Nuusflits: Vrydag, 17 Januarie

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17 JANUARY AFR 2020

Ek wil graag hierdie geleentheid gebruik om jou net die beste toe te wens vir 2020. Ek hoop jy het ‘n goeie ruskansie gehad en dat jy die nuwe jaar met ywer begin het.
1. JANUARIE – GEBED & VAS

Januarie is ons maand van gebed en vas.  Elke gemeente gebruik hulle eie diskressie in hierdie verband.  My versoek is dat jy die volgende items op jou gebedslys sal byvoeg:

AGS van SA Verkiesings

2020 is ‘n verkiesingsjaar vir die AGS van SA. Bid dat hierdie verkiesing vir alle kerk strukture glad sal verloop en dat Godvresende, Christus-gesentreerde, Heilige Gees-geleide, Bybel-gebaseerde, omgee en toegewyde leiers tot gevolg gekies sal word.

Sosio-Ekonomiese Situasie

Ek vra jou ook om ons land se sosio-ekonomiese situasie in te sluit. Ons het vanjaar met beurtkrag begin, ondanks beloftes dat daar nie tot 13 Januarie 2020 enige beurtkrag sou wees nie. Dit lyk of beurtkrag en sy gepaardgaande impak op die sosiale en ekonomiese vlak saam met ons sal wees vir ‘n geruime tyd. Laat ons bid dat diegene wat getaak is met die opwekking en voorsiening van elektrisiteit, wysheid en vermoë gegun sal word om hulle opdrag te uit te voer. Laat ons ook bid vir sosiale samehorigheid. Vlakke van onverdraagsaamheid, geweld en misdaad vorm nog steeds die publieke diskoers. Ons het die Goddelike ingryping in hierdie verband nodig.

Herlewing

Laaste maar nie die minste nie, laat ons bid vir herlewing wat gepaard gaan met passie vir die wen van verlore en stukkende mense in Suid-Afrika, in Afrika en die hele wêreld.

Afsterwe van Kollegas en Kollegas se Gades

Op ‘n ongekende wyse het baie van ons kollegas en gades in Desember 2019 en begin van Januarie 2020 gesterf. Laat ons hulle bedroefde families in ons gebede onthou. Ek verwys na Past. Joseph Roux, Mev. Ntombekhaya Booi, Past. Evert Phillipus Botha, Past. Michael Mncedisi Mkhosana, Past. Theodorus Ernest Cornelius Botha, Mev. Shirley Mandean, Past. Samuel Hendrik Mandean (emeritus), Mev. Engela van Zyl, Past.  Ndodwa Blekiwe, Prof. Leonard Phillipus Maré, Mev. Rita Gerber, Past. Simon Modisaotsile  Modisane, Evangelis Evelyn Gigaba, Mev. Mohanoa Johanna Selepe, Past. Moses Swartz, Past. Isaac Harvey, Past. Thembekile Sokabo and Past. Pieter van der Westhuizen. Evangelis Reinhard Bonnke het ook die afgelope Desember gesterf.

2. SPESIALE UITNODIGING: NOB STREEKSBESOEKE 2020

Hiermee nooi ons alle Pastore, lede van die Beheerliggame, Leiers en Nasionale Jeug uit na die 2020 NOB Bemagtigingsbesoeke. Die doel van die besoeke is om inligting te deel, opleiding te verskaf en gesprek te voer oor kwessies van strategiese belang vir die kerk. Ek wil jou sterk aanmoedig om die bemagtigingsessie in jou Provinsie by te woon.

Die tema vir die besoeke is:

Aksies met Impak
Leierskap in ‘n missionale kerk

Ons sien uit daarna om met die kerk oor die volgende onderwerpe te praat:

  1. Die Impak van die Bediening op die kinders van Pastore.
  2. Die Nominasieproses en datums vir die verkiesing van die Nasionale Ampsdraers in 2020.
    Hier is alreeds ‘n dokument beskikbaar oor die onderwerp. Laai gerus af by die volgende skakel: http://afm-ags.org/category/media/
  3. Vroue in Leierskap.
  4. Die Rol en Funksie van ‘n Pastoor binne ‘n Missionale kerk.
  5. Om Kerk te wees in die markplein.
  6. Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid: Praktiese Implementering (Aangebied deur die AFM Welfare)

Die program vir Vrydag en Saterdag kan afgelaai word vanaf die volgende skakel:
http://afm-ags.org/category/events/

Die Nasionale Ampsdraers gaan besoeke aflê aan al die Provinsies op die volgende datums:

3.      TERUG SKOOL TOE!

‘N BOODSKAP VAN DIE NASIONALE KINDER BEDIENINGS-DIREKTEUR
Past. Sam Tshabalala

Liewe Skoliere, Ouers en Voogde,

Komplimente en seëninge aan al die kinders met die begin van die  nuwe 2020 skooljaar. Ek hoop jy het ontspan en is weer vol energie vir die nuwe skooljaar. Ons wens ook die Matriekklas van 2019 geluk wat oor die 80% algehele slaagsyfer behaal het. Ons dank die Here en die onderwysowerhede vir hierdie merkwaardige verbetering en prestasie. En aan diegene wat dit nie gemaak het nie, dit is nie die einde van die wêreld nie; moenie opgee nie, probeer weer my kind.

Nou is dit terug skool toe vir alle kinders en niemand mag by die huis bly of die reg tot onderwys ontken word nie. Ek hoop jy sal hard werk om aan die einde van die jaar te slaag. Ons vertrou die Here vir Goddelike beskerming teen die planne van die duiwel wat ons kinders pynig by skole deur afknouery, dwelmmisbruik, tienerswangerskap en selfmoord onder andere.  My geliefde kinders, bly weg van sulke slegte dinge en fokus op jou opvoeding om ‘n beter persoon in die toekoms te wees. As ‘n kerk bid ons tot die Here Jesus Christus en ondersteun jou om te presteer in jou skoolwerk sodat jy kan slaag en ons nasie en samelewing in die toekoms lei. Jou toekoms en dié van die kerk is afhanklik van jou en daarom is dit belangrik om voor te berei vir hierdie edele taak soos ‘n persoon wat voorberei vir die Olimpiese Spele of die Comrades marathon. Hierdie voorbereiding vereis harde werk en dit behels bid en die gereelde lees van jou Bybel, skool bywoon en die getroue doen van jou skoolwerk en huiswerk.

Die Bybel leer ons:
“Werk hard sodat God jou kan goedkeur. Wees ’n goeie werker, …” (2 Timothy 2:15, NLV)

Ek wil hiermee alle ouers en voogde bemoedig om gebedskrygers te word vir die sukses van die kinders van ons kerk en die land in alle sfere van die lewe in 2020 en daarna. Weereens, komplimente en mag die goeie Here met jou wees as jy jou skooljaar begin! Doen dit met ywer!

Seën
Past. M.G. Mahlobo

Pastoral Letter: 4th Quarter

Download the PDF version here:

AFM Newsltr 4th Qrt 2019 ENG 2

Dear AFM Colleagues,

The year 2019 is slowly but surely drawing to a close. It is a privilege and blessing for me to address you in this last Pastoral Letter for the year. We take a look at the strategic direction and the way forward for 2020, we consider the most important results of the pastoral wellness survey, we take note of the AFM Welfare’s intent to serve and enable AFM Assemblies to practically implement Community Involvement and lastly we celebrate Rev. Frank Chikane’s contribution to leadership in the AFM.

 

AFM’S STRATEGIC DIRECTION – ONE AFM GAME PLAN
Past. M.G. Mahlobo (President of the AFM of SA) – [email protected]

The strategy or plan is to align all church structures with the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 18-20). Ultimately, we would like to see our members becoming disciples discipling others and our church buildings becoming Missional equipping centres. Our pastors and members are critical in transitioning the AFM from being a traditional church into becoming a missional movement.

