Pastoral Newsletter 2nd Quarter 2024

AFM Pastoral Letter 2nd Quarter 2024

AFM Family,

On Saturday 25 May 2024, the AFM of SA celebrated a 116th Birthday anniversary since the church’s inception in 1908. The birthday celebrations included the traditional AFM Logo Day where all assemblies and members proudly shared and showcased the AFM Logo. The National Office Bearers (NOB) released special content on “Missional Actions and Values” as part of the celebrations – speaking directly to the heart and spirit of the AFM Member and explaining what the AFM stands for. We believe that the AFM was placed in South Africa for a reason, let us fulfil our redemptive and prophetic purpose with enthusiasm and diligence.

Jesus did not confine his ministry to religious spaces. He met people where they were – at work, in their homes, in the streets – everywhere. Being missional means following His example and reaching out to everyone, regardless of background or status. In our increasingly secular world, we need to rethink how we engage with our communities – being missional means embodying Christ’s love and presence in every part of our lives, becoming like Him in the impact we have in our own circle of friends, neighbourhoods, and workplaces.

Being Missional must never just be about concepts, plans, or words. It must become real in everyday Missional Action. The NOB will share these missional actions in short easily understandable video clips. I trust that all our members, Pastors, and Assembly Governing Bodies will be inspired to not only talk and plan around this but to dó accordingly. May every member of the AFM be inspired to know Jesus more and to make Him known!

“May every member of the AFM be inspired to know Jesus more and to make Him known!”

This Scripture implies that even though we might not be able to tell everyone about everything God has done for us, we should still share as much as we can. Whether it is something big like a miraculous healing or something small like providing for a particular need when we did not know how we would make it through. God has done so much for us, and it is worth talking about. When we do, it not only encourages others but also reminds us of just how faithful God has been. It is the strongest form of testimony about the reality of God’s presence in our lives. People may differ in religious beliefs and writings, but they cannot really argue against your personal experience. To share what God has done for you is to make Him known to the people around you. Let us spread the word and give glory to our amazing God who continues to do so much for us!

“God has done so much for us, and it is worth talking about.”

Jesus said, “…Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.” (Matthew 28:19-20 NLT). But it is not just about spreading the word; it is about guiding people to truly líve by it. If we are not doing that, we are not really following through on what Jesus asked. Discipleship is not just about learning; it’s about empowerment. That’s why new believers need a spiritual boost and be baptized in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). When you let the Holy Spirit lead, you naturally start to act more like Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18). You will also grow in producing the fruits of the Spirit like – love, joy, peace, and the others we read about in Galatians 5:22.

But here’s the thing: We are falling short. Despite all the Christians around, our society is still rife with problems. Maybe it is because we’ve got many “in name only” Christians, but not enough true disciples. The church cannot save anyone; only God can. But it is our job to guide people towards Him, helping them grow into mature followers of Jesus (Ephesians 4:12). That means preaching, teaching, leading by example, and building real relationships. It is a big task, but that is what we are called for.

“Be actively involved in the Sunday services, ministries, and other activities of your church.”

The main goal is to grow as a true follower of Jesus who can carry out God’s mission. It is not true that only pastors are “called” and everyone else is just attending. Like every member of the AFM, you are called by God to be a full-time part of the body of Christ, sharing the message of Jesus through your life and work.

In the same way, we must keep an eye on how the resources of the church are being managed. It is part of our testimony as followers of Jesus and not about controlling people or stopping them from taking initiative. When we are sincere with God and honest with others, we will not shy away from accountability and transparency. Being open about our actions and decisions demonstrates integrity. Ultimately, it is about caring for God’s people and His interests.

Living with Godly integrity and character is not always easy, especially in a world filled with temptations and distractions. But by staying true to our beliefs, as a church and as individual members, being accountable, and acting with honesty and transparency, we can honour God and contribute to the well-being of His church.

“Being open about our actions and decisions demonstrates integrity.”

We encourage our pastors and members not to be exclusive, but to have a Kingdom-minded attitude. That means putting the growth of the Kingdom of God first and building relationships with other live-giving churches. It is not about people switching churches; it is about seeing God’s Kingdom grow everywhere. No single church can change a whole town or city by itself. With our mission in mind, we remember Jesus’s words in Luke 9:50: “If they’re not against us, they’re for us.” It is a basic principle of mission that churches should not be working against each other. We cannot truly be a mission-focused church if we ignore the wider body of Christ. Many outreach efforts would be more effective if churches worked together. We could celebrate events like Ascension Day and Christmas together, as well as join forces for community outreach.

Our mission to reach out to our communities is a big part of our missional action, and it is not just about preaching. It’s also about being relevant to the real-life issues people face. How much we can assist our communities, shows how successful we are in our mission. Think about it: If your church are closed, would your neighbourhood even notice?

We are in communities where people are struggling because of all sorts of challenges. A lot of folks in South Africa are facing tough economic times. Whatever the reasons for this, we cannot just sit back and blame the government or other organisations. Although we do not want to create a culture of dependence, we must step up and lend a hand. That might mean helping people learn new skills or find jobs, so they can take care of themselves.

Some of our local churches are doing amazing things in this area, with some inspiring success stories to tell. It is all about making a real difference in people’s lives right where we are.

INTEGRITY
Integrity is about being real and honest. It is about doing what is right at all times. As members and spiritual leaders, we need to lead by example. We cannot just talk about integrity; we must live it ourselves. Our actions should match our words. God can work wonders through a person who lives a holy life, but not through someone fake. In our worship services and our daily lives as followers of Jesus, we should be sincere. While we might stumble in various ways as believers, it is very difficult to regain integrity once it is lost.

RELATIONSHIPS
Strong, genuine connections are vital, especially considering our history of division and lingering racial tensions. It is crucial to strengthen the unity God has given us. This is a responsibility of each one of us as individual members of the AFM. Our relationships with family, co-workers, and church members are incredibly important. Building a healthy church relies on strong personal relationships. We need to demonstrate and teach this to our community.

ACCOUNTABILITY
We often expect accountability from others, but it must start with us as members and leaders. As believers, we are answerable to God, but the Bible tells us that we are also accountable to each other. In a world that values individualism, accountability in the church is non-negotiable. None of us can have authority if we are not also willing to be under authority.

EXCELLLENCE
We believe that everything we do should be done as if we are doing it for the Lord. Our personal lives and our ministry as believers must reflect this belief. We are responsible for excellence in all we do. It is a value that should not be based on the availability of resources. It is about a mindset that aims for excellence in all we do with what we have.

This Pastoral Letter was a synopsis of the AFM’s “Missional Actions and Values”. You are welcome to refer to and download the complete resources from the links below. We encourage our assemblies and members to use these resources in Bible Study groups, Cell Groups, Gatherings, Services and any other platforms.

Video Clips: WATCH HERE

One-Page Summaries: DOWNLOAD HERE

Friendly Regards!
Henri Weideman

Incwadi yokwaLusa Ikota yesi-2 2024

AFM Incwadi yokwaLusa Ikota yesi-2_2024

Mndeni we-AFM,

NgoMgqibelo zingama-25 kuNhlaba 2024, i-AFM yaseNingizimu Afrika igubhe iminyaka eyi-116 kusukela yasungulwa ngo-1908. Lemigubho yokuzalwa yayihlanganisa usuku lokuqhakambisa i-logo ye-AFM. Ngalolusuku amalunga eBandla lethu abekhangisa ngokuziqhenya i-logo ye-AFM lapho abekade ehlanganyele khona. Abaphathi beHhovisi lika-Zwelonke (NOB) bakhipha imilayezo ekhethekile mayelana “Nothumo lweBandla kanye nemigomo yokuziphatha” okwakuyingxenye yemigubho – futhi bekubeka ngembaba lokho okumele kube sezinhliziyweni nasemimoyeni wamalunga e-AFM bechaza futhi ukuthi i-AFM imeleni. Sikholelwa ukuthi ukubakhona kwe-AFM eNingizimu Afrika kunesizathu, ngakhoke masifeze injongo yethu yokuhlenga kanye neyokuletha isipholofitho sikaNkulunkulu ngomdlandla nangenkuthalo.

Kumayelana nokwazi uJesu ngokwengeziwe nokumbonakalisa kukho konke esikwenzayo njengamalunga asendulo eBandla. Nakuba engazange asebenzise igama elithi ngabathunyiweyo (missional), babephila njengabathunyiweyo. Uthumo lwethu luvela ngqo kuJesu. Wasithuma ukuba sihambise umlayezo wakhe wentethelelo yezono nomusa ezindaweni zonke.

UJesu akazange enze inkonzo yakhe ezindaweni zenkolo kuphela. Wayehlangana nabantu ezindaweni ababekuzo – emisebenzini, emakhaya abo, ezindleleni, nakuzozonke izindawo. Ukuba ngothunyiweyo kusho ukulandela isibonelo sakhe nokufinyelela kubo bonke abantu, kungakhathaliseki imvelaphi yabo noma isimo sabo. Emhlabeni obonakala uqhilela inkolo ngaphandle njengento engabalulekile, kuyadingeka ukuthi sicabange kabusha ukuthi sizibandakanya kanjani nemiphakathi yethu. Ukuba ngothunyiweyo kusho ukuba ngumzekelo wothando nobukhona bukaKristu kuzo zonke izingxenye zokuphila kwethu, sibe njengaye ngefuthe esinalo kubangane bethu, kulabo esakhelene nabo nasezikhungwini zemisebenzi yethu.

Ukuba ngothunyiweyo akumele kube yinto nje yokubheka izinto ngokomqondo, izinhlelo, noma amazwi. Uma sikhuluma “Ngokwenza uThumo lwethu” nsuku zonke kumele kube yinto esobala futhi ephathekayo. Abaphathi beHhovisi lika-Zwelonke (NOB) bazokwabelana ngezindlela zokuphetha uthumo lwethu.

“Kwangathi ilunga elinye nelinye le-AFM lingaba nogqozi lokuthi lazi uJesu ngokwedlulele futhi lazise nabanye ngaloJesu!”

Loku bazokwenza ngeziqeshana ezimfushane, ezizwisiseka kalula zamavidiyo. Ngiyethemba ukuthi lokhu kuzoletha ugqozi kuwo onke amalungu ethu, abefundisi, kanye ne-gigungu eziphethe amabandla ethu, lokuthi bangakhulumi nje, noma benze izinhlelo ngalokhu kodwa benze loko okufanele. Kwangathi ilunga elinye nelinye le-AFM lingaba nogqozi lokuthi lazi uJesu ngokwedlulele futhi lazise nabanye ngaloJesu!

Lo mBhalo usho ukuthi nakuba singekwazi ukutshela wonke umuntu ngakho konke uNkulunkulu asenzele kona, kufanele senze ngokusemandleni ethu ukuthi sikhulume ngako. Kungakhathaliseki ukuthi yinto enkulu njengesimanga sokuphiliswa noma into encane njengokuhlinzekwa ngesidingo esithile ebesingazi ukuthi sizosithola kanjani. UNkulunkulu usenzele okuningi kakhulu, futhi kufanelekile sikhulume ngako. Lapho senza kanjalo, akugcini nje ngokukhuthaza abanye kodwa futhi kusikhumbuza ngokwethembeka kukaNkulunkulu. Kuyindlela enamandla yobufakazi ngobukhona bukaNkulunkulu ezimpilweni zethu. Abantu bangahluka ngokwezenkolo nangemibhalo yezenkolo, kodwa abakwazi ukuphikisana nento, wena siqu sakho, odlule kuyo. Ukukhuluma ngalokho uNkulunkulu akwenzele kona kwenza ukuthi labo ohlala nabo, nabo bamazi uNkulunkulu. Masihambise izwi futhi sinikeze udumo kuNkulunkulu wethu omangalisayo oqhubeka ngokusenzela okuningi!

“UNkulunkulu usenzele okuningi kakhulu, futhi kufanelekile ukukhuluma ngako.”

UJesu wathi, “… Hambani nenze izizwe zonke abafundi, nibabhabhadise egameni likaYise neleNdodana nelikaMoya oNgcwele. Nibafundise ukugcina konke enginiyale ngakho.” (Ngokuka-Mathewu 28:19-20 ZUL20). Kodwa akukhona nje ukusabalalisa izwi; kodwa kuphathelene nokusiza abantu ukuba baphile ngalo. Uma singakwenzi lokho, kosho ukuthi kasilandeli lokho uJesu asicela khona. Ukuba ngumfundi akukona nje ukufunda; kumayelana nokunikezwa amandla. Yingakho amakholwa amasha edinga umfutho ongokomoya futhi abhabhadiswe ngoMoya oNgcwele (Izenzo 1:8). Uma uvumela uMoya oNgcwele ukuthi akuhole, ukuthi wenze njengoJesu kuba yinto ezenzakalelayo (2 Kwabase-Korinte 3:18).

Uzokhula futhi ekukhiqizeni izithelo zikaMoya njengalezi – uthando, injabulo, ukuthula, nezinye izithelo esifunda ngazo Kwabase-Galathiya 5:22.

Kodwa nansi enye into: Siyantula. Noma amaKristu ekhona kwindawo zonke, imiphakathi yethu ikhungethwe izinkinga. Mhlawumbe kungenxa yokuthi sinamaKristu amaningi, angamaKristu “ngegama kuphela”, kodwa hhayi abafundi beqiniso. Isonto alikwazi ukusindisa umuntu; uNkulunkulu kuphela ongakwazi. Kodwa kungumsebenzi wethu ukuletha abantu Kuye, ukubasiza ukuba bakhule babe ngabalandeli bakaJesu abavuthiwe (Kwabse-Efesu 4:12). Lokho kusho ukushumayela, ukufundisa, ukuhola ngesibonelo nokwakha ubuhlobo bangempela. Kungumsebenzi omkhulu, kodwa yilokho esithunywe khona.

Umgomo okuyiwonawona ukukhula njengomlandeli kaJesu weqiniso okwazi ukuqhuba uthumo lukaNkulunkulu. Akulona iqiniso ukuthi abefundisi kuphela “ababiziwe” nokuthi abanye bangabethameli bezinkonzo nje. Njengawo wonke amalungu e-AFM, nawe ubiziwe nguNkulunkulu ukuba ube yingxenye ngokuphelele emzimbeni kaKristu, wabelana ngomyalezo kaJesu ngendlela ophila ngayo nangomsebenzi wakho.

“Zimbandakanye ngenkuthalo ezinkonzweni zangesonto lakho, ezinkonzweni ezinye nasemicimbini ehlelwa yisonto.”

“Ukuphumela obala ngezenzo nezinqumo zethu kubonisa ubuqotho.”

Ukuphumela obala ngezenzo nezinqumo zethu kubonisa ubuqotho. Ekugcineni, kumayelana nokunakekela abantu bakaNkulunkulu nezifiso zakhe. Ukuphila ngobuqotho bukaNkulunkulu ngasosonke isikhathi, akuyona into elula, ikakhulukazi emhlabeni ogcwele izilingo nezinto eziphazamisayo. Kodwa ngokuhlala sibambelele kulezozinto esikholelwa kuzo njengebandla nanjengamalunga ebandla, futhi sinokuziphendulela, senza izinto ngokwethembeka, nangendlela eyenza ukuthi izenzo sethu zibesobala, singamhlonipha uNkulunkulu futhi sibeneqhaza kwezenhlalakahle ebandleni Lakhe.

Sikhuthaza abefundisi namalungu ethu ukuthi bangabi ngabazikhethayo kwamanye amakholwa, kodwa sibe nomqondo wokwakha uMbuso kaNkulunkulu. Lokho kusho ukuqhakambisa ukukhula koMbuso kaNkulunkulu nokwakha ubudlelwano namanye amabandla aletha impilo ohlangothini lukaMoya. Lokhu akusho ukuthi abantu bashintshe amasonto; kodwa kumayelana nokulangazelela ukubona uMbuso kaNkulunkulu ukhula kuzozonke izindawo. Alikho isonto elilodwa elingaguqula idolobha noma idolobhakazi ngokwalo. Uma sicabangisisa ngothumo lwethu, sikhumbula amazwi kaJesu Evangelini NgokukaLuka 9:50: “Ongamelene nani ungakini.” Kungumgomo osiyisisekelo sothumo lwethu ukuthi amasonto akufanele asebenze ngokudicilelana phansi. Asikwazi ngempela ukuba isonto eligxilile emsebenzini walo uma singawunaki umzimba kaKristu ngobubanzi bawo. Imizamo eminingi yokufinyelela abantu bonke ingasebenza kakhulu uma amasonto esebenza ngokubambisana. Singakwazi ukugubha imicimbi efana noSuku lo-Nyuko, noKhisimusi ndawonye, kanye nokusebenzisana ukuze sifinyelele imiphakathi yethu nezidingo zayo.

