Pastoral Letter: 3rd Quarter 2021

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AFM Pastoral Letter: 3rd Quarter 2021

TABLE OF CONTENTS

– INTRODUCTION
– DIVINE HEALING & THE INCEPTION OF THE AFM
– BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE ON SICKNESS & HEALING
– AFM WELFARE WEEKEND: 26-28 NOVEMBER 2021
– CONCLUSION

AFM Colleagues,

Due to the restrictions on gatherings, the National Office Bearers could not visit all the regions during this year’s NOB Empowerment Visits. We hoped that restrictions would have been relaxed earlier, allowing us to visit those regions that are still outstanding. Unfortunately, this could not happen and for this reason, I am including links to all the NOB Empowerment presentations and videos in this letter.

The theme for this year is “Step up to the Future.” The presentations include: (i) Our Missional Church Strategy (One AFM Game Plan), (ii) Church Discipline, (iii) Good Governance (iv) Technology and the Church and (v) Major Risks Facing the AFM. Kindly use the links below to enjoy access to the mentioned content:

Download Presentations:

https://afm-ags.org/category/media/

Watch Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMguBPJZpLHYtSymo7ubUs2oXGS28rDn3

I trust that these presentations will bless and empower you! In this edition of the Pastoral Letter, I include a special focus on the subject of healing as well as the upcoming AFM Welfare Weekend.

 

DIVINE HEALING & THE INCEPTION OF THE AFM

Dr Isak Burger (Former President of the AFM of SA) – [email protected]

Divine healing was one of the distinctive characteristics of the early AFM. Just to get an idea of the many healings, these figures give some indication: During the year 1911, there were 2,023 cases of confirmed, supernatural healings in the AFM. The official church magazine (The Comforter and Messenger of Hope) published right from its inception, in every edition, several testimonies by people who were healed. In some editions, lists of people healed were mentioned. This is perhaps the most outstanding feature when paging through those early Comforters.

The early leaders – Thomas Hezmalhalch, John G. Lake and P.L. le Roux – have set the example. It is important to take special note of the healing ministry of John G. Lake. His philosophy about healing was simply that the praying for a sick person must continue until he/she was healed. Near the end of his life, he wrote to P. L. le Roux where he ascribed the high percentage of healings to this sustained praying: “The astounding percentage of those who were healed was, I believe, due to the system we adopted. We insisted that the individual should present himself for prayer and laying on of hands every day until we were satisfied that they were fully healed.”

His philosophy about healing was simply that the praying for a sick person must continue until he/she was healed.”

Lake was opposed to the modus operandi of some evangelists who only prayed once for the sick person, took no further responsibility for him/her and then told the public that the person was healed. This sort of practice, he said, is harmful:

“We well knew that the great majority of those ministered to once were not fully healed. Some of them were half healed; some of them were quarter healed; some of them received a very slight touch of healing; some were touched of God sufficiently to take away their pain and give them freedom and action temporarily. In many of these cases evangelists had these people testify before great audiences that they were fully healed, only to discover in a few days or weeks that they were not really healed, and many in disappointment went home to die.

Because of the commercialized state of evangelistic work, evangelists felt that they could not afford to take time to pray for the same individual more than once; and in a short time they began to teach that accursed teaching that has devastated the ministry of healing that it was only proper to pray for the sick once, that they should not be ministered unto the second time. This was Dollar Christianity. Wherever it was practised and by whom, it is still Dollar Christianity. If we pray for a sinner repeatedly until he is saved and he knows it, and for the baptism of the Holy Ghost, why not for healing?”

“If we pray for a sinner repeatedly until he is saved and he knows it, and for the baptism of the Holy Ghost, why not for healing?”

Divine healing has always attracted people and this was probably the decisive factor that persuaded people to set aside their objections and prejudices and through which the Lord drew the people to Himself. More people in those early days came to the AFM through the healing ministry than in any other way. It is remarkable how many of the first generation members of the AFM were influenced to join the church after seeing or personally experiencing a healing miracle.

Relating the history of a well-known pastor in the early days of the AFM, a Mrs Z. Rennie wrote: “The late Pastor Charles Heatley came into the church a hopeless cripple, on crutches, and went home saved, and literally leaping for joy, healed by the power of God. He often testified that when he got home, his wife had a big fright when she heard a man running up the stairs – she had been listening for the sound of crutches – but to her joy, it was her husband, healed.”

One could rightly ask today: “What happened to this distinctive characteristic of the early AFM? After all, it is one of the foundational pillars of our church.” More information on this subject is available in the book “The Fire Falls in Africa” and can be obtained from the AFM Head-Office:

Send an e-mail to: [email protected] 

R100 per book (excluding the courier fee)

BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE ON SICKNESS & HEALING

Past. M.G. Mahlobo (President of the AFM of SA) – [email protected] 

In this article, I would like to look at why we get sick. I would also like to touch on whether God can be the source of our sickness. I would then conclude with what the Bible says about healing, how can I get well and help others get well too. The issue of sickness is broad and complex. In dealing with this question, I want to propose three factors. These are human-, spiritual-, and environmental factors.

Human Factors

In certain instances, we become sick because of human factors. These include:

  • Neglect of our bodies. When we neglect our bodies, we expose ourselves to all kinds of ailments.
  • Harmful substances. We run a risk of being ill when we indulge in harmful substances, such as drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and tobacco.
  • Non-compliance with hygiene and safety measures against diseases exposes us to all kinds of infections.

Spiritual Factors

  • God factor. In the Old Testament God inflicted boils on Egyptians (Exodus 9: 8-12). God used ailments to punish Israel when they were disobedient. In 2 Samuel 24:15-17, God sent pestilence that killed 70,000 children of Israel because of the sin of King David. The Psalmist, in Psalm 119:67,71 makes a connection between afflictions and disobedience to God’s statutes (Ref. Exodus 15:26).
  • Demons. In the New Testament, we read about people who were sick because of demonic powers (Mark 5:1-20).

Environmental Pollution Factors

  • Sometimes sickness is caused by conditions of squalor. In Deuteronomy 23:12-14 we see the importance of hygiene and sanitation.
  • In January 2020 the World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus cited the absence of water, toilets, soap, and water management in health care facilities among the most urgent global challenges of this decade (WHO and UNICEF. Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP 2017). 

Is sickness something given to me by God? The response is ‘yes’ and ‘no’. I have already alluded to God using sickness as punishment or corrective measure in one of the previous paragraphs. This is specifically in relation to the Old Testament and not necessarily in the New Testament. One of the consequences of sin in Genesis 3 is death. Sickness is part of the death process. Sin has rendered our bodies vulnerable (1 Corinthians 5:1-2; 15:42-44). Each one of us has a body that is in the process of perishing. In the New Testament, God is healing the multitudes instead of cursing them.

“In John 10:10 Jesus declares that He came to give life in all its fullness.”

How can I get well? There are many views and opinions about healing. Christians need to go to the Bible for direction and guidance:

  • Have faith in God. In three Bible passages, Jesus healed people and told them “Your faith has made you well” Mark 5:34, Luke 17:19 & Mark 10:52.
  • Confession. In James 5:16 we are instructed to confess our sins to each other as a preparation for our healing. This, however, does not mean that every sick person is ill because of a secret sin that he/she has committed. This was a mistake that Job’s friends made regarding Job’s sickness.
  • Accept sufficiency of God’s Grace. In 2 Corinthians 12:8-9, Paul relates his prayer to God for healing from his physical ailments. He prayed three times and in all instances, the response from God was: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul accepted God’s grace above his ailment.
  • Consult accredited physicians. Christians should not shy away from undergoing medical processes to establish their condition of wellness. The Bible refers to medical treatment used, such as bandages (Isaiah 1:6), balm (Jeremiah 8:22), leaves (Ezekiel 47:12) and oil and wine (Luke 10:34). References of Doctors are made in the Bible. These include Matthew 9:12; Luke 4:23 and Colossians 4:14.

How can I help others to get well? We can help others get well when we pray for their healing (Mark 16:16-18 & James 5:14-15). We must encourage them not to lose hope. Healing comes from God. Our God, as Jehovah Rapha, can heal us from all diseases (Psalm 103:3). God may not heal us. God said ‘no’ to Moses when he prayed for Miriam (Numbers 12:13-15), and Paul (2 Corinthians 12:8-9). Church leaders have an important part to play. In James 5:14-16 elders or leaders of the church should be informed when members are sick. They are expected to visit and pray for the sick.

AFM WELFARE WEEKEND: 26-28 NOVEMBER 2021

Ashley Theron – Acting CEO of AFM Welfare – [email protected] 

In the past 18 months, people all over the world were affected by a situation that we have never experienced before. The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the loss of lives of family members, colleagues, friends and even Pastors. This is compounded by the loss of jobs and business shutdowns impacting negatively on the income of families – remaining a great concern. The lost time for the education sector might never be recovered. Churches have been greatly impacted by the lockdown regulations limiting the number of people that may attend gatherings. It seems that so much has been lost and that no person, organisation or church is left untouched by this crisis.

When things are tough and difficult in my own household, does God still expect me to reach out to others in need?”

When things are tough and difficult in my own household, does God still expect me to reach out to others in need? When I am suffering, do I still have a responsibility to serve as the hands and feet of Christ? The image of the three crosses on Calvary immediately comes to mind and specifically Luke 23:32-43. It is one of the most precious moments in the Bible. While Jesus Himself were experiencing agony and excruciating pain on the cross, He still showed compassion to listen to the plea of the thief crucified next to Him. Jesus repressed His own pain in that moment to tend to the needs of another.

The implication for believers is clear. Jesus has set this touching example for us to follow. It is an example that stands in stark contrast with the ways of the world where people in difficult situations might feel that self-preservation is a higher priority than giving, sharing and reaching out to others.   Even when things are difficult and tough in our own households, I believe that through God’s grace we should continue to generously give and reach out to others in need. This is also the proposed theme for the 2021 AFM Welfare Weekend (26-28 November 2021).

The AFM Welfare Weekend is an opportunity for the church to intentionally reflect on one of the drivers of the One AFM Game Plan – Community Involvement. By making it a focused weekend, it does not mean that we should not be involved in our communities throughout the year. It only means that we are taking time to re-evaluate the church’s role in making a difference in the lives of vulnerable persons. It is also a chance for the AFM to have a specific weekend, once a year where all Assemblies are invited to unite as one around the same focus, message and activities. (Download more information about the Community Involvement driver from: https://afm-ags.org/community-involvement/.)

One of the most vulnerable groups in our local communities is older persons. Older persons are somebody’s parents, our parents, our grandparents, they are in our churches – they took care of us when we were growing up, it is our turn to care for them in a dignified manner and to protect them. The care and protection of older persons will be our focus for this year’s AFM Welfare Weekend.

The care and protection of older persons will be our focus for this year’s AFM Welfare Weekend.”

The rest of this article will focus on a guideline with practical ideas and suggestions to assist AFM Assembles to make the most of the AFM Welfare Weekend. Each AFM Assembly should decide how their AFM Welfare Weekend will be structured.

Guidelines for a successful AFM Welfare Weekend

Effective Preparation 

  • To make a success of AFM Welfare Weekend involve, prepare and mobilise the Governing Body, all Departments and all assembly members.
  • Prepare spiritually by intentionally reflecting with your leadership and assembly members on one of the drivers of the One AFM Game Plan – Community Involvement.
  • If you don’t have a Welfare Committee, you will need to identify, elect/appoint and prepare a team that will be responsible to organise and manage the programme for Welfare Weekend.

Get to know the Community Surrounding the Church 

  • To help care for, serve and protect vulnerable persons (including Older Persons) in your community, you need to know who they are and where they live. Take a good look at your town, suburb or community and create a Profile that includes:
  • A database of information on all vulnerable persons, including older persons in your Assembly, and others living in communities surrounding your church including their names, phone numbers, physical address and next of kin.
  • A list of organisations or structures involved in service provision and protection of older persons. This includes Government Departments, SAPS, NPOs and other organisations, health facilities and institutions that are offering services to older persons. (Get to know these organisations and individuals so that your Assembly can conduct a needs analysis and become aware of opportunities for involvement.)
  • For purposes of the 2021 AFM Welfare Weekend the information and services for Older Persons should be prioritised.

Deciding on your AFM Welfare Weekend Programme

You can choose between a two or a three-day programme. The example below is for a three-day programme:

  • Friday Evening. Invite families (include grandparents if they are part of the same household) to a short practical “Focus on the Family” session. Should you be interested, I will gladly share two of my tool kits on (i) How to Develop Family Values and (ii) How to combine Family Meetings with Evening Devotions. You or one of the leaders can facilitate a discussion and break into groups of families to apply the teaching.
  • Saturday morning. Consider a Community Outreach action.

Example 1: Breakfast and entertainment session for Older Persons

Identify and invite all active Older Persons (60 and above – if there are too many 65 and older) to enjoy breakfast and thereafter participate in a concert with them as the performers. Close the session with a short talk on e.g., self-care or a sermon.

Example 2: Reaching out to and spoiling Older Persons

Identify vulnerable or frail older persons in your assembly and community and arrange a team of youth members and/or children’s ministry staff to clean their houses, do chores and run errands, do their hair and nails, do a health check etc.

  • Saturday afternoon. Consider an Empowerment Session where you inform and train your church members and members of your community. I will make a training video available soon to educate the mentioned members on reaching out, caring for and protecting older persons in the community, including a special focus on the different types of elder abuse.
  • Sunday morning – A Welfare Service. 

Sunday Sermon:

Community Involvement is key to the fulfilment of the AFM’s missional calling. Empower your members to better understand this driver and calling. Give the consistent message that (1) when things are tough and difficult in my own household, God still expects me to reach out to others and (2) the abuse of older persons is wrong and contrary to Christian teachings. We will also make sermon points for your consideration available soon.

Sunday Donations-in-kind:

Consider a specific activity where your members are mobilised a few weeks before the AFM Welfare Weekend to bring donations that could include gifts, clothes, linen, towels, toiletries and/or non-perishable food for identified older persons. The parcels of food and toiletries should be prepared before the time and handed out during the morning service to active older persons. Where older persons are no longer able to attend the services, it should be taken to them.

Sunday Offering:

Consider taking up a special offering for the AFM Welfare Department. The special offering can be deposited in the AFM Welfare’s account:

Bank Name: ABSA

Account Name: The Executive Welfare Council of the AFM of SA

Branch Code: 632005

Account Number: 01 05529 076 4

Type: Check

Reference: The name of your AFM Assembly

To further assist you in preparing for AFM Welfare Weekend, you might also find the following resources useful:

https://afm-ags.org/pastoral-letter-2nd-quarter-2021/ 

https://afm-ags.org/protecting-older-persons-against-abuse-an-involved-church-community/ 

CONCLUSION

I understand that Covid-19 does have a great influence on the way church actions and projects are planned. There is no doubt that it has become more difficult to reach out and work with the community due to Covid-19 restrictions. I want to encourage you to stand strong and to consider innovative ways to continue carrying out the Great Commission – even when times are difficult and tough. Even when it is painful and hurting. I am praying for each AFM Pastor, and I know that through the grace of God we will be strengthened and receive wisdom.

Blessings!

M.G. Mahlobo

Pastorale Brief: 3de Kwartaal 2021

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

Pastorale Brief: 3de Kwartaal 2021

INHOUD:
– GROETE
– GODDELIKE GENESING EN DIE ONTSTAAN VAN DIE AGS
– BYBELSE PERSPEKTIEF OP SIEKTE EN GENESING
– AGS WELSYNSNAWEEK: 26-28 NOVEMBER 2021
– SLOT

AGS Kollega,

Weens die beperkings op byeenkomste kon die Nasionale Ampsdraers nie gedurende hierdie jaar se NOB-bemagtigingsbesoeke al die streke besoek nie. Ons het gehoop dat die beperkings vroeër verslap sou word sodat ons die streke wat nog uitstaande is kan besoek. Ongelukkig kon dit nie plaasvind nie en daarom verskaf ek vandag die aanlyn skakels waar hierdie aanbiedings en video-materiaal afgelaai kan word.

Die tema vir hierdie jaar is “Step up to the Future”. Die aanbiedings sluit in: (i) Ons Missionale Kerkstrategie (One AFM Game Plan), (ii) Dissipline in die Kerk, (iii) Goeie Bestuur, (iv) Tegnologie en die Kerk en (v) Belangrike Risiko’s wat die AGS in die gesig staar. Gebruik asseblief die onderstaande skakels om toegang tot hierdie inhoud te geniet:

Aanbiedings:

https://afm-ags.org/category/media/ 

Videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlistlist=PLMguBPJZpLHYtSymo7ubUs2oXGS28rDn3

Ek vertrou dat hierdie aanbiedings jou sal seën en bemagtig! In hierdie uitgawe van die Pastorale Brief sluit ek ‘n spesiale fokus in op die onderwerpe van genesing sowel as die komende AGS Welsynsnaweek.

 

GODDELIKE GENESING EN DIE ONTSTAAN VAN DIE AGS

Dr Isak Burger (Vorige President van die AGS van SA) – [email protected] 

Goddelike genesing was een van die kenmerkende eienskappe van die vroeë AGS. Net om ‘n idee te kry van die vele genesings gee die volgende syfers ‘n aanduiding: Gedurende die jaar 1911 was daar 2,023 gevalle van bevestigde, bonatuurlike genesings in die AGS. Die amptelike kerktydskrif (“The Comforter and Messenger of Hope”) het van die begin af, in elke uitgawe, ‘n aantal getuienisse ingesluit van mense wat genees is. In sommige uitgawes was daar selfs ‘n lys van mense wat genees is. Dit is miskien die mees uitstaande kenmerk as jy deur die vroeë “Comforter” blaai.

“Sy filosofie oor genesing was eenvoudig dat gebed vir ‘n siek persoon moet aanhou totdat hy/sy genees is.”

Die vroeë leiers – Thomas Hezmalhalch, John G. Lake en P.L. le Roux – het die voorbeeld gestel. Dit is belangrik om veral kennis te neem van die genesingsbediening van John G. Lake. Sy filosofie oor genesing was eenvoudig dat gebed vir ‘n siek persoon moet aanhou totdat hy/sy genees is. Teen die einde van sy lewe rig hy ‘n skrywe hy aan P. L. le Roux. Hy skryf die hoë persentasie genesings toe aan hierdie volgehoue ​​gebed: “Die ongelooflike hoë persentasie van mense wat genees is, is volgens my ‘n gevolg van die sisteem wat ons aangeneem het. Ons het daarop aangedring dat die individu hom elke dag beskikbaar moet stel vir gebed en handeoplegging totdat ons tevrede is dat hulle ten volle genees is. ”

Lake was gekant teen die modus operandi van sommige evangeliste wat net een keer vir ‘n siek persoon gebid het, geen verdere verantwoordelikheid vir hom/haar geneem het nie en toe aan die publiek gesê het dat die persoon genees is. Hierdie manier van dinge doen, het hy gesê, is skadelik:

“Ons het goed geweet dat die oorgrote meerderheid van diegene wat voorheen bedien is, nie volkome genees is nie. Sommige van hulle was half genees; sommige van hulle ‘n kwart; sommige van hulle het ‘n effense tikkie genesing gekry; sommige is genoegsaam deur God aangeraak om hulle pyn weg te neem en hulle tydelike vryheid van beweging te gee. In baie van hierdie gevalle het evangeliste hierdie mense voor groot gehore laat getuig dat hulle volkome genees is, net om binne ‘n paar dae of weke te ontdek dat hulle nie regtig genees is nie, en dat baie teleurgesteld huis toe gegaan het om te sterf.

Vanweë die gekommersialiseerde toestand van evangelisasiewerk, het evangeliste gevoel dat hulle dit nie kon bekostig om meer as een keer vir dieselfde individu te bid nie; en in ‘n kort tydjie het hulle daardie vervloekte lering wat die genesingsbediening verwoes het, begin leer dat dit net gepas was om vir die siekes eenmaal te bid, dat hulle nie vir die tweede keer bedien moes word nie. Dit was “dollar Christianity”. Waar ookal dit beoefen is en deur wie, dit is steeds “dollar Christianity”. As ons herhaaldelik vir ‘n sondaar bid totdat hy gered is en hy dit weet, en vir die doop van die Heilige Gees, waarom nie vir genesing nie?”

“As ons herhaaldelik vir ‘n sondaar bid totdat hy gered is en hy dit weet, en vir die doop van die Heilige Gees, waarom nie vir genesing nie?

Goddelike genesing het altyd mense aangetrek en dit was waarskynlik die deurslaggewende faktor wat mense oorreed het om hul besware en vooroordele opsy te sit en waardeur die Here die mense na Homself getrek het. In die vroeë dae het meer mense na die AGS gekom deur genesingsbedienings as op enige ander manier.

Dit is opmerklik hoeveel van die eerste generasie lidmate van die AGS beïnvloed is om by die kerk aan te sluit nadat hulle ‘n genesingswonder gesien of persoonlik beleef het. Mevrou Z. Rennie het van die geskiedenis van ‘n bekende predikant in die vroeë dae van die AGS geskryf: “Wyle pastoor Charles Heatley het as ‘n hopelose kreupel die kerk binnegekom en het gered huis toe gegaan en letterlik gespring van vreugde, genees deur die krag van God. Hy het gereeld getuig dat sy vrou, toe hy by die huis kom, baie bang was toe sy ‘n man by die trap hoor op hardloop – sy het geluister vir die klank van sy krukke – maar tot haar vreugde was dit haar man wat genees was.”

‘n Mens sou met reg vandag kon vra: “Wat het gebeur met hierdie kenmerkende eienskap van die vroeë AGS? Dit is immers een van die fondamente van ons kerk.” Meer inligting hieroor is beskikbaar in die boek “The Fire falls in Africa”. Dit kan verkry word vanaf die AGS se hoofkantoor:

Stuur ‘n e-pos aan: [email protected] 

Koste beloop R100 per boek (koerierfooi uitgesluit)

 

BYBELSE PERSPEKTIEF OP SIEKTE EN GENESING

Past. M.G. Mahlobo (President van die AGS van SA) – [email protected] 

In hierdie artikel wil ek graag kyk waarom ons siek word. Ek wil ook aanraak of God die bron van ons siekte kan wees. Ek wil dan afsluit met wat die Bybel sê oor genesing, hoe kan ek gesond word en ander help om ook gesond te word. Die kwessie van siekte is breed en kompleks. In die hantering van hierdie vraag wil ek drie faktore oorweeg. Dit is menslike-, geestelike- en omgewingsfaktore.

Menslike faktore

In sommige gevalle word ons siek as gevolg van menslike faktore. Dit sluit in:

  • Verwaarlosing van ons liggame. Wanneer ons ons liggame verwaarloos, stel ons onsself bloot aan allerhande kwale.
  • Skadelike stowwe. Ons loop ook ‘n risiko om siek te word wanneer ons toegee aan skadelike stowwe soos dwelmmisbruik, alkoholmisbruik en tabak.
  • Nalatigheid om higiëne- en veiligheidsmaatreëls teen siektes te volg, stel ons bloot aan allerhande infeksies.

Geestelike faktore 

  • God faktor. In die Ou Testament het God swere op Egiptenare laat verskyn (Eksodus 9:8-12). God het kwale gebruik om Israel te straf toe hulle ongehoorsaam was. In 2 Samuel 24:15-17 het God ‘n plaag gestuur wat 70,000 kinders van Israel doodgemaak het weens die sonde van koning Dawid. Die skrywer van Psalm 119:67,71 maak ‘n konneksie tussen verdrukkinge en ongehoorsaamheid aan God (Eksodus 15:26).
  • Demone. In die Nuwe Testament lees ons van mense wat siek was as gevolg van demoniese magte (Markus 5:1-20).

Omgewingsbesoedeling faktore

  • Soms word siekte veroorsaak deur haglike toestande. In Deuteronomium 23:12-14 sien ons die belangrikheid van higiëne en sanitasie.
  • In Januarie 2020 het die Wêreldgesondheidsorganisasie (WGO) se Direkteur-Generaal, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, die afwesigheid van water, toilette, seep en waterbestuur in gesondheidsorgfasiliteite onder die dringendste wêreldwye uitdagings van hierdie dekade aangehaal (WGO en UNICEF: Gesamentlike Moniteringsprogram – JMP 2017).

Is siekte iets wat God aan my gegee het? Die antwoord is ‘ja’ en ‘nee’. Ek het reeds verwys dat God siekte as ‘n straf of regstellende maatreël in een van die vorige paragrawe gebruik. Dit hou spesifiek betrekking tot die Ou Testament en nie noodwendig die Nuwe Testament nie. Een van die gevolge van sonde in Genesis 3 is die dood. Siekte is deel van die doodsproses. Sonde het ons liggame kwesbaar gemaak (1 Korintiërs 5:1-2; 15:42-44). Elkeen van ons het ‘n liggaam wat in die proses is om te vergaan. In die Nuwe Testament genees God die menigtes in plaas daarvan om hulle te vervloek. In Johannes 10:10 verklaar Jesus dat Hy gekom het om lewe te gee in oorvloed.

In Johannes 10:10 verklaar Jesus dat Hy gekom het om lewe te gee in oorvloed.”

Hoe kan ek gesond word? Daar is baie sienings en menings oor genesing. Dit is belangrik vir Christene om na die Bybel te gaan vir leiding:

  • Geloof in God. In drie Skrifgedeeltes het Jesus mense genees en vir hulle gesê: “Julle geloof het julle gesond gemaak” (Markus 5:34, Lukas 17:19).
  • Bekentenis. In Jakobus 5:16 word ons beveel om ons sondes aan mekaar te bely as ‘n voorbereiding vir ons genesing. Dit beteken egter nie dat elke siek persoon siek is as gevolg van geheime sonde wat hy/sy gepleeg het nie. Dit was ‘n fout wat Job se vriende aangaande Job se siekte gemaak het.
  • Aanvaar genoegsaamheid van God se genade. In 2 Korintiërs 12:8-9 vertel Paulus van sy gebed tot God vir genesing van sy fisiese kwale. Hy het drie keer gebid en in alle gevalle was die reaksie van God: “My genade is vir jou genoeg, want my krag is volmaak in swakheid.” Paulus het God se genade bo sy kwaal aanvaar.
  • Raadpleeg geakkrediteerde dokters. Christene moet nie wegskram daarvan om mediese prosesse te ondergaan om hul welstand te bepaal nie. Die Bybel verwys na mediese behandeling wat gebruik word, soos verbande (Jesaja 1:6), balsem (Jeremia 8:22), blare (Esegiël 47:12) en olie en wyn (Lukas 10:34). Verwysings van dokters word in die Bybel gemaak. Dit sluit in Matteus 9:12; Lukas 4:23 en Kolossense 4:14.

Hoe kan ek ander help om gesond te word? Ons kan ander help om gesond te word deur te bid vir hulle genesing (Markus 16:16-18 en Jakobus 5:14-15). Ons moet hulle aanmoedig om nie hoop te verloor nie. Genesing kom van God. Ons God, as Jehovah Rapha, kan ons van alle siektes genees (Psalm 103:3). God mag ons dalk nie genees nie. God het vir Moses nee gesê toe hy vir Mirjam gebid het (Númeri 12:13-15) en Paulus (2 Korintiërs 12:8-9). Kerkleiers het ‘n belangrike rol om te speel. In Jakobus 5:14-16 moet ouderlinge of leiers van die kerk ingelig word wanneer lidmate siek is. Daar word van hulle verwag om die siekes te besoek.

 

AGS WELSYNSNAWEEK: 26-28 NOVEMBER 2021

Ashley Theron – Waarnemende Uitvoerende Hoof van die AGS Welsyn- [email protected]

In die afgelope 18 maande was elke persoon geraak deur ‘n situasie wat ons nog nooit ervaar het nie. Die verwoestende impak van Covid-19 word onthul deur die verlies aan kosbare lewens van familie, kollegas, vriende en selfs Pastore. Werkloosheid, besighede wat hul deure sluit en ‘n verlies aan inkomste vir gesinne bly ‘n groot bron van kommer. Die verlore tyd vir opvoeding sal moontlik nooit ingehaal word nie. Kerke is veral erg geraak deur die inperkingsregulasies wat die aantal mense wat byeenkomste mag bywoon beïnvloed. Dit lyk asof soveel verlore gegaan het en dat geen persoon, organisasie of kerk deur hierdie krisis onaangeraak gelaat is nie.

As dit in my eie huishouding druk en moeilik gaan, verwag God dan nog steeds dat ek na ander in nood moet uitreik?”

As dit in my eie huishouding druk en moeilik gaan, verwag God dan nog steeds dat ek na ander in nood moet uitreik? Het ek dan nog steeds die verantwoordelikheid om as die hande en voete van Christus te dien as ek self ly? Die beeld van die drie kruise op Golgota kom onmiddellik in gedagte en spesifiek Lukas 23:32-43. Dit is een van die kosbaarste oomblikke in die Bybel. Terwyl Jesus self ontsettende pyn en lyding aan die kruis ondervind het, het Hy steeds medelye getoon om te luister na die pleidooi van die dief wat langs Hom gekruisig is. Jesus onderdruk sy eie pyn op daardie oomblik om in die behoeftes van ‘n ander te voorsien.

Die implikasie vir gelowiges is duidelik. Jesus het hierdie aangrypende voorbeeld vir ons gestel om te volg. Dit is ‘n voorbeeld wat in skrille kontras staan ​​met die maniere van die wêreld waar mense in moeilike situasies eerder voel dat selfbehoud ‘n hoër prioriteit is as om te gee, te deel en uit te reik na ander. Selfs as dit swaar en moeilik gaan in ons eie huishoudings, glo ek dat ons deur God se genade moet voortgaan om mildelik te saai en uit te reik na ander in nood. Dit is ons ​​tema vir die AGS Welsynsnaweek 2021 (26-28 November).

Die AGS Welsynsnaweek is ‘n geleentheid vir die kerk om doelbewus na te dink oor een van die spesifieke drywers van die “One AFM Game Plan” – Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid. Deur dit ‘n gefokusde naweek te maak beteken nie dat ons nalaat om regdeur die jaar by ons gemeenskappe betrokke te wees nie. Dit beteken slegs dat ons ‘n naweek neem om alleenlik te fokus op die kerk se betrokkenheid by plaaslike gemeenskappe. Dit is ook ‘n geleentheid vir die AGS om ‘n naweek te hê waar alle Gemeentes saam as ‘n eenheid op dieselfde boodskap en aktiwiteit fokus. (Besoek gerus https://afm-ags.org/community-involvement/ vir meer inligting oor die Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid drywer.)

Een van die kwesbaarste groepe in ons plaaslike gemeenskappe is ouer persone. Ouer persone is iemand se ouers, ons ouers, ons grootouers, hulle is in ons kerke – hulle het vir ons gesorg toe ons groot geword het en nou is dit ons beurt om hulle op ‘n waardige manier te versorg en te beskerm. Die sorg en beskerming van ouer persone sal ons fokus vir hierdie jaar se AGS Welsynsnaweek wees.

Die res van hierdie artikel fokus op praktiese idees en voorstelle vir AGS Gemeentes om die meeste van die AGS Welsynsnaweek te maak. Elke AGS Gemeente moet besluit hoe hul AGS Welsynsnaweek gestruktureer sal word.

Riglyne vir ‘n suksesvolle AFM Welsynsnaweek

Doeltreffende voorbereiding

  • Om ‘n sukses te maak van die AGS Welsynsnaweek is dit belangrik om van die begin af jou lede van die Beheerliggaam, bedieninge en lidmate effektief te betrek, voor te berei en te mobiliseer.
  • Berei geestelik voor deur doelbewus saam met jou leierskap en lidmate na te dink oor een van die drywers van die One AFM Game PlanGemeenskapsbetrokkenheid.
  • As jy nie ‘n Welsynskomitee het nie moet jy ‘n span identifiseer of kies/aanstel en voorberei wat verantwoordelikheid neem vir die organisering en bestuur van die Welsynsnaweek program.

Ken jou Gemeenskap

  • Om kwesbare persone (insluitend ouer persone) in jou gemeenskap te help versorg, te dien en te beskerm moet jy weet wie hulle is en waar hulle woon. Bestudeer jou stad, voorstad of gemeenskap en skep ‘n Profiel wat die volgende insluit:
  • ‘n Databasis met inligting oor alle kwesbare persone, insluitend die ouer persone in jou Gemeente en ander ouer persone wat in gemeenskappe rondom jou kerk woon. Inligting soos name, telefoonnommers, fisiese adresse en naasbestaandes is belangrik.
  • ‘n Lys van organisasies of strukture wat betrokke is by dienslewering en beskerming van ouer persone. Dit sluit in regeringsdepartemente, die SAPS, nie-winsgewende organisasies en gesondheidsfasiliteite en instellings wat dienste aan ouer persone bied. (Leer hierdie organisasies en individue ken sodat jou Gemeente ‘n behoefte-ontleding kan uitvoer en bewus kan word van geleenthede vir betrokkenheid.)
  • Vir die doeleindes van die 2021 AGS Welsynsnaweek moet inligting en dienste vir ouer persone geprioritiseer word.

Besluit oor jou AGS Welsynsnaweek Program

Jy kan kies tussen ‘n program van twee of drie dae. Die onderstaande voorbeeld is vir ‘n program wat oor 3 dae aangebied word:

  • Vrydagaand. Nooi gesinne (sluit ouer mense in as hulle deel uitmaak van dieselfde huishouding) na ‘n kort praktiese sessie genaamd “Fokus op die Gesin”. As jy belangstel, deel ek graag twee van my hulpbronne, naamlik (i) Hoe om Gesinswaardes te Ontwikkel en (ii) Hoe om Gesinsbyeenkomste met Bybelstudie te kombineer. Jy of een van die leiers kan hierdie aanbieding fasiliteer en selfs gesinne in kleiner groepe toelaat om die beginsels toe te pas.
  • Saterdagoggend. Oorweeg ‘n uitreikprojek.

Voorbeeld 1: Ontbyt en vermaak vir ouer persone

Identifiseer en nooi alle aktiewe ouer persone (60 jaar en ouer – as daar te veel is 65 en ouer) om ontbyt te geniet en daarna saam met hulle as kunstenaars deel te neem aan ‘n konsert. Sluit die sessie af met ‘n kort toespraak oor bv. selfversorging of ‘n preek.

Voorbeeld 2: Reik uit na en bederf ouer persone

Identifiseer kwesbare ouer persone in jou gemeente en gemeenskap en reël ‘n span jeuglede en/of kinderbedieningspersoneel om hul huise skoon te maak, verskeie take te doen, hul hare en naels te doen, ‘n gesondheidsondersoek te doen, ens.

  • Saterdagmiddag. Oorweeg ‘n bemagtigingsessie waar jy jou lidmate en lede van jou gemeenskap inlig en oplei. Ek sal binnekort ‘n opleidingsvideo beskikbaar stel waar ek meer inligting deel oor die uitreik na, versorging en beskerming van ouer persone in die gemeenskap – insluitend ‘n spesiale fokus op die verskillende soorte mishandeling van bejaardes.

 

  • Sondagoggend – ‘n Welsynsdiens.

Sondag Preek:

Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid is die sleutel tot die vervulling van die AGS se missionale roeping. Bemagtig jou lidmate om hierdie drywer en roeping beter te verstaan. Gee die konsekwente boodskap dat (i) wanneer dinge in my eie huis moeilik is, God steeds van my verwag om na ander uit te reik en (ii) die misbruik van ouer persone verkeerd is en in stryd is met Christelike leerstellings. Ek sal ook binnekort preekpunte vir jou oorweging beskikbaar stel.

Sondag Donasies:

Oorweeg ‘n spesifieke aktiwiteit waar jy jou lidmate ‘n paar weke voor die AGS Welsynsnaweek mobiliseer om donasies te bring wat moontlik geskenke, klere, linne, handdoeke, toiletware en/of nie-bederfbare voedsel vir geïdentifiseerde ouer persone kan insluit. Die pakkies kos en toiletware moet voor die tyd voorberei word en tydens die oggenddiens aan aktiewe ouer persone uitgedeel word. As ouer persone nie meer die dienste kan bywoon nie, moet dit na hulle geneem word.

Sondag Offerhande:

Oorweeg om ‘n spesiale offerhande vir die AGS Welsynsdepartement op te neem. Die spesiale offerhande kan in die AGS Welsyn se rekening gedeponeer word:

Bank Naam: ABSA

Rekeningnaam: The Executive Welfare Council of the AFM of SA

Takkode: 632005

Rekeningnommer: 01 05529 076 4

Tipe: Tjek

Verwysing: Die naam van jou AGS Gemeente

Om jou verder by te staan met die voorbereiding vir die 2021 AGS Welsynsnaweek, is die volgende bronne ook nuttig:

https://afm-ags.org/pastoral-letter-2nd-quarter-2021/ 

https://afm-ags.org/protecting-older-persons-against-abuse-an-involved-church-community/ 

SLOT

Ek verstaan ​​dat die huidige Covid-19-situasie ‘n groot invloed het op die manier waarop Gemeentes aksies en projekte beplan. Daar is geen twyfel dat dit moeiliker geword het om uit te reik en met die gemeenskap saam te werk weens Covid-19-beperkings. Ek wil jou egter aanmoedig om sterk te staan en om innoverende maniere te oorweeg om voort te gaan met die uitvoering van die Groot Opdrag – selfs as die tye taai en moeilik is, selfs as dit pynlik en seer is. Ek bid vir elke AGS Pastoor en ek weet dat ons deur die genade van God versterk sal word en wysheid sal ontvang.

Seën!
Past. M.G. Mahlobo

Pastoral Letter: 2nd Quarter 2021

TABLE OF CONTENTS

– Introduction
– Significance of the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit
– Caring & Protecting Older Persons: An Involved Church & Community
– Trends Affecting the Church in South Africa: During & Post-Pandemic
– Conclusion

Download this Pastoral Newsletter in PDF format (e-mail and printer-friendly):

Eng PN Updated 2021 – 2nd Qrt WEB

 

AFM Colleagues,

The Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa (AFM) is part of the classical Pentecostal Churches that emphasises the role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christian believers. We recognise the Holy Spirit as part of the divine Trinity. The role of the Holy Spirit, as part of the Trinity, can be traced back to the Biblical creation narrative in Genesis 1:2 where we read: “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (ESV). In Matthew, the Holy Spirit is associated with the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:18) and with Jesus’ water baptism (Matthew 3:16-17). Regarding the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19, those who become disciples from all nations should be baptised in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Past. George Mahlobo – President of the AFM of SA

Introduction

The Committee for Doctrine, Ethics and Liturgy (DEL) is currently considering the question of whether speaking in tongues is the only initial evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

This is an important discussion because it touches on our Confession of Faith. Paragraph P.3.7 of the church’s Confession of Faith states: “WE BELIEVE in the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues as promised to all believers. We believe in the manifestation of the gifts and fruit of the Spirit in the life of a Christian. We believe that a Christian should be a disciple of Jesus Christ living a consecrated and holy life.” We are looking forward to the recommendation of the DEL and the action by the National Leadership Forum. Whatever decision is taken, I do not believe that it will undermine the significance of baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Balancing the Spiritual Gifts with the Spiritual Fruit

During Pentecost week, AFM International organised a virtual conference with the theme: “Balancing the Gifts of the Spirit with the Fruit of the Spirit”. The Gifts of the Spirit are aimed at competency in ministry whereas the Fruit of the Spirit is aimed at the development of a Christ-like character. The two should always be coupled together.

The Gifts of the Spirit were grouped into three, namely (1) Gifts of Revelation (Word of Knowledge, Word of Wisdom & Discerning of spirits); (2) Gifts of Utterance (Prophecy, Different kinds of Tongues & Interpretation of Tongues) and (3) Gifts of Power (Faith, Gifts of Healing & Workings of Miracles).

The Fruit of the Spirit was also grouped into three. The three groups were (1) Personal relationship with God (Love; Joy & Peace); (2) Personal relationship with Others (Patience; Kindness & Goodness) and (3) Personal development (Faithfulness; Gentleness & Self-control).

On Pentecost Sunday we reflected on the significance of Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Baptism in the Holy Spirit

It is John the Baptist who spoke about Jesus as the one that would baptise with the Holy Spirit. All four Gospels bear testimony to this, namely Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:7-8, Luke 3:16 and John 1:33. Before He ascended to heaven, Jesus gave His final instruction to His Disciples not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for the baptism with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5). This was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost as stated in Acts 2.

There are three occurrences of Baptism with the Holy Spirit which are associated with speaking in tongues in the book of Acts. These are Acts 2:1-4; Acts 10:44-46 and Acts 19:6. In Acts 8:17 we read about new believers who received the Holy Spirit when Peter laid hands on them. The evidence of them receiving the Holy Spirit is not mentioned as speaking in tongues. However, something extraordinary happened when they received the Holy Spirit. This caught the attention of Simon who offered money to receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:18).

Power for Ministry

According to Acts 1:8, the main purpose of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was to empower the disciples as witnesses of Jesus. Acts 1:8 (ESV) reads: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Baptism in the Holy Spirit empowers us to be effective witnesses of Jesus.”

Baptism in the Holy Spirit empowers us to be effective witnesses of Jesus. Being witnesses of Jesus requires enablement from the Holy Spirit. When writing to the church in Corinth Paul said: “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Corinthians 3:5-6 ESV). This power is manifested through the Spiritual Gifts as listed in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. Through these Gifts, the church receives insight (Gifts of Revelation). The Gifts of Utterance enable the church to hear from God and to speak to the saints. Through Gifts of Power, the church demonstrates God’s power.

Development of the Christ-Like Character

It is expected that God’s children should develop a character that is compatible with Christ’s character. In many instances, this aspect of the Christian life is ignored. The fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 are indicators of the formation of a Christ-like character. We need development in our personal relationship with God (Love; Joy & Peace). We also need to grow in relationship with other people (Patience; Kindness & Goodness) and our personal development (Faithfulness; Gentleness & Self-control). In Luke 2:52 (NLT) we read: “Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all people.”

We must Guard against the Misuse of the Spiritual Gifts

We read about the misuse of Spiritual gifts in Corinth. Paul addresses this issue in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14. We sometimes tend to rate certain Gifts higher than others. Although Paul rated prophecy as a preferred gift in comparison with tongues, this does not mean that the proper use of tongues adds no value (1 Corinthians 14:3-5). Both tongues and prophecy are for edification. When tongues are interpreted, they equate to prophecy.

CARING & PROTECTING OLDER PERSONS: AN INVOLVED CHURCH & COMMUNITY
Ashley Theron (Acting CEO of AFM Welfare) 

The Abuse of Older Persons

Older persons are somebody’s parents, our parents, our grandparents, they are in our churches – they took care of us when we were growing up, now it is our turn to care for them in a dignified manner and to protect them. We should not only say it takes a village to raise a child, we should also say it takes a family, a church and a community to protect and care for older persons. Sadly, the abuse of older persons remains a major challenge in South Africa – it continues in families, communities and even in Facilities for older persons.

“…it takes a family, a church and a community to protect and care for older persons.”

The care and protection of older persons should be one of the focus areas of AFM Assemblies and the practical implementation of the Community Involvement driver (as one of the drivers of the One AFM Game Plan). Some important definitions to consider in this discussion, are:

Older Personis any person who is 60 years old and above.

Older Person in need of care and protectionmeans an older person contemplated in section 25(5) of the Older Persons Act (Act No13 of 2006).

Abuse of an Older Personis when someone with power over an Older Person intentionally harms them or puts them at serious risk of harm, their action, or lack of action.

Forms of Older Persons Abuse

The six types of older person abuse include (1) physical abuse, (2) sexual abuse, (3) emotional or psychological abuse, (4) neglect and self-neglect, (5) abandonment and (6) financial abuse. Each one of these forms of abuse has a definition and specific warning signs that empowers a person to possibly identify when abuse is taking place. Regardless of type, the abuse of older persons can have devastating consequences, including great emotional suffering, serious physical injuries, and even death.

The Role of the Pastor & other Church Leaders

Psalm 141:8-10 states: “My eyes are fixed on you, O God, my Lord; in you I seek refuge; do not leave me defenceless. Keep me from the trap that they have laid for me, and from the snares of evildoers. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I pass by in safety.” 

“Pastors and other Church Leaders can play an important role in preventing abuse because they are often the first stop for help.”

Pastors and other Church Leaders can play an important role in preventing abuse because they are often the first stop for help. In many cases, the Pastor or Leader of older adult ministries may be the only other person (except the abuser) in the victim’s life. The abuse of older persons is a crime and all responsible leaders working with older persons MUST report cases of older person abuse to the authorities.

Allow me to share ten recommendations for Pastors and other Church Leaders to consider in their management of Older Persons Abuse in their respective churches and communities (note that these recommendations can also be applied to gender-based violence and child abuse):

Pastors and other Church Leaders should:

  1. Recognise the signs. Generally, look for any signs of mistreatment: physical and verbal abuse; neglect of personal hygiene, living conditions, or medical needs; and exploitation, such as someone taking advantage of an older person’s finances and property. Some older persons are unable or afraid to talk about these kinds of situations, so Church Leaders need to keep a watchful eye on their care.
  2. Give the consistent message (in the form of a sermon) that the abuse of older persons is wrong and contrary to Christian teachings.
  3. Increase awareness and discussion of the abuse of older persons within the church (through regular teaching and training). Educate the congregation on the subject of different types of older person abuse – including fraudulent incidents related to elders.
  4. Reach out to and work with external agencies, including local older person abuse support services, the police, children’s and family services, health services, social services etc. Tackling abuse and helping those who are abused requires a multi-sectoral approach.
  5. Create a safe place for older persons by making your church a place where elderly victims can come for help. Provide confidential (within the boundaries of safeguarding policies), non-judgemental listening and prayer support for anyone who discloses that they have been abused.
  6. Contact the proper authorities. In South Africa, the first call you make is to your nearest Department of Social Development office and if they are not available, report the abuse to the South African Police Service. If the person is in immediate danger, call 10111.
  7. As part of your Community Profile, create a database of all vulnerable persons including older persons living in the local community you serve – including their names, phone numbers, address, next of kin.
  8. Establish a Friendly Visitor Program where members of your congregation regularly visit homebound and elderly members. Also, encourage those with family members in old age homes to visit them often. If a family member is a caregiver, encourage and support the caregiver in getting some time off by arranging with trained church volunteers to offer their help.
  9. Start a Parish Nurse Ministry in which a knowledgeable and professional health care worker can help educate the congregation as well as be an observer of the needs of homebound members.
  10. Help prevent abuse in your community by teaching older persons and their families how to report abuse and or fraud (especially telemarketing fraud), informing them about the types and signs of older persons’ abuse.

Create a safe place for older persons by making your church a place where elderly victims can come for help.”

To further support Pastors and Church Leaders in the task of caring for and protecting older persons, I developed a more detailed resource that can be accessed from the AFM website: https://afm-ags.org/category/articles/. Download this article to learn more about:

  • The Legal and Policy Framework in South Africa (The Older Persons Act).
  • Six types of older person abuse (Learn to Recognise all the Warning Signs).
  • Managing older person abuse (Understand the Roles of every Stakeholder).

TRENDS AFFECTING THE CHURCH IN SOUTH AFRICA: DURING & POST-PANDEMIC

Dr Henri Weideman (General Secretary of the AFM of SA)

Somewhere during this year, or early next year we will move into a post-Covid-19 pandemic world. No one can say exactly what the future holds, but we do observe certain trends around the world, some of which are also relevant to South Africa and should be considered as we plan and pray about the future. Some of these are:

Trend 1: The Importance of Ministry in the Digital Realm

I persist with an observation that I made previously, that the church will remain an in-person entity but should not miss out on the opportunity of developing an online presence. Many congregations are developing a permanent online presence and are maximizing the opportunity for digital outreach. In doing so, they reach new people but also retain existing members who currently prefer the safety of online engagement.

Some leaders advocate a “digital-first” strategy while others focus on an “in-person first” approach. Strategies where these two approaches are blended in a complementary fashion are also rising. Cutting-edge church leaders understand that the church must be present on the internet in ways that go beyond streaming Sunday morning worship and facilitating online giving. Options like online Bible study groups, online new member- and pre-marriage courses, and the formation of new faith communities that exist solely online, should also be explored.

Trend 2: A Bigger Focus on Connecting and Fulfilling the Mission, than on Gathering

Historically, the church has done almost everything to gather people in one building. Growing churches are now starting to focus much more on connecting people to each other and to God and less on just gathering them. Connecting people on Sunday mornings will stay important. It will however not necessarily only be in one building anymore. Outward focusing gatherings would consist of micro-churches in people’s homes and other buildings on Sunday mornings, as well as on other days. If you can accept the fact that micro-gatherings, distributed gatherings, and people watching from home are all connecting people to one another, you will be able to mobilise those people in the same way you would the people who are in the church building.

“The size of your vision should be bigger than the capacity of the building you can fill.”

One of the opportunities for connecting people will be accommodating the demographic shifts and increasing cultural diversity in our communities. It is also important to realise that individuals outside the church connect more readily to the impact a local congregation has on its community than to the denominational label of that church.

Trend 3: Movements, Moments And Mission

Around the world, people seem to have no trouble pouring out onto the streets for political or social protests or gathering for critical moments. The church, at its authentic best, has all the characteristics of a movement on a mission, characterised by some very profound moments. Too often though we miss those critical elements because so much of the current church model has been based on content delivery on a Sunday morning.

Content used to fill a building because it was scarce. You had to attend to hear a message, but in a time where content fills the internet, content alone no longer fills a room. The abundance of content and information needs moments of insight to bring meaning out of the content.

People do not just want information about God, they are hungry for an experience of God.”

Emphasising moments, movements and mission are more critical than ever. People do not just want to know what is true; they want to know what is real. And what is real is deeper than just an idea – it is an experience. People do not just want information about God, they are hungry for an experience of God. We must include moments in our gatherings that go beyond information and engage people’s senses and heart, especially during worship and times of prayer. Churches that ignore an encounter with God and just hope that a decent message will fill the room, will most likely be shocked by how it no longer does.

Trend 4: Succession is Becoming more Important

We see several older leaders of Assemblies who realise that it is time for them to move on – but they do not know how. We also see younger leaders leaving because older leaders are not moving on when they should. Every year that an Assembly is led by a leader who has lost vision, lost passion and lost focus – the mission of that church suffers. However, the succession crisis is only a crisis if you make it one. Instead of just hanging on, great leadership renews itself.

The drawback is that the older you get, the less likely you are to innovate around methods – and innovation drives growth and connection with emerging generations. Data points to a trend that growing churches tend to be led by younger leaders. Many leaders talk about reaching the next generation, but they seldom include the next generation in their planning. It is becoming increasingly clear that it is going to take the leadership of the next generation to reach the next generation.

Trend 5: New Staffing Patterns

One component of the changing nature of the religious workforce is an increase in part-time and bi-vocational clergy and more “laity” in substantial ministry roles as paid staff or volunteers.

The pandemic has forced some churches to downsize their staff for financial reasons. And it has put a premium on electronic communications skills that are vital to virtually every aspect of the practice of ministry. Some congregations are starting to appoint individuals who have technical knowledge but must be helped toward a better theological grounding. Congregations increasingly look for staff with specific skills in communication, marketing, fundraising, and other needed specialities.

With Acknowledgement to Doug Powe, Ann A. Michel and Thom Rainer.

CONCLUSION

As we emerge into the post-pandemic world, leaders who see opportunities instead of obstacles will thrive. The church is sometimes missing out on spiritual entrepreneurship – something the New Testament calls Apostleship. It is a kind of profound willpower, innovation and intensity shown by the Apostle Paul. Spiritual entrepreneurs are the kind of leaders who will find tomorrow’s solutions when most leaders can only see today’s problems.

“Spiritual entrepreneurs are the kind of leaders who will find tomorrow’s solutions when most leaders can only see today’s problems.”

One of the most important observations regarding the time that we are living in is that it invites all of us to be innovative, flexible and to practice endurance.

Blessings!

Past. M.G. Mahlobo

(President of the AFM of SA)

Pastorale Brief: 2de Kwartaal 2021

INHOUD

– Groete
– Belangrikheid van die Uitstorting van die Heilige Gees
– Sorg en Beskerming van Ouer Persone: ‘n Betrokke Kerk en Gemeenskap
– Tendense wat die Kerk raak: Gedurende & na die Pandemie
– Slot
Laai hierdie Pastorale Brief af in PDF-formaat (om dit as ‘n dokument te e-pos of uit te druk):

AGS Kollega,

Die Apostoliese Geloofsending van Suid-Afrika (AGS) is deel van die klassieke Pinksterkerke wat die rol van die Heilige Gees in die lewens van Christen gelowiges beklemtoon. Ons erken die Heilige Gees as deel van die Goddelike Drie-Eenheid. Die rol van die Heilige Gees, as deel van die Drie-Eenheid, kan teruggevoer word na die Bybelse skeppingsverhaal in Genesis 1:2, waar ons lees: “Die aarde was heeltemal onbewoonbaar, dit was donker op die diep waters, maar die Gees van God het oor die waters gesweef.” (AFR83). In Matteus word die Heilige Gees geassosieer met die geboorte van Jesus (Matteus 1:18) en Jesus se waterdoop (Matteus 3: 16-17). Wat die Groot Opdrag in Matteus 28:19 betref, moet diegene wat dissipels van alle nasies word, gedoop word in die Naam van die Vader en die Seun en die Heilige Gees.

BELANGRIKHEID VAN DIE UITSTORTING VAN DIE HEILIGE GEES

Past. George Mahlobo (President van die AGS van SA)
[email protected] 

Die Komitee vir Doktrine, Etiek en Liturgie (DEL) oorweeg tans die vraag of, om in tale te praat, die enigste aanvanklike bewys is van die Doop met die Heilige Gees.

Dit is ‘n belangrike bespreking omdat dit ons belydenis van geloof beïnvloed. Paragraaf P.3.7 van die kerk se geloofsbelydenis sê: “WE BELIEVE in the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues as promised to all believers. We believe in the manifestation of the gifts and fruit of the Spirit in the life of a Christian. We believe that a Christian should be a disciple of Jesus Christ living a consecrated and holy life.” Ons sien uit na die aanbeveling van die DEL en die optrede deur die Nasionale Leierskapforum (NLF). Wat ook al besluit word, ek glo nie dat dit die belangrikheid van die Doop met die Heilige Gees sal ondermyn nie.

Balansering van die Gawes van die Gees en die Vrug van die Gees

Gedurende Pinksterweek het AFM International ‘n virtuele konferensie gereël met die tema: “Die balansering van die Gawes van die Gees en die Vrug van die Gees.” Die Gawes van die Gees is gerig op bevoegdheid in bediening, terwyl die Vrug van die Gees gemik is op die ontwikkeling van ‘n Christelike karakter. Die twee moet altyd aanmekaar gekoppel word.

Die Gawes van die Gees is in drie gegroepeer, naamlik (1) die Gawe van Openbaring (Woorde van kennis, woorde van wysheid en die gawe om tussen die geeste te onderskei); (2) Gawes van Uiting (Profesie, verskillende soorte tale en die uitleg van tale) en (3) Gawes van Krag (Geloof, die gawe van genesing, en die gawe van wonderwerke).

Die Vrug van die Gees is ook in drie gegroepeer. Die drie groepe is (1) ‘n Persoonlike verhouding met God (Liefde; Vreugde en Vrede); (2) ‘n Persoonlike verhouding met ander (Geduld; Vriendelikheid en Goedheid) en (3) Persoonlike ontwikkeling (Betroubaarheid; Sagmoedigheid en Selfbeheersing).

Op Pinkster-Sondag het ons besin oor die belangrikheid van die Doop met die Heilige Gees.

Doop met die Heilige Gees 

Dit is Johannes die Doper wat oor Jesus gepraat het as die een wat met die Heilige Gees sou doop. Al vier Evangelies getuig hiervan, soos geskryf in Matteus 3:11, Markus 1:7-8, Lukas 3:16 en Johannes 1:33. In Sy laaste opdrag voordat Hy hemel toe opgevaar het, het Jesus Sy dissipels opdrag gegee om nie Jerusalem te verlaat nie, maar om te wag vir die Doop met die Heilige Gees (Handelinge 1:4-5). Dit is vervul op die dag van Pinkster soos in Handelinge 2 vermeld.

Daar is drie voorvalle van Doop met die Heilige Gees in die boek van Handelinge wat verband hou met die aksie om in tale te praat. Dit is Handelinge 2:1-4; Handelinge 10:44-46 en Handelinge 19:6. In Handelinge 8:17 lees ons oor nuwe gelowiges wat die Heilige Gees ontvang het toe Petrus vir hulle hande opgelê het. Die bewys dat hulle in tale gepraat het toe hulle die Heilige Gees ontvang het, word nie genoem nie. Daar het egter iets buitengewoons gebeur toe hulle die Heilige Gees ontvang het. Dit het die aandag getrek van Simon, wat geld aangebied het om die Heilige Gees te ontvang (Handelinge 8:18).

Krag vir Bediening

Volgens Handelinge 1:8 was die hoofdoel van die uitstorting van die Heilige Gees om die dissipels as getuies van Jesus te bemagtig. Handelinge 1: 8 (AFR83) lui: “Maar julle sal krag ontvang wanneer die Heilige Gees oor julle kom, en julle sal my getuies wees in Jerusalem sowel as in die hele Judea en in Samaria en tot in die uithoeke van die wêreld.”

Die Doop met die Heilige Gees bemagtig ons om effektiewe getuies van Jesus te wees.”

Die Doop met die Heilige Gees bemagtig ons om effektiewe getuies van Jesus te wees. Om getuies van Jesus te wees, verg bemagtiging van die Heilige Gees. Toe hy aan die kerk in Korinte geskryf het, het Paulus gesê: “Uit onsself is ons nie in staat om iets te bedink asof dit uit onsself kom nie. Ons bekwaamheid kom van God, wat ons bekwaam gemaak het om bedienaars van ‘n nuwe verbond te wees, nie van die letter nie, maar van die Gees. Die letter maak dood, die Gees maak lewend.” (2 Korintiërs 3:5-6 AFR83).

Hierdie krag word gemanifesteer deur die Geestelike Gawes soos gelys in 1 Korintiërs 12:7-11. Deur hierdie gawes ontvang die kerk insig (Gawes van Openbaring). Die Gawes van Uiting stel die kerk in staat om van God te hoor en met gelowiges te praat. Deur Gawes van Krag demonstreer die kerk God se krag.

Ontwikkeling van ‘n Christelike Karakter

Daar word verwag dat God se kinders ‘n karakter moet ontwikkel wat versoenbaar is met Christus se karakter. In baie gevalle word hierdie aspek van die Christelike lewe geïgnoreer. Die Vrug van die Gees in Galasiërs 5:22-23 is ‘n aanduiding van die vorming van ‘n Christelike karakter. Ons het ontwikkeling nodig in ons Persoonlike verhouding met God (Liefde; Vreugde en Vrede). Ons moet ook groei in ons verhoudinge met ander mense (Geduld; Vriendelikheid en Goedheid) en in ons Persoonlike ontwikkeling (Betroubaarheid; Sagmoedigheid en Selfbeheersing). In Lukas 2:52 (AFR83) lees ons: “En Jesus het verstandelik en liggaamlik gegroei en in guns by God en die mense toegeneem.”

Ons moet onsself Beskerm teen die Misbruik van die Gawes van die Gees

Ons lees oor die misbruik van die Gawes van die Gees in Korinte. Paulus behandel hierdie kwessie in 1 Korintiërs 12 en 14. Ons is soms geneig om sekere gawes hoër as ander te ag. Alhoewel Paulus die Gawe van Profesie hoër geag het as om in tale te praat, beteken dit nie dat praat in tale geen waarde toevoeg nie (1 Korintiërs 14: 3-5). Beide die praat in tale en profesie is opbouend. In werklikheid, as die taal uitgelê word, is dit gelyk aan profesie.

SORG EN BESKERMING VAN OUER PERSONE: ‘N BETROKKE KERK & GEMEENSKAP
Ashley Theron (Waarnemende Uitvoerende Hoof van AGS Welsyn)
[email protected] 

Die Mishandeling van Ouer Persone

Ouer persone is iemand se ouers, ons ouers, ons grootouers, hulle is in ons kerke – hulle het vir ons gesorg toe ons grootgeword het, nou is dit ons beurt om op ‘n waardige manier na hulle om te sien en hulle te beskerm. Net soos dit ‘n familie en ‘n gemeenskap (of “village”) verg om ‘n kind groot te maak en te beskerm, net so verg dit ‘n betrokke kerk en ‘n gemeenskap om ouer persone te beskerm en te versorg. Ongelukkig bly die mishandeling van ouer persone ‘n groot uitdaging in Suid-Afrika – dit woed voort in gesinne, gemeenskappe en selfs in versorgingsfasiliteite vir ouer persone.

Die versorging en beskerming van ouer persone behoort een van die fokus areas van elke AGS Gemeente te wees. Veral in die lig van ons kerk se One AFM Game Plan – en meer spesifiek die praktiese implementering van die Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid drywer. Enkele belangrike definisies sluit in:

Ouer persoon – is enige persoon wat 60 jaar en ouer is.

Ouer persoon wat versorging en beskerming benodig – beteken ‘n ouer persoon soos verwys in Artikel 25 (5) van die Wet op Ouer Persone (Wet No13 van 2006).

Mishandeling van ‘n ouer persoon – is wanneer iemand wat mag het oor ‘n ouer persoon hulle opsetlik benadeel of in ernstige gevaar stel, d.m.v. hul optrede of gebrek aan optrede.

Vorme van Mishandeling van Ouer Persone

Die ses soorte mishandeling van ouer persone sluit in (1) fisiese mishandeling, (2) seksuele misbruik, (3) emosionele of sielkundige mishandeling, (4) verwaarlosing of selfverwaarlosing, (5) agterlating (“abandonment”) en (6) finansiële misbruik. Elkeen van hierdie vorme van mishandeling het ‘n definisie en spesifieke waarskuwingstekens wat iemand in staat stel om moontlik te identifiseer wanneer mishandeling plaasvind. Ongeag die tipe, die misbruik van ouer persone kan verwoestende gevolge hê, waaronder groot emosionele lyding, ernstige liggaamlike beserings en selfs die dood ingesluit kan wees.

Die Rol van die Pastoor en ander Kerkleiers

Psalm 141:8-10 sê: “Op U, Here my God aan wie ek behoort, is my oë gerig, by U skuil ek, moenie dat my lewe wegkwyn nie. Beskerm my teen die strik wat hulle vir my gestel het, teen die valstrikke van dié wat onreg doen. Laat die goddeloses gevang word in hulle eie nette, maar laat my ongedeerd verbykom.”

“Pastore en ander kerkleiers speel ‘n belangrike rol in die voorkoming van mishandeling omdat hulle dikwels die eerste stop vir hulp is.”

Pastore en ander kerkleiers speel ‘n belangrike rol in die voorkoming van mishandeling omdat hulle dikwels die eerste stop vir hulp is. In baie gevalle is die pastoor of leier van die bediening vir ouer volwassenes die enigste ander persoon (behalwe die persoon wat die bron van die misbruik is) in die slagoffer se lewe. Mishandeling van ouer persone is ‘n misdaad en alle verantwoordelike leiers wat met ouer persone werk, MOET gevalle van mishandeling by die owerhede aanmeld.

Laat my toe om tien aanbevelings te deel wat pastore en kerkleiers in ag kan neem by die hantering van die mishandeling van ouer persone in hul  gemeentes en gemeenskappe (let op dat hierdie aanbevelings ook op die areas van geslagsgeweld en kindermishandeling toegepas kan word):

Pastore en kerkleiers kan die volgende aanbevelings oorweeg om prakties betrokke te wees by die versorging en beskerming van ouer mense: 

  1. Herken die tekens. Soek die tekens van mishandeling: fisiese en verbale mishandeling; verwaarlosing van persoonlike higiëne, lewensomstandighede of mediese behoeftes; en uitbuiting, soos iemand wat voordeel trek uit die finansies en eiendom van ‘n ouer persoon. Sommige ouer persone is nie in staat of is te bang om oor sulke situasies te praat, dus moet kerkleiers ouer mense met sorg dophou.
  2. Gee die konsekwente boodskap (in die vorm van ‘n preek) dat mishandeling van ouer persone verkeerd is en in stryd is met die Christelike geloof.
  3. Verhoog bewustheid en bespreking van die mishandeling van ouer persone binne die kerk (deur gereelde onderrig en opleiding). Leer die gemeentelede oor verskillende soorte misbruik van ouer persone – insluitend bedrieglike voorvalle waar ouderlinge betrokke is.
  4. Reik uit na en werk saam met eksterne agentskappe, insluitend plaaslike dienste vir die mishandeling van ouer persone, die polisie, kinder- en gesinsdienste, gesondheidsdienste, maatskaplike dienste, ens. Om misbruik aan te pak en diegene wat mishandel word te help, verg ‘n multi-sektorale benadering.
  5. Skep ‘n veilige plek vir ouer persone deur jou gemeente ‘n plek te maak waar bejaarde slagoffers kan kom hulp soek. Bied vertroulike (binne die grense van die beskerming van beleid), nie-veroordelende luister- en gebedsondersteuning vir enige iemand wat beweer dat hulle mishandel word.
  6. Kontak die regte owerhede. In Suid-Afrika is die eerste oproep na jou naaste Departement van Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling kantoor – en indien hulle nie beskikbaar is nie, meld die misbruik aan by die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiediens (SAPS). Skakel 10111 as die persoon in onmiddellike gevaar is.
  7. As deel van jou Gemeenskapsprofiel, stel ‘n databasis op van alle kwesbare persone, insluitend ouer persone wat in die plaaslike gemeenskap woon waar jou gemeente bedien – sluit hul name, telefoonnommers, adres en naasbestaandes in.
  8. Stel ‘n Besoekersprogram op waar lidmate van jou gemeente gereeld bejaarde lidmate aan huis besoek. Moedig ook diegene met familielede in ouetehuise aan om hulle gereeld te gaan besoek. As ‘n familielid ‘n versorger is, moet jy die versorger aanmoedig en ondersteun om vrye tyd te skep deur ‘n reëling te tref vir addisionele hulp met moontlike opgeleide kerkvrywilligers.
  9. Begin ‘n Verpleegsterbediening waar ‘n kundige en professionele gesondheidsorgwerker kan help om die gemeente op te lei, sowel as om die behoeftes van lidmate wat huisgebonde is, te monitor.
  10. Help om misbruik in jou gemeenskap te voorkom deur ouer persone en hul gesinne te leer hoe om mishandeling en/of bedrog aan te meld, veral tele(foon)bemarking bedrog, en lig hulle in oor die soorte en tekens van mishandeling van ouer persone.

Skep ‘n veilige plek vir ouer persone deur jou gemeente ‘n plek te maak waar bejaarde slagoffers kan kom hulp soek.”

Ter ondersteuning het ek ‘n meer gedetailleerde bron ontwikkel wat afgelaai kan word vanaf die AGS-webwerf: https://afm-ags.org/category/articles/.

Laai hierdie artikel af om meer te leer oor:

  • Die regs- en beleidsraamwerk in Suid-Afrika (“The Older Persons Act”).
  • Ses soorte misbruik van ouer persone (Leer om al die waarskuwingstekens te herken).
  • Die hantering en bestuur van misbruik van ouer persone (Verstaan die rol van elke belanghebbende in die gemeenskap).

TENDENSE WAT DIE KERK RAAK: GEDURENDE & NA DIE PANDEMIE

Dr Henri Weideman (Algemene Sekretaris van die AGS van SA) 
[email protected]

Iewers gedurende hierdie jaar, of vroeg volgende jaar, sal ons ‘n post Covid-19-pandemie-wêreld betree. Niemand kan presies sê wat die toekoms inhou nie, maar ons neem wel sekere tendense regoor die wêreld waar, waarvan sommige ook relevant is vir Suid-Afrika. Ons behoort hierdie tendense te oorweeg wanneer ons beplan en bid oor die toekoms:

Tendens 1: Die Belangrikheid van Bediening in die Digitale Sfeer 

Ek hou vol met ‘n waarneming wat ek voorheen gemaak het, dat die kerk ‘n in-persoon entiteit sal bly, maar nie die geleentheid moet misloop om ‘n aanlyn teenwoordigheid te ontwikkel nie. Baie gemeentes vestig ‘n permanente aanlyn teenwoordigheid en gebruik dit ook suksesvol vir digitale uitreike. Hierdeur word nuwe mense bereik, maar terselfdertyd behou gemeentes ook bestaande lidmate wat tans die veiligheid van aanlynbetrokkenheid verkies.

Sommige leiers bepleit ‘n “digitale eerste” strategie terwyl ander fokus op ‘n “in-persoon eerste” benadering. Strategieë waar hierdie twee benaderings op ‘n aanvullende wyse gebruik word, kom al hoe meer voor. Vernuwende kerkleiers verstaan dat die kerk op die internet teenwoordig moet wees op maniere wat verder gaan as die regstreekse uitsending van Sondag oggenddienste en die aanlyn gee van bydraes. Opsies soos digitale Bybelstudiegroepe, nuwe lidmaat- en voorhuwelikse kursusse, en die vorming van nuwe geloofsgemeenskappe wat uitsluitlik aanlyn bestaan, moet ook ondersoek word.

Tendens 2: ‘n Groter Fokus op Konneksie en Missie

Histories het gemeentes byna alles gedoen om mense op Sondae in een gebou bymekaar te bring. Groeiende kerke begin egter baie meer daarop fokus om mense met mekaar en met God te verbind en fokus minder daarop om hulle net bymekaar te bring. Om mense op Sondae oggende byeen te bring sal altyd belangrik bly. Dit sal egter nie noodwendig net meer in een gebou wees nie. Byeenkomste met ‘n uitwaartse fokus kan Sondae oggende, asook op ander dae, uit mikro-kerke in mense se huise en in ander geboue bestaan. As jy die feit kan aanvaar dat mikro-byeenkomste, verspreide byeenkomste en mense wat van die huis af kyk, almal geleenthede is wat mense met mekaar verbind, sal jy daardie mense kan mobiliseer op dieselfde manier as wat jy die mense wat in die kerkgebou byeenkom kan mobiliseer.

“Jou visie moet groter wees as die kapasiteit van die gebou wat jy kan vul.”

Indien ‘n gemeente ‘n strategie het om demografiese verskuiwings en die toenemende kulturele diversiteit in ons gemeenskappe te akkommodeer, is dit ‘n verdere geleentheid om mense met mekaar te verbind. Dit is ook belangrik om te besef dat individue buite die kerk makliker aanklank vind by die impak wat ‘n plaaslike gemeente op sy gemeenskap het, teenoor die kerk se spesifieke denominasie.

Tendens 3: Oomblikke, Bewegings en Missie 

Dit lyk of mense regoor die wêreld geen probleem het om die strate in te vaar vir politieke of sosiale betogings of om in kritieke oomblikke bymekaar te kom nie. Die kerk, op haar outentieke beste, het al die eienskappe van ‘n beweging met ‘n definitiewe missie. Te dikwels  mis ons egter hierdie kritieke elemente, omdat soveel van die huidige kerkmodel gebaseer is op inhoudlewering op ‘n Sondagoggend.

Inhoud was in die verlede genoeg om ‘n gebou te vul met mense, omdat dit skaars was. Jy moes die diens bywoon om ‘n boodskap te hoor, maar in ‘n tyd waar inligting die internet oorstroom, vul inhoud alleen nie meer ‘n vertrek nie.

Mense wil nie net inligting oor God hê nie, hulle is honger vir ‘n belewenis van God.”

Die beklemtoning van oomblikke, bewegings en missie is belangriker as ooit. Mense wil nie net weet wat waar is nie; hulle wil weet wat werklik is. En wat werklik is, is dieper as net ‘n idee – dit is ‘n ervarings oomblik. Mense wil nie net inligting oor God hê nie, hulle is honger vir ‘n belewenis van God. Ons moet oomblikke in ons byeenkomste inbou wat verder strek as inligting en mense se sintuie en harte betrek, veral tydens aanbidding. Kerke wat ‘n ontmoeting met God ignoreer en net hoop dat ‘n ordentlike boodskap die kerkgebou sal vul, sal waarskynlik geskok wees dat nie meer gebeur nie.

Tendens 4: Opvolging word Belangriker 

Ons sien verskeie ouer leiers van gemeentes wat besef dat dit tyd is vir hulle om aan te beweeg, maar hul weet nie hoe nie. Ons sien ook jonger leiers wat gemeentes verlaat, omdat ouer leiers nie aanbeweeg wanneer hulle moet nie. Elke jaar wat ‘n gemeente gelei word deur ‘n leier wat visie, passie en fokus verloor het, ly die missie van daardie gemeente daaronder. Die opvolgkrisis is egter net ‘n krisis as jy dit een maak. In plaas daarvan om net aan te gaan, herdefinieer goeie leierskap hulleself gereeld.

Die nadeel is dat hoe ouer jy word, hoe minder waarskynlik is dit dat jy innoverend t.o.v. metodes sal wees. Innovasie dryf groei en die betrokkenheid van opkomende geslagte. Die data dui op ‘n tendens dat groeiende kerke geneig is om deur jonger leiers gelei te word. Baie leiers praat oor die bereiking van die volgende generasie, maar hulle sluit selde die volgende generasie in hul beplanning in. Dit word al hoe duideliker dat dit die leierskap van die volgende generasie gaan neem om die volgende generasie te bereik.

Tendens 5: Nuwe Patrone in Personeel Aanstellings

Daar is ‘n toename in deeltydse en dubbel-beroep pastore en meer gemeentelede in sleutel bedieningsrolle as betaalde personeel of vrywilligers.

Die pandemie het sommige kerke gedwing om hul personeel te verminder weens finansiële redes. Dit het egter ook ‘n premie geplaas op elektroniese kommunikasievaardighede wat noodsaaklik geword het vir bykans elke aspek van die bediening. Sommige gemeentes begin individue aanstel wat tegniese kennis het, maar gehelp moet word om ‘n beter teologiese begronding te kry. Gemeentes soek toenemend personeel met spesifieke vaardighede in kommunikasie, bemarking, fondsinsameling en ander relevante eienskappe.

Met Erkenning aan Doug Powe, Ann A. Michel en Thom Rainer. 

SLOT

Soos wat ons die post-pandemie wêreld binnegaan, sal leiers wat geleenthede in plaas van struikelblokke sien, floreer. Die kerk mis soms geestelike entrepreneurskap – iets wat die Nuwe Testament, Apostelskap noem. Dit is die soort wilskrag, innovasie en intensiteit waarmee die Apostel Paulus geleef het. Geestelike entrepreneurs is die soort leiers wat môre se oplossings vind, terwyl die meeste leiers nog net vandag se probleme raaksien.

Geestelike entrepreneurs is die soort leiers wat môre se oplossings vind, terwyl die meeste leiers nog net vandag se probleme raaksien.”

Een van die belangrikste waarnemings oor die tyd waarin ons leef, is dat dit ons almal uitnooi om innoverend en aanpasbaar te wees en uithouvermoë te beoefen.

Seën!

Past. M.G. Mahlobo

(President van die AGS van SA)

Pastoral Letter 1st Quarter 2021

TABLE OF CONTENTS
______________

– Introduction
– Global Pandemics cannot stop the Great Commission
– Technology: Strengthening the Mission of the Church
– Words of Encouragement
– Conclusion

Download the Pastoral Newsletter in PDF-format
(e-mail and printer-friendly):

AFM Pastoral Letter 1st Quarter 2021

AFM Colleagues,

The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-19) can not be stopped by global pandemics. I believe that God’s word is not constrained by lockdowns and regulations. We should be able to fulfil God’s mission while adhering to the Covid-19 safety measures.

“…although he is in confinement, God’s Word is not.”

In 2 Timothy 2:8-9 (ESV) Paul had this to say to Timothy: “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!” Paul was confined in a Roman prison, just before his death in AD 67 when he wrote to Timothy. He wanted Timothy to remember the core message of the Gospel, namely, “Jesus Christ who is risen from the dead.” He then makes this powerful statement that although he is in confinement, God’s Word is not. It needs to be noted that about seven of Paul’s letters were written while he was in prison.

GLOBAL PANDEMICS CANNOT STOP THE GREAT COMMISSION
Past. George Mahlobo – President of the AFM of SA

In this article I would like to address the following issues: technology, the need for the church to adapt, prayer, discipleship and care.

Technology

At the time of the outbreak of Covid-19, the world was in different stages of the 4th Industrial Revolution. In 2019 during the NOB Regional Empowerment Visits, we reflected on the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) on the church and society in general. One of the things we said was: “The technologies emerging with the 4IR have great potential to continue to connect billions of more people to the web thereby drastically improving the efficiency and productivity of business and organisations.”

One of the positive impacts of technology is that it connects people across the globe without huge expenses. The fact of the matter is, technology has redefined the public domain in the sense that we can participate in public issues without being physically together. Various virtual platforms make it possible for us to access this new public space. This is where the church needs to be. Of course, this does not mean that in-person gatherings or travelling to other geographic areas are no longer relevant. Indications are that many people still prefer in-person gatherings rather than virtual ones.

“We should be encouraged that we have access to technological tools today that were not available to Paul in his day. “

With the outbreak of Covid-19, we changed the way we socialise, conduct business, mourn and do ministry. Although we were confined in our homes we continued to connect with people and do business on various virtual platforms. The proliferation of live-streamed services is one example of how we continued with ministry during the pandemic. We should be encouraged that we have access to technological tools today that were not available to Paul in his day. These devices and gadgets open doors to share the gospel today. They come in different forms such as mobile phones, computers, portable laptops and social media. Maybe I should ask the question which God posed to Moses in Exodus 4:2: “The LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff” (ESV). We have the ‘staff’ in the form of technology.

Adaptation

This ‘staff’ in our hands and on our desks requires that we change our mode of doing things. We must ensure that the message remains the same while we change the way of doing things. When we minister through technology, we will reach beyond our church walls. We may not hear the shouts of “Amen” and “Hallelujah” but our audience will respond with emojis.

The implications, hereof, is that the church needs to change the old ways of doing ministry. Change is no longer an occasional reality. It is the water we are swimming in.

“When we minister through technology, we will reach beyond our church walls.”

Prayer

The great movements of missions and evangelism have often been fuelled by a revival of prayer. While we may need to wait “to go”, we should not wait “to pray”. Prayer is one of the keys to the fulfilment of the Great Commission. In Matthew 9:37-38 (ESV) Jesus said to His disciples: “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few, therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest.” Our missional strategic plan (or One AFM Game Plan) seeks to mobilise our members to be the implementers of God’s mission.

We should pray like the prophet Habakkuk when he said: “I have heard all about you, LORD, I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. And in your anger, remember your mercy” – Habakkuk 3:1-2 (NLT). Various digital platforms can be used to connect intercessors nationally and globally. Some of the prayer points in this regard should be:

  • Prayer for personal repentance (1 John 1:8-10),
  • Prayer for the infilling of the Holy Spirit and Ministry (Ephesians 5:18) &
  • Prayer for the redemption of the world (2 Thessalonians 3:1).

Discipleship

One of the key issues when it comes to the Great Commission is discipleship. It is one of the AFM’s missional strategic drivers. Discipleship is more than making converts and church members. It is making people true followers of Jesus Christ through their conduct and word. Technology can be used for discipleship training. Discipleship training should be aimed at our members to make them disciplers of others. Various discipleship-models can be explored. We need to be strategic and focused. We must do whatever helps to move people deeper into a growing relationship with Jesus.

“We must do whatever helps to move people deeper into a growing relationship with Jesus.”

It is a moment also for bold witness to the fullness of life in Christ, a life which embraces one’s neighbour as one’s other-self. This requires that we stay current in the community, environment, and culture in which we operate and minister.

Care for the Destitute and the Hurting

Many people have become destitute and are hurting because of the negative impact of Covid-19. I think we all know someone who has lost loved ones or his/her employment during the pandemic. Some of these people are in our neighbourhoods while others belong to our extended families. We have a social responsibility to lend a helping hand. Community Involvement is also one of our AFM Game Plan Drivers. We need to reach out to these people and share whatever we can. But above all, give them confidence and hope that come through faith in Jesus. We can do this by sharing our testimonies and prayer with them.

“But above all, give them confidence and hope that come through faith in Jesus.”

 

TECHNOLOGY: STRENGTHENING THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH
Dr Henri Weideman – General Secretary of the AFM of SA

 

The term “technology” basically describes machinery, devices and equipment developed for practical use from the application of scientific knowledge. One of the earliest examples of this was the road system that the Roman Empire built to facilitate the movement of Roman soldiers, officials and citizens. The church made use of this technology, as the roads also made it easier to spread the Gospel. Another example is the Gutenberg Press. It made mass printing of documents possible and changed the world dramatically. It assisted the leaders of the Protestant Reformation to share their teachings and allowed for the mass printing of the Bible.

There are many more examples of technology that the church used and is using to its advantage: motor vehicles, electricity, sound systems, copy machines, radios, computers, television, video and the internet. The use of technology does not equate to a compromise of Biblical truth. The Reformers did what they did, to point people back to the truths of the Bible. They fought to get the Word of God into the everyday language of people so they could understand, become disciples, and make disciples. We are called to no less a task.

“Technology will not necessarily change what churches do.”

Technology will not necessarily change what churches do. We will still gather people for worship, connect them in meaningful relationships, disciple them, train them for ministry, and send them out to impact the world for Christ. But, because of technology, how we do it, will probably change. New technological developments make it possible for churchgoers to use mobile applications to engage with the church throughout the week. Congregants can read their Bibles, follow worship services, respond to sermons, and even give via their mobile devices. Although the church will continue to gather and interact as a physical body, it should not miss the opportunities provided by being present online.

“But, because of technology, how we do it, will probably change.”

Live Streaming

One of the options available is live streaming, meaning that an event is broadcasted on the internet while it happens. Currently, the three major options for video live streaming are Facebook, YouTube and Zoom. With Facebook, you can reach existing followers via a “going live” notification, or you can pay to have your content reach more people. To use YouTube, a YouTube channel linked to a Google account must be set up. YouTube is incentivised to make content available as broadly as possible. It is the primary place young people (Millennials and Gen-Z’s) get content for consumption.

Zoom is a reliable option for smaller and more intimate gatherings like Bible studies, staff meetings, and sermon discussions. It is free for meetings of less than 100 people and shorter than 40 minutes. Another option is to host a post-sermon online discussion. Discussions like this can align with the topic of the week’s sermon and deepen the conversation. Free and easy-to-use resources like www.churchonlineplatform.com can help you to create an accessible online group forum.

Video Recordings

It always looks best when the camera angle is eye-level with the speaker. Angles from below the speaker tend to be unflattering. The speaker should speak directly to the camera to make eye contact with the viewers. Simple lighting like a ring light or small floodlights can go a long way toward enhancing the quality of the video. Most cell phones have good cameras that can be used to make recordings. Production quality cameras with external microphones and other more professional equipment are available. It is a good idea to start slow and grow. Experiment and ask for advice.

Content-on-Demand

Assemblies who already developed a digital presence should continue to enhance this service. Many churches present their Sunday-services and mid-week meetings as live events, assuming that people who want to access it, will be able to do so when it happens. The most successful digital platforms are now providing their products “on demand.” Consider making every in-person Sunday-service available in a way that can be accessed when members and visitors can do so in their own time.

Copyrighted Content

Unless you only use your own written songs, you must take note of organisations like SAMRO (The South African Music Rights Organization) who licenses the use of copyrighted music.

Online Meetings

Meetings of Governing Bodies, Committees, Bible Study/Prayer/Small groups can all be done online. It is important to provide the date, time and link of the meeting to everyone involved. Conduct Rules can include that all participants should mute their microphones and make use of the electronic means to raise their hand when they want to speak, vote and or agree. This will contribute to the effectiveness of the meeting. If the meeting is longer than 1.5 hours, it is wise to include breaks.

Social Media

Social media can be used as an effective tool to facilitate the Great Commission. Most social media platforms are user friendly and enable churches to schedule events and engage with their communities. It is also an effective way to reach out to young members through a channel that is familiar and accessible to them. Millennial Christians (born 1981-1996) look first to online sources (specifically mobile ones) to engage their faith. According to George Barna, nearly 60% of millennial Christians search for spiritual content online, and 70% read Scripture on their cellphones.

Be accessible by speaking the everyday language of people, instead of using high church language that only a few understand. Social media platforms create the opportunity to show up in the lives of people every day, not just on Sundays and should be utilised more effectively by the church.

“Social media platforms create the opportunity to show up in the lives of people every day, not just on Sundays and should be utilised more effectively by the church.”

With acknowledgement to:                                    

  • Technologies That Have Changed The Church Throughout History – Steve Perky
  • Strategies for Streaming Worship Service Video – Steve Perky 
  • 3 Ways Technology is Changing Worship – CM Select: The Greater Good Blog
  • “How COVID-19 is Shaping The Future of The Church.” – Carey Nieuwhof
  • “Moving Forward: Future Church Trends.” – Anthony Hilder
  • How to Livestream Your Church Service: A Practical Guide – Phil Thompson
  • Planning an Online Worship Service – Back to God Ministries 

WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT
Past. Barend Petersen – General Treasurer of the AFM of SA

Today I feel in my spirit to just reach out to encourage and express my heartfelt gratitude and condolences to every Pastor, Co-Pastor, Governing Body, AFM Member and family of our beloved AFM. I write to you being deeply moved as I remember those who fought the good fight and succumbed to this pandemic. Many of us have lost loved ones in the past year and the pain is still fresh in our memory. Finding closure was much more difficult, as we were not able to mourn as we are accustomed to – without the support that ordinarily would have carried us through our time of sorrow and grief.

Whilst the calling of Pastors by the Lord is divine, we minister and live our lives intertwined in the life cycles and experiences of those who we minister to in this broken world. Commitment to our divine calling does not prevent us and our families from experiencing the trials and tribulations of life including loss, pain, suffering, despondency, disappointments, and death. Like all other people, we also experience parental-, marital-, financial-, health- and relational challenges. At times we are at a loss for answers when we are desperately trusting God for a miracle and our faith is met with what appears to be a stony silence from God.

We know that God, by His Spirit comforts us in pain and illness and can bring healing to our souls. Pastors, I am aware that our ministries have been deeply impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. We are not able to gather at capacity for services or prayer meetings in our churches. There are no crusades, open-air conferences, house visitations or fellowship gatherings as we were accustomed to. We notice a rapidly changing world with a shift from what we were used to – a shift to a place of uncertainty. The Covid-19 pandemic and even the attitude of our government, is causing the church to reflect on her influence in society.

I reflected on the prophet Habakkuk who is introduced to us in Chapter 1:1-4 as a prophet with a burden and in despair, doubting God. He is overwhelmed by the circumstances around him, and it seems that God has removed Him from the earthly scene. God is nowhere to be found. His despair is palpable, the pain is real, the doubt is consuming, the future is bleak, and hope has evaporated. In the midst of pain and uncertainty, in the midst of hopelessness and of darkness, Habakkuk encounters God and has a vision of God’s restorative power so vividly proclaimed by David, in Psalm 121: “I will lift up mine eyes from whence cometh my help”.

“He was no longer consumed by what he sees, but by what he believes.”

The prophet is no longer controlled or even anxious about his circumstances, his sight was lifted. He was no longer consumed by what he sees, but by what he believes. He proclaims these immortal words that still ring true today, in Chapter 3:

“17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: 18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. 19 The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.”

2020 was one of the most difficult years for all of us and it seems as if this pandemic will continue to torment the world for much longer than ever anticipated. Allow me to share with you that I have experienced the restorative power of God during the most difficult times of my life. During the past four years, I have again experienced it and continue to bear testimony of His unfailing grace. My brothers and sisters, I want you to know that we are in this together. As a family of the AFM of SA, we thank you for your faithfulness and holding firm onto your faith and not letting go.

Today, I pray for Pastors, Pastors’ Spouses and the children of Pastors who are going through tough times and facing intense challenges, battling with the conflict between faith and our lived experiences. I pray that you and your family will experience the presence of God, like Habakkuk, which will lift your hopes beyond what you now experience.

CONCLUSION

No pandemic can stop the Great Commission! Through the use of available technology, we can grow and enable the mission. Let us not be consumed by what we experience and see around us, but rather by what we believe. I trust that this letter is a timely encouragement and blessing to you. I pray that God will carry us in these trying times when we are all so in need of the presence of Him who called us to His service – and to proclaim His glory.

Blessings!

M.G. Mahlobo

Pastorale Brief 1ste Kwartaal 2021

INHOUDSOPGAWE
______________

– Groete
– Wêreldwye Pandemies kan nie die Groot Opdrag tot Stilstand bring nie
– Tegnologie: As Versterking van die Kerk se Missie
– Woorde van Bemoediging
– Slot

Laai die Pastorale Nuusbrief af in PDF-Formaat:
(om dit as ‘n dokument te e-pos of uit te druk)

AFM Pastorale Brief 1ste Kwartaal 2021

AGS Kollegas,

Die Groot Opdrag (soos in Matteus 28: 18-19) kan nie deur wêreldwye pandemies tot stilstand gebring word nie. Ek glo dat God se Woord nie deur beperkings en regulasies ingeperk kan word nie. Ons moet in staat wees om God se missie te vervul terwyl ons Covid-19 veiligheidsmaatreëls nakom.

“…dat hoewel hy opgesluit is in die tronk, God se Woord nie opgelsuit is nie.”

In 2 Timoteus 2: 8-9 (AFR83) het Paulus dit vir Timoteus gesê: “Onthou altyd dat Jesus Christus, ‘n nakomeling van Dawid, uit die dood opgewek is. Dit is die Evangelie wat ek verkondig. Vir hierdie evangelie ly ek verdrukking, selfs in boeie soos ‘n misdadiger, maar die Woord van God kan nie geboei word nie.” Paulus was in ‘n Romeinse tronk opgesluit, net voor sy dood in 67 NC toe hy aan Timoteus geskryf het. Hy wou hê dat Timoteus die kernboodskap van die Evangelie moes onthou, naamlik: “Jesus Christus wat uit die dood opgestaan ​​het.” Hy maak dan hierdie kragtige stelling dat hoewel hy opgesluit is in die tronk, God se Woord nie opgelsuit is nie. Ongeveer sewe van Paulus se briewe is geskryf terwyl hy ‘n gevangene was.

WÊRELDWYE PANDEMIES KAN NIE DIE GROOT OPDRAG TOT STILSTAND BRING NIE
Past. George Mahlobo – President van die AGS van SA

In hierdie artikel wil ek aandag gee aan die volgende kwessies – tegnologie, die behoefte vir die kerk om aan te pas, gebed, dissipelskap en sorg.

Tegnologie

Met die uitbreek van Covid-19 was die wêreld in verskillende vlakke van die 4de Industriële Revolusie. Reeds in 2019, tydens die Ampsdraers se Bemagtigingsbesoeke aan die streke, het ons besin oor die impak van die 4de Industriële Revolusie (4IR) op die kerk en inderdaad die hele samelewing. Een van die dinge wat ons gesê het, was: “Nuwe tegnologieë wat ontwikkel word saam met die 4IR, het groot potensiaal om biljoene meer mense te verbind aan die Internet, wat die doeltreffendheid en produktiwiteit van besighede en organisasies drasties sal verbeter.”

Een van die positiewe gevolge van tegnologie is dat dit mense wêreldwyd kan verbind sonder groot uitgawes. Die feit van die saak is dat tegnologie die publieke sfeer geherdefinieer het – in die sin dat ons aan openbare aangeleenthede kan deelneem sonder om fisies bymekaar te wees. Verskeie virtuele platforms maak dit vir ons moontlik om toegang tot hierdie nuwe openbare ruimte te kry. Dit is waar die kerk moet wees. Natuurlik beteken dit nie dat persoonlike byeenkomste of om fisies te reis na ander geografiese gebiede nie meer relevant is nie. Aanduidings is dat baie mense steeds persoonlike byeenkomste verkies eerder as virtuele byeenkomste.

“Ons moet aangemoedig word deur die feit dat ons vandag tegnologie het wat Paulus in sy tyd nie tot sy beskikking gehad het nie.”

Met die uitbreek van Covid-19 het ons die manier waarop ons sosialiseer, sake doen, treur en preek verander. Alhoewel ons in ons huise opgesluit was, het ons steeds kontak met mense gehad en op verskillende virtuele platforms sake gedoen. Die vermeerdering van lewendige uitsendings van dienste is een voorbeeld van hoe ons gedurende die pandemie met bediening voortgegaan het. Ons moet aangemoedig word deur die feit dat ons vandag tegnologie het wat Paulus in sy tyd nie tot sy beskikking gehad het nie. Hierdie toestelle en toerusting waartoe ons toegang het, bied vir ons ‘n oop deur om die evangelie te deel. Dit kom in verskillende vorme voor, soos selfone, rekenaars, draagbare skootrekenaars en sosiale media platforms. Miskien moet ek die vraag stel wat God in Eksodus 4: 2 aan Moses gestel het: “Wat het jy in jou hand?” “’n Kierie,” antwoord Moses. Ons het ‘n “kierie” in die vorm van tegnologie.

Aanpasbaarheid

Hierdie “kierie” in ons hande en op ons lessenaars vereis dat ons ons manier/metode van dinge doen verander. Ons moet toesien dat die boodskap altyd dieselfde bly – terwyl ons die manier/metode van doen verander. Wanneer ons tegnologie gebruik, kan ons bediening vêr buite die mure van die kerk strek. Ons hoor miskien nie die uitroepe van “Amen” en “Halleluja” nie, maar ons sien die emoji’s wat ons gehoor gebruik om te reageer. Die implikasies hiervan is dat die kerk ou maniere/metodes van bediening moet aanpas. Verandering is nie meer af en toe ‘n werklikheid nie – maar ‘n konstante realiteit.

Wanneer ons tegnologie gebruik, kan ons bediening vêr buite die mure van die kerk strek.”

Gebed

Groot sending en evangelisasie bewegings word dikwels aangevuur deur ‘n herlewing van gebed. Alhoewel ons miskien moet wag om “te gaan”, moet ons nie wag om “te bid” nie. Gebed is een van die sleutels tot die vervulling van die Groot Opdrag. In Matteus 9: 37-38 (AFR83) het Jesus vir sy dissipels gesê: “Die oes is groot, maar die arbeiders min. Bid dan die Here aan wie die oes behoort, om arbeiders uit te stuur vir sy oes.” Ons missionale strategiese plan (of te wel One AFM Game Plan) poog om ons lidmate te mobiliseer om die implementeerders van God se missie te wees.

Ons moet bid soos die profeet Habakuk toe hy sê: “Here, ek het gehoor wat van U vertel is en ek is vervul met ontsag vir wat U gedoen het. Doen dit tog ook in ons tyd, laat U dade ook in ons tyd ervaar word, ontferm U selfs in U toorn.” – Habakuk 3: 2 (AFR83). Verskeie digitale platforms kan gebruik word om voorbidders nasionaal en wêreldwyd te verbind. Sommige van die gebedspunte in hierdie verband moet wees:

  • Gebed vir persoonlike berou (1 Johannes 1: 8-10),
  • Gebed vir die vervulling van die Heilige Gees (Efesiërs 5:18) &
  • Gebed vir die verlossing van die wêreld (2 Tessalonisense 3: 1).

Dissipelskap

Wat die Groot Opdrag betref, is dissipelskap een van die belangrikste kwessies. Dit is een van die drywers van ons kerk se missionale strategie en plan. Dissipelskap is baie meer as om net bekeerlinge en lidmate van gemeentes te kweek. Dissipelskap kweek ware volgelinge van Jesus Christus deur hul aksies en woorde. Tegnologie kan gebruik word vir dissipelskap opleiding – om sodoende ons lidmate op te lei om van ander mense dissipels te maak. Verskeie dissipelskap-modelle kan ondersoek word. Ons moet strategies en gefokus wees. Ons moet alles doen wat mense help om dieper in ‘n groeiende verhouding met Jesus te beweeg.

Ons moet alles doen wat mense help om dieper in ‘n groeiende verhouding met Jesus te beweeg.”

Dit is ook ‘n oomblik om moedig te getuig van die volheid van die lewe in Christus, ‘n lewe wat jou naaste omhels as jouself. Dit vereis dat ons op hoogte bly van die gemeenskap, omgewing en kultuur waarin ons werk en bedien.

Sorg vir die Behoeftiges en die Gebrokenes

Die negatiewe impak van Covid-19 op mense kan nie onderskat word nie – baie is nou meer fisies en emosioneel behoeftig as te vore. Ek dink ons ​​ken almal iemand wat geliefdes verloor het of selfs haar/sy werk verloor het tydens die pandemie. Sommige van hierdie mense is in ons woonbuurte, terwyl ander aan ons uitgebreide families behoort. Ons het ‘n sosiale verantwoordelikheid om te help. Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid is inderdaad ook een van die drywers van ons missionale strategiese plan. Ons moet na hierdie mense uitreik en alles deel wat ons kan. Ons moet hulle vertroue en hoop gee deur geloof in Jesus. Ons kan dit doen deur ons getuienisse en gebede met hulle te deel.

“Ons moet hulle vertroue en hoop gee deur geloof in Jesus.”

TEGNOLOGIE: AS VERSTERKING VAN DIE KERK SE MISSIE
Dr Henri Weideman – Algemene Sekretaris van die AGS van SA

Die term “tegnologie” beskryf basies die masjinerie, toerusting en gebruiksartikels wat ontwikkel word vanuit die praktiese toepassing van wetenskaplike kennis. Een van die vroegste voorbeelde hiervan is die padnetwerk wat die Romeinse Ryk gebou het om die beweging van soldate, amptenare en burgers te vergemaklik. Die kerk het ook van hierdie tegnologie gebruik gemaak; die paaie het dit makliker gemaak om die Evangelie te versprei. ‘n Ander voorbeeld is die Gutenberg drukpers. Dit het die grootskaalse druk van dokumente moontlik gemaak en die wêreld dramaties verander. Dit het die leiers van die Protestantse Reformasie gehelp om hulle leerstellings te versprei en ook om die Bybel in grootmaat te druk.

Daar bestaan vele ander voorbeelde van tegnologie wat die kerk tot voordeel gebruik. Dink maar aan motorvoertuie, klanksisteme, kopieermasjiene, radio’s, rekenaars, televisie, video en ook die internet. Die gebruik van tegnologie beteken nie noodwendig dat Bybelse waarhede ingeboet word nie. Die Hervormers het gedoen wat hulle gedoen het om mense terug na Bybelse waarhede te lei. Hulle het    gepoog om die Bybel in alledaagse taal vir mense beskikbaar te stel – sodat mense kon verstaan, volgelinge van Jesus word en dissipels van ander maak. Ons taak is niks minder as dit nie.

“Tegnologie sal nie wat kerke doen verander nie.”

Tegnologie sal nie wat kerke doen verander nie. Ons sal steeds mense bymekaar bring vir aanbidding, hulle in betekenisvolle verhoudings met mekaar bring, hulle oplei as dissipels, toerus vir bediening en hulle uitstuur om die wêreld te impakteer vir Jesus. Tegnologie sal heelwaarskynlik ‘n effek hê op hoe ons dit doen. Nuwe tegnologiese ontwikkelings maak dit vir kerkgangers moontlik om regdeur die week met die kerk in interaksie te wees. Met behulp van ‘n mobiele toep (of te wel ‘n sagteware applikasie vir ‘n slimfoon, tabletrekenaar of slimhorlosie) kan lidmate hulle Bybels lees, kerkdienste volg, op preke reageer en selfs finansiële bydraes maak. Kerke sal voortgaan om as ‘n fisiese liggaam bymekaar te kom, maar behoort nie die geleenthede te mis wat deur ‘n aanlyn teenwoordigheid gebied word nie.

“Tegnologie sal heelwaarskynlik ‘n effek hê op hoe ons dit doen.”

Direkte Video-Stroming (“Live Streaming”)

Een van die beskikbare opsies is regstreekse of direkte video-stroming (live streaming), wat beteken dat ‘n geleentheid op die internet uitgesaai word terwyl dit plaasvind. Die drie grootste platvorms hiervoor is tans: Facebook, YouTube en Zoom. Met Facebook kan ‘n mens jou navolgers (of te wel “followers”) bereik deur ‘n “going live” kennisgewing. Daar is ook ’n betaalopsie om meer mense te bereik. Om YouTube te gebruik, moet mens ‘n YouTube kanaal wat verbind is aan ‘n Google-rekening opstel. YouTube promoveer graag inhoud, want dit bevorder die kanaal se inkomste.  Dit is die primêre aanlyn verbruikerspunt vir jongmense (die Millennials en Gen-Z’s).

Zoom is ‘n betroubare opsie vir kleiner en meer intieme groepe, soos Bybelstudies, personeel byeenkomste en preek besprekings. Dit is gratis vir byeenkomste met minder as 100 mense en korter as 40 minute. Nog ‘n opsie is om ‘n aanlyn bespreking na ‘n preek te hou. Besprekings van die aard kan in lyn wees met die week se preek/tema en help om gesprekvoering te bevorder. Gratis en gebruikersvriendelike hulpbronne soos www.churchonlineplatform.com kan help om aanlyn-besprekings meer toeganklik te maak.

Video Opnames

Dit lyk altyd beter wanneer die kameralens op oogvlak met die spreker is. ‘n Kamerahoek van onder die spreker, lyk onvleiend. Sprekers moet direk vir die kamera kyk om sodoende oogkontak met die kykers te maak. Eenvoudige beligting soos ‘n ringlig of klein spreiligte, kan ‘n groot verskil aan die kwaliteit van die eindproduk maak. Die meeste selfone het goeie kameras wat vir opnames gebruik kan word. Produksiekwaliteit kameras met eksterne mikrofone en ander meer professionele toerusting kan later aangekoop word. Dit is goed om klein te begin en te groei. Eksperimenteer en vra advies.

Inhoud op Aanvraag 

Gemeentes wat alreeds ‘n digitale teenwoordigheid ontwikkel het, behoort dit nou uit te brei. Baie gemeentes bied hulle Sondagdiens en Mid-week byeenkomste aan as lewende geleenthede, en  veronderstel dat dit vir almal wat wil kyk toeganklik is. Die suksesvolste aanlyn platvorms bied hulle inhoud op aanvraag (of te wel “on demand”) aan. Gemeentes moet oorweeg om elke in-persoon Sondagdiens aanlyn toeganklik te maak vir wanneer dit vir verbruikers, in hul eie tyd, moontlik is om te kyk of te luister.

Kopiereg Inhoud

Tensy ‘n mens slegs van selfgeskrewe liedere en sang gebruik maak, moet jy kennis neem van organisasies soos SAMRO (Die Suid Afrikaanse Musiek Regte Organisasie) wat musiek met ‘n kopiereg lisensie beskikbaar stel.

Aanlyn Vergaderings

Byeenkomste van Bestuursrade, Komitees, Bybelstudie-/Gebeds-/Kleingroepe kan met groot sukses aanlyn gehou word – solank as wat almal betrokke voorsien is van die datum, tyd en skakel van die byeenkoms. Maatreëls om effektiewe interaksie te verseker kan insluit dat alle deelnemers hulle mikrofone afgeskakel hou wanneer hulle nie praat nie en gebruik maak van elektroniese maniere om te stem, aan te dui dat hulle wil praat of saamstem met besluite. Indien ‘n byeenkoms langer as 1.5 ure is, is dit wys om pouses/breuke in te bou in die program.

Sosiale Media

Sosiale media kan ‘n effektiewe instrument wees om die Groot Opdrag uit te voer. Die meeste sosiale media platvorms is gebruikersvriendelik en stel kerke in staat om hulle aktiwiteite te skeduleer en in interaksie met hulle gemeenskap te wees. Dit is ‘n effektiewe, bekende en toeganklike kanaal om jongmense mee te bereik. Millennial Christene (gebore 1981-1996) gebruik eerstens aanlyn bronne (veral selfoon bronne) vir Geestelike interaksie. Volgens George Barna, soek bykans 60% van Millennial Christene aanlyn na Geestelike inhoud, en 70% lees die Bybel op hulle selfone.

Wees toeganklik deur die alledaagse taal van mense te praat, in plaas daarvan om “kerktaal” te gebruik wat min mense verstaan. Sosiale media platvorms skep geleenthede om elke dag van die week in mense se lewens teenwoordig te wees, nie net op Sondae nie, en behoort meer doelgerig deur kerke gebruik te word.

Met erkenning aan:

  • Technologies That Have Changed The Church Throughout History – Steve Perky
  • Strategies for Streaming Worship Service Video – Steve Perky 
  • 3 Ways Technology is Changing Worship – CM Select: The Greater Good Blog
  • “How COVID-19 is Shaping The Future of The Church.” – Carey Nieuwhof
  • “Moving Forward: Future Church Trends.” – Anthony Hilder
  • How to Livestream Your Church Service: A Practical Guide – Phil Thompson
  • Planning an Online Worship Service – Back to God Ministries 

WOORDE VAN BEMOEDIGING
Past. Barend Petersen – Algemene Tesourier van die AGS van SA

Vandag voel ek in my gees om net uit te reik en my hartlike dankbaarheid en meegevoel te betuig aan elke Pastoor, Mede-Pastoor, Lede van die Beheerliggaam, Lidmate en gesinne van ons geliefde AGS.  Ek skryf aan jou in ‘n tyd wat ek diep geraak is, want ek onthou diegene wat ‘n goeie stryd gevoer het en onder hierdie pandemie geswig het. Baie van ons het die afgelope jaar geliefdes verloor en die pyn is nog vars in ons geheue. Om afskeid te neem van ons geliefdes was soveel moeiliker, want ons kon nie rou soos ons gewoonlik gerou het nie en ons was sonder die ondersteuning wat ons gewoonlik deur ‘n tyd van hartseer sou gedra het.

Alhoewel die roeping van Pastore bonatuurlik is, bedien en leef ons ons lewens verweef in die lewensiklusse en die ervaringe van ons lidmate wat ons in hierdie gebroke wêreld bedien. Toewyding aan ons roeping as Pastoor verhinder nie ons en ons gesinne om blootgestel te word aan die beproewinge van die lewe nie, insluitend verlies, pyn, lyding, moedeloosheid, teleurstellings en dood. Ons ervaar ook die uitdagings van die lewe soos alle ander mense: as ouers, in ons huwelike, ons finansies, ons gesondheid en verbroke verhoudings. Soms is ons sprakeloos wanneer ons God desperaat vertrou vir ‘n wonderwerk en ons geloof beantwoord word met ‘n koue stilte vanaf God.

Ons weet dat God ons deur Sy Gees vertroos in pyn en siekte en dat hy ons siele kan genees. Pastore, ek is bewus daarvan dat ons byeenkomste diep geraak is deur die Covid-19 pandemie. Ons is nie in staat om te vergader vir dienste of gebedsbyeenkomste in ons kerke nie. Daar is geen uitreike, opelug konferensies, huisbesoeke of ander byeenkomste soos wat ons gewoond was nie. Ons sien ‘n vinnig veranderende wêreld – ‘n verskuiwing van dit waaraan ons gewoond is, na ‘n plek van onsekerheid. Die Covid-19 pandemie en selfs die houding van ons regering veroorsaak dat die kerk nadink oor haar invloed in die samelewing.

Ek het nagedink oor die profeet Habakuk wat in Hoofstuk 1:1-4 aan ons voorgestel word as ‘n wanhopige profeet – ‘n profeet wat God betwyfel. Hy is oorweldig deur die omstandighede rondom hom en dit lyk asof God Hom van die aardbol verwyder het. God is nêrens te vinde nie. Sy wanhoop is tasbaar, die pyn is werklik, die twyfel is verterend, die toekoms lyk bleek, en alle hoop het verdwyn. Te midde van die pyn en onsekerheid, te midde van die hopeloosheid en duisternis, ervaar Habakuk ‘n visioen van God se herstellingskrag wat deur Dawid so lewendig verkondig is, in Psalm 121″Ek kyk op na die berge: waarvandaan sal daar vir my hulp kom? My hulp kom van die Here wat hemel en aarde gemaak het.”

“Hy word nie meer oorweldig deur wat hy om hom sien nie, maar deur wat hy glo.”

Die profeet word nie meer beheer deur of selfs bekommerd oor sy omstandighede nie, sy oë is op God gerig. Hy word nie meer oorweldig deur wat hy om hom sien nie, maar deur wat hy glo. Hy verkondig hierdie woorde wat verewig is en wat vandag nog geld in Hoofstuk 3:

17 Al sou die vyeboom nie bot nie en daar geen druiwe aan die wingerde wees nie, al sou die olyfoes misluk en die lande geen oes lewer nie, al sou daar geen kleinvee in die kampe meer wees nie en die beeskrale sonder beeste wees, 18 nogtans sal ek in die Here jubel, sal ek juig in God, my Redder. 19 Die Here my God gee vir my krag. Hy maak my voete soos dié van ‘n ribbok, op hoë plekke laat Hy my veilig loop.”

2020 was een van die moeilikste jare vir ons almal en dit wil voorkom asof hierdie pandemie die wêreld langer gaan affekteer as wat ooit verwag is. Ek het al die herstellingskrag van God ervaar gedurende die moeilikste tye van my lewe. Gedurende die afgelope vier jaar het ek dit weer beleef en ek kan getuig van sy onfeilbare genade. My broers en susters, ek wil hê dat julle moet weet dat ons saam hierin is. As ‘n gesin van die AGS van SA bedank ons jou vir jou getrouheid en jou standvastigheid in geloof en dat jy nie opgee nie.

Vandag bid ek vir ons Pastore, hul eggenote en ook hul kinders wat deur moeilike tye gaan – veral die wat ‘n intense konflik of stryd ervaar tussen geloof en ons menslike ervarings. Ek bid dat jy en jou gesin die teenwoordigheid van God sal ervaar, soos Habakuk. Dat jou vertroue en hoop gestel is op dit wat hoër is as dit wat jy besig is om menslik te ervaar.

SLOT

Geen pandemie kan die Groot Opdrag verhinder nie! Deur die gebruik van beskikbare tegnologie kan ons die missie van die kerk versterk. Laat ons nie oorweldig word deur wat ons ervaar en rondom ons sien nie, maar eerder deur dit wat ons glo. Ek vertrou dat hierdie brief ‘n tydige aanmoediging en seën vir jou is. Ek bid dat God ons sal dra in hierdie moeilike tye wanneer ons almal ‘n behoefte het aan sy teenwoordigheid – aan die Een wat ons tot sy diens geroep het om sy heerlikheid te verkondig.

Seën!

M.G. Mahlobo

Pastoral Letter 4th Quarter (2020)

Download the PDF-version here (print and e-mail friendly):

AFM Pastoral Letter 4th Qrt 2020 ENG

INTRODUCTION

AFM Colleague,

I count it a single honor for me to be able to oversee the writing of this letter, which is my last 4th Quarter Pastoral Letter. In this Special Edition, I will be sharing reflections on my ministry journey in the AFM of SA. I have invited Dr Japie La Poorta (Deputy President of the AFM of SA) to do the same.

World Pentecostal Fellowship Conference in Kuala Lumpur. 

A JOURNEY INTO MINISTRY: HIGHLIGHTS & CHALLENGES
Past. M.G. Mahlobo (President of the AFM of SA) – [email protected]

Let me start by expressing my appreciation and thanks, first to my fellow AFM National Office Bearers, National Leadership Forum (NLF), my fellow-AFMI (AFM International) Office Bearers, AFM National Office Staff and last but not least my soulmate and my spouse, Jacobeth who walked beside me and lent me whatever support she could.

Graduation – George & Jacobeth. 

Call to Ministry 

I received a call into the ministry towards the end of 1974. In 1975 I sought confirmation of this call from the Lord because of the reluctance on my part to become a Pastor. I had plans to equip myself as a lawyer. Indeed, I received confirmation from the Lord in the same year. Having received the confirmation, I applied for a B.Th. Degree at the University of Zululand. My application was approved – however, I changed my mind towards the end of 1975 and decided to go and study at the AFM Central Bible College in Soshanguve. After the completion of my studies and internship, I was ordained as an AFM Pastor on 31 March 1979. I completed my B.Th. Degree with the University of South Africa in 1984. I had an opportunity of doing other short courses on leadership and administration after my junior degree.

Pastoral Ministry In Local Assemblies 

I ministered in the following AFM Assemblies as Presiding Pastor; Machadodorp (1978-1980); Mabopane (1980-1985); Phuthaditjhaba (1985-1999) and Soshanguve Hilltop Restoration Centre since 2004 to date. From 2000 to 2004 I was part of the Ministry Team of the Doxa Deo Tshwane Inner City Campus. Several members from these local assemblies accepted God’s call to become Pastors. There were two from Machadodorp, nine in Mabopane, four in Phuthaditjhaba and one from the current Assembly. While most of them became AFM Pastors, others are involved in other ministries. I continue to pray for those who are still alive that God’s hand would continue to be upon them.

Administrative And Leadership Roles In Other Church Structures 

Besides serving in local assemblies, I had the privilege of serving the in other AFM structures. I would like to thank the AFM members and leaders for the confidence they bestowed on me by allowing me to serve them in this way. There are several structures in which I served but for the sake of brevity, I would like to mention just a few.

“I was a young person when I got ordained. I was active in the church’s youth ministry.”

I served as the Chairperson of the Students Christian Movement during my high school days. I chaired the Eastern Transvaal, Pretoria and Northern Free State District Youth Departments. From 1980 to 1988, I served as the National Youth Chairperson. The National Youth Department used to convene huge National Conferences. In one instance we had over 7,000 young people in attendance. Many of our peers ended up in leadership positions in various sectors of society, including the church. It was this department that raised questions around the racial divisions in the AFM.

“Those were the years of robust debates and phenomenal spiritual growth.”

I served as the General Secretary in the former Black AFM Church (1988-1990), Composite Division (1990-1996) and in the AFM of SA post its unification (1996-2016). Serving as National Secretary was not an easy task, especially in an organization as diverse as the AFM. Beside skills in filing, recording, and conveying of decisions taken, it also required a cool head. The General Secretary’s responsibilities include being the church’s Spokesperson. Although I did not have someone to coach and groom me in secretarial responsibilities, the Lord granted me strength and guidance. Fortunately, certain systems were already in place. This position allowed me to participate in the development of several policy documents and constitutional adjustments.

One of the most difficult responsibilities as National Secretary was when I had to inform Pastors who were not ready for retirement and when I had to write about the suspension or termination of Pastoral Status. In many instances’ recipients thought I was the originator of messages and would not accept that I was a mere messenger.

For a short time, I served as Principal of the AFM of SA Theological Institute (AFMSATI). This was from the end of 1994 to 1996. At the time of my principalship, the three Bible Colleges of the Composite Division, namely Central Bible College (Soshanguve), Covenant Bible College (Durban) and Sarepta (Cape Town) had merged into one college, namely AFMSATI. Unfortunately, this milestone achievement was for a short time. The retrogression after 1996 was due to financial incentives. The struggle for one AFM College, post-church unity, has proven to be an arduous journey.

I served as President of the AFM of SA from 2016 to date. I would have taken retirement by now had it not been the lockdown restrictions on huge in-person gatherings. I would like to thank God and the church at large for the support and motivation I received during my stint as President.

GBM 2018 – Celebration 110 Years.

Involvement In Other Organizations 

By God’s grace and the support from the church, I also served and continue to serve in other structures outside of the AFM of SA. I served as the Chairperson of the Security Services Christian Advisory Board from 2006 to 2015, after which I continued to serve as a member of this organisation until July 2020. I am serving on the Board of Directors at the Impact Community Radio Station since 2007 to date, the Board of Directors of the People Upliftment Project (POPUP) since 2004 to date and AFM representative at the Bible Society Johannesburg Region from 1997 to 2016. It has been a great honor for me to be part of these organisations.

I have been privileged to serve as Secretary-General (2013-2019) and as President of the AFM International (2019 to date). AFM International is the fellowship of AFM churches in more than twenty-four (24) countries. It has since expanded to include Associate Member churches through signed memoranda of cooperation.

Highlights And Challenges 

Some of the significant points in my involvement with the AFM include its unification under one constitution in 1996. As l am laying down the reigns, I have presented a Cohesion Framework document to the National Leadership Forum (NLF). This framework seeks to deepen the church’s unity by engendering a sense of belonging to all members and leaders. I have done so because I cherish Psalm 133, John 17:20-21, Acts 4:32 and Galatians 3:28.

AFM of SA Office Bearers in Parliament

The second highlight for me was the presentation that the AFM leadership made before the Truth & Reconciliation Commission in East London on 19 November 1997. It was not an easy task, but the leadership of the AFM was moved by a sense of social justice to do it. The church began to be vocal on social ills. It is my prayer that the AFM will be able to live up to its collective dream of becoming an agent of transformation through its community involvement.

The third highlight is the church’s involvement in ecumenical organisations. The AFM is a member of the Pentecostal World Fellowship (PWF) since 1992. Dr Isak Burger served as Vice-President before his retirement as President of the AFM of SA in 2016. I am serving as a member of the PWF Advisory Committee since 2016. The AFM is part of the Evangelical Alliance of South Africa (TEASA). We are also part of the South African Council of Churches (SACC). We also participate in the Global Christian Forum. I was honored to represent the AFM on this Forum in Bogota (Columbia) in 2018. Prospects are good that the AFM’s application for acceptance as a member church of the World Council of Churches will be approved. I am thankful to God for these developments. I have always believed, even as I do now, that AFM has a contribution to offer in these organisations.

When it comes to challenges, Leadership development remains a challenge ahead for the church. At the recent National Leadership Forum (NLF) meeting I presented a Leadership Development Framework.

Another challenge for the church is Patriarchy. AFM leadership can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to Patriarchy. Since the inception of the AFM, women have always formed an important part of its ministry. In many instances, the deployment of women in the church’s ministry has led to its growth. For many years women’s role in ministry has been confined to local assemblies – mainly in a supportive role. This pattern has not changed for many years. Up to this year, only two ordained women Pastors were elected as Regional Leaders. There is still a patriarchal resistance towards enabling and allowing women to take positions at a leadership level. We need to find mechanisms to disarm patriarchy and be deliberate and intentional about seeing women in leadership. My prayer is that the AFM will have a woman President before the Lord comes.

AN EXPERIENCE IN MINISTRY: LESSONS LEARNED

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

Call To Ministry

In 1976 I entered the ministry in Kakamas, where for two years and six months I was the Presiding Pastor (1976-1978). From there, I moved to the Upington Assembly, where we served from 1978 – 1985. While in Upington, I received a call to lecture at the Sarepta Theological College where I served from 1985-1994.

Pastoral Ministry In Local Assemblies 

Residing in the Western Cape, we pastored various AFM Assemblies including Macassar, Eersteriver and Bellville-South. Through my pastoral ministry, I received opportunities to exercise leadership (especially on socio-economic involvement), teach, and become a leader in the communities I ministered.

Unity Committee of the former Composite Church.

Leadership Roles In Other Church Structures 

In addition to my local ministry, I became involved in the higher structures of the AFM of SA. These structures were when I was elected as Regional-, Youth-, and Children’s Ministry Leader. My involvement on this level as Secretary and later Regional Leader gave me access to the then Executive Council of the Former Coloured Section, Composite Division, and United AFM of SA. During this period, I also served on various commissions, committees, and boards within the church.

Involvement In Other Organizations 

This involvement led to my exposure to the broader Body of Christ, as Secretary of the National Organisation of Pentecostal Churches, a delegate to the: Global Pentecostal – Roman Catholic Dialogue, the Joint Consultative Group of Pentecostals, the World Council of Churches and the Global Christian Forum. Further exposure was when I served as AFM representative on the National Executive Council of the South African Council of Churches and serving as the Chairperson of The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa.

World Pentecostal Fellowship Conference in Canada, 2019.

International Exposure

My teaching ministry allowed me to access various Theological Conferences in the USA, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Through this endeavor, I was able to write articles in various theological journals and produced researched papers. Through these engagements, I met numerous renowned Theologians.  Theologians such as Jurgen Moltmann, Veli-Matti Karkainen, Miroslav Volf, Ronald Sider, James Cone, Leonard Lovett, Miquel Alvarez, Juan Sepulveda, Fredrick Ware, Walter Hollenweger, Jean-Daniel Pluss, Mel Robeck, Harold Hunter and David Daniel to mention just a few. Together with Dr Isak Burger and Pastor George Mahlobo we were fortunate to meet numerous leaders of the Pentecostal Movement in the USA and Europe at their Head Offices.

Socio-Economic Involvement

Concerning my socio-economic involvement, I was afforded opportunities to meet with various political leaders and social justice proponents in South Africa and abroad. These engagements included meetings with Presidents Mandela, Mbeki, and Zuma. I have seen and encountered extreme poverty, inequality, and distress among people from all walks of life. In these situations, we must get involved and lend a helping hand in alleviating the pain and suffering resulting from these situations.

The La Poorta Family in 1999

Calling And Ministry In Our Lives

With the birth of our eldest daughter, Althea we were living together in Upington and we had to adjust like all other couples. We were fortunate because Susan’s parents and other relatives were staying in Upington and we had that support system, that assisted us. These support systems made it possible for us to continue with the ministry and for Susan to keep the fires burning with food on the table.

“I just want to salute Susan and all other Pastors wives within and outside the AFM of SA, for keeping their husbands in ministry.”

Life in Upington became very comfortable with the birth of our other two daughters, Susan and Jacqueline – because of these support systems that were in place around us. The situation in the assembly and later the District was going well. We were able to secure church properties in Upington and the regions around Upington like “Wegdraai”, “Grootdrink”, Prieska, Danielskuil, Postmasburg, and Port Nolloth. Life turned out to be so good to us because we were living comfortably in our own house and we were able to secure some goat farming activity. We were well accepted and respected in the community.

We did not enter the ministry for money or to get rich. We entered the ministry because we firmly believed that we have been called by God and that He will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory. That was the attitude by which most of us were governed. That was and still is our approach to ministry today.

In fact, the AFM of SA did not invite me to apply for a job. It was I who came to the realisation of what my calling is – and that was why I went to the Sarepta Theological College. That was the reason why I had no objections when the Curatorium placed me in Kakamas. I regarded the placement as an opportunity to exercise my calling and learn how to trust the One who I believed and confessed, called me into ministry.

That is why it pains my heart today when people come to the church, and in writing confirm on the application forms for theological training, that they believe they are called by God. In some cases, married persons with spouses and children quit their jobs in obedience to God – who they say have called them. Then when they encounter hurdles in the ministry, that that seem to be too great to overcome with the grace of God, they resign from the ministry for whatever reason.

Answering to the call into ministry is a matter of choice to be obedient, or to be like Gideon in the Bible. Gideon asked for more and more signs to deal with his calling. Only after much confirmation did he answer to the call. It is important for all of us who believe we are called or who will be called in the future, to wrestle with God to get certainty about your call in your innermost being. When you make the call to be obedient, it is your decision. If you have heard correctly, it is your choice. If you have heard wrong or misunderstood the call, it is your responsibility to make sure. When you say you are called and you are right, you can only take credit for yourself through God’s grace. If you have missed the call or misunderstood the call you can only blame yourself and nobody else.

“Romans 11: 29 says the calling and gifts of God are irrevocable. You are either called or not, there are no two ways about being called.”

Lessons Learned

We have learned some vital lessons through these experiences. There is a saying that goes: “It is better to learn from the mistakes of others than to form your own.” By doing what the notion alludes to, those who employ it will spare themselves much pain, anxiety, and stress.

Doctoral graduation at the University of the Western Cape, 1996.

The first lesson we learned is that God is faithful no matter the feeling or experience in which you find yourself. He will always be true to his Word and promises. When He says I will never leave you nor forsake you, He means what He says.

Secondly, it is significant to note that only God calls people into ministry and no other person in the church. If God calls you, he will provide for you in ministry until the end. However, if you are not called, you are the author of your demise. God will not take responsibility for those whom he did not call or even send on specific missions.

Thirdly, the gracious gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. God’s calling into ministry may demand sacrifices that the called ones are required to meet. These demands do not include reckless or ill-advised decisions that may bring severe sacrifices encountered by the innocent people who were not part of the original choices.

CONCLUSION

We are almost at the end of 2020. This year will be remembered in world history as the Covid-19 year, where a global pandemic brought the world to a standstill. As we reflect on the past year and many other challenges let us not give up hope. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:13). Allow me to wish you a peaceful and blessed Christmas.

May 2021 renew your vigour and passion to continue to serve our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ with sincerity.

Blessings!

MG Mahlobo

Pastorale Brief 4de Kwartaal (2020)

Laai die Pastorale Brief af in PDF-formaat (om maklik te e-pos of uit te druk):

AGS Pastorale Brief 4de Kwartaal AFR

INLEIDING

AGS Kollega,

Ek beskou dit as ‘n eer om hierdie Pastorale Brief aan jou te skryf – wat heel moontlik my laaste Pastorale Brief vir ‘n vierde kwartaal gaan wees. In hierdie spesiale uitgawe besin ek oor my bedieningsreis in die AGS van SA. Ek het Dr. Japie La Poorta (Adjunkpresident van die AGS van SA) genooi om dieselfde te doen.

“World Pentecostal Fellowship Conference” in Kuala Lumpur. 

‘N BEDIENINGSREIS: HOOGTEPUNTE & UITDAGINGS
Past. M.G. Mahlobo (President van die AGS van SA) – [email protected]

Laat ek eers my waardering en dank betuig aan my mede-AGS Nasionale Ampsdraers, die Nasionale Leierskap Forum (NLF), my mede-AFMI (AFM International) Ampsdraers, die AGS Nasionale Kantoor personeel en laaste, maar nie die minste nie, my sielsgenoot en my eggenoot Jacobeth, wat langs my geloop het en my ondersteun het op elke moontlike wyse.

Gradeplegtigheid – George & Jacobeth.

Geroep vir die Bediening 

Teen die einde van 1974 het ek ervaar dat ek geroep word na die bediening. In 1975 het ek God gevra om dit vir my te bevestig omdat ek onwillig was om ‘n predikant te word. Ek het beplan om myself as ‘n prokureur te kwalifiseer. Ek het inderdaad in dieselfde jaar bevestiging van die Here ontvang en aansoek gedoen by die Universiteit van Zoeloeland om ‘n B.Th. graad te studeer – my aansoek was suksesvol. Ek het egter teen die einde van 1975 van plan verander en besluit om verder te studeer by die AFM Central Bible College in Soshanguve. Nadat ek my studies en internskap voltooi het, was ek op 31 Maart 1979 georden as AGS Pastoor. Daarna het ek in 1984 het my B.Th. graad aan die Universiteit van Suid-Afrika voltooi. Ek het na my junior graad die geleentheid gehad om ander kort kursusse oor leierskap en administrasie te volg.

Pastorale Bediening in Plaaslike Gemeentes

Ek het die volgende AGS Gemeentes in die rol van Presiderende Pastoor bedien: Machadodorp (1978-1980), Mabopane (1980-1985), Phuthaditjhaba (1985-1999) en Soshanguve Hilltop Restoration Centre (sedert 2004 tot op hede). Van 2000 tot 2004 was ek deel van die bedieningspan van Doxa Deo Tshwane-middestadkampus. Verskeie lidmate van hierdie plaaslike gemeentes het God se roeping tot die bediening aanvaar en Pastore geword. Daar was twee uit Machadodorp, nege van Mabopane, vier van Phuthaditjhaba en een uit die huidige Gemeente. Terwyl die meeste van hulle AGS Pastore geword het, is ander ook by ander bedieninge betrokke. Ek bid steeds vir diegene wat nog lewe, dat God se hand op hulle sal bly.

Administratiewe en Leierskapsrolle in ander Kerkstrukture

Behalwe dat ek in plaaslike Gemeentes gedien het, het ek ook die voorreg gehad om in ander AGS-strukture te dien. Ek wil AGS-lidmate en leiers bedank vir die vertroue wat hulle in my gestel het om hulle ook op hierdie manier te dien. Daar is verskeie strukture waarop ek gedien, maar ter wille van beskikbare spasie wil ek net ‘n paar noem.

“Ek was ‘n jong persoon toe ek georden was. Ek was aktief in die kerk se jeugbediening.”

Gedurende my hoërskooldae het ek as Voorsitter gedien op die Studente Christelike Beweging. Ek was voorsitter van die Oos-Transvaal, Pretoria en Noord-Vrystaat se distriksjeugdepartemente. Van 1980 tot 1988 was ek die Nasionale Jeugvoorsitter. Die Nasionale Jeugdepartement het gewoonlik groot nasionale konferensies byeengeroep. In een geval het ons meer as 7,000 jongmense gehad wat die konferensie bygewoon het. Baie van ons eweknieë het hulself in leiersposisies in verskillende sektore van die samelewing bevind, insluitende die kerk sektor. Dit was hierdie departement wat vrae laat ontstaan ​​het oor die rasse-verdeeldheid in die AGS.

“Dit was die jare van sterk debatte en fenomenale geestelike groei.”

Ek het gedien as die Algemene Sekretaris van die voormalige Swart AGS Kerk (1988-1990), Composite Division (1990-1996) en van die AGS van SA na die eenwording (1996-2016). Om as Nasionale Sekretaris te dien was nie ‘n maklike taak nie, veral in ‘n organisasie so uiteenlopend soos die AGS. Behalwe vir vaardighede soos liasseerwerk, opnames en die weergee van besluite wat geneem is, was dit ook nodig om ‘n koelkop te kan hou.  Die verantwoordelikhede van die Algemene Sekretaris sluit ook die rol as Woordvoerder van die kerk in. Alhoewel ek nie iemand gehad het om my in sekretariële verantwoordelikhede touwys te maak nie, het die Here my krag en leiding gegee. Gelukkig was sekere stelsels reeds in plek. Hierdie posisie het my die geleentheid gebied om deel te neem aan die ontwikkeling van verskeie beleidsdokumente en grondwetlike aanpassings.

Een van die moeilikste verantwoordelikhede as Nasionale Sekretaris was toe ek aan Pastore moes kommunikeer wat nie gereed was vir aftrede nie. Ek moes toe skryf oor die opskorting of beëindiging van hul pastorale status. In baie gevalle het die Pastore gedink dat ek die boodskap uitgedink het en wou nie aanvaar dat ek ‘n blote boodskapper was nie.

Vir ‘n kort rukkie het ek gedien as die Prinsipaal van die AFM of SA Theological Institute (AFMSATI). Dit was vanaf die einde van 1994 tot 1996. Ten tyde van my betrokkenheid hier het die drie Bybelkolleges van die Composite Division, naamlik die Central Bible College (Soshanguve), Covenant Bible College (Durban) en Sarepta (Kaapstad) saamgesmelt tot een kollege, naamlik AFMSATI. Ongelukkig was hierdie mylpaal-prestasie van korte duur. Die agteruitgang na 1996 was te danke aan finansiële aansporings. Die stryd vir een ​​AGS kollege, post-kerkeenheid, is ‘n moeilike taak.

Ek was van 2016 tot op hede President van die AGS van SA. Ek sou nou afgetree het as dit nie was vir die beperkings op groot byeenkomste nie. Ek wil God en die kerk in die algemeen bedank vir die ondersteuning en motivering wat ek tydens my tydperk as President ontvang het.

GBM 2018 – Feesvieringe 110 Jaar. 

Betrokkenheid by ander Organisasies

Deur God se genade en die ondersteuning van die kerk, het ek gedien en dien ek nog steeds in ander strukture buite die AGS van SA. Ek was van 2006 tot 2015 die Voorsitter van die Christelike Adviesraad vir Veiligheidsdienste, waarna ek as lid van hierdie organisasie gedien het tot Julie 2020. Ek dien sedert 2007 op die Raad van Direkteure van Impact Community Radio Station, sedert 2004 tot op hede op die Raad van Direkteure van die People Upliftment Project (POPUP) en van 1997-2016 as AGS-verteenwoordiger op die   Bybelgenootskap Johannesburg-streek. Dit was vir my ‘n groot eer om deel te kon wees van hierdie organisasies.

Ek was bevoorregd om as Sekretaris-generaal (2013-2019) en as President van AFM International te dien (2019 tot op hede). AFM International is ‘n versameling van AGS-kerke in meer as vier-en-twintig (24) lande. Dit het sedertdien uitgebrei om Geassosieerde Lidmaat-kerke in te sluit deur middel van ondertekende memorandums van samewerking.

Hoogtepunte en Uitdagings

Van die belangrikste hoogtepunte in my betrokkenheid by die AGS is onder meer die eenwording van die kerk onder een grondwet in 1996. Soos ek nou die leisels van my leierskap neerlê, het ek ‘n raamwerk rondom kohesie aan die Nasionale Leierskap Forum voorgelê. Hierdie raamwerk poog om die eenheid van die kerk te verdiep deur ‘n klimaat te skep waar elke leier en lidmaat voel dat hulle behoort in die AGS van SA. Ek het dit gedoen omdat ek Psalm 133, Johannes 17: 20-21, Handelinge 4:32 en Galasiërs 3:28 koester.

AGS van SA leiers in Parlement

Die tweede hoogtepunt vir my was die aanbieding wat die AGS-leierskap voor die Waarheids- en Versoeningskommissie in Oos-Londen gedoen het op 19 November 1997. Dit was nie ‘n maklike taak nie, maar die leierskap van die AGS is aangespoor om dit te doen deur ‘n gevoel van sosiale geregtigheid. Die kerk het begin praat oor sosiale kwale. Dit is my gebed dat die AGS in staat sal wees om sy kollektiewe droom om ‘n agent vir transformasie te word, te kan nakom.

Die derde hoogtepunt is die kerk se betrokkenheid by ekumeniese organisasies. Die AGS is ‘n lid van die Pentecostal World Fellowship (PWF) vanaf 1992. Dr. Isak Burger het gedien as Vise-president voor sy uittrede as President van die AGS van SA in 2016. Ek dien sedert 2016 as lid van die PWF Advieskomitee. Die AGS is deel van die Evangeliese Alliansie van Suid-Afrika (TEASA). Ons is ook deel van die Suid-Afrikaanse Raad van Kerke (SARK). Ons neem ook deel aan die Wêreld Christelike Forum (Global Christian Forum). Ek was geëerd om die AGS in 2018 in Bogota (Columbia) op hierdie Forum te verteenwoordig. Die vooruitsigte is goed dat die AGS se aansoek as ‘n lidmaat by die Wêreld Raad van Kerke, goedgekeur sal word. Ek is God dankbaar vir hierdie verwikkelinge. Ek het nog altyd geglo, soos nou, dat die AGS ‘n bydrae in hierdie organisasies bied.

As dit kom by uitdagings, is Leierskapsontwikkeling nog ‘n uitdaging wat vir die kerk voorlê. Tydens die onlangse Nasionale Leierskap Forum (NLF) het ek ‘n raamwerk vir leierskapsontwikkeling aangebied.

Nog ‘n uitdaging vir die kerk is die patriargie. AGS-leierskap kan nie meer bekostig om ‘n blinde oog te draai na Patriargie nie. Sedert die stigting van die AGS was vroue nog altyd ‘n belangrike deel van die bediening. In baie gevalle het die ontplooiing van vroue in die kerk tot die groei daarvan gelei. Vir baie jare is die rol van vroue in die bediening beperk tot plaaslike Gemeentes – hoofsaaklik in ‘n ondersteunende rol. Hierdie patroon, oor baie jare, verander nie. Tot en met hierdie jaar was daar slegs twee geordende vroulike Pastore wat verkies was tot Streeksleiers. Daar is steeds ‘n patriargale weerstand daarteen om vroue die geleentheid te bied en toe te laat om posisies op leierskapsvlak in te neem. Ons moet meganismes vind om patriargie te ontwapen. Ons moet doelgerig wees om vroue in leierskap posisies te sien. My gebed is dat die AGS ‘n vroulike President sal hê voordat die Here kom.

ONDERVINDING IN DIE BEDIENING: LESSE WAT EK GELEER HET  

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

In 1976 betree ek die bediening in Kakamas, waar ek vir twee jaar en ses maande die Presiderende  Pastoor was (1976-1978). Van daar af verhuis ek na die Upington-gemeente, waar ons van 1978-1985 gedien het. Terwyl ek in Upington was, het ek ‘n beroep ontvang om te lektor by die Sarepta Teologiese Kollege – waar ek van 1985-1994 gedien het.

Pastorale Bediening in Plaaslike Gemeentes

Terwyl ons in die Wes-Kaap gewoon het, was ons betrokke by die volgende AGS Gemeentes:  Macassar, Eersteriver en Bellville-Suid. Deur my pastorale bediening het ek geleenthede gekry om my leierskap uit te oefen (veral op sosio-ekonomiese gebied), onderrig te gee en ‘n leier te word in die gemeenskappe wat ek bedien het.

Die “Unity Committee” van die voormalige “Composite Church”. 

Leierskapsrolle in ander Kerkstrukture

Benewens my plaaslike bediening, het ek by die hoër strukture van die AGS van SA betrokke geraak. Hierdie strukture was toe ek verkies is as streeks-, jeug- en kinderbedieningsleier. My betrokkenheid op hierdie vlak as Sekretaris en later Streeksleier het my toegang gegee tot die destydse Uitvoerende Raad van die voormalige Kleurlingafdeling, die Composite Division en die Verenigde AGS van SA. Gedurende hierdie tydperk het ek ook op verskillende kommissies, komitees en direksies van die kerk gedien.

Betrokkenheid by ander Organisasies

Hierdie betrokkenheid het gelei tot my blootstelling aan die breër Liggaam van Christus, as Sekretaris van die Nasionale Organisasie van Pinksterkerke en as ‘n afgevaardigde vir die: Wêreldwye Pinkster – Rooms-Katolieke Dialoog, die Joint Consultative Group of Pentecostals, die Wêreld Raad van Kerke en die Wêreld Christelike Forum. Verdere blootstelling was toe ek as AGS-verteenwoordiger op die Nasionale Uitvoerende Raad van die Suid-Afrikaanse Raad van Kerke (SARK) gedien het en as Voorsitter van die Evangeliese Alliansie van Suid-Afrika.

“World Pentecostal Fellowship Conference” in Kanada, 2019.

Internasionale Blootstelling

My onderwysbediening het my toegelaat om toegang te verkry tot verskillende teologiese konferensies in die VSA, Europa, Latyns-Amerika, Asië en Afrika. Ek kon artikels in verskillende teologiese tydskrifte skryf en nagevorsde artikels lewer. Deur hierdie geleenthede het ek talle bekende teoloë ontmoet. Teoloë soos Jurgen Moltmann, Veli-Matti Karkainen, Miroslav Volf, Ronald Sider, James Cone, Leonard Lovett, Miquel Alvarez, Juan Sepulveda, Fredrick Ware, Walter Hollenweger, Jean-Daniel Pluss, Mel Robeck, Harold Hunter en David Daniel om net ‘n paar te noem. Saam met Dr. Isak Burger en Past. George Mahlobo was ons gelukkig om talle leiers van die Pinksterbeweging in die VSA en Europa by hul hoofkantore te ontmoet.

Sosio-ekonomiese Betrokkenheid

Wat my sosio-ekonomiese betrokkenheid betref, het ek geleenthede gekry om met verskillende politieke leiers en voorstanders van sosiale geregtigheid (social justice) in Suid-Afrika en in die buiteland te vergader. Hierdie samesprekings het vergaderings met presidente Mandela, Mbeki en Zuma ingesluit. Ek het ekstreme armoede, ongelykheid en nood onder mense van alle tipe groeperings gesien en teëgekom. In hierdie situasies moet ons betrokke raak en help om die pyn en lyding te verlig.

Die La Poorta Familie in 1999

Roeping en Bediening in ons Lewens

Met die geboorte van ons oudste dogter, Althea, het ons in Upington gewoon en moes ons soos alle ander paartjies aanpas. Ons was gelukkig omdat my vrou – Susan – se ouers en ander familielede in Upington gebly het en ons die ondersteuningstelsel gehad het wat ons gehelp het. Hierdie ondersteuningstelsel het dit vir ons moontlik gemaak om met die bediening voort te gaan en vir Susan om te sorg vir die bestuur van die huishouding.

“Ek wil vir Susan en alle ander Pastoors-vrouens, binne en buite die AGS van SA, salueer omdat hulle hul mans in die bediening hou.”

Na die geboorte van ons ander twee dogters, Susan en Jacqueline, het die lewe in Upington baie gemaklik geraak as gevolg van die ondersteuningstelsels rondom ons. Die situasie in die Gemeente en later in die distrik was gunstig. Ons kon kerkeiendomme in Upington en die streke rondom Upington bekom soos Wegdraai, Grootdrink, Prieska, Danielskuil, Postmasburg en Port Nolloth. Dit het goed gegaan met ons omdat ons gemaklik in ons eie huis gewoon het en ook ‘n bietjie boerderybedrywighede kon beoefen. Ons is goed aanvaar en was gerespekteer in die gemeenskap.

Ons het nie die bediening betree vir geld of om ryk te word nie. Ons het die bediening betree omdat ons vas geglo het dat ons deur God geroep is en dat Hy in al ons behoeftes sal voorsien volgens Sy rykdom in heerlikheid. Dit was die benadering wat die meeste van ons ingeneem was. Dit was, en is vandag nog steeds ons benadering tot die bediening.

Trouens, die AGS van SA het my nie genooi om aansoek te doen nie. Dit was ek wat besef het wat my roeping is – en daarom het ek na die Sarepta Teologiese Kollege gegaan. Dit was die rede waarom ek geen besware gehad het toe die Kuratorium my in Kakamas geplaas het nie. Ek het die plasing gesien as ‘n geleentheid om my roeping uit te oefen en te leer hoe om die Een te vertrou waarin ek glo en wie ek bely my tot die bediening geroep het.

Dit is hoekom dit my so ongelukkig maak as mense kerk toe kom en skriftelik op die aansoekvorms vir teologiese opleiding aandui dat hulle glo dat hulle deur God geroep word. In sommige gevalle het getroude persone met eggenote en kinders hul werk beëindig in gehoorsaamheid aan God – omdat, volgens hulle, God hulle geroep het tot die bediening. Wanneer hulle dan hindernisse in die bediening teëkom wat lyk asof dit te groot is om met die genade van God te oorkom, bedank hulle om watter rede ook al uit die bediening.

Om te reageer op die roeping tot bediening is ‘n keuse om gehoorsaam te wees, of om soos Gideon in die Bybel te wees. Gideon het meer en meer tekens gevra om sy roeping te bevestig. Eers na baie bevestigings aanvaar hy die roeping. Dit is belangrik vir ons almal wat glo dat ons geroep is, of wat in die toekoms geroep sal word, om met God te worstel en sekerheid te kry in ons innerlike wese. Wanneer jy dan die roeping aanvaar om gehoorsaam te wees, is dit jou besluit. As jy reg gehoor het, is dit jou keuse. As jy die oproep verkeerd gehoor het of verkeerd verstaan ​​het, is dit jou verantwoordelikheid om seker te maak. As jy sê dat jy geroep is en dat jy reg was, kan jy slegs krediet vir jouself neem deur God se genade. As jy die roeping misgeloop het, of die roeping verkeerd verstaan ​​het, kan jy net jouself en niemand anders die skuld gee nie.

“Romeine 11: 29 sê dat die roeping en gawes van God onherroeplik is. Jy word geroep of nie, daar is nie twee maniere om geroep te word nie. ”

Lesse Wat Ek Geleer Het

Ons het ‘n paar belangrike lesse geleer deur hierdie ervarings. Daar is ‘n gesegde wat lui: “Dit is beter om uit ander se foute te leer, eerder as om jou eie foute te maak.” Dus om deur ander se foute te leer sal diegene wat dit gebruik hulsef baie pyn, angs en spanning spaar.

Doktorale gradeplegtigheid by die Universiteit van die Wes Kaap, 1996.

Die eerste les wat ons geleer het, is dat God getrou is, ongeag die gevoel of ervaring waarin jy jouself bevind. Hy sal altyd aan Sy Woord en beloftes getrou bly. As Hy sê dat Hy jou nooit sal verlaat nie, bedoel Hy wat Hy sê.

Tweedens is dit belangrik om daarop te let dat slegs God mense tot die bediening roep en geen ander persoon in die kerk nie. As God jou roep, sal Hy voorsien vir jou tot die einde van jou bediening. As jy egter nie geroep is nie, is jy die outeur van jou eie ondergang. God sal nie verantwoordelikheid aanvaar vir diegene vir wie hy nie geroep het nie of selfs op spesifieke sendings nie gestuur het nie.

Derdens is die genade gawes en roeping van God onherroeplik. God se roeping tot die bediening vra miskien opofferings wat deur geroepenes gemaak moet word. Hierdie eise sluit nie roekelose of oningeligte besluite in nie – veral waar dit ernstige gevolge kan meebring vir onskuldige mense wat nie deel van die oorspronklike keuses was nie.

SLOT

Ons is amper aan die einde van 2020. Hierdie jaar sal in die wêreldgeskiedenis onthou word as die Covid-19-jaar, waar ‘n wêreldwye pandemie alles tot stilstand geruk het. Laat ons nie moed verloor terwyl ons nadink oor die afgelope jaar en vele ander uitdagings nie. Mag die God van hoop jou vul met alle vreugde en vrede soos jy op Hom vertrou, sodat jy deur die krag van die Heilige Gees kan oorloop van HOOP (Romeine 5:13). Laat my toe om jou ‘n vreedsame en geseënde Kersfees toe te wens.

Mag 2021 jou ywer en passie vernuwe, om ten spyte van uitdagende tye, voort te gaan om met opregtheid ons Verlosser Jesus Christus te dien. 

Seën!

MG Mahlobo

AFM Pastoral Letter 3rd Quarter 2020

Download the PDF-version here (e-mail and print-friendly):

AFM Pastoral Letter 3rd Quarter 2020

INTRODUCTION 

AFM Colleague,

All indications are that we are beyond the first peak of Covid-19. I need to emphasise that the possibility of another wave of infection is real. I, therefore, urge you to remain vigilant and comply with all Covid-19 safety protocols. Some of the issues in this letter are prayer and self-care.

THE POWER OF PRAYER
Past. M.G. Mahlobo (President of the AFM of SA) – [email protected]

One may ask the question and rightly so: “Why is it necessary to talk about the power of prayer in a communication addressed to Pastors?” It is important to be mindful of the fact that we are part of a society that relies more on what is humanly possible. It is a generation that is skeptical about divine intervention and would rather rely on science and other resources to deal with life’s challenges. For this reason, we need to reflect, from time to time, on important aspects as well as the efficacy of prayer.

Important Aspects of Prayer

In Matthew 6: 9-13 there are six important attributes of prayer. These are: (1) relationship with God (our Father), (2) recognition of God’s nature (hallowed be your Name), (3) realisation and acceptance that current reality is not in line with God’s will (Your Kingdom come, and Your will be done on earth as it is done in heaven), (4) receptive attitude towards God’s providence (give us today our daily bread), (5) repentance and penitence (and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors), and (6) rescue appeal from evil (and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one).

Efficacy of Prayer Demonstrated 

The Bible presents us with many examples of the power of prayer. I would highlight three of these.

1. Hannah: 1 Samuel 1: 1-28

In 1 Samuel 1: 10-11 we read about Hannah’s prayer: “In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. 11 And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” Hannah addressed her prayer to the LORD Almighty. She declares her relationship with YHWH with whom they have a covenant. She also recognises the omnipotence of God. She calls God “LORD Almighty” (or of hosts). This was the first time that this title, “LORD of Mighty Armies” was used by an individual in conversation with God. Hannah felt attacked by her rival, so she called on the “LORD Almighty” to be her protector. Her prayer was answered in 1 Samuel 1:20.

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

2. Jehoshaphat: 2 Chronicles 20:1-30

When Jehoshaphat, the 4th King of Judah was faced with an imminent invasion by a coalition of powerful enemies, he convened a national prayer. In 2 Chronicles 20: 5-12 he invokes the relationship that his ancestors had with God. He recognises God’s reign over the nations and God’s almighty power over calamities. He also declares their helplessness and dependence on God’s intervention. In verse 12 he says: “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” The power of prayer is demonstrated in the way God intervened. The invaders were conquered without anyone from Judah lifting a finger or a weapon. God’s intervention is an indication that we can solicit His intervention in times of threat and crises.

3. Early Church Praying for Peter: Acts 12:1-19

In Acts 12 the Roman Emperor, King Herod Agrippa 1, unleashed persecution on the church. The casualties of this persecution included James who was killed and Simon Peter who was imprisoned. Peter was under heavy security in prison. There were no prospects for him escaping. In Acts 12:5 we read that the church convened and earnestly prayed for him. This corporate prayer resulted in the angel miraculously releasing Peter and guiding him through all the security gates to his freedom. It was clear that this became possible through God’s intervention. An effective prayer can unlock prison chains and open prison doors.

 

“Prayer is our “war room” in times of distress and crises.”

Our predecessors were men and women of prayer. The growth of this church in this country, and beyond, can be ascribed to their prayer life, dedication, sacrifice, and pursuit of holiness. If all else fail, we can be assured that the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16). Prayer is our “war room” in times of distress and crises. I would like to see all AFM local Assemblies having “Prayer War Rooms” (PWR).  Each PWR should have a dedicated team of Prayer Warriors and focus on specific issues within the church and in their communities. The current challenges in our society, locally and globally, require that we earnestly seek God’s intervention.

THE 2020 GENERAL BUSINESS MEETING (GBM) & THE NATIONAL AFM CONFERENCE: THE WAY FORWARD

Past. M.G. Mahlobo (President of the AFM of SA) – [email protected]

The convening of the AFM of SA 2020 Annual Conference (AC) and General Business Meeting (GBM) which was originally scheduled for 6-9 September 2020, had to be postponed due to the national lockdown regulations. These regulations restrict church gatherings to 50 people. During a virtual meeting in July this year, the National Leadership Forum (NLF) resolved that three tentative dates be set aside as possible alternatives. The determining factor will be the number of people allowed for church gatherings. The earmarked dates are 8-12 November 2020 or 14-18 February 2021 or 14-18 March 2021. The venue remains Word and Life (Woord en Lewe) in Boksburg. My request is that you diarise these tentative dates.

“The Church’s National Office Bearers (NOB) namely the President, the Deputy President, the General Secretary, and the General Treasurer will be elected at the next GBM.”

The Church’s National Office Bearers (NOB) namely the President, the Deputy President, the General Secretary, and the General Treasurer will be elected at the next GBM. Our 2018 GBM approved amendments to the church’s constitution allowing Assembly Governing Bodies and Regional Committees to participate in the process of the NOB elections. These amendments are reflected in Chapter 4 and Chapter 4a of the latest AFM Constitution. They are also reflected in Regulation 1.32.7 of the latest Rules of Order (Appendix 1 to the AFM Constitution).

The first phase of the process has been completed. I would like to express my appreciation to all Assembly Governing Bodies and Regional Committees who sent in their preferred nominees. These Nominees were subjected to vetting by the Scrutiny Committee which was appointed by the NLF. The successful nominees have accepted their nominations. Their names and CV’s have been circularised by the Office of the General Secretary. To view and download the CV’s of the nominees visit the following link on the AFM website:

https://afm-ags.org/newsflash-friday-21-august-2020-resources/

They will constitute the pool from which the GBM will elect the new NOB members. However, the election process allows for the nomination of candidates from the floor, who are not in the pool.

The office of the General Secretary will be in contact with you via your Regional Secretary or Administrator to ensure that your assembly information is captured accurately on the AFM National Office database. Your cooperation will be appreciated.

PASTORAL SELF-CARE
Dr. H.J. Weideman (General Secretary of the AFM of SA) – [email protected]  

Feeding, leading, equipping, serving and caring are all a part of the Biblical calling of pastors. To really care for others affectively and continuously, necessitates that pastors must apply self-care. Self-care is the physical, emotional, and spiritual equivalent of maintaining a vehicle. You must regularly change the oil, check the battery etc. to ensure better performance and longevity of your car.

“Self-care is the physical, emotional, and spiritual equivalent of maintaining a vehicle.”

During the pandemic, even though Pastors cannot be with their congregants physically, they are trying to care for the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health of their congregants – although a significant number say they themselves are exhausted, stressed and isolated. Pastors often do not recognise the fatigue and stress caused by fulfilling their ministry. They tend to spiritualise away the need for self-care. Other people and even Pastors themselves, consider it a lack of trust in God to invest in self-care activities. This might lead to self-pressure, self-promotion and workaholism which causes poor health and even an early death.

The Example Of Jesus

Jesus regularly took time out to rest and replenish Himself and encouraged His disciples to do the same. (Matt. 14:13 & 23; Mark. 6:31-32 & 46; Luke 5:16; Luke 6:12-13).

Four Major Areas Of Self-Care

Spiritual: (Heart).  This includes prayer, Bible study, devotions, worship, solitude and scriptural meditation. Not for “work” purposes, but for the personal spiritual life of the Pastor.  We should never confuse our own spiritual journey with God with that of the assembly in which we work.

Currently so much is uncertain: Instill hope and faith in others and in yourself.”

Mental: (Intellect). Mental self-care includes things like thinking, reading and discussing issues with others, as well as processing your experiences and thoughts. Intentionally take breaks from news updates and social media. Read the Bible or another book to feed your own soul and think about how you can implement what you are reading into your life. Do whatever is needed to maintain wholeness and unwavering commitment to personal values and principles. Currently so much is uncertain: Instill hope and faith in others and in yourself. Heb. 11:1(NIV) “Faith is confidence in what we hope for, and assurance about what we do not see.”

Emotional: (Soul). Take time to identify your emotions, decide what they mean and what you should do about it. Watch for opportunities to laugh. Humor really helps. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Even if your meetings have moved to online platforms, be mindful of your boundaries. Decide when you are taking off your work hat and putting on your personal hat. It is especially important to keep up the boundaries between ministry and family life. Family time must be regarded as at least as important as church appointments. Too often family times are canceled, because someone else is demanding the Pastor’s attention with what is not necessarily an emergency. An important part of self-care is to clarify the expectations that the assembly has from the Pastor. If that is not dealt with adequately, it can become a stress factor to the Pastor, his/her family and the congregation. It might not currently be easy to have lunch with a friend, but one can still connect electronically or on the phone. Pastors should guard against isolation. Mentally and emotionally it is important to keep a routine of devotions, getting dressed, making the bed, etc. It provides some sense of consistency in a generally unpredictable work environment.

It might not currently be easy to have lunch with a friend, but one can still connect electronically or on the phone.”

Physical (Body). This is the area that comes most readily to mind when we think about self-care.  It involves a healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate rest and sleep and a conscious effort to reduce stress. An important key in self-care is consistency. Most Pastors are not serious athletes but should train for long-term health. Exercise was part of everyday life in Biblical times. People walked far. They were farmers and herders. Some Pastors are averse to an off day because they feel guilty when they do something else than church work. A day of rest allows your body, soul, mind, and spirit to recharge and catch up with each other. Sleep is essential to optimal functioning and self-care. Although the amount of sleep needed changes through the seasons of our lives, it is normally between 6-8 hours.

Pastors are in a “helping profession” and are often the last to seek help for themselves. The pastor and his/her family just like any other family, has a right to be human and to seek help in counseling or other available resources.  A Pastor who struggles with self-care should be encouraged to talk to a counsellor or professional that can assist in this important aspect of ministry.

During and after the COVID-19 pandemic, faithful and caring Pastors are needed more than ever.”

During and after the COVID-19 pandemic, faithful and caring Pastors are needed more than ever. If Pastors fail at self-care, they certainly would not be effective in ministering to others. It is my prayer that all our Pastors will take good care of themselves all along their journey of ministry.

With acknowledgement to: 

Pastoral Self-Care in a Pandemic: Doug Clay, March 2020; Pastoral Self-Care in Isolating Times: Ivan L. Williams, Apr. 2020; Self-care for the weary pastor: Focus on the Family, 2018; Self-care list for Pastors: Pastoral Care Incorporated, 2020; The Pastor’s self-care in four easy steps: Marty Duren, Feb. 2018.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: UNDERSTANDING CHILD ABUSE
Ashley Theron (Acting CEO of AFM Welfare) – a[email protected]

I trust that the information and knowledge shared in this article will strengthen your role in preventing and identifying child abuse in your local community. I hope to guide you in what actions need to be taken should an alleged child abuse incident be reported to you as Pastor.

Child abuse is when a parent or caregiver, whether through action or failing to act, causes injury, death, emotional harm or risk of serious harm to a child. Younger children are abused most, and more girls suffer from neglect than boys. The most common forms of child abuse are: neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse.

Neglect: Child neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child’s basic needs and the most common form of child abuse. Child neglect encompasses abandonment, lack of appropriate supervision, failure to attend to necessary emotional or psychological needs and failure to provide necessary education , medical care, nourishment, shelter and/or clothing. The following is a list of signs and symptoms by which child neglect is identified:

  • Has learning problems (or difficulty concentrating) that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes or misses attending school.
  • Is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen.
  • Lacks adult supervision.
  • Is overly compliant, passive or withdrawn.
  • Comes to school or other activities early, stays late or does not want to go home.

Physical Abuse: Physical abuse of a child is when a parent or caregiver causes any non-accidental physical injury to a child. Physical abuse includes striking, kicking, burning, biting, hair pulling, choking, throwing, shoving, whipping or any other action that injures a child. Signs of physical abuse in a child are:

  • Bruises, blisters, burns, cuts and scratches.
  • Internal injuries, brain damage, broken bones, sprains and dislocated joints.
  • Visible and severe injuries that can lead to lifelong injury or even death.
  • Unexplained or explained in a way that does not make sense.
  • Frequency, timing and history of injuries (frequent after weekends, vacations, school absences).

Emotional Abuse: Emotional abuse is any type of abuse that involves the continual emotional mistreatment of a child. It is sometimes called psychological abuse. Emotional abuse can involve deliberately trying to scare, humiliate, isolate or ignore a child. Forms of emotional abuse include: (i) humiliating or constantly criticising a child, (ii) threatening or shouting at a child or calling them names, (iii) making the child the subject of jokes or using sarcasm to hurt a child, (iv) blaming, scaring, scapegoating and manipulating a child and (v) an absent parent, persistently ignoring and isolating the child. There might not be any obvious physical signs of emotional abuse or neglect. This means it can be difficult to tell if a child is being emotionally abused. But children who are emotionally abused might:

  • Seem unconfident or lack self-assurance.
  • Struggle to control their emotions.
  • Difficulty making or maintaining relationships.
  • Act in a way that is inappropriate for their age.

Sexual Abuse: When a child or young person is sexually abused, they are forced or tricked into sexual activities. They might not understand that what is happening is abuse. It is important for children to know that it is never their fault that they were sexually abused. Signs and symptoms of sexual abuse include:

  • Changes in behaviour – a child may start being aggressive, withdrawn, clingy, have difficulties sleeping, have regular nightmares or start wetting the bed.
  • Avoiding the abuser – the child may dislike or seem afraid of a particular person and try to avoid spending time alone with them.
  • Sexually inappropriate behaviour – children who have been abused may behave in sexually inappropriate ways or use sexually explicit language.
  • Physical problems – the child may develop health problems, including soreness in the genital and anal areas or sexually transmitted infections or they may become pregnant.
  • Problems at school – an abused child may have difficulty concentrating and learning and their grades may start to drop.

What Can Pastors Do If A Child Reveals Abuse?

A child who is being neglected or abused might not realise what is happening is wrong – and they might even blame themselves. If a child talks to you about neglect or abuse it is important to listen carefully and note the following:

  • Child’s name, address and telephone number.
  • Parent’s or guardian’s name and telephone numbers.
  • Reasons for concern, any documentation of indicators and any relevant statements made by the child.
  • Affirm the child – tell them it is not their fault, let them know they did the right thing by telling you and explain what will happen next.
  • Do not confront the alleged abuser, but report what the child has told you as soon as possible.
  • Report the abuse to: Childline SA (Toll-free no. 080 005 5555) OR contact your nearest Department of Social Development office OR the nearest Child Protection Organisation (for example Child Welfare). In extreme cases, especially after hours, contact your nearest Police Station (SAPS).

This article is a good starting point for any Pastor who wishes to know and learn more about child abuse. We have a more elaborated article prepared where more detailed information is shared. The full article is available from the AFM website for your reference: https://afm-ags.org/category/articles/. You are also welcome to send me any questions or feedback regarding the issue of child abuse: [email protected].

CONCLUSION

As always, I would like to receive your feedback on the contents of this Pastoral Letter. I would also appreciate hearing how the coronavirus pandemic affects you, your family, and your congregation. I continue to keep you in my prayers. Your role in the AFM and in God’s Kingdom is greatly appreciated.

Blessings!

Past. M.G. Mahlobo

Pastorale Brief 3de Kwartaal 2020

Laai die PDF-weergawe hier af (om maklik te e-pos en te druk):

AGS Pastorale Brief 3de Kwartaal 2020

INLEIDING

AGS Kollega,

Alles dui daarop dat ons verby die eerste piek van Covid-19 is. Ek moet beklemtoon dat die moontlikheid van nog ‘n infeksiegolf werklik is. Ek doen ‘n beroep op jou om waaksaam te wees en aan alle Covid-19 veiligheidsmaatreëls te voldoen. Sommige van die kwessies in hierdie brief is gebed en selfversorging.

DIE KRAG VAN GEBED
Past. M.G. Mahlobo (President van die AGS van SA) – [email protected]

Tereg kan ‘n mens die vraag stel: “Waarom is dit nodig om oor die krag van gebed te praat in ‘n kommunikasie aan Pastore?” Dit is belangrik om daarop te let dat ons deel is van ‘n samelewing wat meer vertrou op wat menslik moontlik is. Dit is ‘n generasie wat skepties is oor Goddelike ingryping en eerder op die wetenskap en ander hulpbronne wil staatmaak om die lewe se uitdagings aan te pak. Om hierdie rede moet ons van tyd tot tyd besin oor die belangrike aspekte, sowel as die doeltreffendheid van gebed.

Belangrike Aspekte van Gebed

In Matteus 6: 9-13 is daar ses belangrike eienskappe van gebed. Dit is: (1) verhouding met God (Ons Vader in die hemel), (2) erkenning van God se natuur (Laat u Naam geheilig word), (3) besef en aanvaarding dat ons werklikheid nie in lyn is met die wil van God nie (Laat u koninkryk kom. Laat u wil hier op aarde uitgevoer word soos in die hemel), (4) ontvanklike houding teenoor God se voorsienig (Gee ons die porsie brood wat ons vir vandag nodig het), (5) beleiding van sonde en berou (En vergeef ons ons sondeskuld soos ons ook óns skuldenaars vergewe het), en (6) redding van die kwaad (Bewaar ons sodat ons nie aan verleiding sal toegee nie; maar bevry ons van die greep van die bose).

Doeltreffendheid van Gebed

Die Bybel gee baie voorbeelde van die krag van gebed. Ek wil drie hiervan uitlig.

1. Hanna: 1 Samuel 1: 1-28

In 1 Samuel 1:10-11 lees ons oor Hanna se gebed: 10Hanna was baie ontsteld en terwyl sy onbedaarlik huil, het sy tot die Here gebid. Sy het 11’n gelofte gemaak: “O Here, Almagtige, as U tog net my verdriet wil raaksien en my gebed verhoor en vir my ’n seun gee, sal ek hom vir U teruggee. Lewenslank sal hy aan U behoort. As teken daarvan sal sy hare nooit gesny word nie.” Hanna rig haar gebed tot die HERE, die Almagtige. Sy verklaar haar verhouding met YHWH met wie hulle ‘n verbond het. Sy erken ook die almag van God. Sy noem God “O Here, Almagtige” (of van die leërskare). Dit was die eerste keer dat hierdie titel, “HERE van die leërskare”, deur ‘n individu in gesprek met God gebruik is. Hannah voel aangeval deur haar mededinger, en daarom roep sy op “O Here, Almagtige” om haar beskermer te wees. Haar gebed is beantwoord in 1 Samuel 1:20.

“Ons weet nie wat om te doen nie, maar ons kyk op na U vir hulp.”

2. Josafat: 2 Kronieke 20: 1-30

Toe Josafat, die 4de koning van Juda, voor ‘n dreigende aanval deur ‘n koalisie van magtige vyande te staan gekom het, het hy ‘n nasionale gebed byeengeroep. In 2 Kronieke 20: 5-12 verklaar hy die verhouding wat sy voorouers met God gehad het. Hy erken God se heerskappy oor die nasies en God se almagtige mag oor rampe. Hy verklaar ook hul hulpeloosheid en afhanklikheid van God se ingryping. In vers 12 sê hy: “Ons weet nie wat om te doen nie, maar ons kyk op na U vir hulp.” Die krag van gebed word bewys deur die manier waarop God ingegryp het. Die aanvallers is oorwin sonder dat iemand uit Juda ‘n vinger of ‘n wapen oplig. God se ingryping is ‘n aanduiding dat ons Sy ingryping kan vra in tye van bedreiging en krisisse.

3. Vroeë Kerke se Gebed vir Petrus: Handelinge 12: 1-19

In Handelinge 12 het die Romeinse Keiser, Koning Herodes Agrippa 1, die wat aan die Kerk behoort, begin vervolg. Die slagoffers van hierdie vervolging sluit Jakobus in wat vermoor is en Simon Petrus wat in die tronk gegooi is. Petrus was onder swaar bewaking in die tronk. Daar was geen vooruitsigte dat hy sou ontsnap nie. In Handelinge 12: 5 lees ons dat die kerk byeen gekom het en ernstig vir hom gebid het. Hierdie gesamentlike gebed het daartoe gelei dat die engel Petrus op ‘n wonderbaarlike wyse vrygelaat het en hom deur al die veiligheidshekke gelei het tot sy vryheid. Dit was duidelik dat dit moontlik gemaak is deur God se ingryping. ‘n Effektiewe gebed kan kettings oopsluit en tronkdeure oopmaak.

Gebed is ons “oorlogskamer” in tye van nood en krisisse.”

Ons voorgangers was mans en vroue van gebed. Die groei van ons kerk in hierdie land en in die buiteland, kan toegeskryf word aan hul gebedslewe, toewyding, opoffering en strewe na heiligheid. As alles anders verkeerd loop, kan ons verseker wees dat die gebed van ‘n regverdige kragtig en effektief is (Jakobus 5:16). Gebed is ons “oorlogskamer” in tye van nood en krisisse. Ek wil graag sien dat alle plaaslike AGS gemeentes “Prayer War Rooms” (PWR) het. Elke PWR moet ‘n toegewyde span Gebedskrygers hê en fokus op spesifieke kwessies binne die kerk en in hul gemeenskappe. Die huidige uitdagings in ons samelewing, plaaslik en wêreldwyd, vereis dat ons ernstig na God se ingryping soek.

DIE 2020 ALGEMENE BESIGHEIDSVERGADERING (GBM) & DIE NASIONALE AGS-KONFERENSIE: DIE PAD VORENTOE

Past. M.G. Mahlobo (President van die AGS van SA) – [email protected]

Die 2020 Jaarlikse AGS van SA se Nasionale Konferensie en die Algemene Besigheidsvergadering (GBM), wat oorspronklik vir 6-9 September 2020 beplan was, moes weens die nasionale inperkingsregulasies uitgestel word. Hierdie regulasies beperk kerkbyeenkomste tot 50 mense. Tydens ‘n virtuele vergadering in Julie vanjaar het die Nasionale Leierskapforum (NLF) besluit dat drie voorlopige datums as moontlike alternatiewe sal dien. Die bepalende faktor is die aantal mense wat vir kerkbyeenkomste toegelaat word. Die vasgestelde datums is 8-12 November 2020 of 14-18 Februarie 2021 of 14-18 Maart 2021. Woord en Lewe in Boksburg bly steeds die plek waar dit sal plaasvind. My versoek is dat jy hierdie voorlopige datums dagboek.

Die Kerk se Nasionale Ampsdraers (NOB), naamlik die President, die Adjunkpresident, die Algemene Sekretaris en die Algemene Tesourier sal by die volgende Algemene Besigheidsvergadering (GBM) verkies word. Ons GBM van 2018 het wysigings aan die grondwet van die kerk goedgekeur, wat die Beheerliggame van Gemeentes asook Streekskomitees toelaat om deel te neem aan die proses van die NOB-verkiesing. Hierdie wysigings word weerspieël in Hoofstuk 4 en Hoofstuk 4a van die nuutste AGS-konstitusie. Dit word ook weerspieël in Regulasie 1.32.7 van die nuutste Reëls van Orde (Aanhangsel 1 tot die AGS-konstitusie).

Die eerste fase van die proses is voltooi. Ek wil my waardering uitspreek teenoor alle Beheerliggame van Gemeentes en Streekskomitees wat hul nominasies ingestuur het. Hierdie genomineerdes is gekeur deur die Ondersoek Komitee wat deur die NLF aangestel is. Die suksesvolle gekeurdes het hul benoemings aanvaar. Hul name en CV’s is deur die kantoor van die Algemene Sekretaris gesirkuleer. Besoek die volgende skakel op die AGS-webblad om die CV’s van die genomineerdes af te laai:

https://afm-ags.org/newsflash-friday-21-august-2020-resources/

Dit is die groep waaruit die GBM die nuwe NOB-lede sal verkies. Die verkiesingsproses maak egter voorsiening vir die benoeming van kandidate wat nie in die groep is nie.

Die kantoor van die Algemene Sekretaris sal met jou in verbinding tree deur jou Streeksekretaris of Administrateur om te verseker dat jou gemeente inligting akkuraat in die databasis van die AGS Nasional Kantoor vasgelê word. Jou samewerking sal waardeer word.

SELFSORG VIR PASTORE
Dr. H.J. Weideman (Algemene Sekretaris van die AGS van SA) – [email protected]  

Om mense te lei, toe te rus, te bedien en te versorg is deel van die Bybelse roeping van Pastore. Om ander effektief en volhoubaar te versorg, noodsaak egter dat Pastore ook hulleself moet versorg.  Selfsorg is die fisiese, emosionele en geestelike ekwiwalent van die instandhouding van ‘n voertuig.  Die olie, battery, ens. moet gereeld nagegaan word, om die effektiwiteit en lang lewe van die motor te verseker.

“Selfsorg is die fisiese, emosionele en geestelike ekwiwalent van die instandhouding van ‘n voertuig.”

Gedurende die pandemie, al kan hulle nie altyd self teenwoordig wees nie, probeer meeste Pastore om hulle gemeentelede fisies, verstandelik, emosioneel en geestelik te bedien – alhoewel ‘n beduidende getal Pastore self aandui dat hulle uitgeput, gespanne en geïsoleerd voel. Pastore erken dikwels nie die spanning en moegheid wat die bediening tot gevolg het nie. Hulle is geneig om selfsorg weg te vergeestelik. Baie mense, en selfs Pastore, sien selfsorg aktiwiteite soms as ‘n gebrek aan vertroue in God. Dit kan lei tot uitermatige self-druk en werkholisme, wat gesondheidsprobleme en selfs ‘n vroeë dood tot gevolg kan hê.

Jesus se voorbeeld:

Jesus het gereeld rustye geneem, Homself Geestelik verfris en Sy dissipels aangemoedig om dieselfde te doen. (Matt. 14:13 & 23; Mark. 6:31-32 & 46; Luk. 5:16; Luk. 6:12-13).

Vier Selfsorg Areas

Geestelik: (Hart).  Dit sluit gebed, Bybelstudie, oordenking, aanbidding en Woord-meditasie in. Nie vir “werk” doeleindes nie, maar vir die persoonlike Geestelike lewe van die Pastoor. Ons moet nooit ons eie Geestelike reis met God verwar met die van die Gemeente waarin ons werk nie.

Verstandelik: (Intellek).  Verstandelike selfsorg sluit aspekte in soos lees, die oordenking en   bespreking van kwessies met ander, sowel as die verwerking van jou belewenisse en gedagtes. Neem doelbewuste breke van nuusopdaterings en sosiale media. Lees die Bybel of ‘n ander boek om jou eie siel te voed en bedink hoe jy wat jy gelees het in jou lewe kan toepas. Doen wat ookal nodig is om persoonlike waardes en beginsels te handhaaf.

“Wakker hoop en geloof by ander en ook by jouself aan.”

Tans is daar baie onsekerhede: Wakker hoop en geloof by ander en ook by jouself aan. Heb. 11:1 (NLV) “Geloof … is ‘n vaste versekering dat die dinge waarna ons uitsien inderdaad sal gebeur.” 

Emosioneel: (Siel). Identifiseer jou emosies, besluit wat dit beteken en wat jy daaraan moet doen. Soek vir geleenthede om te lag. Humor maak regtig ‘n verskil. Spreuke 17:22 sê, “’n Vrolike mens is ‘n gesonde mens, ‘n neerslagtige mens raak uitgeput.” Al het party vergaderings na aanlynplatforms geskuif, is dit belangrik om persoonlike grense te handhaaf. Besluit wanneer jy aan- en wanneer jy afdiens is. Dit is veral belangrik om te onderskei tussen bediening- en familietyd. Familietyd moet ten minste net so belangrik geag word as kerkverwante afsprake. Dit gebeur te dikwels dat familietye gekanseleer word, omdat iemand op die Pastoor se aandag aanspraak maak met iets wat soms werklik nie dringend is nie.

“Dit is dalk nie tans makllik om saam met ‘n vriend midagete te geniet nie, maar ‘n mens kan steeds elektronies of per telefoon in kontak bly.”

‘n Belangrike deel van selfsorg is om die verwagtinge wat die gemeente van die Pastoor het, uit te klaar. Indien dit nie effektief aangespreek word nie veroorsaak dit spanning vir die Pastoor, sy/haar familie en die gemeente. Dit is dalk nie tans makllik om saam met ‘n vriend midagete te geniet nie, maar ‘n mens kan steeds elektronies of per telefoon in kontak bly. Pastore moet daarteen waak om geïsoleerd te raak. Dit is verstandelik en emosioneel belangrik om ‘n roetine t.o.v. stiltetyd, aantrek, bedopmaak, ens. te handhaaf. Dit skep ‘n mate van konsekwentheid in ‘n andersinds onvoorspelbare werkomgewing.

Fisies (Liggaam). Wanneer daar oor selfsorg gepraat word, dink mense meestal hieraan. Dit behels ‘n gesonde dieet, gereelde oefening, genoegsame rus en slaap en ‘n doelbewuste poging om spanning te verminder. ‘n Belangrike sleutel hier is volharding. Die meeste Pastore is nie ernstige atlete nie, maar behoort te oefen vir langtermyn gesondheid. In Bybelse tye was oefening deel van die alledaagse lewe. Mense het ver geloop. Hulle was landbouers en herders. Sommige Pastore het ‘n afkeur in ‘n afdag, en voel skuldig wanneer hulle enige iets anders as kerkwerk doen. ‘n Rusdag gee jou liggaam, siel, verstand en gees kans om te herlaai en met mekaar op te vang.

Slaap is noodsaaklik vir optimale funksionering en selfsorg. Alhoewel die hoeveelheid slaap wat ons benodig volgens ons lewensseisoene verander, is dit gewoonlik tussen 6-8 ure. Pastore is in ‘n “hulpverlenings professie” maar is dikwels die laaste persone om self hulp te vra. Pastore en hulle families is egter net soos enige ander familie, geregtig daarop om menslik te wees en in berading en ander beskikbare bronne hulp te kry. ‘n Pastoor wat sukkel met selfsorg, moet aangemoedig word om met ‘n berader of ‘n ander professionele persoon te praat wat bystand t.o.v. hierdie belangrike aspek van bediening kan verleen.

Gedurende en na die Covid-19 pandemie het ons Pastore nodig wat ander volhoubaar kan bedien.  Indien Pastore egter daarin faal om hulleself te versorg, sal hulle moeilik suksesvol wees in die opbouing van ander. Dit is my gebed dat al ons Pastore deurlopend op hulle bedieningsreis goeie selfsorg sal toepas.

Met erkenning aan:   

Pastoral Self-Care in a Pandemic: Doug Clay, March 2020; Pastoral Self-Care in Isolating Times: Ivan L. Williams, Apr. 2020; Self-care for the weary pastor: Focus on the Family, 2018; Self-care list for Pastors: Pastoral Care Incorporated, 2020; The Pastor’s self-care in four easy steps: Marty Duren, Feb. 2018.

GEMEENSKAPSBETROKKENHEID: BEGRIP VAN KINDERMISHANDELING
Ashley Theron (Waarnemende Hoof van AGS Welsyn) – a[email protected]

Ek vertrou dat die inligting en kennis wat in hierdie artikel gedeel word, jou rol sal versterk in die voorkoming en identifisering van kindermishandeling in ons plaaslike gemeenskappe. Ek hoop om jou te help om die regte stappe te neem indien beweerde kindermishandeling aan jou as Pastoor gerapporteer word.

Kindermishandeling is wanneer ‘n ouer of oppasser deur optrede of versuim om op te tree, besering, dood, emosionele skade of die risiko van ernstige skade aan ‘n kind veroorsaak. Jonger kinders word die meeste mishandel, en meer meisies word verwaarloos as seuns. Die mees algemene vorme van kindermishandeling is: verwaarlosing, fisiese mishandeling, seksuele misbruik en emosionele mishandeling.

Verwaarlosing: Kinderverwaarlosing is die voortdurende versuim om aan die basiese behoeftes van die kind te voldoen en die mees algemene vorm van kindermishandeling. Kinderverwaarlosing sluit verlating (“abandonment”) van kinders in, gebrek aan toepaslike toesig, versuim om aan die nodige emosionele of sielkundige behoeftes te voldoen en die versuim om nodige onderrig, mediese sorg, voeding, skuiling en/of klere te bied. Die volgende is ‘n lys van tekens en simptome waarmee kinderverwaarlosing geïdentifiseer kan word:

  • Leerprobleme (of konsentrasieprobleme) wat nie toegeskryf kan word aan spesifieke fisiese of sielkundige oorsake nie of woon nie skool by nie.
  • Is altyd waaksaam, asof iets sleg enige oomblik kan gebeur.
  • Tekort aan volwasse toesig.
  • Is te bereidwillig, passief of teruggetrokke.
  • Is vroeg by die skool en vroeg vir ander aktiwiteite, bly laat of wil nie huis toe gaan nie.

Fisiese mishandeling: Fisiese mishandeling van ‘n kind is wanneer ‘n ouer of oppasser opsetlik liggaamlike besering aan ‘n kind veroorsaak. Fisiese mishandeling sluit in slaan, skop, brand, byt, hare trek, wurg, gooi, stoot of enige ander aksie wat die kind beseer. Tekens van fisieke mishandeling by ‘n kind is:

  • Kneusings, blase, brandwonde, snye en skrape.
  • Inwendige beserings, breinskade, gebreekte bene en verstuite gewrigte.
  • Sigbare en ernstige beserings wat tot lewenslange besering of selfs die dood kan lei.
  • Overklaarbaar of verduidelik op ‘n manier wat nie sin maak nie.
  • Die frekwensie, tydsberekening en geskiedenis van beserings (gereeld na naweke, vakansies, skoolafwesighede).

Emosionele mishandeling: Enige soort mishandeling wat voortdurend emosioneel plaasvind. Dit word soms sielkundige mishandeling genoem. Emosionele mishandeling kan behels dat ‘n kind doelbewus bang gemaak, verneder, afgesonder of geignoreer word. Vorme van emosionele mishandeling sluit in: (i) om ‘n kind te verneder of voortdurend te kritiseer, (ii) om op ‘n kind te skree of te dreig of om hulle name te noem, (iii) om die kind die onderwerp van grappies te maak of sarkasme te gebruik om ‘n kind te verneder, (iv ) die beskuldiging, bangmaak, vals aantuiging en manipulasie van ‘n kind en (v) ‘n afwesige ouer, wat die kind aanhoudend ignoreer en isoleer. Daar is moontlik geen fisieke tekens van emosionele mishandeling of verwaarlosing nie. Dit kan moeilik wees om te weet of ‘n kind emosioneel mishandel word. Maar kinders wat emosioneel mishandel word, kan:

  • ‘n Gebrek toon aan selfvertroue of is nie selfversekerd nie.
  • Sukkel om hul emosies te beheer.
  • Sukkel om verhoudings aan te knoop of te onderhou.
  • Handel op ‘n manier wat onvanpas is vir hul ouderdom.

Seksuele misbruik: Wanneer ‘n kind of jong persoon seksueel gemolesteer word, word hulle gedwing of mislei tot seksuele aktiwiteite. Hulle verstaan ​​miskien nie dat misbruik gebeur nie. Dit is belangrik vir kinders om te weet dat dit nooit hul skuld is dat hulle seksueel misbruik is nie. Tekens en simptome van seksuele misbruik sluit in:

  • Veranderings in gedrag – ‘n kind mag aggressief, teruggetrokke of afhanklik voorkom, sukkel om te slaap, gereelde nagmerries kry of die bed begin natmaak.
  • Vermy die misbruiker – die kind kan ‘n spesifieke persoon vrees of vermy en probeer nie alleen tyd saam met hulle te spandeer nie.
  • Seksueel onvanpaste gedrag – kinders wat mishandel word, kan op seksueel onvanpaste maniere optree of seksueel eksplisiete taal gebruik.
  • Fisiese probleme – die kind kan gesondheidsprobleme ontwikkel, insluitend pyn in die geslags- en anale areas, of seksueel oordraagbare infeksies, of hulle kan swanger word.
  • Probleme op skool – ‘n mishandelde kind kan sukkel om te konsentreer en te leer en hul punte kan begin daal.

Wat kan Pastore doen as ‘n Kind Mishandel word?

‘n Kind wat verwaarloos of mishandel word, besef dalk nie wat verkeerd is nie – en kan selfs hulself blameer. As ‘n kind met jou praat oor verwaarlosing of mishandeling, is dit belangrik om aandagtig te luister en die volgende te noteer:

  • Kind se naam, adres en telefoonnommer.
  • Naam van ouer of voog en telefoonnommers.
  • Redes tot kommer, enige dokumentasie van aanwysers en relevante verklarings deur die kind.
  • Bevestiging vir die kind – sê dat dit nie hul skuld is nie, laat hulle weet dat hulle die regte ding gedoen het deur jou te vertel en verduidelik wat volgende gaan gebeur.
  • Moenie die vermeende mishandelaar konfronteer nie, maar rapporteer so spoedig moontlik wat die kind vir jou gesê het.
  • Rapporteer die mishandeling aan: Childline SA (Tolvrye nr. 080 005 5555) OF kontak die naaste kantoor van die Departement van Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling OF die naaste Kinderbeskermingsorganisasie (byvoorbeeld Child Welfare). In uiterste gevalle, veral na-ure, kontak dir naaste Polisiekantoor (SAPD).

Hierdie artikel is ‘n goeie vertrekpunt vir elke Pastoor wat meer wil weet oor kindermishandeling. Ons het ‘n meer uitgebreide artikel voorberei waar gedetailleerde inligting gedeel word. Die volledige artikel is beskikbaar op die AGS-webblad by die volgende skakel:  https://afm-ags.org/category/articles/. Jy is ook welkom om vrae of terugvoering oor die kwessie van kindermishandeling vir my te stuur: [email protected].

SLOT

Soos altyd wil ek jou terugvoer ontvang oor die inhoud van hierdie Pastorale Brief. Ek sal dit ook waardeer om te hoor hoe die koronavirus-pandemie jou, jou gesin en jou gemeente beïnvloed. Ek hou aan om vir jou te bid. Jou rol in die AGS en in God se Koninkryk word baie waardeer.

Seëninge!

Past. M.G. Mahlobo