Pastorale Brief: 2de Kwartaal 2023

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

AGS van SA Pastorale Brief 2de Kwartaal_2023_Finale Weergawe

AGS Familie,

Ons het op Donderdag, 25 Mei 2023 die AGS van SA se 115de verjaardag herdenking gevier. AGS Gemeentes en lidmate landswyd het met trots die AGS-embleem op sosiale media-platforms geplaas en ten toon gestel. Die “kruis en die kroon” (the cross and the crown) was gedeel as ‘n simbool van ons diepgewortelde oortuiging dat dit slegs as gevolg van die kruis is dat daar ‘n kroon is. Die AGS Logo Dag was weereens ‘n uiters suksesvolle aksie wat die hele kerk gemobiliseer het. Hierdie jaar het die verjaarsdagvieringe gegroei en is nog ‘n aksie bygevoeg – ‘n versoek aan elke AGS lidmaat om Christus met ten minste een ander persoon te deel.

In die vroeë Kerk en tot vandag toe nog, is AGS lidmate kragtige getuies as gevolg van die openheid vir die werk van die Heilige Gees en ‘n sterk sendinggerigtheid. Om ‘n ander persoon te vertel van Christus se liefde is deel van wie ons as Pinkstermense is – dit is opgevat in ons Pinkster-DNS. As ‘n missionêre Kerk is dit ons roeping om Christus met ander te deel.

As deel van die 115de Verjaarsdagherdenking van ons Kerk, het die Nasionale Ampsdraers besluit om ‘n spesifieke dissipelskap-instrument te kies en so AGS lidmate toe te rus (en te leer) om die Evangelie met ‘n ander persoon te deel. Hierdie hulpmiddel staan bekend as “Die Brug-illustrasie” en neem ‘n gelowige stap-vir-stap deur ‘n proses om die Evangelie te deel. Daar is vier afdelings in “Die Brug-illustrasie” naamlik:

God se Liefde

Die Mens se Probleem

God se Oplossing

Die Mens se Reaksie

In hierdie Pastorale Brief van die 2de Kwartaal, fokus ons in diepte op elke afdeling. Elke afdeling het gepaste skrif en ‘n illustrasie wat gememoriseer moet word om te verseker dat wanneer jy die Evangelie deel, dit vol van die kragtige Woord van God sal wees. Soos jy leer en oefen om “Die Brug-illustrasie” aan te bied, sal dit makliker word. Onthou, dit is slegs ‘n hulpmiddel om die Goeie Nuus van Jesus Christus te help vertel – dit is die Heilige Gees wat in harte beweeg en begrip bring. Vir elke afdeling is daar ‘n verduidelikende videogreep beskikbaar (die YouTube-skakels word verskaf). As deel van die slot verwys ek ook na ‘n opsommende “Sakgids” wat as ‘n nuttige samevatting van “Die Brug-illustrasie” dien.

Kyk ondersteunende videogrepe vir inleidende opmerkings:

Trek twee horisontale lyne. Skryf aan die linkerkant “DIE MENS” op die reël en aan die regterkant skryf “GOD” op die reël.

Genesis 1:27 (AFR83) sê: “God het die mens geskep as sy verteenwoordiger, as beeld van God het Hy die mens geskep, man en vrou het Hy hulle geskep.” Ons is geskape deur God wat deur Sy liefde Homself openbaar aan ons as ‘n God wat van Homself gee, deel en kommunikeer. God se liefde is persoonlik en vind betekenis binne ‘n verhouding. God wil graag naby en in verhouding met sy skepsels wees. In die tuin van Eden sien ons God in vrede met die mens, die mens in vrede met sy familie, en die mens in vrede met die natuur. God se oorvloedige liefde word gedemonstreer in Sy goedheid, barmhartigheid, genade, deernis en getrouheid, maar ook in Sy heiligheid, geregtigheid, jaloesie en toorn. Sy liefde is heilig, net soos Sy heiligheid vol liefde is. Skryf Genesis 1:27.

Johannes 10:10 (AFR83) sê: “Ek het gekom sodat hulle die lewe kan hê, en dit in oorvloed.” God wil hê ons moet voluit lewe. Ons is geskep om tyd in ‘n hegte verhouding met God deur te bring. Ons is geskep om God se liefde te ervaar. Paulus bid in Efesiërs 3:18-19 (AFR 83): “Mag julle in staat wees om saam met al die gelowiges te begryp hoe wyd en ver en hoog en diep die liefde van Christus strek. Mag julle sy liefde ken, liefde wat ons verstand te bowe gaan, en mag julle heeltemal vervul word met die volheid van God.” Skryf Johannes 10:10 en die woord “EWIGE LEWE” neer.

God het lief soos Jakobus sou sê, nie net in woord nie, maar in daad. Sy liefde is Sy Goddelike ingesteldheid om die mens (Sy skepsels) te bevorder en om op te tree tot hul voordeel selfs teen groot koste vir Homself. Dawid sê in Psalm 145:8-9 (AFR83): “Genadig en barmhartig is die Here, lankmoedig en vol liefde. Die Here is vir almal goed en barmhartig oor alles wat Hy geskep het.”

Kyk na die ondersteunende videogreep vir “God’s Love”:

Al het God ons lief maak dit nie saak hoe “goed” ons is nie – almal van ons het gesondig en skiet tekort aan God se standaard. Om een of ander rede dink ons dat ons deur ons goeie dade God kan beïndruk en Hom kan kry om die reëls te verander en ons te aanvaar. As ek gereeld kerk toe gaan of donasies skenk aan goeie liefdadigheidsorganisasies, is God tevrede met my. Die bose wil ons soms mislei deur ons te laat glo dat ons deur ons eie dade hierdie probleem kan oplos – maar God sê niks wat jy doen gaan goed genoeg wees nie. Skryf Romeine 3:23.

Ons het ‘n sondeprobleem en uit onsself sal ons dit nooit kan oplos nie. Skryf “SONDE. Die gevolg van die mens se sonde is die ewige dood en skeiding van God. Daarom vrees baie mense die dood omdat hulle geen hoop het nie – net ‘n donker en eensame toekoms vir ewig verlore en hopeloos. Skryf Romeine 6:23. Sedert God Adam en Eva geskep het, was Sy enigste agenda om ons lief te hê en ons met Sy liefde te bederf. Ons as die meesterstuk van Sy skepping smag na aanvaarding en intimiteit. Ons soek dit oraloor, maar ons kan nooit daardie diep en intieme nabyheid vind waarna ons smag nie. Ons sonde verhoed daardie verhouding. Ons sonde staan soos ‘n baksteenmuur in die pad, wat ons verhinder om intimiteit met God te hê. God is Heilig, en slegs wat heilig is kan in Sy teenwoordigheid kom. Dit beteken dat die ewige dood ons toekoms is. Trek twee vertikale lyne wat die skeiding tussen “GOD” en “DIE MENS” aandui en skryf die woord “DOOD” neer.

Elkeen van ons is bestem om te sterf. Wanneer ons sterf, sal ons geoordeel word. Die Bybel praat van ‘n oordeelsdag wat elkeen van ons in die gesig staar. Ons sal voor God se troon verskyn. As God nie vir ‘n Verlosser voorsiening maak nie, sal ons geskei wees van God – ons sal vir ewig op ‘n plek sonder Hom beland. Skryf Hebreërs 9:27 en die woord “OORDEEL” neer.

Kyk na die ondersteunende videogreep vir “Man’s Problem”:

God is ‘n regverdige en liefdevolle God en die mens is ‘n sondaar – hulle is dus apart en geskei van mekaar. Maar God het voorsien en het ‘n oplossing om hierdie gaping te oorbrug. Johannes 3:16 (AFR83) sê: “God het die wêreld so liefgehad dat Hy sy enigste Seun gegee het, sodat dié wat in Hom glo, nie verlore sal gaan nie maar die ewige lewe sal hê.”. Hierdie lewe is in Sy Seun. Teken nou die kruis en skryf Johannes 3:16.

Jesus is die enigste weg na die Vader. Johannes 14:6 sê: “Jesus het vir hom gesê: “Ek is die weg en die waarheid en die lewe. Niemand kom na die Vader toe behalwe deur My nie.” Toe Christus vrywillig aan die kruis gesterf het, het Hy ons plek ingeneem. Hy het die straf vir ons sondes betaal, en Hy het die gaping vir ons oorbrug. 2 Korintiërs 5:21 sê: “Christus was sonder sonde, maar God het Hom in ons plek as sondaar behandel sodat ons, deur ons eenheid met Christus, deur God vrygespreek kan wees.”

Kyk na die ondersteunende videogreep vir “God’s Remedy”:

Wanneer ons met iemand deel oor wat God ons hemelse Vader uit liefde vir ons gedoen het, moet ons dit duidelik stel dat ons as mense die ontvangers is van God se gawe van verlossing deur die dood van sy enigste Seun Jesus Christus. Ons ontvang onverdiende genade en vergifnis. Jesus het dit vir ons moontlik gemaak om die gaping tussen ons en God oor te steek, maar ons moet iets doen van ons kant af.

Ons is almal iewers op die reis na God toe. Die gawe van genade en vergifnis word nie outomaties op ons lewens toegepas nie. Jesus het vir almal aan die kruis gesterf, maar ons moet Sy offer ons eie maak. Ons moet dit ontvang en daarop reageer. Ons moet die brug van geloof oorsteek deur ‘n besluit te neem wat demonstreer dat ons in Jesus Christus as die Seun van God glo en wat Hy vir ons gedoen het aan die kruis aanvaar. Dit is ‘n individuele en persoonlike besluit. Niemand kan die gawe van God se genade en vergifnis namens ons aanvaar nie.

“…Aan almal wat Hom egter aanvaar het, dié wat in sy Naam glo, het Hy die reg gegee om kinders van God te word. Hulle is nie deur ’n natuurlike proses gebore nie, en ook nie na aanleiding van die wilsbesluit van ’n man nie. Hulle is uit God gebore.” – Johannes 1:12-13 (NLV). Skryf “GLO” en Johannes 1:12-13. Elke mens moet vir hom-/haarself aanvaar wat Jesus aan die kruis gedoen het en besluit om Hom te volg.

Om in Christus te glo, beteken om te vertrou op wat Jesus aan die kruis gedoen het om jou in staat te stel om vergewe te word en in die regte verhouding met God te kom. Deur ons geloof in Jesus as die seun van God uit te druk en Sy offer aan die kruis te aanvaar, word ons kinders van God. Ons sal dan nie veroordeel word vir ons sondes nie, maar het oorgegaan uit die dood na die lewe. “Dit verseker Ek julle, wie my woorde hoor en wie vertrou op Hom wat My gestuur het, het die ewige lewe. Hy kom nie in die oordeel nie, maar het reeds oorgegaan uit die dood na die lewe..” – Johannes 5:24 (NLV). Skryf nou Johannes 5:24. 

Om die brug van geloof oor te steek, “van die dood na die lewe” – moet ons ‘n gebed bid van berou oor ons verkeerde dade en ‘n gebed van aanvaarding van Jesus se genade en vergifnis. Bid saam.

Kyk na die ondersteunende videogreep vir “Man’s Response”:

1 Petrus 3:15-16 (NLV) sê: “…As julle dit doen, en iemand vra julle uit oor die hoop wat in julle leef, wees altyd reg om te reageer. Doen dit egter taktvol en eerbiedig.” Wanneer ons “Die Brug-illustrasie” verduidelik aan ‘n kollega, vriend of familielid moet ons seker maak dat ons dit op ‘n nederige en liefdevolle manier doen. Nie arrogant of veroordelend nie. Ons is geroep om die Evangelie met almal te deel. Dit is God se Heilige Gees wat mense oortuig – ons kan hulle nie dwing om ‘n besluit te neem nie, maar ons moet hulle ‘n geleentheid gee.

Deel van hierdie respek sou wees om die persoon met wie jy in gesprek is, te vra of dit wat jy aan hulle verduidelik het, sin maak. As daar iets is wat hulle nie verstaan nie, neem die tyd en verduidelik dit na die beste van jou vermoë. As jy nie dadelik ‘n antwoord het nie, kry die inligting so gou as moontlik en gee dit aan die persoon deur.