“…we would like to see our members becoming disciples discipling others and our church buildings becoming Missional equipping centres.”
Importance of having Goals
A lot of energy and resources have been spent in developing and conceptualizing our understanding of our missional calling. We have reached an implementation phase. Without goals we risk: (i) staying at a level of information, (ii) providing training in our regions that are not relevant or bringing us any closer to being more missional and (iii) we stay unaccountable for our progress. There is a reputational risk if we don’t actively pursue our mission or calling – which we claim to be our calling. Trust in the church to do what they say they are doing, is vital.

We requested the National Leadership Forum (NLF) to propose implementation goals for each of the five Game Plan drivers. The feedback received from the NLF helped us in mapping future focus and direction. The following focus goals have been identified:

Discipleship: We need practical models to guide local assemblies on discipleship. Such a model must enable believers to grow through the different stages of spiritual development. It must also help them understand that they are missionaries with the responsibility to share the gospel. We would like to see every member measuring up to a Christ-like lifestyle. For 2020 the goal is that our assemblies and departments must come up with a good and effective model for discipleship training.

Empowerment: The most prevalent goal, hereof, is to teach, equip and train members to embrace their Great Commission calling. In most cases teaching, equipping and training focus too much on the “what” do to with insufficient emphasis on the practical question of “how to” do it. Regional, Network and Departmental Committees would like to know which training programs are currently being used by local assemblies and departments.

Governance: At an assembly level the main goal is to see excellence in administration and full compliance with the church’ constitution. Among leaders the goal is to see more accountability and stronger communication of the vision. This should result in less uncontrollable debts and more trustworthiness. We would like to see our members becoming good stewards on all resources that God has entrusted in their personal care (finances, marriage & children).

Community Involvement: We need 2-3 models that are effective in dealing with needs of communities. Poverty & unemployment are major concerns. We would like to see AFM Assemblies becoming agents of change in their communities. We would like to see our members becoming the salt of the earth and the light of the world (as described in Matthew 5: 13-14) by getting involved in their communities’ structures to make transformation possible. The AFM Welfare’s intent is to serve, enable and equip AFM Assemblies with practical knowledge, tools and programmes to implement social development actions that will have a positive impact on the lives of people in local communities. (Also refer to the AFM Welfare’s article in this letter.)

Ecumenical Involvement: It is necessary that we build relationships with other Christian institutions to demonstrate our unity. Our ecumenical involvement goal is to see our pastors initiating or getting involved in Pastors’ Forums in their communities. We would like to see our assemblies initiating or becoming involved in ecumenical activities such as prayers for rain or making a public demonstration of Christian churches in confronting social ills. At a national level the AFM of SA is part of ecumenical bodies such as the South African Council of Churches (with Provincial sub-structures) and the Evangelical Alliance of South Africa.

The Importance of Accountability
Accountability is becoming increasingly important today. When an AFM member or any member of the public sees the AFM of SA logo, they should agree that it stands for something – a church that  is passionate about winning souls for Jesus, a church where the members are active Kingdom workers, a church that is passionate about local communities and always visible in their local communities. We cannot afford to carry the name and logo of the AFM when we are not one hundred percent devoted and committed to this missional calling.

PASTORAL WELLNESS SURVEY: RESULTS
Past. M.G. Mahlobo (President of the AFM of SA)

Wellness is not only related to physical health, but it includes spiritual wellness, social wellness, mental wellness and emotional wellness. Traditionally “wellness” has been used to mean the opposite of illness and the absence of disease and disability. More recently it is widely used to describe living the best possible life that one can regardless of his/her medical condition.

“Wellness is not only related to physical health, but it includes spiritual wellness, social wellness, mental wellness and emotional wellness.”

Pastors’ wellness is also a Biblical mandate. In the first part of Acts 20:28 church leaders are instructed “to keep watch over themselves”. During this year’s NOB Empowerment Visits, we conducted a survey on AFM pastors’ wellness. The most important results are:

  • In terms of the wellness of assemblies, results indicate that they are focusing more on “having” church than “being” church outside the walls of the church building. Currently there are areas that do not receive the same attention as others, including: (i) collaborating with other AFM churches, (ii) collaborating with other non-AFM churches, (iii) helping the local community with its specific problems, (iv) members as soul winners and full-time Kingdom workers and (v) training and equipping courses for members. All these areas are not receiving the attention it should in AFM Assemblies.
  • When it comes to the functioning between the Pastor and his/her Governing Body, there is no clear understanding of roles.
  • Pastors show hesitation in their understanding of how the ministry impacts their children, as well as the ways in which an assembly can support these children.

The full report can be downloaded from the AFM website: http://afm-ags.org/category/media/. All of the above take-outs will be addressed during the 2020 NOB Regional Visits – either through a live presentation or a pre-recorded video. We encourage our Pastors to join us at these meetings:

For more information about the 2020 NOB Empowerments and to download the programme kindly visit the following link: http://afm-ags.org/category/events/.

AFM WELFARE: WITH AND THROUGH ASSEMBLIES FOR IMPROVED COMMUNITY IMPACT
Ashley Theron (Acting CEO of the Executive Welfare Council of the AFM of SA) 
[email protected]

Moving towards Full Integration
The Executive Welfare Council of the AFM of SA (also known as EWC or AFM Welfare) is the Welfare Department of the church – The Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa. For most of the past 81 years, the AFM Welfare focused mainly on the provision of institutional care of vulnerable Children and Older Persons. More recently Community Development was added as an additional focus area where the AFM Welfare works with and through assemblies to implement social development actions to the benefit of local communities.

In the beginning years, the church was involved with the Welfare. At some point in history the AFM Welfare systematically started to “drift” away from being an integral part the church – to such an extent that some AFM Assemblies today are not even aware of welfare projects in their geographic area. Somewhat isolated from the church and experiencing financial challenges, the AFM Welfare was left in a vulnerable position. Fortunately, the NLF (National Leadership Forum) intervened and through the visionary leadership of the present Executive Welfare Board a new strategic plan was presented to ensure the future sustainability of the Welfare: Moving towards full integration of the Welfare with the AFM of SA.

Currently AFM Assemblies are challenged with the practical implementation of the One AFM Game Plan of which Community Involvement is one of the drivers. There is a great synergy to be realised through the full integration of the AFM Welfare and the church. While AFM Assemblies are focused on implementing Community Involvement – the AFM Welfare can serve, enable and equip AFM Assemblies with the practical tools and programmes to implement social development actions in their local communities. The AFM Welfare then works with and through AFM Assemblies to reach communities, assisting Assemblies to become service points and later service centres in the community.

“There is a great synergy to be realised through the full integration of the AFM Welfare and the church.”

Social Development Questionnaire
The AFM Welfare has recently started circulating a Questionnaire to ascertain what type of social development services or projects are currently being rendered or planned by the various Assemblies. We therefore encourage every AFM Assembly to complete the questionnaire and send it back to us. The questionnaire can be downloaded from the following link: http://afm-ags.org/leading-the-afm/one-afm-game-plan/ We are also planning a follow-up questionnaire to measure the impact of the church in addressing social challenges.

Main Categories of Community Services
The AFM Welfare sees social development in its broadest sense and can serve, enable and equip AFM Assemblies to implement Community Involvement through the following strategies.

Strategy 1: Child Protection and Family Strengthening 
Family Support 

Examples of Services/Projects: Parenting Skills Training, Victim Empowerment Centres, Parents Support Groups and Marriage Enrichment Programmes.
Services or Support to Vulnerable Children
Examples of Services/Projects: Raising awareness of the importance of child protection and child safety, Shelters children living on the streets, Child & Youth Care Centres, Foster Homes and Drop-in Centres.

