk, waar moontlik, om ons missie te vervul.
  4. Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid – om die ware behoeftes in ons gemeenskappe aan te spreek, om sosio-ekonomies en geestelik relevant te wees.
  5. Goeie Bestuur – om te struktureer, te lei en onsself te bestuur met integriteit en aanspreeklikheid as deel van ons alledaagse getuienis as volgelinge van Christus.

Onder die leierskap van ons president, Pastoor M.G. Mahlobo streef die AGS om ook ons eenheid en samehorigheid te versterk terwyl ons ons Godgegewe-diversiteit vier.

KYK OM ONS… – VIER DIE AGS SE INTERNASIONALE IMPAK

Rev. F.C. Chikane – President van AGS Internasionaal

Nie baie kerke, veral Pinkster en Charismatiese kerke wêreldwyd, het die voorreg gehad om 110 jaar te vier nie. Die AGS is een van die oudste Pinksterkerke gebore vanuit die Azusastraat Herlewing in Los Angeles, California, VSA.  Die AGS internasionaal het ‘n teenwoordigheid in omtrent 35 lande in 6 kontinente van die wêreld.  Die AGS is gebore vanuit die krag van die Heilige Gees (Herlewing gelei deur die Gees).  Die AGS se groei het globaal plaasgevind in 5 fases:

“Die AGS internasionaal het ‘n teenwoordigheid in omtrent 35 lande in 6 kontinente van die wêreld.”

  • Die Handelinge Manier. Gewonde bekeerlinge (in die era van die diamant en goud stormloop en myners vanaf buurstate) wat getuies word van wat hulle beleef het (Handelinge 1:8).
  • Georganiseerde missies. Strek oor die Suidelike Afrika streek, Kenia, Rusland en Nigerië.
  • Gedesentraliseerde vorms van missie. Individuele gemeentes, “hubs”, alleen sendelinge ens.  Strek oor België, Brazilië, Portugal, Mauritius, Rusland, Indië, Pakaistan, Fiji ens.
  • Die Zimbabwe model. Politiese en ekonomiese krisis wat lei tot migrasie na ander dele van die wêreld – waar hulle ookal hulself bevind het, het hulle AGS gemeentes geplant – strek oor Groot-Brittanje, Ierland, VSA, Australië, Verenigde Arabiese Emirate ens.
  • Dissipelmaking van die wêreld (op ons drumpel) in Suid-Afrika en stuur hulle terug na die lande waarvandaan hulle kom, byvoorbeeld Ethiopië en Eritrea.

Die eenheid wat in die AGS in 1996 bereik is, het die deur geopen vir die ontwikkeling, groei en uitbreiding van “missionale” kerke. Uitreiking na uitdagende gebiede en die ontwikkeling van AGS kerke internasionaal het gevolg.

“Ek hoop dat alle AGS lidmate soos Hezmalhalch en Lake kan wees en optreë as missionale agente om die onbereikbares te bereik, asook die “post”-christene van die wêreld.”

Ek tywfel dat Thomas Hezmalhalch, John G Lake en hulle span ooit kon besef het dat dit wat hulle geplant het sou groei tot waar die AGS vandag is. Die les wat ons hieruit moet leer is dat klein dingetjies (of wat ons beskou as onbeduidend) – soos die mosterdsaad – kan lei tot groot dinge!  Ek hoop dat alle AGS lidmate soos Hezmalhalch en Lake kan wees en optreë as missionale agente om die onbereikbares te bereik, asook die “post”-christene van die wêreld.

KYK VORENTOE… – DIE AGS BEWEEG DIE TOEKOMS IN!

Past. M.G. Mahlobo – President

TYE HET VERANDER
Een van die mees beduidende veranderinge sedert die ontstaansdatum van die kerk tot nou, is die konteks waarin die kerk vandag funksioneer. Pendelstelsels het verander vanaf kool en stoom lokomotiewe na die vinnige spoorwegstelsel (spoedtreine, soos die Gautrein). Die tempo van kommunikasie is baie vinniger as in 1908.  Dit word duidelik gesien in die geleidelike vervanging van “slakkepos” deur e-posse en sosiale netwerk opsies. Inligting is in oorvloed beskikbaar en maklik toegangklik.

Ons wêreld het verklein tot ‘n “small village”. Al hierdie veranderinge het voordele en nadele, maar die veranderinge het ‘n meer positiewe as negatiewe impak op die verspreiding van die Evangelie van Jesus Christus. Dit is nou moontlik vir die kerk om ‘n groot getal mense regoor die wêreld te bereik binne ‘n kort tydperk.

Aan die negatiewe kant het hierdie veranderinge ook tot die verspreiding van ‘n sekulariserende kultuur gelei. Hierdie sekulêre kultuur neig om geloof te beperk tot ‘n private, persoonlike aangeleentheid – wat kontrasterend is met die Groot Opdrag (Mattheus 28:18-20).  Dit gedy op humanistiese neigings wat die menslike belangstelling bevorder en God wegstoot na die buitekant (materialisme en hedonisme). In hierdie konteks is die engiste dryfveer tussen die gelowe nie ‘n saak van waarheid of onwaarheid nie, maar van verskillende persepsies van “een” waarheid.  Al hierdie negatiewe aspekte bied aan die kerk ‘n geleentheid om God se Koninkryk te verteenwoordig deur die sout en die lig van die wêreld te wees.  (Matteus 5:13-14)

ONS VISIE
“Ons sien ‘n kerk (AGS) wat toeganklik is vir alle mense, wat eenheid en ‘n Godgegewe-diversiteit vier, wat lidmate bemagtig om met sorg gemeenskappe te transformeer tot die glorie van God.” Die visie verklaring reflekteer 4 kritiese komponente:

  • Toeganklikheid
  • Viering
  • Besorgdheid
  • Transformasie

STRATEGIE
Die opkoms van die missionale kerk is die enkele grootste ontwikkeling in die Christendom sedert Reformasie.  Om missionaal te wees is nie “kerk-soos-gewoonlik” nie. Daar word 3 skuiwe benodig om missionaal te wees. Hierdie skuiwe het te doen met bedieningsfokus, mense-ontwikkeling en die leierskap agenda. Dit is ‘n verskuiwing van interne na ‘n eksterne bedieningsfokus, van program-ontwikkeling tot mense-ontwikkeling en vanaf kerk-gebaseerd na Koninkryk-gebaseerd in terme van die leierskap agenda (Reggie McNeal 2009).