Dit is goed om die persoon te vra waar hy/sy hulleself op die diagram sal plaas. Dit verseker dat jy nie die persoon “oordeel” of namens hulle besluit nie, maar hulle toelaat om self te besluit waar hulle op hulle reis oppad na God is. Indien dit duidelik is dat die persoon nog nie ‘n besluit geneem het om God se genadegawe en vergifnis in Jesus te aanvaar nie, moet jy vra of daar iets is wat hulle keer om wel die besluit te neem. Weereens, wees geduldig en vra God vir Sy wysheid om aan die persoon ‘n verduideliking te gee en hom/haar te begelei in hierdie geloofsbesluit.

Dit is baie belangrik om saam met die persoon te bid en hulle by te staan om ‘n gebed van bekering en aanvaarding te bid. Indien die persoon nog nie gereed is om te besluit om Jesus te volg nie, bid saam met hulle vir God se leiding, wysheid en moed.  Jy kan ook vir hulle sê dat jy weer met hulle hieroor sal praat. “Weet dan dat hy wat ’n sondaar van sy dwaalweg laat terugdraai, hom uit die dood verlos en maak dat ’n klomp sondes bedek word.” – Jakobus 5:20 (NLV).

Vir ‘n vinnige en maklike verwysing van “Die Brug-illustrasie” is jy welkom om gebruik te maak van die “Sakgids” wat vir hierdie doel ontwikkel is:
https://afm-ags.org/share-christ-with-another-person-pocket-guide/ 

Vriendelike Groete
Henri Weideman

Pastoral Letter: 1st Quarter 2023

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

AFM Pastoral Letter_1st Quarter_2023

INTRODUCTION

Dear AFM Family,

During our time of prayer and reflection at the end of 2022, the National Office Bearers felt led to focus on the strengthening and impartation of the Spiritual Foundation of Missionality in 2023. We resolved to spend time on who we are and how we live as Holy Spirit-filled people and church. During the Regional Empowerment visits, we are focusing on the theme: KEEP THE FIRE BURNING and share about our calling as believers and pastors; our spiritual discipline and ministerial faithfulness including daily time with the Word and in prayer; the character, values and norms of Holy Spirit-filled people; as well as our finances.

All the articles in this edition focus on the spiritual foundation of a missional lifestyle.

The character, values and norms of Holy Spirit-filled people are key aspects of the testimony of our movement, as well as of the lifestyle of every individual follower of Jesus.

    • Character refers to the mental, moral and ethical qualities and beliefs of an individual. It is about the way someone thinks, feels and behaves.
    • Values are about what you view as important, useful and of worth.
    • Norms refer to what an individual or group regard as the standard or acceptable way of doing something.

In the context of the world and society that we are living in, we must ask ourselves whether there should be a difference between the character, values and norms of a Holy Spirit-filled person and a person who is not filled with the Holy Spirit. In other words: Should a Holy Spirit-filled person think differently about life, about what is important and acceptable? Should a Holy Spirit-filled person behave differently? Should he/she handle emotions differently and speak differently? Or is there no difference?

If there is a difference, what should it be?

Looking at history, we see that when there was a need to appoint deacons to serve in the first church in Jerusalem, the requirements given by the twelve disciples, were recorded as follows in Acts 6:3: “…choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the (Holy) Spirit & wisdom.” (NIV)

The New King James Version (KJV) translated it as: “…men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom.” The Amplified Bible refers to people with “…Godly character and moral integrity…”. It seems that there was something distinctive and noticeable about people who were full of the Holy Spirit. When you interacted with them, you observed and heard something different.

In Ephesians 3:16 Paul wrote about our spiritual nature, our emotions, our inner being, the core of who we are as human beings, being built up and strengthened by the Holy Spirit. The thoughts and behaviour of Holy Spirit-filled people are under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In Romans 8:9 Paul says that if the Holy Spirit lives in us, we are not controlled by a sinful nature, but by the Holy Spirit. There is a different operating system at work in Holy Spirit-filled people.

The thoughts and behaviour of Holy Spirit-filled people are under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”

In 2 Thessalonians 2:13 Paul mentions the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. This produces behavioural qualities representative of Jesus in Holy Spirit-filled people. These traits are sometimes referred to as “The fruit of the Spirit.” Galatians 5:22-23 defines it as: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.

We are living in a world of many imitations. It seems that there is a counterfeit product available for everything true of value. Can it also be so with the Holy Spirit? Can people claim to be godly, but lack the true power and essence thereof? Can it be that their conduct, the way they think, live and behave nullifies the image that they have of being a Holy Spirit-filled people?

This must never be true of us. May our pastors, assembly leaders and all our members be known as men and women who are full of the Holy Spirit.

God’s “call” is an open invitation to salvation to all the lost to come to Him and be saved (Matt 9:13; Matt 9:9-13; Mark 2:17). As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him. Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.

“For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16). Paul’s language echoes the language prophets sometimes used in response to the sufferings they or others would experience as a result of their prophetic ministry and reflects the prophetic call on his life. His experience of preaching the gospel is like the experience of those Old Testament prophets who felt compelled to deliver the divine message entrusted to them, regardless of their own desire, or lack of desire to do so.

Once we accepted the call, the power of God is released into us. 1 Corinthians 1:24: “But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor 1:9). The power of God is working in us to equip us for the task ahead to be more than conquerors in all aspects of life as we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

Walk worthy of your calling. For us to stay true to our calling, we have to realise that it is not necessary to “earn our place” anymore. We have been set free from any form of inferior living and are now able to live our lives according to the standard of Jesus Christ. Paul gives the first three chapters in Ephesians to establish the truth that we are found “in Christ” and then challenges us to live according to that calling: “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4:1-3, NKJV).

Impacting the lives of others. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life (2 Corinthians 2:15-16, NKJV). The life-giving follower of the call of God, whose heart is ever thirsting for God, whose soul is ever following hard after God, whose eye is single to God, and in whom by the power of God’s Spirit, the flesh and the world have been crucified. Our lives must be like the generous flood of a life-giving river.

I close with a prayer we use to sing: “Touch my life Lord Jesus, with thy nail scared hand, as for Thee I live and daily take my stand, let my life overflow so that others may know, Thou has touched my life with thy nail scared hand.”

As National Office Bearers we have declared this year as a season of keeping the fire of the Holy Spirit burning! Our focused commitment is to rekindle the fire through prayer, fasting and the knowledge of God’s Word. Our spiritual life is tied to devotion to prayer and the ministry of the Word of God, as indicated in Acts 6:4: “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

“The order is significant; prayer first, then the ministry of the Word. Without God, there is no ministry.”

The Apostles dedicated themselves “…to prayer and the ministry of the Word.” The order is significant; prayer first, then the ministry of the Word. Without God, there is no ministry.

Prayer (Fasting)

Spiritual work depends upon spiritual tools. No spiritual tool is as significant or influential as prayer. As Andrew Murray reminds us: “In spiritual work, everything depends upon prayer.” We should maximise spiritual impact by prioritising prayer. Effective spiritual leaders value this spiritual tool, which is prayer.

“The more we pray, the more God works.”

The more we pray, the more God works. When we pray, things begin to change, “…as he (Jesus) was praying, heaven was opened…” (Luke 3:21b, NIV). Elijah was very committed to prayer and “…was a man of like passions to us, and he prayed with prayer that it should not rain; and it did not rain upon the earth three years and six months…” (James 5:17, DARBY). We should always pray and not quit, “…pray always and not become discouraged…” (Luke 18:1, HCSB).

“Prayer is the determining factor…if we don’t, He won’t.” – Jack Hayford.

The substance and exercise of fasting and prayer are critical to our spiritual lives; note the following four reasons and benefits:

    • Fasting has the power to please God by causing righteousness to shine, healing to come, and God’s glory to surround you. It leads to answered prayer (Isaiah 58:6–14).
    • Fasting increases spiritual power and prepares for greater impact. Jesus experienced forty days of prayer and fasting. Immediately after that, we see him preaching with the power of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 4:1–14).
    • Fasting is a powerful aid in spiritual warfare. After his disciples failed to cast out a demon, Jesus did so easily. Then he explained, “This kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21).
    • Daniel’s twenty-one days of fasting and prayer were needed to aid the angel’s assignment to deliver the answer to Daniel’s prayers (Daniel 9:3–10:3).

Ministry of the Word (Read and Reread the Text)

The former Pastor of Westminster Chapel in London, G. Campbell Morgan, would read a book of the Bible 50 times before he lifted his pen in preparation for his sermon. At that point, he began to see things in the text that he overlooked the first few times reading through. As Servants of God, we are mandated to study, teach and preach the Word of God. The relevant three-fold ministry of the Word includes:

    • The studying of God’s Word (Ezra 7:10), “For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.” (NIV)
    • The teaching of God’s Word for making disciples (Matt. 28:20a), “…teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (NIV)
    • The preaching of God’s Word (2 Timothy 4:2), “…preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” (ESV)

In conclusion, we say, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1), and as God’s servants, we should always be nourished and sustained by God’s word, as “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4, ESV).

Many of us are feeling the pressure of the financial situation in our country. Our country is not in a good spot and many decisions that were taken in the past, are having detrimental effects on all of us. But that does not mean that we have to be the victims of what is happening around us. We are children of the Mighty GOD that created heaven and earth and we are living in HIS presence and under HIS promises. He is fully aware of what is happening in our world and is working in this situation to benefit us. But we need to seek His face and follow His leading in our financial conduct.

The soft voice of the Holy Spirit and the principles of the Bible can and will lead you and me through difficult times. Our country had situations that looked unsurmountable in the past, but the men and women of GOD trusted in Him to guide us through.

Principle 1: Tithe

Some of the principles are to be faithful in your tithing. Tithing is not a money issue, but a trust and faith issue. By giving your tithe, you declare that you trust God to provide for you and help you to go much further with the remaining 90% than you would have been able with your full salary. Matt 6:21 says “…where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. Tithing tests where my heart is. I’m sure that many of you have wonderful testimonies of miracles that God did in your own life and the lives of people around you. In difficult times, the thought will come to mind to stop tithing as times are changing. Please don’t fall into this trap, because your tithe is also the seed that will come up and will be your provision of blessing in the future. If you eat your seed, you kill your future blessing.

“Tithing tests where my heart is.”

Principle 2: Spend Wisely

In times like these we should also stick to the habit of spending wisely. Be careful how you spend your money and don’t run after every new fad or flavour just to be in with your crowd. Rather be more conservative and buy things that you need and will last long. Be very careful of slick sales tactics that want to convince you that your life will not be the same without this product or service. We have the God of heaven and earth in our lives and that helps us to live content lives. Hebrews 13:5 says: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Sometimes we need to be reminded that this earthly world will one day pass, and we will take nothing with us to the grave, but our crown is waiting for us.

Principle 3: Save Diligently

Saving diligently is another good habit that we need to keep in place. If we save diligently, we will always have enough when difficult times come. For most of us, saving doesn’t come naturally. We have to plan and execute that plan, but if the habit kicks in, you get the wonderful sense that you are ready for a rainy day.

Principle 4: Live Generously

Lastly, live generously. It will kill selfishness in your life and help you to be a blessing to others. If you can help someone, help them! Don’t turn a blind eye because what you do to the least, God will reward you for. My prayer is that 2023 will be a year of abundance in your life.

On the 25th of May 2023, we will be celebrating our church’s 115th Birthday anniversary. Like the previous year, we are again planning an AFM Logo day where we would like to encourage all our assemblies and members to share, showcase and display the AFM logo everywhere! It was such a blessing last year to witness the high level of participation and response from our church.

This year we are adding a further element together with the AFM Logo day – on this day we are also requesting that every member of the AFM Family reaches out to just one other person to share the love of Christ. It can be an in-person encounter or a call over WhatsApp. It can be someone you know or a complete stranger. One can only imagine the impact when every AFM member takes up his/her calling as a messenger of Christ – sharing His love with just one other person.

The National Office Bearers will release five video clips that will provide practical guidelines on how to share Christ with another person. We are looking forward to celebrating the AFM of SA’s 115th Birthday anniversary and planning to keep the fire burning!

Friendly Regards
Henri Weideman

Pastorale Brief: 1ste Kwartaal (2023)

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

AGS Pastorale Brief_1ste Kwartaal_2023

INLEIDING

AGS Familie,

Aan die einde van 2022, gedurende ons tyd van gebed en nadenke het die Nasionale Ampsdraers gelei gevoel om in 2023 te fokus op die bevestiging en versterking van die Geestelike onderbou van Missionaliteit. Ons het besluit om tyd te spandeer aan wie ons as Heilige Gees vervulde mense en kerk is en hoe ons (behoort te) leef. Tydens die Streekbemagtigingsbesoeke, fokus ons op die tema: HOU DIE VUUR AAN DIE BRAND (“Keep the Fire burning”). Ons deel meer oor ons roeping as gelowiges en pastore; ons geestelike dissipline en bedieningsgetrouheid (insluitende tyd met die Woord en in gebed); die karakter, waardes en norme van Heilige Gees vervulde mense; so wel as ons finansies.

Al die artikels in hierdie uitgawe fokus op die geestelike onderbou van ‘n missionale leefstyl.

Die karakter, waardes en norme van Heilige Gees vervulde mense is sleutelaspekte van die getuienis van ons beweging, asook van die lewenstyl van elke individuele volgeling van Jesus.

    • Karakter verwys na die geestelike, morele en etiese eienskappe en oortuigings van ‘n individu. Dit gaan oor die manier waarop iemand dink, voel en optree.
    • Waardes gaan oor wat jy as belangrik, bruikbaar en van waarde ag.
    • Norme verwys na dit wat ‘n individu of groep beskou as die standaard of aanvaarbare manier waarvolgens iets gedoen word.

In die konteks van die wêreld en die samelewing waarin ons leef, moet ons onsself vra of daar ‘n verskil moet wees tussen die karakter, waardes en norme van ‘n Heilige Gees vervulde persoon en ‘n persoon wat nie met die Heilige Gees vervul is nie. Met ander woorde: Moet ‘n Heilige Gees vervulde mens anders dink oor die lewe, oor wat belangrik en aanvaarbaar is? Moet ‘n Heilige Gees vervulde persoon anders optree? Moet hy/sy emosies anders hanteer en anders praat? Of is daar geen verskil nie?

As daar ‘n verskil is, wat behoort dit wees?

As ons na die geskiedenis kyk, sien ons dat toe daar ‘n behoefte was om diakens aan te stel om in die eerste kerk in Jerusalem te dien, die vereistes wat die twaalf dissipels gestel het, soos volg in Handelinge 6:3 opgeteken is: “…Kies sewe mans onder julle wat daarvoor bekend is dat hulle vol van die Heilige Gees is en wysheid het” (NLV). Die New King James weergawe vertaal dit as: “…men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom.” Die Amplified Bible verwys na mense met “Godly character and moral integrity…”. Dit blyk dat daar iets kenmerkend en opvallend was aan mense wat vol van die Heilige Gees was. Wanneer jy met hulle omgegaan het, het jy iets anders waargeneem en gehoor.

“Die gedagtes en gedrag van Heilige Gees vervulde mense is onder leiding van die Heilige Gees.”

In Efesiërs 3:16 skryf Paulus oor ons geestelike natuur, ons emosies, ons innerlike wese, die kern van wie ons as mense is, wat deur die Heilige Gees opgebou en versterk word. Die gedagtes en gedrag van Heilige Gees vervulde mense is onder leiding van die Heilige Gees. In Romeine 8:9 sê Paulus dat as die Heilige Gees in ons woon, ons nie deur ‘n sondige natuur beheer word nie, maar deur die Heilige Gees. Daar is ‘n ander operasionele stelsel aan die werk in Heilige Gees vervulde mense.

In 2 Tessalonisense 2:13 praat Paulus oor die heiligmakende werk van die Heilige Gees. Dit produseer gedragseienskappe wat verteenwoordigend is van Jesus, in Heilige Gees vervulde mense. Daar word soms na hierdie eienskappe verwys as “Die vrug van die Gees.” Galasiërs 5:22-23 definieer dit as: Liefde, Vreugde, Vrede, Geduld, Vriendelikheid, Goedheid, Getrouheid, Sagmoedigheid en Selfbeheersing.

Ons leef in ‘n wêreld van baie nabootsings. Dit blyk dat daar ‘n vervalste produk beskikbaar is vir alles wat werklik waardevol is. Kan dit ook so wees met die Heilige Gees? Kan mense daarop aanspraak maak dat hulle geestelik is, maar nie die ware krag en wese daarvan reflekteer nie? Kan dit wees dat hulle gedrag, die manier waarop hulle dink, leef en optree – die beeld wat hulle het om Heilige Gees vervulde mense te wees, tot niet maak?

Dit mag nooit van ons waar wees nie. Mag ons pastore, gemeenteleiers en al ons lidmate bekend wees as manne en vroue wat vol van die Heilige Gees is.

God se “roeping” is ’n ope uitnodiging tot redding aan al die verlorenes om na Hom toe te kom om gered te word (Matt 9:13; Matt 9:9-13; Markus 2:17). Terwyl Jesus daarvandaan verder gaan, het Hy ‘n man met die naam Matteus by die tolhuis sien sit en vir hom gesê: “Volg My!” Hy het toe opgestaan en Hom gevolg. Jesus het by hom in sy huis gaan eet, en baie tollenaars en sondaars het saam met Jesus en sy dissipels kom eet. Toe die Fariseërs dit sien, vra hulle vir sy dissipels: “Waarom eet julle leermeester saam met tollenaars en sondaars?” Maar Jesus het dit gehoor en gesê: “Dié wat gesond is, het nie ‘n dokter nodig nie, maar dié wat siek is. Gaan leer wat dit beteken: ‘Ek verwag barmhartigheid en nie offers nie.’ Ek het nie gekom om mense te roep wat op die regte pad is nie, maar sondaars.”

“As ek die evangelie verkondig, is dit nie vir my ‘n rede om te roem nie. Ek verkondig die evangelie omdat ek móét! En wee my as ek dit nie doen nie!” (1 Korintiërs 9:16; AFR83). Paulus se taalgebruik eggo die taal wat soms deur profete gebruik was in reaksie op die lyding wat hulle of ander ervaar het as gevolg van hulle profetiese bediening, en weerspieël die profetiese roeping op sy lewe. Sy ervaring van die verkondiging van die evangelie, is soos die ervaring van daardie Ou-Testamentiese profete wat verplig gevoel het om die Goddelike boodskap wat aan hulle toevertrou is oor te dra, ongeag hul eie begeerte, of gebrek aan begeerte om dit te doen.

Sodra ons die roeping aanvaar het, word die krag van God in ons vrygestel.
1 Korintiërs 1:24 (AFR83) sê: “…maar vir dié wat deur God geroep is, Jode sowel as Grieke, is Christus die krag van God en die wysheid van God.” “God is getrou, Hy wat julle geroep het om verenig te lewe met sy Seun, Christus Jesus, ons Here.” (1 Korintiërs 1:9; AFR83). Die krag van God werk in ons om ons toe te rus vir die taak wat voorlê om meer as oorwinnaars te wees in alle aspekte van die lewe, aangesien ons alles kan doen deur Christus wat ons versterk.

Wandel waardig van jou roeping.
Vir ons om getrou te bly aan ons roeping, moet ons besef dat dit nie meer nodig is om “ons plek te verdien” nie. Ons is vrygemaak van enige vorm van ‘n minderwaardige lewe en is nou in staat om ons lewens volgens die standaard van Jesus Christus te leef. Paulus gee die eerste drie hoofstukke in Efesiërs om die waarheid vas te stel dat ons “in Christus” gevind word en daag ons dan uit om volgens daardie roeping te lewe: “Ek druk julle dit op die hart, ek wat ‘n gevangene is omdat ek die Here dien: Laat julle lewenswandel in ooreenstemming wees met die roeping wat julle van God ontvang het. Wees altyd beskeie, vriendelik en geduldig, en verdra mekaar in liefde.  Lê julle daarop toe om die eenheid wat die Gees tussen julle gesmee het, te handhaaf deur in vrede met mekaar te lewe.” (Efesiërs 4:1-3; AFR83).

Maak ‘n impak en verskil in ander se lewens.
Want ons is vir God die geur van Christus onder die wat gered word en onder die wat verlore gaan. Vir die een is ons die geur van die dood wat tot die dood lei, en vir die ander die geur van die lewe wat tot die lewe lei (2 Korintiërs 2:15-16). Die lewegewende volgeling wat luister na die roepstem van God, is die een wie se hart altyd dors is na God, wie se siel altyd smag om God te soek en te volg, wie se oog alleen op God gerig is en in wie deur die krag van God se Gees, die vlees en die wêreld gekruisig het. Ons lewens moet wees soos die vrygewige vloed van ‘n lewegewende rivier. Ek sluit af met ‘n gebed wat ons gewoonlik sing:

“Touch my life Lord Jesus, with thy nail scared hand, as for Thee I live and daily take my stand, let my life overflow so that others may know, Thou has touched my life with thy nail scared hand.”

As Nasionale Ampsdraers het ons hierdie jaar verklaar as ‘n seisoen om die vuur van die Heilige Gees aan die brand te hou deur te fokus op gebed, vas en die kennis van God se Woord. Ons geestelike lewe is gekoppel aan toewyding in gebed en die bediening van die Woord van God, soos aangedui in Handelinge 6:4 (AFR83): “Ons sal dan al ons aandag aan gebed en die bediening van die woord bly gee.” Die Apostels het hulleself gewy “…aan gebed en die bediening van die woord…”. Die volgorde is betekenisvol – eerste gebed, dan die bediening van die Woord. Sonder die Here is daar geen bediening nie.

“Sonder die Here is daar geen bediening nie.”

Gebed (en Vas)

Geestelike werk hang af van geestelike “gereedskap”. Geen geestelike hulpmiddel is so betekenisvol of invloedryk soos gebed nie. Soos Andrew Murray ons herinner: “In spiritual work, everything depends upon prayer.” Ons moet geestelike impak maksimeer deur gebed te prioritiseer. Effektiewe geestelike leiers waardeer gebed as geestelike hulpmiddel.

“Hoe meer ons bid, hoe meer werk God.”

Hoe meer ons bid, hoe meer werk God. Wanneer ons bid begin dinge verander. “…en (toe) Hy (Jesus) besig was om te bid, het die hemel oopgegaan” (Lukas 3:21; AFR83). Elia was baie toegewyd aan gebed en “…was ‘n mens net soos ons, en hy het ernstig gebid dat dit nie moes reën nie, en dit het op die aarde drie jaar en ses maande lank nie gereën nie…” (Jakobus 5:17; AFR83). Ons moet altyd bid en nie ophou nie, “…dat ‘n mens gedurig moet bid en nie moedeloos word nie…” (Lukas 18:1; AFR83).

“Prayer is the determining factor…if we don’t, He won’t.” – Jack Hayford.

Vas en gebed is van kritieke belang vir ons geestelike lewens en hou die volgende voordele in:

    • Vas het die krag om God te behaag deur geregtigheid sigbaar te maak, genesing te laat kom en jouself te omring met God se heerlikheid. Dit lei tot verhoorde gebed (Jesaja 58:6–14).
    • Vas verhoog geestelike krag en berei jou voor vir groter impak. Jesus het veertig dae van gebed en vas beleef. Onmiddellik daarna sien ons hom preek met die krag van die Heilige Gees. (Lukas 4:1–14).
    • Vas is ‘n kragtige hulpmiddel in geestelike oorlogvoering. Nadat sy dissipels nie daarin geslaag het om ‘n demoon uit te dryf nie, het Jesus dit maklik gedoen. Toe het hy verduidelik: “Maar hierdie geslag gaan nie uit behalwe deur gebed en vas nie.” (Matteus 17:21).
    • Daniël se een-en-twintig dae van vas en gebed was nodig om die engel in sy opdrag te help om die antwoord op Daniël se gebede te lewer (Daniël 9:3–10:3). 

      Bediening van die Woord (Lees en herlees die teks)

      Die voormalige Pastoor van Westminster Chapel in Londen, G. Campbell Morgan, sou ‘n boek van die Bybel 50 keer lees voordat hy sy pen opgelig het ter voorbereiding van sy preek. Op daardie stadium het hy dinge in die teks begin sien wat hy die eerste paar keer toe hy deurgelees het, misgekyk het. As dienaars van God is ons verplig om die Woord van God te bestudeer, te onderrig en te verkondig. Die betrokke drievoudige bediening van die Woord sluit in:

      • Die bestudering van God se Woord (Esra 7:10; AFR83), “Esra het hom gewy aan die wet van die Here. Hy wou dit in die praktyk toepas en Israel elke voorskrif en bepaling leer.”
      • Om ander te leer van God se Woord (om te onderrig) vir die maak van dissipels, “…leer hulle om alles te onderhou wat Ek julle beveel het.” (Matteus 28:20; AFR83).
      • Die prediking van God se Woord (2 Timoteus 4:2; AFR83), “…verkondig die woord; hou daarmee vol, tydig en ontydig; weerlê, bestraf, bemoedig deur met alle geduld onderrig te gee.”

