Pastoral Letter 4th Quarter

Download the PDF version here:

 Pastoral Letter 4th Qrt 2018

Dear Colleague,

We are steadily approaching the end of 2018 and looking towards the new year with hope and fresh expectation. 2019 marks an important year for the South African nation because it is a general election year. We are seeing a strong drive in South Africa towards corporate or united prayer meetings and gatherings. Up4SA is also such an initiative with the aim to bring unity through prayer to our local communities. It is an action that can be taken by our local AFM assemblies that directly promotes the implementation of a missional church – as described on our One AFM Game Plan.

It is an action that can be taken by our local AFM assemblies that directly promotes the implementation of a missional church – as described on our One AFM Game Plan.”

My question to you is: Do you have a prayer point in your local community? I ask all our pastors and community leaders to prayerfully consider volunteering and co-ordinating a prayer point in your local community. Every leader or volunteer receives a resource pack and will be empowered to coordinate the prayer point. Let us cover our nation with prayer through the Up4SA prayer initiative in 2019 (22-24 February). Information is available from:

http://afm-ags.org/category/media/
https://www.facebook.com/Up4SA/
Past. Robbie Black 082 462 1540

LET US PRAY!

Past. M.G. Mahlobo – President of the AFM of SA

January month is specifically set aside for prayer and fasting in the AFM of SA. (Download the AFM national calendar from: http://afm-ags.org/category/media/.) Each local assembly leadership decides on the commencement, the manner and the duration of prayer and fasting. I call upon all AFM pastors and members to commit to prayer and fasting during the month of January in 2019. While each congregation will decide on the prayer focus, my request is that you include the following prayer items.

I call upon all AFM pastors and members to commit to prayer and fasting during the month of January in 2019.”

South Africa’s general elections that will determine who will become the next President of the country. The date for the coming elections is yet to be pronounced by the State President. We need to pray for peaceful and successful elections.

The AFM International will be convening its Triennial Conference in Nairobi (Kenya) on 19-24 August 2019. This Conference will, among other things, deliberate on the status of the AFM churches in all countries in which it has a presence. AFM member countries are at different stages of growth on their way to self-sustenance, self-governing and self-propagation. In many of these member churches there is a need for leadership development and the establishment of governance structures. A few of them have teething internal challenges. My request is that you pray for the successful Triennial Conference in Kenya and growth in all of the member churches.

Most of you are aware that one of the global events that I have been promoting is the 25th World Pentecostal Conference which will be convened in Calgary (Canada) on 27-30 August 2019. The AFM is an active member of the World Pentecostal Fellowship which is convening this Conference. It will be attended by representatives from Pentecostal Churches from all over the world and presented under the theme: “Spirit Now!” Without prayer our plans may not succeed. I am calling on our pastors and members to pray for the 25th World Pentecostal Conference in Canada.

Lastly but not least, let us pray for the great harvest of souls in 2019 and for the transformation of our communities through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.”

GAME PLAN IMPLEMENTATION: AN INSPIRING STORY

Past. Johan Brits – Fokus Deo Assembly (Modimolle Limpopo)

At the General Business Meeting (GBM) that was held in September, there was one presentation that focused on successful implementation of the One AFM Game Plan drivers. This presentation is now accessible in an article format to show how the Game Plan drivers can be implemented on a practical level. Past. Johan Brits of the Fokus Deo assembly tells their inspiring story:

ADAPTING TO CHANGE: ON A MISSION FOR A NEW ENGLISH SERVICE

“We are the AGS/AFM in Modimolle Limpopo (situated in the middle of the town) and are part of the Familia Dei Network. We saw that there were many families moving into town from the township, leaving us with the following question: Where would they go to church? We saw that they weren’t going back to the township church, and realised we could be a home for them!
This mind shift came after the leadership did the “Walk Thru the Bible: High Impact Church” course. There we realised that it doesn’t matter what the size of your church is, what does matter is the impact your church has in your community. The leadership made the decision to embark on an English service at the beginning of 2017 and adopted the principles below:

“…it doesn’t matter what the size of your church is, what does matter is the impact your church has in your community. “

  • We focus on the middle-class person in town. We do not focus on the township, because there is already an AFM there which is a spiritual home for many believers in the township.
  • We don’t provide transport from far locations – our focus is on our immediate community.
  • It is not a multi-cultural service. We see it as a modern English service where we have all colours and cultures attending (there are even Germans who drive far to attend).
  • We are in a modern community and have a modern service with multi-media. Services last no longer than 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  • We do not have a band yet, but that is not seen as an obstacle. We build our songs on video (and the people love it!)
  • The pastors work intentionally to break any racial issues and talk about it openly with the congregation.
  • Fellowship is very important. We connect and build relationships over coffee/tea/biscuits after and between the services.

Our church leadership decided: it is not ‘us’ and ‘them’, but just US, the same congregation, just another service like the others but in English. We preach the same message in this English service as we do in the Afrikaans services.

We preach the same message in this English service as we do in the Afrikaans services.”

To get this new English service started in our community we planned multiple actions and strategies. We started by printing flyers and giving them out everywhere – at schools and on the streets. We even asked our current members to take these flyers to their workplaces. We hosted a street braai in the main street of town and gave away 1,000 wors rolls for free! We told people about the new service, gave them flyers and prayed for them. I often went (and still go) to the main streets on a Saturday morning with my Bible. I talk to people, pray with them and invite them to church – through this I have led people to Christ, gained new members and baptised them! We do Church Campaigns (from Walk Thru the Bible) in our services – this grows the congregation through attendance and cell groups. You can go to their website: www.bible.org.za. We do projects that reach out to schools and businesses – with the intent to introduce them to the church.

With the help of a good friend, Pastor Elvis Mvulane we started the English service with 20 people. We now average 120 people per Sunday. It has now evolved to such an extent that we have a pastor (who lives in Alberton) that travels 180 km every Sunday to help with the preaching and house visitations. Four months after starting the English service we saw the need for an English Sunday School – and currently minister to 60 children on a Sunday. We now also employ someone who takes charge of our Sunday School. Our dream is to have 5,000 people in our English service! With 80 000 in the area we believe that this is a realistic target.”

“Our dream is to have 5,000 people in our English service! With 80 000 in the area we believe that this is a realistic target.”
If you are looking for the direct connections between the story and the One AFM Game Plan drivers, I trust that the GBM presentation will clearly show and demonstrate these links:

PASTORAL WELLNESS: THE WHOLE PICTURE

Dr. Vincent Atterbury  
(A follow-up article from the AFM Pastoral Letter 3rd Quarter)

God calls and empowers people with the Holy Spirit, to be part of the extension and continuation of the ministry of His Son, Jesus Christ’s ministry on earth. As much as it is an honour to be called by God, it also implies a personal responsibility –  to maintain the zeal of the original calling without falling short thereof because of burnout. God’s calling is never at the expense of anything within the totality of any one’s human existence.

God’s calling is never at the expense of anything within the totality of any one’s human existence.”

Although great progress has been made in attempts to understand the total existence of human beings, these efforts have only scratched the surface. Every person is created by Him in a unique way when He knitted them together for His glory and purpose (Psalm 139:13-14). In a sense, it is a challenge for human beings to understand exactly how wonderfully and complex God made them.

The wellness of a person is determined by not only one, but a combination of different areas and facets of life. Considering the wellness of pastors, at least 7 areas that are integrated and interwoven with one another is applicable and need to be focussed on in working towards pastoral wellness.

  1. Spiritual: At the centre of any human’s wellness is their personal relationship with God. Living in a right relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ, and being led by His Spirit. From such a relationship one will experience a deep sense of purpose (calling) and meaning in life. The values, principles and behaviour of individuals are determined by their personal relationship with God. Growing stronger in your relationship with God is essential to any pastor’s wellness.
  2. Emotional: Every human being has the inherent ability to experience a variety of emotions, e.g. happiness, sadness, joy, hope, stress, fear, anger, etc. Many feelings are attached to opposites causing variance in mood, effectiveness, productivity, perspectives, behaviour and coping with challenges. Growing in emotional intelligence (the ability to understand ourselves) and coping with life’s challenges, is vital to pastoral wellness.
  3. Intellectual: Every person has been created with intellectual ability that needs to be developed through a lifelong process of acquiring knowledge and skills. This is a never-ending process as the world, knowledge and life itself change constantly. New ideas and problem solving abilities are required to stay relevant and live well. Pastors need to be life-long learners in order to contribute to their own wellness.
  4. Physical: God gives a human being one body that serves as a vehicle through which He displays the masterpiece He has created in that person. The body is like any vehicle, the better it is looked after, the longer it will serve one with excellence. Pastoral wellness can be enhanced in growing, adopting and maintaining healthy habits (e.g. routine medical check-ups, a balanced diet, exercise, rest, etc.). Destructive lifestyle patterns must be avoided at all costs.
  5. Social: God created every individual to be interdependent with other human beings. Relationships with spouses, children, other family, etc. is very crucial with regard to a pastor’s wellness. Growing in the creation and maintenance of positive relationships enhances pastoral wellness. This includes occupational and institutional relationships too, e.g. with colleagues, volunteers,  assembly members, the governing board, regional forum, national leadership and office.
  6. Occupational: God created us for a specific purpose (calling). The wellness of pastors are influenced by the level of personal fulfilment they experience in what they are doing, what they are allowed to do and what they are empowered to do. Pastoral wellness can be enhanced by engagement in ministry according to the individual’s God-given talents and gifts, matched by a suitable working environment.
  7. Financial: Our relationship to earthly possessions, money and the management of resources is a major topic addressed in the Bible. The Bible explains the effect thereof on the wellness of humans. Growing in the Biblical understanding of God’s provision, our relationship to it, as well as our responsibility towards managing God’s provision, will enhance pastoral wellness.

Pastoral wellness is complex and there is not a ‘quick fix’, one key or secret, that will cause a pastor’s wellness. Every pastor must consciously be aware of the fact that he/she is multifaceted. All areas require attention and determine wellness.

The prayer of John for Gaius emphasises that pastors should not only be well spiritually, but also in every other area of their lives (3 John 1:2). In Proverbs 4:23 Solomon emphasises that we have to take care of all areas of our life, as the totality and quality of our lives and ministry, is affected by it. It is only then, and then alone that pastors will be able to fulfil God’s calling for their lives through sustainable fruitfulness, season after season.

“…pastors will be able to fulfil God’s calling for their lives through sustainable fruitfulness, season after season.”

LEADING FROM THE HEART: HELENA JACKSON
Past. M.G. Mahlobo – President of the AFM of SA

The AFM Welfare Department has been a shining example of the AFM’s Social Responsibility and Community Involvement since the unification of the AFM in 1996. Helena Jackson succeeded Past. Eben Muller as the Director of this Department. This is one of the Departments that requires prudence and a high degree of stewardship. Helena steered this Welfare ship until it hit the financial “ice berg”. She didn’t abandon the ship. She continued to do her best to keep it afloat. In the meantime, the National Leadership intervened with the aim of rescuing and turning the Department around. Helena remained optimistic that this ministry will continue. She has since resigned as the Director of the AFM Welfare Department. We will surely miss her passion and commitment to minister to the needy. I am, however, convinced that she will not sit back and fold her arms in the face of many social challenges that our country is facing. She will find a way of expressing her desire to care for people that are hurting.

On behalf of the AFM of SA, I would like to thank her for her valuable input in the Church’s Welfare Department. I pray that God will continue to shine His face upon her. Thank you very much Helena.

What prompted you to initially get involved with the work of the AFM Welfare Council?
I come from a Dutch Reformed Church background. Whilst studying my Social Work degree in Wellington in the Western Cape, I started attending services at the AFM Church – where I came to conversion in 1977, was baptized and baptized in the Holy Spirit. I met my husband during the same time and he was a member of the AFM Church. I graduated as a Registered Social Worker in 1978 and as all students applied for as many vacant posts as possible. Amongst other successful applications was the AFM Executive Welfare application – which I took as I knew my future with my husband would be in the AFM Church.

Looking back, what was the most exciting development you will never forget?
The decentralization of the Children’s Division since 1999, which was once again groundbreaking progress in Child Care.  It was this development which added the most value to the lives of our children, as well as to the standing of the AFM Executive Welfare Council in the Welfare Sector.

What will you miss about your role?
The opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the beneficiaries which I had worked with for 39 years and 6 months, as well as the opportunity to empower the staff – over the whole spectrum of the work of the AFM Executive Welfare Council.

What do you believe is the critical success factors for the future of the AFM Welfare Council?
Two very important factors WERE the driving force over especially the last 20 years. The one was for sure the buy-in from the AFM Assemblies who took co-responsibility for projects since the decentralization process. As well as the  passion, faithfulness and hard work of the staff.

What is your final wish for the AFM Welfare Council?
That it would survive the current uncertainty in terms of its direction and fulfil its mission and vision as was intended from the beginning.

What do you plan to do after retirement?
I would like to remain involved in community projects and have already engaged in it.   I am a “people’s person” and want to be of value for those in need.  Other than that I want to travel, do gardening and spend as much time as possible with my family.

Any final advice to AFM assemblies regarding Community Involvement?
It is our responsibility as church to care of our communities as we are taught in the book of Acts. We have no choice and I would encourage assemblies to find the needs in your community and fill it, find the hurt and heal it. Become involved and serve those who cannot fend for themselves.

“…find the needs in your community and fill it, find the hurt and heal it. Become involved and serve those who cannot fend for themselves.”

CONCLUSION

We are nearing the end of 2018. It will be remembered as the year in which the AFM celebrated its 110th Anniversary. We are grateful to God for His providence. We also had a watershed 2018 General Business Meeting which took important resolutions regarding succession planning for the Office Bearers at the National level. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all, for your ministry inputs this year. Your ministry has contributed to the growth of the church. May you all have a blessed Christmas and a prosperous 2019.

Past. M.G. Mahlobo

Pastorale Brief 4de Kwartaal

Laai die PDF weergawe hier af:

 Pastorale Brief 4de Kwartaal 2018 WEB

Liewe Kollega,

Die einde van 2018 is besig om nader te kom en ons kyk na die nuwe jaar met hoop en vars verwagtinge.  2019 dui op ‘n belangrike jaar vir die Suid-Afrikaanse nasie omdat dit ‘n algemene verkiesingsjaar is. Ons sien ‘n sterk beweging in Suid-Afrika na korporatiewe of verenigde gebedsvergaderings en byeenkomste. Up4SA is so ‘n inisiatief met die doel om eenheid in ons plaaslike gemeenskappe te bring deur gebed.  Dit is ‘n aksie wat deur ons plaaslike AGS gemeentes geneem kan word wat direk die implementering van missionale kerk bevorder – soos beskryf in ons One AFM Game Plan.

Dit is ‘n aksie wat deur ons plaaslike AGS gemeentes geneem kan word wat direk die implementering van missionale kerk bevorder – soos beskryf in ons One AFM Game Plan.”

My vraag aan jou is:  Het jy ‘n gebedspunt in jou plaaslike gemeenskap?  Ek vra al ons pastore en gemeenskapsleiers om biddend te oorweeg om vrywillig ‘n gebedspunt in jou plaaslike gemeenskap te koördineer.  Elke leier of vrywilliger ontvang ook ‘n hulpbronpakket en sal toegerus word om die gebedspunt te koördineer.  Kom ons bedek ons nasie met gebed deur die Up4SA gebeds-inisiatief gedurende 2019 (22-24 Februarie).  Informasie is beskikbaar vanaf:

http://afm-ags.org/category/media/
https://www.facebook.com/Up4SA/
Past. Robbie Black 082 462 1540

LAAT ONS BID!

Past. M.G. Mahlobo – President van die AGS van SA

Januarie maand word spesifiek opsy gesit vir gebed en vas in die AGS van SA.  (Laai die AGS se nasionale kalender af by:  http://afm-ags.org/category/media/.)  Elke plaaslike gemeente se leierskap besluit op die aanvang, die wyse en duur van gebed en vas.  Ek versoek alle AGS pastore en lidmate om hulle te verbind tot gebed en vas gedurende die maand van Januarie 2019.  Alhoewel elke gemeente self sal besluit op die fokus van gebed is my versoek dat die volgende gebedsitems ingesluit sal word:

Suid-Afrika se algemene verkiesings sal bepaal wie die volgende President van ons land sal word.  Die datum van die komende verkiesings moet nog aangekondig word deur die Staatspresident.  Ons moet bid vir vredevolle en suksesvolle verkiesings.

Die AGS Internasionaal (The AFM International) sal hulle Driejaarlikse Konferensie in Nairobi (Kenya) aanbied op 19-24 Augustus 2019.  Hierdie konferensie sal onder andere besprekings insluit oor die status van AGS kerke in al die lande waar die AGS voorkom.  Die AGS se lede lande is in verskillende fases van groei op hulle pad na selfonderhoud, selfbestuur en selfvoorplanting.  In menige van hierdie lede kerke is daar ‘n behoefte na leierskapsontwikkeling en die vestiging van bestuurstrukture.  My versoek is dat jy bid vir die suksesvolle Driejaarlikse Konferensie in Kenia en vir die groei van al die lede kerke.