Die vroeë geskiedenis van die AGS dra onmiskenbare bewys dat elke aktiwiteit in die kerk gedrewe was deur die passie om siele te wen deur die Evangelie van Jesus Christus. Hierdie instinktiewe gehoorsaamheid aan die Groot Opdrag was deel daarvan om gevul te wees met die Heilige Gees. Dit is hoe ons ons naam moet verstaan:  Apostoliese Geloofsending.

“Ons wil ‘n gemeenskap van God se mense wees wat hulself definieer en organiseer rondom die ware doel van die kerk “

Dit is hoekom die konsep van missionale kerk die basis is van ons strategie. Ons wil ‘n gemeenskap van God se mense wees wat hulself definieer en organiseer rondom die ware doel van die kerk – om ‘n agent te wees van God se missie in hierdie wêreld. Dit is ‘n kerk waar lidmate en leiers hulle self sien as “gestuurde” mense van God – “gestuur” op die missie van Jesus. Ons “One AFM Game Plan” is die platform wat ons gebruik om begrip aangaande ons missionaliteit en ook praktiese implementering teweeg te bring.

IMPLEMENTERING VAN MISSIONALITEIT
Op ons reis om weer ‘n missionale kerk te word is daar twee groot skuiwe wat toekomstige implementering sal lei – en dit het te doen met ons lidmate en ons Pastore.

Lidmate. Met die ontstaan van die AGS was daar nie ‘n onderskeiding gemaak tussen “lay” en “clergy” lede nie. Ons het na mekaar verwys as Broeders en Susters. Daar was van elke lidmaat en leier van die kerk verwag om ‘n getuie van Jesus Christus te wees deur die krag van die Heilige Gees, daar waar hy/sy ookal hul bevind. Dit is hoe die AGS gegroei het tot die kerk wat dit vandag is in Suid-Afrika, verskillende Afrika lande en ander dele van die wêreld.  Gewone AGS lidmate wat gedoop was met die Heilige Gees was aangevuur om hulle getuienisse te deel. God het met hulle gewerk, hulle getuienis bevestig deur tekens en wonderwerke.  Die sleutel tot ‘n missionale kerk lê by die lidmate.  Die lidmate treë op as apostoliese agente in die wêreld. My boodskap aan ons lidmate is geen ander as die boodskap wat toegeskryf word aan Francis van Assisi: “Preach the Gospel all the time, if necessary use the words”.  Ons gedrag moet harder praat as ons woorde en preke.

“Die sleutel tot ‘n missionale kerk lê by die lidmate.”

Pastore. Een van die hoof skuiwe wat ons pastore moet maak is om “coaches” te word. Dit kan die beste geillustreer word as ‘n verskuiwing vanaf net ‘n “Herder” wees, na ‘n “Coach” wees. Die tabel hieronder wys van die mees belangrike verskille tussen die twee rolle:

SLOT

Ek vertrou dat hierdie Pastorale Brief jou op ‘n reis gevat het na die AGS se missionale verlede, huidige impak in Suid-Afrika en die wêreld, asook ons glorieryke toekoms! My boodskap aan jou: As kerk, hou aan beweeg in die toekoms in! Mag God aanhou om die AGS en ander lewensgewende kerke te gebruik as Sy instrument om Sy missie in die wêreld te bereik.

Mag elke AGS lidmaat hulle posisie as hedendaagse Apostoliese Agente en Koninkrykswerkers opeis.  Mag elke AGS Pastoor en leier in hulle rol as afrigter, “coach” en toeruster van die gelowiges instap – en ons lidmate bemagtig om hulle gemeenskappe met sorg te verander na ‘n plek waar God verheerlik word.

Voorwaarts AGS!  Voorwaarts met die “Going Gospel”!

AGS Pastorale Brief: 1ste Kwartaal 2018

 AGS Pastorale Brief: Laai die PDF weergawe hier af

Kollega,

Ek groet jou in Jesus se Naam.

Soos wat hierdie jaar aanbeweeg word ek konstant herinner aan die AGS se waardevolle en baie spesifieke roeping – om siele te wen.  Dit is ons visie om toe te sien dat elke lidmaat van die AGS sy/haar rol as plaaslike sendeling in hulle gemeenskappe inneem. Verby is die dae waar ons moes reis na ‘n vreemde en vêrre land om die Goeie Nuus van Jesus Christus te verkondig aan ongelowiges. Verskeie buitelandse burgers het Suid-Afrika hulle tuiste gemaak. Hulle kan bereik word met die Evangelie in ons omgewing, werksplekke en vermaaklikheidsplekke. Vandag is elke AGS lidmaat ‘n sielewenner of Koninkrykswerker en ‘n draer van die verantwoordelikheid om die Goeie Nuus te verkondig waar hulle ookal is – by die werk, tussen familie of in hul plaaslike gemeenskap.  Ons rol as pastore en leiers van die kerk is om ‘n gemeentekultuur te skep waar lidmate kan groei, ontwikkel en toegerus word as sendelinge, Koninkrykswerkers of hedendaagse Apostoliese Agente. Hierdie kosbare roeping is die kern en hart van ons “One AFM Game Plan”.

Met hierdie Pastorale Brief het ons ‘n paar kwessies wat die Kerk se vermoë om haar roeping te bereik en te vervul, oorweeg: (i) Missionaliteit – tradisioneel vs. die nuwe Sending paradigma, (ii)  Leierskap- Opvolger Beplanning, (iii) Taal – die sleutel tot beter begrip van die One AFM Game Plan en (iv) “Coaching” as ‘n Leierskap-Ontwikkelings instrument.

MISSIONALITEIT – TRADISIONEEL VS. DIE NUWE SENDING PARADIGMA

Dr. Henri Weideman – Algemene Sekretaris

‘n Kern aspek van die tradisionele sending paradigma is die prentjie van ‘n individuele gelowige wat ‘n roeping van die Here af kry en na ‘n vêr land reis om die Evangelie aan ongelowiges in “die Sendingveld” te gaan verkondig. ‘n Sendingkomitee of -raad neem dan verantwoordelikheid vir hierdie sendeling, samel fondse in en “stuur” hom/haar uit om sendingwerk te gaan doen. In hierdie paradigma, is sending hoofsaaklik die “werk” of fokusarea van ‘n departement/komittee en ‘n paar sendelinge.

Tye het verander en ons leef te midde van ‘n nuwe realiteit.  Mense van regoor die wêreld kom na ons land en woonbuurte om hier te leef en te werk. Dit gebeur wêreldwyd. Die “sendingveld” is toenemend in ons eie huise, gemeenskappe, plekke van opvoeding en ontspanning en in ons eie werksplekke.  Maak geen fout!  God roep nog steeds mense om as sendelinge na ander lande te gaan, maar Hy roep ons nou meer as tevore om ons oë oop te maak en die geweldige geleenthede raak te sien om die Evangelie met ander mense in ons woon- en werkplekke te deel!

“Die “sendingveld” is toenemend in ons eie huise, gemeenskappe, plekke van opvoeding en ontspanning en in ons eie werksplekke.”

Engeland, wat eens een van die grootste uitstuurders van Christen sendelinge was, is ‘n land waarin daar tans meer moskees as kerke is en moet as’t ware van voor af met die Evangelie bereik word!  Met 195 miljoen kerklose mense, het Amerika ook ‘n sendingveld geword. Die mense wat die beste geposisioneer is om hulle te bereik is die Amerikaners en die Britte self. Die “One AFM Game Plan” is die kerk se strategiese plan om ons te help transformeer van ‘n tradisionele begrip na ‘n nuwe verstaan van sending in die AGS.  Die vyf drywers, of fokusareas van die “One AFM Game Plan”, is die kern in die implementering van hierdie nuwe paradigma.

Dit is dus belangrik dat ons die begrip missionaliteit sal verstaan:

OM MISSIONAAL TE WEES: In die verlede was sending die “werk” van ‘n bepaalde departement of groep individue. Om missionaal te wees is die daaglikse taak en roeping van elke gelowige. Die basiese uitgangspunt is dat alle gelowiges betrokke moet wees in die vervulling van die Groot Opdrag van Jesus (Matteus 28:19-20).  Nie net deur middel van “amptelike” bedieninge en strukture nie, maar as deel van ons daaglikse lewenswyse.

“…alle gelowiges betrokke moet wees in die vervulling van die Groot Opdrag van Jesus (Matteus 28:19-20).”

Om missionaal te wees beteken ook dat ons die denke, gedrag en aktiwiteite van ‘n sendeling ons eie maak om sodoende ander te bereik met die boodskap van die Evangelie.  “Missionaliteit” is ‘n term wat deur Christene gebruik word om hierdie missionale-lewenswyse te beskryf. Jesus het gesê: “Soos die Vader my gestuur het, stuur Ek julle ook.” (Joh. 20:21).

The Church (every Christian) is sent into the world to continue that which Jesus came to do – in the power of the same Spirit, reconciling people to God (Lesslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1989, 230).

Dit gaan dus nie vir ‘n missionale kerk daaroor om ‘n “departement” wat sendingwerk doen te bou nie, maar eerder om alle lidmate met ‘n missionale manier van dink en doen toe te rus, met praktiese vaardighede, sodat alle gelowiges agente van God se missie in die wêreld sal wees. Die kerk as geheel, en individuele gelowiges in besonder, is instrumente van hierdie missie.  Die kerk is nie veronderstel om ‘n doel opsigself te wees nie. God het ‘n missie wat die kerk te bowe gaan. Om die waarheid te sê, die kerk bestaan omdat daar ‘n God-gegewe missie is en nie andersom nie.

“…alle lidmate met ‘n missionale manier van dink en doen toe te rus…”

Those who belong to Jesus are called, here and now, in the power of the Spirit, to be agents of that putting-to-rights purpose (N. T. Wright, Simply Christian, Harper San Francisco, 2006, 201, 204).

OM GESTUUR TE WEES:
Jesus was the first apostle. Sent by his Father. He, in turn, sent the Twelve. They went to people who would then take the Gospel to the rest of the world. Whoever received it would understand that they, too, had been sent. With the Gospel being what it is, the church as bearer of the Gospel is bound to be Apostolic (Jim Petersen and Mike Shamy, The Insider, NavPress, 2003, 83).

As sendelinge wat deur Jesus gestuur is, moet elke Christen daarop fokus om ‘n lewe te leef wat werklik ‘n impak maak op die kultuur en al die sfere van die gemeenskap waarin ons onsself bevind. Ons moet dit nie doen deur vir die mense om ons te “preek” nie, maar deur hulle aktief te betrek.

Eerstens deur die manier hoe ons leef, tweedens deur ons (Christelike) waardes met hulle te deel en derdens deur die verskil wat Jesus in ons lewens gemaak het te demonstreer en daaroor te praat. St Francis Assissi het gesê: “It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.” Elke dissipel/navolger van Jesus moet daarna streef om ‘n verteenwoordiger, ‘n agent van die Koninkryk van God te wees en om die missie van God in elke sfeer van sy/haar lewe in te dra.  Ons is almal sendelinge, wat na ons leefwêreld gestuur is.

“Ons is almal sendelinge, wat na ons leefwêreld gestuur is.”

We are all called to go – even if it is only to the next room, or the next block. (Thomas Hale, On Being a Missionary, p 6).

LEIERSKAP OPVOLGER BEPLANNING (Succesion Planning)

Past. M.G. Mahlobo – President

Die aangeleentheid van opvolging word  in ons kerk se konstitusie beskryf as ewigdurende (deurlopende) regsopvolging (continuous legal succession). Hierdie frase kom voor met betrekking tot die wettige status van die volgende strukture:  Plaasike Gemeentes, Streeks Leierskap Forums en gespesialiseerde bedienings waarna verwys word as Departemente. Ewigdurende wetlike opvolging in hierdie geval het ‘n verwysing na die voortsetting van die kerk se bestaan ten spyte van vakante leierskapposisies wat mag voorkom as gevolg van natuurlike attrisie of enige ander vorm van uitgang.

In die plaaslike gemeentes word pastore beroep en aangewend volgens die terme van dienskontrakte tussen hulle en hulle onderskeie plaaslike gemeentes. Opvolging word ‘n probleem wanneer sodanige pastoor, vir watter rede ookal, nie meer beskikbaar is om die gemeente te bedien nie. Lede van die plaaslike gemeente se Beheerliggaam word verkies gedurende die kerk se verkiesingsjaar. Dieselfde geld vir die Streeks, Nasionale en Departementele strukture. Huidiglik gebeur dit elke vier jaar. Die volgende verkiesingsjaar van die AGS is 2020.

“Hoe moet ons die konsep van opvolging beplanning
(succession planning) verstaan?”

Verkiesings  ontketen ‘n warboel van emosies. Sommige van hierdie emosies is verwoestend en het die potensiaal om te ondermyn en inter-persoonlike verhoudinge in gevaar te stel. Aan die ander kant is daar dikwels geen duidelike posbeskrywings vir diegene wat verkies word tot leierskap nie, veral op Streeks en Nasionale strukture van die kerk. Hoe moet ons die konsep van opvolging beplanning (succession planning) verstaan? Opvolging beplanning is ‘n drie-voudige proses. Dit sluit in leierskap identifikasie, leierskap ontwikkeling en leierskap behoud.

LEIERSKAP IDENTIFIKASIE: Sommige van die huidige uitdagings, met betrekking tot leierskap opvolging, is ‘n tekort van genoegsame praktiese oriëntering,  oorgangs meganismes en ‘n tekort van duidelikheid wanneer dit kom by posbeskrywings. Dit word duidelik dat die meeste van die “General Business Meeting” (GBM) afgevaardiges nie seker is wie beskikbaar is vir verkiesing tot die Nasionale Ampsdraers van die kerk nie.  Die kwessie verdiep wanneer diegene wat al ‘n geruime tydperk leierskap posisies bekleë nie meer langer in aanmerking kom of beskikbaar is vir verkiesing nie.

“Ons moet altyd in gedagte hou dat diegene wat aangestel word om die kerk te lei, leiers  moet kan wees van ‘n kerkorganisasie wat veelrassig, en multi-kultureel is en ‘n geskiedenis het wat oor 110 jaar strek.”

Om leiers te identifiseer sonder riglyne, lei tot ‘n toestand van onsekerheid en “koukus” of beraadslaging.  Ons moet ‘n manier vind om leiers te identifiseer deur openlike besprekings. Ons het nodig om weer te kyk na die verkiesbaarheidsvereistes van potensiële kandidate. Hierdie vereistes moet bekwaamheid, status en ondervinding insluit. Ons moet altyd in gedagte hou dat diegene wat aangestel word om die kerk te lei, leiers moet kan wees van ‘n kerkorganisasie wat veelrassig, en multi-kultureel is en ‘n geskiedenis het wat oor 110 jaar strek.

Dit is ook nodig om oorgangsmeganismes te oordink. Sulke meganismes moet verseker dat daar uittreeverslae voorberei en oorhandig word aan die opvolgers. Daar moet ook verseker word dat die nuut verkose leiers genoeg tyd gegee word om te voldoen aan hulle kontraktuele verpligtinge, waar nodig.

LEIERSKAP ONTWIKKELING: As ons saamstem dat leierskap opvolging ook ontwikkeling insluit, is dit belangrik dat die Nasionale Leierskap Forum (NLF) versoek word om ‘n leierskapontwikkelingsraamwerk te formuleer. Alhoewel teologiese opleiding toegeruste pastore voortbring, moet  ons erken dat dit nie noodwendlig leiers voortbring nie. ‘n Leierskapontwikkelingsraamwerk moet  onder andere die diverse aspek van ons kerk en ook die impak van inligtings tegnologie in ag neem.

“Alhoewel teologiese opleiding toegeruste pastore voortbring, moet  ons erken dat dit nie noodwendlig leiers voortbring nie.”

LEIERSKAP BEHOUD:  Die Nasionale Leierskap Forum (NLF) sal gevra word om ook te kyk na strategieë vir die behoud van potensiële leierskap. Dit is belangrik dat die kerk sy leierskap behou. Bogenoemde aangeleenthede is bespreek by die NLF en word huidiglik voorgelê aan die Streeks Kommittees en plaaslike gemeentes se leierskap, gedurende die NOB Streeks Bemagtigingsbesoeke. Geskrewe voorstelle is ontvang van deelnemers. Ek en die Adjunkpresident ondersoek hierdie aangeleenthede verder, saam met Streeksleiers en die kerk se Nasionale Departementele Leiers.

“Die huidige besprekings rondom opvolgbeplanning mag uitloop op ‘n voorlegging vir konstitusionele wysigings om te oorweeg tydens die 2018 AGS Algemene Besigheids Vergadering (2018 AFM General Business Meeting)”

Die huidige besprekings rondom opvolgbeplanning mag uitloop op ‘n voorlegging vir konstitusionele wysigings om te oorweeg tydens die 2018 AGS Algemene Besigheids Vergadering (2018 AFM General Business Meeting). Dit is my mening dat ons nodig het om wyd te beraadslaag met die kerk voordat wysigings aan die konstitusie voorgelê word aan die GBM.  Ek vra julle gebede vir God se leiding in hierdie saak. Elkeen is ook welkom om hulle insette per e-pos te stuur na die Algemene Sekretaris te henri@afm-ags.org.

TAAL – DIE SLEUTEL TOT BETER BEGRIP VAN DIE ONE AFM GAME PLAN

Past. M.G. Mahlobo – President

Soos wat ons deur die verskillende provinsies reis tydens ons jaarlikse NOB Streeks Bemagtigingswerkswinkels, word ons geseën met heelwat informele gesprekke met ons pastore, beheerliggaam lede, departementele leiers en ander funksionerende leiers in die kerk.  Hierdie informele gesprekke, tesame met die terugvoer wat ons ontvang in ons formele memingsopname of vraelys, maak ons bewus van die behoeftes, uitdagings en vrae wat ons leiers het.

“…die Game Plan beskikbaar is in 4 verskillende tale…”

Met betrekking tot die Game Plan implementering word die kwessie van taal nog steeds geopper.  Ons wil seker maak dat alle leiers bewus is van die feit dat die Game Plan beskikbaar is in 4 verskillende tale:

  • Engels

  • Afrikaans

  • isiZulu

  • Sesotho

Die AGS het artikels en videogrepe in 4 tale ontwikkel om Missionaliteit en die betrokke drywers te verduidelik. As jy nie bewus is van hierdie feit nie, wil ek jou aanmoedig om die AGS se webtuiste te besoek om hierdie hulpbronne af te laai.  Daar is ook ‘n Game Plan DVD hulpbron wat bestel kan word vanaf die AGS Nasionale Kantoor. All die betrokke skakels word hieronder voorsien:

Lees meer oor die proses en vordering van die Game Plan:

http://afm-ags.org/category/one-afm-game-plan/

Leer meer oor elke Game Plan drywer deur die geskikte taal van jou keuse:

http://afm-ags.org/leading-the-afm/one-afm-game-plan/

Bestel die Game Plan DVD vanaf die Nasionale Kantoor:

http://afm-ags.org/leading-the-afm/order-resources/

“COACHING” AS ‘N LEIERSKAPS ONTWIKKELINGS INSTRUMENT

Dr. H.J. Weideman – Algemene Sekretaris

HOEKOM “COACHING”?   Een van die kernwaardes van die AGS is wedersydse verhoudings  – egte en opbouende (verrykende) verhoudings tussen gelowiges, pastore, leiers en gemeentes. Dit is nie meer in vandag se konteks moontlik om ander op ‘n armlengte van ons af weg te hou nie,  of om indiepte en betekenisvolle verhoudings te probeer vermy nie. Ware leiers en dissipels word voortgebring wanneer individue gelei word tot geestelike en emosionele volwassenheid deur verhouding. “Coaching” (die vorming van kwaliteit begeleidende verhoudinge) is ‘n kern instrument in ons reis om ons missionale roeping te vervul.

“Ware leiers en dissipels word voortgebring wanneer individue gelei word tot geestelike en emosionele volwassenheid deur verhouding.”

Gedurende 2017 het die lede van die Nasionale Leierskap Forum (NLF) opleiding ontvang in “coaching” en gedurende die 2018 NOB besoeke aan die Streke is afgevaardiges blootgestel aan die basiese elemente van “coaching”, asook die GROW “coaching” model. “Coaching” is ‘n vorm van ontwikkeling waar ‘n persoon wat ‘n “coach” genoem word, ‘n “coachee” ondersteun om spesifieke professionele of persoonlike doelwitte te bereik deur begeleiding, opleiding en advies aan die “coachee” te verskaf. Ideaal ondersteun “coaching” ‘n persoon om sy/haar eie oplossings te vind, eerder as om ‘n oplossing vanaf die “coach” se oogpunt voor te skryf.

“Ideaal ondersteun “coaching” ‘n persoon om sy/haar eie oplossings te vind, eerder as om ‘n oplossing vanaf die “coach” se oogpunt voor te skryf.”

Die basiese elemente van “coaching” is kortliks die volgende:

  1. Die “coaching” houding/ingesteldheid:  Eerstens behels “coaching” ‘n ingesteldheid/ houding wat glo in die potensiaal van elke individu en wat werklik waarde aan die lewens van ander wil toevoeg. Dit beteken dat ‘n persoon wat belangstel in “coaching” ‘n hart moet hê vir ander mense en wil poog om net die beste in die “coachee” navore te bring.

  2. Verhouding en vertroue: ‘n Belangrike aspek van die “coaching” verhouding is die opbou van vertroue, asook ‘n outentieke verstandhouding wat opregtheid en humor insluit, tussen die “coach” en die “coachee”.

  3. Kragtige vrae: Kragtige vrae vorm die fondasie van effektiewe “coaching”. Die kwaliteit van die vrae wat ‘n “coach” aan sy/haar “coachee” vra, bepaal die kwaliteit van die “coaching”. Oop vrae moet gevra word en veroordelende of adviesgeoriënteeerde vrae moet vermy word. Die regte vrae sal samewerking bewerkstellig en oplossings voortbring.