       

      Ten slotte sê ons: “Here, leer ons bid…” (Lukas 11:1; AFR83), en as God se diensknegte moet ons altyd deur God se Woord gevoed en onderhou word, want “…’n Mens leef nie net van brood nie maar van elke woord wat uit die mond van God kom.” (Matteus 4:4; AFR83).

Baie van ons voel die druk van die finansiële situasie in ons land. Ons land is nie tans op ‘n goeie plek nie en baie besluite wat in die verlede geneem is, het ‘n nadelige uitwerking op ons almal. Maar dit beteken nie dat ons die slagoffers moet wees van wat rondom ons gebeur nie. Ons is kinders van die Magtige GOD wat hemel en aarde geskep het en ons leef in SY teenwoordigheid en onder SY beloftes. Hy is ten volle bewus van wat in ons wêreld gebeur. In hierdie situasie werk Hy nog steeds om ons te bevoordeel. Maar ons moet Sy aangesig en Sy leiding soek in ons finansies.

Die sagte stem van die Heilige Gees en die beginsels van die Bybel kan en sal jou en my deur moeilike tye lei. Ons land het situasies gehad wat in die verlede onoorkombaar gelyk het, maar die manne en vroue van GOD het op Hom vertrou om ons daardeur te lei.

Beginsel 1: Gee Jou Tiende

Een van die belangsrikste beginsels is om getrou te wees in die gee van jou tiende. Tiendes is nie ‘n geldkwessie nie, maar ‘n vertroue- en geloofskwessie. Deur jou tiende te gee, verklaar jy dat jy God vertrou om vir jou te voorsien en jou te help om met die oorblywende 90% baie verder te gaan as wat jy met jou volle salaris sou kon. Matteus 6:21 sê “…daar waar jou skat is, daar sal jou hart ook wees”. Tiendes toets waar my hart is. Ek is seker dat baie van julle wonderlike getuienisse het van wonderwerke wat God in jou eie lewe en die lewens van mense rondom jou gedoen het. In moeilike tye sal die gedagte by jou opkom om tiendes te stop. Moet asseblief nie in hierdie strik trap nie, want jou tiende is ook die saad wat sal opkom en jou voorsiening van seën in die toekoms sal wees. As jy jou saad eet, maak jy jou toekomstige seën dood.

“Tiendes toets waar my hart is.”

Beginsel 2: Spandeer Verstandig

In tye soos hierdie moet ons ook by die gewoonte hou om verstandig te bestee. Wees versigtig hoe jy jou geld spandeer en moenie agter elke nuwe gier of geur aanhardloop net om populêr te bly nie. Wees liewer meer konserwatief en koop goed wat jy nodig het en lank sal hou. Wees baie versigtig vir misleidende verkoopstaktieke wat jou wil oortuig dat jou lewe nie dieselfde sal wees sonder hierdie produk of diens nie. Ons het die God van hemel en aarde in ons lewens, en dit sy teenwoordigheid help ons om tevrede te leef. Hebreërs 13:5 sê: “Hou julle lewe vry van geldgierigheid; wees tevrede met wat julle het. God self het gesê: “Ek sal jou nooit verlaat nie, jou nooit in die steek laat nie.” Soms moet ons daaraan herinner word dat hierdie aardse wêreld eendag sal verbygaan en ons sal niks kan saamneem graf toe nie – maar ons kroon wag vir ons.

Beginsel 3: Spaar Ywerig

Om ywerig te spaar is nog ‘n goeie gewoonte wat ons in plek moet hou. As ons ywerig spaar, sal ons altyd genoeg hê wanneer moeilike tye kom. Vir die meeste van ons kom spaar nie natuurlik nie. Ons moet dit egter beplan en uitvoer, maar as die gewoonte inskop kry jy die wonderlike gevoel dat jy reg is vir ‘n reënerige dag.

Beginsel 4: Leef Vrygewig

Laastens, leef vrygewig. Dit sal selfsug in jou lewe doodmaak en jou help om ‘n seën vir ander te wees. As jy iemand kan help, help hulle! Moenie doekies omdraai nie, want wat jy aan die minste doen, sal God jou voor beloon. My gebed is dat 2023 ‘n jaar van oorvloed in jou lewe sal wees.

Op die 25ste Mei 2023 vier ons ons kerk se 115de verjaarsdag herdenking. Soos die vorige jaar beplan ons weer ‘n AGS Embleem dag waar ons graag al ons gemeentes en lidmate wil aanmoedig om die AGS embleem oral te deel en ten toon te stel! Dit was so ‘n seën verlede jaar om die hoë vlakke van deelname en reaksie van ons kerk te aanskou.

Hierdie jaar voeg ons ‘n verdere element by saam met die AGS Embleem dag – op hierdie dag versoek ons ​​ook dat elke lidmaat van die AGS Familie sal uitreik na net een ander persoon en die liefde van Christus met hulle sal deel. Dit kan ‘n persoonlike ontmoeting of ‘n oproep oor Whatsapp wees. Dit kan iemand wees wat jy ken of ‘n totale vreemdeling. Mens kan jou net indink wat die impak kan wees wanneer elke AGS-lidmaat sy/haar roeping as ‘n boodskapper van Christus opneem – om Sy liefde met net een ander persoon te deel.

Die Nasionale Ampsdraers gaan vyf videogrepe vry stel wat praktiese riglyne sal verskaf oor hoe om Christus met ‘n ander persoon te deel. Ons sien uit daarna om die AGS van SA se 115de verjaarsdag herdenking te vier en beplan om die vuur aan die brand te hou (“Keep the Fire Burning”)!

Vriendelike Groete
Henri Weideman

Pastoral Letter: 4th Quarter 2022

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

Pastoral Letter 4th Quarter 2022_2 DEC

TABLE OF CONTENTS

– INTRODUCTION
– A FOCUS ON SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION
– PRAYER & FASTING WEEK: 16-20 JANUARY 2023
– LOOKING BACK ON 2022: REFLECTIONS
– CHRISTMAS GREETINGS

INTRODUCTION

Dear AFM Family,

At the heart of the conversation on being a missional Church lies a challenge: To recover and deepen our Spiritual identity and life as Christians in a post-Christendom world. This is especially relevant for us as a church, living and operating in diverse communities – surrounded by cultures that can no longer be assumed to produce Christians. Join me in this edition of the Pastoral Letter as I share more on the Spiritual foundation of a missional Church. I also urge our members and Assemblies to actively participate in a Church-wide week of prayer and fasting from 16-20 January 2023. Lastly, we reflect on 2022 and the most important highlights of the year.

 

A FOCUS ON SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION

Dr H.J. Weideman (President of the AFM of SA)

In “A Missional Theology of Spiritual Formation” (2012, pg.3) Dr Dwight J. Zscheile, Professor of Congregational Mission and Leadership at the Luther Seminary in Minneapolis, quotes Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton’s, “Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005) and refers to a phenomenon they call “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.”

This phenomenon which is also widely present among American adults and certainly in South Africa as well describes a spirituality in which:

    • A God exists who created and orders the world and watches over human life on earth.
    • God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.
    • The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
    • God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when needed to resolve a problem.
    • Good people go to heaven when they die.
In short, it describes a spirituality that is moralistic in nature and therapeutic in practice. It helps you to be a respectable person and to feel good about yourself. An alarming indicator of this is the striking inability of most young people in Smith’s study to articulate their faith pragmatically.

Unless our AFM Missional Strategy and its five drivers: Discipleship, Empowerment, Community Involvement, Ecumenical Involvement and Good Governance are based on an authentic Holy Spirit- anchored Spirituality, it will only produce nice sounding slogans and academic exercises, but no real fruit and Life. “The core Christian practices, such as worship, prayer, service, fellowship, and witness all have missional dimensions. Through them God shapes us into a called people who are sent to testify to the inbreaking of God’s reign in a world of many faiths and no faith. That testimony unfolds in part through the public practices of the Christian community as it lives a way of life marked by mercy, forgiveness, generosity, reconciliation, and hope. Through the Holy Spirit this community offers a living, visible alternative to a society rent by enmity, division, greed, injustice, and hopelessness.” (Dwight J. Zscheile, “A Missional Theology of Spiritual Formation” 2012, Pg. 26.)

“…the church is a product of and an active participant in God’s mission.”

As a missional church, we must view mission as definitive of what the church IS, because the church is a product of and an active participant in God’s mission. All our members are missionaries, not just a select few. Every believer and every local Church are central to God’s mission and must discern where and how He is moving in their specific context and join up with Him. Without continuously cultivating a renewed spiritual identity and life as a community of Jesus followers, we will lose our ability to witness to salvation in Christ and to be of service in God’s world. This will cause us to be a Pentecostal Church only in name.

The National Office Bearers felt led to focus on the strengthening and impartation of the Spiritual Foundation of Missionality in 2023 and to spend time on who we are and how we live as Holy Spirit-filled people and church.

During the 2023 Regional Empowerment Visits, we will focus on the theme: “Keep the Fire Burning” and share more on (i) Our calling as Believers and Pastors; (ii) Daily time with the Word and in Prayer; (iii) The Character, Values and Norms of Holy Spirit-filled People; and (iv) Our Family Life and Future Planning. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

PRAYER & FASTING WEEK: 16-20 JANUARY 2023
Dr H.J. Weideman (President of the AFM of SA)

Prayer is foundational to our faith as Pentecostal believers. History clearly shows that all Spiritual deepening, revitalization or revivals were birthed in the context of prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 (NIV) instructs us to: “…pray continually, (and to) give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Prayer is sometimes only used as a way to bring our list of requests to God. Philippians 4:6 certainly teaches us not to be anxious about anything but to make our request known to God by prayer and supplication. Prayer is however intended to be a way to build a relationship with God. A way to be in conversation with Him and to listen to His voice.

“We must be praying for spiritual deepening and strength and not for things or ease of living.”

Prayer should not be used as a technique to try and escape from difficulties but rather be a stimulus to growth. We must be praying for spiritual deepening and strength and not for things or ease of living.  Fasting and prayer can play a significant role in restoring and strengthening our intimacy with God. Many long-time Christians find that fasting helps them to reinforce their commitment to God and to humble and submit themselves to the Word and will of God.

 

As the leaders of the AFM in South Africa, we are calling on all our Pastors, Assembly Leaders and members to make a determined effort to revitalize and energize our traditional focus on prayer during the month of January. I ask you to lead your Assembly in prayer and fasting during the week of 16 to 20 January 2023. Five short video clips will be made available on social media from Friday, 13 January 2023. This can be used as a point of departure during prayer meetings, or in WhatsApp communication over the five days – as a tool to guide and empower.

The following topics will be covered:

PRAY: What and Why.
PRAY: Intentionally.
PRAY: Fervently.
PRAY: Frequently.
PRAY: And Fast.

We acknowledge the fact that our Assemblies function within diverse contexts and therefore we do not want to be prescriptive on how you should structure this week of prayer and fasting. As the National Office Bearers, we however urge you to give attention to this crucial matter and to find a way that will work effectively in your context. We believe that the promise made in 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) is still true today: “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

LOOKING BACK ON 2022: REFLECTIONS
Past. Barend Petersen (Deputy President of the AFM of SA)


When we reflect on the global and South African events in 2022, the first post-COVID-19 year, one is almost bewildered by the state of flux and crisis the world is in. The global pandemic has taken many lives and was the greatest threat to global health in more than a century – with devastating consequences on lives and livelihoods. It led to a global economic recession, uncertainty and irreversible change. It brought home the interconnectedness of all countries and people and may change the way economies operate.

Just as the world was beginning to recover from the devastating impact of the pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war has triggered uncertainty about the recovery of the global economy. The war is having an outsized impact on the global supply chain, impeding the flow of goods, fueling dramatic cost increases and product shortages, and is threatening the supply of key food resources like wheat –  raising the possibility of global famine.

South Africa is plagued by multiple challenges including the damaging consequences of the pandemic, eroding trust in the political system, corruption, poverty, inequality, a lack of social cohesion, poor service delivery, the weakening capacity of the state to improve the lives of the citizens – in fact too many to mention. This together with a lack of social cohesion, the relentless pursuit of narrow self-interest and the erosion of the value of common good conduct could, if not adequately addressed, have devasting consequences for South Africa.

It is important to remember that it is not the first time that the world is facing turbulence, uncertainty, wars, famine and corrupt rulers and recognising that ultimately God prevails – that all of our help cometh from the Lord. Be reminded of Lamentations 3: 22 -24, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him.”

On 5 April 2022, we celebrated our church’s 26th anniversary of the historic day on 5 April 1996, when Dr Isak Burger and Pastor Frank Chikane, prompted by the Holy Spirit took to the stage in the presence of many and on live television. A historic reconciliation between our racially divided church was witnessed. On 3 April 1996, the AFM of SA achieved structural unity when the joint Workers Council overwhelmingly adopted a new constitution and elected National Office Bearers for the united AFM. We are not yet what we ought to be, but we are no longer what we used to be – to God be the glory.

During January 2022, the newly elected National Office Bearers considered the strategic positioning and impact of the AFM in South Africa as we endeavour to inspire and mobilise our whole church to take the whole gospel to the whole world and in particular to our country. We firmly believe that the Spirit of God is given to believers to live dynamic and overcoming lives and that believers can demonstrate the character, love and power of their Lord, Jesus Christ, in their daily lives. In March 2022, after prayer and reflection, the National Leadership Forum (NLF) approved the Strategic Missional Focus Areas developed by the National Office Bearers to respond to the challenges of our time. The Strategic Plans were approved during the July 2022 NLF meeting to realise our desire to saturate our communities with the presence of God and the principles of His Kingdom – to be the salt and the light of the world.

“The National Office Bearers pray that you will experience hope and great joy as we celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ our Saviour.”

Luke 2: 9-14
“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

CHRISTMAS GREETINGS

It seems to me that the retail world, especially in the shopping malls in the bigger towns and cities, as well as electronic media, are displaying Christmas decorations and promotions earlier and earlier each year. There seems to be no end to the commercialization of one of the key events of the Christian life and calendar. We are again entering this so-called “silly season” where many people are buying gifts for their children and loved ones – gifts they actually cannot afford and often do not really need. I urge you not to fall into the trap of the commercialization of the birth of Jesus and the idea that gifts are mandatory and must be big and expensive.

Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour and should be celebrated as such.”

Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour and should be celebrated as such. There is some controversy around the origins and date of Christmas festivities. However, it is one of the cultural occurrences that Christians sanctified and use to celebrate the birth of Jesus – confirming our faith. If gifts are involved, they should serve as reminders of the greatest gift of all: Salvation through the birth, life and death of Jesus.

I wish all our members, Assembly Leaders, Pastors, Regional- and Departmental leadership, and Committees as well as all NLF members, a blessed and peaceful celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.  May you experience pleasant times of togetherness with family and loved ones, and may 2023 be a year of new growth and fruitfulness for us all.
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a son is given: And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.” Isaiah 9:6-7a (NKJV)

Blessings
Henri Weideman

Pastorale Brief: 4de Kwartaal 2022

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

Pastorale Brief 4de Kwartaal 2022_2 DES

INHOUD

– GROETE
– ‘N FOKUS OP ONS GEESTELIKE BASIS
– WEEK VAN GEBED EN VAS: 16-20 JANUARIE 2023
– ‘n TERUGBLIK OP 2022: HOOGTEPUNTE –
– KERSFEES GROETE


INLEIDING

Beste AGS Familie,

Sentraal tot die gesprek oor missionale kerkwees lê daar ‘n uitdaging: Om ons Geestelike identiteit en lewe as Christene in ‘n post-Christendom wêreld te herstel en te verdiep. Dit is veral relevant vir ons as ‘n kerk wat leef en werk in diverse gemeenskappe, omring deur kulture wat nie meer vanselfsprekend Christene voortbring nie. In hierdie uitgawe van die jongste Pastorale Brief deel ek meer oor die Geestelike grondslag van ‘n missionale kerk. Ek doen ook ‘n beroep op ons lidmate en Gemeentes om aktief deel te neem aan ‘n kerkwye week van gebed en vas vanaf 16-20 Januarie 2023. Laastens, besin ons oor 2022 en die belangrikste hoogtepunte van die jaar.

‘N FOKUS OP ONS GEESTELIKE BASIS

Dr H.J. Weideman (President van die AGS van SA)

In “A Missional Theology of Spiritual Formation” (2012, pg.3) haal Dr Dwight J. Zscheile, Professor in Gemeente Missionaliteit en Leierskap aan die Luther Kweekskool in Minneapolis, aan uit Christian Smith en Melinda Lundquist Denton, se “Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), en verwys na ‘n verskynsel wat hulle “Moralistiese Terapeutiese Deisme” noem.

Hierdie verskynsel wat algemeen voorkom onder Amerikaanse volwassenes en beslis ook in Suid-Afrika, beskryf ‘n spiritualiteit waarin:

    • Daar ‘n God bestaan wat die wêreld geskep en georden het en nou toekyk hoe die mense op aarde lewe.
    • God wil hê dat mense goed, gaaf en regverdig teenoor mekaar moet wees, soos geleer word in die Bybel en deur die meeste wêreldgodsdienste.
    • Die sentrale doel van die lewe is om gelukkig te wees en goed oor jouself te voel.
    • God nie besonder betrokke hoef te wees in ‘n mens se lewe nie, behalwe wanneer hy benodig word om probleme op te los wanneer hulle sterf.
    • Goeie mense hemel toe gaan.

Kortom, dit beskryf ‘n spiritualiteit wat moralisties van aard en terapeuties in praktyk is. Dit help jou om ‘n gerespekteerde persoon te wees en om goed oor jouself te voel. ‘n Onrusbarende aanduiding van die bestaan van hierdie verskynsel is die opvallende onvermoë van die meeste jongmense in Smith se studie om hul geloof op ‘n pragmatiese manier te verwoord.

Indien ons AGS Missionale Strategie en sy vyf drywers: Dissipelskap, Bemagtiging, Ekumeniese Betrokkenheid, Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid en Goeie Bestuur nie gebaseer is op ‘n outentieke Heilige Gees geankerde Spiritualiteit nie, sal dit net mooi klinkende slagspreuke en akademiese oefeninge oplewer, maar geen werklike vrug en Lewe nie. “Die kern Christelike praktyke, soos aanbidding, gebed, diensbaarheid, gemeenskap en getuienis, het almal missionale dimensies. Deur hulle vorm God ons tot ‘n geroepe volk wat gestuur word om te getuig van die inbreking van God se heerskappy in ‘n wêreld van baie gelowe en geen geloof nie. Daardie getuienis ontvou deels deur die openbare praktyke van die Christelike gemeenskap, omdat dit ‘n lewenswyse leef wat gekenmerk word deur genade, vergifnis, vrygewigheid, versoening en hoop. Deur die Heilige Gees bied hierdie gemeenskap ‘n lewende, sigbare alternatief vir ‘n samelewing wat deur vyandskap, verdeeldheid, gierigheid, onreg en hopeloosheid geskend word.” (Dwight J. Zscheile, “A Missional Theology of Spiritual Formation” 2012, Bl. 26.)

“Al ons lidmate is sendelinge, nie net ‘n paar uitgesoektes nie”

As ‘n missionale kerk moet ons missionaliteit (sending) beskou as omskrywend van wat die kerk IS, want die kerk is ‘n produk van en ‘n aktiewe deelnemer aan God se sending. Al ons lidmate is sendelinge, nie net ‘n paar uitgesoektes nie. Elke gelowige en elke plaaslike Gemeente staan sentraal in God se sending, en moet onderskei waar en hoe Hy in hulle spesifieke konteks beweeg – en met Hóm saamwerk. As ons nie voortdurend ‘n hernude Geestelike identiteit en lewe as ‘n gemeenskap van Jesus-volgelinge kweek nie, sal ons ons vermoë om van die verlossing in Christus te getuig en diensbaar te wees in God se wêreld, verloor. Dit sal veroorsaak dat ons slegs in ons naam ‘n Pinksterkerk is.

Die Nasionale Ampsdraers het gelei gevoel om te fokus op die versterking en meedeling van die Geestelike fondasie van Missionaliteit in 2023, en om tyd te spandeer aan wie ons as Heilige Gees vervulde mense en -kerk is en hoe ons prakties leef.

Tydens die Streekbemagtigingsbesoeke sal ons fokus op die tema: “Hou die Vuur aan die Brand”  en sal ons meer deel oor: (i) Ons Roeping as Gelowiges en Pastore; (ii) Daaglikse tyd met die Woord en Gebed; (iii) Die Karakter, Waardes en Norme van Heilige Gees vervulde Mense; en (iv) Ons Gesinslewe  en Toekomsbeplanning. Ons vertrou om jou daar te sien!

WEEK VAN GEBED EN VAS: 16-20 JANUARIE 2023

Dr H.J. Weideman (President van die AGS van SA)

Gebed is die grondslag van ons geloof as Pinkstergelowiges. Die geskiedenis toon duidelik dat alle geestelike verdieping, verfrissing of herlewing, in die konteks van gebed gebore is. 1 Tessalonisense 5:17-18 (NLV) leer ons die volgende: “Moenie ophou bid nie. Wees in alle omstandighede dankbaar, want dit is wat God van julle verwag, omdat julle met Christus Jesus verenig is.”

Gebed word soms net gebruik as ‘n manier om ons lys van versoeke na God te bring. Filippense 4:6 leer ons om oor niks besorg te wees nie, maar om ons behoeftes deur gebed en smeking aan God bekend te maak. Gebed is egter bedoel om ‘n manier te wees wat ons help om ‘n beter verhouding met God te bou. ‘n Manier om in gesprek met Hom te wees en na Sy stem te luister.

“Ons moet bid vir geestelike verdieping en krag en nie vir besittings of vir ‘n gemaklike lewe nie.”

Gebed moet nie as ‘n tegniek gebruik word om van probleme te probeer ontsnap nie, maar moet eerder ‘n stimulus vir groei wees. Ons moet bid vir geestelike verdieping en krag en nie vir besittings of vir ‘n gemaklike lewe nie. Vas en gebed kan ‘n belangrike rol speel in die herstel en versterking van ons intimiteit met God. Baie jarelange Christene vind dat vas hulle help om hulle toewyding aan God te versterk en om hulleself aan die Woord en wil van God te onderwerp.

As die leiers van die AGS in Suid-Afrika doen ons ‘n beroep op al ons Pastore, Gemeenteleiers en lidmate om ‘n doelbewuste poging aan te wend om ons tradisionele fokus op gebed gedurende Januariemaand te laat herleef en energiek aan te wakker. Hiermee rig ek ‘n dringende versoek dat jy jou Gemeente gedurende die week van 16 tot 20 Januarie 2023 in gebed en vas sal lei.

Vyf kort videogrepe sal vanaf 13 Januarie 2023 op sosiale media beskikbaar gestel word. Dit kan gebruik word as ‘n vertrekpunt tydens gebedsbyeenkomste, of in WhatsApp-kommunikasie oor die vyf dae as ‘n instrument om te lei en te bemagtig.

Die volgende onderwerpe sal  behandel word:
BID: Wat en waarom.
BID: Doelgerig.
BID: Vurig.
BID: Gereeld.
BID: En vas.

Ons erken die feit dat ons Gemeentes in verskillende kontekste funksioneer en daarom wil ons nie voorskriftelik wees oor hoe jy hierdie week van gebed en vas moet struktureer nie. As die Nasionale Ampsdraers doen ons egter ‘n beroep op Gemeentes om aandag te gee aan hierdie belangrike saak en om ‘n manier te vind wat effektief in jou Gemeente se konteks sal werk.

Ons glo dat die belofte wat in 2 Kron 7:14 (NLV) gemaak is, vandag nog waar is: “Wanneer die volk wat my Naam dra, hulle verootmoedig en bid, en My weer soek en hulle afkeer van hulle bose lewens, sal Ek in die hemel hoor en hulle sondes vergewe en hulle land gesond maak.

‘n TERUGBLIK OP 2022: HOOGTEPUNTE
Past. Barend Petersen (Adjunkpresident van die AGS van SA)


Wanneer ons nadink oor die wêreld- en Suid-Afrikaanse gebeure in 2022, die eerste jaar ná COVID-19, is ‘n mens amper verbysterd oor die toestand van krisis waarin die wêreld verkeer. Die wêreldwye pandemie het baie lewens geneem en was die grootste bedreiging vir wêreldgesondheid in meer as ‘n eeu – met verwoestende gevolge op lewens en lewensbestaan. Dit het gelei tot ‘n wêreldwye ekonomiese resessie, onsekerheid en onomkeerbare verandering. Dit het ‘n mens weereens laat besef hoe lande en mense onderling verbind is met mekaar en kan die manier waarop ekonomieë funksioneer verander.

Net toe die wêreld begin herstel het van die verwoestende impak van die pandemie, het die oorlog tussen Rusland en Oekraïne onsekerheid oor die herstel van die wêreldekonomie veroorsaak. Die oorlog het ‘n groot negatiewe impak op: die wêreldwye voorsieningsketting, die vloei van goedere, dramatiese kostestygings en produktekorte en bedreig die verskaffing van sleutelvoedselbronne soos koring – wat die moontlikheid van wêreldwye hongersnood verhoog.

Suid-Afrika word geteister deur veelvuldige uitdagings, insluitend die skadelike gevolge van die pandemie, dalende vertroue in die politieke stelsel, korrupsie, armoede, ongelykheid, ‘n gebrek aan samehorigheid, swak dienslewering en die verswakkende vermoë van die staat om die lewens van Suid-Afrikaanse burgers te verbeter – eintlik te veel uitdagings om op te noem. Dit tesame met ‘n gebrek aan sosiale kohesie, die meedoënlose strewe na eiebelang en die dalende waarde van  algemene goeie gedrag kan, indien dit nie voldoende aangespreek word nie, verwoestende gevolge vir Suid-Afrika inhou.

Dit is belangrik om te onthou dat dit nie die eerste keer is dat die wêreld onstuimigheid, onsekerheid, oorloë, hongersnood en korrupte leiers in die gesig staar nie en erken dat God uiteindelik seëvier – dat al ons hulp van die Here kom. Laat ons herinner word aan Klaagliedere 3:22-24 (AFR83): “…deur die liefde van die Here het ons nie vergaan nie; daar is geen einde aan Sy ontferming nie, dit is elke môre nuut. U trou is groot. Ek sê vir myself: Die Here is my lewe, daarom hoop ek op Hom.”

Op 5 April 2022 het ons die kerk se 26ste herdenking van die geskiedkundige dag op 5 April 1996 gevier toe Dr Isak Burger en Past. Frank Chikane aangespoor deur die Heilige Gees, in die teenwoordigheid van baie getuies en op regstreekse televisie hulle plekke op die verhoog ingeneem het. ‘n Historiese versoening tussen ons rasverdeelde kerk is aanskou. Op 3 April 1996 het die AGS van SA strukturele eenheid bereik toe die gesamentlike Werkersraad oorweldigend ‘n nuwe grondwet aanvaar en Nasionale Ampsdraers vir die verenigde AGS verkies het. Ons is nog nie wat ons behoort te wees nie, maar ons is nie meer wat ons was nie – aan God kom die eer toe.

Gedurende Januarie 2022 het die nuutverkose Nasionale Ampsdraers die strategiese posisionering en impak van die AGS in Suid-Afrika oorweeg, terwyl ons poog om ons hele kerk te inspireer en te mobiliseer rondom die volgende: “The whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world!” – en in besonder met verwysing na ons eie land. Ons glo vas dat die Gees van God aan gelowiges gegee word om dinamiese en oorwinnende lewens te lei en dat gelowiges die karakter, liefde en krag van hul Here, Jesus Christus, in hul daaglikse lewens kan demonstreer.

In Maart 2022, na gebed en oordenking, het die Nasionale Leierskapsforum (NLF) die Strategiese Missionale Fokusareas goedgekeur wat deur die Nasionale Ampsdraers ontwikkel is om op die uitdagings van ons tyd te reageer. Die Strategiese Planne is tydens die Julie 2022 NLF-vergadering goedgekeur. Ons begeerte is om ons gemeenskappe te voed met die teenwoordigheid van God en die beginsels van Sy Koninkryk – om die sout en die lig van die wêreld te wees.

Die Nasionale Ampsdraers bid dat jy hoop en groot vreugde sal ervaar terwyl ons die verjaarsdag van Jesus Christus ons Verlosser vier.

Lukas 2:9-14 (AFR83):

Meteens staan daar ‘n engel van die Here by hulle, en die heerlikheid van die Here het rondom hulle geskyn. Hulle het baie groot geskrik. Toe sê die engel vir hulle: “Moenie bang wees nie, want kyk, ek bring vir julle ‘n goeie tyding van groot blydskap wat vir die hele volk bestem is. Vandag is daar vir julle in die stad van Dawid die Verlosser gebore, Christus die Here! En dit is vir julle die teken: julle sal ‘n kindjie vind wat in doeke toegedraai is en in ‘n krip lê.” Skielik was daar saam met die engel ‘n menigte engele uit die hemel wat God prys en sê: “Eer aan God in die hoogste hemel, en vrede op aarde vir die mense in wie Hy ‘n welbehae het!”

KERSFEES GROETE

Elke jaar lyk dit vir my asof die kleinhandelswêreld, veral in die winkelsentrums in die groter dorpe en stede, sowel as op elektroniese media, al hoe vroeër en vroeër Kersversierings en promosies tentoonstel. Dit lyk asof daar geen einde is aan die kommersialisering van een van die belangrikste gebeurtenisse in die Christelike lewe en kalender nie. Ons betree weer hierdie sogenaamde “silly season” waar baie mense geskenke vir hul kinders en geliefdes koop, wat hulle eintlik nie kan bekostig nie en dikwels nie regtig nodig het nie. Ek moedig jou aan om nie in die strik te trap van die kommersialisering van die geboorte van Jesus en die gedagte dat geskenke verpligtend is en groot en duur moet wees nie.

Kersfees gaan oor die geboorte van Jesus Christus, ons Here en Verlosser, en moet as sodanig gevier word.”

Kersfees gaan oor die geboorte van Jesus Christus, ons Here en Verlosser, en moet as sodanig gevier word. Daar is ‘n mate  van kontroversie oor die oorsprong en datum van Kersfeesvieringe. Dit is egter een van die kulturele gebeurtenisse wat Christene geheilig het en gebruik om die geboorte van Jesus te vier en om ons geloof te bevestig. Indien geskenke betrokke is, moet dit dien as ‘n herinnering aan die grootste geskenk van almal: Verlossing deur die geboorte, lewe en dood van Jesus.

Ek wens al ons lidmate, Gemeenteleiers, Pastore, streeks- en departementele leierskap en komitees sowel as alle NLF-lede ‘n geseënde en vreedsame viering van die geboorte van Jesus Christus toe.  Mag jy aangename tye van samesyn met familie en geliefdes beleef, en mag 2023 ‘n jaar van nuwe groei en vrug vir ons almal wees.

“Want ’n Kind is vir ons gebore, ’n Seun is aan ons gegee. Hy sal die heerser wees met die koninklike titels: Wonderbare Raadsman, Magtige God, Ewige Vader, Vredevors. Sy heerskappy en vrede sal voortdurend uitbrei en nooit ophou nie.” Jesaja 9:5-6 (NLV)

Seëninge!
Henri Weideman

Pastoral Letter 3rd Quarter 2022

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

AFM Pastoral Letter 3rd Quarter 2022

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION
CALLED TO THE MISSIONAL FRONTLINE IN A TURBULENT WORLD
EVANGELISM & DISCIPLESHIP FOR GENERATIONS Y & Z
WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES ASSEMBLY: REFLECTIONS
CONCLUSION

INTRODUCTION

Dear AFM Family,

We were blessed to be part of two interesting events over the last few weeks. Many of us attended the AFM International (AFMI) Triennial Council and Conference in Gaborone Botswana, and the National Office Bearers also attended the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Karlsruhe, Germany.

During the AFMI Council meeting Past. George Mahlobo and myself were re-elected as the AFMI President and Secretary General respectively. The following AFM of SA leaders were also elected to AFMI structures: Mama J. Mahlobo as Chairperson of the AFMI Sisters’ Fellowship, Past. T. Savhasa as the AFMI Youth Director, Past. A.K. Khoza as the AFMI Children’s Ministry Director, Br. T. Kanyani as the AFMI Children’s Ministry Treasurer, Past. S. Makaudi as the Chairperson of the AFMI Men’s Ministry and Dr D. Andrew as a member of the AFMI Theological Education Association Committee.

Pastor Thandanani Savhasa, our National Youth Director and I were amongst the individuals who made presentations at the Council. Our presentations are shared here as the first two articles of this Pastoral Newsletter.

CALLED TO THE MISSIONAL FRONTLINE IN A TURBULENT WORLD

Dr H.J. Weideman (President of the AFM of SA)

The AFM International (AFMI), consisting of 28 member countries, had its 9th Triennial Council Meeting and Conference in Gaborone, Botswana from 22-28 August 2022. The theme of the conference was: CALLED TO THE MISSIONAL FRONTLINE IN A TURBULENT WORLD. I had the privilege to be the first speaker and to set some context for the theme.

When we look at the effects of the prolonged Ukraine war, the economic and political uncertainties, the ecological chaos with extreme temperatures, droughts and floods across the world, as well as the occurrence of gender-based violence, and psychological- and gender confusion – we must agree that indeed we are living in a turbulent world.

“…we are called into this world with the same calling Jesus had.”

 

Yet, we are called into this world with the same calling Jesus had. In Joh. 20:21 (NIV) Jesus said: “…As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” As Pentecostal believers, we have a passion for Jesus. We must however ask ourselves if we also have the Passion OF Jesus? The passion with which He was sent into the world. Do we love the way He loves? Do we care the way He cares? Can we forgive the way He forgives?The Church of Jesus Christ is not on a holiday trip but is called to be on a mission. We are not on a business trip, an ego trip, or a personal enrichment trip. We are sent on a mission. Part of this mission is to represent and present Jesus Christ to believers and to the world. In this regard, we need to ask ourselves how this Jesus that we are presenting and preaching about, looks like?

The French Artist Henri Rousseau once said: “God created man in his own image. And man, being a gentleman, returned the favour.Is the Jesus that we portray our own man-made version of how we would like Him to be or the Jesus of the Bible? We need to study the Scriptures and be confronted (again) with the uncomfortable truths about what Jesus really stands for. What were His views about relationships with friends and “enemies” as well as with people of other cultures and social classes?  How did Jesus talk about and view wealth and power? Did He talk more of letting go of things, life and self, or more about accumulating?

As the church, we are called to the frontline. That is the part of the army that is closest to the enemy.  We are not called to hide away somewhere in our churches, chapels, or auditoriums. We are not called to just talk, preach and pray – but to do! C.T. Studd, a British Cricketer and Missionary in the 1920s said: “Some want to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard from hell.” We must remember that “…our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” Ephesians 6:12 (NIV). In this turbulent world, we are called to reach out and touch the lives of the people in our spheres of influence. We are called to share the Gospel of Jesus.

In this turbulent world, we are called to reach out and touch the lives of the people in our spheres of influence. We are called to share the Gospel of Jesus.”

 

I like 1 Peter 3:15-16 (NIV) where Simon Peter wrote: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience…” When asked why he did not embrace Christianity, Mahatma Gandhi replied with this widely known remark: “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. You Christians are so unlike your Christ.” We are called to the missional frontline in a turbulent world, to make a real difference. Not to be disrespectful, harsh and arrogant, but to be like Jesus.

EVANGELISM & DISCIPLESHIP FOR GENERATIONS Y & Z
Past. Thandanani Savhasa (Presiding Pastor of the AFM Naledi Assembly, Soweto) 

Generation Y is the Millennials born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 26 to 41 in 2022) described as “optimists” who embrace variety and inclusiveness with a desire to be discovered. Generation Z, the Zoomers, also known as the social generation, are those born between 1997 and 2012 (ages 10 to 25 in 2022). They are “realists” who are success-orientated and live in a world of more imagery than words – with an average screen time of 7.5 hours+ per day on either their mobile devices or television screens.

These two generations can be considered jointly as a generation of “followers”, with social media becoming a tool of great influence in the times we live in.

The Empty Tomb was Trending
In the famous text about Jesus and two travellers who were walking to Emmaus, Luke 24:13-35 tells us that while these two travellers could not recognise Jesus, they heard about the empty tomb. As Jesus asked them what they were talking about, they responded and said: “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” It is in this response that we can say that the resurrection of Jesus was “trending” (something that is currently popular or widely discussed).

Evangelism: Packaging the Message
Reaching out to Generations Y and Z means ensuring that the clear message of the resurrection and its significance in human history is not lost. Even the youngest in Generation Z (10 years old), must grasp and continue to be in awe of the greatest love story of all time. Evangelism is the presentation of the “Truth” who is Jesus, in a world of darkness and despair. In the times we are living in the term “truth” receives its definition by phrases such as “owning your truth” and “no one can take away your truth”. So the “truth” is now undefined.

“Evangelism is the presentation of the “Truth” who is Jesus, in a world of darkness and despair.”

We learn from Paul in Acts 17: 16-34 that he had to take time to observe and listen to those in Athens in order for him to minister to them from their beliefs. Some of the post-Covid-19 challenges are that many young people are experiencing discouragement, mental health diagnoses and pressures of financial strain and stagnation. The church needs to align the message of Hope into these trending themes and respond by releasing the following opposite words and how they are obtained in Christ, for instance: peace, rest and sound mind.

Discipleship Approach
If the principles of discipleship are that the church is to teach, baptise and raise “followers” of Jesus, it may not be an easy task for a generation that is already following different movements, ideologies, lifestyles and personalities. Judges 21:25 reveals that the ending of the book of Judges reads – that in absence of a king; every man did what was right in his own eyes. In other words, there was no clear responsibility taken by any of the 12 tribes after the death of Joshua in ensuring that the teachings of the ways of the Lord would be passed down from one generation to the other.

“Jesus takes a group that He trains for the sake of many.”

Jesus Model of Discipleship
The focus of the Jesus-model of discipleship is a focus on móre than one. Jesus takes a group that He trains for the sake of many. On the contrary, it is no longer one leader who is raised for one position, it is now a pool of leaders for a Kingdom-purpose. It is important to highlight that the disciples had an opportunity to be taught and to observe:

      • They saw Him speak in crowds and to individuals of all kinds of backgrounds, ages and gender. It will be imperative for Generations Y & Z to see the church reaching all kinds of people.
      • They saw Him challenged and interrogated. The way that the church handles challenges plays a role in teaching Generations Y & Z to uphold the Gospel.
      • They saw Him as compassionate – feeding the hungry and caring for the vulnerable.
      • They saw Him in the storm. The way the realities of life are presented to these Generations will be fundamental in assisting them to apply the Gospel in their everyday lives.
      • They saw Him serving them too. Jesus took time to teach some lessons through service, which is also important for the Generation Y’s and Z’s to know that they are valuable in the sight of the church and that they are entrusted to show value to others through service.
Discipleship as a Goal
It is important for discipleship in a church to be tracked (or monitored) and scheduled (given an allocated time):
      • A Spiritual Growth focus.
      • A Discipleship Team – a designated group of people should be tasked with discipleship.
      • Family Discipleship – when a Generation Y or Z or any one member of a family is saved, there needs to be training and tools for them to learn to minister to their whole family.
      • Discipleship-Centred Departments – each department in the church needs to present and be trained in discipleship.

Feedback & Insights
Jesus gave the disciples feedback and asked for their insights, “who do they say I am”. This teaches us the importance of understanding that these two Generations have different vantage points (the point from where someone views or sees something). Engagements are important in how they are discipled. In the same way, church leaders should ask their Generation Y’s and Z’s about the views of their peers about the church, about Jesus and about Christianity.

WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES ASSEMBLY: REFLECTIONS
Dr Henri Weideman (President of the AFM of SA); Past. Barend Petersen (Deputy President of the AFM of SA); Past. Selby Khumalo (General Secretary of the AFM of SA); Past. Rudi Coertzen (General Treasurer of the AFM of SA)

Dr Henri Weideman:
The first few days of the 11th World Council of Churches (WCC) Assembly from 30 August to 8 September 2022 in Karlsruhe, Germany was a very interesting experience. The diversity of the 352 member churches – who together represent more than half a billion Christians around the world, is evident in the way some people dress and in the different ways they sing and pray. We experienced some of this during the evening prayer sessions where different Christian traditions were given the chance to lead us in song and prayer.

Some of the issues that were discussed include the Church’s response to the worldwide refugee crises, climate change, the war in the Ukraine and the challenges in Syria and the Middle East. The opening session where the AFM was also welcomed as one of the new members was historical in many ways. For the first time, the Pentecostals also had our own Confessional Meeting. The AFM was asked to shortly share our journey of involvement with the WCC – from the involvement of Past. David du Plessis from 1951, Dr Frank Chikane from 1980 and up to now where we are full members of the WCC. It was good to meet and pray together with other Pentecostal churches and -leaders from as far as Norway, Sweden, the USA, Argentina, Australia and even Russia. We had the privilege to participate in different Ecumenical Discussions and Home Groups, where we shared our testimony and views as AFM Pentecostals and as South Africans on the matters at hand.

Past. Barend Petersen:
We experienced the hospitality from the warm reception by the Welcoming Team as we disembarked from the aircraft to the welcoming refreshments by the Chaplains, taken directly to the train and warmly received at the Karlsruhe train station and thereafter transported to our hotel.

We were sincerely welcomed as a new member of the WCC at the first sitting on Tuesday morning. The organisation of the various activities were excellent and the content of the various sessions was well planned. The diversity of the attendees is reflective of the power of the Gospel in the world. The theme “Christ’s Love moves the World to Reconciliation and Unity” reflects the hope that the Conference has for a broken and divided world of 2022.

“The diversity of the attendees is reflective of the power of the Gospel in the world.”

Past. Selby Khumalo:
The AFM of SA, as a full member of the SACC (South African Council of Churches) since 2003, has been accepted as a full member of the WCC on 14 February 2022. We are honoured that in the year of our acceptance, the AFM leadership attended the WCC Assembly and Conference in Germany. This level of exposure and engagement offers the AFM a significant opportunity for strategic meetings, collaborations and partnerships for advancing a Pentecostal prophetic voice, initiatives and projects – adding to the representation of the Pentecostal Confessional Stream of the Christian Church in the WCC community. The AFM represents the changing landscape and growing diversity of Christianity within the WCC practically. The AFM, as a united Church has more capacity and institutional foundations to raise Pentecostalism on these strategic forums.

Past. Rudi Coertzen:
It is a real privilege to have represented our great church at this meeting of the WCC. As we have been accepted only in February 2022 – it took a lot of arrangements. The people are as diverse as can be expected at such an international meeting and the discussions passionately heated at times. This is an event that reflects the people of the world and all their diverse viewpoints.

A few outstanding moments were the Opening Plenary Session where the Federal President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke and welcomed the delegates. The first evening prayer session was memorable as different prayer traditions were displayed and songs from very traditional to nearly Pentecost were sung and celebrated. Discussions in the different groups gave me an opportunity to express our own viewpoints on certain matters.

CONCLUSION

The AFM of SA is currently the biggest Pentecostal Church and the first member of the World Pentecostal Fellowship, to be full members of the World Council of Churches (WCC). The DNA of Pentecostals since our establishment on the day of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, is to be ecumenical in reaching out and sharing the Gospel with all nations. In describing his ecumenical involvement, Past. David du Plessis referred to himself as an “ecumaniac.”

During this sitting of the WCC I had the honour to be elected as the first-ever Pentecostal member of the Central Committee of the WCC. I see this as an opportunity to represent the Pentecostal beliefs and values in this global ecumenical forum.

Friendly Regards
Henri Weideman

Pastorale Brief: 3de Kwartaal 2022

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

AGS Pastorale Brief 3de Kwartaal 2022

INHOUD

GROETE
GEROEP NA DIE VOORSTE LINIE IN ‘N ONSTUIMIGE WÊRELD: ‘N MISSIONALE PERSPEKTIEF
EVANGELISERING EN DISSIPELSKAP VIR GENERASIES Y & Z
WÊRELDRAAD VAN KERKE VERGADERING: OORDENKINGS
SLOT
INLEIDING

Beste AGS Familie,

Ons was geseënd om deel te kon wees van twee interessante geleenthede die afgelope paar weke. Baie van ons het die AGS Internasionaal (AGSI) se 3 jaarlikse Raad en Konferensie in Gaborone, Botswana bygewoon en die Nasionale Ampsdraers het ook die 11de Vergadering van die Wêreldraad van Kerke (WRK) in Karlsruhe, Duitsland bygewoon.

Tydens die AGSI Raadsvergadering is Past. George Mahlobo en ek herkies as onderskeidelik die AGSI President en Sekretaris-generaal. Die volgende AGS van SA leiers is ook tot AGSI strukture verkies: Mama J. Mahlobo as Voorsitter van die AGSI Vrouebediening, Past. T. Savhasa as die AGSI Jeug Direkteur, Past. A.K. Khoza as die AGSI Kinderbediening Direkteur, Br. T. Kanyani as die AGSI Kinderbediening Tesourier, Past. S. Makaudi as die Voorsitter van die AGSI Mansbediening en Dr D. Andrew as lid van die AGSI Teologiese Onderwys Verenigingskomitee.

Past. Thandanani Savhasa, ons Nasionale Jeugdirekteur en ek was van die individue wat voorleggings by die Raad gedoen het. Ons aanbiedings word hier gedeel in die Pastorale Brief as die eerste twee artikels.

GEROEP NA DIE VOORSTE LINIE IN ‘N ONSTUIMIGE WÊRELD: ‘N MISSIONALE PERSPEKTIEF

Dr H.J. Weideman (President van die AGS van SA)

Die AGS Internasionaal (AFM International) wat tans uit 28 lidlande bestaan, het van 22-28 Augustus 2022 ‘n 9de Driejaarlikse Raadsvergadering en Konferensie in Gaborone, Botswana gehou. Die tema van die konferensie was: “Called To The Missional Frontline In A Turbulent World.” Ek het die voorreg gehad om die eerste spreker te wees en konteks vir die tema te verleen.

As ons kyk na die gevolge van die langdurige oorlog in Oekraïne, die ekonomiese en politieke onsekerhede, die ekologiese chaos met uiterste temperature, droogtes en vloede regoor die wêreld, sowel as die voorkoms van geslagsgebaseerde geweld, en sielkundige- en geslagsverwarring – dan moet ons saamstem dat ons inderdaad in ‘n onstuimige wêreld leef.

Tog word ons in hierdie wêreld ingeroep met dieselfde roeping wat Jesus gehad het.”

Tog word ons in hierdie wêreld ingeroep met dieselfde roeping wat Jesus gehad het. In Joh. 20:21 (NLV) het Jesus gesê: “…Net soos die Vader My gestuur het, stuur Ek julle ook.” As Pinkster gelowiges het ons ‘n passie vir Jesus. Ons moet onsself egter afvra of ons ook die Passie VAN Jesus het? Die passie waarmee Hy na die wêreld gestuur is. Het ons op dieselfde manier lief as wat Hy het? Gee ons om soos wat Hy omgee? Kan ons vergewe soos wat Hy vergewe?

Die Kerk van Jesus Christus is nie op ‘n vakansiereis nie, maar geroep tot ‘n missie. Ons is nie op ‘n sakereis, ‘n ego-reis of ‘n persoonlike verrykingsreis nie. Ons is op ‘n sending gestuur. Deel van hierdie sending is om Jesus Christus aan gelowiges en die wêreld voor te hou.

In hierdie verband moet ons onsself afvra hoe hierdie Jesus wat ons aan ander voorhou en oor preek lyk? Die Franse kunstenaar Henri Rousseau het eenkeer gesê: “God created man in his own image. And man, being a gentleman, returned the favour.” Is die Jesus wat ons uitbeeld ons eie mensgemaakte weergawe van hoe ons wil hê Hy moet wees, of die Jesus van die Bybel?  Ons moet die Skrif bestudeer en (weer) gekonfronteer word met die ongemaklike waarhede waarvoor Jesus werklik staan. Wat was Sy sienings oor verhoudings, met vriende en “vyande”, sowel as met mense van ander kulture en sosiale klasse? Hoe het Jesus oor rykdom en mag gepraat en dit beskou? Het Hy meer gepraat oor die laat gaan van dinge, die lewe en die self, of meer oor bymekaarmaak?

As kerk word ons na die voorste linie toe geroep. Dit is die deel van die weermag wat die naaste aan die vyand is. Ons word nie geroep om iewers in ons kerke, kapelle of ouditoriums weg te kruip nie.  Ons word nie geroep om net te praat, te preek en te bid nie – maar om te doen! C.T. Studd, ‘n Britse krieketspeler en sendeling in die 1920’s het gesê: “Some want to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard from hell.” Ons moet onthou dat “…ons stryd is nie teen vlees en bloed nie, maar teen die heersers, teen die owerhede, teen die magte van hierdie donker wêreld en teen die geestelike magte van die bose in die hemelse ryke.”  Efesiërs 6:12 (NIV) In hierdie onstuimige wêreld word ons geroep om uit te reik en die lewens van die mense in ons invloedsfere aan te raak. Ons is geroep om die Evangelie van Jesus te deel.

Ons is geroep om die Evangelie van Jesus te deel.”

Ek hou van 1 Petrus 3:15-16 (NIV) waar Simon Petrus geskryf het: “Maar in julle harte eer Christus as Here. Wees altyd bereid om ‘n antwoord te gee aan almal wat jou vra om die rede te gee vir die hoop wat jy het. Maar doen dit met sagmoedigheid en respek en hou ‘n skoon gewete…” Toe hy gevra is waarom hy nie die Christendom omhels het nie, het Mahatma Gandhi met hierdie algemeen bekende opmerking geantwoord: “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. You Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Ons word geroep na die missionale frontlinie in ‘n onstuimige wêreld om ‘n werklike verskil te maak. Nie om oneerbiedig, hardvogtig en arrogant te wees nie, maar om soos Jesus te wees.

EVANGELISERING EN DISSIPELSKAP VIR GENERASIES Y & Z

Past. Thandanani Savhasa (Presiderende Pastoor van die AFM Naledi Assembly, Soweto)

Generasie Y is die Millennials wat gebore is tussen 1981 en 1996 (ouderdomme 26-41 in 2022) en word beskryf as “optimiste” wat verskeidenheid en inklusiwiteit omhels met ‘n begeerte om ontdek te word. Generasie Z, die Zoomers, ook bekend as die sosiale generasie, is diegene wat tussen 1997 en 2012 gebore is (ouderdomme 10-25 in 2022). Hulle is die “realiste” wat sukses-georiënteerd is en leef in ‘n wêreld van meer beeldspraak as woorde – met ‘n gemiddelde skermtyd van 7,5 uur+ op hul mobiele toestelle óf televisieskerms. Hierdie twee generasies kan gesamentlik beskou word as ‘n generasie van “volgelinge” met sosiale media wat ‘n instrument van groot invloed geword het in die tye waarin ons leef.

Almal was Bewus van Die Leë Graf
In die bekende teks oor Jesus en twee reisigers wat na Emmaus gestap het, vertel Lukas 24:13-35 dat terwyl hierdie twee reisigers nie Jesus kon herken nie, hulle wel van die leë graf gehoor het. Toe Jesus hulle vra waaroor hulle praat, het hulle geantwoord en gesê: “Is jy die enigste een wat Jerusalem besoek en nie weet wat daar in hierdie dae gebeur het nie?” Dit is in hierdie reaksie dat ons kan sê dat die opstanding van Jesus “bekend” was (wat tans populêr is of wyd bespreek word).

Evangelisasie: Verpakking van die Boodskap
Om uit te reik na Generasies Y en Z beteken om te verseker dat die duidelike boodskap van die opstanding en die betekenis daarvan in die menslike geskiedenis nie verlore gaan nie. Selfs die jongste in Generasie Z (10 jaar oud), moet die grootste liefdesverhaal van alle tye begryp en voortgaan om in verwondering te staan. Evangelisasie is die aanbieding van die “waarheid” wat Jesus is, in ‘n wêreld van duisternis en wanhoop. In die tye waarin ons leef, het die term “waarheid” sy eie definisies ontvang deur frases soos “owning your truth” en “no one can take away your truth”. So die woord “waarheid” is nou ongedefinieer.

Evangelisasie is die aanbieding van die “waarheid” wat Jesus is, in ‘n wêreld van duisternis en wanhoop.”

Ons leer by Paulus in Handelinge 17:16-34 dat hy tyd moes neem om diegene in Athene waar te neem en na hulle te luister, sodat hy hulle vanuit hulle oortuigings kon bedien. Sommige van die gevolge van Covid-19 is dat baie jongmense moedeloos voel en in sekere gevalle ‘n geestesgesondheid diagnose in die gesig staar. Finansiële druk is aan die orde van die dag en jongmense voel hulle stagneer. Die kerk moet die boodskap van Hoop in ooreenstemming bring met hierdie tans “gewilde” temas en reageer met teenoorgestelde woorde en hoe dit in Christus verkry word, byvoorbeeld: vrede, rus en gesonde verstand.

Dissipelskap Benadering
As die beginsel van dissipelskap is dat die kerk die opdrag gekry het om mense te leer, te doop en “volgelinge” van Jesus te maak, is dit nie ‘n maklike taak vir ‘n generasie wat reeds verskillende bewegings, ideologieë, leefstyle en persoonlikhede volg nie. Rigters 21:25 openbaar dat aan die einde van die boek van Rigters, dit in die afwesigheid van ‘n koning is, wat elkeen laat doen wat reg was in sy eie oë. Daar was geen duidelike verantwoordelikheid wat enige van die 12 stamme ná die dood van Josua geneem het om te verseker dat God se Woord van een geslag na die volgende oorgedra sou word nie.

Jesus neem ‘n groep wat Hy oplei ter wille van baie.”

Die Jesus-Model van Dissipelskap
Die Jesus-model van dissipelskap se fokus is op meer as een persoon. Jesus neem ‘n groep wat Hy oplei ter wille van baie. Inteendeel, dit is nie meer een leier wat in ‘n posisie geplaas word nie, dit is nou ‘n poel van leiers vir ‘n Koninkryksdoel. Dit is belangrik om te beklemtoon dat die dissipels ‘n geleentheid gehad het om geleer te word en waar te neem:

      • Hulle het gesien hoe Hy die skares toespreek en interaksie het met individue van alle agtergronde, ongeag ouderdom en geslag. Dit sal noodsaaklik wees vir Generasies Y & Z om te sien hoe die kerk alle soorte mense bereik.
      • Hulle het gesien hoe Hy uitgelok en ondervra is. Die manier waarop die kerk uitdagings hanteer, speel ‘n rol om Generasie Y & Z te leer om die Evangelie te handhaaf.
      • Hulle het Hom as medelydend beskou – die wat honger is was gevoed en die wat weerloos was is versorg.
      • Hulle het Hom in die storm gesien. Die manier waarop die realiteite van die lewe aan hierdie generasies aangebied word sal fundamenteel wees om hulle te help om die Evangelie in hul alledaagse lewens toe te pas.
      • Hulle het ook gesien hoe Hy hulle dien. Jesus het tyd gemaak om aan hulle ‘n paar lesse te leer deur Sy diensbaarheid. Dit is ook belangrik vir Generasie Y en Z om te weet dat hulle waardevol is in die oë van die kerk en dat hulle toevertrou is om ander waardevol te laat voel deur hul diensbaarheid.
Dissipelskap as ‘n Doelwit
Dit is belangrik dat dissipelskap in ‘n Kerk gemonitor en geskeduleer word (binne ‘n gegewe tyd):
      • Met ‘n Geestelike Groei-fokus.
      • Met ‘n Dissipelskapspan. ‘n Aangewese groep mense se taak moet dissipelskap wees.
      • Gesinsdissipelskap – wanneer ‘n Generasie Y of Z, of enige lid van ‘n gesin gered word moet daar opleiding en hulpbronne wees sodat hulle kan leer om hul hele gesin te bedien.
      • Dissipelskap-gesentreerde Departemente – elke departement in die Kerk moet opgelei word in dissipelskap en dit aanbied.

Terugvoer en Insigte
Jesus het die dissipels terugvoer gegee en gevra vir hulle insigte, “wie sê hulle is Ek”. Dit leer ons hoe belangrik dit is om te verstaan dat hierdie twee generasies verskillende oogpunte het (die manier waarop iemand iets sien of waarneem). Die tipe interaksie is belangrik in hoe hulle gedissipel word. Op dieselfde manier moet Kerkleiers hulle Generasie Y en Z vra oor hoe hul vriende in hul eie portuurgroepe die Kerk, Jesus en Christenskap sien en verstaan.

WÊRELDRAAD VAN KERKE VERGADERING: OORDENKINGS
Dr Henri Weideman (President van die AGS van SA); Past. Barend Petersen (Adjunkpresident van die AGS van SA); Past. Selby Khumalo (Hoofsekretaris van die AGS van SA); Past. Rudi Coertzen (Hooftesourier van die AGS van SA)

Dr Henri Weideman:
Die eerste paar dae van die 11de Wêreldraad van Kerke (WRK) se vergadering van 30 Augustus tot 8 September 2022 in Karlsruhe, Duitsland was ‘n baie interessante ervaring. Die diversiteit van die 352 lidkerke wat saam meer as ‘n halfmiljard Christene regoor die wêreld verteenwoordig, is duidelik sigbaar in die manier waarop sommige mense aantrek en op die verskillende maniere waarop hulle sing en bid. Ons het iets hiervan ervaar tydens die aandgebedsessies waar verskillende Christelike tradisies die kans gegun is om ons in sang en gebed te lei.

Van die kwessies wat bespreek is, sluit in die Kerk se reaksie op die wêreldwye vlugtelingkrisisse, klimaatsverandering, die oorlog in die Oekraïne en die uitdagings in Sirië en die Midde-Ooste. Die openingsessie waar die AGS ook as een van die nuwe lede verwelkom is, was in baie opsigte histories. Vir die eerste keer het die Pinkstermense ook ons ​​eie Belydenisbyeenkoms gehad. Die AGS is gevra om kortliks ons reis van betrokkenheid by die WRK te deel vanaf die betrokkenheid van Past. David du Plessis vanaf 1951, Dr Frank Chikane vanaf 1980 en tot nou waar ons volle lede van die WRK is. Dit was goed om met ander Pinksterkerke en -leiers van so ver as Noorweë, Swede, die VSA, Argentinië, Australië en selfs Rusland, te ontmoet en saam te bid.

Ons het die voorreg gehad om aan verskillende ekumeniese gesprekke en besprekingsgroepe deel te neem, waar ons ons getuienis en sienings as AGS Pinkstermense en as Suid-Afrikaners oor relevante sake gedeel het.

Past. Barend Petersen:
Ons het gasvryheid ervaar deur die hartlike ontvangs van die verwelkomingspan toe ons van die vliegtuig afklim, tot die verwelkomende verversings deur die Kapelane, waarna ons na die trein geneem is en hartlik by die Karlsruhe-treinstasie ontvang is en daarna na ons hotel vervoer is.

Die diversiteit van die deelnemers weerspieël die krag van die Evangelie in die wêreld.”

Ons is Dinsdagoggend by die eerste sitting hartlik verwelkom as ‘n nuwe lid van die WRK. Die organisasie van die verskillende aktiwiteite was uitstekend en die inhoud van die verskillende sessies is goed beplan. Die diversiteit van die deelnemers weerspieël die krag van die Evangelie in die wêreld. Die tema “Christus se liefde beweeg die wêreld na versoening en eenheid” weerspieël die hoop wat die Konferensie het vir ‘n gebroke en verdeelde wêreld in 2022.

Past. Selby Khumalo:
Die AGS van SA, as ‘n volle lid van die SARK (Suid-Afrikaanse Raad van Kerke) sedert 2003, is op 14 Februarie 2022 as ‘n volle lid van die WRK aanvaar. Ons is geëerd dat in die jaar van ons aansluiting die AGS-leierskap die WRK Vergadering en Konferensie in Duitsland kon bywoon. Hierdie vlak van blootstelling en betrokkenheid bied die AGS ‘n beduidende geleentheid vir strategiese vergaderings, samewerking en vennootskappe om ‘n Pinkster-profetiese stem, inisiatiewe en projekte te bevorder. Asook om by te dra tot die verteenwoordiging van die Pinkster Belydenisstroom van die Christelike Kerk in die WRK gemeenskap.

Die AGS verteenwoordig prakties die veranderende landskap en groeiende diversiteit van Christenskap binne die WRK. Die AGS, as ‘n verenigde Kerk, het meer kapasiteit en institusionele fondamente om Pinksterskap op hierdie strategiese forums te verhoog.

Past. