AFM Pastoral Letter 3rd Quarter 2020

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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

PASTORAL LETTER 2ND QUARTER

Download the PDF version here:

AFM Newsltr 2ND Qrt 2020 ENG web

AFM Colleague, 

We are going through a pandemic crisis which has and continues to disrupt our social, economic and our church life in an unprecedented way. Covid-19 is characterized as a novel crisis because it is indeed a ‘game changer’ which poses a global threat to all sectors of society.

LEADERSHIP QUALITIES IN A CRISIS
Past. M.G. Mahlobo (President of the AFM of SA) – [email protected]

Crises are, generally, grouped into two categories, namely the routine and the novel crisis. In routine crises organizations have the ability to put in place plans on how to deal with these, because the risks are known. On the other hand, novel crises are characterized by high level of risks and uncertainties. Plans and processes that may work in a routine crisis are, in most cases, found to be inadequate and sometimes counterproductive.

“…leaders need to grasp and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic while keeping up hope in their members.”

During times of crises people look up to their leaders for guidance.  As we are going through the current Covid-19 pandemic, church members are looking up to their leaders at local, regional, and national levels. For this reason, leaders need to grasp and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic while keeping up hope in their members. They must also ensure that the decisions taken are prudent.

In this article I would like to highlight some of the leadership qualities we need when we go through crisis moments, such as the current one.

Leadership Agility

The coronavirus pandemic requires leaders that can move with speed without losing their values. They need the ability to process information quickly and promptly decide on the appropriate course of action. This is what the leadership of the AFM did after the declaration of the State of National Disaster and the subsequent National Lockdown. We issued communication on 17 March 2020 to all AFM structures on what they needed to do. Most of the contents of this communication became irrelevant when the national lockdown was announced on 23 March 2020. On 24 March 2020 we updated our 17 March 2020 Covid-19 communication.

“How we behave, in front of those we lead, is important.”

Leadership Calmness

In times of crises like coronavirus we need to stay calm, rational, and focused. Many people lose their cool and begin to panic in a time of crisis. This is understandable. However, it is expected that leaders should adopt a posture of calmness. In this way we will be able to reflect and apply our minds towards positive action. How we behave, in front of those we lead, is important. We should count ourselves fortunate in that we are not lacking information about Covid-19. When a decision has been taken on a particular action it must be communicated with clarity.

Leadership Adaptability

By June last year none of us were talking about social distancing, regular washing of hands, sanitizers, and face masks as we do today. One of the lessons learned from the coronavirus is that leaders must be able to embrace necessary behavioral change to avoid a worst-case scenario. Some of the decisions that we took related to adapting or halting some of our liturgical practices such as laying on of hands on the sick and during the dedication of children, the Lord’s Communion, and water baptism. Any behavior that would enhance the risk of infection had to be changed or stopped. Behavioral change is not easy because it requires a mindset change. In isiXhosa we say: “Isiqhelo soyisa ingqondo” which can roughly be translated as “the habit conquers the mind”. Bold decisions must be taken when it comes to changing human behavior.

During Level 5 of the lockdown many pastors resorted to social network platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype and Zoom. These platforms became useful tools for communication and ministry. I have never been to so many virtual meetings and conferences before as I have been during the national lockdown period.

Leadership Empathy

Covid-19 has become a threat to our survival. Some of the questions in the minds of many people are: “Will I be infected? Will I lose my job? What is going to happen to my family?” On the other hand, there are many who have already lost their jobs and many who have lost their loved ones due to the pandemic. Walking alongside people (who are impacted negatively by the virus) with empathy, may make a positive difference in their lives.

OPPORTUNITIES IN A TIME OF CRISIS

Past. B. Petersen (General Treasurer of the AFM of SA) – [email protected] 

The Bible teaches us that it does not help much if we are weak in time of crisis. In fact, Solomon says that to act with weakness in a crisis is a sign of having very little strength indeed. A crisis is identifiable by some or all of the following components – threat, surprise, urgency and uncertainty. The pandemic brought on us by the novel coronavirus and the disease called Covid-19 can indeed be described as a crisis of catastrophic proportions containing all the above components. It not only challenged the way of life as we knew it, but also our ability to see opportunities in a time of crisis.

Life as we knew it 

At the outset it must be said that the church is a place where we find comfort in the presence of the Lord and the believers, the place where our weary souls are restored, our hopes renewed and where we are reminded of 1 Peter 1:7 “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ”.

We believers are encouraged in the book of Hebrews not to neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but are supposed to encourage one another to meet regularly in the house of the Lord, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near! Going to Church on Sundays and even in the week, have been viewed by believers as their Christian duty. The fellowship and gathering of the saints are no small matter to God’s children and many of us have become used to and comfortable with the way the church functions. In doing so we limited God to fit into our existing paradigms.

Locked down and locked out

When the South African nation went into total lockdown at midnight on 26 March 2020, no one could remain in any zone of life as we knew it. Everyone was unceremoniously evicted from what we were used to and almost overnight the entire world became a strange place. There came an abrupt end to all the things we took for granted. Going to the gym, the hairdresser, and the mall. Popping out for a takeaway meal or going to sit down at your favourite restaurant. Visiting friends and family, attending parties and funerals, even going to church, no more life as we knew it.

The impact on the church

The impact on the local church was felt in a number of ways. As already mentioned, there was the loss of communal worship and fellowship. There was the challenge of adapting to new and strange ways of “doing church”. Not everybody warmed up to receiving sermons via WhatsApp and the other social networks. Besides, not everybody could afford the cost of airtime and data. No more opportunity to take the Lord’s tithe to His own storehouse on Sundays. And how many would take the trouble to tithe in “strange new ways?”. The result – the income of the church was also impacted negatively.

A biblical lesson 

There is a story in the book of Jeremiah 29:4-7 about those who were carried into Babylonian exile. The exiles in Babylon were also overcome by all the elements of a crisis. They also hoped and prayed that the crisis would be over soon. That they will return home quickly. But God advised them differently. Take the longer view, they were told – “Work towards the peace and prosperity of the city where you are”. God gave them instructions to plant their own gardens and live from the produce thereof. To look to the future. The efforts of the present always have an impact on the future. Doing nothing is not an option. But what can be done? How can we built today to secure a sustainable future?

“The efforts of the present always have an impact on the future.”

Community involvement and socio-economic opportunities  

Pastors and congregations could consider broadening their impact on their surrounding communities by starting socio-economic programs that could create income generating and/or job creation opportunities. Such programs could include Child and Youth Care Centers and Foster Homes, drop-in centers for children, care and support of older persons in institutions and communities, care and support of persons with disabilities, gender-based violence/domestic violence support services and shelters, early childhood development centers, literacy programs, substance abuse institutions and community based programs, poverty alleviation and job creation.

To assist AFM Assemblies the AFM Welfare has extensive experience and tools to provide technical support with the initiating, developing, and providing of programs and projects (especially where funding is required from the Department of Social Development and other sources). The assistance would include guidance on the policy and legal framework, understanding the requirements and the registration process related to both as an NPO (Non-Profit Organization) and as a designated service. Consideration should also be given to partnering with existing NPO’s.

“I pray that God will provide creative insight and wisdom on how to apply what He has placed in our hands, to meet the demands we face today and in the future. “

Conclusion

When Moses stood in front of the Red Sea and the armies of Egypt was behind him, the Lord asked him “What do you have in your hand”. I pray that God will provide creative insight and wisdom on how to apply what He has placed in our hands, to meet the demands we face today and in the future.

THE CHURCH OF THE FUTURE
Dr. H.J. Weideman (General Secretary of the AFM of SA) – [email protected]  

As church buildings and in-person meetings start to re-open, it becomes increasingly apparent that we are entering a new reality and that there are many things in our everyday lives that are changing, and most probably would never be the same again. This includes the way we think about and have church in the future. Observing the realities in our church country wide, reading what others around the world are saying and after thinking and praying about this, I have a few remarks.

“It is necessary to press the reset button on many aspects of being and having church.”

It is necessary to press the reset button on many aspects of being and having church. Many assemblies were not able to meet at all during this time. For some, having the church building closed caused the assembly to practically stop functioning. Members did not receive any Spiritual input, and some had no contact with their Pastor or spiritual leaders at all. For many of these assemblies their only source of income was through the offerings that their members physically brought to the meetings and because of the lockdown that stopped.

Although in-person services were closed, some were able to meet online, making use of sermons and songs recorded in the homes of pastors and singers. Some assemblies also used platforms such as Zoom, Facebook and WhatsApp to be in touch with and communicate to their members.

Most Pastors and many members are eager to restart their normal way of having church, but there are a few things we need to think about and a few questions we need to answer for ourselves considering the future:

What are the important elements of in-person meetings?

During the first few weeks of the lockdown, assemblies facilitating online church services experienced an increase in attendance. Some reached more people in comparison to the number of people usually attending their in-person services. After about eight weeks many of these churches reported a plateau or even a decline in online attendance.

This corresponds with surveys in the USA where almost half of all churchgoers, after two months of lockdown, did not attend any online church.  Digital presence for the church is here to stay, but many people want to go back to an in-person experience in a place of worship and we need to ask ourselves why?  What do people get out of an in-person service that they cannot get online? We need to identify those elements and make sure that we strengthen them. In my opinion some of those elements are corporate singing, worshiping and praying together, as well as spending time in fellowship before or after services.

How can people be reached and ministered to, outside of in-person meetings? 

Crossing the digital divide:
Many assemblies will have to cross the bridge to digital technology, social media and online presence, to effectively reach their members and to sustainably grow their congregations in the future. The church will prevail, but not every assembly will prevail. I do not fully agree with the notion that churches will become digital organisations with physical expressions. However, I am convinced that pastors and assemblies should take cognisance of and utilise the massive opportunity that digital presence presents to the church – to reach people everywhere. Social media and online platforms create the opportunity to show up in the lives of people every day, not just on Sundays. This opportunity will continue to grow and should become a way of entering the church and not a last refuge for people leaving the church, as it was in the recent past.

Social media and online platforms create the opportunity to show up in the lives of people every day, not just on Sundays.”

The future church that really cares about people, especially young people, will care about a digital presence. It is important to know that you do not have to be a big church or have a big budget to have an impact online. You only need to be willing to embrace technology and experiment with the available options.

On demand availability: For those assemblies who already developed a digital presence before or during the lockdown, an important opportunity will be to continue and enhance this service. Many churches presented their Sunday service and mid-week meetings as live events, assuming that people who want to access it, will do so exactly when it happens.

The most successful digital platforms around are providing their product “on demand” and churches can learn from this. Consider making every in-person Sunday service available in a way that can be accessed by members and “visitors” when it suits them.  Furthermore, many pastors and assemblies have years of sermons, sermon series and teachings on MP4 or YouTube videos and should consider making those available on demand.

Home based spiritual formation: It is exciting to see that some assemblies are beginning to focus on everyday ministry, and not just on Sunday ministry. Building on the “on demand” availability of sermons, teachings and Bible studies, other services such as new member orientation, spiritual growth- and marriage enrichment courses can be made fully or partially available online.

This can enable individuals to access the material in their own time at home, and only attend the final session/s in-person at the church facility. It will also go a long way in assisting people to assume responsibility for their own spiritual growth, personal discipleship and evangelism.

What are the key elements and principles of being church?

Over the last few decades churches have become institutions with entrenched cultures and fixed ways of doing things. Many assemblies have developed an array of departments, ministries and fields of interest. Some have diversified to such an extent, that it is sometimes difficult to readily point out what their core business actually is.

The pandemic has brought us the opportunity, maybe even the necessity to go back to zero-based thinking: Imagining ourselves and our assemblies back at the point before any particular decisions on ministries, departments, assembly culture and -operations were made and to now, in the light of the current circumstances and information available to us, make them again freely.

Being church is about more than what happens within the four walls of church buildings. Homes, neighborhoods and communities are part of our ministry field.”

Being church is about more than what happens within the four walls of church buildings. Homes, neighborhoods and communities are part of our ministry field. One important observation in this regard is to ensure that whilst methods and models will have to change, the mission of an assembly never does.

On what should assemblies really be spending money?

Literally overnight the way meetings are conducted became virtual. Indications are that this will become part of the “new normal” and that many staff meetings and even Governing Body meetings of structures on assembly, regional and national level can be done in this way in the future. This can lead to substantial budgetary savings, while assemblies should consider repurposing some of their budget on equipping themselves better for digital engagement and -ministry.

Another implication of this is that staff members who have the means, can work virtually. It is a trend that will probably continue in many companies and that assemblies and church staff members can also benefit from.  The key issues will be productivity and their availability to give full attention to and focus on their job, even when working from home.

Considering wat is really key to being church and what can be considered “nice to haves” is probably one of the important exercises that assemblies will have to do, especially in light of the income of most assemblies being under pressure.

Sources: “Disruptive church trends every church leader should watch.”  – Carey Nieuwhof & “How COVID-19 Is Shaping the Future of the Church.” – Carey Nieuwhof & “Moving Forward: Future Church Trends.” -Anthony Hilder & “Five early findings from churches that are regathering.” -Thom Rainer.

CONCLUSION

As we are passing through different stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, we need to be aware that the re-opening of church buildings and in-person meetings will most probably not have people flocking to the church, at least not yet. Surveys around the world shows that people have different opinions about when they would feel “safe’’ to gather again. It seems that around 30% of respondents will only return when they can be mask-free at church and 15% said they would only return when there is evidence of low cases, businesses are open, restrictions are lifted, and a vaccine is available. Around 8% said that the opening of restaurants for sit-down customers will be a guideline for them.

As church leaders we should not allow these indications to be emotional let-downs and we should not treat people who are cautious to attend, as though they are not people of faith. One thing is sure: We are entering a new reality and many people, even some leaders, are struggling more deeply than we realise, with the absence of what most people perceived as “normal”.

We need to talk about these things to our family, friends and colleagues.  We need to pray and think about it and prepare ourselves for a longer period of disruption than we thought.

Past. M.G. Mahlobo

PASTORALE BRIEF 2DE KWARTAAL

Laai die PDF weergawe hier af:

AFM Newsltr 2ND Qrt 2020 AFR web

Geagte Kollega, 

Ons gaan deur ‘n pandemiese krisis wat aanhou om ons lewens op ‘n ongekende manier te ontwrig op ‘n sosiale, ekonomiese en op kerklike vlak. Covid-19 word gekenmerk as ‘n nuwe krisis wat inderdaad alles verander en wat ‘n wêreldwye bedreiging vir alle sektore van die samelewing inhou.

LEIERSKAP KWALITEITE IN ‘N KRISIS
Past. M.G. Mahlobo (President van die AGS van SA) – [email protected]

Oor die algemeen word krisisse in twee kategorieë ingedeel, naamlik ‘n “roetine” en ‘n “nuwe” krisis. In die geval van ‘n “roetine” krisis het organisasies die vermoë om planne in plek te stel vir die hantering daarvan omdat die risiko bekend is. Aan die ander kant word ‘n “nuwe” krisis gekenmerk deur ‘n hoë vlak van risiko en onsekerheid.  Planne en prosesse wat effektief is in ‘n “roetine” krisis is in meeste gevalle onvoldoende en kan selfs teenproduktief wees in ‘n “nuwe” krisis.

In krisistye kyk mense op na hul leiers vir leiding om die impak van die krisis wat hul in die gesig staar, te verminder. Soos ons deur die huidige Covid-19 pandemie gaan, kyk gemeentelede op na hul leiers op plaaslike, streeks en nasionale vlak. Vir hierdie rede moet leiers die impak van die koronavirus pandemie begryp en aanspreek en terselfde tyd hul lidmate vol hoop hou. Hulle moet ook verseker dat die besluite wat geneem word verstandig is.

“Vir hierdie rede moet leiers die impak van die koronavirus pandemie begryp en aanspreek en terselfde tyd hul lidmate vol hoop hou.”

In hierdie artikel wil ek enkele van die leierseienskappe wat ons benodig wanneer ons deur krisistye gaan, soos die huidige een, benadruk.

Leierskap Behendigheid (“Agility”)

Koronavirus benodig leiers wat vinnig kan beweeg, sonder om hul waardes te verloor. Ons het onder andere die vermoë nodig om inligting vinnig te verwerk en onmiddellik te besluit oor die toepaslike plan van aksie. Dit is wat die leierskap van die AGS gedoen het na afloop van die afkondiging van ‘n ramptoestand en die daaropvolgende nasionale inperking. Ons het op 17 Maart 2020 kommunikasie uitgereik aan alle AGS-strukture oor wat hulle moes doen. Meeste van die inhoud van hierdie kommunikasie het onbelangrik geraak na die afkondiging van ‘n ramptoestand op 23 Maart 2020. Op 24 Maart 2020 het ons die kommunikasie van 17 Maart 2020 opgedateer.

“Hoe ons optree voor die wat ons lei is belangrik.”

Leierskap Kalmte

In krisisse soos die koronavirus moet ons kalm, rasioneel en gefokus bly. Baie mense verloor hul kalmte en begin paniekerig raak in ‘n krisistyd. Dit is te verstane. Daar word egter verwag dat leiers ‘n houding van kalmte moet aanneem. Op hierdie manier kan ons reflekteer en ons gedagtes toepas op positiewe aksies. Hoe ons optree voor die wat ons lei is belangrik. Ons moet ons self gelukkig ag omdat daar nie ‘n tekort aan inligting oor Covid-19 is nie. Wanneer ‘n besluit oor ‘n bepaalde aksie geneem word moet dit duidelik gekommunikeer word.

Leierskap Aanpasbaarheid

Teen Junie verlede jaar het niemand van ons gepraat oor sosiale afstand, gereelde was van hande, saniteerders en gesigmaskers soos ons vandag doen nie. Een van die lesse wat ons kan leer uit die koronavirus is dat leiers die nodige gedragsverandering moet aangryp om ‘n slegte situasie te vermy. Sommige van die besluite wat ons geneem het hou verband met die aanpassing of staking van sommige van ons liturgiese praktyke soos die opleg van hande op siekes en tydens die toewyding van kinders, die gebruik van nagmaal en die waterdoop. Enige gedrag wat die risiko van infeksie sou verhoog moes verander of gestaak word. Gedragsverandering is nie maklik nie, want dit verg ‘n verandering in ons denke. In isiXhosa sê ons: “Isiqhelo soyisa ingqondo” wat rofweg vertaal kan word as “die gewoonte verower die gees”. Standvastige besluite moet geneem word as dit kom by die verandering van menslike gedrag.

Tydens Vlak 5 inperkings het baie pastore sosiale netwerkplatforms soos WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype en Zoom gebruik vir kommunikasie en bediening. Ek was nog nooit deel van soveel virtuele vergaderings en konferensies soos tydens die nasionale inperking nie.

Leierskap Empatie 

Covid-19 het ‘n bedreiging vir ons oorlewing geword. Sommige van die vrae wat dwaal in baie mense se gedagtes is:  Sal ek die infeksie kry? Sal ek my werk verloor? Wat gaan met my gesin gebeur?  Aan die ander kant is daar baie mense wat alreeds hul werk verloor het en baie wat geliefdes moes afstaan aan die pandemie. Om met empatie langs die mense te loop wat negatief deur die virus beïnvloed is kan ‘n positiewe verskil in hul lewens maak.

GELEENTHEDE IN ‘N KRISIS

Past. B. Petersen (Algemene Tesourier van die AGS van SA) – [email protected] 

Die Bybel leer ons dat dit nie veel help as ons swak is in ‘n krisistyd nie. Trouens, Salomo het gesê dat om op te tree met swakheid in ‘n krisis ‘n teken is van baie min krag. ‘n Krisis kan deur sommige of al die volgende komponente geïdentifiseer word – bedreiging, verrassing, dringendheid en onsekerheid. Die pandemie wat op ons gebring is deur die nuwe koronavirus en die siekte genaamd Covid-19 kan inderdaad beskryf word as ‘n krisis van katastrofiese proporsies wat al die bogenoemde komponente bevat. Dit het nie net die manier waarop ons die lewe ken uitgedaag nie, maar ook ons vermoë om geleenthede in ‘n krisistyd te sien.

Die lewe soos ons dit geken het

Aanvanklik moet gesê word dat die kerk ‘n plek is waar ons vertroosting vind in die teenwoordigheid van die Here en gelowiges.  Die plek waar ons vermoeide siele herstel word, ons hoop hernu word en waar ons herinner word aan 1 Petrus 1:7 “…sodat die egtheid van julle geloof getoets kan word. Julle geloof is baie meer kosbaar as goud, goud wat vergaan. Selfs die suiwerheid van goud word met vuur getoets, en die egtheid van julle geloof moet ook getoets word, sodat dit lof en heerlikheid en eerwaardig mag wees by die wederkoms van Jesus Christus.”

In Hebreërs word die gelowiges aangemoedig om hul byeenkomste nie te verwaarloos nie, maar is veronderstel om mekaar aan te moedig om gereeld in die huis van die Here te vergader, veral met die dag van sy wederkoms wat nader kom! Dus om Sondae, en selfs in die week kerk toe te gaan, is deur gelowiges gesien as hul Christelike plig. Die gemeenskap en die byeenkoms van die heiliges is nie ‘n geringe saak vir God se kinders nie en baie van ons het gewoond geraak en gemaklik geraak met die werking van die kerk. Sodoende het ons God beperk tot ons bestaande paradigmas.

Ingeperk en uitgesluit

Toe die Suid-Afrikaanse nasie om middernag op 26 Maart 2020 in totale inperking gegaan het, kon niemand in enige lewenssone bly soos ons dit ken nie. Almal is onbewustelik vervreemd van dit waaraan hul gewoond was en byna oornag het die hele wêreld ‘n vreemde plek geword. Daar was ‘n skielike einde aan al die dinge wat ons as vanselfsprekend aanvaar het. ‘n Besoek aan die gimnasium, die haarkapper en ‘n winkelsentrum. Bestelling van ‘n wegneemete of gaan sit by jou gunsteling restaurant. ‘n Besoek aan vriende en familie, bywoon van partytjies en begrafnisse, selfs kerk toe gaan – geen meer lewe soos ons dit geken het nie.

Die impak op die kerk

Die impak op plaaslike kerke is op verskillende maniere gevoel. Soos reeds genoem was daar die verlies aan gemeenskaplike aanbidding en samesyn. Die uitdaging was daar om aan te pas deur nuwe en vreemde maniere te gebruik om kerkdienste te hou. Nie almal was opgewonde daaroor om preke via WhatsApp en die ander sosiale netwerke te ontvang nie. Buitendien kan almal ook nie lugtyd en data bekostig nie. Daar is ook nie die geleendheid op Sondae om tiendes te bring na die stoorkamers van die Here nie. En hoeveel mense sal die moeite doen om tiendes op vreemde en nuwe maniere te gee? Die resultaat – die inkomste van die kerk is ook negatief beïnvloed.

“Die pogings van die hede het altyd ‘n impak op die toekoms.”

‘n Bybelse les

Daar is ‘n verhaal in Jeremia 29:4-7 oor diegene wat in Babilloniese ballingskap weggevoer is. Die mense wat in ballingskap in Babillon was is ook deur al die elemente van ‘n krisis oorkom. Hulle het ook gehoop en gebid dat die krisis binnekort verby sou wees. Dat hulle vinnig sal kan terugkeer huis toe. Maar God het hulle anders geadviseer. Neem die langer siening, is aan hulle gesê: “Bevorder die belange van die stad waarheen Ek julle in ballingskap weggevoer het, bid tot My vir daardie stad, want sy belange is ook julle belange”. God het aan hulle opdrag gegee om hul eie tuine te plant en van die opbrengs daarvan te leef. Om na die toekoms te kyk. Die pogings van die hede het altyd ‘n impak op die toekoms. Om niks te doen nie is nie ‘n opsie nie. Maar wat kan gedoen word? Hoe kan ons vandag bou om ‘n volhoubare toekoms te verseker?

Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid en sosio-ekonomiese geleenthede

Pastore en gemeentes kan dit oorweeg om hul impak op hul omliggende gemeenskappe te verbreed deur sosio-ekonomiese programme in plek te stel wat inkomstepotensiaal en/of werkskeppingsgeleenthede kan voortbring. Sulke programme kan die volgende insluit:

  • Kinder- en jeugsorgsentrums en pleeghuise.
  • Inloop sentrums vir kinders.
  • Versorging en ondersteuning van bejaardes by instellings en gemeenskappe.
  • Versorging en ondersteuning van persone met gestremdhede, geslagsgebaseerde geweld, huishoudelike geweld, ondersteuningsdienste en skuilings.
  • Ontwikkelingsentrums vir vroeë kinderontwikkeling.
  • Geletterdheidsprogramme.
  • Dwelm rehabilitasiesentrums en gemeenskapsgebaseerde programme.
  • Verligting van armoede en werkskepping.

Om AGS Gemeentes te help, het die AFM Welfare uitgebreide ervaring en materiaal om tegniese ondersteuning te bied met die instelling, ontwikkeling en verskaffing van programme en projekte (veral waar befondsing benodig word deur die Departement van Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling en ander bronne). Die hulp sluit leiding in oor die beleid en wetlike raamwerk, begrip van die vereistes en die registrasie proses wat verband hou met ‘n NPO (nie-winsgewende organisasie), sowel as ‘n aangewese diens. Daar moet ook gekyk word na die samewerking met bestaande NPO’s.

Ek bid dat God kreatiewe insig en wysheid sal gee..”

Toe Moses voor die Rooi See gaan staan en die leërs van Egipte agter hom was, vra die Here vir hom: “Wat het jy daar in jou hand?” Ek bid dat God kreatiewe insig en wysheid sal gee oor hoe om dit wat Hy in ons hande geplaas het toe te pas om te voldoen aan die vereistes wat ons vandag en in die toekoms in die gesig staar.

DIE KERK VAN DIE TOEKOMS
Dr. H.J. Weideman (Algemene Sekretaris van die AGS van SA) – [email protected]  

Soos wat kerkgeboue en in-persoon byeenkomste begin oopmaak, word dit al hoe duideliker dat ons ‘n nuwe realiteit betree en dat baie aspekte van ons alledaagse lewe verander en waarskynlik nooit weer dieselfde sal wees nie. Dit sluit in die manier hoe ons oor kerk dink en in die toekoms sal kerk hou. Nadat ek die realiteite in ons gemeentes landswyd dopgehou het, opgelees het oor wat ander in die wêreld daaroor sê en daaroor gedink en gebid het, het ek enkele opmerkings om te maak.

Dit is nodig dat ons t.o.v. verskeie aspekte van kerkwees en kerkhou die “reset” knoppie sal druk.”

Dit is nodig dat ons t.o.v. verskeie aspekte van kerkwees en kerkhou die “reset” knoppie sal druk. Baie gemeentes kon glad nie gedurende die inperkingstyd kerk hou nie. Vir party het die feit dat kerkgeboue gesluit was, beteken dat die gemeente vir alle praktiese redes opgehou het om te funksioneer. Lidmate het geen geestelike insette ontvang nie en baie het geen kontak met hulle pastoor of geestelike leiers gehad nie. Sommige van hierdie gemeentes se enigste bron van inkomste was deur middel van die offerhandes wat lidmate fisies na byeenkomste bring en a.g.v. die inperking het dit gestop.

Alhoewel in-persoon byeenkomste gesluit is, kon sommige gemeentes aanlyn dienste hou en gebruik maak van preke en liedjies wat in die huise van pastore en sangers opgeneem is. Party gemeentes het ook platforms soos Zoom, Facebook en WhatsApp gebruik om kontak te maak en te kommunikeer met hul lidmate.

Meeste pastore en baie lidmate is gretig om hulle normale manier van kerkhou te hervat. Daar is egter ‘n paar aspekte waaroor ons moet dink en vrae t.o.v. die toekoms wat ons moet beantwoord.

Wat is die belangrikste elemente van in-persoon byeenkomste? 

Gedurende die eerste paar weke van inperking het baie gemeentes wat aanlyn kerkdienste aangebied het, ‘n toename in bywoning ervaar. Sommige het meer mense bereik as wat hulle gewoonlik met hulle in-persoon dienste doen. Na omtrent agt weke het baie van hierdie gemeentes ‘n plato of selfs ‘n afname in bywoning beleef.

Digitale teenwoordigheid vir die kerk is hier om te bly, maar baie mense verlang na ‘n in-persoon belewenis in ‘n plek van aanbidding en ons moet vra, hoekom?”

Dit stem ooreen met opnames in die VSA waar byna helfte van kerkgangers na sowat twee maande van inperking  geen aanlyn byeenkomste meer bygewoon het nie. Digitale teenwoordigheid vir die kerk is hier om te bly, maar baie mense verlang na ‘n in-persoon belewenis in ‘n plek van aanbidding en ons moet vra, hoekom? Wat kry mense uit ‘n in-persoon byeenkoms wat hulle nie aanlyn kry nie?  Ons moet daardie elemente identifiseer en seker maak dat ons hulle versterk. Na my mening is sommige hiervan die gesamentlike sang, aanbidding en korporatiewe gebed, sowel as sosiale “kuiertyd” voor en na dienste.

Hoe kan mense bereik en bedien word buite in-persoon byeenkomste? 

Oorbrug die digitale skeidslyn:

Baie gemeentes sal die brug moet oorsteek na digitale tegnologie, sosiale media en aanlyn teenwoordigheid om effektief uit te reik na hulle lidmate en om volhoubaar te groei in die toekoms. Die Kerk sal voortbestaan, maar ongelukkig sal alle gemeentes nie voortbestaan nie. Ek stem nie heeltemal saam met die mening dat kerke in die toekoms digitale organisasies sal wees met fisiese uitdrukkings nie. Ek is egter oortuig dat pastore en gemeentes kennis moet neem van die geweldige geleentheid wat digitale teenwoordigheid aan die kerk bied om mense oral te bereik. Sosiale media en aanlyn platforms skep die geleentheid om daagliks teenwoordig te wees in die lewens van mense en nie net op Sondae nie. Hierdie geleentheid sal aanhou groei en behoort ‘n manier te word waarop mense in die kerk kan inkom. Dit moet nie net ‘n laaste uitweg wees vir mense wat die kerk verlaat het, soos wat dit in die onlangse verlede was nie.

Sosiale media en aanlyn platforms skep die geleentheid om daagliks teenwoordig te wees in die lewens van mense en nie net op Sondae nie.”

Die kerk wat regtig omgee vir mense, veral vir jongmense, sal in die toekoms ook hulle digitale teenwoordigheid belangrik ag. Ons moet ook kennis neem dat jy nie ‘n groot gemeente of ‘n groot begroting nodig het om ‘n aanlyn impak te maak nie.  Al wat nodig is, is ‘n bereidheid om tegnologie te omarm en te eksperimenteer met beskikbare opsies.

Beskikbaarheid op-aanvraag: Gemeentes wat reeds voor of tydens die inperking ‘n digitale teenwoordigheid ontwikkel het moet die geleentheid aangryp om dit verder uit te brei. Baie gemeentes bied hulle Sondagdienste of mid-week byeenkomste as “lewendige” (“live”) geleenthede aan en veronderstel dat mense wat toegang daartoe wil hê, dit op ‘n bepaalde tyd sal doen.

Die mees suksesvolle digitale platforms bied hulle produk op-aanvraag (“on demand”) aan en kerke kan daaruit leer. Oorweeg dit om elke in-persoon byeenkoms aanlyn beskikbaar te maak, soos en wanneer dit lidmate en besoekers pas. Baie pastore en gemeentes het jare se preke, preekreekse en leringe beskikbaar op MP4 of YouTube videos en moet dit oorweeg om dit ook op aanvraag beskikbaar te stel.

Tuisgebaseerde geestelike formasie: Dit is goed om te sien dat sommige gemeentes begin fokus op ‘n elke-dag-van-die-week benadering tot bediening en nie net op Sondae nie. Die konsep van “op-aanvraag” beskikbaarheid van preke, toerustingsgeleenthede en Bybelstudies kan uitgebrei word om ander elemente soos nuwe-lidmaat oriëntering, geestelikegroei- en huweliksverrykings kursusse ten volle of gedeeltelik, aanlyn beskikbaar te stel.

Dit kan individue in staat stel om die materiaal op hulle eie tyd tuis deur te werk en slegs die laaste sessie/s in persoon dan by te woon. Op hierdie manier kan mense ondersteun word om verantwoordelikheid vir hulle eie geestelike groei, persoonlike dissipelskap en evangelisasie te neem.

Wat is die kern elemente en beginsels van kerkwees?

Oor die laaste paar dekades het kerke instellings geword met diep gewortelde kulture en gevestigde maniere van doen. Baie gemeentes het verskeie departemente, bedieninge en belangstellingsvelde ontwikkel. Sommige is so gediversifiseerd dat dit soms moeilik is om sonder meer te bepaal wat hulle kernfokus is. Die pandemie bied ons die geleentheid en dalk die noodsaaklikheid om terug te gaan na sogenaamde zero-gebaseerde denke: Om onsself en ons gemeentes terug te plaas by die punt net voor bepaalde besluite t.o.v. departemente, bedieninge, gemeentekultuur en daaglikse bedrywighede geneem is en om nou in die lig van huidige omstandighede en beskikbare inligting, daardie besluite (weer) vrylik te neem.

Kerkwees gaan oor meer as net wat tussen die vier mure van kerkgeboue gebeur. Huise, woonbuurte en gemeenskappe is deel van ons bedieningsveld. ‘n Belangrike opmerking ten opsigte hiervan is om te verseker dat alhoewel metodes en modelle moet verander, gemeentes se missie dieselfde bly.

Huise, woonbuurte en gemeenskappe is deel van ons bedieningsveld.”

Op wat behoort gemeentes geld te spandeer?

Virtuele vergaderings het letterlik oornag die nuwe manier van vergadering hou geword. Alles dui daarop dat dit deel van die “nuwe normaal” gaan wees en dat baie personeelvergaderings en selfs die van strukture op gemeente-, streek- en nasionale vlak in die toekoms so gehou sal kan word. Dit kan lei tot redelike begrotings besparings, terwyl gemeentes dit behoort te oorweeg om ‘n deel van hulle begroting toe te wys aan die opgradering van hulle digitale vermoë en -bediening.

‘n Verdere implikasie hiervan is dat personeellede wat die toerusting het, virtueel kan werk. Dit is ‘n tendens wat waarskynlik sal toeneem in baie maatskappye en gemeentes behoort ook daarby baat te vind. Die kern kwessie sal produktiwiteit wees en ook hulle beskikbaarheid om die nodige aandag en fokus aan hulle werk te gee, al werk hulle van die huis af.

Een van die belangrikste aksies wat gemeentes moet neem, is om te bepaal wat regtig noodsaaklik is vir hulle funksionering as gemeente en wat net “lekker is om te hê”, veral in die lig daarvan dat die inkomste van baie gemeentes onder druk is.

Sources: “Disruptive church trends every church leader should watch.”  – Carey Nieuwhof & “How COVID-19 Is Shaping the Future of the Church.” – Carey Nieuwhof & “Moving Forward: Future Church Trends.” -Anthony Hilder & “Five early findings from churches that are regathering.” -Thom Rainer.

SLOT

Terwyl ons deur die verskillende fases van die Covid-19 pandemie gaan, moet ons bewus wees daarvan dat die her-opening van kerkgeboue nie noodwendig ‘n toestroming van mense beteken nie, in elk geval nie nou al nie. Wêreldwye opnames wys dat mense uiteenlopende opinies het t.o.v. wanneer hulle “veilig” sal voel om weer bymekaar te kom.

Dit blyk dat sowat 30% van respondente eers sal terugkeer kerk toe wanneer hulle nie maskers hoef te dra nie en 15% sê hulle sal eers kerk toe kom wanneer gevalle laag is, besighede oopmaak, beperkinge opgehef word en ‘n teenmiddel beskikbaar is. Rondom 8% sê dat die oopmaak van restaurante vir aansit-kliënte vir hulle ‘n riglyn sal wees. As kerkleiers moet ons nie hierdie tendense as emosionele laagtepunte beleef nie en moet ons ook daarteen waak om mense wat versigtig is t.o.v. bywoning, te behandel asof hulle minder geloof het.

Een ding is seker: Ons betreë ‘n nuwe realiteit en baie mense, selfs leiers sukkel, op ’n dieper vlak as wat ons besef, met die afwesigheid van dit wat die meeste van ons tot onlangs as “normaal” beleef het.  Dit is belangrik dat ons hieroor sal praat met ons familie, vriende en kollegas. Ons moet hieroor bid en dink en onsself voorberei op ‘n langer tydperk van ontwrigting as wat ons gedink het.

Past. M.G. Mahlobo

Pastoral Letter: 1st Quarter 2020

AFM Colleague,

Greetings in Jesus’ Name. I am thankful for the opportunity to communicate with you through this first Pastoral letter in 2020. I am grateful to all who read my previous Pastoral Letter and gave me feedback. The contents of this first 2020 Pastoral Letter include the important motivations for the new nomination process that will culminate in the elections of the new AFM of SA National Office Bearers in September this year. I have also included the role of our pastors in the missional church context. You will also read about how our congregations can implement one of the Game Plan Drivers, namely, Community Involvement.

THE AFM OF SA 2020 ELECTIONS
Past. M.G. Mahlobo (President of the AFM of SA) – [email protected]

I would like to highlight a few things regarding the election of the new National Office Bearers (NOB) in September this year. The 2018 General Business Meeting (GBM) took important decisions regarding the election of the National Office Bearers of the AFM of SA. These are: (i) eligibility requirements, (ii) the nomination pool, (iii) elections, and (iv) transitional mechanisms. Allow me to say more about each point.

Eligibility Requirements 

All prospective nominees for NOB positions must be ordained pastors who have served at least five (5) years in a local assembly/assemblies as presiding pastors. In the past, no pastor was eligible for election as NOB unless he/she had served as an ordained fulltime worker in a registered local assembly of the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa for at least three (3) years. Furthermore, it is now a constitutional requirement that candidates for the position of President must have also served at least one (1) full term as a National Leadership Forum (NLF) member.

“All prospective nominees for NOB positions must be ordained pastors who have served at least five (5) years in a local assembly/assemblies as presiding pastors.”

The motivation on the above was to bring some higher level of experience and to ensure that future Presidents of the church have been exposed to the operations of the national structures of the church.

Nomination Pool by local AFM Congregations and Regional Committees

The 2018 GBM resolved that a list of possible candidates for the positions of the President, Deputy-President, General Secretary and General Treasurer be made available prior to the delegates of the 2020, and subsequent elective GBMs. This list is referred to as a “nomination pool.” The nomination pool will enable the GBM electoral college to know the names of the people who are available for election prior to elections. This information would also lessen the number of spoiled nomination and voting ballots, during the election process. This new development is an attempt to ensure wider participation of the church’s structures in the election of the leadership of the church.

A policy regarding the creation of the nomination pool, and the actual election at the GBM, was approved by the National Leadership Forum (NLF) and has been sent to the Congregations- and Regional Committees. Congregations- and Regional Committees have been provided with Nomination forms which must be completed and returned to my office by 16h00, 31 March 2020. Subsequent processes of scrutinizing nominees will be done by the Scrutiny Committee to be appointed by the NLF. All nominees will be afforded the opportunity to indicate their nominations’ acceptance. The information of nominees who have accepted nomination will be sent to all AFM Congregations and other GBM statutory bodies.

“Congregations- and Regional Committees have been provided with Nomination forms which must be completed and returned to my office by 16h00, 31 March 2020.”

Elections

At the GBM the same process will be followed as in previous elections. The first round will be the nominations. These nominations are used to determine the names of those who must go into the first, second and subsequent rounds of voting, as the case may be. It might happen that certain candidates are elected at the nomination phase, based on the percentage of votes they receive from the electoral college.

Transitional Mechanism

Another important 2018 GBM decision relates to the transitional mechanism. In the past, the NOB’s were expected to assume their responsibilities, immediately after their election. This expectation created practical challenges for the newly elected NOB’s. Some of these challenges were contractual obligations to their congregations. In some instances, those elected had to relocate, in order to be within close proximity of the National Office. In order to act responsibly and properly, to mitigate these practical challenges, newly elected NOB’s require time. After the election of new NOB’s, there will be a three (3) month transitional period.

The 2018 GBM amended the church’s constitution in such a way that it provides a transitional period during which outgoing NOB’s are expected to present exit reports and offer orientation to the incoming NOB’s. This would ensure a smooth transition.

“I request all pastors, congregations and other church structures to pray for the 2020 elections.”

I request all pastors, congregations and other church structures to pray for the 2020 elections.

THE ROLE OF THE PASTOR IN A MISSIONAL CHURCH CONTEXT
Dr. H.J. Weideman (General Secretary of the AFM of SA) – [email protected]  

During the 2019 NOB regional visits, a wellness survey was done. This included a measurement of the different perceptions of a pastor’s role. We asked our pastors how they themselves, their members, and the Governing Body see their role as pastor. We discovered the following:

** An Extract from the Final Report:

In Summary The Number One Choice Of The Three Groups Were:

This means that many pastors focus mainly on the so-called shepherding model.

According to this model, the pastor provides all the spiritual input and teaching, as well as the pastoral caring for the flock (Shepherding). Church members are then generally the objects of ministry and not the source. The main expectation from members in this assembly model, is to attend and participate.

Many assemblies who are following this model find themselves in a maintenance mode, where the focus is on keeping the assembly, its activities and the members (the flock) “going.” This is seen as the pastor’s main responsibility. In many instances there is a strong investment in the status quo and a lot of energy available for the maintenance of what has been.

There is usually a great resistance in maintenance mode congregations to the hard questions that the missional challenge raises.”

There is usually a great resistance in maintenance mode congregations to the hard questions that the missional challenge raises. Questions like: What is our calling and purpose? What does God expect of us as an assembly? What difference do we really make in the community? What is the “work of ministry” that believers are supposed to fulfill? (Eph.4:11-12)

In this context it is not uncommon to find individual believers who receive a call from God and travel to a far-away foreign country to preach the gospel in what is called “the mission field”, while very few experience the calling to be missionaries in their everyday life in their own communities. This is the traditional concept of missions.

A new paradigm of Missions and of being Church is emerging.

A model of being church in which every member sees him-/herself as a missionary. A model in which the church becomes a missional movement and believers become true followers of Jesus, and not just church members. Team players, and not just spectators.

“It is a paradigm in which every believer understands that when Jesus said: “As the father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21) – He was speaking to ALL His followers and not just to Pastors.”

It is a paradigm in which every believer understands that when Jesus said: “As the father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21) – He was speaking to ALL His followers and not just to Pastors. That each member is called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matt.5:13-16) each and every day, everywhere.

The realization of this missional model of being church, implies that the pastor cannot just be a bystander, but must fulfil an active role in especially the following aspects:

1. The Pastor’s role as (internal) Evangelist and Change Agent

God’s Holy Spirit wants to convert our congregations from an inward focused preoccupation, to a missional vocation. The focus should not only be upon the needs of church members, but upon the calling of all believers to be “Christ’s letter to the world” (2 Cor 3:2-3). It is not a “return” to something that once was and is now lost: It is a matter of “conversion” not just “reformation” or “renewal.” In achieving this conversion, the pastor must be an evangelist preaching and advocating the conversion to a Missional focus and way of life.

2. The Pastor’s role to Interpret Scripture Missionally

“Missional hermeneutics” is a way of interpreting Scripture that starts from the realization that the New Testament religious communities (assemblies) were all founded in order to continue the apostolic witness that brought them into being. Pastors need to probe the text in terms of its missional purpose, to understand what it is saying to us today in terms of our task and lifestyle as people on God’s Mission. This will contextualize the Gospel message for assembly members and will revolutionize the pastor’s preaching and teaching ministry.

3. The Pastor’s role as Equipper

Believers must be equipped to become witnesses (Eph.4:11-12). Every New Testament congregation understood itself to be under the mandate of our Lord at His ascension: “You shall be my witnesses.”

4. The Pastor’s role as Team Leader & Coach

God’s mission is not carried out by soloists but by teams. The ordained leadership of a congregation must make it a priority to seek those people whom God has provided and gifted, to share in the missional formation of the community, make them part of the ministry team and provide inspiring leadership and coaching to them. The ministry that “equips the saints for the work of ministry” is always apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, deaconic & instructive. In this context the pastor is not only a shepherd to members, but a coach empowering thém to be shepherds, carers and witnesses to the whole community.

5. The Pastor’s role as Missional Strategist

An important part of the role of a pastor in a missional church context, is to be constantly looking for points of connection in the life and story of church members that will open up the converting power of the Gospel. The pastor must find creative ways of drawing Scripture into the center of people’s lives, as God’s instrument for missional formation. He/she must also discern how God is calling and sending the congregation in practical ways to “be Christ’s witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

6. The Pastor’s Personal Example

Becoming a missional church, implies that the leaders of a congregation will take the notion of being sent, of being on a mission – to a personal level.  More and more congregants are not only interested in what the Pastor has studied, but in studying the pastor. They want to see how we live the life that we are professing.

“We cannot preach to and teach others to live as missionaries in their every-day lives without setting a similar example.”

We cannot preach to and teach others to live as missionaries in their every-day lives without setting a similar example (1Cor.9:27).  Maybe this is the biggest challenge of assembly leadership today: To not only talk, but to walk our talk….

IMPLEMENTING THE ONE AFM GAME PLAN DRIVER: COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Ashley Theron (Acting CEO of the Executive Welfare Council of the AFM of SA)  
[email protected] 

AFM Assemblies are part of the communities they serve and are one of the main community structures to address the prevalent challenges like poverty, crime, family breakdown, AIDS, substance abuse and addiction, violence against women, children and older persons.  In fact, many of their members are victims of these challenges. AFM members should therefore rise up and take up their God-given calling to get involved and address these challenges faced by their members and others in their immediate communities.

Though some assemblies are already involved and making a difference in the lives of vulnerable families and individuals, many of them are not sure where to begin and how to implement this driver. It is here where the Welfare Department (AFM Welfare) can play a role to equip assemblies. AFM Welfare has the tools, programmes and information to support AFM Assemblies to implement their social development actions. AFM Welfare can assist to give meaning to the One AFM Game Plan Driver: Community Involvement. The AFM Welfare does this through it uManelisi Community Development Programme.

“AFM Welfare has the tools, programmes and information to support AFM Assemblies to implement their social development actions.”

Community Involvement leads to Community Development

The answer lies in assemblies starting small by getting involved in existing community processes and to do what their own resources and skills allow them to do.  Community involvement means:

  • Reaching out to people in need, starting with their needy members.
  • Doing good to others without making them dependent on hand-outs.
  • Uplifting of people by empowering them to help themselves.
  • Helping others meet their needs.
  • Serving on school and NPO (Non-Profit Organization) structures.

Community Development – Where to start

We would like to share a few steps that will assist assemblies to start their own community project:

1. Defining the Community Needs

Find out what is needed in your community by firstly talking to the leadership and members of your assembly, and then with other community leaders and structures.

2. Action a Team of Volunteers

Form a task team of like-minded people and agree which challenge/s needs to be addressed first, what resources and abilities you would need to undertake the project. Work towards having both a coordinating- and advisory team.

3. Community Profile

Undertake a desktop research of all the community structures and what they are already doing, number of churches and what projects they are running, number and roles of NPOs, number of schools, government departments, review existing information and statistics.  Find out what is already being done in the community, with the aim of narrowing down the challenges.

4. Choose a Project

If you have a group of people you’re going to work with, allow them to help you rank the ideas. Vote on, or decide which activity to focus on. Make sure it is reasonable, within your means, and that you can actually make an impact.

5. Roles and Responsibilities

Agree on who will be responsible for what in your team.

6. Consult, Consult, Consult.

Identify your internal and external stakeholders and make sure that you consult with them and give them feedback. Understand what legal and other requirements you must meet. Learn from the experiences of others and seek advice.

7. Develop a Plan

To start, write down exactly what you are hoping to accomplish. This will include a big-picture goal as well as the specific smaller tasks that you will need to do in order to get to that main goal.

8. Prepare a Budget

Now that you know your goals, you need to know what resources you have and exactly how much money you will need to implement the project.

9. Development a Fundraising Campaign

Make a list of the top groups and sources for you to contact to mobilize the necessary cash or in-kind donations. Be sure to add as many possible sources as you can think of to help you in meeting your funding goals.

10. Make a Timeline

You should already have a rough idea of how long your project will take, but now you need to narrow it down to the specifics. Mark specific goals on your timeline. Make a note of specific things that are critical to success. Include the time slots to review progress.

11. Publicity & Community Support

Start by seeking the advice from a Communication/Marketing/Public Relations expert with the development of a marketing strategy. Make a list of contacts at different radio, television, and newspapers/magazines in your community.

12. Implement & Evaluate

Create your list of measurable “process” and “impact” indicators related to your goals as well as how and when they will be measured.

For further support, training and coaching on Community Involvement contact me:

Ashley Theron (Acting CEO of AFM Welfare)

[email protected]

012 753 7940/1 (Ask for Lizelle de Bruyn or Rebecca Kola)

CONCLUSION

I hope this communication will add value to your ministry, and provide clarity on the issues being addressed. Your ministry is greatly appreciated. I will value your feedback on matters raised in the Pastoral Letter.

Blessings!

Past. M.G. Mahlobo

Pastorale Brief: 1ste Kwartaal 2020

AGS Kollega,

Groete in Jesus se Naam. Ek is dankbaar vir die geleentheid om met jou te kan kommunikeer deur middel van hierdie eerste Pastorale Brief in 2020. Ek is dankbaar vir almal wat my vorige Pastorale Brief gelees het en vir my terugvoer gegee het. Die inhoud van hierdie eerste Pastorale Brief van 2020 bevat die belangrike motiverings vir die nuwe nominasieproses wat sal uitloop op die verkiesing van die nuwe Nasionale Ampsdraers van die AGS van SA, in September vanjaar. Ek het ook die rol van ons pastore in die missionale kerk-konteks ingesluit. Jy sal ook verder lees hoe ons gemeentes prakties gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid kan implementeer.

DIE AGS VAN SA 2020 VERKIESING
Past. M.G. Mahlobo (President van die AGS van SA) – [email protected]

Ek wil graag ‘n paar dinge uitlig in verband met die komende verkiesing van die nuwe Nasionale Ampsdraers gedurende September hierdie jaar. Die 2018 Algemene Besigheidsvergadering (GBM) het belangrike besluite geneem rakende die verkiesing van die Nasionale Ampsdraers van die AGS van SA. Dit is: (i) geskiktheidsvereistes, (ii) die nominasiepoel, (iii) die verkiesing en (iv) die oorgee proses. Laat my toe om meer te sê oor elkeen.

Geskiktheidsvereistes

Alle voornemende genomineerdes vir Nasionale Ampsdraers posisies moet geordende pastore wees wat ten minste al vyf (5) jaar in ‘n plaaslike gemeente/s as presiderende pastoor gedien het. In die verlede is geen pastoor vir verkiesing as Nasionale Ampsdraer in aanmerking geneem, mits hy/sy nie ten minste vir drie (3) jaar gedien het as ‘n geordende voltydse werker in ‘n geregistreerde plaaslike gemeente van die Apostoliese Geloofsending van Suid-Afrika nie. Verder is dit nou ‘n grondwetlike vereiste dat kandidate vir die posisie van President ook ten minste een (1) volle termyn as lid van die Nasionale Leierskapforum (NLF) moes dien.

“Alle voornemende genomineerdes vir Nasionale Ampsdraers posisies moet geordende pastore wees wat ten minste al vyf (5) jaar in ‘n plaaslike gemeente/s as presiderende pastoor gedien het.”

Die motivering rondom hierdie besluit was om ‘n hoër vlak van ervaring te bewerkstellig, en om te verseker dat toekomstige Presidente van die kerk wel blootgestel was aan die werksaamhede van die nasionale strukture van die kerk.

Nominasiepoel deur plaaslike AGS Gemeentes en Streekskomitees

Die 2018 Algemene Besigheidsvergadering (GBM) het besluit dat ‘n lys van moontlike kandidate vir die posisies van die President, Adjunk-President, Algemene Sekretaris en Algemene Tesourier vooraf beskikbaar gestel sal word aan die afgevaardigdes van die 2020, en daaropvolgende elektiewe GBM’s. Ons verwys na hierdie lys as die “nominasiepoel”. ‘n Nominasiepoel sal die GBM kieskollege in staat stel om die name van die mense wat beskikbaar is vir verkiesing, voor die verkiesings te leer ken.  Hierdie inligting sal ook die aantal bedorwe nominasie en stembriewe, tydens die verkiesingsproses verminder. Hierdie nuwe ontwikkeling is ‘n poging om wyer deelname van die kerk se strukture te verseker in die verkiesing van die leierskap van die kerk.

“Gemeentes- en Streekskomitees is voorsien van nominasievorms wat voltooi moet word en na my kantoor teruggestuur moet word voor 16h00, 31 Maart 2020.”

‘n Beleid rakende die skepping van die nominasiepoel en die fisiese verkiesing by die GBM, is deur die Nasionale Leierskapforum (NLF) goedgekeur en is na die Gemeentes- en Streekskomitees gestuur. Gemeentes- en Streekskomitees is voorsien van nominasievorms wat voltooi moet word en na my kantoor teruggestuur moet word voor 16h00, 31 Maart 2020. Die geskiktheid van genomineerdes, sal deur die Toelatingskomitee wat deur die NLF aangestel sal word, ondersoek word. Alle genomineerdes sal geleentheid gegun word om hul aanvaarding van hul nominasie aan te dui. Die inligting van genomineerdes wat hul nominasie aanvaar het, sal aan alle AGS Gemeentes en ander GBM statutêre liggame gestuur word.

Verkiesing

By die GBM sal dieselfde verkiesingsproses gevolg word, wat in die verlede gebruik was. Die eerste rondte sal nominasies wees. Hierdie nominasies word gebruik om die name van diegene te bepaal waarvoor gestem kan word in die eerste, tweede en daaropvolgende stemme, soos dit nodig is. Dit kan ook gebeur dat sekere kandidate tydens die nominasiefase verkies kan word, op grond van die persentasie stemme wat hulle ontvang het van die kieskollege.

Oorgangsmeganisme

Nog ‘n belangrike 2018 GBM besluit het te doen met die oorgangsmeganisme. In die verlede is daar van die Nasionale Ampsdraers verwag om hul verantwoordelikhede onmiddellik na hul verkiesing op te neem. Hierdie verwagting het praktiese uitdagings vir die nuutverkose Nasionale Ampsdraers geskep. Sommige van hierdie uitdagings was kontraktuele verpligtinge teenoor hul gemeentes. In sommige gevalle moes van dié wat verkies is, verhuis om naby die Nasionale Kantoor te wees. Om hierdie praktiese uitdagings verantwoordelik en behoorlik aan te spreek, benodig nuutverkose Nasionale Ampsdaers tyd. Na die verkiesing van die nuwe Ampsdraers sal daar ‘n drie (3) maande oorgangstydperk wees.

Die 2018 GBM het die kerk se konstitusie op so ‘n wyse aangepas dat daar ‘n oorgangstydperk is, waartydens die uittredende Nasionale Ampsdraers hul uitgangsverslae sal verskaf, en oriëntering aan die inkomende Ampsdraers bied. Dit sal ‘n effektiewe oorgang verseker.

“Ek versoek alle pastore, gemeentes en ander kerkstrukture om te bid vir die 2020 verkiesings.”

DIE ROL VAN DIE PASTOOR IN ‘N MISSIONALE KERK KONTEKS
Dr. H.J. Weideman (Algemene Sekretaris van die AGS van SA) – [email protected]

Gedurende die 2019 NOB streeksbesoeke, was ‘n pastorale welstandsvraelys (Pastoral Wellness) deur pastore voltooi. Dit het die verskillende perspektiewe rondom die rol van ‘n pastoor ingesluit. Ons het ons pastore gevra hoe hulle self, hulle lidmate en hulle beheerliggame, die rol van die pastoor sien. Ons het die volgende ontdek:

** ‘n Uittreksel uit die finale verslag: 


Opsommend is die nommer een keuse van die drie groepe:

Dit beteken dat baie pastore se hooffokus die sogenaamde herder-kudde model is.

Volgens hierdie bedieningsmodel, is die pastoor die voorsiener van alle Geestelike inspraak en lering, sowel as die pastorale versorging van die gemeente (Herderskap). Gemeentelede is meestal die ontvangers van bediening en nie ‘n bron/gewers daarvan nie. Die hoof verwagting wat aan lidmate gestel word, is om teenwoordig te wees en aan aktiwiteite deel te neem. Baie gemeentes wat hierdie herder-kudde model navolg, bevind hulleself in ‘n toestand van instandhouding, waar die fokus is om die gemeente, die gereelde aktiwiteite en die lidmate “aan die gang” te hou. Dit word dan ook gesien as die pastoor se hoof verantwoordelikheid. In baie gevalle is daar sterk investering in die status quo en word baie energie spandeer om dít wat in die verlede is, instand te hou.

“Waar ‘n gemeente in ‘n instandhoudings raamwerk funksioneer, is daar dikwels weerstand teen die beantwoording van die moeilike vrae wat die Missionale-perspektief aan ons stel.”

Waar ‘n gemeente in ‘n instandhoudings raamwerk funksioneer, is daar dikwels weerstand teen die beantwoording van die moeilike vrae wat die Missionale-perspektief aan ons stel. Vrae soos: “Wat is ons roeping en bestaansdoel as gemeente? Wat verwag die Here van ons as gemeente? Watter verskil maak ons werklik in ons gemeenskap? Wat is die “dienswerk” wat gelowiges veronderstel is om te verig? (Efe. 4:11-12)

In hierdie konteks is daar dikwels individuele gelowiges wat ‘n roeping van die Here ervaar om na die “sendingveld” in ‘n land vêr weg te reis, en daar sendingwerk te doen, terwyl baie min gelowiges ’n roeping ervaar om sendelinge te wees in hulle alledaagse lewe in hul eie gemeenskappe. Dít is die tradisionele konsep van sending.

‘n Nuwe paradigma van Sending en Kerkwees is besig om te ontwikkel.   

‘n Model van kerkwees waarin elke lidmaat hom/haarself sien as ‘n sendeling. ‘n Model waarvolgens die kerk ‘n Missionalebeweging word en gelowiges ware navolgers van Jesus is, en nie net lidmate nie. Deelnemers en nie net toeskouers nie.

“Dit is ‘n paradigma waarin elke gelowige verstaan dat toe Jesus gesê het: “Soos die Vader My gestuur het, stuur Ek julle ook.” (Joh. 20:21) – Het Hy met AL Sy navolgers gepraat en nie net met pastore nie.”

Dit is ‘n paradigma waarin elke gelowige verstaan dat toe Jesus gesê het: “Soos die Vader My gestuur het, stuur Ek julle ook.” (Joh. 20:21) – Het Hy met AL Sy navolgers gepraat en nie net met pastore nie. Dat elke lidmaat geroep is om die sout van die aarde en die lig vir die wêreld te wees (Matt.5:13-16) elke dag en oral.

Die realisering van hierdie missionale model van kerkwees, veronderstel dat die pastoor van elke gemeente ‘n aktiewe rol sal speel:

1. Die Pastoor se rol as (interne) Evangelis en Agent van Verandering

Die Heilige Gees wil gemeentes van ‘n inwaartse, selfgerigte fokus na ‘n missionale roeping bekeer. Die fokus behoort nie net te wees op die behoeftes van gemeentelede nie, maar op die roeping van alle gelowiges om “’n brief van Christus” aan die wêreld te wees (2 Kor 3:2-3). Dit gaan nie oor ‘n “terugkeer” na iets wat bestaan het of verlore geraak het nie: Dit is ‘n saak van “bekering”, nie net  “reformasie” of “hernuwing” nie. Om dit moontlik te maak, moet die pastoor van ‘n gemeente ‘n evangelis wees wat bekering tot ‘n missionale fokus preek en promoveer.

2. Die Pastoor se rol om die Skrif Missionaal te interpreteer

“Missionale hermeneutiek” is ‘n manier van Skrifinterpretasie wat begin by die besef dat die Nuwe Testamentiese gemeenskappe (gemeentes) almal gestig was met die doel om die apostoliese getuienis wat tot hulle totstandkoming gelei het, voort te sit. Pastore moet elke teks ondersoek met die oog daarop om die missionale doel daarvan te vind, en te verstaan wat dit vir ons vandag wil sê ten opsigte van ons taak en lewenstyl – as mense wat op God se Missie gestuur is. Dit sal die Evangelie boodskap kontekstualiseer vir gemeentelede en die prediking en lering van pastore dinamies beïnvloed.

3. Die Pastoor se rol as Toeruster

Alle gelowiges moet toegerus word om getuies te wees (Efe. 4:11-12). Die Nuwe Testamentiese gemeentes was van mening dat hulle onder die mandaat van die Here tydens Sy hemelvaart funksioneer: “Julle sal My getuies wees.”

4. Die Pastoor se rol as Spanleier en Afrigter (coach):     

God se missie word nie net deur individue uitgevoer nie, maar deur spanne. Die geordende leierskap van ‘n gemeente moet dit ‘n prioriteit maak om mense te identifiseer wat ‘n rol kan speel in die uitvoering van die missionele opdrag in die gemeenskap, hulle deel maak van die bedieningspan en inspirerende leierskap en afrigting aan hulle voorsien. Die bediening wat die “gelowiges toerus vir hulle dienswerk” is altyd apostolies, profeties, evangelisties, diakonies en lerend van aard. In hierdie konteks is die pastoor nie net ‘n herder vir gemeentelede nie, maar ook ‘n afrigter (coach) wat hulle bemagtig om sélf-herders, versorgers en getuies in en vir die gemeenskap te wees.

5. Die Pastoor se rol as Missionale Strateeg:                                                                                          
‘n Belangrike deel van ‘n pastoor se rol in ‘n missionale kerk-konteks is om voortdurend op die uitkyk te wees vir raakpunte in die lewens en stories van gemeentelede, wat die transformerende krag van die Evangelie vir almal toeganklik sal maak. Die pastoor moet kreatiewe maniere vind om Skrifwaarhede as God se instrument vir missionale vorming in die kern van mense se lewens in te trek. Hy/sy moet ook onderskei hoe God die Gemeente roep en stuur om op ‘n praktiese manier Jesus se getuies te wees in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, en tot aan die uiterstes van die aarde.
6. Die Pastoor se persoonlike voorbeeld:          

Om ‘n missionale kerk te word, veronderstel dat die leiers van ‘n gemeente die idee van gestuurdheid, die idee van om op ‘n missie te wees – baie persoonlik sal opneem. Gemeentelede stel toenemend nie net belang in wat die pastoor bestudeer nie, maar ook om hom/haar te bestudeer. Hulle wil síén hoe ons dit leef – dit wat ons verkondig.

“Ons kan nie preek en ander leer om soos sendelinge te leef in hulle daaglikse lewens, sonder om self ‘n soortgelyke voorbeeld te stel nie.”

Ons kan nie preek en ander leer om soos sendelinge te leef in hulle daaglikse lewens, sonder om self ‘n soortgelyke voorbeeld te stel nie. (1Kor.9:27). Dit is dalk die grootste uitdaging vir gemeenteleierskap van vandag: Om nie net te praat nie, maar om dit wat ons sê prakties uit te leef…

IMPLEMENTERING VAN DIE ONE AFM GAME PLAN DRYWER: GEMEENSKAPSBETROKKENHEID
Ashley Theron (Waarnemende CEO van die AFM Welfare) – [email protected]  

AGS Gemeentes is deel van die gemeenskappe wat hulle dien en is een van die belangrikste gemeenskapsstrukture om die heersende uitdagings van armoede, misdaad, gesinsverbrokkeling, VIGS, dwelmmisbruik en verslawing, geweld teen vroue, kinders en ouer persone die hoof te bied. In werklikheid is baie van hulle lidmate self slagoffers van hierdie uitdagings. AGS lidmate moet dus opstaan en hulle God-gegewe roeping opneem om betrokke te raak by hierdie uitdagings wat hulle self en hulle onmiddelike gemeenskappe in die gesig staar.

Alhoewel sommige van die Gemeentes alreeds betrokke is ‘n verskil maak in die lewens van kwesbare gesinne en individue, is baie van hulle nie seker waar om te begin en hoe om hierdie drywer te implementeer nie. Dit is hier waar die AFM Welfare ‘n rol kan speel om Gemeentes toe te rus. AFM Welfare het die praktiese kennis, programme en inligting om AGS Gemeentes te ondersteun om hul maatskaplike ontwikkelingsaksies te implementeer. AFM Welfare kan gemeentes help om betekenis te verleen aan die Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid drywer. Die AFM Welfare doen dit deur sy uManelisi-gemeenskapsontwikkeling program.

“AFM Welfare het die praktiese kennis, programme en inligting om AGS Gemeentes te ondersteun om hul maatskaplike ontwikkelingsaksies te implementeer.”

Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid lei tot Gemeenskapsontwikkeling

Die antwoord lê in gemeentes wat klein begin deur betrokke te raak by bestaande gemeenskapsprosesse, en om te doen wat hul eie hulpbronne en vaardighede hulle toelaat.  Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid beteken:

  • Om uit te reik na mense in nood en om te begin met die gemeente se eie behoeftige lidmate.
  • Om goed aan ander te doen sonder om hulle afhanklik te maak van “hand-outs”.
  • Die opheffing van mense deur hulle te bemagtig om hulself te help.
  • Om ander te help om in hul behoeftes te voorsien.
  • Dien op skole- en NPO (Nie-winsgewende organisasie)-strukture.

Gemeenskapsontwikkeling – Waar om te begin

Ons wil graag ‘n paar stappe deel wat gemeentes sal help om hul eie gemeenskapsprojek te begin.

1. Identifiseer Die Gemeenskapsbehoeftes

Ontdek wat nodig is in jou gemeenskap deur eerstens met die leierskap en lidmate van jou Gemeente te praat, en dan met ander gemeenskapsleiers en -strukture.

2. Stel ‘n Span van vrywilligers aan

Vorm ‘n taakspan van eendersdenkende mense en besluit watter uitdaging/s eerste aangepak moet word, watter hulpbronne en vermoëns benodig sal word. Werk daarna toe om beide  ‘n koördinerende span en ook ‘n adviserende span te hê.

3. Gemeenskapsprofiel

Doen navorsing van al die gemeenskapstrukture en wat hulle reeds doen, aantal kerke en watter projekte hulle bedryf, aantal en rolle van NPOs, aantal skole, staatsdepartemente, hersien bestaande inligting en statistieke. Vind uit wat reeds in die gemeenskap gedoen word, met die doel om die uitdagings te verklein.

4. Kies ‘n Projek

As jy ‘n groep mense het waarmee jy gaan werk, laat hulle toe om jou te help om die idees te beoordeel. Besluit watter aktiwiteit jy wil doen. Sorg dat dit binne jou vermoë redelik is en dat jy ‘n impak kan maak.

5. Rolle en verantwoordelikhede 

Stem saam oor wie verantwoordelik sal wees vir wat in jou span.

6. Konsulteer, Konsulteer, Konsulteer

Identifiseer jou interne en eksterne rolspelers en maak seker dat jy met hulle konsulteer en terugvoer gee. Verstaan ​​aan watter wetlike en ander vereistes jy moet voldoen. Leer uit die ervaring van ander en soek raad.

7. Ontwikkel ‘n plan 

Begin deur te skryf wat presies jy wil bereik. Dit sluit ‘n “big-picture” doel in, sowel as die spesifieke kleiner take wat jy moet doen om die hoofdoel te bereik.

8. Stel ‘n begroting op

Nou dat jy weet wat jou doelwitte is, moet jy weet watter hulpbronne reeds tot jou beskikking is en hoeveel geld jy sal nodig hê om die projek te implementeer.

9. Ontwikkel ‘n Fondsinsamelingsveldtog 

Maak ‘n lys van die top groepe en bronne wie jy kan kontak om die nodige fondse (in kontant of donasies) te bekom. Maak seker dat jy soveel moontlik bronne insluit om jou te help om jou befondsingsdoelwitte te bereik.

10. Maak ‘n tydlyn

Jy moet reeds ‘n rowwe idee hê van hoe lank jou projek gaan neem, maar nou is die tyd om te fokus op die besonderhede. Merk spesifieke doelwitte op jou tydlyn. Maak ‘n aantekening van spesifieke dinge wat van kritiese belang is vir sukses. Allokkeer tyd om jou vordering te meet.

11. Publisiteit & Gemeenskapsondersteuning

Begin deur advies te soek by ‘n Kommunikasie- of Bemarkingskenner wat kan help met die ontwikkeling van ‘n bemarkingstrategie. Maak ‘n lys van die kontakte by verskillende radio, televisie en koerante/tydskrifte in jou gemeenskap.

12. Implementeer & Evalueer

Skep ‘n lys met meetbare “proses” en “impak” indikators wat verband hou met jou doelwitte, asook hoe en wanneer dit gemeet sal word.

Vir verdere opleiding en ondersteuning wat verband hou met Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid, kontak:

Ashley Theron (Waarnemende CEO van die AFM Welfare)

[email protected]

012 753 7940/1 (Vra vir Lizelle de Bruyn of Rebecca Kola)

SLOT

Ek hoop dat hierdie kommunikasie waarde in jou bediening sal toevoeg en duidelikheid sal gee oor die kwessies wat aangespreek word. Jou bediening word opreg waardeer. Ek sal jou terugvoer oor die sake in hierdie Pastorale Brief hoog op prys stel.

Seën!
Past. M.G. Mahlobo

Pastoral Letter: 4th Quarter

Download the PDF version here:

AFM Newsltr 4th Qrt 2019 ENG 2

Dear AFM Colleagues,

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strategy 1: Child Protection and Family Strengthening 
Family Support 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CONCLUSION

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

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

Blessings! Past. M.G. Mahlobo

Pastorale Brief: 4de Kwartaal

Laai die PDF weergawe hier af:

AFM Newsltr 4th Qrt 2019 AFR

Liewe AGS Kollega,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SLOT

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

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

Seën! Past. M.G. Mahlobo

Pastoral Letter: 3rd Quarter 2019

Download the PDF version here:

AFM Newsltr 3RD Qrt 2019 ENG small

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

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

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

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

Supremacy Of Christ

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

Sufficiency Of Our Redemption In Christ

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

Supplements To Our Salvation

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

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

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

Materialism

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

“Our life must reflect Christ.”

Secular Humanism

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

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

Formalism

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

“We need to deepen our roots.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

CONCLUSION

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

Pastorale Brief: 3de Kwartaal 2019

Laai die PDF weergawe hier af:

AFM Newsltr 3RD Qrt 2019 AFR small

Liewe Broers en Susters,

Groete in die lieflike en kosbare Naam van ons Here en Verlosser Jesus Christus. Hierdie week val die kollig op die 2019 AGS Nasionale Konferensie. Die konferensie het op 15-18 September by die Lighthouse Ministries in Parow (Kaapstad) plaasgevind. Die konferensie tema was gebaseer op Kolossense 2:6-7 “Gewortel in CHRISTUS”. In hierdie Pastorale Brief besin ons oor enkele kernboodskappe wat tydens die konferensie gedeel is.  Ek vertrou dat dit jou sal seën en bemoedig!

GEWORTEL IN CHRISTUS: GEVESTIG IN ONS GELOOF 
Past. M.G. Mahlobo (President van die AGS van SA) – [email protected]

Die antieke stad Kolosse was in die omgewing van die antieke stad Laodisea en nie ver van Efese nie. Paul het ten tyde van die skryf van hierdie brief nog nie Kolosse besoek nie. Dit het waarskynlik begin vanweë sy bediening in Efese, wat byna oor twee jaar strek. Terwyl Paulus in huisarres en verhoorafwagtend in Rome was, het Epafras hom besoek. Epafras het Paulus ingelig oor die geestelike toestand van die Christene in Kolosse wat eens sterk in hul geloof was, maar nou kwesbaar geword het vir valse leringe (2:4, 8, 16, 18, 21-23). Hy het hierdie brief (Kolossense) geskryf om hierdie valse leringe te weerlê. Sommige van die kenmerke van die kettery (of “heresy”) in Kolosse het te make gehad met die oppergesag van Christus, genoegsaamheid van ons verlossing in Christus en aanvullende dinge tot verlossing.

Oppergesag van Christus

Daar was ‘n valse lering wat ontken dat God se volheid in Christus woon. Dit het probeer om die goddelike aspek van Jesus Christus te verlaag. Dit was ‘n mengsel van Christendom, Griekse filosofie en Zoroastrianisme. Dit het onder andere geleer dat die geskape wêreld boos is en dat alle materie korrup is. Dit het gelei tot die gevolgtrekking dat Jesus se liggaam korrup was. Paulus reageer op hierdie lering in Kolossense 1: 15-17: “Die Seun is die sigbare uitbeelding van die onsigbare God. Hy is die Eerste van die hele skepping, omdat God alles deur Hom geskep het. Ja, alles in die hemel en op die aarde – die dinge wat gesien kan word en die dinge wat nie gesien kan word nie, of dit nou konings of heersers, regeerders of magshebbers is – álle dinge is deur Hom en vir Hom geskep. Hý was daar vóór alles, en in Hom word alles saamgebind.” (NLV) en in Kolossense 2:9: “Die volheid van God is mos liggaamlik in Christus teen­woor­dig.” (NLV)

Genoegsaamheid van ons Verlossing in Christus

Volgens die Kolossiese kettery (of “heresy”) word die verlossing bewerkstellig deur geheime kennis (gnose) waardeur individue hulself, hul oorsprong en bestemming leer ken. Paulus se reaksie is in Kolossense 2:10 waar hy sê: “…En omdat julle één is met Christus deel julle in sy volheid – Hy wat die hoof is van elke heerskappy en gesag.” (NLV)

Aanvullings tot ons Redding

Die valse leraars wou die verlossing deur Jesus vervang met verskillende asketiese onthoudinge, Joodse rituele, aanbidding van engele, drome en visioene (sien Kolossense 2: 8-12 & 16-18). Die boodskap van Paulus aan hulle en aan ons is: “Terwyl julle Christus Jesus, die Here, ontvang het, wandel in Hom, gewortel en opgebou in Hom en gevestig in die geloof soos julle geleer is, in oorvloed met danksegging.”

“Dit is wanneer ons geestelik volwasse word dat ons in staat sal wees om vals leringe en moeilike tye teë te staan…”

Die metafoor van wortels en die bou van strukture as verwysings na die Kolossiese heiliges, moet ons herinner aan die belangrikheid daarvan om in Christus geanker te wees. Die ontvangs van Christus en die doop moet gevolg word deur te groei tot die volle beeld van ons Here en Verlosser Jesus Christus. Dit is wanneer ons geestelik volwasse word dat ons in staat sal wees om vals leringe en moeilike tye teë te staan ​​- op dieselfde manier staan ons tans voor verskillende uitdagings. Sommige hiervan is materialisme, sekulêre humanisme en formalisme.

Materialisme

Materiële dinge, soos geld, is belangrik as ‘n instrument om ‘n doel te bereik. Daar is ‘n neiging onder ons om materiële besittings en liggaamlike gemak belangriker te ag as ons geestelike waardes. Ek is nie daarteen om materiële dinge te koop met die oog op nut nie. My probleem is as dit gebed, nederigheid, om ander mense te dien en God te vereer (met die besittings wat God jou gegee het) vervang. Die lewe is belangriker as materiële rykdom. Die Here Jesus waarsku ons in Lukas 12:15 en sê: “Pas op! Moenie gierig wees nie. Ware lewe word nie gemeet aan hoeveel ons besit nie.” (NLV) Ons lewe moet Christus weerspieël. Ons moet altyd in gedagte hou dat ware bevryding kom uit geregtigheid en nie uit die rykdom wat ons het nie (Spreuke 11:4).

“Ons lewe moet Christus weerspieël.”

Sekulêre Humanisme

Hierdie frase word sedert die dertigerjare deur Anglikaanse priesters gebruik. Dit is ‘n progressiewe lewensfilosofie wat ons vermoë en verantwoordelikheid aanmoedig om etiese lewens van persoonlike vervulling te lei – wat streef na die groter welvaart van die mensdom, sonder God of ander bonatuurlike oortuigings. Met ander woorde, dit is ‘n omvattende nie-godsdienstige, lewenshouding. Tot op datum weet ek van vier manifeste wat in hierdie verband geproduseer is. Hulle is Humanist Manifesto i (1933), Manifesto ii (1973), Manifesto iii (2003) en Manifesto iv (2017). In hul Manifesto ii het hul gesê dat: “… geloof in ‘n gebedsverhorende God wat aanneem dat God leef en omgee vir persone, gebede hoor, verstaan ​​en in staat is om iets daaraan te doen, ‘n onbewese en verouderde geloof is. Die standpunt van die sekulêre humanisme rakende godsdiens kan opgesom word as volg: “Geen God sal ons red nie; ons moet onsself red.”

Formalisme

Ons is ‘n kerk met ‘n missie om die Groot Opdrag uit te voer (Matteus 20: 18-20). Ons moet altyd ons ‘wortels’ onthou. Ons is ‘n Bybel-gebaseerde kerk, ons bediening is Christus-gesentreerd en Heilige Gees gedrewe. Ons lidmate moet Jesus as Verlosser en Here ontvang. Hulle moet in water en in die krag van die Heilige Gees gedoop word. Hulle moet die Bybelse waardes van integriteit, aanspreeklikheid, konstruktiewe verhoudings en uitnemendheid handhaaf. Bo alles moet ons altyd onthou dat ons sendelinge is wat die Goeie Nuus van Jesus Christus dra. Ons moet waak teen formalisme.

“Ons is ‘n Bybel-gebaseerde kerk, ons bediening is Christus-gesentreerd en Heilige Gees gedrewe.”

Formalisme is wanneer die werking van die Heilige Gees vervang word met menslike programme wat niks met die uitbreiding van die Koninkryk van God te doen het nie. Ons is formeel wanneer ons die bou van swembaddens in die kerke begin beklemtoon ten koste van die doopfonte. Paul het ‘n waarskuwing gegee in 2 Timoteus 3: 1-5 toe hy sê: “Jy moet ook dít weet, Timoteus, dat daar gedurende die laaste dae moeilike tye sal kom. Want mense sal net hulleself en hulle geld liefhê. Hulle sal grootpraterig en arrogant wees, met God spot, ongehoorsaam aan hulle ouers en ondankbaar wees. Hulle sal niks as heilig beskou nie. Hulle sal liefdeloos en onvergewensgesind wees; hulle sal ander mense belaster en geen selfbeheersing hê nie; hulle sal wreed wees en geen belangstelling hê in wat goed is nie. Hulle sal hulle vriende verraai, roekeloos wees, hooghartig, en hulle sal plesier liewer hê as vir God. Hulle sal optree asof hulle godsdienstig is, maar dit ontken wat aan die Christelike godsdiens sy krag gee. Jy moet wegbly van sulke mense af. ”(NLV)

“…gevestig in ons geloof…”

Dit is my gebed dat ons nie net Christus sal ontvang nie, maar dat ons saam met Hom sal wandel, gewortel en opgebou in Hom, gevestig in ons geloof en oorvloedig met danksegging. Ons moet ons wortels verdiep deur gebed en leiding van diegene wat gewortelde Christelike lewens lei. Ons moet opgebou word in Christus deur die Woord (Bybel) en verhoudinge met ons broers en susters.

GEWORTEL IN CHRISTUS: DIENSBAAR AAN ANDER
Dr. H.J. Weideman – (Algemene Sekretaris) – [email protected]

Ek het 2 jaar gelede ‘n appelkoosboom in my tuin geplant en was verheug om Augustus vanjaar bloeisels daarop te sien. Begin September het ek verskillende klein appelkose sien vorm – nou is ek seker dat dit inderdaad ‘n appelkoosboom is! Ek het die vrugte herken. Het jy al ooit tussen vrugtebome gewandel en was jy onseker of dit ‘n perske- of ‘n appelkoosboom, ‘n appel- of ‘n peerboom, ‘n lemoen- of ‘n suurlemoenboom was? Matteus 7:20 vertel dat ons ‘n boom aan sy vrugte sal herken. Het jy geweet dat die vrug van ‘n boom jou baie vertel van die wortels van die boom? Veral as dit ‘n vrugteboom is.

Die areas in Suid-Afrika wat vrugte produseer, het groot boorde vol vrugtebome wat op ‘n bepaalde wortelstok (of onderstok) geënt is. Om ‘n boom in te ent, behels dat ‘n jong loot of takkie van ‘n bepaalde kultivar of tipe vrug, fisies op die wortelstok van ‘n ander, maar soortgelyke spesie ingeplant word, sodat die twee dele saam kan groei tot een plant. Die proses van samevoeging van die twee verskillende variteite, moet verseker dat daar maksimum kontak tussen die laag net onder die bas (die kambium) van die twee dele – die wortelstok en die klein takkie, genoem die “bo-stok” is, sodat hulle suksesvol kan saamgroei.

Die wortelstok, of onderstok maak ‘n groot verskil in die lewe van ‘n vrugteboom: Dit bepaal die kwaliteit en krag van die nuut gevormde boom se wortelstelsel. Die onderstok word spesifiek gekies omdat dit sterk wortels het. Wortels wat die boom instaatstel om voedingstowwe op ‘n meer effektiewe manier te absorbeer.  Dit stel die boom instaat om droogtes beter te kan hanteer, asook om weerstand te kan bied teen wortelverotting en verskeie peste soos grondvirusse, snywurms en bakteriële infeksies. Dit maak ook ‘n groot bydrae om die boom te anker, sodat dit kan vas bly staan in tye van storms. Die wortelstok wat ‘n wortelstelsel aan die boom voorsien, het ook ‘n groot invloed op die hoeveelheid bloeisels wat die boom voortbring. Dit bepaal die kwaliteit en kwantiteit, sowel as die grootte, vorm en selfs die smaak van die vrugte wat die boom produseer.  Wetenskaplike studies wys dat die wortels van die meeste bome ‘n area beslaan wat twee tot vier keer so groot is as die deursnee van die boom se kroon. Dit beteken dat vir die meeste bome, as die wortelverspreiding klein is, die boom selfs nog kleiner sal wees. (Daar is natuurlik uitsonderings).

Om gewortel te wees in Jesus Christus, beteken dat ons anders sal groei. Ons sal geanker wees teen die storms en peste van die lewe. Ons sal vrugte dra van ‘n bepaalde vorm, grootte en smaak as ons vas en diep in Jesus gewortel is. As ons wortels in Jesus Christus egter klein en vlak is, sal die bome wat ons lewens verteenwoordig waarskynlik ook swak en klein wees. In Johannes 15 praat Jesus oor die belangrikheid daarvan dat die takke van ‘n boom gesnoei word, sodat dit beter vrug kan dra. Hy beklemtoon egter ook die belangrikheid van die wortels van ‘n boom, en sê dat ‘n tak geen vrugte kan produseer as dit nie verbonde is aan die hoofstam nie. Die hoofstam is op sy beurt verbind aan die wortelstelsel, wat die voeding en water voorsien wat benodig word om vrugte te produseer.

Psalm 1, sowel as Jeremia, Jesus en Paulus vergelyk ons met bome: Jeremia 17:7-8 (NLV) sê: “Gelukkig is die mense wat op die Here vertrou en hulle verwagting in Hom stel. Hulle is soos bome wat langs ‘n rivier staan. Hulle wortels reik diep tot by die water. Hitte bedreig hulle nie en hulle blare bly groen.  Lang maande van droogte pla hulle ook nie. Hulle hou nie op om vrugte te dra nie.”

“Ons word dieper gewortel in Christus deur ons toenemende liefde vir God die Vader. Deur Hom lief te hê soos wat Jesus Sy Vader liefhet.”

Jesus sê in Johannes 15:4b (NLV): “’n Loot kan nie uit sy eie vrugte dra as dit nie aan die druiwestok verbind bly nie, en so julle ook nie as julle nie aan My verbonde bly nie.” Hy is die wynstok, die hoofstam. Hy moet ons wortelstok wees. Ons moet al meer en meer in Hom gewortel raak. Ons word dieper gewortel in Christus deur ons toenemende liefde vir God die Vader. Deur Hom lief te hê soos wat Jesus Sy Vader liefhet. Hoe meer ons groei in liefde vir die Vader, hoe dieper sal ons gewortel wees in Jesus, want Hy en Sy Vader is Een. Ons word dieper gewortel in Christus as ons Hom deel met almal om ons. Dit is soos die wortelstelsel van ‘n boom wat op ‘n missie is om wyer en dieper te versprei. En, soos wat ons hierbo gelees het: Hoe verder en groter die wortelstelsel van ‘n boom versprei, hoe groter word die deursnee van daardie boom se kroon. Hoe meer ons gewortel is in Jesus, hoe meer vrug sal ons dra. Die vrug van die Heilige Gees, wat ook die vrug is van die karakter en aard van Jesus.

Ons leer meer oor een van hierdie vrugte in Johannes 13 waar Jesus Sy dissipels se voete was. In verse 12-17(NLV) lees ons die volgende: “Nadat Jesus hulle voete klaar gewas het, het Hy sy bo-klere aangetrek en weer aangelê by die ete. Hy sê toe vir hulle: Verstaan julle wat Ek vir julle gedoen het? Julle noem my Leermeester en Here, en tereg so, want Ek is dit. As Ek dan, wat julle Here en Leermeester is, julle voete gewas het, moet julle ook mekaar se voete was. Ek het vir julle ‘n voorbeeld gestel, en soos Ek vir julle gedoen het, moet julle ook doen. Hoe waar is dit tog nie: ‘n Slaaf is nie belangriker as sy eienaar nie en ‘n gestuurde ook nie belangriker as die een wat hom gestuur het nie. As julle hierdie dinge insien en julle eie maak, sal julle geseënd wees as julle dit ook doen.“

“Hy leer sy volgelinge die beginsel om ander te dien.” 

Die beginsel wat Jesus sy dissipels en ons as sy volgelinge leer, is nie soseer om voete te was nie. Hy sê nie jy moet elke Sondag, selfs in die 21ste eeu, die skoene van jou medegelowiges in die kerk uittrek en hul voete was nie. Hy leer sy volgelinge die beginsel om ander te dien. Om in Christus gewortel te wees is om ander te dien net soos Hy gedien het: Hy, ons Heer en Leermeester, het Sy kleed afgehaal, ‘n handdoek om Sy middel toegedraai, water in ‘n wasbak gegooi en gedoen wat gewoonlik destyds deur ‘n dienskneg gedoen is: Hy het die voete van sy dissipels gewas. Hy stel ‘n voorbeeld van ‘n leier wat nie op ‘n groot leuenstoel met ‘n hoë rugleuning sit nie, maar wat neerkniel en Sy volgelinge dien.

Ons is boodskappers van die Goeie nuus van God se genade en vergifnis. Ons is nie belangriker as die Een wat die boodskap stuur nie. Ons is nie groter as ons Meester nie. Ons mag nooit vergeet dat ons op ‘n missie gestuur is om ‘n spesifieke taak te verrig nie – om Jesus aan alle nasies bekend te maak. Ons is boodskappers. Ons is sendelinge. God is die een wat ons stuur. Aan Hom alleen behoort die glorie en die eer! Ons moet nooit dink dat ons allerbelangrik is en bedien moet word nie – dat mense stoele vir ons moet uittrek en deure vir ons moet oopmaak nie. Ons moet eerder sê soos Johannes in Johannes 3:30 (NLV): “Hy (Jesus) moet in belangrikheid toeneem en ek moet afneem.”

Al dink ons ​​aan onsself as groot en sterk leiers, word ons aan die woorde van Jesus in Matteus 20: 25-28 (NLV) herinner: “Jesus roep hulle toe bymekaar en sê: “Julle weet in hierdie wêreld tiranniseer die maghebbers die nasies, en die magtiges domineer hulle. Maar onder julle moet dit heeltemal anders wees. Wie onder julle ’n leier wil wees, behoort julle dienskneg te wees. En wie die eerste onder julle wil wees, moet julle slaaf wees. Net so het Ek, die Seun van die Mens, nie gekom om gedien te word nie, maar om diens te lewer en boonop my lewe te gee as ’n losprys vir baie mense. “

“Die voorbeeld van Jesus dwing ons as Sy volgelinge om ander te dien…”

Die voorbeeld van Jesus dwing ons as Sy volgelinge om ander te dien: Om die mense te groet wat niemand raaksien nie, om daarna te streef om die standpunt en belewenis van mense wat in ander kulture en omstandighede as jyself leef, te verstaan en te erken. Hoe doen ons dit? Deur om te gee, deur uit te reik, deur ander mense raak te sien en hulle menswaardigheid te erken, deur te glimlag, te groet, en aan te raak, deur respek te betoon, deur met ander te gesels, deur jou eie storie te vertel en te luister na die lewensstorie van die mense om jou. Deur die lewe saam te leef. Vir soveel as wat julle hierdie dinge aan die geringste van mense, selfs aan kinders doen, het julle dit aan My gedoen, het Jesus gesê.

GEWORTEL IN CHRISTUS: DIE SORG & BESKERMING VAN ONS GEMEENSKAPPE
Past. Barend Petersen (Algemene Sekretaris &Voorsitter van die Uitvoerende Welsyn Raad van die AGS van SA) [email protected]

Om ander lief te hê en te dien is nie net ‘n roeping nie, dit is ‘n opdrag van God en is bedoel vir almal. Die hart van God word weerspieël in die Woorde van Jesus Christus in Matteus 25: 34-36: Dan sal die Koning vir dié aan sy regterkant sê: ‘Kom, julle wat deur my Vader geseën is! Die koninkryk is van die skepping van die wêreld af vir julle voorberei. Neem dit as erfenis in besit, want Ek was honger, en julle het My iets gegee om te eet; Ek was dors, en julle het My iets gegee om te drink; Ek was ‘n vreemdeling, en julle het My gehuisves;  Ek was sonder klere, en julle het vir My klere gegee; siek, en julle het My verpleeg; in die tronk, en julle het My besoek.”

“Om ander lief te hê en te dien is nie net ‘n roeping nie, dit is ‘n opdrag van God en is bedoel vir almal.”

Van die belangrikste sosio-ekonomiese uitdagings in Suid-Afrika is armoede, hoë werkloosheid en lae inkomste, misdaad, gesins verbrokkeling en swak onderwysstandaarde. Dit is ons missionale konteks waarin ons ons omgee-gees moet demonstreer en ons moet verbind tot aksies wat ‘n verskil in die lewens van mense sal maak. Die Uitvoerende Welsynsraad van die AGS van SA, is die bediening waardeur die AGS reeds het en sal voortgaan om ‘n verskil te maak in die lewens van kwesbare mense, veral kinders, vroue en ouer persone. Deur die KERK kan ‘n omgee-gemeenskap verandering bring in die lewens van baie mense wat swaarkry. Sodanige gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid of ontwikkelingsaksies kan die seer “genees”, die behoefte bevredig en vir baie mense ‘n volhoubare bestaan meebring. 

Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid is een van die drywers van die “One AFM Game Plan”. Elke AGS Gemeente kan en moet betrokke raak by ontwikkelingsaksies wat verandering vir hul gemeenskappe sal bring; en sodoende die oorspronklike missionêre roeping van ons kerk vervul. Die AGS Welsynsdepartement het die praktiese programme om gemeentes te ondersteun met begrip, beplanning en implementering van maatskaplike ontwikkelingsaksies en -projekte. Ons help pastore en gemeentes om die belangrikste sosiale probleme in hul gemeenskappe te identifiseer en rus hulle toe om deel te wees van die oplossing.

“Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid is een van die drywers van die “One AFM Game Plan”.”

uManelisi is die program wat gemeentes bemagtig om op hierdie uitdagings te reageer. Ons werk met en deur gemeentes om die volgende dienste te lewer:

Gemeenskapsgebaseerde dienste – ondersteuning van kwesbare kinders, gesinne, vroue, ouer persone en persone met gestremdhede.
Sosio-gesondheidsdienste – bewusmaking deur onderwys en opleiding, ondersteuning van persone wat aan chroniese siektes soos VIGS en TB ly, sowel as diegene wat aan dwelms en ander middels verslaaf is.
Sosio-opvoedkundige dienste – ondersteun gemeentes wat programme vir “Early Childhood Development” aanbied, geletterdheidsprogramme, skole asook bewusmaking in openbare skole.
Sosio-ekonomiese projekte – met die oog op die ondersteuning van die regering se prioriteite rakende armoede, werkloosheid en ongelykheid deur projekte wat fokus op voedselsekerheid, maatskaplike verligting, werkskepping, vaardigheidsontwikkeling, vrouebemagtiging en jeugontwikkeling.

Die kerk is ideaal geplaas om verandering in die lewens van mense regoor Suid-Afrika teweeg te bring. Elke AGS Gemeente kan en moet betrokke raak by ontwikkelingsaksies wat verandering bring vir die mense in hulle gemeenskap. Kontak ons ​​waarnemende uitvoerende hoof, Ashley Theron, vir duidelike leiding oor hoe om gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid prakties te implementeer as drywer van die “One AFM Game Plan”.
Landlyn: Lizelle de Bruyn of Rebeca Kola – 012 753 7940/1
E-pos: [email protected]

SLOT

“Terwyl julle Christus Jesus, die Here, ontvang het, wandel in Hom, gewortel en opgebou in Hom en gevestig in die geloof soos julle geleer is, in oorvloed met danksegging.”
KOLOSSENSE 2:6-7