Umsebenzi wethu wokufinyelela emiphakathini yethu uyingxenye enkulu ekufezeni uthumo, futhi akukhona ukushumayela nje kuphela. Kumayelana nokuzwisisa izimo zangempela abantu ababhekene nazo. Igalelo lethu ekusizeni imiphakathi yethu, yilona eliyinkomba yokuthi siphumelela kangakanani ukufeza lokho esikuthunyiwe. Uke uzibuze yini ukuthi abakhelene nesonto lakho bangaqaphela na, uma iminyango yesonto lakho isivalwe okomphela?  Sisemiphakathini ehluphekayo futhi ekhungethwe izinselelo eziningi.  Abantu abaningi eNingizimu Afrika babhekene nezikhathi ezinzima kwezomnotho. Kungakhathaliseki ukuthi yini imbangela yalesisimo, asikwazi ukuhlala sisonge izandla, sisole uhulumeni noma ezinye izinhlangano. Nakuba singafuni ukubhebhethekisa umkhuba wobunxibi kwabanye abantu, kumele sibhukule kube nalapho sifaka isandla khona. Lokho kungaba ukusiza abantu bafunde amakhono amasha noma bathole imisebenzi, ukuze bakwazi ukuzinakekela.

Amanye amabandla ethu enza izinto ezimangalisayo kulomkhakha, okuhambisana nezindaba zempumelelo ezikhuthazayo. Konke kumayelana nokwenza umehluko wangempela ezimpilweni zabantu kanye nalapho sikhona.

UBUQOTHO
Ubuqotho bumayelana nobuwena ngokwempela nokwethembeka. Njengamalungu kanye nabaholi bakaMoya kumele sihole ngokuthi sibe ngumzekelo. Asikwazi ukukhuluma nje ngobuqotho; kumele sibuphile. Izenzo zethu kufanele zihambisane namazwi ethu. UNkulunkulu angasebenza izimangaliso ngomuntu ophila impilo engcwele, kodwa hhayi ngomuntu ophila inkohliso. Ezinkonzweni zethu zangamaSonto nasekuphileni kwethu kwansuku zonke njengabalandeli bakaJesu, kufanele sibe ngabantu abaqotho. Nakuba sikhubeke ngezindlela ezihlukahlukene njengamakholwa, kunzima kakhulu ukubuyisela ubuqotho uma buke busilahlekele.

UBUDLELWANO
Ukuxhumana okunamandla, kwangempela kubalulekile, ikakhulukazi uma ucabangela ngomlando wethu wokwahlukana nokushuba kwesimo sobuhlanga okuhlala njalo kubonakala. Kubalulekile ukuqinisa ubunye uNkulunkulu asinike bona. Lona ngumthwalo wethu sonke njengamalungu e-AFM. Ubudlelwane bethu emindenini yethu, kulabo esisebenza nabo, namalungu ebandla bubaluleke kakhulu. Ukwakha ibandla elinempilo kuncike ebudlelwaneni obuqinile phakathi kwethu omunye komunye. Kudingeka sikhombise futhi sifundise umphakathi wethu ngalobubudlelwano.

UKUZIPHENDULELA
Sivamise ukulindela ukuziphendulela kwabanye, kodwa kumele kuqale ngathi njengamalungu nabaholi. Njengamakholwa, siziphendulela kuNkulunkulu. Kodwa iBhayibheli liyasitshela ukuthi siziphendulela omunye komunye. Ezweni eliqhakambisa umuntu oziphilela ngayedwana, ukuziphendulela esontweni yinto eingephiksani ngayo. Akekho kithi ongaba negunya phezu kwabanye uma yena engazimisele ukuba ngaphansi kwegunya lomunye.

UBUHLE BEQOPHELO ELIPHEZULU (UBUNYONINCO)
Sikholwa ukuthi konke esikwenzayo kufanele kwenziwe sengathi sikwenzela iNkosi. Ukuphila kwethu siqu nenkonzo yethu njengamakholwa kumele kubonise le nkolelo. Simele sibonise ubuhle beqophelo eliphezulu (ubunyoninco) kukho konke esikwenzayo. Kuyisisekelo sokuziphatha okungafanele sincike ekutholakaleni kwezinsiza. Kumayelana nesimo somqondo ohlose ubuhle beqophelo eliphezulu kukho konke esikwenzayo ngalokho esinakho.

Lencwadi yami ebhekiswe kubuholi iqukethe amazwibela omlayezo “Wokwenza uThumo kanye zeziSekelo zokuZiphatha kwebandla le-AFM” (Missional Actions and Values). Wamukelekile ukulandela lencwadi yami yaphambilini nokuthi uthole konke ekuqukethe ngokuthi usebenzise umbhalo wokuxhumana (video clip) olapha ngezansi. Sikhuthaza ukuthi amabandla namalungu ethu ukuthi asebenzise lezi zinsiza uma enezifundo ze-Bhayibheli emaBandleni, kuma-Cell Groups, nasemibuthanweni eniba nayo, ezinhlanganweni kanye nakuma-platforms okuxhumana.

Video Clips: WATCH HERE
One-Page Summaries: DOWNLOAD HERE

Ngezilokotho zobungane!
Henri Weideman

Pastorale Brief 2de Kwartaal 2024

AGS Pastorale Brief 2de Kwartaal_2024

AGS Familie,

Op Saterdag 25 Mei 2024 het die AGS van SA ons 116de Verjaarsdagherdenking sedert die kerk se ontstaan in 1908 gevier. Die verjaarsdagvieringe het die tradisionele AGS Logo Dag ingesluit waartydens talle gemeentes en lede met trots die AGS Logo gedeel en ten toon gestel het. Die Nasionale Ampsdraers (NOB) het spesiale inhoud oor “Missionale Aksies en Waardes” vrygestel as deel van die vieringe. Die doel was om direk met AGS Lidmate te praat en te verduidelik waarvoor die AGS staan. Ons glo dat die AGS vir ‘n rede in Suid-Afrika geplaas is, laat ons ons profetiese- en saligheidsdoel met entoesiasme en ywer vervul.

Jesus het nie sy bediening tot godsdienstige ruimtes beperk nie. Hy het mense ontmoet waar hulle was – by die werk, in hul huise, in die strate – oral. Om missionaal te wees beteken om Sy voorbeeld te volg en uit te reik na almal, ongeag agtergrond of status. In ons toenemend sekulêre wêreld moet ons herbesin oor hoe ons met ons gemeenskappe omgaan. Om missionaal te wees sluit in dat ons Christus se liefde en teenwoordigheid in elke deel van ons lewens beliggaam en strewe om soos Hy te word in die impak wat ons in ons eie vriendekringe, woonbuurte en werkplekke het.

“Mag elke lidmaat van die AGS geïnspireer word om Jesus beter te leer ken en Hom meer bekend te maak!”

Om Missionaal te wees mag nooit net oor konsepte, planne of woorde gaan nie. Dit moet ‘n werklikheid word in alledaagse Missionale Aksie. Die NOB het hierdie missionale aksies in kort maklik verstaanbare videogrepe gedeel. Ek vertrou dat al ons lidmate, Pastore en Gemeentebeheerliggame geïnspireer sal word om nie net hieroor te praat en te beplan nie, maar om daarvolgens te doen. Mag elke lidmaat van die AGS geïnspireer word om Jesus beter te leer ken en Hom meer bekend te maak!

Hierdie Skrif impliseer dat alhoewel ons dalk nie vir almal kan vertel van alles wat God vir ons gedoen het nie, ons steeds soveel moet deel as wat ons kan. Of dit nou iets groots is soos ‘n wonderbaarlike genesing of iets kleins soos om in ‘n spesifieke behoefte te voorsien wanneer ons nie geweet het hoe ons dit sou maak nie. God het soveel vir ons gedoen, en dit is die moeite werd om daaroor te praat. Wanneer ons dit doen, bemoedig dit nie net ander nie, maar herinner dit ons ook aan hoe getrou God is. Dit is die sterkste vorm van getuienis oor die werklikheid van God se teenwoordigheid in ons lewens. Mense kan verskil oor godsdienstige oortuigings en geskrifte, maar hulle kan nie regtig argumenteer teen jou en my persoonlike ervaring nie. Om te deel wat God vir jou gedoen het, is om Hom bekend te maak aan die mense rondom jou. Laat ons die woord versprei en eer gee aan ons wonderlike God wat aanhou om soveel vir ons te doen!

“God het soveel vir ons gedoen, en dit is die moeite werd om daaroor te praat.”

Jesus het gesê, “… Gaan dan, maak al die nasies my dissipels, en doop hulle in die Naam van die Vader en die Seun en die Heilige Gees. Leer hulle om alles te gehoorsaam wat Ek aan julle opgedra het.” (Matteus 28:19-20 NLV). Maar dit gaan nie net oor die verspreiding van die Woord nie; dit gaan daaroor om mense te inspireer om werklik daarvolgens te lewe. As ons dit nie doen nie, voer ons nie regtig uit wat Jesus gevra het nie. Dissipelskap gaan nie net oor die oordrag van inligting nie; dit gaan oor bemagtiging tot ‘n lewenswyse. Dit is waarom nuwe gelowiges ‘n geestelike hupstoot nodig het en in die Heilige Gees gedoop moet word (Hand. 1:8). Wanneer ‘n mens toelaat dat die Heilige Gees jou lei, begin jy natuurlik meer soos Jesus optree (2 Kor 3:18). Jy sal ook groei in die voortbring van die vrugte van die Gees soos – liefde, vreugde, vrede en die ander waarvan ons in Galasiërs 5:22 lees.

Maar hier is die ding: Ons skiet tekort. Ten spyte van al die Christene in die omgewing, is ons samelewing steeds vol probleme. Miskien is dit omdat sommige van ons slegs “in naam” Christene het, maar nie ware dissipels is nie. Die kerk kan niemand red nie; net God kan. Maar dit is ons taak om mense na Hom toe te lei en hulle te help om volwasse volgelinge van Jesus te word (Efesiërs 4:12). Dit beteken prediking, onderrig, leiding deur voorbeeld en die bou van werklike verhoudings. Dit is ‘n groot taak, maar dit is waarvoor ons geroep word.

Om dissipels te maak, sluit in om hulle toe te rus. As ‘n volgeling van Jesus Christus en ‘n lidmaat van die AGS, moet jy weet dat jy ‘n rol het om te speel in God se plan. Almal van ons het Godgegewe vermoëns en Gawes om te deel, hetsy by die werk, met familie of op enige ander plek. Ons moet ons geloof prakties in die alledaagse lewe uitlééf. Om dit te kan doen, moet ons toegerus wees. Daarom moet lidmate opleidingsgeleenthede by hul plaaslike gemeente bywoon. Wees aktief betrokke by die Sondagdienste, bedieninge en ander aktiwiteite.

Die hoofdoel is om te groei as ‘n ware volgeling van Jesus, wat God se missie kan uitvoer. Dit is nie waar dat net pastore “geroep” word en almal anders net aktiwitiete bywoon nie. Soos elke lidmaat van die AGS, is jy deur God geroep om voltyds deel van die liggaam van Christus te wees en om die boodskap van Jesus deur jou lewe en werk te deel.

Op dieselfde manier moet ons ‘n ogie hou oor hoe die hulpbronne van die kerk bestuur word. Dit is deel van ons getuienis as volgelinge van Jesus en gaan nie daaroor om mense te probeer beheer of te keer om inisiatief te neem nie. Wanneer ons opreg met God en eerlik met ander is, sal ons nie wegskram van aanspreeklikheid en deursigtigheid nie. Om openlik te wees oor ons optrede en besluite toon integriteit. Uiteindelik gaan dit oor die versorging van God se kinders en Sy belange.

“Om openlik te wees oor ons optrede en besluite toon integriteit.”

Om met Goddelike integriteit en karakter te leef, is nie altyd maklik nie, veral nie in ‘n wêreld vol versoekings en afleidings nie. Deur getrou te bly aan ons oortuigings, en as kerk en individuele lidmate verantwoordbaar te wees, en met eerlikheid en deursigtigheid op te tree, kan ons God eer en bydra tot die welsyn van Sy kerk.

Ons moedig ons pastore en lidmate aan om nie eksklusief te wees nie, maar om ‘n Koninkryksgesinde gesindheid te hê. Dit beteken om die groei van die Koninkryk van God eerste te stel en verhoudings met ander lewegewende kerke te bou. Dit gaan nie daaroor dat mense van kerke verwissel nie; dit gaan daaroor om God se Koninkryk oral te sien groei. Geen enkele kerk kan ‘n hele dorp of stad verander nie. Met ons sending in gedagte, onthou ons Jesus se woorde in Lukas 9:50: “Enigiemand wat nie teen julle is nie, is vir julle.”

Dit is ‘n basiese beginsel van sending dat kerke nie teen mekaar moet werk nie. Ons kan nie werklik ‘n missionale kerk wees as ons die breër liggaam van Christus ignoreer of misken nie. Baie uitreikpogings sal meer effektief wees as kerke saamwerk. Ons kan geleenthede soos Hemelvaartdag en Kersfees saam vier, asook kragte saamsnoer vir gemeenskapsuitreik.

Ons missie om uit te reik na ons gemeenskappe is ‘n groot deel van ons missionale optrede, en dit gaan nie net oor woorde nie. Dit gaan ook daaroor om relevant te wees vir die werklike probleme waarmee mense te kampe het. Hoeveel ons ons gemeenskappe kan bystaan, wys hoe suksesvol ons in ons missie is. Dink daaraan: As jou kerk sou sluit, sal jou buurt dit agterkom?

Ons is in gemeenskappe waar mense sukkel as gevolg van allerhande uitdagings. Baie mense in Suid-Afrika beleef moeilike ekonomiese tye. Wat ook al die redes hiervoor is, ons kan nie net terugsit en die regering of ander organisasies blameer nie. Alhoewel ons nie ‘n kultuur van afhanklikheid wil skep nie, moet ons opstaan en hand bysit. Dit kan beteken dat ons mense bystaan om nuwe vaardighede aan te leer of werk te kry, sodat hulle vir hulself kan sorg.

Sommige van ons gemeentes doen wonderlike dinge op hierdie gebied, met ‘n paar inspirerende suksesverhale om te vertel. Dit gaan daaroor om ‘n daadwerklike verskil in mense se lewens te maak net waar ons is.

INTEGRITEIT
Integriteit gaan daaroor om eg en eerlik te wees. Om te alle tye te doen wat reg is. As lidmate en geestelike leiers moet ons deur voorbeeld lei. Ons kan nie net oor integriteit praat nie; ons moet dit self uitleef. Ons dade moet ooreenstem met ons woorde. God kan wonders doen deur iemand wat ‘n heilige lewe lei, maar nie deur iemand wat vals is nie. In ons eredienste en in ons daaglikse lewe as volgelinge van Jesus moet ons opreg wees. Hoewel ons as gelowiges op verskeie maniere kan struikel, is dit baie moeilik om weer integriteit te herwin wanneer dit verlore is.

VERHOUDINGS
Sterk en egte verbintenisse is noodsaaklik, veral in die lig van ons geskiedenis van verdeeldheid en voortslepende rassespanning. Dit is van kardinale belang om die eenheid wat God aan ons gegee het, te versterk. Dit is ‘n verantwoordelikheid van elkeen van ons as individuele lede van die AGS. Ons verhoudings met familie, medewerkers en lidmate is ongelooflik belangrik. Die bou van ‘n gesonde kerk berus op sterk persoonlike verhoudings. Ons moet dit vir ons gemeenskap leer en demonstreer.

AANSPREEKBAARHEID
Ons verwag dikwels aanspreekbaarheid van ander, maar dit moet by ons as lidmate en leiers begin. As gelowiges is ons verantwoordbaar teenoor God, maar die Bybel leer dat ons ook teenoor mekaar verantwoordbaar is. In ‘n wêreld wat individualisme najaag, is aanspreekbaarheid in die kerk ononderhandelbaar. Nie een van ons kan gesag hê as ons nie ook bereid is om onder gesag te staan nie.

UITNEMENDHEID
Ons glo dat alles wat ons doen gedoen moet word asof ons dit vir die Here doen. Ons persoonlike lewens en ons bediening as gelowiges moet hierdie oortuiging weerspieël. Ons is verantwoordelik vir uitnemendheid in alles wat ons doen. Dit is ‘n waarde wat nie gebaseer moet wees op die beskikbaarheid van hulpbronne nie. Dit gaan oor ‘n ingesteldheid wat uitnemendheid nastreef in alles wat ons doen met dit wat ons het.

Hierdie Pastorale Brief is ‘n samevatting van die AGS se “Missionale Aksies en Waardes.” Jy is welkom om na van die onderstaande skakels te verwys en die volledige bronne af te laai. Ons moedig ons gemeentes en lidmate aan om hierdie hulpbronne in Bybelstudiegroepe, selgroepe, byeenkomste, dienste en enige ander platforms te gebruik.

Videogrepe: KYK HIER
Een bladsy Opsommings: LAAI HIER AF

Vriendelike Groete,
Henri Weideman

Pastoral Letter 1st Quarter 2024

Download the PDF version below (e-mail & printer-friendly):

AFM Pastoral Letter 1st Quarter 2024

AFM Family,

For the 2024 Empowerment Visits, the National Office Bearers felt led to continue the focus on who we are and how we must live as Holy Spirit-filled people and church. This time around with the focus on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Based on 2 Timothy 1: 6: “Fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you. (NIV)” and “Stir up the gift of God which is in you. (NKJV)” – we are sharing on the spiritual gifts, sound teaching, our testimony and unity. In this Pastoral Letter, we elaborate more on our specific topics. I trust that it will be a blessing to you!

In the bustling tapestry of life, unity stands as a beacon of divine grace, a gift bestowed upon humanity by the hands of God. Yet, this precious gift is not passive – it requires our active participation to fan it into flame, to stir it up from the embers of our hearts. Inspired by the words of 2 Timothy 1:6, we delve into the essence of this divine mandate – to nurture and safeguard the unity that binds us together as followers of Jesus Christ.

In Romans 12:16 (NIV) Paul says: “Live in harmony with one another….” And in Philippians 2:2 (NIV) “Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.” Unity is not a coincidence but a deliberate and continuous endeavour. It necessitates our concerted efforts to foster harmony, like-mindedness, and love among us. This shared responsibility demands our vigilance, fuelled by the power of the Holy Spirit, and executed through acts of love and self-discipline.

“Unity is not a coincidence but a deliberate and continuous endeavour. It necessitates our concerted efforts to foster harmony, like-mindedness, and love among us.”

The attainment and deepening of unity are not merely a superficial endeavour but an ongoing transformation of the heart. In Philippians 2: 2-4 (NIV) Paul says: “Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interest but each of you to the interest of the others.” He describes the means through which unity is nurtured – through humility, gentleness, and patience. Humility, not as a sign of weakness but as a recognition of our true position before God, serves as the cornerstone of unity. Gentleness and patience further enrich this tapestry, fostering an environment of kindness and endurance amid diversity and differences.

”Gentleness and patience further enrich this tapestry, fostering an environment of kindness and endurance amid diversity and differences.”

In our journey towards unity, we are called to transcend selfish ambitions and vain conceits, embracing a spirit of servanthood and selflessness. Ephesians 4:2 emphasizes the virtues of humility and gentleness, qualities that exemplify our identity as children of God. It is through the cultivation of these virtues that we uphold the unity of the Spirit, bridging the divides that threaten to fragment the body of Christ.

In conclusion, the mandate to stir up the gift of unity resonates with urgency and purpose in our tumultuous world. It calls us to transcend barriers of division and embrace the richness of diversity within the body of Christ. As we continue this journey, let us commit ourselves to humility, gentleness, and patience, virtues that breathe life into our unity. Let us be catalysts of change, fanning the flames of unity with fervent zeal and unwavering devotion. For in our unity lies the transformative power to bear witness to the love of Christ and draw the world into the embrace of His grace.

In 2 Timothy 1:6-7, Paul writes: “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (NKJV)” and “…the special gift of ministry you received when I laid hands on you and prayed – keep that ablaze. God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible (MSG)”.  Paul explains the reason for the gifts: “…the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all” to serve the church (1Cor 12: 5-7).

The pressure of life can take its toll on the manifestation of the gifts. Why Timothy needed this reminder of his ordination, and the confidence in his own gifts he developed because of it, is not clear. It appears that Timothy was getting fearful, weary, and unsure of his call – his spirit was sinking, so Paul came to write a strong word to revive him. Paul urges him to be bold. When we allow people to intimidate us, we neutralise our effectiveness for God. The power of the Holy Spirit can help us overcome our fear of what some may say or do to us so that we can continue God’s work.

Paul was encouraging Timothy to persevere as the Holy Spirit would go with him and give him power.  Paul reminded him of his faith and how it came to him. Paul in essence told Timothy: I remember your sincere faith Timothy, the faith that first lived in Lois, your grandmother who handed it down to Eunice, your mother who lived in the faith and who handed it down to you, Timothy. Caleb persevered for 45 years, despite the disappointment of not possessing the promised land because of the fear of his 10 brothers and entered the promised land (Joshua 14:10).

Paul articulates an important principle in this text, that the responsibility to fan into flame and keep the gift ablaze lies with the receiver of the gift. We have the sacred duty to guard the good deposit that was entrusted to us and to fully utilise the gift as intended by the Giver. Nobody can stir up your gift – that fire within you – like you can. Fanning the flame requires action. We are not passively waiting on some external force to fan our flame – but active prayer, worship and praising the Lord will keep the fire ablaze. When God gives you a vision, be prepared to be tested and tried, it will not all be plain sailing as Paul declares: “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood”.

It is however true that the gifts can be neglected, as Paul warns in 1 Timothy 4. We can become so used to the gift that it becomes just another facet of our lives, treating it without due reverence. Fan into flame describes the act of rekindling the embers of a dying fire. The command is an appeal for a continual, vigorous use of his spiritual gifts to realise its full potential. The gifts must continuously be replenished with continued grace and power from the Holy Spirit – so as not to become powerless, useless and fail in its purpose. Rekindling his gifts would involve fervent prayer, obedience to God’s Word, and a demonstration of an active faith by Timothy as Paul prayed for and experienced in Philippians 1:19 and Ephesians 3:16-21.

I pray that every one of us will fan into flame the gift of God to function in the spiritual realm in 2024 and be equipped and empowered. Let us minister with great zeal, in and out of season in 2024, to revitalize ourselves (pastors and members) to be on fire for the Lord – with oil in our lamps and burning until Jesus comes.

The Holy Spirit plays a vital role in guarding and preserving sound doctrine. With the guidance of the Spirit, we maintain the integrity of the Gospel message and “…rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), protecting against the infiltration of false teachings and heresies. The Holy Spirit, known as the Spirit of Truth, leads believers into the fullness of truth (John 16:13). Through illuminating the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 2:10), the Holy Spirit enables believers to understand and apply God’s Word and empowers them to live according to sound doctrine.

“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you – guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us” (2 Timothy 1: 13-14; NIV) and “Hold on to the pattern of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who lives in us, that good thing entrusted to you.” (2 Timothy 1: 13-14; HCSB).

The God-inspired and God-breathed revealed truth is the life-giving revelation from God. He breathed things into existence, produced by God’s creative breath; it is profitable and trustworthy for healthy teaching (2 Timothy 3:16). Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). The treasure that had been entrusted to Timothy, that treasure is to be guarded (1 Timothy 6:20). A treasure or deposit was something – money or a harvest of grain, for example – that was entrusted to another for safekeeping. Thus, preserving the deposit (a treasure, valuable commodity) of sound doctrine became a sacred duty and obligation, as it was to be safeguarded with the help provided by the Holy Spirit.

Patterns of sound doctrine and common confessions demonstrate comprehensive teachings. In Hebrews 6: 1-2, the author encourages believers to progress beyond foundational Christ’s doctrine, embracing more mature teachings. 1 Corinthians 15: 3-5 narrates Paul delivering the crucial elements of Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, and appearances. Furthermore, in 1 Timothy 3:16, Paul recounts the common confession regarding the mystery of godliness and Christology. “Therefore, let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment” (Hebrews 6:1-2; ESV).

The book of Hebrews enlists six foundational subjects in the doctrine of being a Christian:

    • Repentance from dead works,
    • Faith in God,
    • Instruction about baptism,
    • Laying on of hands,
    • Resurrection of the dead, and
    • Eternal judgment.

Common confessions and hymns were essential reminders of the core truths of the Gospel. These confessions helped to unify believers and provided a clear and consistent testimony of the vital doctrines of our faith. “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.” (1 Corinthians 15: 3-5; ESV) Paul indicates in verse 3 that what he passed on to the Corinthians was the traditional hymn or common confession. And in 1 Timothy 3:16, Paul outlines the tremendous Christological hymn/creed. “By common confession, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was proclaimed among the nations, was believed in throughout the world, and was taken up in glory.” (1 Timothy 3: 16; BSB)

“Sound doctrine refers to the correct and accurate teaching of the Word of God, which is essential for the spiritual growth and well-being of believers.”

2 Timothy highlights the importance of guarding and preserving sound doctrine with the help of the Holy Spirit faithfully. Sound doctrine refers to the correct and accurate teaching of the Word of God, which is essential for the spiritual growth and well-being of believers. In conclusion, guarding and preserving sound doctrine is of utmost importance for the health and vitality of the Church. By staying grounded in the teachings of Scripture and relying on the Holy Spirit, we can pass down the truth of the Gospel faithfully from one generation to the next.

We are a Pentecostal Church that started in the revival of 1906 and reached the shores of South Africa in 1908 when John G. Lake came to South Africa and preached the Gospel. He preached the message that we can receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, speak in tongues and be empowered to make a difference in our world. I believe that now more than ever before we have a calling to be a voice in our nation.

The scripture that I want to share with you today is from 2 Timothy 1:8: “So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.” Every one of us has a testimony. That testimony has its starting point in an encounter with God. For every one of us today, there was a moment in time when you and I experienced a touch of God, a word from God, a presence where we knew that what happened now was supernatural. I want you to go back in your mind to that moment. When was it? What were the circumstances in your life? Where did it happen? Who was present? Can you still remember the experience when you uttered the words: “Lord Jesus, I accept you as my personal Lord and Saviour”.

It is unfortunately a fact that as time goes by, we get accustomed to the new life in Jesus and that we are not as aware of this miracle in our life. To be called a child of God becomes “normal” and the newness of our relationship wears off if there is not constant growth in our relationship with God. Peter writes in 1 Peter 3:15: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” Peter encourages us to always be prepared to tell our story. In a world without hope, why are we hopeful? Why are we filled with gratitude and not despair if you look around you? Do the people around us know and experience the new life that is in us?

When the AFM started, this church doubled in size within short periods of time. Between 1921 and 1926 the church doubled in members. By 1926 the AFM was one of the 12 largest denominations in South Africa (Let the Fire Fall; p103). The number of congregations grew from 84 in 1922 to 132 in 1928. (Let the Fire Fall; p104). I asked myself, why did this happen? The main reason for the growth was the members of the church that told everybody about what happened to them. Suddenly they changed – and filled with the Holy Spirit – started to live a new life.

“Jesus is the answer. He changes lives.”

Their family and friends were puzzled. They could see a new person. And this person was very different from the one they used to know. And they wanted to know what happened. These new converts were too happy to oblige and testify to everyone who wanted to know and did not want to know what happened in their life.

Jesus is the answer. He changes lives. He made them new and now they are born again. This is the message that we must share.We must take every opportunity to testify and share the Good News. Make use of every opportunity that comes your way. Let’s return to our roots and stay a missional church, praying for opportunities to share the Gospel and tell our salvation story. It is in our DNA, we as the AFM can’t help but be soul winners. We can’t help but share the gospel with everyone. Stir up the gift of God in you, the gift to testify.

Friendly Regards!
Henri Weideman

Pastorale Brief 1ste Kwartaal 2024

Laai die PDF weergawe hier af (om maklik uit te druk of per e-pos aan te stuur):

AGS Pastorale Brief 1ste Kwartaal 2024

AGS Familie,

Vir die 2024 Bemagtiging Besoeke het die Nasionale Ampsdraers gelei gevoel om voort te gaan met die fokus op wie ons is en hoe ons in 2024 as Heilige Gees vervulde mense en Kerk moet leef. Hierdie keer met die fokus op die gawes van die Heilige Gees. Dit is gebaseer op 2 Timoteus 1: 6 (AFR’83) “Om hierdie rede herinner ek jou daaraan dat jy die genadegawe wat God jou gegee het toe ek jou die hande opgelê het, soos ‘n vuur moet aanblaas.” 2 Timothy 1: 6 (NIV) “…Fan into flame the git of God, which is in you…” – ons deel oor die geestelike gawes, gesonde lering, ons getuienis en eenheid. In hierdie Pastorale Brief brei ons meer uit oor elke onderwerp. Ek vertrou dat dit jou sal seën!

In die bruisende tapisserie van die lewe staan eenheid as ‘n baken van goddelike genade, ‘n gawe wat deur die hande van God aan die mensdom geskenk is. Hierdie kosbare gawe is egter nie passief nie; dit vereis ons aktiewe deelname om dit aan die brand te steek, om dit uit die smeulende kole van ons harte aan te blaas. Geïnspireer deur die woorde van 2 Timoteus 1:6, delf ons in die kern van hierdie goddelike mandaat – om die eenheid wat ons as volgelinge van Jesus Christus saambind, te koester en te beskerm. In Romeine 12:16 (NLV) sê Paulus: “Konsentreer op dit wat onderlinge eensgesindheid bevorder….” En in Filippense 2:2 (NLV) “Maak my dan nou heeltemal bly deur eensgesind te wees -één in liefde, één in hart en één in doel.”

Eenheid is nie toevallig nie, maar ‘n doelbewuste en deurlopende strewe. Dit noodsaak ons gesamentlike pogings om harmonie, eensgesindheid en liefde onder mekaar te bevorder. Hierdie gedeelde verantwoordelikheid vereis ons waaksaamheid, aangevuur deur die krag van die Heilige Gees, en prakties uitgevoer deur dade van liefde en selfdissipline.

“Eenheid is nie toevallig nie, maar ‘n doelbewuste en deurlopende strewe. Dit noodsaak ons gesamentlike pogings om harmonie, eensgesindheid en liefde onder mekaar te bevorder.”

As ons in die Bybelse grondslag van eenheid delf, vind ons Jesus se aangrypende gebed in Johannes 17, waar Hy die Vader vra vir eenheid onder Sy volgelinge. Hier sien Jesus ‘n sigbare eenheid wat dien as ‘n getuienis vir die wêreld, ‘n eenheid wat in ons woorde en dade manifesteer. Verder verduidelik 1 Johannes 1:7 die intrinsieke verband tussen gemeenskap met medegelowiges en gemeenskap met God en beklemtoon die belangrikheid van interpersoonlike verhoudings in die koestering van eenheid.

Efesiërs 4:1-6 eggo hierdie oproep tot eenheid en spoor ons aan om te lewe op ‘n manier wat by ons goddelike roeping pas. Hierdie eenheid, gewortel in die Heilige Gees, vereis ons aktiewe bewaring deur vrede en wedersydse respek. As lede van Christus se liggaam is ons in ‘n noue verbintenis met mekaar, en dra ons elkeen by tot die tapisserie van eenheid deur die genade wat aan ons geskenk is.

“Sagmoedigheid en geduld verryk hierdie tapisserie verder en bevorder ‘n omgewing van vriendelikheid en uithouvermoë te midde van diversiteit en verskille.”

Die bereiking en verdieping van eenheid is nie bloot ‘n oppervlakkige strewe nie, maar ‘n voortdurende transformasie van die hart. In Filippense 2:2-4 (NLV) sê Paulus: “Maak my dan nou heeltemal bly deur eensgesind te wees – één in liefde, één in hart en één in doel. Moet niks uit selfsug doen of om daarmee te spog nie. Wees eerder nederig deur van medegelowiges meer te dink as van jouself. Julle moenie net elkeen na sy eie belange omsien nie, maar ook na mekaar se belange.” Hy beskryf die middele waardeur eenheid gekweek word – deur nederigheid, sagmoedigheid en geduld. Nederigheid, nie as teken van swakheid nie, maar as ‘n erkenning van ons ware posisie voor God, dien as die hoeksteen van eenheid. Sagmoedigheid en geduld verryk hierdie tapisserie verder en bevorder ‘n omgewing van vriendelikheid en uithouvermoë te midde van diversiteit en verskille.

In ons reis na eenheid word ons geroep om selfsugtige ambisies en ydele verwaandhede te bowe te gaan en ‘n gesindheid van diensbaarheid en onbaatsugtigheid te omhels. Efesiërs 4:2 beklemtoon die deugde van nederigheid en sagmoedigheid, eienskappe wat ‘n voorbeeld is van ons identiteit as kinders van God. Dit is deur die kweek van hierdie deugde dat ons die eenheid van die Gees handhaaf en enige moontlike verdeeldheid wat die liggaam van Christus kan versplinter sal oorbrug.

Ten slotte resoneer die mandaat om die gawe van eenheid aan te wakker met dringendheid en doelgerigtheid in ons onstuimige wêreld. Dit roep ons op om hindernisse van verdeeldheid te oorskry en die rykdom van diversiteit in die liggaam van Christus te omhels. Terwyl ons hierdie reis voortsit, laat ons onsself verbind tot nederigheid, sagmoedigheid en geduld, deugde wat lewe in ons eenheid blaas. Laat ons katalisators van verandering wees en die vlam van eenheid met vurige ywer en onwrikbare toewyding aanblaas. In ons eenheid lê die transformerende krag om van die liefde van Christus te getuig en die wêreld in die omhelsing van sy genade in te trek.