  4. Die kuns van luister en onderskeiding: Tweede in belangrikheid na die vra van goeie vrae , is om werklik te luister met die doel om te verstaan. ‘n “Coach” moet meer luister as praat of raad gee. ‘n Belangrike eienskap van ‘n goeie luisteraar is om daarteen te waak om te vroeg afleidings te maak. Die “coach” moet probeer om so onpartydig en nie-veroordelend as moontlik op te tree. .  Deel van om in diepte te luister is om die “coachee” se liggaamstaal dop te hou. Heilige Geesvervulde “coaches” het ook die bykomende voordeel van Geestelike onderskeiding.

  5. Terugvoer en bewustheid:  Alhoewel ons nie altyd daarvan hou nie, is terugvoer vanaf die “coachee” belangrik om sukses te behaal. Die “coach” lei die “coachee” om besluite te maak en aksie te neem en moet  hom/haar gereeld uitvra na die verloop of vordering van die ooreengekomde aksie/s. In hierdie konteks is dit ook belangrik om bewustheid van wat besig is om rondom en in die “coachee”  gebeur, in hom/haar in te bou. Dit ondersteun en kweek transformasie.

  6. Voorstelle en vereenvoudiging: Somtyds gebeur dit dat die “coachee”   vashaak en sukkel om opsies vir oplossings of  verskillende moontlike aksies, raak te sien. Die “coach” behoort dan ‘n  voorstel/le voor te lê, maar nie voordat hy/sy die toestemming van die “coachee” gekry  het om dit te doen nie. ‘n Belangrike ingesteldheid regdeur die “coaching” sessies, is om te probeer om by die reël van vereenvoudiging in alle besprekings en oordra van konsepte, te hou.

  7. Doelwitte en  aksieplanne: Sonder die daarstelling van duidelike doelwitte, waarvan die “coachee” eienaarskap  neem en hom/haar verbind tot implementering , sal ‘n “coaching” sessie uiteindelik net ‘n interessante bespreking wees. Die daarstelling van doelwitte, tesame met die skep van strategieë en aksieplanne om dit te bereik, is ‘n baie belangrike deel van suksesvolle “coaching”.

  8. Toerekenvatbaarheid en prestasie: Ons behoort te meet wat belangrik is. Deel van ‘n suksesvolle “coaching” proses, is om die “coachee” verantwoordelik te hou vir die aksies wat hy/sy moes uitvoer om sodoende die gestelde doelwitte te bereik. Deur die “coachee” verantwoordbaar te hou, dryf prestasie en die rol van die “coach” is om hierdie vordering raak te sien en opregte erkenning daaran te gee.

Die “coaching” proses en -model sal verder bespreek word in de 2de kwartaal se Pastorale Brief.

SLOT

Die doel van die Pastorale Brief is om te bemoedig, met ons leiers in verbinding te treë en hulle attent te maak op aangeleenthede wat huidiglik  deel van die hartklop van ons kerk is. Ek vertrou dat jy ingelig is en deel is van die belangrike besprekings wat besig is om plaas te vind op verskillende vlakke in die kerk.  Ons vra God se leiding soos wat ons verder soek na volhoubare oplossings.

Seënwense!

M.G. Mahlobo

AFM Pastoral Letter: 1st Quarter 2018

 AFM Pastoral Letter: Download the PDF printable version

Dear Colleague,

Greetings in Jesus’ Name. As this year progresses I am constantly reminded of the AFM’s precious and very specific calling – to win souls. It is our vision to see that every single member of the AFM claims his/her role as a local missionary in their community. Gone are the days where we had to travel to a foreign and distant country to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost. South Africa has become home to various foreign nationals. They can be reached with the Gospel within our reach, in our neighbourhood, work places and places of entertainment. Every AFM member is a soul winner or Kingdom worker and has a responsibility to proclaim the Gospel there where they are – at work, within their families and local communities. Our role as pastors and leaders of the church is to create an assembly culture where members can grow, develop and be equipped as missionaries, Kingdom workers or modern-day Apostolic Agents. This precious calling is at the heart of our One AFM Game Plan.

In this Pastoral Letter we consider a few issues that affect the church’s ability to reach and fulfill its calling: (i) Missionality – traditional vs. new paradigm of missions, (ii) Leadership Succession Planning and (iii) Coaching as a Leadership Development tool and (iv) Language – a key to unlock understanding of the Game Plan.

MISSIONALITY – TRADITIONAL VS. NEW PARADIGM OF MISSIONS

Dr. Henri Weideman – General Secretary

A key part of the traditional paradigm of missions, sees an individual believer receiving a call from God and traveling to a far-away foreign country to preach the Gospel to unbelievers, in what is called the “mission field.” A “Mission’s Board or -Committee” then “adopts” this missionary, raises support and “sends” him/her out to do missions work. In this paradigm, mission is mainly the “work” or focus area of a department/committee and a few missionaries.

Times have changed, and we are now living in a new reality: People from all over the world are coming to our country, communities, and neighbourhoods to live and work. This is happening everywhere in the world. The “mission field” is now in our own houses, communities, places of learning and leisure and in our own workplaces. Make no mistake! God still calls people to go to other countries as missionaries, but He is also now calling us more than ever, to open our eyes and see the tremendous opportunities to share the Gospel right where we work and live!

“The “mission field” is now in our own houses, communities, places of learning and leisure and in our own workplaces.”

Did you know that England, a great Christian missionary-sending nation for centuries, now has more mosques than churches, and must itself be reached with the Gospel all over again! America with its 195 million unchurched people, has also become a new “mission field”.  The people best positioned to reach them, are the Americans and British citizens themselves. The One AFM Game Plan is our strategic plan to transition the concept of mission in the AFM, from the traditional one into a new paradigm. The five drivers or focus areas of the One AFM Game Plan are critical in the implementation of this new paradigm. It is therefore important that we understand the concept of being missional.

BEING MISSIONAL: In the past mission was regarded as a responsibility of a certain department, or group of individuals. Being missional means that mission is the daily task and calling of every believer. The basic premise is that all Christians should be involved in the fulfillment of Great Commission of Jesus (Matthew 28:19-20). Not only through “official” ministries and structures, but as part of our everyday life style.

“…all Christians should be involved in the fulfillment of Great Commission of Jesus (Matthew 28:19-20).”

Being missional includes embracing the thinking, behaviour, and practices of a missionary, in order to reach others with the message of the Gospel.  “Missionality” is a term used by Christians to describe this missionary lifestyle. Jesus said: “As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you” (John 20:21).

The Church (every Christian) is sent into the world to continue that which Jesus came to do – in the power of the same Spirit, reconciling people to God (Lesslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1989, 230).

So, for a missional church it is not about building a “department” that does missions, but about empowering all assembly members with a missional mindset and practical know-how: That of being an agent of God’s mission to the world. The church as a whole and individual believers specifically, are the instruments of this mission. The Church is not supposed to be an end in itself; God has a mission that goes beyond the Church. There is church because there is a God-given mission, not the other way around. Mission in its widest sense, is what the church is there for.

“…empowering all assembly members with a missional mindset…”

Those who belong to Jesus are called, here and now, in the power of the Spirit, to be agents of that putting-to-rights purpose (N. T. Wright, Simply Christian, Harper San Francisco, 2006, 201, 204).

BEING SENT:
Jesus was the first apostle. Sent by his Father. He, in turn, sent the Twelve. They went to people who would then take the Gospel to the rest of the world. Whoever received it would understand that they, too, had been sent. With the Gospel being what it is, the church as bearer of the Gospel is bound to be Apostolic (Jim Petersen and Mike Shamy, The Insider, NavPress, 2003, 83).

As missionaries sent by Jesus, every Christian must learn to live a life that actually impacts our surrounding culture and all spheres of the society that we live in. We should be doing this, not by “preaching” to the people around us, but by engaging them – firstly through our own way of living, secondly by sharing our (Christian) values and thirdly, by demonstrating and talking about the difference that Jesus made in our own lives. St Francis Assisi once said: “It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching”. Every disciple/follower of Christ should strive to be an agent, a representative of the kingdom of God and endeavor to carry the mission of God into every sphere of his/her life. We are all missionaries sent into our world.

“We are all missionaries sent into our world.”

We are all called to go – even if it is only to the next room, or the next block. (Thomas Hale, On Being a Missionary, p 6).

 

LEADERSHIP SUCCESSION PLANNING

Past. M.G. Mahlobo – President

The matter of succession is provided for in our church’s constitution as perpetual (continuous) legal succession. This phrase recurs with regard to the legal status of the following structures: Local Assembly, Regional Leadership Forum and the specialized ministries which are referred to as Departments.  Perpetual legal succession in this instance, has a reference to the continuation of the church’s existence despite leadership vacancy that may be due to natural attrition or any other form of exit.

In the local Assembly, pastors are called and utilized in terms of service agreements between them and their respective local assemblies. Succession becomes an issue when such a pastor is no longer available to serve them for whatever reasons. Members of the local Assembly’s governing structures are elected during the church’s election year. When it comes to the Regional, National and Departments’ structures, election year is the interval at which new leadership is elected. Currently this happens every four years. The next election year in the AFM is 2020.

“How should we understand the concept of succession planning?”

Elections unleash a lot of emotions. Some of these emotions are destructive and have the potential to undermine and compromise interpersonal relationships. On the other hand, there is no clear job descriptions for those elected into leadership, especially at Regional and at National structures of the church. How should we understand the concept of succession planning? Succession planning is a three-fold process. It includes leadership identification, leadership development and leadership retention.

LEADERSHIP IDENTIFICATION:  Some of the current challenges when it comes to leadership succession, are a lack of adequate experience orientation, transitional mechanisms and a lack of clarity when it comes to job-descriptions. It is becoming evident that most of the General Business Meeting (GBM) delegates are not sure about who is available when it comes to election of the National Office Bearers of the church. This becomes intensified when those that have been in the leadership for a long time are no longer eligible or available for election.

“We must always bear in mind that those appointed to lead the church are leading a church organisation that is multiracial, multilingual, multicultural and of course that the church has a history of 110 years.”

Identifying leaders without guidelines, leads to a state uncertainty and “caucusing”. We need to find a way of identifying potential leaders through open discussions. We need to relook the eligibility requirements for potential candidates. These requirements must include skill, status and experience. We must always bear in mind that those appointed to lead the church are leading a church organisation that is multiracial, multilingual, multicultural and of course that the church has a history of 110 years.

We also need to consider transitional mechanisms. Such mechanisms must ensure that there are exit reports prepared and handed over to the successors. They must also ensure that the newly appointed leaders are given ample time to comply with their contractual obligations, where necessary.

We also need to consider transitional mechanisms. Such mechanisms must ensure that there are exit reports prepared and handed over to the successors. They must also ensure that the newly appointed leaders are given ample time to comply with their contractual obligations, where necessary.

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT:  If we agree that leadership succession includes leadership development, it is essential that the National Leadership Forum (NLF) be requested to formulate a leadership development framework. While current theological training produce pastors who are doing well, it must be stated that it does not necessarily produce leaders. A leadership development framework must take into cognizance the diversity aspect of our church organisation and the impact of information technology, just to mention a few of the ingredients.

“While current theological training produce pastors who are doing well, it must be stated that it does not necessarily produce leaders.”

LEADERSHIP RETENTION:  The NLF will be requested to also look at strategies for leadership retention. It is important that the church retain its leadership. The above matters have been discussed by the NLF and are currently being presented to the Regional Committees and Local Assemblies’ leadership during the NOB Regional Empowerment visits. Written inputs are received from participants. I and the Deputy President are further canvassing these matters with Regional Leaders and the church’s National Departments’ Leaders.

“The current discussions on succession planning may culminate in the proposal for constitutional amendments to be considered by the 2018 AFM General Business Meeting.”

The current discussions on succession planning may culminate in the proposal for constitutional amendments to be considered by the 2018 AFM General Business Meeting. It is my view that we need to consult broadly with the church before amendments to the constitution are presented to the GBM for action. In this regard I solicit your prayers for God’s guidance. You are also welcome to send your input via e-mail to the General Secretary at henri@afm-ags.org.

LANGUAGE – A KEY TO UNLOCK UNDERSTANDING OF THE GAME PLAN

Past. M.G. Mahlobo – President

As we travel through the various provinces on our annual NOB Regional Empowerment Workshops we are blessed with many informal conversations with our pastors, governing body members, department leaders and other leaders functioning in the church. These informal discussions, together with the feedback we receive through a formal survey or questionnaire, makes us aware of the needs, challenges and questions our leaders have.

“…the Game Plan is available in 4 different languages…”

With regards to Game Plan implementation, the issue of language is still being raised. We want to make sure that all leaders are aware of the fact that the Game Plan is available in 4 different languages:

  • English

  • Afrikaans

  • isiZulu

  • Sesotho

The AFM produced articles and video clips in 4 languages to explain missionality and its drivers. If you were not aware of this fact, I want to encourage you to visit the AFM website to view and download these resources. There is also a Game Plan DVD resource that can be ordered from the AFM National Office. All the relevant link are provided below:

Read more about the Game Plan process and progress:

http://afm-ags.org/category/one-afm-game-plan/

Learn more about each Game Plan driver by selecting the language of your choice:

http://afm-ags.org/leading-the-afm/one-afm-game-plan/

Order the Game Plan DVD from the National Office:

COACHING AS A LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT TOOL

Dr. H.J. Weideman – General Secretary

WHY COACHING? One of the core values of the AFM is relationships – genuine and edifying (enriching) relationships between believers, pastors, leaders and assemblies. It is no longer possible in today’s context to keep others at an arms-length away from us, trying to avoid an in-depth meaningful relationship. True leaders and disciples are produced when individuals are led to spiritual and emotional maturity through relationship. Coaching (producing quality relationships) is an essential tool in our journey to fulfil our missional calling.

“True leaders and disciples are produced when individuals are led to spiritual and emotional maturity through relationship.”

In 2017 the National Leadership Forum (NLF) members received training in coaching and during the 2018 NOB visits to the regions and attendees were exposed to the basic elements of coaching, as well the GROW coaching model. Coaching is a form of development in which a person called a coach, supports a coachee, in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing guidance, training and advice. Coaching ideally assists a person to find his/her own solutions, rather than prescribing a solution from the coach’s viewpoint.

“Coaching ideally assists a person to find his/her own solutions, rather than prescribing a solution from the coach’s viewpoint.”

In short, the basic elements of coaching are the following:

  1. The coaching attitude:  In the first-place coaching is about an attitude that believes in the potential of every individual and wants to add real value to the life of others. This means that a person interested in coaching, should have a heart for other people and strive to bring out the best in the coachee.

  2. Relationship and trust:  An important part of the coaching relationship is the building of trust, as well as the maintenance of authentic rapport, sincerity and humor between the coach and coachee.

  3. Asking questions:  Powerful questions form the foundation of effective coaching. The quality of the questions that a coach puts to his/her coachee, determines the quality of the coaching. Questions should be open ended and avoids being judgmental or advice-oriented. The right questions will create buy-in and release solutions.

  4. Listening & intuition (Discernment):  Second in importance to asking great questions, is to really listen with the aim to understand. A coach should aim to listen rather than tell. An important part of good listening is to avoid jumping to premature conclusions. The coach should try to stay as impartial and non-judgmental as possible. Part of listening deeply is to observe the coachee’s body language. Holy Spirit filled coaches also have the added benefit of discernment.

  5. Feedback & awareness:  Although we sometimes do not like it, feedback from the coachee is important for success. The coach guides the coachee to make decisions and to take action and needs to regularly ask him/her how the agreed upon action is coming on.  In this context it is also important to build awareness in the coachee on what is happening around and inside him/her. This will aid and cultivate transformation.

  6. Suggestions & Simplification:  Sometimes it happens that a coachee gets stuck and struggles to see or find solutions and options for action to be taken. The coach should then be able to offer a suggestion/s but, must first get the consent of the coachee before doing so. An important mindset throughout coaching sessions, is to try and keep to the rule of simplicity in all discussions and conveying of concepts.

  7. Goals & Action plans:  Without the establishment of clear goals of which the coachee must take ownership and commit to implement, a coaching session will ultimately only be an interesting discussion. The setting of goals, coupled with the creation of strategies and action plans to achieve them, is a very important part of successful coaching.

  8. Accountability & Accomplishments:  We should measure what is important, therefore part of successful coaching is for the coachee to be accountable to his/her coach on actions taken towards the completion of agreed upon goals. Accountability drives accomplishments and the coaches’ side of this coin is to authentically acknowledge the efforts and progress the coachee is making.

In the Pastoral Letter for the 2nd quarter I will share the coaching process.

CONCLUSION

The purpose of the Pastoral Letter is to encourage, connect and engage with our leaders on matters that are currently at the centre of our church’s heartbeat. I trust that you are informed and part of the important conversations that are taking place on different levels in the church. We ask God’s guidance as we delve further in search for sustainable solutions.

God Bless!

M.G. Mahlobo