Strategy 2: Care and protection of Older Persons and Persons with Disabilities 
Care and Protection Services to Older Persons
Examples of Services/Projects: Home-based Care, Old Age Homes or Service Centres.
Care and Protection Services to Persons with Disabilities
Examples of Services/Projects:  Home-based Care, Residential Care Facilities or Day-care Centres.

Strategy 3: Socio-Health Services 
Services to Persons Affected or Infected with AIDS
Examples of Services/Projects: Prevention/raising awareness or supporting patients through long-term care programmes.
Services or any Projects related to Substance/Drug Abuse
Examples of Services/Projects: Support Groups, School Outreach Programmes and Rehab or Outpatient Services (Day-Treatment Programme).

Strategy 4:  Socio-Education services 
Examples of Services/Projects: Schools, Early Childhood Development (ECD), Literacy Projects, After-school Centres.

Strategy 5: Socio-Economic Services 
Poverty Alleviation Services
Examples of Services/Projects: Soup Kitchens, Social Relief, Food Parcels, Clothing Distribution, Small Scale Farming.
Services Related to Job Creation or Employability Preparation
Examples of Services/Projects:  Upskilling, assisting with CVs or preparing for job interviews.
Empowerment Programmes to address Inequality
Examples of Services/Projects: Women Empowerment, Youth Development.

The AFM Welfare is looking forward to connecting with Pastors, Governing Body Members and other leaders in the church during the 2020 NOB Empowerment Visits. I want to encourage you to join us for the Welfare session that is scheduled for the Saturday afternoon 14:00-16:00. During this session we will elaborate more on different strategies through which Community Involvement can be implemented and how the AFM Welfare can serve, enable and equip Assemblies in this regard.

REV FRANK CHIKANE: THE RARE BREED IN AFRICAN LEADERSHIP
With acknowledgement to the AFM International Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/AFMIntl/

In a time in Africa where many leaders want to continue to hold on to power long after their strength is gone, we want to honour our former AFM International President who decided to step down when he still had the strength to go on. Pastor Frank Chikane announced during the August 2019 AFM International Conference held in Nairobi (Kenya) that he was not going to stand again for election after being at the helm of AFMI for 23 years.

In his Presidential report he stated that he wanted to retire in 2016 but the AFM International prevailed on him to give them another three years. “I do not want to cause people to think that no one else can lead the church besides me. I also don’t want a scenario where the church crumbles because of my overstaying on the leadership position,” he said. Past. Chikane has led AFM International as a servant leader who sacrificed a lot of himself and his family for the sake of the church.

He had a powerful vision for AFM. It was under his leadership that AFM grew worldwide. Today we have the AFM’s presence in more than 35 countries of the world and in all continents. It was him who pushed that the church must be visible online in the different platforms and for the establishment of the AFM International Business Forum which is intended to link AFM businesses across the globe. It is worth noting that he has not only retired as President of the AFM International, but he has also retired as Presiding Pastor of the AFM of SA Naledi Assembly (Soweto) in South Africa.

We also know that he had worked for the South African Government as the Director General in the Office of the Presidency for many years and that he took retirement after he felt that he had played his part. This is a good example to follow for all leaders whose time to retire has come.

May God Bless Rev. Chikane, his spouse Mme Chikane and their Children.

CONCLUSION

We are almost at the end of 2019. Some of the memorable events in 2019 include the SA National elections and the Springbok Rugby Team becoming the World Champions for the third time since the dawn of the democracy in SA. We will also remind ourselves about the resurgence of the Gender-based violence, xenophobic attacks, electricity load shedding and the increase of the unemployment rate in the country. As we reflect on these moments and many other challenges let us not give up hope. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:13). Allow me to wish you a peaceful and blessed Christmas. May 2020 renew your vigour and passion to continue to serve our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ with sincerity.

“May 2020 renew your vigour and passion to continue to serve our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ with sincerity.”

Blessings! Past. M.G. Mahlobo

Pastorale Brief: 4de Kwartaal

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AFM Newsltr 4th Qrt 2019 AFR

Liewe AGS Kollega,

2019 is stadig maar seker om tot ‘n einde te kom. Dit is ‘n voorreg en seën vir my om met jou te gesels in hierdie laaste Pastorale Brief vir die jaar. Ons kyk na die strategiese rigting en die pad vorentoe vir 2020, ons beskou die belangrikste resultate van die Pastorale Welstand vraelys, ons neem kennis van die AGS Welsyn se voorneme om AGS gemeentes te bemagtig en in staat te stel om gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid prakties te implementeer. Laastens vier ons Past. Frank Chikane se bydrae tot leierskap in die AGS.

AGS SE STRATEGIESE RIGTING – “ONE AFM GAME PLAN”
Past. M.G. Mahlobo (President van die AGS van SA) – [email protected]

Die strategie of plan is om alle kerkstrukture met die Groot Opdrag te belyn (Matteus 28:18-20). Uiteindelik wil ons graag sien dat ons lidmate dissipels word wat ander mense na Christus toe lei en ons kerkgeboue Missionale-gerigte sentrums. Ons pastore en lidmate is krities in die proses om die AGS te transformeer vanaf tradisionele kerkwees na ‘n missionale beweging.

 “…wil ons graag sien dat ons lidmate dissipels word wat ander mense na Christus toe lei en ons kerkgeboue Missionale-gerigte sentrums.”
Belangrikheid van Doelwitte
Baie energie en hulpbronne is gespandeer om ons begrip van ons missionale roeping te ontwikkel en te konseptualiseer. Ons het ‘n implementeringsfase bereik. Sonder doelwitte loop ons die risiko: (i) om te bly op ‘n vlak van inligting, (ii) om opleiding in ons streke aan te bied wat nie relevant is nie of ons nie nader bring om meer missionaal te wees nie en (iii) om onverantwoordbaar (accountable) te bly vir ons vordering. Indien ons nie aktief ons missie of roeping nastreef nie loop ons ‘n risiko vir skade aan ons reputasie. Vertroue in die kerk om te doen wat hulle sê hulle doen, is noodsaaklik.

Ons het die Nasionale Leierskapsforum (NLF) versoek om implementeringsdoelwitte vir elk van die vyf “Game Plan” drywers vas te stel. Die terugvoer wat ons ontvang het help ons om fokus areas and doelwitte vir die toekoms te identifiseer:

Dissipelskap: Ons het praktiese modelle nodig om plaaslike gemeentes in dissipelskap op te lei. So ‘n model moet gelowiges in staat stel om te groei deur die verskillende stadiums van geestelike ontwikkeling. Dit moet hulle ook help verstaan dat hulle sendelinge is met die verantwoordelikheid om die evangelie te deel met ander. Ons wil graag sien dat elke lidmaat na ‘n Christus-lewenstyl beweeg. Vir 2020 is die doel dat ons gemeentes en departemente moet kom met ‘n goeie en doeltreffende model vir dissipelskap opleiding.

Bemagtiging:  Die mees algemene doel hiervan is om lidmate te onderrig, toe te rus en op te lei om hul Groot Opdrag of roeping te omhels. In die meeste gevalle fokus onderrig, toerusting en opleiding te veel op die “wat” gedoen moet word met onvoldoende klem op die praktiese vraag van “hoe om” dit te doen. Streeks-, netwerk- en departementele komitees wil graag weet watter opleidingsprogramme tans deur plaaslike gemeentes en departemente gebruik word.

Goeie Bestuur: Op ‘n gemeente vlak is die hoofdoel om uitnemendheid in administrasie en volle nakoming van die kerk se Grondwet te sien. Onder leierskap is die doel om meer aanspreeklikheid en sterker kommunikasie van die visie te sien. Dit behoort minder onbeheerbare skuld en meer betroubaarheid mee te bring. Ons wil graag sien dat ons lidmate goeie rentmeesters word van alle hulpbronne wat God toevertrou het in hulle persoonlike sorg (finansies, huwelik en kinders).

Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid: Ons benodig 2-3-modelle wat effektief is om plaaslike gemeenskappe se behoeftes aan te spreek. Armoede & werkloosheid is groot bekommernisse. Ons wil graag sien dat AGS Gemeentes verteenwoordigers van verandering in hulle gemeenskappe word.  Ons wil graag sien dat ons lidmate die sout van die aarde en die lig van die wêreld word (soos beskryf in Mattheus 5:13-14) deur betrokke te raak by hul gemeenskappe se strukture om transformasie moontlik te maak.

Die AGS Welsyn se doel is om AGS Gemeentes te bemagtig en toe te rus met praktiese kennis en programme om sosiale ontwikkelingsaksies te implementeer. Die doel is om ‘n positiewe impak op die lewens van mense in plaaslike gemeenskappe te hê. (Verwys ook na die AFM Welfare se artikel in hierdie brief.)

Ekumeniese Betrokkenheid: Dit is nodig dat ons verhoudings met ander Christeninstellings bou om ons eenheid te demonstreer. Ons doelwit is om te sien dat ons eie pastore forums begin of betrokke raak by bestaande forums in hul gemeenskappe. Ons wil graag sien dat ons gemeentes ekumeniese aktiwiteite initieer of betrokke raak by bestaande initiatiewe, byvoorbeeld gebede vir reën of ‘n openbare demonstrasie van Christelike kerke om sosiale euwels te konfronteer. Op nasionale vlak is die AGS van SA deel van ekumeniese liggame soos die Suid-Afrikaanse Raad van Kerke (met Provinsiale sub-strukture) en die Evangeliese Alliansie van Suid-Afrika.

Die Belangrikheid van Toerekenbaarheid (Accountability)
Toerekenbaarheid word vandag toenemend belangrik. Wanneer ‘n AGS lidmaat of enige lid van die publiek die AGS van SA se “logo” sien, moet hulle saamstem dat dit vir iets staan – ‘n kerk wat passievol is oor die wen van siele vir Jesus, ‘n kerk waar die lidmate aktiewe Koninkrykswerkers is, ‘n kerk wat passievol is oor sy plaaslike gemeenskap en altyd sigbaar is in hul plaaslike gemeenskappe. Ons kan nie bekostig om die naam en “logo” van die AGS te dra wanneer ons nie een honderd persent gewy en verbind is tot hierdie missionale roeping nie.

PASTORALE WELSTAND OPNAME: RESULTATE
Past. M.G. Mahlobo (President of the AFM of SA) – [email protected]
Tradisioneel is “welstand” gebruik om die teenoorgestelde van siekte en die afwesigheid van siekte en gestremdheid te beteken.  Meer onlangs word dit algemeen gebruik om die beste moontlike lewe wat ‘n mens kan leef, ongeag sy/haar mediese toestand, te beskryf. Welstand is nie net verwant aan fisiese gesondheid nie, maar dit sluit geestelike welstand, sosiale welstand, verstandelike welstand en emosionele welstand in.

“Welstand is nie net verwant aan fisiese gesondheid nie, maar dit sluit geestelike welstand, sosiale welstand, verstandelike welstand en emosionele welstand in.”

Pastore se welstand is ook ‘n Bybelse mandaat. In die eerste deel van Handelinge 20:28 word kerkleiers opdrag gegee “om te waak oor hulself“. Tydens vanjaar se NOB Bemagtigingbesoeke het ons ‘n opname oor AGS pastore se welstand gedoen. Die belangrikste resultate is as volg:

  • In terme van die welstand van gemeentes, dui resultate daarop dat hulle meer intern gefokus is. Dieselfde aandag word nie gegee aan ‘n eksterne fokus nie, m.a.w. om die kerk “te wees” buite die mure van die kerkgebou. Tans is daar gebiede wat nie dieselfde aandag as ander ontvang nie, insluitend: (i) samewerking met ander AGS kerke, (ii) samewerking met ander nie-AGS kerke, (iii) hulp aan die plaaslike gemeenskap in terme van spesifieke probleme, (iv) lidmate as siele wenners en voltydse Koningkrykwerkers en (v) opleiding en toerustings geleenthede/kursusse vir lidmate. Al hierdie gebiede ontvang nie die aandag wat dit in ons gemeentes moet ontvang nie.
  • Wanneer dit kom by die funksionering tussen die Pastoor en sy/haar kerkraad (of Governing Body), is daar geen duidelike begrip van rolle nie.
  • Pastore wys huiwering in hul begrip van hoe die bediening hul kinders beïnvloed, asook die maniere waarop ‘n gemeente hierdie kinders kan ondersteun.

Die volledige verslag kan van die AGS webtuiste afgelaai word: http://afm-ags.org/category/media/. Al die bogenoemde onderwerpe sal aangespreek word tydens die 2020 NOB Bemagtigingsbesoeke – hetsy deur ‘n aanbieding of ‘n voorafopgeneemde video. Ons moedig ons pastore aan om by ons aan te sluit tydens hierdie byeenkomste:

Vir meer inligting oor die 2020 NOB Bemagtigingsbesoeke en om die program af te laai, besoek asseblief die volgende skakel: http://afm-ags.org/category/events/.

AGS WELSYN: MET EN DEUR GEMEENTES VIR ‘N HOëR IMPAK OP GEMEENSKAPPE
Ashley Theron 
(Waarnemende Hoof van die Uitvoerende Welsynsraad van die AGS van SA)
[email protected]

Beweeg na Volle Integrasie
Die Uitvoerende Welsynsraad van die AGS van SA (ook bekend as EWC of AGS Welsyn) is die Welsynsdepartement van die kerk – die Apostoliese Geloofsending van Suid-Afrika. Die AGS Welsyn het vir die meeste van die afgelope 81 jaar hoofsaaklik gefokus op die voorsiening van institusionele versorging van kwesbare kinders en ouer persone. Meer onlangs is gemeenskapsontwikkeling as ‘n fokusgebied bygevoeg – waar daar gewerk word met en deur gemeentes om maatskaplike ontwikkelingsaksies tot voordeel van plaaslike gemeenskappe te implementeer.

In die beginjare was die kerk betrokke. Op ‘n stadium in die geskiedenis het die AGS Welsyn stelselmatig begin om weg te beweeg en om nie meer ‘n integrale deel van die kerk te wees nie – tot so ‘n mate dat sommige AGS Gemeentes vandag nie eens bewus is van welsynsprojekte in hul geografiese gebied nie. Ietwat geïsoleerd van die kerk en met finansiële uitdagings is die AGS Welsyn in ‘n kwesbare posisie gelaat. Gelukkig het die NLF (Nasionale Leierskapsforum) ingegryp, en deur die visionêre leierskap van die huidige Uitvoerende Welsynsraad, is ‘n nuwe strategiese plan voorgelê om toekomstige volhoubaarheid te verseker: Die beweging na volle integrasie van die AGS Welsyn met die AGS van SA.

Tans word AGS gemeentes uitgedaag met die praktiese implementering van die “One AFM Game Plan” waarvan gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid een van die drywers is. Daar is ‘n groot sinergie wat gerealiseer kan word deur die volle integrasie van die AGS Welsyn en die kerk. Terwyl AGS gemeentes gefokus is op die implementering van gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid – kan die AGS Welsyn gemeentes toerus en bemagtig met praktiese kennis en programme. Spesifiek om sosiale ontwikkelingsaksies binne hul plaaslike gemeenskappe te implementeer. Die AGS Welsyn werk dan saam met en deur gemeentes om gemeenskappe te bereik, gemeentes by te staan en om dienspunte, en latere dienssentrums, in die gemeenskap te word.

“Daar is ‘n groot sinergie wat gerealiseer kan word deur die volle integrasie van die AGS Welsyn en die kerk.”

Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid Vraelys
Die AGS Welsyn het onlangs ‘n vraelys begin sirkuleer om te bepaal watter tipe maatskaplike ontwikkelingsdienste of projekte tans deur die onderskeie gemeentes gelewer of beplan word. Ons moedig dus elke gemeente aan om die vraelys te voltooi en dit terug te stuur aan ons. Die vraelys kan by die volgende skakel afgelaai word: http://afm-ags.org/leading-the-afm/one-afm-game-plan/. Ons beplan ook ‘n opvolgvraelys om die impak van die kerk te meet om sosiale uitdagings aan te spreek.

Hoofkategorieë van Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid
Die AGS Welsyn sien sosiale ontwikkeling in die breedste sin en kan gemeentes bemagtig en toerus om gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid deur die volgende strategieë te implementeer:

Strategie 1: Kinderbeskerming en Gesinsversterking 
Familie-ondersteuning
Voorbeelde van dienste/projekte: Ouerskapvaardighede Opleiding, Slagoffer Bemagtiging Sentrums, Ondersteunings Groepe vir Ouers en Huwelik Verrykingsprogramme.
Dienste of ondersteuning aan kwesbare kinders
Voorbeelde van dienste/projekte: Bewustheid van die belangrikheid van kinderbeskerming en kinderveiligheid, skuilings vir kinders wat op die strate woon, kinder- en jeug versorgingsentrums, Pleeghuise en “Drop in” sentrums.

Strategie 2: Versorging en Beskerming van Ouer Persone en Persone met Gestremdhede 
Sorg en beskermingsdienste aan Ouer Persone
Voorbeelde van dienste/projekte: Tuisgebaseerde sorg, Ouetehuise of Dienssentrums.
Sorg en beskermingsdienste aan Persone met Gestremdhede
Voorbeelde van dienste/projekte: Tuisgebaseerde sorg, Residensiële Sorggeriewe of Dagsorgsentrums.

Strategie 3: Socio-Gesondheidsdienste 
Dienste aan persone wat geraak word of besmet is met Vigs
Voorbeelde van dienste/projekte: Voorkoming/verhoging van bewustheid of ondersteuning van pasiënte deur langtermyn-versorgingsprogramme.
Dienste of projekte wat met middel-/dwelmmisbruik verband hou
Voorbeelde van dienste/projekte: Ondersteuningsgroepe, Skool Uitreikingsprogramme en Rehabilitasie of Buite-pasiëntdienste (Dagbehandelingsprogram).

Strategie 4: Sosio-Onderwys Dienste 
Voorbeelde van dienste/projekte: Skole, Early Childhood Development (ECD), Geletterdheidsprojekte, na-skool sentrums.

Strategie 5: Sosio-Ekonomiese Dienste 
Armoedeverligting-dienste
Voorbeelde van dienste/projekte: Sopkombuise, Sosiale Verligting, Kospakkies, Klereverspreiding, Kleinskaalse boerdery.
Dienste wat verband hou met werkskepping of indiensneming voorbereiding
Voorbeelde van dienste/projekte: Slyping van vaardighede, hulp met “Curriculum Vitae” of voorbereiding vir werksonderhoude.
Bemagtigingsprogramme om ongelykheid aan te spreek
Voorbeelde van dienste/projekte: Vrouebemagtiging, Jeugontwikkeling.

Ons sien uit daarna om met pastore, kerkrade en ander leiers in die kerk te gesels tydens die 2020 NOB Bemagtigingbesoeke. Ek wil jou aanmoedig om by ons aan te sluit vir die Welsynssessie wat geskeduleer is vir die Saterdag middag 14:00-16:00. Tydens hierdie sessie sal ons meer op verskillende strategieë uitbrei waardeur gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid geïmplementeer kan word en hoe die AGS Welsyn in hierdie verband gemeentes kan bystaan.

PAST. FRANK CHIKANE: SELDSAME LEIERSKAP IN AFRIKA
Met erkenning aan die AGS Internasionale Facebook bladsy:    
https://www.facebook.com/AFMIntl/

“In a time in Africa where many leaders want to continue to hold on to power long after their strength is gone, we want to honour our former AFM International President who decided to step down when he still had the strength to go on. Pastor Frank Chikane announced during the August 2019 AFM International Conference held in Nairobi (Kenya) that he was not going to stand again for election after being at the helm of AFMI for 23 years.

In his Presidential report he stated that he wanted to retire in 2016 but the AFM International prevailed on him to give them another three years. “I do not want to cause people to think that no one else can lead the church besides me. I also don’t want a scenario where the church crumbles because of my overstaying on the leadership position,” he said. Past. Chikane has led AFM International as a servant leader who sacrificed a lot of himself and his family for the sake of the church.

He had a powerful vision for AFM. It was under his leadership that AFM grew worldwide. Today we have the AFM’s presence in more than 35 countries of the world and in all continents. It was him who pushed that the church must be visible online in the different platforms and for the establishment of the AFM International Business Forum which is intended to link AFM businesses across the globe. It is worth noting that he has not only retired as President of the AFM International, but he has also retired as Presiding Pastor of the AFM of SA Naledi Assembly (Soweto) in South Africa.

We also know that he had worked for the South African Government as the Director General in the Office of the Presidency for many years and that he took retirement after he felt that he had played his part. This is a good example to follow for all leaders whose time to retire has come.

May God Bless Rev. Chikane, his spouse Mme Chikane and their Children.” 

SLOT

Ons is byna aan die einde van 2019. Van die onvergeetlike gebeure in 2019 sluit in: die SA Nasionale verkiesings en die Springbok-rugbyspan wat die Wêreldkampioene word vir die derde keer sedert die begin van die demokrasie in SA. Ons sal onsself ook herinner aan die herlewing van die geslagsgebaseerde geweld, xenofobiese aanvalle, beurtkrag en die verhoging van die werkloosheidskoers in die land.  As ons besin oor hierdie oomblikke en baie ander uitdagings, laat ons nie ophou hoop nie. Mag die God van hoop julle vul met alle blydskap en vrede soos julle op Hom vertrou, sodat julle met hoop kan oorloop deur die krag van die Heilige Gees (Romeine 5:13). Laat my toe om jou ‘n vreedsame en Geseënde Kersfees toe te wens. Mag 2020 jou ywer en passie vernuwe om voort te gaan om met opregtheid ons Verlosser en Here te dien, Jesus Christus.

“Mag 2020 jou ywer en passie vernuwe om voort te gaan om met opregtheid ons Verlosser en Here te dien, Jesus Christus.”

Seën! Past. M.G. Mahlobo

Newsflash: Friday, 22 November

Download the PDF version from the link below:

22 NOVEMBER ENG 2019

AFM Colleague,

SPECIAL INVITATION
2020 NOB Empowerment Visits

We hereby invite all AFM Pastors, Governing Body Members, Leaders and National Youth to the 2020 NOB Empowerment Visits. The intention of the Empowerment Visits is to inform, equip, train and engage in dialogue on matters of strategic importance to the church. I want to strongly encourage you to attend the empowerment session in your province.

The theme for the visits is:

Actions with Impact
Leading in a missional church

We are looking forward to engaging with the church on the following topics:

  1. The Impact of the Ministry on Pastor’s Children.
  2. The Nomination Process and Dates for the 2020 National Office Bearers Elections.
    A document is already available on this matter. Kindly download from:
    http://afm-ags.org/category/media/
  3. Women in Leadership.
  4. The Role and Function of the Pastor within a Missional Church.
  5. Being Church in the Public Domain.
  6. Community Involvement: Practical Implementation (Presented by the AFM Welfare)

The programme for the Friday and Saturday can be downloaded from the link below:
http://afm-ags.org/category/events/

The National Office Bearers will be visiting all Provinces on the following dates:

Date: Province: Venue:
7-8 February Cape Town AGS Goodwood
7-8 February Free State AFM Jubilate
21-22 February Kwazulu-Natal Amanzimtoti
6-7 March Limpopo Ha-Dumasi Conference Centre
6-7 March Mpumalanga Lighuis Middelburg
17-18 April Gauteng Herlwingsentrum (Wonderboom)
17-18 April North-West AFM Oase (Klerksdorp)
8-9 May Eastern-Cape Gees en Lewe (East London)
8-9 May Northern-Cape AFM Rehobot Upington

Blessings!