In 2 Timoteus 1:6-7 staan daar: “Jy onthou mos dat God jou ‘n baie spesiale gawe gegee het toe ek my hande op jou gelê het. Maak seker dat daardie gawe net al hoe sterker word. Die Heilige Gees, wat deur God aan ons gegee is, is nie lafhartig nie, maar sterk. Hy maak ons sterk, gee vir ons liefde vir ander en help ons om nie verkeerde dinge te doen nie.” (Die Boodskap) en “Dit is waarom ek jou daaraan herinner om die geestelike gawe, wat God jou gegee het toe ek jou die hande opgelê het, soos ‘n vuur aan te blaas. Want God het ons nie ‘n gees van lafhartigheid gegee nie, maar van krag, liefde en selfbeheersing” (Nuwe Lewende Vertaling).

Paulus verduidelik die rede vir die gawes in 1 Korintiërs 12:5-7: “Elkeen van ons ontvang ‘n manifestasie van die Gees om die gemeente te bevoordeel.” Die druk van die lewe kan sy tol eis op die manifestasie van die gawes. Hoekom Timoteus hierdie herinnering aan sy ordening en die vertroue in die gawes wat hy ontvang het nodig gehad het, is nie duidelik nie. Dit blyk dat Timoteus bang, moeg en onseker geword het ten opsigte van sy roeping – asof sy gees besig was om te sink. Dus het Paulus ‘n sterk woord geskryf om Timoteus aan te moedig. Paulus spoor hom aan om dapper, kragtig en skaamteloos (“bold”) te wees.

Wanneer ons mense toelaat om ons te intimideer, neutraliseer ons ons doeltreffendheid vir God. Die krag van die Heilige Gees help ons om ons vrees vir wat sommige aan ons mag sê of doen te oorkom, sodat ons God se werk kan voortsit.

Paulus moedig Timoteus aan om te volhard aangesien die Heilige Gees saam met hom sal gaan en hom krag sal gee. Paulus herinner hom aan sy geloof en hoe hy tot hierdie geloof gebring is. Paulus het in wese vir Timoteus gesê: Ek onthou jou opregte geloof Timoteus, die geloof wat eerste in jou ouma Lois geleef het. . En jou ouma wat dit aan Eunice jou moeder oorgegee het. Jou moeder wat in die geloof geleef het en wat dit weer aan jou oorgedra het, Timoteus. Kaleb het vir 45 jaar volgehou, ten spyte van die teleurstelling om nie die beloofde land te besit nie as gevolg van die vrees van sy 10 broers -en het die beloofde land binnegegaan (Josua 14:10).

Paulus verwoord ‘n belangrike beginsel in hierdie teks naamlik dat die verantwoordelikheid om die genadegawes aan te blaas en aan die brand te hou, by die ontvanger van die gawe berus. Ons het die heilige plig om die genadegawes wat aan ons toevertrou is te bewaar en ten volle te benut soos dit bedoel is deur die Gewer.

Niemand kan jou genadegawe of daardie vuur in jou aanblaas en aan die brand hou soos jy nie. Om die vlam aan te blaas vereis aksie – ons wag nie passief op een of ander eksterne krag om ons vlam aan te blaas nie. Ons bid aktief, ons aanbid en neem deel aan lofprysing om die vlam aan te blaas. Wanneer God vir jou ‘n visioen gee, wees voorbereid om getoets en beproef te word. Dit gaan heel waarskynlik vol uitdagings wees soos wat Paulus verklaar: “…ons worstel nie teen vlees en bloed nie”.

Dit is egter waar dat die gawes verwaarloos kan word, soos Paulus in 1 Timoteus 4 waarsku. Ons kan so gewoond raak aan die gawe dat dit net nog ‘n faset van ons lewe word, en ons dit sonder die nodige eerbied behandel. Om die “vlam aan te blaas” beskryf die aksie om die kole van ‘n sterwende vuur weer aan te blaas. Die opdrag is ‘n beroep op ‘n voortdurende, kragtige gebruik van sy (Timoteus) se geestelike gawes om die volle potensiaal daarvan te verwesenlik.

Die gawes moet voortdurend aangevul word met volgehoue ​​genade en krag van die Heilige Gees, want dit is nie bedoel om magteloos of nutteloos te word en in die doel daarvan te misluk nie. Om Timoteus se gawes weer aan te wakker vereis vurige gebed, gehoorsaamheid aan God se Woord en ‘n demonstrasie van ‘n aktiewe geloof soos Paulus gebid het en ervaar het in Filippense 1:19 en Efesiërs 3:16-21.

Ek bid dat elkeen van ons die gawe van God in ons sal aanblaas om in die geestelike terrein in 2024 te funksioneer. Mag ons toegerus en bemagtig wees om met groot ywer, buite en binne seisoen in 2024 te bedien om onsself as pastore en lidmate aan die brand te hou vir die Here – met olie in ons lampe totdat Jesus kom.

Die Heilige Gees speel ‘n belangrike rol in die bewaking en behoud van ‘n gesonde doktrine. Met die leiding van die Gees handhaaf ons die integriteit van die Evangelieboodskap sodat “…die woord van die waarheid suiwer verkondig (2 Timoteus 2:15)” word. So word daar beskerming gebied teen die infiltrasie van valse leringe en dwaalleer. Die Heilige Gees is die Gees van Waarheid en lei gelowiges in die volheid van die waarheid (Johannes 16:13). Die Heilige Gees stel ons in staat om God se Woord te verstaan ​​en toe te pas en bemagtig gelowiges om volgens gesonde leerstellings te lewe (1 Korintiërs 2:10).

“Hou vas aan die maatstaf van gesonde lering wat jy van my geleer het. En onthou om te lewe in die geloof en liefde wat jy in Christus Jesus het. Bewaar met die hulp van die Heilige Gees wat in ons woon, die kosbare skat wat aan jou toevertrou is.” (2 Timoteus 1:13-14; NLV) “Neem die woorde wat jy van my gehoor het, as voorbeeld van gesonde verkondiging en volg dit na in die geloof en liefde wat ons in Christus Jesus het. Wat aan jou toevertrou is, is goed. Bewaar dit deur die Heilige Gees wat in ons woon.” (2 Timoteus 1:13-14; AFR83).

God se geïnspireerde en geopenbaarde waarheid is Sy lewenskragtige openbaring. God het dinge voort- en tot stand gebring deur Sy kreatiewe asem. God se waarheid is “…nuttig om ons te onderrig, die verkeerde te weerlê, om ons tereg te wys en om die regte leefstyl by ons te kweek” (2 Timoteus 3:16; NLV). Petrus het gesê: “Here, na wie toe sal ons weggaan? U het die woorde wat ewige lewe gee” (Johannes 6:68; NLV). Die skat wat aan Timoteus toevertrou is moet bewaar word (1 Timoteus 6:20). ’n Skat of deposito was iets, byvoorbeeld geld of ’n graanoes, wat aan ’n ander toevertrou was vir veilige bewaring. So het die bewaring van gesonde leerstellings (beskryf as ‘n skat, ‘n waardevolle kommoditeit) ‘n heilige plig geword – aangesien dit beskerm moes word met die hulp wat deur die Heilige Gees verskaf word.

Patrone van gesonde leerstellings en algemene belydenisskrifte demonstreer omvattende leringe. In Hebreërs 6: 1-2 moedig die skrywer gelowiges aan om nie stil te staan “…by die eerste dinge wat aangaande Christus verkondig word nie, maar verder gaan na die volle inhoud van die boodskap.” – dus na ‘n meer volwasse lering. “Laat ons nou nie in die wegspringblokke bly sit deur vas te steek by die heel basiese dingetjies wat ons oor Christus geleer het nie. Kom ons praat ‘n bietjie oor dinge wat vir grootmense in die geloof bedoel is. Ons het nou al genoeg gepraat oor hoe ons dinge moet laat staan wat op die geestelike dood uitloop, of dat ons maar net op God moet vertrou. Ek gaan ook nie weer die doop of die handoplegging bespreek nie en nie weer ‘n keer vir julle vertel dat ons uit die dood lewendig gaan word of dat God die ongelowige mense gaan straf nie” (Hebreërs 6:1-2; Die Boodskap). In 1 Korintiërs 15: 3-5 deel Paulus die deurslaggewende elemente van Christus se dood, begrafnis, opstanding en verskynings. Verder, in 1 Timoteus 3:16, vertel Paulus van die algemene belydenis aangaande die verborgenheid van godsaligheid en Christologie.

Die boek Hebreërs beskryf ses onderwerpe wat kern belangrik is t.o.v. Christenskap: :

    • Bekering van dooie werke,
    • Geloof in God,
    • Instruksies oor die doop,
    • Handoplegging,
    • Opstanding van die dooies, en
    • Die Ewige oordeel.

Algemene belydenisskrifte en Geestelike liedere was noodsaaklike herinneringe aan die kernwaarhede van die Evangelie. Hierdie belydenisskrifte het gehelp om gelowiges te verenig en het ‘n duidelike en konsekwente getuienis verskaf van die lewensbelangrike leerstellings van ons geloof. “Want in die eerste plek het ek aan julle oorgelewer wat ek ook ontvang het, dat Christus vir ons sondes gesterf het volgens die Skrifte, en dat Hy begrawe is, en dat Hy op die derde dag opgewek is volgens die Skrifte, en dat Hy aan Céfas verskyn het, daarna aan die twaalf.” (1 Korintiërs 15:3-5). Paulus dui in vers 3 aan dat wat hy aan die Korintiërs oorgedra het, die tradisionele lofsang of algemene belydenis was. In 1 Timoteus 3:16 (NLV) skets Paulus die groot Christen lofsang/geloofsbelydenis wanneer hy sê: “Sonder enige twyfel is dít die geopenbaarde waarheid van ons geloof: Christus het as mens verskyn en is deur die Gees as regverdig bewys. Hy het aan engele verskyn en is aan die nasies verkondig. Hy is in die wêreld geglo en is opgeneem in heerlikheid”.

“Gesonde leerstellings verwys na die korrekte en akkurate onderrig van die Woord van God, wat noodsaaklik is vir die geestelike groei en welstand van gelowiges.”

2 Timoteus beklemtoon die belangrikheid daarvan om gesonde leerstellings met die hulp van die Heilige Gees getrou te bewaar. Gesonde leerstellings verwys na die korrekte en akkurate onderrig van die Woord van God, wat noodsaaklik is vir die geestelike groei en welstand van gelowiges. Ten slotte is die bewaking en behoud van gesonde leerstellings van uiterste belang vir die gesondheid en lewenskragtigheid van die Kerk. Deur gegrond te bly in die leringe van die Skrif en op die Heilige Gees te vertrou, kan ons die waarheid van die Evangelie getrou van een geslag na die volgende oordra.

Ons is ‘n Pinksterkerk wat in die herlewing van 1906 begin en die kus van Suid-Afrika in 1908 bereik het toe John G. Lake na Suid-Afrika gekom en die Evangelie verkondig het. Hy het die boodskap verkondig dat ons die doop in die Heilige Gees kan ontvang, in tale kan praat en bemagtig kan word om ‘n verskil in ons wêreld te maak. Ek glo dat ons nou, meer as ooit tevore, ‘n roeping het om ‘n stem in ons nasie te wees.

Die skrifgedeelte wat ek vandag met julle wil deel, kom uit 2 Timoteus 1:8 (AFR83): “Jy moenie skaam wees om die boodskap van die Here te verkondig nie; en moet jou ook nie skaam vir my wat om sy ontwil ‘n gevangene is nie. Inteendeel, dra jou deel van die ontberings vir die evangelie met die krag wat God jou gee.” Elkeen van ons het ‘n getuienis. Daardie getuienis het sy vertrekpunt in ‘n ontmoeting met God. Vir elkeen van ons was daar ‘n oomblik in tyd toe ek en jy ‘n aanraking van God ervaar het, ‘n woord van God, ‘n teenwoordigheid waar ons geweet het dat wat nou gebeur het bonatuurlik was. Ek wil hê jy moet teruggaan in jou gedagtes na daardie oomblik. Wanneer was dit? Wat was die omstandighede in jou lewe? Waar het dit gebeur? Wie was teenwoordig? Kan jy nog die ervaring onthou toe jy die woorde uitgespreek het: “Here Jesus, ek aanvaar U as my persoonlike Here en Verlosser”.

Ongelukkig is dit ‘n feit dat ons mettertyd gewoond raak aan die nuwe lewe in Jesus en dat ons nie so bewus is van hierdie wonderwerk in ons lewe nie. Om ‘n kind van God genoem te word, word “normaal” en die nuutheid van ons verhouding neem af as daar nie konstante groei in ons verhouding met God is nie. Petrus skryf in 1 Petrus 3:15 (AFR83): “In julle harte moet daar net heilige eerbied wees vir Christus die Here. Wees altyd gereed om ‘n antwoord te gee aan elkeen wat van julle ‘n verduideliking eis oor die hoop wat in julle lewe.” Petrus moedig ons aan om altyd bereid te wees om ons storie te vertel. Waarom is ons hoopvol in ‘n wêreld sonder hoop? Hoekom word ons gevul met dankbaarheid en nie wanhoop as ons om ons kyk nie? Ken en ervaar die mense rondom ons die nuwe lewe wat in ons is?

Toe die AGS begin het, het die kerk binne ‘n kort tydperk in grootte verdubbel – tussen 1921 en 1926 het hierdie verdubbeling plaasgevind. Teen 1926 was die AGS een van die 12 grootste denominasies in Suid-Afrika (Let the Fire Fall; bl.103). Die aantal gemeentes het gegroei van 84 in 1922 tot 132 in 1928 (Let the Fire Fall; bl.104). Hoekom het dit gebeur? Die hoofrede vir die groei was die lidmate van die kerk wat almal vertel het van wat met hulle gebeur het. Skielik het hulle verander – en gevul met die Heilige Gees – begin om ‘n nuwe lewe te lei.

“Die hoofrede vir die groei was die lidmate van die kerk wat almal vertel het van wat met hulle gebeur het.”

Hul familie en vriende was verward. Hulle kon ‘n nuwe mens sien. En hierdie persoon was baie anders as die een wat hulle voorheen geken het. En hulle wou weet wat gebeur het. Hierdie nuwe bekeerlinge was te bly om te getuig vir almal wat wou weet (en ook die wat nie wou weet nie) oor wat in hul lewens gebeur het.

“Jesus is die antwoord. Hy verander lewens.”

Jesus is die antwoord. Hy verander lewens. Hy het hulle nuut gemaak en hulle het wedergeboorte ervaar. Dit is die boodskap wat ons moet deel. Ons moet elke geleentheid gebruik om te getuig en die Goeie Nuus te deel. Maak gebruik van elke geleentheid wat oor jou pad kom. Kom ons gaan terug na ons wortels en bly ‘n missionêre kerk, bid vir geleenthede om die Evangelie te deel en om ons persoonlike verlossingsverhaal te vertel. Dit is in ons DNA, ons as die AGS kan nie anders as om siellewenners te wees nie. Ons kan nie anders as om die evangelie met almal te deel nie. Wakker die gawe van God in jou aan, ook die gawe om te getuig.

Vriendelike Groete!
Henri Weideman

Pastoral Letter: 4th Quarter 2023

Download the PDF version below (e-mail & printer-friendly):

AFM Pastoral Letter 4th Quarter_2023

AFM Family,

We have reached the end of the year! This moment always gives an individual an opportunity to look back and reflect on the past year as well as an opportunity to look ahead to the new year. This is how I approached this last Pastoral Letter of 2023. In addition, I asked my fellow National Office Bearers to also contribute and share what is currently stirring in their hearts. Together, we trust that the messages in this Letter will be a blessing to our AFM Family. We conclude with Christmas wishes as we enter a special and significant season on the Christian calendar.

PART 1: Dr Henri Weideman
(President of the AFM of SA)

Focus on our Holy Spirit Foundations

We are a Pentecostal church, which means we believe in the working of the Holy Spirit in and through the everyday lives of Christ’s followers. In South Africa, we need to keep the Holy Spirit fire burning in our hearts and lives to fulfil our redemptive purpose. I am encouraged by the way most Regions and many assemblies throughout the church have taken up the theme for 2023 and focused on the Holy Spirit’s work in and through us.

“In South Africa, we need to keep the Holy Spirit fire burning in our hearts and lives to fulfil our redemptive purpose.”

Leadership Development

For many years we have been talking about the development of leaders. This year it became a reality! By taking a group of twelve young leaders through a yearlong development program, the AFM Legacy Leadership Program is aimed at developing a generation of God-fearing, Christ-like, Holy Spirit-filled leaders who will live, lead, and leave a legacy for the church, the Kingdom and society at large.

The first in-person session of this program took place from 28 September to 1 October 2023 in Centurion (Gauteng). This session focused on the AFM history and background, the ecumenical church space in South Africa, and personal awareness, -knowledge and life purpose. It will be followed by online engagements, assignments and two more in-person sessions early in 2024. If you are interested in knowing more about this specific programme in the AFM, you can refer to the brochure on the website: https://afm-ags.org/afm-legacy-leadership-program/. The applications for the 2024-2025 intake will open shortly.

We also embarked on strategic ongoing leadership interventions for National Leadership Forum (NLF) members. During the 2023 NLF sessions, the following topics were covered: “Leading for Engagement”; “Proactively Addressing Mental Health” and “Strategy Frameworks that Leads to Effective Action Plans” – all of which were conducted by the Themba Thandeka Leadership Institute.

Education and Training Collaborative Agreements

The NLF approved the creation of multiple entry points into ordained ministry, including both the CHE (Academic) & QCTO (Occupational) level 6 and 7 courses. Engagements with the South African Theological Seminary (SATS) continued and resulted in the signing of an RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) agreement for implementation beginning in 2024. An agreement on collaboration in implementing QCTO qualifications, (inclusive of NQF level 2 and 5 qualifications as entry points) was established with Word and Life Academy. This is a highlight for me because it will enable easier and more affordable entry into ministry training for AFM members who experience that God is calling them.

The Welfare Department

The greatest achievement in the AFM Welfare during this time, was to bring this ministry on a more sustainable financial path. This was achieved by several cost-saving actions, inclusive of cuts in some salaries, combining children’s homes where feasible, selling some houses and setting profit off against outstanding bonds, combining posts, and filling vacancies on a subsidy scale. One of the greatest challenges remains the transformation of the way the welfare ministry of the church is perceived and the way it functions, to be more service provider-orientated. We had a successful strategic planning workshop in November 2023 in this regard.

“I realized that building unity and building relationships are directly linked.”

Deepening the Expression of Unity

The visible deepening of the expression of unity on all levels in the AFM is of great importance to me. I continue to engage strategically with leaders, role players and members of our church in this regard and I see healthy but slow progress. I realized that building unity and building relationships are directly linked. We need to talk more about this and work intentionally on building relationships in our local communities.

PART 2: Past. Rudi Coertzen
(General Treasurer of the AFM of SA)

The year 2023 was a year where I was stretched and challenged to serve our Master with greater vigour. Our theme for the year, Keep the Fire Burning, helped me to focus clearly on what is important. Every time I spoke, I realized, the fire must burn brightly. As we started the year with our NOB Empowerments, I was fortunate to interact with all our pastors and leaders. I enjoyed engaging with our leaders and asking and answering difficult questions. From my perspective, the empowerments were a great blessing to me, and it helped me to grow in my relationship with God.

All the different department conferences were well attended and the energy from the leaders of the departments, energized me. The youth was like the youth is, exuberant and loud and lots of dance and songs. The women impressed us with a well-organized, well-attended and colourful conference in Durban. The men did excellently in their coming together and the Children’s Ministry presented an educator training event in Cape Town. Our church is busy and moving all over the country. Our National Ablaze Conference in Cape Town brought all the different parts of our church together. It was a wonderful experience for everyone who attended.

“Our church is busy and moving all over the country.”

Between all the activities we held a lot of meetings, and I experienced the Hand of GOD and the inputs of the Holy Spirit in our meetings. We are a church and if we do not allow the leading of the Holy Spirit, our work will be in vain. Something that not many members know is that we as NOB meet every Tuesday morning on Zoom to discuss matters of the church, but also to pray. We have regularly interceded for our pastors, their families, and our members. It often happened that we prayed for issues that were unfolding in our country. Prayer is our weapon! I am looking forward to 2024 as we are planning and praying for great things to happen. May you and your family have a peaceful festive season and experience once again the blessing of the great gift, Jesus Christ, that was sent to us.

PART 1: Dr Henri Weideman
(President of the AFM of SA)

Prayer and Fasting

1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 (NIV) encourages us to “Rejoice always, pray continually, (and to) give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

“Prayer and the belief that God answers prayer, remain foundational to our faith as Pentecostal believers. “

Prayer and the belief that God answers prayer, remain foundational to our faith as Pentecostal believers. As the leaders of the AFM in South Africa we are calling on all our Pastors, Assembly Leaders, and members to make a determined effort to rejuvenate and energize our focus on prayer and fasting during the month of January. I ask every Assembly to facilitate times of prayer and fasting during January 2024. Monday, 15 January to Friday, 19 January 2024 is marked as a focus week in this regard.

Five video clips will be made available on the AFM of SA’s social media from 12 January 2024 onwards. The clips can be used in WhatsApp communication over the five days or as a point of departure during prayer meetings. The video clips will focus on “Prayer is…”:

    • Our direct communication line to God.
    • An expression of thankfulness.
    • Sharing our hearts with God.
    • About aligning our hearts with God.
    • Anytime and anywhere.

I acknowledge the fact that our Assemblies function within a diversity of circumstances and therefore I do not want to be prescriptive on how you should structure this month and the focus week of prayer and fasting. I however urge you to consider this important matter and to find a way that will work effectively in your context.

Let us be reminded that we should not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present our requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4: 6-7).

Focus On Foundational Spiritual Principles

Whatever we say about being a “missional” church boils down to a challenge: We need to rediscover and strengthen our spiritual identity and how we live as (Pentecostal) Christians in a world that has moved past being centred on the values and principles of Christianity.

“…rediscover and strengthen our spiritual identity.”

Our plan to be more missional in how we spread our message, must never only rely on conceptual forms of our drivers, being Discipleship, Empowerment, Community Involvement, working with other churches (Ecumenical Involvement), and being well-run (Good Governance). It must be based on building a deep connection with the Holy Spirit and on taking practical action.

As Christians, the things we do like praying, helping others, being together, and sharing our beliefs – are not just for our own benefit. They are about showing how God’s love can change the world. We are meant to go out and show this love in action, by being kind, forgiving, and giving hope to others.

The church is a product of and also an active participant in God’s mission. We are all missionaries. Every believer and every local church are central to God’s mission and must discern where and how He is moving in their specific context and join up with Him. To do this effectively, we need to continuously cultivate a renewed spiritual identity and life as a community of Jesus followers.

“…showing how God’s love can change the world.”

2024 NOB Empowerment Visits

The NOB felt led to continue the focus on who we are and how we must live as Holy Spirit-filled people and church in 2024. This time around with the focus on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. During the 2024 Regional Empowerment visits, we will focus on the theme:

FAN INTO FLAME – the gift of God, which is in you.


Based on 2 Timothy 1: 6: “Fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you. (NIV)” and “Stir up the gift of God which is in you. (NKJV)” We will share on the spiritual gifts, sound teaching, our testimony and unity. In support of our theme, I give over to Past. Selby Khumalo (General Secretary) to share what is stirring in his heart regarding our 2024 FAN INTO FLAME theme:

PART 2: Past. Selby Khumalo
(General Secretary of the AFM of SA)

Maintenance of the Spiritual Fire

We are a community and people of the Spirit and Fire, having been “…baptised with the Holy Spirit and Fire.” (Luke 3:16, ESV) This fire of God is a sign of spiritual renewal, consecration, and empowerment. We must maintain and ensure that this spiritual fire is kept burning in us and in our spiritual family. This is God’s fire and not a manufactured fire – maintaining its burning is our entire obligation and commitment. Let us continue to FAN INTO FLAME the gifts of God which are in us:

“…His message becomes a fire burning in my heart, shut up in my bones, and I become weary of holding it in, and I cannot prevail.” (Jeremiah 20:9, BSB)

“Do not extinguish the Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19, BSB)

“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God…” (Ephesians 4:30, BSB)

We are excited to spend time with our Church Family on this very significant theme. Kindly take note that the dates and venues of the 2024 NOB Empowerment Visits have been confirmed and I can share this information with you:

PART 1: Past. Barend Petersen
(Deputy President of the AFM of SA)

Good Tidings of Great Joy!

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy” (Matthew 2: 10). “Fear not for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (Luke 2: 10).

Jesus came as the light into this dark world. It was the star of Bethlehem that led the Wise men to Him in the manger in Bethlehem and they were filled with joy when they saw Jesus. The star of Bethlehem reminds us that all the efforts by the evil one to darken or extinguish the light of the Lord will fail and that He will guide us through this dark and broken world.

There is something uniquely special about Christmas that brings joy, peace, and goodwill to our hearts. The wonder of Christmas has been experienced since the birth of Jesus, throughout the ages by people all over the world. The magnetic power of the love of God, personified by the birth of His Son, continues to draw people to Him and change their lives. His birth reminds us that we too can experience the joy of redemption, of healing and provision.

David confidently declares in Psalm 16: 11: “You have made known to me the path of life, you fill me with joy in your presence with eternal pleasures at your right hand” whilst Nehemiah proclaims in chapter 8: 10: “The Joy of the Lord is my strength.” Most of us have experienced that, “…when my anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul” Psalm 94:19. May we truly experience the joy of the birth of Jesus Christ this Christmas and the year ahead!

PART 2: Dr Henri Weideman
(President of the AFM of SA)

Jesus, the light of the World!

Over the years different forms of light have been used as part of Christmas celebrations and decorations. In a small way, they depict the magnificent Light that Jesus shines into this world – from the day He was born, until today. Just as the star led the wise men to the new-born King – Jesus, the true light of the world, has come to dispel the darkness in our lives.

Let us remind our loved ones that:

Jesus is the Light of the World: In John 1: 4-5 we read: “In Him was life and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Jesus is the Gift of God’s Love: John 3: 16 tells us: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Christmas is a testament to God’s incredible love for humanity. He gave us His Son Jesus Christ as the gift of Salvation to all mankind – the greatest gift we could ever receive.

I grew up in a house where only the young children received gifts on Christmas day and where it was explained that the gifts they received were a reminder of the birth and everlasting gift of Jesus Christ.

I wish all our members, Assembly Leaders, Pastors, Regional- and Departmental leadership, and Committees as well as all NLF members, a blessed and peaceful celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. May you experience times of togetherness and rest with family and loved ones, and may 2024 be an exceptional year of God’s grace for us all.

Friendly Regards!
Henri Weideman

Pastorale Brief: 4de Kwartaal 2023

Laai die PDF weergawe hier af (om maklik uit te druk of per e-pos aan te stuur):

AGS Pastorale Brief 4de Kwartaal_2023

AGS Familie,

Ons het die einde van die jaar bereik! Hierdie oomblik gee ‘n mens altyd ‘n geleentheid om terug te kyk en na te dink oor die afgelope jaar asook ‘n geleentheid om vorentoe te kyk na die nuwe jaar – dit is hoe ek hierdie laaste Pastorale Brief van 2023 benader het. Ek het my mede-Nasionale Ampsdraers gevra om ook bydraes te lewer en te deel wat tans in hulle harte en gees roer. Saam vertrou ons dat die boodskappe in hierdie Pastorale Brief tot seën vir ons AGS Familie sal wees. Ons sluit af met Kersfees wense soos ons ‘n spesiale en betekenisvolle seisoen op die Christelike kalender betree.

DEEL 1: Dr Henri Weideman 
(President van die AGS van SA)

Fokus op ons Heilige Gees Fondasie

Ons is ‘n Pinksterkerk, wat beteken dat ons glo in die werking van die Heilige Gees in en deur ons daaglikse lewens as Jesus-volgelinge. Om ons doel as kerk in Suid-Afrika te vervul, moet ons die Heilige Gees vuur in ons harte en lewens laat brand.  Ek is bemoedig deur die manier waarop die meeste van ons Streke en baie gemeentes regdeur die kerk, die tema vir 2023 opgeneem het en gefokus het op die Heilige Gees se werk in en deur ons.

“Om ons doel as kerk in Suid-Afrika te vervul, moet ons die Heilige Gees vuur in ons harte en lewens laat brand.”

Leierskap Ontwikkeling

Ons praat al ‘n geruime tyd oor die ontwikkeling van leiers. Hierdie jaar het dit ‘n werklikheid geword!  Deur ‘n groep van twaalf jong leiers deur ‘n jaarlange ontwikkelingsprogram te neem, is die AGS Legacy Leadership Program daarop gemik om ‘n generasie van Godvresende, Christus geïnspireerde, Heilige Geesvervulde leiers te ontwikkel wat ‘n nalatenskap vir die kerk, die Koninkryk en die samelewing in die algemeen daar sal stel.

Die eerste in-persoon sessie van hierdie program het van 28 September tot 1 Oktober 2023 in Centurion (Gauteng) plaasgevind. Hierdie sessie het gefokus op die AGS geskiedenis en agtergrond, die ekumeniese kerkruimte in Suid-Afrika, asook op persoonlike bewustheid, selfkennis en lewensdoel. Dit word opgevolg deur aanlyn sessies, werkopdragte en nog twee in-persoon sessies vroeg in 2024. Om meer inligting oor hierdie spesifieke program in die AGS met moontlike kandidate te deel, verwys gerus na die brosjure op die AGS webwerf: https://afm-ags.org/afm-legacy-leadership-program/. Aansoeke vir die 2024-2025-inname sal binnekort open.

Ons het ook met strategiese deurlopende leierskap intervensies vir NLF (Nasionale Leierskap Forum) -lede begin. Tydens die 2023 NLF-sessies is die volgende temas behandel: “Leierskap wat interaksie bevorder”, “Proaktiewe Geestesgesondheid” en “Strategie Raamwerke wat lei tot Effektiewe Aksieplanne” – al hierdie sessies is aangebied deur die Themba Thandeka Leierskap Instituut.

Samewerkingsooreenkomste vir die Opleiding van Pastore

Die NLF het die skepping van verskeie toegang punte tot geordende bediening goedgekeur, insluitend beide die “CHO” (Akademiese) en “QCTO” (Beroepsgerigte) NQF vlak 6 en 7 kursusse. Samesprekings met die Suid-Afrikaanse Teologiese Seminarium (SATS) het gelei tot die ondertekening van ‘n RPL – “Recognition of Prior Learning” ooreenkoms vir implementering vanaf 2024. Die implementering van “QCTO”-kwalifikasies, (insluitend NQF vlak 2 en 5 kwalifikasies as toegangsroetes) sal in samewerking met die Woord en Lewe Akademie geskied. Dit is vir my ‘n hoogtepunt, want dit sal makliker en meer bekostigbare toegang tot bedienings opleiding moontlik maak vir AGS-lidmate wat ervaar dat die Here hulle roep.

Die Welsyn Departement

Die grootste prestasie in die AGS Welsyn gedurende hierdie tyd, was om hierdie bediening finansieel op ‘n meer volhoubare pad te bring. Dit is bereik deur verskeie kostebesparings aksies, insluitend besnoeiings in sommige salarisse, die kombinasie van huise vir kinders waar moontlik, die verkoop van bepaalde huise en die verrekening van die wins teen uitstaande verbande, die kombinasie van poste en die vul van vakatures op subsidie skaal. Een van die grootste uitdagings bly die transformasie van die manier waarop die welsyn bediening van die kerk gesien word en funksioneer, om toenemend ‘n opleidings- en dienste verskaffer rol te vervul. Ons het in November 2023 ‘n suksesvolle strategiese beplannings werkswinkel in hierdie verband gehad.

“Ek het weereens besef dat die bou van eenheid en die bou van verhoudings direk aan mekaar gekoppel is.”

Verdieping van die Uitdrukking van Eenheid

Die sigbare verdieping van die uitdrukking van eenheid op alle vlakke in die AGS is vir my van groot belang.  Ek gaan voort om strategies met leiers, rolspelers en lidmate in ons kerk in gesprek te tree in hierdie verband en ek sien gesonde maar stadige vordering. Ek het weereens besef dat die bou van eenheid en die bou van verhoudings direk aan mekaar gekoppel is. Ons moet meer hieroor praat en doelbewus werk aan die bou van verhoudings in ons plaaslike gemeenskappe. Dit is ook van groot belang vir die toekoms van ons land.

DEEL 2: Past. Rudi Coertzen
(Hooftesourier van die AGS van SA)

2023 was ‘n jaar waarin ek uitgedaag is om ons Meester met groter krag en intensiteit te dien. Ons tema vir die jaar, “Keep the Fire Burning”, het my gehelp om te fokus op wat belangrik is. Elke keer as ek daaroor gepraat het, het ek besef die vuur moet helder brand. Tydens die NOB-bemagtiging besoeke het ek geleentheid gehad om met al ons pastore en leiers te kommunikeer. Ek het hierdie betrokkenheid geniet asook die kans om moeilike vrae te vra en te beantwoord. Vanuit my perspektief, was die besoeke ‘n groot seën en het dit my gehelp om in my verhouding met God te groei.

Al die Departement Konferensies was goed bygewoon en die energie van die Departement leiers het my energie gegee. Die jeug was soos die jeug is, uitbundig met baie danspassies en liedjies. Die vroue het ons beïndruk met ‘n georganiseerde en kleurvolle konferensie in Durban – wat uiters goed bygewoon is. Die manne het uitstekend gevaar in hul samekoms en die Kinderbediening het ‘n opleidings geleentheid vir Opvoeders in Kaapstad aangebied. Ons kerk is besig en beweeg oor die hele land. Ons Nasionale ABLAZE Konferensie in Kaapstad het al die verskillende dele van ons kerk bymekaar gebring. Dit was ‘n wonderlike ervaring vir almal wat dit bygewoon het.

“Ons kerk is besig en beweeg oor die hele land.”

Tussen al die aktiwiteite deur het ons baie byeenkomste gehou en ek het die Hand van God en die insette van die Heilige Gees in ons byeenkomste ervaar. Ons is ‘n kerk en as ons nie die leiding van die Heilige Gees toelaat nie, sal ons werk tevergeefs wees. Iets wat nie baie lidmate weet nie, is dat ons as Nasionale Ampsdraers elke Dinsdagoggend op Zoom vergader om sake van die kerk te bespreek, maar ook om te bid. Ons het gereeld voorbidding gedoen vir ons pastore, hul gesinne en ons lidmate. Dit het dikwels gebeur dat ons gebid het vir sake wat besig was om in ons land te ontvou. Gebed is ons wapen! Ek sien uit na 2024. Ons beplan en bid vir groot dinge om te gebeur. Mag jy en jou gesin ‘n rustige feestyd beleef en weereens die seën ervaar van die groot geskenk, Jesus Christus, wat aan ons gestuur is.

DEEL 1: Dr Henri Weideman
(President van die AGS van SA)

Gebed en Vas

1 Tessalonisense 5:1 6-18 (NLV) moedig ons aan: “Wees altyd vol blydskap. Moenie ophou bid nie. Wees in alle omstandighede dankbaar, want dit is wat God van julle verwag omdat julle met Christus Jesus verenig is.”

“Gebed en die oortuiging dat God gebed verhoor, bly kern in ons geloofslewe as Pinkster gelowiges.”

Gebed en die oortuiging dat God gebed verhoor, bly kern in ons geloofslewe as Pinkster gelowiges. As die leiers van die AGS in Suid-Afrika doen ons ‘n beroep op al ons Pastore, Gemeenteleiers en lidmate om ‘n vasberade poging aan te wend om ons fokus op gebed en vas gedurende Januariemaand te vernuwe en te versterk. Ek vra elke Gemeente om tye van gebed en vas in Januarie 2024 te fasiliteer. Maandag, 15 Januarie tot Vrydag, 19 Januarie 2024 word as ‘n fokus week in hierdie verband gemerk.

Vyf videogrepe sal vanaf 12 Januarie 2024 op die AGS sosiale media beskikbaar gestel word. Hierdie videogrepe kan gebruik word in Whatsapp-kommunikasie oor die vyf dae, of as ‘n vertrekpunt tydens gebedsbyeenkomste. Die volgende onderwerpe sal behandel word:

Gebed is:

    • Ons direkte kommunikasielyn met God.
    • ‘n Uitdrukking van dankbaarheid.
    • Om ons harte met God te deel.
    • Om ons harte in lyn te bring met die hart van God.
    • Enige tyd en enige plek.

Ek erken die feit dat ons gemeentes binne verskillende omstandighede funksioneer en daarom wil ek nie voorskriftelik wees oor hoe julle hierdie maand en fokus week van gebed en vas moet struktureer nie. Ek doen egter ‘n beroep op jou om hierdie belangrike saak te oorweeg en ‘n manier te vind wat effektief in jou konteks sal werk.

Ons moet onthou dat ons oor niks besorg moet wees nie, maar in elke situasie, deur gebed en smeking, met danksegging, ons versoeke aan God moet voorlê. En die vrede van God, wat alle verstand te bowe gaan, sal oor ons harte en gedagtes die wag hou in Christus Jesus (Filippense 4: 6-7).

Fokus op Basiese Geestelike Beginsels

Wat ons ook al sê oor missionêre kerkwees kom neer op ‘n uitdaging: Ons moet ons geestelike identiteit herontdek, versterk en fokus op hoe ons as (Pinkster-) Christene leef in ‘n wêreld wat verby die waardes en beginsels van die Christendom beweeg het.

Ons plan om meer missionaal te wees in hoe ons ons boodskap versprei, moet nooit net staatmaak op konseptuele vorme van ons fokusareas (of drywers) nie, naamlik Dissipelskap, Bemagtiging, Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid, samewerking met ander kerke (Ekumeniese Betrokkenheid) en om goed bestuur te word. Hierdie drywers moet gebaseer wees op die bou van ‘n diep verbintenis met die Heilige Gees en op praktiese aksie.

As Christene het ons aktiwiteite soos om te bid, ander te help, gereeld byeen te kom en om ons oortuigings te deel. Die doel van hierdie aktiwiteite dien nie net tot ons eie voordeel nie. Dit gaan daaroor om te wys hoe God se liefde die wêreld kan verander. Ons is bedoel om uit te gaan en hierdie liefde in aksie te betoon, deur vriendelik te wees, te vergewe en hoop aan ander te gee. Die Kerk is ‘n produk van en ook ‘n aktiewe deelnemer aan God se missie. Ons is almal sendelinge. Elke gelowige en elke plaaslike Gemeente staan sentraal in God se sending en moet onderskei waar en hoe Hy in hulle spesifieke konteks beweeg en met Hom saamwerk. Om dit effektief te kan doen, moet ons voortdurend ons geestelike identiteit vernuwe – en lewe as ‘n gemeenskap wat Jesus-volgelinge kweek.

“Dit gaan daaroor om te wys hoe God se liefde die wêreld kan verander.”

2024 NOB Bemagtiging Besoeke

Die Nasionale Ampsdraers het gelei gevoel om voort te gaan met die fokus op wie ons is en hoe ons in 2024 as Heilige Geesvervulde mense en Kerk moet leef. Hierdie keer met die fokus op die gawes van die Heilige Gees. Tydens die 2024 NOB bemagtiging besoeke sal ons fokus op die tema:

FAN INTO FLAME – the gift of God, which is in you.

Dit is gebaseer op 2 Timoteus 1:6 (AFR’83) “Om hierdie rede herinner ek jou daaraan dat jy die genadegawe wat God jou gegee het toe ek jou die hande opgelê het, soos ‘n vuur moet aanblaas.”  2 Timothy 1:6 (NIV) “…Fan into flame the git of God, which is in you…” Ons sal deel oor die geestelike gawes, gesonde lering, ons getuienis en eenheid. Ter ondersteuning van ons tema gee ek oor aan Past. Selby Khumalo (Hoofsekretaris van die AGS van SA) om te deel wat in sy hart roer oor ons 2024 tema:

DEEL 2: Past. Selby Khumalo
(Hoofsekretaris van die AGS van SA)

Die Onderhouding van ons Geestelike Vuur

Ons is ‘n gemeenskap en mense van die Gees en Vuur, nadat ons gedoop is “…met die Heilige Gees en met vuur” Lukas 3:16 (AFR83). Hierdie vuur van God is ‘n teken van geestelike vernuwing, toewyding en bemagtiging. Ons moet verseker dat hierdie geestelike vuur in ons en in ons geestelike familie aan die brand gehou word. Dit is God se vuur en nie ‘n vervaardigde vuur nie – om hierdie vuur aan die brand te hou is ons verpligting en dit vereis ons toewyding. Laat ons voortgaan om die gawes van God wat in ons is, aan te blaas en aan te wakker:

“…Die boodskap van die Here brand in my binneste soos ’n vuur. Dit is soos vuur wat in my liggaam ingehok is. Ek probeer so hard as wat ek kan om dit binne te hou, maar ek kan nie.” (Jeremia 20:9 DB)

“Moenie julle doof hou wanneer die Gees met julle praat nie. Luister fyn na sy stem.” (1 Tessalonisense 5:19 DB)

“Ja, moenie God se Heilige Gees hartseer maak nie…” (Efesiërs 4:30 NLV)

Ons is opgewonde om tyd saam met ons AGS Familie te spandeer oor hierdie belangrike tema. Neem asseblief kennis dat die datums en lokale van die 2024 NOB-bemagtiging besoeke bevestig is en ek deel graag hierdie inligting met jou:

DEEL 1: Past. Barend Petersen
(Adjunkpresident van die AGS van SA)

Goeie Nuus met Groot Blydskap!

“Toe hulle die ster sien, was hulle baie bly.” (Matteus 2:10). “…maar die engel het hulle gerusgestel: “Moenie bang wees nie!” het hy gesê. “Ek bring vir julle goeie nuus wat groot blydskap vir almal inhou!” (Lukas 2:10 NLV).

Jesus het as die lig in hierdie donker wêreld gekom. Dit was die ster van Betlehem wat die wysemanne na Hom in die krip in Bethlehem gelei het en hulle was vervul met blydskap toe hulle Jesus sien. Die ster van Bethlehem herinner ons daaraan dat al die pogings van die Bose om die lig van die Here te verduister of uit te doof, sal misluk en dat Hy ons deur hierdie donker en gebroke wêreld sal lei.

Daar is iets uniek aan Kersfees wat vreugde, vrede en welwillendheid in ons harte bring. Deur die eeue heen en deur mense regoor die wêreld, word die wonder van Kersfees en Jesus se geboorte ervaar. Die magnetiese krag van die liefde van God, verpersoonlik deur die geboorte van sy Seun, gaan voort om mense na Hom toe te trek en hul lewens te verander. Sy geboorte herinner ons daaraan dat ons ook die vreugde van verlossing, genesing en voorsiening kan ervaar.

Dawid verklaar met selfvertroue in Psalm 33:14: “U wys vir my die lewenspad; in u teenwoordigheid is vreugde, en aan u regterhand is daar blydskap vir altyd” terwyl Nehemia in hoofstuk 8:10 verkondig “…want die blydskap wat die HERE gee, sal julle krag wees!” (Nehemia 8:10 NLV). Die meeste van ons het dit ervaar: “Wanneer twyfel my oorweldig, het u troos my verbly.” (Psalm 94:19 NLV). Mag ons werklik die vreugde van die geboorte van Jesus Christus ervaar hierdie Kersfees en die jaar wat voorlê!

DEEL 2: Dr Henri Weideman
(President van die AGS van SA)

Jesus, die Lig van die wêreld!

Deur die jare is verskillende vorme van lig gebruik as deel van Kersfees vieringe en versierings. Op ‘n klein manier beeld hulle die manjifieke Lig uit wat Jesus in hierdie wêreld skyn – vanaf die dag waarop Hy gebore is, tot vandag toe. Net soos die ster die wyse manne na die nuutgebore Koning gelei het, het Jesus, die ware lig van die wêreld gekom om die duisternis in ons lewens te verdryf.

Kom ons herinner ons geliefdes daaraan dat:

Jesus die Lig van die Wêreld is: In Johannes 1: 4-5 (NLV) lees ons: “In Hom was daar lewe en díe lewe het gedien as die lig vir die mense. Die lig skyn in die duisternis, ja – die duisternis het dit nie uitgedoof nie.”

Jesus is die gawe van God se liefde: Johannes 3:16 (NLV) sê vir ons: “God het die mensdom só liefgehad dat Hy sy enigste Seun gegee het, sodat elkeen wat in Hom glo, nie verlore sal gaan nie, maar die ewige lewe sal hê.” Kersfees is ‘n bewys van God se ongelooflike liefde vir die mensdom. Hy het sy Seun Jesus Christus aan ons gegee as die geskenk van Verlossing aan die hele mensdom – die grootste geskenk wat ons ooit kon ontvang.

Ek het grootgeword in ‘n huis waar net die jong kinders op Kersdag geskenke ontvang het, en waar verduidelik is dat die geskenke wat hulle ontvang, ‘n herinnering is aan die geboorte en ewige geskenk van Jesus Christus.

Ek wens al ons lidmate, Gemeenteleiers, Pastore, streeks- en departementele leierskap en komitees sowel as alle NLF-lede en gesinne ‘n geseënde en vreedsame viering van die geboorte van Jesus Christus toe. Mag jy tye van samesyn beleef en rus saam met jou familie en geliefdes, en mag 2024 ‘n uitsonderlike jaar van God se genade vir ons almal wees.

Vriendelike Groete!
Henri Weideman

Pastoral Letter: 3rd Quarter 2023

AFM Pastoral Letter 3rd Quarter 2023_

Dear AFM Family,

I am very thankful that our National Conference (7-9 September 2023) was indeed not just another meeting, but a time of refreshment, fellowship and real upliftment. We have been reminded that we are the light of the world. That this light should never be hidden but must be like a lamp on a lamp stand, and a city on a hill – a light visible to everybody.

“We have been reminded that we are the light of the world. “

Our light must shine in such a way that people will see our good deeds and glorify the true God in heaven. Our light must so shine so that it will have a generational impact, passing on our faith and our DNA as Pentecostal believers to our young people and children. We, like many others, used to be in the darkness, but since we became the Lord’s people, we are people of the Light and must live purposefully like people who belong to the Light. Our light must never reflect the changing cultures and circumstances around us, instead, just like the moon, which has no light of itself but only reflects the sun, we must always reflect Jesus.

Several people described the conference as “powerful and memorable”, “a supernatural encounter” and “full of the power of the Holy Spirit.” I especially noted the comment of someone who said: “Our identity has been reaffirmed.” My prayer is that we will not just move on to the next, or another conference and experience, but that we will take the time to reflect on what God through His Holy Spirit shared with us during this conference. May we then not be like the person who sees him/herself in a mirror, go away and forget but may we really do in practice what we have heard.

During the PCD (Pastors Continuous Development) sessions which were well attended, two very relevant subjects were presented. One was on mental health and how we can proactively address it, and the other on a Pentecostal perspective on the phenomenon of “fake” prophets. For this Pastoral Letter, I have requested our PCD speakers at the conference – Hermann du Plessis and Dr Daniel Andrew – to each write an article that will further develop our understanding of these two topics. I trust that it will be a blessing to you.

Ten years ago, “The Institute for the Future” made a statement that the biggest challenge for leaders in the next decade will be to stay healthy. Many frowned, but today the reality is that we are facing a challenge to keep leaders in businesses and churches from derailing. The facts have stacked up and are screaming at us to pay attention to the current mental health of our leaders. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has conducted recent studies to figure out how to deal with the current mental health pandemic, because quite frankly it could have a catastrophic impact on the global workforce and economy – especially leaders who deal with high levels of stress.

Since 2016 we have seen the rise of “diseases of despair” as coined by Princeton academics. In the United States (US) the life expectancy has declined for 6 straight years due to the rise in suicide, drug and alcohol related illnesses. People have lost meaning and hope in the US. People have lost their ability to cope with high levels of stress and anxiety and as some would acknowledge – the American dream has become the American nightmare. Placing the individual at the centre of life and personal fulfilment leads to Narcissism and eventually high levels of competition and selfishness. But not only in the US, across the world levels of anxiety have risen consistently. Commentary on the latest anxiety statistics is concerning and the reality is that 17-year-old kids in high school have the same level of anxiety than people admitted to mental institutions during the 1960’s.

“People have lost their ability to cope with high levels of stress and anxiety…”

In South Africa, one-third of our workforce suffers from severe anxiety and/or depression. That also means that one-third of leaders struggle with mental health. The impact of this one-third on the other two-thirds of your leaders and workforce could be severe. They (the healthy two-thirds) will usually pick up the additional work not performed by the one-third suffering from mental illness. Over the long term, this will lead to burnout and the mental deterioration of the two-thirds of your workforce doing additional work to help your business succeed. This is a vicious cycle that needs to be managed proactively.

How do you go about doing this? Here are some practical steps for local congregations:

Break the stigma. Talk about mental health. Inform people about it. Give them the facts. Understand that there are various causes and that we need to be open about it.

Preach about it. What does the Bible teach about our mental health? If we look at Elijah in 1 Kings 19, what do we see and what do we learn? How do we offer Biblical wisdom and assistance to people on how to develop their mental strength? Talk about lifestyle issues that severely impact mental health.

“How do we offer Biblical wisdom and assistance to people on how to develop their mental strength?”

Learn with your people. Speak to people in your congregation who struggle with mental health and try to learn and understand how they feel. Listen to them!

Deliver courses. Get wise, pastoral psychologists to teach your congregation how to build their mental strength. Help people to pro-actively take care of their mental health.

Invite people to get assistance. Encourage people to seek counselling. Pastors should guide people to find good therapy if needed.

Build a network of professional people. Work hard to meet therapists and counsellors and find out what their methodology is to assist people in sessions. Find good counsellors that you can refer to, who will make sure your people get the right and appropriate help they need.

“May God use us to be a light that drives away the darkness of all these mental health challenges.”

As a church, we can reach out to people in this challenging time. May God use us to be a light that drives away the darkness of all these mental health challenges. In addition to this article, also make sure to access the following resources as presented and live-streamed from the ABLAZE AFM National Conference:

A PowerPoint Presentation:
http://www.events.afm-ags.org/

A Live Stream Recording: 
https://www.youtube.com/live/Yx5SNK7CGEw?si=YrMUMHXjTNBJU95M

Fake Prophets Phenomenon and Other Related Issues

The Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa forms part of the Classical Pentecostal Movement that originated at the beginning of the 20th Century and includes several Pentecostal churches that trace their roots to this group. Prophecy and prophetic ministry were never difficult or strange to this group of believers, because they believed the church is built on the foundations laid by the apostles and prophets. Some of the so-called Neo-Pentecostal prophet movements in independent Pentecostal Churches embraced certain elements of the “prosperity gospel” or “wealth and health gospel” which led to profiteering – meaning that the “prophet” has now become a “profiteer”.

Madzokere (2018: 281) divides the pastor as profiteer into five major categories: (1) as empire builder and not builders of the kingdom; (2) as profiteers based on anointing gimmicks – whereby items like oil, clothes, pencils, etc. are anointed; (3) the disguise of religious tourism – whereby people travel as individuals or groups for pilgrimage, missionary or leisure purposes; (4) the nepotism argument – whereby relatives and friends are employed without regard for merit in the ministry; (5) the blind nationalistic personalities of pastors that preach peace while there is unrest – becoming catalysts to the impoverishment of the people.

In some cases, these beliefs led to harmful practices that were criticized and led to proposals by the government to regulate churches in South Africa. Most church groupings resisted this because freedom of religion is enshrined in our Constitution. Some of these practices included but were not limited to what Dube (2019:25) call “the modern-day flamboyant prophets” that propagate a kind of gospel that departs from basic Christian teachings, enriching themselves, using unorthodox means to “heal” people and conduct their businesses. The various kinds of abuses committed to followers are public knowledge – some of them included spraying insecticide on people; eating of rats, grass and drinking petrol; touching females inappropriately and even abusing and raping them; and profiteering (Dube, 2019:29).

Fake Prophets Depart from The Biblical Meaning of Prophetic Ministry

They are departing from the traditional Christian values in ministry like humility, compassion, selfless service and servant leadership. Instead, these values are replaced with a pre-occupation with image consciousness, self-aggrandizement, and the enlargement of personal ministry at any cost. It is damaging to the image of the church in the public square in Africa and although the phenomenon is not peculiar to Africa, it has become prevalent here (Owojaiye, 2019).

The English word prophet is from the Greek word “prophetes” – taking on a mediating role between the people and God. Another meaning is the Greek word “nabi” which means someone who can speak of the future or speak before things happen. “Someone who proclaims” to the people, priests and kings, “thus says the Lord” (Exodus 4:22; Isaiah 48:10; Jeremiah 12:14) Prophets were persons called by God; who acted under divine compulsion; were having personal integrity; gave prophecies that included both “forth-telling” and “fore-telling”; exposing false ideologies; truth-telling; and function alongside kings and priests.

In the New Testament, the prophetic tradition of proclamation and prediction continued in the early church (John 1:29; Acts 13:1-10). Later in the New Testament, followers are encouraged not to despise the words of the prophets (1 Thessalonians 5:20-22) and still to test the spirits to see if they are from God or false prophets (1 Peter 2:1-3; Revelations 19:20-21).

The testing of prophets and discernment of prophecy was not something new as it is often quoted in both the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 13: 1-10; Jeremiah 23:1-4, 10-14, 16-17, 25-32) and in the New Testament (Matthew 7:15-20). True prophets turn the people back from their evil ways to God (Deuteronomy 13:22), speak the truth, glorify God, benefit the community (John 16:13-15, 17:13-26; 1 Corinthians 14:3-5) and be validated by others (1 Corinthians 14:29-33). Paul encourages the believers to prophesy (1 Corinthians 14:1; Romans 12:4-7; Ephesians 4:11-16).

Guidelines to Discern Prophets Today
The criteria for distinguishing between false and true prophets in biblical prophecy are as follows:

The call of the prophet. 
The call narrative of the prophet plays a definite role in the bible and normally follows a certain structural form which includes theophany, resistance from the prophet/ess, pressure from the deity, acceptance by the prophet/ess and commissioning of the prophet/ess by the deity (Madzokere and Machingura, 2015:57-58).

Ecstasy.
Called the hallmark of prophecy with some having a pro-ecstasy and others an anti-ecstasy stance. Pro-ecstasy means that the mental condition of an individual occurs in a way that consciousness is wholly or partially suspended, thought and volition cease, and the person is controlled and subjected to the Spirit of God. Anti- ecstasy on the other hand is against the suspension of your mental faculties during prophecy, seeing it as a sign of false prophecy, as seen in the clash between the Baal prophets and Elijah (1 Kings 18:2).

Professionalism.
The criterion for true prophets is that they view their call as a vocation and not a profession associated with payments or rewards. The criterion of remuneration is based on the assumption that if the prophet is paid, he/she will seek to please the client as seen in Micah 3:5.

Performance of miracles.
Contemporary prophets are associated with the performance of miracles and the title carries a sense of power with it – giving publicity, recognition, status and financial proceeds.

Prediction and fulfilment.
True prophets are distinguished from the false ones because their predictions have come to pass. Historically as understood in Deuteronomy 13:1-5; 18:21-22 the prophet should be stoned to death if it is not fulfilled. In some cases, like in Elijah’s prophecy over the house of Ahab (1 Kings 21-29) it was fulfilled after his death (2 Kings 9:14-10:36).

Morality and teaching obedience to God.
Morality is a virtue expected from prophets and religious believers, so when a prophet leads an immoral life such a prophet is branded as a false prophet.

As Pentecostals, we believe that we should strive to prophesy, that the prophetic ministry is part of the five-fold ministry that can give guidance and direction to the people of God and that a church that walks in the fire of the Holy Spirit is the best antidote against fake prophets and their “miracle gimmicks”. Let us test the spirits and see whether it is from God but let us be careful not to quench the Spirit in easily denouncing prophecy and prophetic ministry. In addition to this article, also make sure to access the following resources as presented and live-streamed from the ABLAZE AFM National Conference:

A PowerPoint Presentation:
http://www.events.afm-ags.org/

A Live Stream Recording:
https://www.youtube.com/live/p5703lIiOwg?si=N6Nk87P-f33PDHTS

References:

Madzokere, N. 2018. Prophets or Profiteers? An interrogative study of the selected contemporary Pentecostal prophets in Zimbabwe in the context of Development. Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa 20 (1): 276-289.

Dube, E.E.N, 2019. Desperation in an attempt to curb modern-day prophets: Pentecostalisation and the Church in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Conspectus: The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary volume 27: 25-34.

Owojaiye, M. 2019. The problem of false prophets in Africa: Strengthening the church in the face of a troublesome trend, Lausanne Global Analysis 8(6).

Madzokere, N., Machingura, F. 2015. True and False Prophets/esses in the light of Prophets/esses and Wonders in Zimbabwe, Journal of Critical Southern Studies volume 3, Winter (2015).

During the conference, and as part of the church’s 115th Birthday Anniversary, “The Story of John G. Lake – the first General of the AFM of South Africa” was launched. Authored by Past. Linda Marx, Prof Marius Nel and Past. Johan Klopper, this book is now available from the Amazon platform in a Kindle format: https://a.co/d/gVDvqdW. The story of John G. Lake will inspire, encourage and remind people that the Promise of the Father and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, is available to every believer. I encourage you to read it and trust that you will be blessed by it!

I thank everybody who were part of the organization to make the conference possible, as well as all who were part of the daily program and every individual who made the effort to attend. Some people travelled far – and for more than one day – to be present. We experienced the diversity of our church in worship, in the program and in attendance. Many people testified about the spirit of unity and peace amongst all present.

Friendly Regards
Henri Weideman

Pastorale Brief: 3de Kwartaal 2023

AGS Pastorale Brief 3de Kwartaal 2023_

Liewe AGS Familie,

Ek is baie dankbaar dat ons Nasionale Konferensie (7-9 September 2023) inderdaad nie net nog ‘n byeenkoms was nie, maar ‘n tyd van verfrissing, onderlinge gemeenskap en werklike opheffing. Ons is daaraan herinner dat óns die lig van die wêreld is. Dat hierdie lig nooit weggesteek moet word nie, maar soos ‘n lamp op ‘n kandelaar moet wees, en ‘n stad op ‘n heuwel – ‘n lig wat vir almal sigbaar is.

“Ons is daaraan herinner dat óns die lig van die wêreld is.”

Ons lig moet só skyn dat mense ons goeie dade sal sien en die ware God in die hemel sal verheerlik. Ons lig moet só skyn dat dit ‘n impak op die volgende generasies sal hê en ons geloof en DNS as Pinkstergelowiges aan ons jongmense en kinders oordra. Ons was soos baie ander, vroeër in die duisternis, maar sedert ons die Here se volk geword het, is ons mense van die Lig en moet ons doelgerig lewe soos mense wat aan die Lig behoort. Ons lig mag nooit die veranderende kulture en omstandighede rondom ons weerkaats nie. Net soos die maan wat geen lig van sy eie het nie, maar net die son weerkaats – so moet ons Jesus altyd weerkaats.

Verskeie mense het die konferensie beskryf as “kragtig en onvergeetlik”, as “’n bonatuurlike ontmoeting” en “vol van die krag van die Heilige Gees”. Ek het veral kennis geneem van die opmerking van iemand wat gesê het: “Ons identiteit is herbevestig.” My gebed is dat ons nie net sal aanbeweeg na die volgende of ‘n ander konferensie en ervaring nie, maar dat ons die tyd sal neem om na te dink oor wat God deur sy Heilige Gees tydens hierdie konferensie met ons gedeel het. Mag ons dan nie soos die persoon wees wat hom/haarself in ‘n spieël sien, weggaan en vergeet nie – maar laat ons regtig in die praktyk dóen wat ons gehoor het.

Tydens die PCD-sessies – wat goed bygewoon is – is twee baie relevante onderwerpe aangebied. Die een was oor geestesgesondheid en hoe ons dit proaktief kan aanspreek, en die ander oor ‘n Pinksterperspektief op die verskynsel van “valse” profete. Vir hierdie Pastorale Brief het ek die twee ​​PCD-sprekers by die konferensie – Hermann du Plessis en Dr Daniel Andrew – versoek om elk ‘n artikel te skryf wat ons begrip van hierdie twee onderwerpe verder sal ontwikkel. Ek vertrou dat dit vir jou ‘n seën sal wees.

Tien jaar gelede het “The Institute for the Future” ’n stelling gemaak dat in die volgende dekade die grootste uitdaging vir leiers sal wees om gesond te bly. Baie het gefrons…maar vandag is dit ‘n realiteit dat ons hierdie uitdaging in die gesig staar – ‘n uitdaging om te keer dat Kerk- en besigheidsleiers ontspoor. Die feite het vermeerder en vereis ons om aandag te gee aan die huidige geestesgesondheid van ons leiers. Die Wêreldgesondheidsorganisasie (WGO) het onlangse studies gedoen om uit te vind hoe om die huidige geestesgesondheids pandemie te hanteer, want eerlikwaar kan dit ‘n katastrofiese impak op die wêreldwye arbeidsmag en ekonomie hê – veral leiers wat hoë vlakke van stres hanteer.

“Mense het hul vermoë verloor om hoë vlakke van stres en angs te hanteer…”

Sedert 2016, sien ons die ontstaan van kondisies wat beskryf word as “diseases of despair” – soos beskryf deur die Princeton-akademici. In die Verenigde State (VSA) het die lewensverwagting vir 6 agtereenvolgende jare afgeneem as gevolg van die toename in selfmoord-, dwelm- en alkoholverwante siektes. In die VSA sukkel mense om die betekenis van die lewe te verstaan en het hulle hoop verloor. Mense het hul vermoë verloor om hoë vlakke van stres en angs te hanteer en soos sommiges sal erken…die Amerikaanse droom het die Amerikaanse nagmerrie geword. Wanneer die individu sentraal staan tot ‘n persoon se lewe en persoonlike vervulling, lei dit tot narsisme (of selfliefde) en uiteindelik hoë vlakke van mededinging en selfsug. Oor die hele wêreld, nie net in die VSA nie, het vlakke van angs konsekwent gestyg. Die jongste angsstatistieke is kommerwekkend. Die realiteit is dat 17-jarige kinders op hoërskool dieselfde vlak van angs het as mense wat gedurende die 1960’s in geestesinrigtings opgeneem is.

In Suid-Afrika, ly een derde van ons arbeidsmag aan erge angs en/of depressie. Dit beteken ook dat een derde van leiers met geestesgesondheid sukkel. Die impak van hierdie een derde op die ander twee derdes van leiers en die arbeidsmag kan ernstig wees. Hulle (die gesonde twee derdes) sal gewoonlik bykomende werks verantwoordelikhede aanpak wat nie verrig word deur die een derde wat aan geestesongesteldheid ly nie. Oor die lang termyn sal dit lei tot uitbranding en die geestelike agteruitgang van die twee derdes van die arbeidsmag wat bykomende werk doen om besighede te help slaag. Dit is ‘n bose kringloop wat proaktief bestuur moet word.

Hoe gaan jy te werk om dit te doen? Hier is ‘n paar praktiese stappe vir plaaslike gemeentes:

Breek die stigma. Praat oor geestesgesondheid. Lig mense daaroor in. Gee vir hulle die feite. Verstaan ​​dat daar verskeie oorsake is en dat ons openlik daaroor moet wees.

Preek daaroor. Wat leer die Bybel ons oor geestesgesondheid? As ons na Elia kyk in 1 Konings 19, wat sien ons en wat leer ons? Hoe bied ons Bybelse wysheid en bystand aan mense oor hoe om hul geestelike krag te ontwikkel? Praat oor lewenstylkwessies wat geestesgesondheid ernstig beïnvloed.

“Hoe bied ons Bybelse wysheid en bystand aan mense oor hoe om hul geestelike krag te ontwikkel?”

Leer saam met jou mense. Praat met mense in jou gemeente wat sukkel met geestesgesondheid en probeer om te leer en te verstaan ​​hoe hulle voel. Luister na hulle!

Bied kursusse aan. Kry wyse, pastorale sielkundiges om jou gemeente te leer hoe om hul geestelike krag op te bou. Help mense om pro-aktief na hul geestesgesondheid om te sien.

Nooi mense om hulp te kry. Moedig mense aan om berading te soek. Pastore moet mense lei om goeie terapie te vind indien nodig.

Bou ‘n netwerk van professionele mense. Werk hard om terapeute en beraders te ontmoet en uit te vind wat hul metodologie is om mense in sessies by te staan. Kry goeie beraders na wie jy kan verwys, en wat sal seker maak dat jou mense die regte en toepaslike hulp kry wat hulle nodig het.

As kerk kan ons uitreik na mense in hierdie uitdagende tyd. Mag God ons gebruik om ‘n lig te wees wat die duisternis van al hierdie geestesgesondheidsuitdagings verdryf. Benewens hierdie artikel, maak ook seker dat jy toegang tot die volgende hulpbronne het soos aangebied en regstreeks gestroom vanaf die ABLAZE AGS Nasionale Konferensie:

‘n PowerPoint-aanbieding:
http://www.events.afm-ags.org/

‘n Regstreekse stroomopname:
https://www.youtube.com/live/Yx5SNK7CGEw?si=YrMUMHXjTNBJU95M

Die Verskynsel van Valse Profete en ander Verwante Kwessies

Die Apostoliese Geloofsending van Suid-Afrika vorm deel van die Klassieke Pinksterbeweging wat in die begin van die 20ste eeu ontstaan het en sluit verskeie Pinksterkerke in wat hul wortels na hierdie groep herlei. Profesie en profetiese bediening was nooit vir hierdie groep gelowiges moeilik of vreemd nie, omdat hulle glo dat die kerk gebou is op die fondamente wat deur die Bybelse apostels en profete gelê is. Sommige van die sogenaamde Neo-Pinkster “profeetbewegings” in onafhanklike Pinksterkerke het sekere elemente van die “voorspoedevangelie” of “rykdom en gesondheidsevangelie” omhels wat tot winsbejag gelei het – wat beteken dat die “profeet” in baie gevalle ‘n “winsbejagter” geword het.

Madzokere (2018:281) verdeel hierdie winsbejag aspek in vyf hoofkategorieë: (1) as ryksbouers en nie bouers van die Koninkryk nie; (2) as winsbejag gebaseer op salwingsfoefies – waardeur items soos olie, klere, potlode, ens. “gesalf” word; (3) die vermomming van godsdienstige toerisme – waardeur mense as individue of groepe reis vir pelgrimstogte-, sending- of ontspanningsdoeleindes met ‘n winsmotief; (4) die element van nepotisme – waardeur familielede en vriende in diens geneem word sonder inagneming van meriete of bedieningsvaardighede; (5) die blinde nasionalisties gefokusde persoonlikhede van “profete” wat vrede verkondig terwyl daar onrus is – en dan eintlik katalisators word vir die verarming van die mense.

In sommige gevalle het hierdie oortuigings gelei tot skadelike praktyke wat gekritiseer is en gelei het tot voorstelle van die regering om kerke in Suid-Afrika te reguleer. Die meeste kerkgroeperings het hulle hierteen verset omdat godsdiensvryheid in ons Grondwet verskans is. Sommige van hierdie praktyke sluit in, maar is nie beperk tot wat Dube (2019:25) noem “die hedendaagse flambojante profete” nie wat ‘n soort evangelie propageer wat afwyk van die basiese Christelike leerstellings, wat hulself verryk deur onortodokse middele te gebruik om mense te “genees” en hul besighede te bedryf. Die verskillende soorte vergrype wat gepleeg word, is openbare kennis – dit sluit in die spuit van insekdoder op mense; die eet van rotte, gras en die drink van petrol; vroue wat onvanpas aangeraak en selfs mishandel en verkrag word; en winsbejag (Dube, 2019:29).

Valse Profete Wyk af van die Bybelse Betekenis van die Profetiese Bediening

Hulle wyk af van die tradisionele Christelike waardes van die bediening soos nederigheid, deernis, onbaatsugtige diens en dienskneg-leierskap. In plaas daarvan word hierdie waardes vervang met ‘n beheptheid oor publiekebeeld, selfverheerliking, grootheidswaan en ‘n fokus op die persoon in bediening. Dit is skadelik vir die beeld van die kerk in die publiekeoog in Afrika en hoewel die verskynsel nie eie aan Afrika is nie, het dit hier redelik algemeen geword (Owojaiye, 2019).

Die Engelse woord “prophet” is van die Griekse woord “prophetes” – wat ‘n bemiddelende rol tussen die volk en God daarstel. Nog ‘n betekenis is die Griekse woord “nabi” wat iemand beteken wat van die toekoms kan praat of kan praat voordat dinge gebeur. Iemand wat aan die volk, priesters en konings verkondig, “so sê die Here” (Eksodus 4:22; Jesaja 48:10; Jeremia 12:14). Profete was persone wat deur God geroep is; wat onder goddelike dwang opgetree het; persoonlike integriteit gehad het; profesieë gegee het wat beide “vooruitwysing” en “voorverteling” ingesluit het; valse ideologieë blootgelê het; die waarheid oor kwessies geopenbaar het; en saam met konings en priesters gefunksioneer het.

In die Nuwe Testament het die profetiese tradisie van verkondiging en voorspelling in die vroeë kerk voortgeduur (Johannes 1:29; Handelinge 13:1-10). Later in die Nuwe Testament word volgelinge aangemoedig om nie die woorde van die profete te verag nie (1 Tessalonisense 5:20-22) en steeds die geeste op die proef te stel om te sien of hulle van God of valse profete afkomstig is (1 Petrus 2:1-3; Openbaring 19:20-21).

Die toetsing van profete en onderskeiding van profesie, soos dit dikwels in beide die Ou en Nuwe Testamente aangehaal word, was nie iets nuuts nie (Ou Testament: Deuteronomium 13: 1-10; Jeremia 23:1-4, 10-14, 16-17, 25-32) (Nuwe Testament: Matteus 7:15-20). Ware profete poog om die volk van God terug te draai van hulle bose weë na God toe (Deuteronomium 13:22). Ware profete praat die waarheid, verheerlik God, bevoordeel die gemeenskap (Johannes 16:13-15, 17:13-26; 1 Korintiërs 14:3-5) en hulle woord word deur ander bekragtig (1 Korintiërs 14:29-33). Paulus moedig die gelowiges aan om te profeteer (1 Korintiërs 14:1; Romeine 12:4-7; Efesiërs 4:11-16).

Riglyne om Vandag Tussen Ware en Valse Profete te Onderskei
Die kriteria om in Bybelse profesieë tussen valse en ware profete te onderskei, is soos volg:

Die roeping van die profeet.
Die roepingsverhaal van ‘n profeet speel ‘n definitiewe rol in die Bybel en volg gewoonlik ‘n sekere strukturele vorm wat teofanie (‘n roepingsmanifestasie van God), weerstand van die profeet/es, druk van die Here, aanvaarding deur die profeet/es en ‘n ingebruikneming van die profeet/es deur die Here (Madzokere en Machingura, 2015:57-58).

Ekstase.
Word soms ‘n kenmerk van profesie genoem, met sommige mense wat ‘n pro-ekstase benadering het, en ander ‘n anti-ekstase standpunt. Pro-ekstase beteken dat in die geestelike toestand van ‘n individu wat profeteer, sy/haar bewussyn op ‘n manier geheel of gedeeltelik opgeskort word. Eie denke en wil hou op, en die persoon word beheer en is onderworpe aan die Gees van God. Anti-ekstase aan die ander kant is gekant teen die opskorting van die verstandelike fakulteite tydens profesie, en sien dit as ‘n teken van valse profesie, soos gesien in die botsing tussen die Baälprofete en Elia (1 Konings 18: 2).

Professionaliteit.
Die maatstaf vir ware profete is dat hulle hul taak as ‘n roeping beskou en nie ‘n beroep wat verband hou met betalings of belonings nie. Die kriterium van vergoeding is gebaseer op die aanname dat indien die profeet betaal word, hy/sy sal poog om die kliënt tevrede te stel soos gesien in Miga 3:5.

Uitvoering van wonderwerke.
Hedendaagse profete word geassosieer met die uitvoering van wonderwerke en die titel dra ‘n gevoel van mag daarmee saam – wat publisiteit, erkenning, status en finansiële opbrengs tot gevolg het.

Voorspelling en vervulling.
Ware profete word onderskei van die valses omdat hulle voorspellings waar geword het. Histories soos verstaan in Deuteronomium 13:1-5; 18:21-22, moet die profeet met klippe doodgegooi word as die profesie nie vervul word nie. In sommige gevalle, soos in Elia se profesie oor die huis van Agab (1 Konings 21-29), is dit eers na sy dood vervul (2 Konings 9:14-10:36).

Moraliteit en onderrig van gehoorsaamheid aan God.
Moraliteit is ‘n deug wat van profete en godsdienstige gelowiges verwag word, dus wanneer ‘n profeet ‘n immorele lewe lei, word so ‘n profeet as ‘n valse profeet gebrandmerk.

As Pinkstergelowiges, glo ons dat ons daarna moet streef om te profeteer, dat die profetiese bediening deel is van die vyfvoudige bediening wat leiding aan die volk van God kan gee en dat ‘n kerk wat in die vuur van die Heilige Gees wandel, die beste teenmiddel teen valse profete en hulle “wonderfoefies” is. Kom ons toets die geeste en kyk of dit van God af kom, maar laat ons versigtig wees om nie die Heilige Gees te blus deur profesie en profetiese bediening maklik as vals af te maak nie.

Benewens hierdie artikel, maak ook seker dat jy toegang het tot die volgende bronne soos aangebied en regstreeks gestroom vanaf die ABLAZE AGS Nasionale Konferensie:

‘n PowerPoint-aanbieding:
http://www.events.afm-ags.org/

‘n Regstreekse stroomopname:
https://www.youtube.com/live/p5703lIiOwg?si=N6Nk87P-f33PDHTS

Verwysings:

Madzokere, N. 2018. Prophets or Profiteers? An interrogative study of the selected contemporary Pentecostal prophets in Zimbabwe in the context of Development. Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa 20 (1): 276-289.

Dube, E.E.N, 2019. Desperation in an attempt to curb modern-day prophets: Pentecostalisation and the Church in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Conspectus: The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary volume 27: 25-34.

Owojaiye, M. 2019. The problem of false prophets in Africa: Strengthening the church in the face of a troublesome trend, Lausanne Global Analysis 8(6).

Madzokere, N., Machingura, F. 2015. True and False Prophets/esses in the light of Prophets/esses and Wonders in Zimbabwe, Journal of Critical Southern Studies volume 3, Winter (2015).

Tydens die konferensie, en as deel van die kerk se 115de Verjaarsdagherdenking, is “The Story of John G. Lake – the first General of the AFM of South Africa” bekendgestel. Geskryf deur Past. Linda Marx, prof. Marius Nel en Past. Johan Klopper, is hierdie boek nou beskikbaar vanaf die Amazon-platform in ‘n Kindle-formaat: https://a.co/d/gVDvqdW. Die verhaal van John G. Lake sal mense inspireer, bemoedig en herinner dat die belofte van die Vader en die inwonende teenwoordigheid van die Heilige Gees vir elke gelowige beskikbaar is. Ek moedig jou aan om dit te lees en vertrou dat jy daardeur geseën sal word!

Ek bedank almal wat deel was van die organisasie om die konferensie moontlik te maak, sowel as almal wat deel was van die daaglikse program en elke individu wat die moeite gedoen het om dit by te woon. Sommige mense het ver gereis – selfs vir meer as een dag – om teenwoordig te wees. Ons het die diversiteit van ons kerk ervaar in aanbidding, in die program en in die bywoning. Baie mense het getuig oor die gees van eenheid en vrede onder almal wat teenwoordig was.

Vriendelike Groete
Henri Weideman

Pastoral Letter: 2nd Quarter 2023

Download the PDF version below (e-mail & printer-friendly):

AFM of SA Pastoral Letter 2nd Quarter_2023

Dear AFM Family,

On Thursday, 25 May 2023 the AFM of SA celebrated its 115th birthday anniversary. AFM assemblies and members nationwide proudly shared and showcased the AFM logo on all social media platforms. The “cross and the crown” was shared as a symbol of our deep held belief that it is only because of the cross that there is a crown. AFM Logo Day was once again a highly successful action that mobilised the whole church. This year the birthday celebrations grew to include another action – a call to every AFM member to share Christ with at least one other person.

In the early days and to this day, AFM members are powerful witnesses because of openness to the work of the Holy Spirit and a strong missionary focus. Sharing Christ with others is part of who we are as Pentecostals – it is in our Pentecostal DNA. As a missional church, it is our calling to share Christ with others.

As National Office Bearers, and as part of the 115th Birthday Anniversary of our church, we decided to focus on a specific discipleship tool to equip (and teach) AFM members to share the Gospel with another person. This tool is known as “The Bridge Illustration” – showing and guiding a believer step-by-step on how to share the Gospel with another person. There are four sections to “The Bridge Illustration” namely:

God’s Love

Man’s Problem

God’s Remedy

Man’s Response

In this Pastoral Letter of the 2nd Quarter, we will focus more on each of the sections. Each one has appropriate scripture and an illustration to be memorised to ensure that when you share the Gospel it will be full of the powerful Word of God. As you learn and practice presenting “The Bridge Illustration” it will become easy. Remember, this is only a tool to help tell the Good News of Jesus Christ – it is the Holy Spirit who moves hearts and gives understanding. For each section, there is an explanatory video clip available (for which the YouTube links will be shared). As part of the conclusion, I will also tell you more about the available “Pocket Guide” which is a useful synopsis of “The Bridge Illustration”.

Watch supporting Video Clips for Introductory Remarks:

Draw two horizontal lines. On the left write “MAN” on the line and on the right write“GOD” on the line.

Genesis 1:27 says “God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” We were created by God whose unconditional divine love has revealed Himself to be self-giving, self-sharing, and self-communicating. His love is personal and relational. God who comes near to his creatures, seeking fellowship with them. In the Garden of Eden, we see God at peace with man, man at peace with his family, and man at peace with nature. God’s abundant love is demonstrated in His goodness, mercy, grace, compassion, and faithfulness, but also in His holiness, justice, jealousy, and wrath. His love is holy, just as His holiness is loving. Write Genesis 1:27.

John 10:10 says: “…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” God wants us to live life to the full. We were created to spend time in a close relationship with God. We were created to experience God’s love. Paul prays in Ephesians 3:18-19 that we “…may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Write John 10:10 and the word “ETERNAL LIFE”.

God loves, as James would say, not only in word but in deed. His love is His divine disposition to be for His creatures and to act on behalf of their good, even at great cost to Himself. David in Psalm 145:8-9 says “The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; Slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: And his tender mercies are over all His works.”

Watch the supporting Video Clip for “God’s Love”:

God loves us but it does not matter how “good” we are, we have all fallen short of God’s standard and have sinned. For some or other reason we think that we can, through our good deeds, impress God and get Him to change the rules and accept us. If I regularly go to church or give money to good charities, I will be fine. The evil one sometimes wants to trick us to think we can do it, that we can solve this problem – but God says nothing that you can do, is good enough. Write Romans 3:23.

We have a sin problem and out of ourselves, we will never be able to solve it. Write “SIN”. The result of man’s sin is eternal death and separation from God. That is why many people fear death because they have no hope. Just a dark and lonely future forever lost and hopeless. Write Romans 6:23. Since God created Adam and Eve, His only agenda was to love us and spoil us with His love. We as the masterpiece of His creation, crave acceptance and intimacy. We search for it all over, but we can never find that deep and intimate closeness we long for. Our sin prevents that relationship. Our sin stands in the way like a brick wall, preventing us from intimacy with God. God is Holy, and only what is holy can come in His presence. This means that eternal death is our future. Draw two vertical lines indicating the separation between “GOD” and “MAN” and write the word “DEATH”.

Each one of us is destined to die. When we die, we will be judged. The Bible speaks of a judgement day that each one of us will face. We will appear before God’s throne. If God does not provide for a Saviour, we will end up in separation from God. We will end up in a place without GOD for eternity. Write Hebrews 9:27 and the word “JUDGEMENT”.

Watch the supporting Video Clip for “Man’s Problem”:

God is a righteous and loving God and man is a sinner – they are therefore apart and separated from each other. But God provided a solution or remedy to bridge this gap. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” This life is in His Son. Draw the cross and write John 3:16 on it.

Jesus is the only way to the Father. John 14:6 says “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” When Christ died voluntarily on the cross, He took our place. He paid the penalty for our sins, and He bridged the gap for us. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says: “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Watch the supporting Video Clip for “God’s Remedy”:

In sharing what God our heavenly Father has done for us out of love, we need to make it clear that we as human beings, are the recipients of God’s gift of salvation through the death of His only Son Jesus Christ. We are receiving undeserved grace and forgiveness. Jesus made it possible for us to cross the gap between us and God, but we must take decisive action.

We are all somewhere on the journey towards God. The gift of grace and forgiveness is not automatically applied to our lives. Jesus died on the cross for everybody, but we must make His sacrifice our own. We must receive it and act on it. In doing so, we need to cross the bridge of faith by making a decision that demonstrates that we believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and accept what He has done for us. This is an individual and personal decision. No one can accept the gift of God’s grace and forgiveness on our behalf.

John 1:12-13 says: “Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” Write “BELIEVE” and John 1:12-13. Every person must accept for him-/herself what Jesus did on the cross and decide to follow Him.

Believing in Christ means accepting and trusting in what Jesus did on the cross, to enable you to be forgiven and come into the right relationship with God. By expressing faith in Jesus as the son of God and excepting His sacrifice, we become children of God.  We will then not be condemned for our sins but have passed from death into life. John 5:24 says: “…truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” Write John 5:24.  

To cross the bridge of faith, “from death to life”, we need to pray a prayer of repentance of our wrongdoing and acceptance of Jesus’ grace and forgiveness. Pray together.

Watch the supporting Video Clip for “Man’s Response”:

1 Peter 3:15 says: “…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” In discussing and explaining all of this to a colleague, friend, or family member, we must make sure to do so humbly and lovingly. Not condescending or judgemental. We are called to share the Gospel with everyone. It is God’s Holy Spirit that convicts people, we cannot force them to decide, but we must give them an opportunity.

Part of this respect would be to ask the person with whom you are in conversation, whether what you have explained to them makes sense. If there is anything that this person does not understand, take the time and explain to the best of your ability. If you do not have an answer right away, get the information as soon as possible and pass it on to them.

It is good to ask the person where they would place themself on the diagram. This ensures that you are not “judging” or deciding on the person’s behalf but allowing them to decide for themselves where they are on their journey towards God. If the person has not yet decided to accept God’s gift of grace and forgiveness in Jesus, you should ask if anything is stopping them from making the decision. Again, be prudent and ask God for His wisdom in explaining and guiding the person to decide to accept Jesus.

It is very important to pray with the person and assist them to pray a prayer of repentance and acceptance. If the person is not yet ready to decide to follow Jesus, pray with them for God’s guidance, wisdom and courage. You can also tell them that you will be talking to them about this again. “You can be sure that whoever brings a sinner back from wandering, will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.” – James 5:20 (NLT).

For a quick and easy reference of “The Bridge Illustration” you are welcome to make use of the “Pocket Guide” that was developed for this purpose:

https://afm-ags.org/share-christ-with-another-person-pocket-guide/

Friendly Regards
Henri Weideman