Meeste van julle is bewus dat die 25ste Wêreld Pinkster Konferensie wat plaasvind in Calgary (Kanada) op 27-30 Augustus 2019, een van die globale gebeurtenisse is wat ek bevorder.  Die AGS is ‘n aktiewe lid van die Wêreld Pinkstergemeenskap wat hierdie Konferensie saamroep.  Dit sal bygewoon word deur verteenwoordigers van Pinksterkerke van regoor die wêreld en aangebied word onder die tema:  “Spirit Now!”  Sonder gebed mag ons planne dalk nie slaag nie.  Ek beroep my op ons pastore en lidmate om te bid vir die 25ste Wêreld Konferensie in Kanada.

“…laat ons bid vir ‘n groot oes van siele gedurende 2019 en vir die transformasie van ons gemeenskappe deur die krag en teenwoordigheid van die Heilige Gees.”

GAME PLAN IMPLEMENTASIE: ‘n INSPIRERENDE STORY

Past. Johan Brits – Fokus Deo Gemeente (Modimolle Limpopo)

Tydens die Algemene Besigheidsvergadering (General Business Meeting – GBM) wat gehou is in September was daar een aanbieding wat gefokus het op die suksesvolle implementasie van die “One AFM Game Plan” drywers.  Hierdie aanbieding is nou beskikbaar in artikel formaat en wys hoe die “Game Plan” drywers geimplementeer kan word op ‘n praktiese wyse.  Past. Johan Brits van die Fokus Deo gemeente vertel ons hulle inspirerende verhaal:

PAS AAN BY VERANDERING:  OP ‘n MISSIE VIR N NUWE ENGELSE DIENS

“Ons is die AGS/AFM in Modimolle, Limpopo (geleë in die middel van die dorp) en is deel van die Familia Dei Netwerk.  Ons het opgemerk dat menige families dorp toe trek vanaf die “township” wat ons met die volgende vraag gelaat het: Waar sal hulle kerk toe gaan? Ons het gesien dat hulle nie teruggaan na die kerk in die “township” nie en het besef dat ons ‘n tuiste vir hulle kan word!  Hierdie gedagte verskuiwing het gekom nadat die leierskap die “Walk Thru the Bible:  High Impact Church”-kursus gedoen het.  Daar het ons besef dat dit nie saak maak wat die grootte van jou kerk is nie, maar wel wat die impak van jou kerk op die gemeenskap is.  Die leierskap het die besluit geneem om ‘n Engelse diens aan die begin van 2017 te vestig en het die volgende beginsels aanvaar:

“…dat dit nie saak maak wat die grootte van jou kerk is nie, maar wel wat die impak van jou kerk op die gemeenskap is.”

  • Ons fokus op die middelkas persoon in die dorp. Ons fokus nie op die “township” nie, want daar is reeds ‘n AGS kerk wat ‘n geestelike tuiste is vir menige gelowiges.
  • Ons voorsien nie vervoer van veraf plekke nie – ons fokus is op ons onmiddellike gemeenskap.
  • Dit is nie ‘n multi-kulturele diens nie. Ons sien dit is ‘n moderne Engelse diens waar alle kleure en kulture die diens bywoon (daar is selfs Duitsers wat ver ry om die diens by te woon).
  • Ons is ‘n moderne gemeenskap en het ‘n moderne diens met multi-media.  Dienste is nie langer as 1 uur en 15 minute nie.
  • Ons het nog nie ‘n orkes nie, maar ons sien dit nie as ‘n struikelblok nie. Ons gebruik video om ons liedere aan te bied (en die mense is gaande daaroor!).
  • Die pastore werk doelbewus daaraan om enige rassekwessies uit die weg te ruim en praat openlik daaroor met die gemeente.
  • “Fellowship” is baie belangrik. Ons maak kontak en bou verhoudige oor ‘n koffie/tee/beskuit na en tussen die dienste.

Ons kerk se leierskap het besluit:  Dit is nie “ons” en “hulle” nie, maar net ONS, dieselfde gemeente, net ‘n ander diens presies soos die res maar in Engels.  Ons preek dieselfde boodskap in hierdie Engelse diens as wat in die Afrikaanse dienste gepreek word.
“Ons preek dieselfde boodskap in hierdie Engelse diens as wat in die Afrikaanse dienste gepreek word.”
Om hierdie Engelse diens in ons gemeenskap te begin was dit nodig om veelvuldige aksies en strategieë te beplan. Ons het begin deur pamflette te druk en dit oral moontlik uit te deel – by skole en op straat. Ons het selfs ons huidge gemeentelede gevra om hierdie pamflette na hulle werksplekke te neem. Ons het ‘n straat-braai in die hoofstraat van ons dorp gehou en het 1,000 worsrolletjies gratis weggegee! Ons het mense vertel van ons nuwe diens, hulle die pamlfette gegee en vir hulle gebid. Ek het baie keer gegaan (en ek doen dit steeds) na die hoofstrate op ‘n Saterdagmôre met my Bybel in my hand. Ek het met mense gepraat, saam met hulle gebid en hulle uitgenooi na ons kerk – so het ek mense na Jesus gelei, nuwe lidmate bekom en hulle gedoop! Ons doen kerk veldtogte (vanuit Walk Thru the Bible) gedurende ons dienste – dit veroorsaak dat die gemeente groei deur bywoning en selgroepe. Jy kan hulle webtuiste besoek by:  www.bible.org.za.  Ons doen projekte wat uitreik na skole en besighede – met die intensie om hulle bekend te stel aan die kerk.


Met die hulp van ‘n goeie vriend, Pastoor Elvis Mvulane het ons die Engelse diens begin met 20 mense.  Die gemiddelde bywoning van ons Engelse diens is nou 120 mense per Sondag.  Dit het in so ‘n mate ontwikkel dat ons ‘n pastoor het (wat in Alberton woon) wat 180km elke Sondag ry om te help met die prediking en huisbesoeke. Vier maande nadat die Engelse dienste begin is het ons die behoefte raakgesien vir ‘n Engelse Sondagskool – en huidiglik bedien ons 60 kinders op ‘n Sondag.  Ons het ook nou iemand in diens geneem wat in beheer staan van ons Sondagskool. Ons droom is om 5,000 mense in ons Engelse diens te hê!  Met 80,000 mense in die omgewing glo ons dat dit ‘n realistiese teiken is.

“Ons droom is om 5,000 mense in ons Engelse diens te hê!  Met 80,000 mense in die omgewing glo ons dat dit ‘n realistiese teiken is.”
Indien jy belang stel in die direkte verband tussen hierdie verhaal en die “One AFM Game Plan” drywers vertrou ek dat die GBM aanbieding dit duidelik sal wys en demonstreer:

PASTORALE WELSTAND: DIE VOLLE PRENTJIE

Dr. Vincent Atterbury   (‘n Opvolg artikel vanuit die Pastorale Brief 3de Kwartaal)

God roep en bemagtig mense met die Heilige Gees om deel te wees van die uitbreiding en voortsetting van die bediening van Sy Seun, Jesus Christus se bediening op aarde.  Alhoewel dit ‘n eer is om geroep te wees deur God sluit dit ook ‘n persoonlike verantwoordelikheid in – om die ywer van die oorspronklike roeping in stand te hou sonder om te kort te skiet as gevolg van uitbranding.  God se roeping is nooit ten koste van enigeiets binne die totaliteit van enige een se menslike bestaan nie.

“God se roeping is nooit ten koste van enigeiets binne die totaliteit van enige een se menslike bestaan nie.”

Aloewel groot vordering gemaak is in die pogings om die totale bestaan van mense te verstaan het hierdie pogings slegs die oppervlak gedek.  Elke persoon is geskep deur Hom op ‘n unieke wyse wanneer Hy hulle aanmekaar weef vir Sy glorie en doel (Psalm 139:13-14).  Op ‘n manier is dit vir mense ‘n uitdaging om presies te verstaan hoe wonderlik en kompleks God hulle gemaak het.

Die welstand van ‘n persoon word vasgestel nie net deur een area of faset nie, maar wel deur ‘n kombinasie van verskillende areas en fasette van die lewe. By die oorweging van die welstand van pastore word ten minste 7 areas, wat geintegreer en verweef met mekaar is, toegepas en moet daarop gefokus word wanneer gestreef word na pastorale welstand.

  1. Geestelik: Die kern van enige mens se welstand is hulle persoonlike verhouding met God.  Om binne ‘n regte verhouding met God te leef deur middel van sy Seun, Jesus Christus, en gelei te word deur Sy Gees.  Vanaf so ‘n verhouding sal ‘n persoon ‘n diepe besef van doel (roeping) en betekenis van die lewe beleef.  Die waardes, beginsels en gedrag van individue word vasgestel deur hulle persoonlike verhouding met God.  Om sterker te groei in jou verhouding met God is van allerbelang vir enige pastoor se welstand.
  2. Emosioneel: Elke mens het die inherente vermoë om ‘n verskeidenheid emosies te ervaar, bv. geluk, hartseer, vreugde, hoop, spanning, vrees, woede ens.  Menige gevoelens is gekoppel aan teenoorgesteldes wat skommelinge in buie, effektiwiteit, produktiwiteit, perspektiewe, gedrag en hantering van uitdagings veroorsaak.  Om te groei in emosionele intelligensie (die vermoë om onsself te verstaan) en die hantering van die lewe se uitdagings is noodsaaklik vir pastorale welstand.
  3. Intellektueel: Elke persoon is geskep met ‘n intellektuele vermoë wat ontwikkel moet word deur ‘n lewenslange proses van die bekoming van kennis en vaardighede. Dit is ‘n onophoudende proses soos wat die wêreld, kennis en die lewe self konstant verander. Nuwe idees en probleemoplossingsvermoëns word benodig om relevant te bly en suksesvol te leef. Pastore moet lewenslange leerders wees om ten einde by te dra tot hulle eie welstand.
  4. Fisies: God gee vir die mens een liggaam wat dien as a voertuig waardeur Hy die meesterstuk ten toon stel wat Hy geskep het in daardie persoon.  Die liggaam is soos ‘n voertuig, hoe beter daarna gekyk word, hoe langer dien dit die persoon met uitnemendheid.  Pastorale welstand kan bevorder word deur gesonde gewoontes te kweek, aan te neem en in stand te hou (bv. gereelde mediese ondersoeke, ‘n gebalanseerde dieët, oefening, rus, ens).  Vernietigende leefstylpatrone moet vermy word ten alle koste.
  5. Sosiaal: God skep elke individu om interafhanklik te wees van ander mense. Verhoudings met gades, kinders, ander familie, ens is baie belangrik vir die pastoor se welstand. Groei in die skep en instandhouding van positiewe verhoudings bevorder pastorale welstand. Dit sluit ook in beroeps- en institusionele verhoudings, bv. met kollegas, vrywilligers, gemeentelede, die beheerliggaam, streeksforum, nasionale leierskap en kantoor.
  6. Beroepsgesondheid: God het ons geskep vir ‘n spesifieke doel (roeping). Die welstand van pastore word beìnvloed deur die vlak van persoonlike vervulling wat hulle ondervind in dit wat hulle doen, wat hulle toegelaat word om te doen en wat hulle bemagtig word om te doen.  Pastorale welstand kan bevorder word deur betrokkenheid in bediening te bepaal volgens die individu se God-gegewe talente en gawes, dus in ooreenstemming met ‘n geskikte werksomgewing.
  7. Finansieël: Ons verhouding met aardse besittings, geld en die bestuur van hulpbronne is ‘n belangrike onderwerp in die Bybel.  Die Bybel verduidelik die effek daarvan op die welstand van die mens.  Groei in Bybelse begrip van God se voorsiening, ons verhouding daarmee asook ons verantwoordelikheid om God se voorsiening te bestuur, sal pastorale welstand bevorder.

Pastorale welstand is kompleks en daar is geen kitsoplossing, enkele sleutel of geheim wat pastorale welstand sal verseker nie.  Elke pastoor moet pertinent bewus wees van die feit dat hy/sy veelsydig is.  Alle areas vereis aandag en bepaal welstand.

Die gebed van Johannes vir Gaius benadruk dat pastore nie net slegs geestelik wel moet wees nie, maar ook in ander areas van hulle lewens (3 Joh 1:2).  In Spreuke 4:23 benadruk Salomo dat ons na alle areas in ons lewens moet kyk omdat die totaliteit en kwaliteit van ons lewens en bediening daardeur geaffekteer word.  Dit is dan, en slegs dan dat pastore in staat sal wees om God se roeping vir hulle lewens te vervul deur volhoubare vrugbaarheid, seisoen na seisoen.

“Dit is dan, en slegs dan dat pastore in staat sal wees om God se roeping vir hulle lewens te vervul deur volhoubare vrugbaarheid, seisoen na seisoen.”

LEIERSKAP VANUIT DIE HART: HELENA JACKSON
Past. M.G. Mahlobo – President van die AGS van SA

Die AGS se Welsyn Departement is ‘n uitstekende voorbeeld van die AGS se sosiale verantwoordelikheid sedert die eenwording van die AGS in 1996. Helena Jackson het Past. Eben Muller opgevolg as die Direkteur van hierdie Departement. Dit is een van die Departemente wat wysheid en ‘n hoë vlak van rentmeesterskap vereis. Helena het hierdie Welsynsskip gestuur totdat dit ‘n finansiële ysberg geslaan het. Sy het nie die skip verlaat nie. Sy het voortgegaan om haar beste te doen om die skip op die water te hou. In die tussentyd het die Nasionale Leierskap ingegryp met die doel om te red en die Departement om te keer. Helena het optimisties gebly dat hierdie bediening sal bly voortbestaan. Sy het sedertdien bedank as die Direkteur van die AGS Welsyn Departement. Ons sal verseker haar passie en toewyding om die behoeftiges te bedien, mis.  Nieteenstaande is ek oortuig daarvan dat sy nie net terug sal sit en haar arms sal vou in die aangesig van die vele sosiale uitdagings wat ons land in die gesig staar nie. Sy sal ‘n weg vind om haar begeerte om om te sien na mense wat seer het, uit te druk.

Namens die AGS van SA wil ek haar bedank vir haar waardevolle insette in die Kerk se Welsyn Departement. Ek bid dat God voort sal gaan om Sy glorie op haar te laat skyn. Baie dankie Helena.

Wat het jou aanvanklik aangespoor om betrokke te raak by die werk van die AGS Welsynsraad?
Ek kom vanuit ‘n Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk agtergrond. Tydens my studies vir my Maatskaplikewerk graad in Wellington in die Wes-Kaap het ek begin om dienste van die AGS kerk by te woon – waar ek tot bekering gekom het in 1977, gedoop is en gedoop is met die Heilige Gees.  Ek het my man ontmoet gedurende dieselfde tyd en hy was ‘n lidmaat van die AGS kerk.  Ek het gegradueer as ‘n geregistreerde Maatskaplike werker in 1978 en soos alle studente aansoek gedoen vir soveel vakante poste as moontlik.  Onder ander suksesvolle aansoeke was die AGS uitvoerende welsynsposisie – wat ek aanvaar het omdat ek geweet het my toekoms saam met my man sal in die AGS kerk wees.

Wat is die mees opwindende ontwikkeling wat  jy nooit sal vergeet nie?
Die desentralisasie van die Kinderafdeling sedert 1999, wat weereens baanbrekerswerk in kindersorg was.  Dit was hierdie ontwikkeling wat die meeste waarde tot die lewens van ons kinders toegevoeg het asook tot die stand van die AGS Uitvoerende Welsynsraad in die welsynsektor.

Wat van jou rol sal jy mis?
Die geleentheid om ‘n verskil te maak in die lewens van die begunstigdes waarmee ek gewerk het vir 39 jaar en 6 maande, asook die geleentheid om die personeel te bemagtig – oor die hele spektrum van die werk van die AGS Uitvoerende Welsynsraad.

Wat glo jy is die kritiese sukses faktore vir die toekoms van die AGS Welsynsraad?
Twee baie belangrike faktore WAS die dryfkrag van veral die laaste 20 jaar.  Die een was vir seker die inkoop van die AGS gemeentes wat mede-verantwoordelikheid geneem het vir projekte sedert die desentralisasie proses.  Asook die passie, getrouheid en harde werk van die personeel.

Wat is jou finale wens vir die AGS Welsynsraad?
Dat dit die huidige onsekerheid in terme van rigting sal oorleef en die missie en visie sal vervul wat van die begin af vasgestel is.

Wat beplan jy om na aftrede te doen?
Ek sal daarvan hou om aan te hou om betrokke te wees in gemeenskapsprojekte en het reeds begin deelneem.  Ek is ‘n mense-mens en wil van nut wees vir diegene wat in nood verkeer.  Buiten dit wil ek graag reis, tuin maak en soveel tyd moontlik met my familie spandeer.

Enige finale advies aan die AGS gemeentes in verband met Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid? 
Dit is ons verantwoordelikheid as kerk om om te gee vir ons gemeenskappe soos wat ons geleer word in die boek van Handelinge. Ons het geen keuse nie en ek wil graag gemeentes aanmoedig om die behoeftes in hulle gemeenskappe te bepaal en te vervul, vind die seer en genees dit.  Word betrokke en dien diegene wat nie vir hulle self kan sorg nie.

“…vind die seer en genees dit.  Word betrokke en dien diegene wat nie vir hulle self kan sorg nie.”

SLOT

Ons nader die einde van 2018. Dit sal onthou word as die jaar waarin die AGS se 110de herdenking gevier is. Ons is dankbaar teenoor God vir Sy voorsiening. Ons het ook ‘n waterskeiding Algemene Besigheidsvergadering in 2018 gehad waar belangrike besluite aangaande die opvolgingsplan vir die Nasionale Ampsdraers deurgevoer is.

Ek wil graag van hierdie geleentheid gebruik maak om jou te bedank vir jou bediening insette gedurende die jaar.  Jou bediening het bygedra tot die groei van die kerk. Ek wens jou ‘n geseënde Kersfees en ‘n voorspoedige 2019 toe.

Past. M.G. Mahlobo

Pastoral Letter 3rd Quarter

Download the PDF version of the Pastoral Letter here:

 AFM Pastoral Letter 3rd Quarter 

Dear Colleague,

Allow me to reflect on the 2018 GBM (General Business Meeting) and NC (National Conference), held on Sunday 9 September to Thursday 13 September at the Word and Life Assembly in Boksburg. Two words come to mind – historic and memorable! The theme of the Conference was “Go Tell”. It is anchored on Isaiah 6:8-9 (NIV):

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send” and who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” He said, “Go and tell this people: …”

Our strategic plan encapsulated in the phrase “One AFM Game Plan” is reaching an important implementation stage. During the evening services we unpacked the theme around implementation and established that it is time for our pastors, members and church structures to have a transformational impact in our society, through the sharing of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

This Conference was historic in the sense that it was used as a platform to celebrate the 110th Anniversary of the AFM of SA. The church’s national office celebrated this anniversary on 25 May 2018, which was the “official” birthday of the AFM of SA. The Leadership thought it wise to allow the broader church to celebrate it during our September 2018 GBM and National Conference.

It was also a memorable event, as we honoured the pastors with 40 years of unbroken service before retirement in the AFM. This was done during the evening services. We also handed over tokens of appreciation to all those who contributed towards the unification of the church in 1996 (some were appreciated in 2016 and the rest were appreciated at this Conference). Further the program also included development sessions on topics such as “Financial Reporting and Tax Laws”, “A Healthy Family Life for Pastors”, “Bringing About Social Cohesion in Society” and “Praying the Psalms in Different Seasons of Life”. AFM ordained pastors that attended accrued PCD points.

Delegates to this GBM considered important amendments to our church’s constitution. These amendments deal with the issue of leadership succession in the church. The objective is to build into the succession plan, transitional mechanisms to allow orientation and a smooth hand over to the newly elected Officers. These amendments also seek to ensure a higher level of experience and clear core responsibilities for the Officers, especially at the national level. The possibility of creating an election pool, from which eligible candidates may be nominated and elected were also considered.

In this Pastoral Letter I share some of the highlights of the GBM and National Conference with you. I pray that it will bless you and give you a view into this historic and memorable event!

WHO WILL GO FOR US?

Past. M.G. Mahlobo – President of the AFM of SA

The 2018 General Business Meeting (GBM) celebrated the 110th Anniversary of the AFM of SA. The official “birthday” of the AFM is 25 May 1908. Our name “The Apostolic Faith Mission” is a description of a people on a mission. The objective of this mission is to fulfill the Great commission of Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20. It has the characteristics of the ministry of the Apostles and operates through faith.

“Our name “The Apostolic Faith Mission” is a description of a people on a mission.” 

In its early years missions described the reason for the existence of the AFM. It was done through evangelistic outreaches which involved church members and their leaders. As years went by the passion to reach subsided and only a few carried on with missions. The church established a department to take care of missions. Gradually missions shifted from the center to the periphery of the church’s ministry. The focus shifted to taking care of members at the expense of the lost. The Missions Department was later closed. Missions were carried by individuals who had to do it on self-support basis. In 2007 a Missions’ Advisory Committee (MAC) was established to coordinate missions’ projects.

During this time the leadership felt that the church needed to go back to its basics. MAC developed a missional strategy, which became known as: Vision 2020. It was also known as “Qalakabusha” (roughly translated as: ‘new beginning’). Vision 2020 sought to re-commit the AFM to its missional calling. The AFM would be:

“The whole church taking the whole Gospel to the whole world, saturating communities with the presence and principles of the Kingdom of God.”

The church’s slogan became prominent: “Wherever you find people you will find the AFM.”

Our vision of “the church that is accessible to all people, celebrating its God-given diversity, empowering its members for caring and transforming communities to the glory of God,” was combined with Vision 2020 and this led to the concept of a missional church. This concept became the anchor of the church’s strategic plan, namely the One AFM Game Plan. A missional church is a Christian community that defines itself and organizes its life around being the agent of God’s mission to the world, as its real purpose. The One AFM Game Plan is driven by five drivers which are broadly known as discipleship, empowerment, ecumenical involvement, community involvement (social responsibility) and governance (stewardship).

“A missional church is a Christian community that defines itself and organizes its life around being the agent of God’s mission to the world, as its real purpose.”

GO TELL
I have chosen Isaiah 6:1-10 and Matthew 28:18-20 in order lay the foundation for a missional church. Basically, there are four important issues in this regard. These are (i) our understanding of missional context, (ii) acknowledgment of God’s sovereign rule in a missional context, (iii) hearing God’s missional call and (iv) making a missional commitment. Let us briefly look at these.

Missional context for Isaiah, the Disciples of Jesus and our context. Missional context for Isaiah, the Disciples of Jesus and our context. In Isaiah the context is that of bereavement (king Uzziah has died) and moral degeneration in Judah (Isaiah 5:8-21). In Matthew 28, the Lord is risen from the grave and has all authority in heaven and on earth. Our context today points to the following: 35% of the world’s people claim to be Christians, the nominalism percentage is huge among Christians, poverty, war and diseases.

God’s sovereignty in all missional contexts. In the midst of bereavement, as a result of king Uzziah’s death, Isaiah is reminded that God is still reigning on His throne. The disciples of Jesus, in their moment of bewilderment and doubt, they are confronted by the risen Lord upon whom all Divine authority had been conferred. Jesus is still the Lord of lords and the King of kings in our context. We need to acknowledge God’s rule and power in all situations. It is through this power that we bring the good news to all nations.

God’s missional call: “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?”. God’s missional call requires messengers of integrity. One of the Seraphs had to do purification on Isaiah before God called him. The lives of those who are God-sent must exemplify a life of “walking the talk”. Our conduct must give credibility to our message. In Isaiah God’s call has to do with the state of Judah at the time. Jesus calls us to the unreached nations to represent Him in word and in deed.

“Here am I, send me Lord.”

Missional commitment. Isaiah saw, heard and made a commitment: “Here am I, send me Lord”. We are calling on our members, irrespective of race, color, language, gender and age to make a missional commitment and like Isaiah say: “Here am I, send me.” Pastors we need you to offer coaching to our members as they reach out to the nations with the Gospel of Jesus. Would you make a commitment today, by saying: “Here am I, send me?”

THE BIBLICAL MANDATE FOR THE WELLBEING OF PASTORS AND LEADERS IN THE CHURCH

Dr. Vincent Atterbury

To be called by God to serve as a leader in His work on earth is a great honor and privilege. Such a call is irrevocable (Romans 11:29) and comprehensive. It has bearing on the total being of those who are called. The call of God is never at the expense of anything that is part and parcel of the total existence of the called.

The wellbeing of those who are called by God to serve as leaders is relevant and addressed in the Bible over and over. The Biblical perspective on the wellbeing of God’s leaders emphasise that they are accountable for their own wellbeing and that it is an inherent requirement. Those who are called by God to serve as leaders have a personal responsibility for their own wellbeing. In Paul’s last meeting with the leaders at Ephesus, he emphasised that they have a responsibility for their own wellbeing and not only for the people God placed under their leadership.

“Those who are called by God to serve as leaders have a personal responsibility for their own wellbeing.”

ACTS 20:28 (ESV) “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which He obtained with His own blood.”

From the context it is clear that there are many challenges and threats that may have an effect and influence a leader’s ability to live his/her calling with sustainable fruitfulness. Paul’s message to Archippus is clear and applicable to all leaders in the church “Be sure to finish the task you were given in the Lord’s service.” (Colossians 4:17 – GNB). This is not something that will be achieved without focus and without a disciplined lifestyle that enhances personal wellbeing. Each leader has the responsibility to respond in a responsible way to God’s call by attending to their own wellbeing in order for them to be an example to those they lead in fulfillment of God’s call.

In Romans 12:11 Paul emphasises that as part of the normal christian’s life, each one have to ensure that their courage and fervor for God stay intact. “Never let the fire in your heart go out. Keep it alive. Serve the Lord.” (NIV) This is even more crucial for leaders that are to be the examples to those they lead. Ministry in itself is demanding in all areas of a person’s life. Not only the leader is affected by the demands and pressures encountered, but those who are led and those that are the closest to the leader. The best gift a leader can give to those that are led and those who are closest to him/her, is to prioritise his/her time and to ensure personal wellbeing.

“Never let the fire in your heart go out. Keep it alive. Serve the Lord.”

“My greatest gift to you is a healthy me.” (Paul Scanlon)

In ministry leadership it is easy to experience burnout because of the inherent demands that seldom leave time for self-care. “Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame.” (Romans 12:11 – The Message)

“Zeal without Burnout” (Christopher Ash)

When Paul gives instructions and guidelines to Timothy and Titus with regard to the criteria for those who are suitable to serve as leaders in the church he touches on all the areas of their personal lives (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:6-9). Paul clearly indicates that there is not one area in a person’s life that is unimportant and can be neglected in favor of another. Paul emphasises that leaders who serve in the church should live a life that is an example of a well-managed life where there is a healthy balance between spirituality and the physical. Paul himself was an example of a balanced, disciplined life and ministry, taking care of himself in order that he himself could share in the hope he brings to others (1 Corinthians 9:23-27).

The primary responsibility of each and everyone who are called by God to serve as a leader in ministry and the church is first and foremost to attend to and take care of themselves. Taking care of yourself enables and empowers you to take care of God’s people. A leader’s wellbeing has an effect not only on him/herself, but also on those that are the closest to them, e.g. spouse and children, and on their ability to be able to care for others and lead them.

Taking care of yourself enables and empowers you to take care of God’s people.”

Jesus Himself exemplified it by taking care of Himself during His life and ministry on earth. In spite of the growing needs and demand for His ministry, He took time out when needed (Matthew 14:23, John 6:15); He allowed people to take care of His personal and physical needs (Mark 15:41, Matthew 21:1, John 4:7). He stayed in control of His own ministry (John 2:24 & 11:6).

Paul in his advice to Timothy indicate that self-care is the key to endurance in ministry (1 Timothy 4:6-8). It is the key to a long, sustainable and fruitful ministry in spite of and in the midst of all the inherent demands and challenges in ministry. He also indicates that at the core of self-care is self-discipline in all areas and facets of life, e.g. spiritual, emotional, mental and physical. “Focus on working on your own development and on what you teach. If you do this, you will save yourself and those who hear you. (1 Timothy 4:16 – CEB)

“…self-care is the key to endurance in ministry…”

Following the example of Jesus and implementing Paul’s advice pastors will be able to live out God’s calling upon their lives with great zeal and sustainable fruitfulness extending the kingdom of God on earth.

THE AFM ON THE MOVE

Puleng Nimrod Kekana
A Poem to Celebrate 110 Years of the AFM!

Designed and assigned by God
To reach the lost and hopeless of the world
From Azusa street to Bree street
The Spirit of God moved men as they obeyed
The mission of God kept on expanding
Yes, the move of God’s plan
Cannot, will not, shall not be hindered
The Apostolic Faith Mission is on the move
110 years later,
The move is getting stronger and stronger!

From the southern tip of Africa
To the ends of the world.
Let the message go to all nations.
Blow the trumpet Dr. Chikane,
Let the sound be heard everywhere
Jesus is Lord of the nations
Let missions run down like waters
And church planting like a mighty tsunami
Declare Dr. Murefu,
‘That the mission field is open
And that every congregation
Is an outreach centre to the world.’
The AFM is on the move!

Proclaim it Dr. Burger,
Wherever there are people,
You will find the AFM.
Qualified or unqualified,
Ordained or not ordained
Let everyone go back to their family, friends and community
And share the good news
Of what Jesus had done for them
Mercy is our song,
For sins forgiven and remembered no more
Grace is written all over us,
For our lives are restored and renewed
No longer strangers and foreigners,
But part of God’s family,
The AFM is on the move!

‘The Church is built upon the Rock,
And the gates of hell will not prevail against it’’.
Dr. Lapoorta reminded us.
‘Unity in action,
Let us move forward.’
Pastor Mahlobo preached passionately.
‘To fulfill our mission as mandated by the Lord.’
The AFM is on the move!

From Africa to Europe,
India to the Middle-East,
South to North America,
This thing is exploding and advancing,
It is unstoppable and unbreakable
The AFM is on the move!

It has the cross,
Signifying our commitment to Christ
And our preparedness to die for our calling
In the foolishness of the cross,
Lies our power and confidence
Circled by the golden crown,
It’s a guarantee for our promise
For a crown of life that will not fade away,
To be steadfast, unmovable and always abounding in the Lord’s work
Sink or swim,
Dark or blue,
Favourable or unfavourable,
In season and out of season
Let the message sound,
‘Jesus is Lord of the nations’
Faith in his name,
And hope in his promise,
Is our inspiration.
The AFM is on the move!

In South Africa, it is everywhere
It is blue, red and gold
It is blue, representing our dependence on the Holy Spirit
It is red, representing that salvation is found in no one else,
But in the precious blood of the lamb,
Jesus Christ our Blessed Lord!
It is gold, signifying the King of kings,
Who seat on the throne,
The Lion of the tribe of Judah,
And the Father of All mercies,
The AFM is on the move!

Wherever you find people, you will find the AFM
It is in the army,
It is in the police,
It is in the schools,
It is in hospitals,
It is in the public service,
It is in the private sector,
It is in business,
It is in politics,
It is in entertainment,
It is in the villages,
It is in the small towns,
It is in the cities
The AFM is everywhere!

From Zimbabwe to the UK,
From the UK to Australia,
From Ireland to Pakistan,
From India to Suriname
The AFM is going everywhere,

The AFM is everywhere!
It is like a mighty tornado,
A tsunami that covers everything
This is not a monument but a movement,
A mighty move of the Holy Spirit,
I can hear the sound,
I can hear the thunder,
It’s getting stronger and louder,
It is the move of the Holy Spirit.
And the AFM is privileged to be part,
Of this great deployment of the Spirit.
The AFM is on the move!

HAPPY 110 YEARS OLD!
Happy birthday AFM! GOD BLESS YOU!

CONCLUSION

In conclusion I would like to refer you to an article about the AFM’s 110th Birthday on the website of the South African Council of Churches. Myself and Dr. J.J. La Poorta had the opportunity to do an interview that would further shed light on this historic and memorable 110th year of the AFM! I trust that it will also bless you – http://sacc.org.za/celebrating-110-years-afm/.

Past. M.G. Mahlobo 

Pastorale Brief 3de Kwartaal

Laai die PDF weergawe van die Pastorale Brief hier af:

 AGS Pastorale Brief 3de Kwartaal

Liewe Kollega,

Laat my toe om te reflekteer op die 2018 “GBM” (Algemene Sake Vergadering) en Nasionale Konferensie wat gehou was vanaf Sondag, 9 September tot Donderdag, 13 September te Woord en Lewe Gemeente in Boksburg.  Twee woorde kom na vore – histories en onvergeetlik!  Die tema van die Konferensie was “Go Tell”.  Dit is geanker in Jesaja 6:8-9 (NLV):

“Toe het ek die Here hoor vra: “Wie kan Ek met ’n boodskap na my volk toe stuur? Wie sal vir Ons gaan?”
Ek het geantwoord: “Here, ek sal gaan! Stuur my!”
Hy het gesê: “Ja, gaan.  Sê vir hierdie mense …”

Ons strategiese plan, wat vervat is in die frase “One AFM Game Plan”, is besig om ‘n belangrike implementeringsfase te bereik.  Gedurende die aanddienste het ons die tema rondom implementasie aangespreek. Ons het vasgestel dat dit tyd is vir ons pastore, lidmate en kerkstrukture om  ‘n transformerende impak te maak in ons samelewing deur die deel van die Evangelie van die Koninkryk van God.

Hierdie Konferensie was histories omdat dit gedien het as platform om die 110de herdenking van die AGS van SA te vier. Die kerk se nasionale kantoor het hierdie herdenking op 25 Mei 2018 gevier wat die “amptelike” verjaarsdag was van die AGS van SA.  Die Leierskap het dit goed gedink dat die wyer kerk die herdenking vier tydens ons September 2018 “GBM” en Nasionale Konferensie.

Dit was ook ‘n onvergeetlike gebeurtenis omdat ons ons pastore met 40 jaar ononderbroke diens voor aftrede in die AGS, vereer het. Dit het geskied tydens die aanddienste. Ons het ook toekennings van waardering oorhandig aan diegene wat bygedra het tot die eenwording van die kerk in 1996 (sommige was vereer in 2016 en die res is erken tydens hierdie Konferensie). Die program het verder ook ontwikkelingssessies ingesluit met onderwerpe soos “Financial Reporting and Tax Laws”, “A Healthy Family Life for Pastors”, “Bringing About Social Cohesion in Society” en “Praying the Psalms in Different Seasons of Life”.  AGS geordende pastore wat bygewoon het het PCD punte daarvoor ontvang.

Afgevaardiges na die “GBM” het belangrike wysigings aan ons kerk se konstitusie oorweeg. Hierdie wysigings handel oor die kwessie van leierskap opvolging in die kerk. Die doel is om binne die opvolgingsplan oorgangsmeganismes daar te stel wat oriëntering en ‘n gemaklike oorhandiging aan die nuutverkose beamptes sal bewerkstellig. Hierdie wysigings beoog ook om ‘n hoër vlak van ondervinding en duidelike kernverantwoordelikhede vir die beamptes daar te stel, veral op nasionale vlak. Die moontlikheid van die daarstelling van ‘n verkiesingspoel waaruit wenslike kandidate genomineer en verkies kan word, is ook oorweeg.

In hierdie Pastorale Brief deel ek van die hoogtepunte van die “GBM” en Nasionale Konferensie met jou. Ek glo dat dit ‘n seëning sal wees vir jou en meer lig werp op hierdie historiese en onvergeetlike gebeurtenis!

WIE SAL VIR ONS GAAN?

Past. M.G. Mahlobo – President van die AGS van SA

Die 2018 Algemene Sake Vergadering (“GBM”) het die 110de verjaarsdag van die AGS van SA gevier. Die “amptelike” verjaarsdag van die AGS is 25 Mei 1908. Ons naam “Die Apostoliese Geloofsending” is ‘n beskrywing van mense op ‘n missie.  Die doel van hierdie missie is om die Groot Opdrag van Jesus in Mattheus 28:18-20 te vervul.  Dit het die eienskappe van die bediening van die Apostels en werk deur geloof.

“Ons naam “Die Apostoliese Geloofsending” is ‘n beskrywing van mense op ‘n missie.”

Gedurende die vroeë jare het missies die rede vir die bestaan van die AGS omskryf.  Dit het geskied deur evangelistiese uitreike waarby kerklidmate en hul leiers betrek was.  Soos wat die jare aanbeweeg het het die passie om uit te reik verminder en het slegs ‘n paar voortgegaan met missies. Die kerk het ‘n departement gestig om na missies of sendings om te sien.  Geleidelik het sendings geskuif vanaf die kern na die periferie van die kerk se bediening.  Die fokus het verskuif na die welstand van die lidmate ten koste van die verlorenes.  Die sendingsafdeling is later gesluit.  Sendings is uitgevoer deur individue wat dit op selfondersteunende basis moes doen.  Gedurende 2007 is ‘n Sendingsadvies Komitee of  te wel die “Missions’ Advisory Committee (MAC)” gestig om sendingsprojekte te koördineer.

Gedurende hierdie tyd het die leierskap gevoel dat die kerk nodig het om terug te keer na die basiese beginsels.  “MAC” het ‘n missionale strategie ontwikkel wat bekend geword het as:  “Vision 2020”.  Dit was ook bekend as “Qalakabusha” (rofweg vertaal as: nuwe begin).  “Vision 2020” het as doel gehad om die AGS opnuut te verbind met die sendingsroeping.  Die AGS sou wees:

“The whole church taking the whole Gospel to the whole world, saturating communities with the presence and principles of the Kingdom of God.”

Die kerk se slagspreuk het prominent geword: “Wherever you find people you will find the AFM.”

Ons visie van ‘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”, is gekombineer met “Vision 2020” en dit het gelei na die konsep van ‘n missionale kerk. Hierdie konsep het die anker geword van die kerk se strategiese plan, naamlik die “One AFM Game Plan”. ‘n Missionale kerk is ‘n Christelike gemeenskap wat homself definieër en organiseer rondom die ware doel – om die agente te wees van God se missie in die wêreld. Die “One AFM Game Plan” word bestuur deur vyf drywers wat algemeen bekend is as dissipelskap, bemagtiging, ekumeniese betrokkenheid, gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid (sosiale verantwoordelikheid) en goeie bestuur (rentmeesterskap).

“‘n Missionale kerk is ‘n Christelike gemeenskap wat homself definieër en organiseer rondom die ware doel – om die agente te wees van God se missie in die wêreld.”

GAAN VERTEL
Ek het Jesaja 6:1-10 en Mattheus 28:18-20 gekies om die fondasie van ‘n missionale kerk te vestig.  Basies is daar 4 belangrike kwessies in hierdie verband.  Daar is (i) ons begrip van missionale konteks, (ii) erkenning van God se soewereine heerskappy in ‘n missionale konteks, (iii) gehoorsaamheid aan God se missionale opdrag en (iv) om toegewyd te wees aan missionaliteit.  Laat ons kortliks na dit kyk.

Missionale konteks vir Jesaja, die Dissipels van Jesus en ons konteks. In Jesaja is die konteks verlies (Koning Uzziah het gesterf) en morele agteruitgang in Judah (Jesaja 5:8-21).  In Mattheus 28 het Jesus opgestaan uit die graf en besit alle outoriteit in die hemel en op aarde.  Ons konteks vandag wys na die volgende: (i) 35% van die mense in die wêreld voer aan dat hulle Christene is, (ii) die nominale persentasie is groot onder Christene, (iii) armoede, (iv) oorlog en (v) siektes.

God se soewereiniteit in alle missionêre kontekste. In die middel van verlies, as gevolg van Koning Uzziah se dood, word Jesaja daaraan herinner dat God steeds vanaf Sy Troon heers. Die dissipels van Jesus, in hulle oomblik van verwarring en twyfel, word gekonfronteer met die opgestane Here waarop alle Goddelike outoriteit nou rus. Jesus is nog steeds die Heer en Koning van konings in ons konteks.  Ons het nodig om God se heerskappy en krag in alle situasies te erken.  Dit is deur hierdie krag wat ons die goeie nuus aan alle nasies bring.

God se missionale oproep:  “Wie sal ek stuur en wie sal vir ons gaan?”.  God se sendingsoproep vereis boodskappers met integriteit.  Een van die Serafs moes Isaiah reinig voordat God hom geroep het. Die lewens van diegene wat deur God gestuur is moet ‘n lewe illustreer van “doen wat jy preek”. Ons optrede moet geloofwaardigheid gee aan ons boodskap. In Jesaja het God se oproep te doen met die toestand van Judah op daardie oomblik. Jesus roep ons na die onbereikte nasies om Hom te verteenwoordig in woord en daad.

“Hier is ek, stuur my Here”.

Missionale toewyding:  Jesaja het gesien, gehoor en ‘n toewyding gemaak:  “Hier is ek, stuur my Here”.  Ons maak ‘n beroep ons lidmate, ongeag van ras, kleur, taal, geslag en ouderdom om ‘n missionale toewyding te maak en soos Jesaja te sê:  “Hier is ek, stuur my.”  Pastore, ons het julle nodig om leiding aan te bied vir ons lidmate sodat hulle die nasies met die Goeie Nuus van Jesus kan bereik.  Sal jy ‘n toewyding vandag maak deur te sê:  “Hier is ek, stuur my.”?

DIE BYBELSE MANDAAT VIR DIE WELSTAND VAN PASTORE EN LEIERS IN DIE KERK

Dr. Vincent Atterbury

Om deur God geroep te wees om as leier te dien in Sy werk op aarde is ‘n groot eer en voorreg. So ‘n roeping is onherroeplik (Romeine 11:29) en omvattend. Dit het betrekking op die totale wese van diegene wat geroep is.  Die roeping van God is nooit ten koste van enigeiets wat deel is van die totale bestaan van die een wat geroep is nie.

Die welstand van diegene wat geroep is deur God om te dien as leiers is relevant en word in die Bybel oor en oor aangespreek. Die Bybelse perspektief op die welstand van God se leiers benadruk dat hulle verantwoordelik is vir hulle eie welsyn en dat dit ‘n inherente vereiste is.  Diegene wat deur God geroep is om as leiers te dien het ‘n persoonlike verantwoordelikheid vir hulle eie welstand.  Tydens Paulus se laaste vergadering met die leiers van Efesus het hy benadruk dat hulle verantwoordelik is vir hulle eie welsyn en nie net vir die welsyn van diegene wat God onder hulle leierskap geplaas het nie.

Diegene wat deur God geroep is om as leiers te dien het ‘n persoonlike verantwoordelikheid vir hulle eie welstand.”

ACTS 20:28 (ESV) “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which He obtained with His own blood.”

Vanuit hierdie konteks is dit duidelik dat daar baie uitdagings en bedreigings is wat ‘n effek kan hê en ‘n leier kan beinvloed in sy vermoë om sy/haar roeping uit te leef met volhoubare vrugbaarheid.  Paulus se boodskap aan Argippus is duidelik en toepaslik op alle leiers in die kerk: “Be sure to finish the task you were given in the Lord’s service.” (Colossians 4:17 – GNB)Dit is nie iets wat bereik kan word sonder fokus en sonder ‘n gedissiplineerde lewensstyl wat persoonlike welsyn verbeter nie.  Elke leier het die verantwoordelikheid om te antwoord op God se roeping deur na hulle eie welstand om te sien en sodoende ‘n voorbeeld te wees vir diegene wat hulle lei tot hul vervulling van God se roeping.

In Romeine 12:11 benadruk Paulus dat as deel van die normale christen lewe, elkeen verantwoordelik is om toe te sien dat hulle moed en ywer vir God in plek bly.  “Never let the fire in your heart go out. Keep it alive. Serve the Lord.” (NIV) Dit is selfs meer krities vir leiers wat ‘n voorbeeld moet wees vir diegene wat hulle lei.  Bediening op sigself is veeleisend in alle vlakke van ‘n persoon se lewe.  Nie net word die leier geaffekteer deur die eise en druk wat hy/sy teëkom nie maar ook diegene wat die naaste aan die leier is. Die beste geskenk wat ‘n leier kan gee aan diegene wat hy/sy lei en wat die naaste aan hom/haar is, is om sy/haar tyd te prioritiseer en persoonlike welstand te verseker.

“Never let the fire in your heart go out. Keep it alive. Serve the Lord.”

“My greatest gift to you is a healthy me.” (Paul Scanlon)

In bediening is dit maklik vir leiers om uitbranding te ondervind as gevolg van die inherente eise wat selde tyd laat vir persoonlike welsyn.  “Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame.” (Romans 12:11 – The Message)

“Zeal without Burnout” (Christopher Ash)

Wanneer Paulus instruksies en riglyne gee aan Timothy en Titus met betrekking tot die kriteria vir diegene wat geskik is om te dien as leiers in die kerk, raak hy alle gebiede van hulle persoonlike lewens aan (1 Timoteus 3:1-13;  Titus 1:6-9).  Paul maak dit duidelik dat daar nie ‘n gebied in ‘n persoon se lewe is wat onbelangrik is en afgeskeep kan word ten koste van ‘n ander nie.  Paul benadruk dat leiers wat dien in die kerk ‘n lewe moet leef wat ‘n voorbeeld is van ‘n goeie bestuurde lewe waar daar ‘n gesonde balans is tussen geestelik en fisies. Paulus homself was ‘n voorbeeld van ‘n gebalanseerde, dissiplineerde lewe en bediening.  Hy het na sy eie welsyn omgesien sodat hy kon deel in die hoop wat hy vir ander bring (1 Korintiërs 9:23-27).

Die hoof verantwoordelikheid van ieder en elk wat geroep is deur God om te dien as ‘n leier in bediening en die kerk is hoofsaaklik om aandag aan hulself te gee en hulself te versorg.  Deur jouself te versorg word jy in staat gestel en bemagtig om God se mense te versorg. ‘n Leier se welsyn het nie net ‘n effek op hom/haar nie, maar ook op diegene naaste aan hulle, bv. eggenote en kinders asook op hulle vermoë om ander te versorg en te lei.

“Deur jouself te versorg word jy in staat gestel en bemagtig om God se mense te versorg.”

Jesus Homself het dit geïllustreer deur Homself te versorg gedurende Sy lewe en bediening op aarde.  Ten spyte van die groeiende behoeftes en eise van Sy bediening het Hy tyd vir Homself geneem wanneer nodig (Mattheus 14:23, Johannes 6:15);  Hy het ander mense toegelaat om na Sy persoonlike en fisiese behoeftes om te sien (Markus 15:41, Mattheus 21:1, Johannes 4:7).  Hy het in beheer gebly van Sy eie bediening (Johannes 2:24 & 11:6).

Paulus, tydens sy advies aan Timoteus, wys Timoteus daarop dat selfsorg die sleutel tot volhouding in die bediening is (1 Timoteus 4:6-8).  Dit is die sleutel tot ‘n lang, volhoubare en vrugbare bediening ten spyte van en te midde alle inherente eise en uitdagings in bediening. Hy wys ook aan dat die kern van selfsorg self-dissipline in alle areas en fasette van die lewe (geestelik, emosioneel, verstandelik en fisies) is.  Focus on working on your own development and on what you teach. If you do this, you will save yourself and those who hear you.” (1 Timothy 4:16 – CEB)

“…selfsorg die sleutel tot volhouding in die bediening is …”

Deur Jesus se voorbeeld te volg en Paulus se advies te implementeer sal pastore in staat wees om God se roeping op hulle lewens uit te leef met groot ywer en volhoubare vrugbaarheid wat die Koninkryk van God op aarde uitbrei.

THE AFM ON THE MOVE

Puleng Nimrod Kekana
A Poem to Celebrate 110 Years of the AFM!
[Hierdie gedig is oorspronklik in Engels geskryf en so gelos om die integriteit van die boodskap te behou.]

Designed and assigned by God
To reach the lost and hopeless of the world
From Azusa street to Bree street
The Spirit of God moved men as they obeyed
The mission of God kept on expanding
Yes, the move of God’s plan
Cannot, will not, shall not be hindered
The Apostolic Faith Mission is on the move
110 years later,
The move is getting stronger and stronger!

From the southern tip of Africa
To the ends of the world.
Let the message go to all nations.
Blow the trumpet Dr. Chikane,
Let the sound be heard everywhere
Jesus is Lord of the nations
Let missions run down like waters
And church planting like a mighty tsunami
Declare Dr. Murefu,
‘That the mission field is open
And that every congregation
Is an outreach centre to the world.’
The AFM is on the move!

Proclaim it Dr. Burger,
Wherever there are people,
You will find the AFM.
Qualified or unqualified,
Ordained or not ordained
Let everyone go back to their family, friends and community
And share the good news
Of what Jesus had done for them
Mercy is our song,
For sins forgiven and remembered no more
Grace is written all over us,
For our lives are restored and renewed
No longer strangers and foreigners,
But part of God’s family,
The AFM is on the move!

‘The Church is built upon the Rock,
And the gates of hell will not prevail against it’’.
Dr. Lapoorta reminded us.
‘Unity in action,
Let us move forward.’
Pastor Mahlobo preached passionately.
‘To fulfill our mission as mandated by the Lord.’
The AFM is on the move!

From Africa to Europe,
India to the Middle-East,
South to North America,
This thing is exploding and advancing,
It is unstoppable and unbreakable
The AFM is on the move!

It has the cross,
Signifying our commitment to Christ
And our preparedness to die for our calling
In the foolishness of the cross,
Lies our power and confidence
Circled by the golden crown,
It’s a guarantee for our promise
For a crown of life that will not fade away,
To be steadfast, unmovable and always abounding in the Lord’s work
Sink or swim,
Dark or blue,
Favourable or unfavourable,
In season and out of season
Let the message sound,
‘Jesus is Lord of the nations’
Faith in his name,
And hope in his promise,
Is our inspiration.
The AFM is on the move!

In South Africa, it is everywhere
It is blue, red and gold
It is blue, representing our dependence on the Holy Spirit
It is red, representing that salvation is found in no one else,
But in the precious blood of the lamb,
Jesus Christ our Blessed Lord!
It is gold, signifying the King of kings,
Who seat on the throne,
The Lion of the tribe of Judah,
And the Father of All mercies,
The AFM is on the move!

Wherever you find people, you will find the AFM
It is in the army,
It is in the police,
It is in the schools,
It is in hospitals,
It is in the public service,
It is in the private sector,
It is in business,
It is in politics,
It is in entertainment,
It is in the villages,
It is in the small towns,
It is in the cities
The AFM is everywhere!

From Zimbabwe to the UK,
From the UK to Australia,
From Ireland to Pakistan,
From India to Suriname
The AFM is going everywhere,

The AFM is everywhere!
It is like a mighty tornado,
A tsunami that covers everything
This is not a monument but a movement,
A mighty move of the Holy Spirit,
I can hear the sound,
I can hear the thunder,
It’s getting stronger and louder,
It is the move of the Holy Spirit.
And the AFM is privileged to be part,
Of this great deployment of the Spirit.
The AFM is on the move!

HAPPY 110 YEARS OLD!
Happy birthday AFM! GOD BLESS YOU!

SLOT

Ten slotte wil ek jou graag verwys na ‘n artikel oor die AGS se 110de verjaarsdag op die webtuiste van die Suid-Afrikaanse Raad van Kerke.  Myself en Dr. J.J. La Poorta het die geleentheid gehad om ‘n onderhoud te doen wat verdere lig sal werp op hierdie historiese en onvergeetlike 110de jaar van die AGS!  Ek vertrou dat sal tot seën wees vir jou – http://sacc.org.za/celebrating-110-years-afm/.

Past. M.G. Mahlobo 

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 [email protected].

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 [email protected].

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:

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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