Pastoral Letter: 2nd Quarter

AFM Newsltr 2ND Qrt 2019 ENG WEB

Dear Colleague,

We are gearing up for our annual AFM National Conference – this year hosted in the beautiful city of Cape Town. The conference theme is: “Rooted in Christ” and the main text is Colossians 2:6-7:

Spiritual Fullness in Christ
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

The theme is aimed at the empowerment of our members and pastors on how to deepen our relationship with Christ, in such a way that we remain strong in the face of many challenges that come our way. In Psalm 1:3, the Psalmist likens a blessed person to a fruitful tree planted by the stream of water. It is expected that children of God should be firmly anchored in Christ, that they should continually feed from God’s word, share Christ with others and keep their faith intact.

Apart from the inspirational evening services, there will also be PCD (Pastoral Continuous Development) sessions that will focus on those issues that are necessary for spiritual growth. Pastors as well as members are welcome to attend. It will cover “Prayer” presented by Suzette Hattingh, “Succession” by Dr. Anthony Jacobs and “Church Planting” by Danie Vermeulen. It will also include a session focused on the needs of Pastor’s wives.

To register online please visit the AFM website by using the following links:
https://afm.easychurch.co.za/?page_id=365
http://afm-ags.org/category/events/

I trust that this Pastoral Letter will bless you! We take a deeper look at our Pentecostal roots and what it truly means to be an Apostolic Church. We consider the issue of leading from the inside-out and present you with a reflection on one of Pastor Sam Adeyemi’s teachings. Lastly, we share a discussion on the AFM’s proposed Foreign Missions Policy.

PENTECOSTAL ROOTS: AS AT THE BEGINNING
Dr. I.S. Burger – Former President of the AFM – [email protected]

Beginnings are important, especially as far as the church is concerned. The Bible often refers to beginnings. On Israel’s journey to the Promised Land, they were cautioned never to forget their beginnings, how God brought them out of Egypt. When Peter had to explain to the leaders in Jerusalem why he baptized the household of Cornelius, he justified it by referring them to the beginning: “And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them, as on us at the beginning.” (Acts 11:15). In other words, if God reckoned them worthy and gave them the Holy Spirit in the same way as to us in the beginning, who am I to discriminate. On the other hand, when the Pharisees tried to justify divorce and even quoted Moses in this regard, Jesus went beyond Moses to “the beginning”. He said: “From the beginning it was not so.” (Mt. 19:8.)

A visionary church will never loose hold of its origin. Roots are important. “

I am more and more aware of the healthy and wholesome tension between “where we come from” and “where we are going.” People often want to know from a leader (and rightly so): What is your vision, where do you see us in future? It is important to cast a vision, but it is equally important to remind those you are leading where they come from. A visionary church will never loose hold of its origin. Roots are important. It may be disastrous to continue building and then to forget about the foundations and the plan. Like in the Bible, how it was “at the beginning”, will indicate when one deviates from the God-given plan.

The Apostolic Faith Mission must never forget its origins. As part of the Pentecostal movement, Pentecostals constantly need to be reminded that Pentecost is a restoration of the church in Apostolic times (→ 100 AD). That is the New Testament Church, the Church at the beginning. Where almost the whole Pentecostal movement was called the “Apostolic Faith Mission” at the beginning of the 20th century. Our denomination is about the only one which retained the original name. And this name links us unequivocally to the church in Biblical times. Are we worthy of that name?

A true “Apostolic church” like the church “at the beginning”, is a church where the characteristic doctrines, religious experiences and basic practices will resemble the patterns of the early church and “the faith which was one delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 1:3) What are some of the most important characteristics?

(With acknowledgement to David A. Womack, “The Wellsprings of the Pentecostal Movement”):

1 – You will find it in the way they view the Scriptures. They will believe that the Old Testament prepares the way for the coming of the Messiah and they will interpret the Old Testament in the light of the teachings of the Apostles. They will believe in the New Testament as the only valid source of Christian doctrine, religious experience and principles of practice. They will interpret the Scriptures in a literal sense wherever the context is not obviously figurative or poetic, for the Bible is essentially a practical book – the divinely inspired Word of God to men.

2 – A true “Apostolic church” will believe every doctrine taught by the apostles and will reject any religious teaching not included in the New Testament. There can be no major doctrine today that was not also major for the Christians of the first century.

3 – A true “Apostolic church” will teach and actively seek to preserve amongst its members and adherents the religious experiences of the first-century church. First, salvation as a definite experience in which a person is convicted of sin, repents of that sin to God, accepts Jesus Christ as the Son of God, be cleansed through the atoning blood of Jesus and begins a life of holiness before God. Secondly, daily prayer and meditation on the Word of God will be at the order of the day. Believers will be baptized in water and will regularly participate in the Lord’s Supper. All believers will actively seek to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit with its distinctive sign and spiritual experience of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives them utterance.

All believers will actively seek to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit with its distinctive sign and spiritual experience of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives them utterance.”

4 – An “Apostolic church” will be characterized by the continuing manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit.

5 – Such a church will be intensely missional in concept and in action.

6 – The priesthood of all believers will be a daily reality as each one realizes that he/she has a ministry within the body of Christ.

7 – An “Apostolic church” transcends racial, cultural and language differences. This characteristic was obvious on the Day of Pentecost, in Azusa Street as well as with the start of the AFM in Doornfontein in 1908. Thank God, in April 1996 this characteristic again became evident with our unification!

8 – The Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ was a burning reality in the Early Church. It was the same with the start of the modern-day Pentecostal Movement. It was the theme of many songs and sermons. It was an urge to holy living. I doubt whether this is still the case. We need to be reminded that Pentecostal people are people to whom the Second Coming is an every-day reality.

The Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ was a burning reality in the Early Church.”

We, as Pentecostal pastors and members, need to constantly evaluate and test ourselves, our ministries, our church services and our local churches. The only way in which we can assure ourselves of our own apostolicity, is to measure and compare ourselves with the Christianity of the first century.

Does our theology match that of the New Testament, or have other ideas been added that cannot be found in the apostolic teaching? Do the doctrines of our church stand out obviously in the New Testament, or must they hang on slender little phrases removed from their context in Scripture? Do our religious experiences correspond to those of the early Christians, or is there only mental assent to the spiritual happenings of the first century? Have we, as Pentecostals in our claimed return to apostolic theology, reproduced the dedicated, evangelistic spirit of the early church? Has it produced a missions outreach with any possibility of carrying out the Great Commission of Christ?

God help us to be worthy of the name “Apostolic Faith Mission!”

LEADING FROM THE INSIDE OUT
Dr. H.J. Weideman – General Secretary – [email protected]

One of the 2019 NOB Empowerment sessions included a video presentation by Pastor Sam Adeyemi, the pastor of Daystar Christian Centre in Lagos Nigeria. He titled his talk: “Leading from the inside out” and focused on the importance of what we are and think in our inner being and how that influences the way we lead and grow.

In leadership you don’t attract “who you WANT”, he said, “you attract who you ARE”. That makes the sense of identity for leaders and for those whom they lead very important. How do you see yourself? What do you believe about yourself? Do you believe the words of the teacher or authority figure who once told you that you cannot do something or that you are not good enough, to be true? Do you see yourself as somehow inferior and not able to succeed? Negative voices and experiences, even from childhood causes many leaders to have a diminished belief in their ability and possibilities.

The problem is, if you believe you are not capable, have no abilities or you are negative about life, you will most probably attract people with the same inclination. Adeyemi says that the greatest gift that you can give someone is a new belief about him- or herself.  About who they are, what they have and what they can do or become.

God makes champions out of ordinary people.”

This is what God does and this is what leaders should do: God makes champions out of ordinary people. He takes every day, normal people, with all their issues and hang ups and transforms them into people who do extraordinary things. The Bible is full of examples of this. Just look at the lives of the disciples that Jesus chose. They were ordinary men. Jesus saw not just what and who they were (fishermen), but who they could become and what He could do by His Holy Spirit in and through them. Those ordinary men became the leaders and apostles of the first church and were instrumental in the spread and growth of Christianity across the world and even today!

This is what we as leaders should also do. We should not look at the people we work with and wish that we had other “better” and more capable members or colleagues. We should start by seeing the possibilities in them. Great leaders see leaders in their followers and begin to describe the kind of leaders they see. By doing this they have an enabling effect on people around them.

As leaders we should also model the transformation we are talking and preaching about.”

As leaders we should also model the transformation we are talking and preaching about. We can talk a lot about how people should live and what they should do and not do: But do we live it ourselves? Are we modelling our own teaching? Do we in fact walk our talk? In this context Adeyemi pointed to the example of Jesus and also to His example in leadership when it comes to how we want people to react to and treat us as leaders. He talked about a culture in his own country where leaders are respected and honoured to such an extent that people will make way for them to walk and would even be pushed aside so that they can enter a venue without restraint. Then he said: “This should not be so, if anyone should be pushed out of the way, push me. Do not push people on my behalf.” Our leadership should be a servant leadership. Our attitude should not be to reign over, or command people, but rather to serve them through our leadership abilities.

Our leadership should be a servant leadership.”

Adeyemi ended his talk by reminding us that we should be reinventing ourselves over and over again. That we should continuously grow and develop. In character, personality and ability, we should not be the same person that we were a year ago. We should “die” at one level to evolve to another. On a daily basis we as leaders create the organisational and general operational culture in our organisations and churches. How we see ourselves. How we speak and carry ourselves. Our attitude, lifestyle and behaviour. All these things that comes from the inside of a person, determines how we lead and how we influence those around us.

All these things that comes from the inside of a person, determines how we lead and how we influence those around us.”

[This article was not an attempt to summarise the session by Sam Adeyemi, but rather a reflection on what he said. – Henri Weideman]

PROPOSED POLICY ON FOREIGN MISSIONS
Past. M.G. Mahlobo – President of the AFM of SA – [email protected]

In its March 2019 meeting, the National Leadership Forum (NLF) accepted the AFM of SA’s draft policy on Foreign Missions – which was drafted and presented by the AFM President. This policy will now be circularized to all church structures in terms of Clause 12.2 of the church’s constitution for final approval by the NLF.

The link to the policy is included here for ease of reference:
http://afm-ags.org/category/media/

Historical Background
This was for the first time, since its unity in 1996, that the AFM accepted a policy on Foreign Missions. Prior to 1996 the former church leadership had a department which catered for missions in South Africa and beyond. This department was closed down (mainly as a result of the decentralization of our church structures). Subsequent to this closure various foreign missions’ projects run by local AFM assemblies and individual pastors emerged. In 2006 the NLF realized that there was no national, coordinating and representative missionary body in our church. After serious consideration of this lack, the NLF established a Missions Advisory Committee (MAC) which was led by the church’s President at that time (Dr. Isak Burger). One of the key areas on which MAC focused was the development of a missions’ strategic policy.

In 2011 MAC presented a more comprehensive and all-inclusive missions’ strategy. The main objective of this strategy was to transform the AFM into an Apostolic movement or into a Missional movement. MAC’s vision was named Vision 2020 and Qalakabusha (New beginning). It envisioned AFM as the whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world, saturating our communities with the presence and principles of the Kingdom of God. This gave birth to the AFM’s slogan: “Wherever you find people you will find the AFM.

Vision 2020 (Qalakabusha) eventually became part of the AFM’s vision and the strategic implementation plan known as the “One AFM Game Plan.” The church is currently at the implementation phase of the One AFM Game Plan. Foreign perspective is the missing part in the One AFM Game Plan. The focus is primarily internal. This necessitated the development of a policy on Foreign Missions for the AFM.

This policy includes the following five critical elements:

  1. Coordination of the work currently done by the AFM of SA missions’ agencies and local assemblies across the world;
  2. Establishment of AFM churches in countries where it does not exist, especially in countries where there is no presence of any Evangelical or Pentecostal churches;
  3. Involvement or the role of our local assemblies and our members in the diaspora;
  4. Strengthening of church structures (policies), and
  5. The development of church leadership.

Coordination of the work currently done
All missions’ activities beyond our country need to be well coordinated. The office of the General Secretary will be responsible for this coordination.

Missions’ activities where AFM does not exist
The policy urges the establishment of AFM churches where it has no presence at all. Due compliance with laws of the relevant countries should be adhered to. We must always bear in mind that the scope of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, goes beyond South Africa and covers the entire global community. The National Leadership Forum (NLF) must identify countries that are the least reached in terms of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One indicator in this regard should be where there is no presence of Evangelical or Pentecostal churches.

We must always bear in mind that the scope of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, goes beyond South Africa and covers the entire global community.”

Missions’ activities in countries where AFM already exist
The policy makes a plea that all agencies and individuals of the AFM of SA who are doing foreign missions in countries where the AFM church exists, need to take their existence into cognizance with a view of taking hands with them. This will avoid unnecessary duplication of AFM churches or competition of AFM churches in foreign countries.

The role of our local assemblies and members
There are many South African AFM members in the diaspora. Some have kept their membership with the AFM local assemblies here in South Africa. Local assemblies should make our members aware of their missional calling wherever they are deployed. They should be encouraged to live up to it.

Development of structures and church leadership
In many countries where the AFM has been established issues of governance have been neglected. Our missions’ agencies and local assemblies involved in foreign missions are requested to prioritize the issue of the development of church structures and leadership (governance).

NLF’s role
The NLF must mobilize and coordinate missional activities to reach out to countries that have not been reached with the Gospel of Jesus.

CONCLUSION

We are approaching our National Conference with an expecting heart! I really hope to see many of our Pastors, members and leaders there. May we always stay “Rooted in Christ” – loving God, sharing Christ, serving others and growing together.

God bless!
Past. M.G. Mahlobo
(President of the AFM of SA)

Pastorale Brief: 2de Kwartaal

Laai die PDF weergawe hier af:

AFM Newsltr 2ND Qrt 2019 AFR WEB

Liewe Kollega,

Ons is tans besig om voor te berei vir ons jaarlikse AGS Nasionale Konferensie wat aangebied gaan word in Kaapstad. Die Konferensie se tema is: “Rooted in Christ” en die kernvers is Kolossense 2:6-7:

Geestelike volheid in Christus
6Aangesien julle dan Christus Jesus as Here aangeneem het, moet julle in verbondenheid met Hom lewe, 7in Hom gewortel en op Hom gebou, vas in die geloof soos julle geleer is, en met dankbaarheid vervul.

Die tema is gemik op die bemagtiging van ons lidmate en pastore, spesifiek oor hoe om ons verhouding met Christus so te verdiep dat ons sterk bly wanneer uitdagings op ons pad kom. In Psalm 1:3 vergelyk die Psalmdigter ‘n geseënde mens met ‘n vrugbare boom wat langs ‘n stroom water geplant word. Daar word verwag dat kinders van God stewig in Christus geanker moet wees, dat hulle voortdurend op God se Woord moet voed, Christus met ander moet deel en hul geloof ongeskonde moet hou.

Afgesien van die inspirerende aanddienste, sal daar ook PCD (“Pastoral Continuous Development”) sessies wees wat fokus op die kwessies wat nodig is vir geestelike groei. Pastore sowel as lidmate is welkom om dit by te woon. Die volgende onderwerpe sal aangebied word: “Gebed” deur Suzette Hattingh, “Opvolging” deur Dr. Anthony Jacobs en “Kerkplanting” deur Danie Vermeulen. Daar sal ook ‘n sessie wees wat gefokus is op die behoeftes van die pastoorsvrou.

Om aanlyn te registreer besoek die AGS se webtuiste deur die volgende skakels te gebruik:
https://afm.easychurch.co.za/?page_id=365
http://afm-ags.org/category/events/

Ek vertrou dat hierdie Pastorale Brief jou sal seën! Ons kyk dieper na ons Pinksterwortels en wat dit werklik beteken om ‘n “Apostoliese” Kerk te wees. Ons beskou die kwessie van leierskap en “hoe om te lei vanuit die binnekant” – deur te reflekteer op een van Pastoor Sam Adeyemi se aanbiedinge. Laastens deel ons ‘n bespreking oor die AGS se voorgestelde “Foreign Missions Policy” (Beleid t.o.v. Buitelandse Sendingprojekte)

APOSTOLIESE WORTELS:  SOOS IN DIE BEGIN
Dr. I.S. Burger – Vorige President van die AGS van SA  [email protected]

Die begin is belangrik, veral sover dit die kerk betref. Die Bybel verwys dikwels na die begin. Op Israel se reis na die Beloofde Land is hulle gewaarsku om nooit hul begin te vergeet nie, hoe God hulle uit Egipte uitgelei het. Toe Petrus aan die leiers in Jerusalem moes verduidelik waarom hy die huishouding van Cornelius gedoop het, het hy dit geregverdig deur hulle na die begin te verwys: “Skaars het ek begin praat, of die Heilige Gees kom op hulle net soos op ons in die begin.” (Handelinge 11:15). Met ander woorde, as God hulle waardig geag het, en vir hulle die Heilige Gees gegee het op dieselfde manier as vir ons in die begin, wie is ek om te diskrimineer? Aan die anderkant toe die Fariseërs die egskeiding probeer regverdig het en Moses selfs in hierdie verband aangehaal het, het Jesus verder gegaan as Moses na “die begin””. Hy het gesê: “Maar dit was nie van die begin af so nie.” (Matt. 19: 8.)

“‘n Visioenêre kerk sal nooit sy oorsprong verloor nie. Wortels is belangrik.”

Ek is meer en meer bewus van die gesonde en heilsame spanning tussen “waar ons vandaan kom” en “waarheen ons gaan.” Mense wil dikwels (en met goeie reg) van ‘n leier weet: Wat is jou visie, waar sien jy ons in die toekoms? Dit is belangrik om ‘n toekomsvisie te hê, maar dit is ewe belangrik om diegene wat jy lei te herinner aan waar hulle vandaan kom. ‘n Visioenêre kerk sal nooit sy oorsprong verloor nie. Wortels is belangrik. Dit kan rampspoedig wees om voort te gaan om te bou en dan te vergeet van die fondament en die plan.  Soos in die Bybel, hoe dit “aan die begin” was, sal aandui wanneer ‘n mens afwyk van die God-gegewe plan.

Die Apostoliese Geloofsending moet nooit sy oorsprong vergeet nie. As deel van die Pinksterbeweging moet ons gedurig herinner word dat Pinkster ‘n herstel van die kerk in die Apostoliese tye is (→ 100 n.C.). Dit is die Nuwe Testamentiese Kerk, die Kerk in die begin, waar byna die hele Pinksterbeweging in die begin van die 20ste eeu die “Apostoliese Geloofsending” genoem was. Ons denominasie is omtrent die enigste wat die oorspronklike naam behou het. En hierdie naam verbind ons onomwonde aan die kerk in Bybeltye. Is ons die naam waardig?

‘n Ware “Apostoliese kerk” soos die kerk “aan die begin”, is ‘n kerk waar die kenmerkende leerstellings, godsdienstige ervarings en basiese gebruike sal ooreenstem met die patrone van die vroeë kerk en “die geloof wat eenmaal aan die heiliges gegee is” (Judas 1:3). Wat is sommige van die belangrikste eienskappe?

(Met erkenning aan David A. Womack, “The Wellsprings of the Pentecostal Movement”):

1 – Jy sal dit vind in die manier waarop daar na die Skrif gekyk word. Hulle sal glo dat die Ou Testament die weg voorberei vir die koms van die Messias en hulle sal die Ou Testament interpreteer in die lig van die leerstellings van die Apostels. Hulle sal in die Nuwe Testament glo as die enigste geldige bron van Christelike leer, godsdienstige ervaring en praktykbeginsels. Hulle sal die Skrif in ‘n letterlike sin interpreteer waar die konteks nie natuurlik figuurlik of poëties is nie, want die Bybel is in wese ‘n praktiese boek – die Goddelike geïnspireerde Woord van God vir die mens.

2 – ‘n “Apostoliese kerk” sal elke leerstelling deur die apostels glo en sal enige godsdienstige leerstelling wat nie in die Nuwe Testament ingesluit is nie, verwerp. Daar kan vandag nie ‘n belangrike leerstelling wees wat nie ook vir die Christene van die eerste eeu belangrik was nie.

3 – ‘n “Apostoliese kerk” sal sy lidmate onderrig en aktief poog om die godsdienstige ervarings van die eerste-eeuse kerk te bewaar. Eerstens, verlossing as ‘n spesifieke ervaring waarin ‘n mens oortuig word van sonde, die sonde aan God bely, aanvaar dat Jesus Christus die Seun van God is, gereinig word deur die versoenende bloed van Jesus en ‘n heilige lewe begin leef voor God. Tweedens sal daaglikse gebed en meditasie op die Woord van God aan die orde van die dag wees. Gelowiges sal gedoop word in water en sal gereeld aan die nagmaal deelneem. Alle gelowiges sal aktief poog om die doop met die Heilige Gees te ontvang met sy kenmerkende teken en geestelike ervaring deur in ander tale te praat soos die Gees hulle uitspraak gee.

Alle gelowiges sal aktief poog om die doop met die Heilige Gees te ontvang met sy kenmerkende teken en geestelike ervaring deur in ander tale te praat soos die Gees hulle uitspraak gee.”

4 – ‘n “Apostoliese kerk” sal gekenmerk word deur die voortgesette manifestasie van die gawes van die Gees.

5 – So ‘n kerk sal intens missionaal wees – in konsep en aksie.

6 – Die priesterskap van alle gelowiges sal ‘n daaglikse werklikheid wees, aangesien elkeen sal besef dat hy/sy ‘n bediening in die liggaam van Christus het.

7 – ‘n “Apostoliese kerk” oorskrei rasse-, kulturele en taalverskille. Hierdie kenmerk was duidelik sigbaar op Pinksterdag, in Azusa Straat sowel as met die begin van die AGS in Doornfontein in 1908. Dankie Here, in April 1996 het hierdie kenmerk weer duidelik geword met ons eenwording!

8 – Die Wederkoms van ons Here Jesus Christus was ‘n brandende realiteit in die vroeë kerk. Dit was dieselfde met die begin van die moderne Pinkster-beweging. Dit was die tema van baie liedjies en preke. Daar was ‘n drang na ‘n heilige lewe. Ek twyfel of dit nog steeds die geval is. Ons moet onthou dat Pinkster-mense, mense is vir wie die Wederkoms ‘n daaglikse werklikheid is.

Die Wederkoms van ons Here Jesus Christus was ‘n brandende realiteit in die vroeë kerk.”

Ons, as Pinkster-pastore en lidmate, moet onsself, ons bedieninge, ons kerkdienste en ons plaaslike kerke voortdurend evalueer en toets. Die enigste manier waarop ons onsself van ons eie Pinkster karakter kan verseker, is om ons te meet en te vergelyk met die Christene van die eerste eeu.

Stem ons teologie ooreen met die Nuwe Testament, of is daar ander idees bygevoeg wat nie in die apostoliese lering gevind kan word nie? Staan die leerstellings van ons kerk duidelik uit in die Nuwe Testament, of moet hulle aan klein frases wat uit konteks uit die Skrif verwyder word, hang? Stem ons godsdienstige ervarings ooreen met dié van die vroeë Christene, of is daar net geestelike toestemming vir die geestelike gebeure van die eerste eeu? Het ons, as Pinksterlinge in ons beweerde terugkeer na die apostoliese teologie, die toegewyde, evangelistiese gees van die vroeë kerk gereproduseer? Het dit ‘n sendinguitreik opgelewer met enige moontlikheid om die Groot Opdrag van Christus uit te voer?

God help ons om die naam “Apostoliese Geloofsending” waardig te wees!

OM VAN BINNE NA BUITE TE LEI
Dr. Henri Weideman – Algemene Sekretaris van die AGS van SA – [email protected]

Een van die Nasionale Ampsdraers se 2019 bemagtigings sessies het ‘n video aanbieding deur Pastoor Sam Adeyemi, die senior pastoor van Daystar Christian Centre in Lagos Nigeria, ingesluit. Die titel van sy aanbieding was: “Leading from the inside out” en het basies gefokus op die belangrikheid van wat ons in ons innerlike wese is en dink en oor hoe dit die manier waarop ons groei en ander lei, beïnvloed.

In leierskap trek jy nie die mense na jou toe aan wat jy graag WIL aantrek nie, sê Adeyemi, maar die mense wat soos jy IS. Dit beteken dat die identiteit van leiers, sowel as die van die mense wat hulle volg, baie belangrik is. Hoe sien jy jouself? Wat glo jy ten opsigte van jouself? Glo jy die woorde wat die onderwyser of gesagsfiguur lank terug aan jou gesê het, dat jy nie in staat is om iets te doen nie, of dat jy nie goed genoeg is nie? Glo jy dat dit waar is? Sien jy jouself as minderwaardig en nie in staat om suksesvol te wees nie? Negatiewe stemme en ervarings, selfs gedurende ons vroeë kinderjare,  veroorsaak dat baie leiers ‘n beperkende beeld het ten opsigte van hulle eie vermoëns en moontlikhede.

Die probleem is dat as jy negatief is oor die lewe, en oortuig is dat jy nie in staat is om sukses te behaal of oor die nodige vermoëns besit nie, jy heel waarskynlik mense met dieselfde tipe ingesteldheid na jou toe sal aantrek. Volgens Adeyemi is die grootste geskenk wat jy aan iemand kan gee, ‘n nuwe begrip ten opsigte van hom- of haarself.  ‘n Nuwe beeld oor wie hulle is, wat hulle het en wat hulle kan wees.

God maak kampioene van gewone mense.”

Dit is wat God doen en dit is ook wat leiers moet doen: God maak kampioene van gewone mense. Hy vat gewone alledaagse mense, met al hulle kwessies en eiesoortighede en omvorm hulle in mense wat buitengewone dinge doen. Die Bybel is vol voorbeelde hiervan. Kyk maar net na die lewens van die disippels wat Jesus gekies het. Hulle was gewone mense. Jesus het nie net gesien wat hulle was nie (vissermanne), maar wie hulle kon word en wat Hy deur die Heilige Gees in en deur hulle kon doen.  Daardie gewone vissermanne het die leiers en apostels van die eerste kerk geword en het ‘n kernrol gespeel in die verspreiding en groei van Christenskap regoor die wêreld en selfs tot vandag toe.

Dit is wat ons as leiers behoort te doen: Ons moenie na die mense saam met wie ons werk kyk en wens dat ons ander, “beter” en meer vaardige lidmate en kollegas gehad het nie. Ons moet begin om die moontlikhede in hulle raak te sien.  Goeie leiers sien leiers in hulle volgelinge en begin om dit wat hulle sien te beskryf. Deur dit te doen het hulle ‘n bemagtigende effek op die mense om hulle.

…die feit dat leiers die transformasie waaroor hulle praat en preek moet modeleer. “

Dit is deel van wat dit beteken om ‘n visie te hê: Adeyemi sê: “Visie is om mense, plekke en dinge te sien, nie net soos wat hulle is nie, maar soos wat hulle kan wees.” Leiers moet moontlikheidsdenkers word en nie net die uitdagings in elke situasie raaksien nie, maar ook die geleenthede. ‘n Ander belangrike aspek van Adeyemi se praatjie was die feit dat leiers die transformasie waaroor hulle praat en preek moet modeleer. Ons praat baie oor hoe mense behoort te leef en wat hulle behoort te doen, maar doen ons dit self? Modeleer ons ons eie idees? Doen ons werklik dit wat ons sê? In hierdie verband wys Adeyemi na die voorbeeld van Jesus en ook na Sy leierskap – veral as dit kom by hoe ons will hê mense op ons moet reageer en hoe hulle ons as leiers moet hanteer. Hy het gepraat oor ‘n kultuur in sy eie land waarvolgens leiers tot so ‘n mate vereer en gerespekteer word dat mense sal padgee voor hulle en selfs uit die pad gestoot sal word, sodat hulle kan verbygaan. Hierop sê hy: “Dit behoort nie so te wees nie.  As enige iemand uit die pad gestoot moet word, stoot my uit die pad uit, maar moenie ander mense terwile van my wegstoot nie.” Ons leierskap moet gekenmerk wees deur diensbaarheid. (Servant Leadership) Ons ingesteldheid moenie wees om oor mense te regeer en hulle te hiet en gebied nie, maar eerder om hulle te dien deur ons leierskapsvaardighede.

Ons leierskap moet gekenmerk wees deur diensbaarheid. “

Adeyemi eindig sy aanbieding deur ons daarop te wys dat ons onsself voortdurend moet herontwerp. Ons behoort op ‘n voortgesette basis te groei en te ontwikkel. Ten opsigte van karakter, persoonlikheid en vermoëns behoort ons nie dieselfde persoon te wees wat ons ‘n jaar gelede was nie. Ons moet “sterf” op een vlak van ons bestaan, sodat ons kan groei na ‘n volgende vlak. As leiers is ons op ‘n daaglikse basis besig om die organisatoriese- en operasionele kultuur van ons organisasies en gemeentes te skep. Hoe ons onself sien. Hoe ons praat en onsself dra. Ons ingesteldheid, leefstyl en gedrag. Al hierdie dinge wat uit ons innerlike mens kom, bepaal hoe ons  lei en hoe ons die mense om ons beïnvloed en vorm.

Al hierdie dinge wat uit ons innerlike mens kom, bepaal hoe ons  lei en hoe ons die mense om ons beïnvloed en vorm.”

[Die doel van hierdie artikel was nie om dit wat Sam Adeyemi gesê het op te som nie, maar eerder om daarop te reflekteer. -Henri Weideman]

VOORGESTELDE BELEID OOR BUITELANDSE SENDINGPROJEKTE (“Foreign Missions Policy”)
Past. M.G. Mahlobo – President van die AGS van SA – [email protected]

Tydens die Nasionale Leierskapsforum (NLF) vergadering in Maart 2019, is ‘n konsepbeleid oor Buitelandse Sendingprojekte aanvaar – opgestel en aangebied deur die President van die AGS van SA. Hierdie beleid sal nou aan alle kerkstrukture gesirkuleer word ingevolge klousule 12.2 van die kerk se grondwet vir finale goedkeuring deur die NLF.

Die skakel na die beleid is hier ingesluit ter verwysing:
http://afm-ags.org/category/media/

Historiese Agtergrond
Dit was vir die eerste keer sedert sy eenheid in 1996 dat die AGS ‘n beleid oor Buitelandse Sendingprojekte aanvaar het. Voor 1996 het die voormalige kerkleiers ‘n departement gehad wat vir sendings in Suid-Afrika en vir buite die land se grense voorsiening gemaak het. Hierdie departement is gesluit (hoofsaaklik as gevolg van die desentralisasie van ons kerkstrukture). Na afloop van hierdie sluiting het ‘n hele aantal buitelandse sendingprojekte wat deur plaaslike AGS-gemeentes en individuele pastore bestuur word, ontstaan. In 2006 het die NLF besef dat daar geen nasionale, koördinerende en verteenwoordigende sendingliggaam in ons kerk was nie. Na ernstige oorweging van hierdie gebrek het die NLF ‘n “Missions Advisory Committee” (MAC) ingestel wat deur die President van die kerk op daardie tydstip, Dr Isak Burger gelei is. Een van die sleutelareas waarop MAC gefokus was, was die ontwikkeling van ‘n strategiese missionale beleid.

In 2011 het MAC ‘n meer omvattende en insluitende sendingstrategie aangebied. Die hoofdoel van hierdie strategie was om die AGS te omskep in ‘n Apostoliese beweging of in ‘n Missionale beweging. MAC se visie is genoem Visie 2020 en Qalakabusha (Nuwe begin). Dit het beoog om die AGS ‘n kerk te maak wat die hele Evangelie na die hele wêreld neem en ons gemeenskappe versadig met die teenwoordigheid en beginsels van die Koninkryk van God. Dit het aanleiding gegee tot die AGS se slagspreuk: “Waar jy ookal mense vind, sal jy die AGS vind.”

Visie 2020 (Qalakabusha) het met tyd deel geword van die AGS se visie en die strategiese implementerings plan beter bekend as die “One AFM Game Plan.” Die kerk is tans in die implementeringsfase van die “One AFM Game Plan”. Buitelandse perspektief is tans ‘n ontbrekende deel in die “One AFM Game Plan”. Die fokus is hoofsaaklik intern. Dit het die ontwikkeling van ‘n beleid op Buitelandse Sendingprojekte nodig gemaak.

Hierdie beleid sluit die volgende vyf kritiese elemente in:

  1. Koördinering van die werk wat tans deur die AGS van SA se sending-agentskappe en plaaslike gemeenstes regoor die wêreld gedoen word;
  2. Vestiging van AGS-kerke in lande waar dit nie bestaan ​​nie, veral in lande waar geen Evangeliese of Pinkster kerke teenwoordig is nie;
  3. Betrokkenheid en die rol van ons plaaslike gemeentes en ons AGS lidmate in die diaspora;
  4. Versterking van kerkstrukture (beleide), en
  5. Die ontwikkeling van kerkleierskap.

Koördinering van die werk wat tans gedoen word
Alle sending of missionale aktiwiteite buite ons land moet goed gekoördineer word. Die kantoor van die Algemene Sekretaris sal verantwoordelik wees vir hierdie koördinering.

Missionale aktiwiteite waar die AGS nie bestaan nie
Die beleid moedig die oprigting van AGS-kerke, waar dit glad nie teenwoordig is nie, aan. Die wette van die betrokke lande moet nagekom word. Ons moet altyd in gedagte hou dat die omvang van die Groot Opdrag in Mattheus 28: 18-20 verder gaan as Suid-Afrika en die hele wêreldgemeenskap dek. Die Nasionale Leierskapsforum (NLF) moet lande identifiseer wat die minste bereik word in terme van die Evangelie van Jesus Christus. Een aanwyser in hierdie verband moet wees waar daar geen teenwoordigheid van Evangeliese of Pinksterkerke is nie.

Ons moet altyd in gedagte hou dat die omvang van die Groot Opdrag in Mattheus 28: 18-20 verder gaan as Suid-Afrika en die hele wêreldgemeenskap dek.”

Missionale aktiwiteite in lande waar die AGS reeds bestaan
Die beleid lewer ‘n pleidooi dat alle agentskappe en individue van die AGS van SA wat betrokke is in buitelandse sendingprojekte in lande waar die AGS-kerk bestaan, die bestaande AGS rolspelers in ag sal neem met die oog daarop om hande saam te vat. Dit sal onnodige duplisering van AGS-kerke of kompetisie tussen  AGS-kerke  in die buiteland vermy.

Die rol van ons plaaslike gemeentes en lidmate
Daar is baie AGS-lidmate in die diaspora. Sommige het hul lidmaatskap behou by hul plaaslike AGS-gemeentes hier in Suid-Afrika.  Plaaslike gemeentes moet ons lidmate bewus maak van hul missionale roeping waar hulle ookal ontplooi word. Hulle moet aangemoedig word om hierdie roeping uit te leef.

Ontwikkeling van strukture en kerkleierskap
In baie lande waar die AGS gevestig is, is kwessies van goeie bestuur ( “Good Governance”) nagelaat. Ons sending-agentskappe en plaaslike gemeentes betrokke by buitelandse projekte word gevra om die kwessie van die ontwikkeling van kerkstrukture en leierskap (bestuur) te prioritiseer.

NLF se rol
Die NLF moet sendingaktiwiteite mobiliseer en koördineer om uit te reik na lande wat nie bereik is met die Evangelie van Jesus nie.

SLOT

Ons beplan voort aan ons Nasionale Konferensie met ‘n hart vol verwagting! Ek hoop regtig om baie van ons Pastore, lidmate en leiers daar te sien. Mag ons altyd stewig gewortel wees in Christus – God lief hê, Christus met ander deel, mekaar dien en saam groei!

Seën!
Past. M. G. Mahlobo
(President van die AGS van SA)

Pastoral Letter: 1st Quarter

Download the PDF version here:

 Pastoral Letter: 1st Quarter

Dear Colleague,

The AFM’s heart is pulsing with leadership issues. We are reflecting on the type of leadership qualities that will be required for the future AFM. We are envisioning leaders that are called, servant leaders with unshakeable integrity. Leaders that live the AFM’s values, draw daily inspiration from God and are supported by a praying spouse. Be blessed by this specific issue of the Pastoral Letter as we take a closer look at the AFM leader of the future.

LEADERS FOR THE FUTURE AFM

Dr. J.J. La Poorta – Deputy President of the AFM of SA
[email protected]

Future leaders should embrace and cherish specific principles in their life and ministry. These are: Firstly, that they must have a calling into ministry that will be the guiding principle by which they conduct their lives. Secondly, exemplify a model of servant-leadership. Thirdly, be active proponents of the unity of the church that will enhance cohesion within the AFM of SA on all levels of their ministerial involvement. Lastly, one of the four values that the AFM embraces namely integrity, should permeate all views of leadership that will be explained in this article.

A Calling into Ministry by God 
Future leaders of the AFM must be aware and informed about the fact that only God calls people into the ministry (1 Corinthians 12:11; Romans 11:29). They must also understand that the calling and ministry from God are irrevocable (Romans 11:29). The issue of whether a person is called or not, is a decision that solely rests with God’s prerogative choice. Present day and future leaders in the ministry must be sure that they are called, because if God calls a person, He will HONOUR His Calling. If a person was never called by God and it is just a desire or a career, that person cannot expect God to be responsible for his or her ministry endeavour and provision – where God leads, He is bound to provide according to His riches in glory.

“…where God leads, He is bound to provide according to His riches in glory.”

Display Servant Leadership
In the life and ministry of Jesus, John, Peter and Paul we have excellent examples of servant leadership. As leaders they did not insist to be served by their followers, instead they were prepared to serve. (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; John 13:1-17.; 1 Corinthians 4:1-13). A servant leader does not lord over people but he or she serves people diligently and in many cases without expecting any reward. The example of Jesus and the apostles that were mentioned, serve to underline this statement. Paul even mentioned in Corinthians 4 that they have not burdened the assembly but have taken care of their material need by working with their hands. Paul was a tentmaker by trade and from there comes the well-known phrase “tent makers ministry”. It does not mean that all ministers should now learn the trade of making tents, but that they use whatever skills, talents and abilities they have acquired to take care of their material needs while they minister to the flock. As stewards of the ministries of God they are to be faithful to their calling. Faithful in their endeavours to serve the people to whom they are ministering.

As leaders they did not insist to be served by their followers, instead they were prepared to serve.”

Be Known as Passionate Unifiers
Leaders for the future AFM must be passionate unifiers that promote, protect and exemplify the unity of the Church of Jesus Christ through a Kingdom vision, that will enhance cohesion within and outside the AFM. They must promote unity by employing practical actions that will foster cohesion – protecting unity especially in situations in the AFM where cohesion is disregarded and threatened – by being an example through words and deeds. They must be on the forefront of creating and developing friendships across language, racial and cultural divides. They must be deliberate in their outreaches to people of other races, cultures and socio-economic status, in their attempts to reach unity in the broader church in general and within the AFM in particular.

It will be an exercise that will demand sacrifices that the future leaders must be willing to make. In all their endeavours they will try to fulfil the dream of a united AFM of SA. They will always remember the price that was paid by those who struggled to achieve this unity, when they are engaged in the issues of unity. The unity that has been achieved thus far is not the end of unity at all, because there are various avenues where division continue to exist as a result of the historical past. Unity is not an event but a process within the AFM that has not yet been achieved. It is an ideal, a dream – that must be pursued and finally achieved.

Leadership Integrity 
Future leaders of the AFM must be drenched in integrity. According to the dictionary definition integrity revolves around honesty, truthfulness, dedication and commitment to a noble cause. Being called into ministry is noble, because it is the highest calling in life. During our tenure in ministry we can edify, impact and destroy people’s lives if we go about it without integrity. We are called by God and are ultimately accountable to Him. During our time on earth we function in organisational structures that demand various levels of accountability. Integrity is a way of life in which a leader must be prepared to meet the necessary challenges with reference to behaviour. In whatever the leader does or attempt to do, he or she must be willing to operate within an inclusive paradigm that leads to nobody being excluded. Integrity is applicable to not only the leaders but encompasses everybody within the focus of the missionary church.

“Future leaders of the AFM must be drenched in integrity. “

The type of future leadership that is described here for the AFM is indeed achievable, provided that the leaders spearheading the process are prepared to make the necessary changes! May we see more and more leaders in the AFM with these qualities.

DRAWING DAILY INSPIRATION FROM GOD: A TREE SHALL BE KNOWN BY ITS FRUIT

Marcel Hattingh Ph.D. – Doxa Deo
[email protected]

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the word of the Lord, and on His word he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season. Whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”  Ps 1:1-3

As a minster of the Gospel, I have the privilege of getting out of bed every morning and spend most of my day in the marketplace – consulting, training and coaching leaders of all industries.  Unfortunately, more often I am confronted with a kind of soil (condition of the heart) that does not seem likely to produce any harvest. For these leaders I believe God has a special grace installed and we keep on laboring and loving them with a fierce and Godly love. However, it is on those occasions that I do cross paths with a confessing child of God that I am more often completely caught off guard. Frequently the thought goes through my mind, “…but I know this person, and I know where they worship on a Sunday.”  However, considering their conduct in the marketplace sometimes leaves me wondering as to whether I truly do know them?

What do I mean by saying this? In Luke 6:43-44, Jesus made an interesting observation when considering the authenticity of a person: “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit.It is interesting how we call a tree after its fruit, not its leaves, trunk, or roots. An apple tree bears apples, an orange tree bears oranges and a fig tree figs. The frequent contrast between what leaders confess to be on a Sunday, compared to the fruit they bear on a Monday at work, is often quite troublesome.

I believe there are few places in the Bible that so clearly present the kind of fruit that we are called to bear – Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia. I don’t know about you, but as for me, there are some major challenges locked up in this passage. It seems that some of these elements come quite natural, some I have to continuously and intentionally work on, but then there are those who are just stubbornly hard to grow, even to the extent that I have considered if they do belong to my personal tree! Yet the Scripture is clear that in Christ we are all called to bear all of these fruit.

“…in Christ we are all called to bear all of these fruit.”

So personally speaking; as a leader, the love, joy and faithfulness comes quite easy. I do have to work at the peace, patience, goodness, but it is the kindness, gentleness and self-control that seems to be an ongoing problem. Do you perhaps share a similar view? Or perhaps a different combination of fruit?  How often do we for instance think of leaders in terms of being gentle? Or continuously showing kindness towards others? Are these the fruit we see in our celebrity leadership figures out in the world? Or did we perhaps begin to admire other fruit in their lives – their visionary capacity, their strategic intent, their cultural acumen, their emotional agility, their resource pool, etc.?

For years I have now been confronted with this reality; trying to figure out how to best cultivate all of these fruit in my life, when I discovered a remarkable emphasis in the Amplified version of the passage: “But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” Galatians 5:22-23. Truth be told, a tree does not produce fruit by trying; it produces fruit by being! Personally I am convinced that I cannot produce all of these fruit by trying, rather I need to discover the unchanging, intimate presence of the Holy Spirit within my life in order to bear much fruit.

“…I cannot produce all of these fruit by trying, rather I need to discover the unchanging, intimate presence of the Holy Spirit within my life in order to bear much fruit.” 

A tree never bears fruit for its own consumption, but for the nourishment of others. It is the fruit that contains the seed that ensure a continuation of the fruit tree. Without the seed there cannot be any other trees. If we want to increase our ministry capacity of the Gospel, we first need to bear much fruit for the nourishment of others; and second, if we want to ensure that our ministry continues to be strong and healthy, our sons and daughters will have to discover the seed inside the fruit we bear.

There are nine elements to the Fruit of the Spirit. I want to invite you to consider a 1 month (31 day) journey studying the scriptures pertaining to each element. Can you imagine what might happen through our lives and ministries if all of us draw daily inspiration from God and produce a bumper harvest of fruit in this season?

LIVING CORE VALUES: A PRACTICAL GUIDE

Dr H.J. Weideman – General Secretary of the AFM
[email protected]

What are your core values?  If you can’t name them, it is probably a good idea to set some time aside and think about it. It is relatively easy to write a thick book with a long list of good values, but what would be the three to five core ones you choose to define your life? Values are more important than we sometimes think: They form the basis from which we make certain decisions. They determine our focus, as well as what we do and don’t do. Our core values also determine how and on what we spend our money and how we use our time.

Values are more important than we sometimes think: They form the basis from which we make certain decisions.”

The AFM of SA has four core values that we all should take note of and that we should incorporate in our life and culture as a church:

AFM Value #1: Integrity

Having integrity means doing the right thing in a reliable way in all circumstances, even if no one is watching you. Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.

To act with truthfulness and consistency of character. To hold oneself to consistent standards of conduct and to always act with honor and truthfulness. The word integrity evolved from the Latin adjective “integer”, meaning whole or complete.

One may judge that others “have integrity” to the extent that they act true to themselves, and according to the values, beliefs and principles that they claim to hold.  It’s a personality trait that is admired, since it means a person has a moral compass that doesn’t waver, is principled, trustworthy and dependable. How to grow integrity:

  • Keep your promises even if it takes extra effort.
  • Inform the cashier that he/she gave you too much change back and go back to a store and pay for something you forgot to pay for.
  • Do not gossip or talk badly about someone.
  • Remain true to your spouse or partner.
  • Return money that you noticed someone dropped without expecting a reward.
  • Never take materials/supplies from the workplace without asking.
  • Do not let someone else take the blame for something you did.
  • If someone gives you confidential information, never tell anyone what you know.
  • Work when you are supposed to and save socializing, snacking, searching the Internet and personal phone calls for break time.
  • Show respect to coworkers with appropriate conversation and empathy.
  • If you find yourself in a conflict of interest, get out of it as soon as possible.
  • Be responsible. Do what you say you will do.
AFM Value #2: Excellence
Excellence means striving to achieve the very best you can with what you have. It is the quality of excelling and striving to truly be and do well in everything that you attempt. Excellence should be a moving target: The quality of our craft and serving today should not be the same as the quality of our serving yesterday. It should be increasing and moving forward. How to build excellence:

“…striving to achieve the very best you can with what you have.” 
  • Have a hunger for excellence.
  • Benchmark against the best.
  • Believe that you can do it.
  • Build concrete strategies and plans.
  • Learn from the best role models.
  • Do not limit yourself.
  • Go all out; Work hard.
  • Focus your efforts.
  • Be adaptable.
  • Never give up.
AFM Value #3: Relationships
Personal relationships refer to close connections between people, formed by emotional bonds and interactions. These bonds often grow from and are strengthened by mutual experiences, as well as shared purpose and vision. They vary in differing levels of intimacy and sharing, implying the discovery and establishment of common ground. Interpersonal relationships have many characteristics, such as caring for others, being compassionate, accepting others, honesty, flexibility and having patience. How to strengthen relationships:
  • Purposefully reach out and meet new people. Also, cross-culturally.
  • Engage in verbal communication.
  • Respect diversity.
  • Endeavor to understand.
  • Focus on genuine interest, not superficiality.
  • Treat others with kindness.
  • Share your mutual stories.
  • Learn to listen. Listening is the first step in building a strong rapport with others.
  • Build trust.
  • Display caring non-verbal communication.
  • Resolve conflicts in healthy ways
AFM Value #4: Accountability
Accountability is answerability, blameworthiness, liability, and the expectation of account-giving. It is the acknowledgment and assumption of responsibility for actions, decisions, policies and governance. It is about the obligation of an individual or organisation to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose results in a transparent manner. It also includes the responsibility for money or other entrusted property. If you take responsibility for your own actions, you show accountability. An individual has accountability for acts and behaviours. Sometimes, being accountable means admitting you made a mistake. Accountability cannot exist without proper accounting practices; in other words, an absence of accounting means an absence of accountability. How to deepen accountability:
  • Develop an attitude of transparency and accountability (Set an example)
  • Build good interpersonal relationships and trust.
  • Determine what is really important and how it will be reported.
  • Establish the frequency of accountable feedback.
  • Do it!

“If you take responsibility for your own actions, you show accountability. An individual has accountability for acts and behaviours.” 

Everything we do as, and on behalf of, the AFM of SA should be done in the context of integrity, God honouring Excellence, healthy interpersonal relationships and accountability to one another.

MY PRAYING SPOUSE: JACOBETH
Past. M.G. Mahlobo – President of the AFM of SA
mmahlobo@afm-ags.org

At a recent leadership engagement, I received the following question: “What sustained you and kept you going until today?” One of the three things in my response was the prayer support from my wife. I would like to share a few personal instances in my ministry journey where the prayers of my wife led to breakthroughs. This year (2019) we celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary. When I look back at our life together, one of the things that stands out is my wife’s complete reliance on the power of prayer. Like all pastors I have had a fair share of challenges in the ministry. Of course, I have also experienced many blessings as well.

In times of personal needs
Our first congregation was in Machadodorp, one of the small towns in Mpumalanga. I was the first ordained pastor of this congregation. It was a small congregation of approximately 25 members. Due to few members who were tithing, the monthly income was very little. I had just got married and had no assets except our clothes. The congregation loved us, and we were also happy to shepherd them. The allowance I received would not carry us beyond the 15th day of the month. At the time I was also busy with my university studies. This was a serious challenge for me. I realised how my wife would go down on her knees and thank the Lord, in advance, for the supplies that He would provide. The Lord did not increase our financial allowance, but at any given moment there was enough food, clothes and tuition fees given by the members of the congregation and other people. None of them had been approached to assist. Through her consistent prayers God provided us with our daily bread in times of personal need.

In times of ministry needs
Towards the end of 1994 I was appointed as Principal of the AFM of SA Theological Institute (AFMSATI) in Soshanguve. The buildings were not in good condition and needed renovation. Other challenges that caused me sleepless nights included finding College staff, including lecturers and finances to cover the College’s budget. My wife immediately prioritised these needs in her prayer program. Then something that nearly caused me a heart attack happened. The section of Soshanguve where the College is situated was hit by a huge hailstorm. It left considerable damages to properties in Soshanguve, including our College. Window panes were smashed, the ceilings in the classrooms caved in because of the water, the carpets in the offices were damaged beyond repair and the documents in the shelves were drenched in water and became illegible. I can still remember my wife praying for God’s intervention and singing the song: “I know the Lord will make a way for me!”. After assessing the extent of the damage, Past. Van Schalkwyk who had offered to assist me with the College administration, went through the water-drenched documents and found the insurance policy documents for the College which were sealed in a plastic cover. I asked him to obtain three quotations and submit them together with the claim to the insurance company. The insurance company chose the quotation that was more expensive than the other two. Within three weeks all the damages were fixed, and new ceiling panels and carpets were fitted. The amount paid by the insurance company was just over a R100,000.00. Once again, I experienced the power of prayer although the answer was dramatic!

I experienced the power of prayer although the answer was dramatic!” 

In times of need for a divine miracle
In one of the local assemblies that I pastored, the husband of a women whose wedding I had conducted a year earlier, passed on. After the funeral service the widow requested to visit us immediately after the funeral. We agreed and indeed she visited us within a week of her husband’s passing. She told us that before her husband passed away, he made a confession to her that he had been unfaithful and, consequently he contracted the killer HIV virus. What was heart rending was that he became infected with the virus before tying the knot with her. She was very emotional. As a good pastor I was already thinking about how to prepare her psychologically for imminent death. My wife embraced her and told her that nothing is impossible with God. My wife asked that we should pray for God’s miraculous intervention in this women’s life. After prayer we consulted one of the medical doctors that we knew. The doctor offered her accommodation while undergoing the HIV test. A few days later she received a clean bill of health. You should have seen the joy from this lady and all of us! I asked the doctor to explain this miracle in medical terms. The doctor said that her immune system was so powerful that the virus had no chance of compromising it. The doctor said it is one of the rare cases. I have seen many other miracles happening as a result of my wife’s prayers.

I have seen many other miracles happening as a result of my wife’s prayers.”

I will be forever grateful to God who partnered me with such a pillar of ministry support. To God be the Glory, Power and Honour for ever and ever!

CONCLUSION

This Pastoral Letter is special with its unique focus on the AFM leader of the future. When I considered everything that is written here, I cannot help but to feel inspired and excited about the future of our church. May God help us to become Godly leaders and cultivate the leadership qualities that will contribute to the God-given missional calling and purpose of our church!

Blessings
Past. M.G. Mahlobo

Pastorale Brief: 1ste Kwartaal

Laai die PDF weergawe hier af:

 Pastorale Brief: 1ste Kwartaal 2019

Liewe Kollega,

Die AGS se hart loop oor met leierskap kwessies.  Ons reflekteer op die tipe leierskap kwaliteite wat benodig word vir die AGS in die toekoms.  Ons visie is leiers wat geroepe is en dienende leiers met standvastige integriteit.  Leiers wat die AGS se waardes leef, daaglikse inspirasie ontvang van God en ondersteun word deur ‘n biddende gade.  Wees geseën deur hierdie spesifieke uitgawe van die Pastorale Brief waarin ons die AGS leier van die toekoms van nader bekyk.

AGS LEIERS VIR DIE TOEKOMS

Dr. J.J. La Poorta – Adjunk President van die AGS van SA
[email protected]

Toekomstige leiers moet spesifieke beginsels in hulle lewe en bediening omarm en koester.  Eerstens moet hulle geroepe word tot die bediening wat dan die leidende beginsel sal wees waarvolgens hulle hulle lewens lei.  Tweedens moet hulle ‘n voorbeeld wees van ‘n dienskneg- leier (“servant leader”).  Derdens moet hulle aktiewe voorstanders wees van die eenheid van die kerk, wat sodoende op alle vlakke van hulle ministeriële betrokkenheid binne die AGS eenheid en samehorigheid versterk en meebring.  Laastens moet integriteit (een van die vier waardes wat die AGS hoog ag) alle sieninge oor leierskap wat in hierdie artikel verduidelik word, infiltreer.

Deur God Geroep tot die Bediening
Toekomstige leiers van die AGS moet bewus en ingelig wees oor die feit dat slegs God mense tot die bediening kan beroep (1 Korintiërs 12:11;  Romeine 11:29).  Hulle moet ook verstaan dat die roeping en bediening vanaf God onherroeplik is (Romeine 11:29).  Die kwessie of ‘n persoon geroepe is of nie is ‘n besluit wat uitsluitlik rus by God.  Huidige en toekomstige leiers in die bediening moet seker maak dat hulle geroepe is omdat God SY roeping van ‘n persoon sal EER.  As ‘n persoon nooit geroepe deur God was tot die bediening nie en dit slegs ‘n begeerte of ‘n loopbaan is, kan die persoon nie God verantwoordelik hou vir sy/haar bedieningspogings of voorsiening nie – waar God lei is Hy verbind om te voorsien volgens Sy rykdom in glorie.

“…waar God lei is Hy verbind om te voorsien volgens Sy rykdom in glorie.”

Dienskneg-Leierskap of “Servant Leadership”
Die lewens van Jesus, Johannes, Petrus en Paulus is vir ons uitstekende voorbeelde van dienskneg-leierskap.  As leiers het hulle nie daarop aangedring om gedien te word deur hulle volgelinge nie, maar in plaas daarvan het hulle gedien  (Mattheus 20:28;  Markus 10:45;  Johannes 13:1-17;  1 Korintiërs 4:1-13).  ‘n Dienskneg-leier heers nie oor mense nie, maar hy of sy dien mense ywerig en in die meeste gevalle sonder om enige beloning te verwag.  Die voorbeeld wat Jesus en sy dissipels gestel het onderstreep hierdie stelling.  Paulus het selfs in Korintiërs 4 genoem dat hulle nie die gemeente belas het nie, maar self omgesien het na hulle materiële behoeftes deur met hulle eie hande te werk.  Paulus was ‘n tentmaker en daarvandaan kom die welbekende frase “tentmaker-bediening”.  Dit beteken nie dat alle pastore nou die ambag van tentmakery moet leer nie, maar dat hulle die vaardighede, talente en vermoëns waaroor hulle beskik moet gebruik om te sorg vir hulle materiële behoeftes terwyl hulle die kudde bedien.  As rentmeesters van die bedieninge van God moet hulle getrou wees aan hulle roeping.  Dus getrou wees in hul pogings om die mense te dien wat hulle met die Evangelie bedien.

“As leiers het hulle nie daarop aangedring om gedien te word deur hulle volgelinge nie, maar in plaas daarvan het hulle gedien…”

Wees Bekend as Passievolle Eenheidskeppers
Toekomstige leiers van die AGS moet passievolle eenheidskeppers wees wat die eenheid van die Kerk van Jesus Christus bevorder, beskerm en ‘n voorbeeld is deur middel van ‘n Koninkryk visie wat samehorigheid sal versterk binne en buite die AGS.  Hulle moet eenheid bevorder deur praktiese aksies te neem wat eenheid sal beskerm (veral in situasies waar die AGS se eenheid geignoreer of bedreig word) deur ‘n voorbeeld te wees met hul eie woorde en aksies.  Hulle moet op die voorpunt wees van die skepping en ontwikkeling van vriendskappe wat taal-, ras- en kultuurgrense oorsteek.   Hulle moet doelbewus wees in hulle uitreike na mense van ander rasse, kulture en sosio-ekonomiese statusse in hulle pogings om eenheid te skep in die wyer kerk in die algemeen en binne die AGS in besonder.

Opofferings sal gemaak moet word en toekomstige leiers sal bereid moet wees om sodanige opofferings te maak.  In al hul pogings sal hulle probeer om die droom van ‘n verenigde AGS van SA te vervul.  Hulle sal altyd die prys wat betaal is deur diegene wat gewroeg het om eenheid te bereik onthou wanneer hulle besig is met die kwessies van eenheid.  Die eenheid wat tot dusver bereik is is geensins die vervulling van “unity” nie, want daar is verskeie areas waar verdeeldheid steeds voortbestaan as gevolg van die historiese verlede.  Eenheid is nie ‘n gebeurtenis nie, maar ‘n proses binne die AGS wat nog nie ten volle bereik is nie.  Dit is ‘n ideaal, ‘n droom wat nagejaag moet word en uiteindelik bereik moet word.

Leierskap Integriteit
Toekomstige leiers moet deurdrenk wees met integriteit.  Volgens die woordeboek definiese draai integriteit om eerlikheid, waarheid, toewyding en verbintenis aan ‘n edele saak.  Om tot die bediening geroepe te wees is edel, want dit is die hoogste roeping in die lewe.  Gedurende ons ampstermyn kan ons mense se lewens opbou, impakteer of vernietig as ons dit aanpak sonder integriteit.  Ons is geroepe deur God en is uiteindelik aanspreeklik teenoor Hom.  Gedurende ons tyd op aarde funksioneer ons in organisatoriese strukture wat verskillende vlakke van aanpsreeklikheid vereis.  Integriteit is ‘n lewenswyse waar die leiers bereid moet wees om die nodige uitdagings met betrekking tot gedrag te hanteer.  In alles wat die leier doen of poog om te doen, moet hy of sy bereid wees om binne ‘n inklusiewe paradigma te werk – wat lei tot ‘n situasie waar niemand uitgesluit word nie.  Integriteit is van toepassing op nie net die leiers nie, maar ook op almal binne die fokus van ‘n sendingkerk (“missional church”).

Toekomstige leiers moet deurdrenk wees met integriteit.”

Die tipe toekomstige leierskap vir die AGS wat hier beskryf word is inderdaad haalbaar indien die leiers op die voorpunt van die proses bereid is om die nodige veranderinge te maak!  Mag ons meer en meer leiers in die AGS sien wat hierdie kwaliteite ten toon stel.

DAAGLIKSE INSPIRASIE VANAF GOD:  ‘N BOOM WORD GEKEN AAN SY VRUGTE

Marcel Hattingh Ph.D. – Doxa Deo
[email protected]

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the word of the Lord, and on His word he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season. Whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”  Ps 1:1-3

As ‘n pastoor van die Evangelie het ek die voorreg om elke oggend op te staan en die meeste van my dag in die markplein te spandeer –  dit sluit raadpleging, opleiding en afrigting van leiers in verskeie industrieë in. Ongelukkig word ek dikwels gekonfronteer met ‘n soort “grond” (of toestand van die hart) wat nie ‘n oes kan oplewer nie. Vir hierdie leiers glo ek dat God spesiale genade voorsien en ons hou aan om hulle te lief te hê met ‘n vurige en Goddelike liefde. Daar is egter geleenthede waar ek paadjies kruis met ‘n belydende kind van God waar ek heeltemal onkant gevang word. Die volgende gaan deur my gedagtes: “…maar ek ken hierdie persoon en ek weet waar hulle op ‘n Sondag aanbid.” Maar as hulle gedrag in die werksplek beskou word laat dit my soms wonder of ek hulle werklik ken?

Wat bedoel ek deur dit te sê?  In Lukas 6:43-44 maak Jesus ‘n interessante waarneming oor wanneer die egtheid (“authenticity”) van ‘n persoon oorweeg word:  “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit.” Dit is interessant hoe ons ‘n boom erken aan sy vrugte, nie sy blare, stam of wortels nie. ‘n Appelboom dra appels, ‘n lemoenboom lemoene en ‘n vyeboom vye. Die gereelde kontras tussen wie leiers bely hulle is op ‘n Sondag,  in vergeleke met die vrugte wat hulle op ‘n Maandag by die werk dra – is dikwels moeilik om byeen te bring.

Ek glo daar is min plekke in die Bybel wat so duidelik die soort vrugte wat ons geroep word om te dra teenwoordig as Paulus se brief aan die kerk in Galasië. Ek weet nie van jou nie, maar vir my is daar in hierdie gedeelte ‘n paar groot uitdagings opgesluit. Dit lyk asof sommige van hierdie elemente redelik natuurlik voorkom, sommige moet ek voortdurend en opsetlik aan werk, maar dan is daar die  wat net hardnekkig is om te groei – selfs tot die mate dat ek oorweeg het of hulle aan my persoonlike boom behoort! Tog is die Skrif duidelik dat ons almal in Christus geroep is om al hierdie vrugte te dra.

“…in Christus geroep is om al hierdie vrugte te dra.”

Persoonlik as ‘n leier kom die liefde, vreugde en getrouheid redelik maklik. Ek moet aan vrede, geduld en goedheid werk, maar dit is die vriendelikheid, sagmoedigheid en selfbeheersing wat blykbaar ‘n voortdurende probleem is. Het jy dalk ‘n soortgelyke siening? Of dalk ‘n ander kombinasie van vrugte? Hoe dikwels dink ons ​​byvoorbeeld aan leiers in terme van sagmoedigheid? Of aanhoudende bewys van vriendelikheid teenoor ander? Is hierdie die vrugte wat ons in ons bekende leierskap figure in die wêreld sien? Of het ons dalk ander vrugte in hul lewens begin bewonder – hul visioenêre kapasiteit, hul strategiese bedoeling, hul kulturele verstand, hul emosionele behendigheid, hul hulpbronpoel, ens?

Vir jare word ek nou met hierdie realiteit gekonfronteer; om te probeer uitvind hoe om al hierdie vrugte in my lewe die beste te verbou, toe ek ‘n merkwaardige klem in die Amplified weergawe ontdek het: “But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” Galatians 5:22-23.   Die waarheid is ‘n boom produseer nie vrugte deur te probeer nie; dit produseer vrugte deur te wees! Persoonlik is ek daarvan oortuig dat ek nie al hierdie vrugte kan produseer deur te probeer nie, maar ek moet die onveranderlike, intieme teenwoordigheid van die Heilige Gees in my lewe ontdek om baie vrug te dra.  ‘n Boom dra nooit vrugte vir eie gebruik nie, maar vir die voeding van ander. Dit is die vrug wat die saad bevat wat die voortbestaan ​​van die vrugteboom verseker. Sonder die saad kan daar geen ander bome wees nie. As ons ons bedieningskapasiteit van die Evangelie wil verhoog, moet ons eers vrug dra vir die voeding van ander. Tweedens, as ons wil verseker dat ons bediening sterk en gesond bly, sal ons seuns en dogters die saad in die vrugte wat ons dra, moet ontdek.

“…dat ek nie al hierdie vrugte kan produseer deur te probeer nie, maar ek moet die onveranderlike, intieme teenwoordigheid van die Heilige Gees in my lewe ontdek om baie vrug te dra.”

Daar is nege elemente van die Vrug van die Gees. Ek wil jou uitnooi om ‘n 1 maand (31 dae) reis te oorweeg om die Skrifte rakende elke element te bestudeer. Kan jy jou voorstel wat deur ons lewens en bedieninge kan gebeur as ons almal daagliks inspirasie van God ontvang en in hierdie seisoen ‘n rekord oes van vrugte produseer?

LEWENDE KERNWAARDES: ‘n PRAKTIESE GIDS

Dr H.J. Weideman – Algemene Sekretaris van die AGS van SA
[email protected]

Wat is jou kernwaardes?  As jy dit nie sonder meer kan opnoem nie, is dit dalk ‘n goeie idee om ‘n bietjie hieroor na te dink.  Dit is relatief maklik om ‘n dik boek met ‘n lang lys van goeie waardes neer te skryf, maar wat is die drie tot vyf kernwaardes wat jy sou kies om jou lewe te defnieer?  Waardes speel ‘n belangriker rol in ons lewens as wat ons soms dink: Hulle vorm die basis waarvolgens ons bepaalde besluite neem. Hulle bepaal ons fokus, so wel as dit wat ons doen en nie doen nie.  Ons kernwaardes bepaal ook hoe en waarop ons ons geld spandeer en waarvoor ons tyd gebruik word.

“Waardes speel ‘n belangriker rol in ons lewens as wat ons soms dink: Hulle vorm die basis waarvolgens ons bepaalde besluite neem.”

AGS Waarde #1:  Integriteit
Om integriteit te hê, beteken om in alle omstandighede die regte dinge op ‘n betroubare manier te doen, selfs al sien niemand jou nie. Integriteit sluit ook die kwaliteite van eerlikheid en sterk morele beginsels in.

Om met integriteit op te tree beteken dat jy optree in opregtheid en in konsekwentheid van karakter. Dit beteken dat jy jouself hou by goeie standaarde en altyd met eerlikheid en eerbaarheid optree.

Die woord integreit kom van die Latynse woord “integer”, wat heel of voltooid beteken. ‘n Mens sou kon sê dat iemand met integriteit optree, na die mate wat hy/sy in woord en daad getrou aan hulleself bly en optree volgens die waardes en beginsels wat hulle sê vir hulle belangrik is. Integriteit is ‘n eienskap wat mense bewonder, omdat dit beteken dat die persoon wat dit leef, ‘n standvastige morele kompas het, beginselvas, betroubaar en vertouenswaardig is.

Hoe om integreit te kweek:

  • Hou jou beloftes, al vat dit ook ekstra moeite.
  • Sê vir ‘n kassier indien hy/sy jou te veel kleingeld gegee het en gaan terug na ‘n winkel as jy vergeet het om vir iets te betaal.
  • Moenie skinder of sleg praat van ander mense nie.
  • Bly in alle omstandighede getrou aan jou huweliksmaat.
  • Gee geld wat iemand laat val het terug, sonder om vergoeding te verwag.
  • Moet nooit sonder toestemming voorrade of eiendom van jou werkplek vat nie.
  • Moenie toelaat dat iemand anders die skuld dra vir iets wat jy gedoen het nie.
  • Wanneer iemand konfidensiële inligting met jou deel, moenie dit aan ander oorvertel nie.
  • Werk wanner jy veronderstel is om te werk en hou sosialisering, versnapperinge, soektogte op die internet en persoonlike telefoonoproepe vir tee- of etenstyd.
  • Wys respek teenoor jou kollegas d.m.v. toepaslike gesprekke en empatie.
  • Indien jy jouself in ‘n konflik van belange bevind, probeer so gou as moontlik daar uitkom.
  • Wees verantwoordelik: Doen wat jy gesê het jy sal doen.

AGS Waarde #2: Uitnemendheid
Uitnemendheid is die strewe om die beste moontlik te doen met wat jy het. Dit is die kwaliteit van uitmuntendheid en die strewe om werklik goed te doen in alles wat jy aanpak.

“…die strewe om werklik goed te doen in alles wat jy aanpak.” 

Uitnemendheid behoort ‘n bewegende teiken te wees: Die kwaliteit van wat ons vandag doen en hoe ons dien, behoort nie dieselfde te wees as wat dit gister was nie. Ons behoort voortdurend daarop te verbeter.

Hoe om uitnemendheid te  bou:

  • Ontwikkel ‘n honger daarvoor. Kweek die wil om uit te munt.
  • Gebruik die beste voorbeelde as maatstaf.
  • Glo dat jy dit kan doen.
  • Bou konkrete strategiëe en planne.
  • Leer van die beste rolmodelle waarvan jy weet.
  • Moenie jouself beperk nie.
  • Werk hard en fokus jou pogings daarop om suksesvol te wees.
  • Wees aanpasbaar.
  • Moenie opgee nie.

AGS Waarde #3: Verhoudings
Persoonlike verhoudings verwys na die nabye kontak tussen mense wat gevorm word deur emosionele bande en interaksie. Hierdie bande vorm en ontwikkel meestal vanuit gedeelde ervarings, sowel as gedeelte visie en doelwitte. Persoonlike verhoudings ontwikkel as gevolg van die ontdekking en uitbreiding van mededeelsaamheid en omgee.

Interpersoonlike verhoudings bestaan uit verskillende elemente, soos aanvaarding, eerlikheid, aanpasbaarheid en om geduld met ander mense te hê.

Hoe om interpersoonlike verhoudings te versterk:

  • Reik doelgerig uit en ontmoet nuwe mense. Ook kruiskultureel.
  • Maak tyd vir verbale kommunikasie. (Gesels)
  • Respekteer diversiteit.
  • Streef daarna om ander mense en hulle gebruike te verstaan.
  • Fokus daarop om werklik belang te stel.
  • Hanteer ander mense met begrip en welwillendheid.
  • Deel die storie van julle lewens met mekaar.
  • Leer om regtig te luister. Dit is een van die kern elemente van gesonde verhoudings.
  • Bou vertroue.
  • Fokus daarop om ook in nie-verbale kommunikasie (liggaamstaal) omgee oor te dra.
  • Los konflik op ‘n konstruktiewe manier op.

AGS Waarde #4: Verantwoordbaarheid
Verantwoordbaarheid gaan daaroor dat ‘n mens bereid is om antwoorde te gee oor jou doen en late.  Dat jy blaam dra en bereid is om verslag te gee t.o.v. jou besluite en optrede. Dit is die aanvaarding dat dit deel van die normale verloop van sake is om “pa” te staan vir die besluite, optrede, beleid en bestuur wat deel is van jou verantwoordelikheidsveld.

Verantwoordbaarheid gaan ook oor die verpligting van ‘n individu en organisasie om op ‘n deursigtige manier verslag te gee oor die beplanning van aktiwiteite, sowel as die uitkoms daarvan. Dit sluit verantwoordelikheid t.o.v. die bestuur van finansies en eiendom wat aan die individu of organisasie toevertrou is in.  Wanneer ‘n mens verantwoordelikheid vir jou eie optrede neem, bewys jy daarmee jou verantwoordbaarheid. Somtyds, beteken verantwoordbaarheid ook dat ‘n mens moet erken dat jy ‘n fout gemaak het.  Verantwoordbaarheid bestaan nie sonder verslaggewing nie. Dit beteken dat sonder terugvoer, daar nie verantwoordbaarheid is nie.

Wanneer ‘n mens verantwoordelikheid vir jou eie optrede neem, bewys jy daarmee jou verantwoordbaarheid.”

Hoe om verantwoordbaarheid te verdiep:

  • Ontwikkel ‘n ingesteldheid van deursigtigheid en bereidheid om terugvoer te gee. (Stel ‘n voorbeeld)
  • Bou gesonde interpersoonlike verhoudinge en vertroue.
  • Bepaal wat regtig belangrik is en hoe terugvoer/verslag daaroor gegee sal word.
  • Bepaal die frekwensie van terugvoer.
  • Doen dit!

Alles wat ons doen as en namens die AGS van SA, behoort gedoen te word in die konteks van integriteit, God verheerlikende uitnemendheid, gesonde interpersoonlike verhoudings en verantwoordbaarheid  aan mekaar.

MY BIDDENDE VROU: JACOBETH
Past. M.G. Mahlobo – President van die AGS van SA
mmahlobo@afm-ags.org

By ‘n onlangse leierskap funksie het ek die volgende vraag gekry: “Wat het jou in stand gehou en laat aangaan tot vandag toe?”  Een van die drie dinge in my antwoord was die gebedsondersteuning van my vrou.  Ek wil graag ‘n paar persoonlike gevalle deel in my bedieningsreis waar die gebede van my vrou tot deurbrake gelei het. Hierdie jaar (2019) vier ons ons 41ste troudag. As ek terugkyk na ons lewe saam is een van die dinge wat uitstaan my vrou se volle vertroue in die krag van gebed. Soos alle pastore het ek ‘n regverdige deel van die uitdagings in die bediening ondervind. Natuurlik het ek ook baie seëninge ervaar.

In Tye van Persoonlike Nood
Ons eerste gemeente was in Machadodorp, een van die klein dorpies in Mpumalanga. Ek was die eerste geordende pastoor van hierdie gemeente. Dit was ‘n klein gemeente van ongeveer 25 lede. Weens min lede wat tiendes gegee het was die maandelikse inkomste maar baie min. Ek was pas getroud en het geen bates behalwe ons klêre gehad nie. Die gemeente het ons liefgehad en ons was ook bly om vir hulle ‘n herder te kon wees. Die toelae wat ek ontvang het sou ons nie langer as die 15de dag van die maand dra nie. Terselfdertyd was ek ook besig met my universiteitstudies. Dit was vir my ‘n ernstige uitdaging. My vrou sou op haar knieë gaan en die Here bedank vir die voorrade wat Hy nog sou voorsien voordat Hy dit voorsien het. Die Here het nie net ons finansiële toelae verhoog nie, maar op enige oomblik was daar genoeg kos, klere en klasgelde wat deur die gemeentelede en ander mense gegee is. Nie een van hulle is genader om te help nie. Deur haar vaste gebede het God ons met ons daaglikse brood voorsien in ‘n tyd van persoonlike nood.

In Tye van Bedieningsnood
Teen die einde van 1994 is ek aangestel as hoof van die AGS van die SA Teologiese Instituut (AFMSATI) in Soshanguve. Die geboue was nie in ‘n goeie toestand nie en het opknapping benodig. Ander uitdagings wat my slapelose nagte veroorsaak het was om kollegepersoneel te vind, insluitende dosente en finansies om die Kollege se begroting te dek. My vrou het dadelik hierdie behoeftes in haar gebed geprioritiseer. Toe gebeur daar iets wat my amper ‘n hartaanval gegee het. Die deel van Soshanguve waar die Kollege geleë is, is deur ‘n groot haelstorm getref. Dit het aansienlike skade aan eiendomme in Soshanguve, insluitende ons Kollege, aangerig. Vensters was verpletter, die plafonne in die klaskamers het meegegee as gevolg van die water, die matte in die kantore is onherstelbaar beskadig en die dokumente in die rakke was deurdrenk met water en onleesbaar. Ek kan nog onthou dat my vrou vir God se ingryping gebid het en die lied gesing het: “I know the Lord will make a way for me!”.  Na die vasstelling van die omvang van die skade het Past. Van Schalkwyk, wat aangebied het om my met die Kollege-administrasie te help, deur die waterdeurdrenke dokumente gegaan en die versekeringspolisdokumente vir die Kollege gevind wat in ‘n plastieksakkie verseël was. Ek het hom gevra om drie kwotasies te kry en die kwotasies tesame met die eis vir die skade in te dien. Die versekeringsmaatskappy het die kwotasie gekies wat duurder was as die ander twee. Binne drie weke is al die skade herstel en nuwe plafonne en matte geinstalleer. Die bedrag wat deur die versekeringsmaatskappy uitbetaal is, was net meer as R100,00.00. Weereens het ek die krag van gebed ervaar alhoewel die antwoord dramaties was!

“Weereens het ek die krag van gebed ervaar alhoewel die antwoord dramaties was!”

In Tye van Nood vir ‘n Goddelike Wonderwerk
In een van die plaaslike gemeentes wat ek as pastoor gelei het, het ‘n man wie se troue ek ‘n jaar vroeër bevestig het, gesterf. Na die begrafnisdiens het die weduwee gevra om ons onmiddellik te besoek. Ons het ingestem en inderdaad het sy ons binne ‘n week van haar man se afsterwe besoek. Sy het ons vertel dat voordat haar man oorlede is het hy haar in kennis gestel dat hy ontrou was en die dodelike MIV-vigs-virus opgedoen het. Wat hartverskeurend was was dat hy met die virus besmet was voordat hy met haar getrou het. Sy was baie emosioneel. As ‘n goeie pastoor het ek al gedink hoe om haar sielkundig voor te berei vir haar onvermybare dood. My vrou het haar omhels en vir haar gesê dat niks by God onmoontlik is nie. My vrou het gevra dat ons moet bid vir God se wonderbaarlike ingryping in hierdie vrou se lewe. Na gebed het ons een van die mediese dokters geraadpleeg wat ons geken het. Die dokter het haar verblyf aangebied terwyl sy MIV-vigs toetse ondergaan het. ‘n Paar dae later het sy ‘n skoon gesondheidsrekening ontvang. Jy moes die vreugde van hierdie dame en almal van ons gesien het! Ek het die dokter gevra om hierdie wonderwerk in mediese terme te verduidelik. Die dokter het gesê dat haar immuunstelsel so kragtig was dat die virus geen kans gehad het om dit te onderdruk nie. Die dokter het gesê dit is ‘n seldsame geval. Ek het baie ander wonderwerke gesien as gevolg van my vrou se gebede.

“Ek het baie ander wonderwerke gesien as gevolg van my vrou se gebede.”

Ek sal vir ewig dankbaar wees teenoor God wat vir my ‘n pilaar van bedieningsondersteuning gegee het – my vrou en vennoot.  Aan God is die heerlikheid, krag en eer vir ewig en altyd!

SLOT

Hierdie Pastorale Brief is spesiaal met sy unieke fokus op die AGS-leierskap van die toekoms. Wanneer ek alles oorweeg wat hier geskryf is kan ek nie help nie, maar ek voel geïnspireer en opgewonde oor die toekoms van ons kerk. Mag God ons help om Goddelike leiers te word en leierskap kwaliteite te kweek wat sal bydra tot die God-gegewe missionêre roeping en doel van ons kerk!

Seënwense!
Past. M.G. Mahlobo

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”!