MG Mahlobo

Nuusflits: Vrydag, 22 November

Download the PDF version from the link below:

22 NOVEMBER AFR 2019

AGS Kollega,

SPESIALE UITNODIGING
2020 NOB Bemagtigingsbesoeke

Hiermee nooi ons alle Pastore, lede van die Beheerliggame, Leiers en Nasionale Jeug uit na die 2020 NOB Bemagtigingsbesoeke. Die doel van die besoeke is om inligting te deel, opleiding te verskaf en gesprek te voer oor kwessies van strategiese belang vir die kerk. Ek wil jou sterk aanmoedig om die bemagtigingsessie in jou Provinsie by te woon.

Die tema vir die besoeke is:

Aksies met Impak
Leierskap in ‘n missionale kerk

Ons sien uit daarna om met die kerk oor die volgende onderwerpe te praat:

  1. Die Impak van die Bediening op die kinders van Pastore.
  2. Die Nominasieproses en datums vir die verkiesing van die Nasionale Ampsdraers in 2020.
    Hier is alreeds ‘n dokument beskikbaar oor die onderwerp. Laai gerus af by die volgende skakel: http://afm-ags.org/category/media/
  3. Vroue in Leierskap.
  4. Die Rol en Funksie van ‘n Pastoor binne ‘n Missionale kerk.
  5. Om Kerk te wees in die markplein.
  6. Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid: Praktiese Implementering (Aangebied deur die AFM Welfare)

Die program vir Vrydag en Saterdag kan afgelaai word vanaf die volgende skakel:
http://afm-ags.org/category/events/

Die Nasionale Ampsdraers gaan besoeke aflê aan al die Provinsies op die volgende datums:

Datum: Provinsie: Plek:
7-8 Februarie Kaapstad AGS Goodwood
7-8 Februarie Vrystaat AFM Jubilate
21-22 Februarie Kwazulu-Natal Amanzimtoti
6-7 Maart Limpopo Ha-Dumasi Conference Centre
6-7 Maart Mpumalanga Lighuis Middelburg
17-18 April Gauteng Herlwingsentrum (Wonderboom)
17-18 April Noordwes AFM Oase (Klerksdorp)
8-9 Mei Oos-Kaap Gees en Lewe (East London)
8-9 Mei Noord-Kaap AFM Rehobot Upington

Seën!
MG Mahlobo

Special Update: Friday, 15 November

Special Update: From the 60th National Leadership Forum

Friday, 15 November

Dear Colleagues,

The 60th National Leadership Forum (NLF) since unity, was held during this past week from 11-14 November 2019 in Gauteng. In this special update we share three important matters.

1. PROCESS FOR ELECTION

During this meeting amendments to the Rules of Order regarding the process for election of the National Office Bearers from 2020, were promulgated. More information on this process, including the dates for 2020, were made available to Regional Leaders and will also be discussed during the NOB’s Regional Empowerment visits during the first few months of 2020.

Election of National Office Bearers

2. PASTORAL WELLNESS RESULTS

The meeting also took note of the results of the Pastoral Wellness Survey conducted among our pastors during this year. You can access the results of the survey at the link below and take note of the interesting statistics and important information relating to the ministry, physical, financial and personal life of Pastors and assemblies. Please take note of the key take-outs that can possibly improve Pastoral Wellness.

Survey Results NOB Visits PASTORAL WELLNESS

3. NOB EMPOWERMENT VISITS 2020

Please make a note of the dates of the 2020 NOB Empowerment visit in your Region as per the national AFM Calendar and ensure that you do attend it, as it will cover a few subjects of importance to the church, such as:
1. The role and function of a pastor within a Missional church context.
2. Women in leadership.
3. The impact of the ministry on the children of pastors.
4. Being church in the Public Domain, and
5. The Nomination process and dates for the 2020 National Office Bearers Elections.

Blessings!
MG Mahlobo

Spesiale Opdatering: Vrydag, 15 November

Spesiale Opdatering: Vanaf die 60ste Nasionale Leierskaps Forum

Vrydag, 15 November

Geagte Kollegas,

Die 60ste Nasionale Leierskaps Forum (NLF) sedert die kerk se eenheid, is die afgelope week vanaf 11 tot 14 November 2019 in Gauteng gehou. In hierdie spesiale nuusflits deel ons drie belangrike sake.

1. DIE PROSES VIR VERKIESING

Tydens hierdie vergadering is wysigings aan die Reëls van Orde rakende die verkiesing van die Nasionale Ampsdraers vanaf 2020, afgekondig. Meer inligting oor die proses, insluitend die datums vir 2020, is aan Streekleiers beskikbaar gestel en sal ook tydens die NOB se Bemagtigingsbesoeke aan die streke gedurende die eerste paar maande van 2020 bespreek word.

Election of National Office Bearers

2. PASTORALE WELSTAND: RESULTATE

Die vergadering het ook kennis geneem van die resultate van die Pastorale Welstand-opname wat gedurende hierdie jaar onder ons pastore gedoen is. Jy kan op die onderstaande skakel toegang tot die resultate van die opname verkry. Die verslag deel interessante statistieke en belangrike inligting rakende die bediening, fisieke, finansiële en persoonlike lewe van ons pastore en gemeentes. Neem kennis van die belangrikste fokus areas wat Pastorale Welstand moontlik kan verbeter.

Survey Results NOB Visits PASTORAL WELLNESS

3. NOB BEMAGTIGINGSBESOEKE AAN STREKE 2020

Let op die datum van die 2020 NOB-bemagtigingsbesoek in jou streek (soos aangedui op die nasionale AGS-kalender). Maak seker dat jy dit bywoon, aangesien dit ‘n hele paar onderwerpe van belang vir die kerk sal dek, soos:
1. Die rol en funksie van ‘n Pastoor binne ‘n Missionale kerk.
2. Vroue in leierskap.
3. Die impak van die bediening op die kinders van pastore.
4. Kerk te wees in die markplein.
5. Die nominasieproses en datums vir die verkiesing van die Nasionale Ampsdraers in 2020.

Seën!
MG Mahlobo

Newsflash: Friday, 18 October

Download the PDF version here:

18 OCTOBER ENG 2019

Dear Colleagues,

I trust you are well! Kindly take note of two important strategic issues that are relevant to all AFM registered assemblies.

1. CENSUS 2019: CALL TO ACTION

Please note that the Assembly Census forms must be completed and send back to the Regional Secretaries/Administrators by 30 November 2019. The Regional Secretaries/Administrators will then compile the information and forward it to the AFM Head Office by 31 January 2020.

Why do we need to complete the census forms?

  • Firstly, for internal use. As a church with a national footprint we need to know for our own future planning and strategic alignment how many assemblies, ordained pastors, assembly leaders, etc. we have. It is also important for us to know how many members we have and how their numbers are made up age wise. This will enable us to plan for future ministry development and growth.
  • Secondly, for external use. We are regularly involved in discussions with other churches, organizations and government structures where specific statistics and information determine our participation and input.
Please enquire with your Regional Secretary or Administrator for support.

2. OCTOBER: PASTOR’S APPRECIATION MONTH

As a church, we have established a tradition over the last couple of years to especially focus on appreciating our pastors/ assembly leaders, their spouses and children during the month of October.

“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” Hebrews 13:7(ESV)

Please note that a circular was sent to Governing Bodies of all AFM Assemblies and Departments with regards to this matter.

The circular can be downloaded from the link below:
http://afm-ags.org/category/media/

Blessings!
Past. M.G. Mahlobo

Nuusflits: Vrydag, 18 Oktober

Laai die PDF weergawe hier af:

18 OCTOBER AFR 2019

Liewe Kollegas,

Ek vertrou dat dit goed gaan met jou! Neem asseblief kennis van twee belangrike strategiese kwessies wat vir alle AGS-geregistreerde gemeentes relevant is.
1. SENSUS 2019: OPROEP TOT AKSIE
Neem asseblief kennis dat die gemeente-sensus vorms voltooi moet word en terug gestuur moet word aan die plaaslike streekssekretarisse/administrateurs teen 30 November 2019. Die streeksekretarisse/administrateurs sal dan die inligting saamstel en dit aan die AGS hoofkantoor stuur teen 31 Januarie 2020.
Hoekom moet ons die sensus vorms voltooi?

  • Eerstens vir interne gebruik. As ‘n kerk met ‘n nasionale impak moet ons vir ons eie toekomstige beplanning en strategiese belyning weet hoeveel gemeentes, pastore, gemeenteleiers, ens. ons het.  Dit is ook belangrik vir ons om te weet hoeveel lidmate ons het en hulle getalle vas te stel volgens ouderdom. Dit stel ons in staat om vir toekomstige bedieningsontwikkeling en groei te beplan.
  • Tweedens vir eksterne gebruik. Ons is gereeld betrokke by gesprekke met ander kerke, organisasies en die regering waar spesifieke statistieke en inligting ons deelname en insette bepaal.

Doen asseblief navraag by jou Streeksekretaris of administrateur vir ondersteuning.

2. OKTOBER: PASTOOR WAARDERINGS MAAND

As ‘n kerk, het ons ‘n tradisie gevestig oor die laaste paar jaar om veral te fokus op die waardering van ons pastore/gemeenteleiers, hul gades en kinders gedurende die maand van Oktober. “7Dink aan julle voorgangers wat die woord van God aan julle verkondig het. Let op hulle lewenswandel tot die einde toe, en volg die voorbeeld van geloof wat hulle gestel het.” – HEBREËRS 13:7 (AFR83)
Neem asseblief kennis dat ‘n omsendbrief gestuur is aan die kerkrade van alle AGS gemeentes en departemente met betrekking tot hierdie saak.

Die omsendbrief kan by die onderstaande skakel afgelaai word:
http://afm-ags.org/category/media/

Seënwense!
Past. M.G. Mahlobo

Pastoral Letter: 3rd Quarter 2019

Download the PDF version here:

AFM Newsltr 3RD Qrt 2019 ENG small

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the lovely and precious Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. This week marked the 2019 AFM National Conference. The conference took place on 15 – 18 September at the Lighthouse Ministries in Parow (Cape Town). The conference theme was  “Rooted in Christ” –  based on Colossians 2:6-7. In this Pastoral Letter we reflect on some of the core messages that was shared during the conference. I trust that it will bless you and encourage you!

ROOTED IN CHRIST: ESTABLISHED IN OUR FAITH 
Past. M.G. Mahlobo (President of the AFM of SA) – [email protected]

The ancient town of Colossae was in proximity of the ancient town of Laodicea and not far from Ephesus. Paul had not visited Colossae at the time of the writing of this letter. It must have started because of his ministry in Ephesus which spanned for almost two years. While Paul was in house arrest in Rome and awaiting trial, Epaphras visited him. Epaphras informed Paul about the spiritual condition among the Colossian Christians, who were strong in their faith at one time, but had now become vulnerable to false teachings (2:4, 8, 16, 18, 21–23). He wrote this letter (Colossians) to refute these heresies. Some of the features of the heresy in Colossae had to do with the supremacy of Christ, sufficiency of our redemption in Christ and supplementary things to salvation.

Supremacy Of Christ

There was a false teaching which denied that God’s fullness dwells in Christ. It sought to lower the divinity aspect of Jesus Christ. It was a blend of Christianity, Greek Philosophy and Zoroastrianism elements. Among its teachings it taught that the created world is evil, and all matter is corrupt. It then concluded that Jesus’ body was corrupt. Paul is responding to this teaching in Colossians 1:15-17: “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (NIV) and in Colossians 2:9 “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (NIV).

Sufficiency Of Our Redemption In Christ

The Colossian heresy taught that salvation is achieved through secret knowledge (gnosis) by which individuals come to know themselves, their origin and destiny. Paul’s response is in Colossians 2:10 where he states: “…and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority” (NIV).

Supplements To Our Salvation

The false teachers wanted to substitute salvation through Jesus with various ascetic abstinences, Jewish rituals, worship of angels, dreams and visions (See Colossians 2:8-12 & 16-18). Paul’s message to them and to us is: “As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith as you have been taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”

“It is when we are matured that we would be able to stand against false teachings and hard times…”

The metaphor of roots and building structures as references to the Colossian saints should remind us about the importance of being anchored in Christ. Receiving Christ and baptisms should be followed by growing into the full image of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It is when we are matured that we would be able to stand against false teachings and hard times – in the same way we are currently facing various challenges. Some of these are materialism, secular humanism and formalism.

Materialism

Material things, like money are important as a means to an end. There is a tendency among us which rate material possessions and physical comfort to be more important than our spiritual values. I am not against buying material things for purpose of utility. My problem is when it replaces prayer, humility, serving other people and honouring God with the possessions God has granted you. Life is more important than material wealth. The Lord Jesus warns us in Luke 12:15 and says: “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” (NIV). Our life must reflect Christ. We must always bear in mind that real deliverance comes from righteousness and not from the riches we have (Proverbs 11:4).

“Our life must reflect Christ.”

Secular Humanism

This phrase has been used since the 1930s by Anglican priests. It is a progressive philosophy of life that affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfilment aspiring to the greater good of humanity, without God or other supernatural beliefs. In other words, it is a comprehensive, non-religious life stance. Up to date I know of four Manifestos that have been produced in this regard. They are Humanist Manifesto i (1933), Manifesto ii (1973), Manifesto iii (2003) and Manifesto iv (2017). In their Manifesto ii they stated that: “…faith in the prayer-hearing God assumed to live and care for persons, to hear and understand prayers, and to be able to do something about them, is unproved and outmoded faith.” The Secular Humanism stance regarding religion can be summed up as: “No God will save us; we must save ourselves.”

“We are a Bible-based Church, our ministry is Christ-centred and Holy Spirit driven.”

Formalism

We are a church on a mission to fulfil the Great Commission (Matthew 20:18-20). We must always remember our ‘roots’. We are a Bible-based Church, our ministry is Christ-centred and Holy Spirit driven. Our members must receive Jesus as Saviour and Lord. They must be baptized in water and in the power of the Holy Spirit. They must uphold the Biblical values of integrity, accountability, constructive relationships and excellence. Above all we must always remember that we are missionaries bearing the Good News of Jesus Christ. We must guard against formalism. Formalism is when the working of the Holy Spirit is replaced with human programs that have nothing to do with the extension of the Kingdom of God. We are formal when we begin to emphasize the building of swimming pools in the churches at the expense of baptismal fonts. Paul gave a warning in 2 Timothy 3:2-5 when he said: “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them” (NIV).

“We need to deepen our roots.”

It is my prayer that we will not only receive Christ, but that we would walk with Him, rooted and built up in Him, established in our faith and abounding with thanksgiving. We need to deepen our roots through prayer and guidance from those who are leading exemplary Christian lives. We need to be built up in Christ through the Word (Bible) and fellowship with our Brothers and Sisters.

ROOTED IN CHRIST: SERVING OTHERS
Dr. H.J. Weideman – General Secretary – [email protected]

I have planted an apricot tree in my garden two years ago and was delighted to see blossoms on it during August this year. In the beginning of September I saw several small apricots forming – now I am sure that it is indeed an apricot tree! I recognized the fruit. Have you ever walked amongst fruit trees and you were unsure if it was a Peach or an Apricot tree, an Apple or a Pear tree, an Orange or a Lemon tree? Matthew 7:20 tells us that we will know a tree by its fruit. When you see the fruit and identify it, you will know what type of tree it is. Did you know that the fruit of a tree tells you a lot about the roots of that tree? Especially if it is a fruit tree.

The fruit producing areas in South Africa has many big orchards full of fruit trees that have all been grafted onto specific rootstock (understock). Grafting involves physically joining part of a twig or shoot of a certain cultivar or type of fruit, onto the roots of a different but closely related species, so that the two parts grow together as one plant. The process of joining the two varieties must ensure maximum contact between the layer just below the bark (the cambium) of each of the two pieces -the rootstock and the little twig, called the scion grafted onto it, so that they grow together successfully.

The rootstock makes a big difference in the life of a fruit tree: It determines the quality and strength of the root system of the newly formed tree. The understock or rootstock is usually chosen because it has strong roots, causing the tree to absorb nutrients and water better. It enables the tree to resist drought, root rot and different soil pests (like soil viruses, cutworms and bacterial infections). It also goes a long way to anchor the tree so that it will be able to stand firm during a storm. The rootstock, providing the root system of the tree has an influence on the number of blossoms the tree will produce. It determines the quantity and quality, as well as the size, shape and even the taste of the fruit. Studies have shown that most tree roots occupy an area two to four times the diameter of the crown of the tree. Which means that in most trees if the root spread is small, the tree will be even smaller…. (there are exceptions of course).

To be rooted in Christ means that we would be growing differently. We would be anchored against the storms and pests of life. We will bear fruit of a particular shape, size and taste if we are rooted firmly and deeply in Jesus. If our roots in Christ are small and shallow, the trees that our lives represent most probably will be feeble and small as well. In John 15 Jesus talks about the importance of pruning the branches a tree, so that it will produce more fruit. However, He also emphasizes the importance of the roots and says that a branch cannot produce fruit if it is not connected to the vine (the main trunk), which in turn is connected to the roots, to bring the food and water that the branches need to produce fruit.

Psalm 1, as well as Jeremiah, Jesus and Paul compared us to trees. Jeremiah 17:7 (NLT) says: “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green and they never stop producing fruit.”

“We become rooted in Christ by loving God our father with everything in us, just like Jesus did.”

Jesus said in John 15:4b (NLT): “You cannot remain fruitful unless you remain in Me.” He is the Vine and He must be our rootstock. We should become more and more rooted in Him. We become rooted in Christ by loving God our father with everything in us, just like Jesus did. The more we grow in loving God, the more we will be rooted in Christ, because Jesus and His Father are One. We become more rooted in Christ as we share Him with everyone around us. It is like the root system of a tree that is on a constant mission to spread out and reach further and deeper. The further the roots spread, the bigger the diameter of the tree’s crown become. The more we are rooted in Him, the more fruit we will bear. The fruit of the Spirit which is also the fruit of the likeness and character of Jesus.

We learn more about one of these fruits in John 13 where Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. In verse 12-17 (NLT) we read: “After washing their feet, He put on his robe again and sat down and asked: Do you understand what I was doing?  You call me Teacher and Lord and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since, I your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.”

The principle that Jesus teaches His disciples and us as His followers is not so much about washing feet. He is not saying go every Sunday, even in the 21st century, take off the shoes of your fellow believers in church and wash their feet. He is teaching His followers the principle of serving others. To be rooted in Christ is to serve others just like He served: He, our Lord and Teacher took off His robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, pour water into a basin and did what was normally done by a servant at the time: He washed the feet of His disciples. He sets the example of a leader not sitting on a big armchair with a high back, but kneeling down to serve those who followed Him.

“He is teaching His followers the principle of serving others.”

We are messengers of the Good news of God’s Grace and Forgiveness. We are not more important that the One who sends the message. We are not greater than our Master. We should never forget that we are send on a mission to fulfil a particular task – that of making Jesus known to all nations. We are messengers. We are missionaries. God is the one who sends us. To Hím alone belongs the glory and the honour! We should never think that we have arrived or that we should be served. That people should pull out chairs and open doors for us. We should rather say like John in John 3:30 (NLT) “He (Jesus) must become greater and greater and I must become less and less.”

Even if we think of ourselves as great and strong leaders, we are reminded of the words of Jesus in Matthew 20:25-28 (NLT): “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be (or should be) different. Whoever wants to be a leader amongst you must be your servant and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came, not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

“The example of Jesus compels us as His followers to serve others…”

The example of Jesus compels us as His followers to serve others: To greet the people that no one sees, to endeavour to understand and acknowledge the viewpoint and experiences of people living in other circumstances and cultures than our own. How do we do that? By caring, by reaching out, by seeing and acknowledging the humanity of another person, by smiling and greeting, by touching, by showing respect, by talking to others. By telling and listening to the life stories of people. By doing life together. For as much as you do these things to the smallest of people, even to children, you have done it to Me, Jesus said.

ROOTED IN CHRIST: CARING FOR & PROTECTING OUR COMMUNITIES
Past. Barend Petersen (General Secretary  & Chairperson of the Executive Welfare Council of the AFM of SA) [email protected]

Loving and serving others is not just a calling, it is an instruction from God and it is meant for everyone. The heart of God is reflected in the Words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 25:34-36: Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.“

“Loving and serving others is not just a calling, it is an instruction from God and it is meant for everyone.”

Some of the most significant socio-economic challenges in South Africa are poverty, high unemployment and low income, crime, family breakdown and poor standards of education. This is our missional context in which we must demonstrate our caring spirit and commit to actions that will make a difference in the lives of people. The Executive Welfare Council of the AFM of SA, is the ministry through which the AFM has and will continue to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable people, especially children, women and older persons. Through the CHURCH, a caring community can bring change in the lives of many people that are suffering. Such Community Involvement or Developmental Action can “heal” the hurt, “meet” the need and bring sustainable living to many.

Community Involvement is one of the drivers of the One AFM Game Plan. Every AFM Assembly can and must be involved with developmental actions that will bring change to the people; fulfilling the original missional calling of our church. The AFM Welfare Department has the tools and programmes to support your Assembly with understanding, planning and implementing social development actions and projects. We assist Pastors and Assemblies to identify the most important social problems in their communities and equip them to be part of the solution.

“Community Involvement is one of the drivers of the One AFM Game Plan.”

uManelisi is the programme that empowers Assemblies to respond to these challenges. We work with and through Assemblies to deliver the following services:

Community-Based Services – supporting vulnerable children, families, women, older persons and persons with disabilities.
Socio-Health Services – raising awareness through education and training, supporting persons suffering from chronic illnesses like AIDS and TB as well as those addicted to drugs and other substances.
Socio-Educational Services – support Assemblies that are running Early Childhood Development programmes, literacy programmes, schools as well as raising awareness in public schools.
Socio-Economic Projects – aimed at supporting government’s priorities addressing poverty, unemployment and inequality through projects that focuses on food security, social relief, job creation, skills development, women empowerment and youth development.


The church is ideally positioned to bring change in the lives of people across South Africa. Every AFM Assembly can and must become involved with developmental actions that will bring change to the people in your community. For clear guidance on how to practically implement Community Involvement, as a driver of the One AFM Game Plan, contact our acting CEO Ashley Theron:
Landline: Call Lizelle de Bruyn or Rebeca Kola on 012 753 7940/1
E-mail: [email protected]

CONCLUSION

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness”
Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV).