AGS Pastorale Brief: 1ste Kwartaal 2018

 AGS Pastorale Brief: Laai die PDF weergawe hier af

Kollega,

Ek groet jou in Jesus se Naam.

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

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

MISSIONALITEIT – TRADISIONEEL VS. DIE NUWE SENDING PARADIGMA

Dr. Henri Weideman – Algemene Sekretaris

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LEIERSKAP OPVOLGER BEPLANNING (Succesion Planning)

Past. M.G. Mahlobo – President

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Past. M.G. Mahlobo – President

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

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

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

  • Engels

  • Afrikaans

  • isiZulu

  • Sesotho

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

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

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

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

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

Bestel die Game Plan DVD vanaf die Nasionale Kantoor:

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

“COACHING” AS ‘N LEIERSKAPS ONTWIKKELINGS INSTRUMENT

Dr. H.J. Weideman – Algemene Sekretaris

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SLOT

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

Seënwense!

M.G. Mahlobo

AFM Pastoral Letter: 1st Quarter 2018

 AFM Pastoral Letter: Download the PDF printable version

Dear Colleague,

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

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

MISSIONALITY – TRADITIONAL VS. NEW PARADIGM OF MISSIONS

Dr. Henri Weideman – General Secretary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“We are all missionaries sent into our world.”

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

 

LEADERSHIP SUCCESSION PLANNING

Past. M.G. Mahlobo – President

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LANGUAGE – A KEY TO UNLOCK UNDERSTANDING OF THE GAME PLAN

Past. M.G. Mahlobo – President

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

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

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

  • English

  • Afrikaans

  • isiZulu

  • Sesotho

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

Read more about the Game Plan process and progress:

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

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

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

Order the Game Plan DVD from the National Office:

COACHING AS A LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT TOOL

Dr. H.J. Weideman – General Secretary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CONCLUSION

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

God Bless!

M.G. Mahlobo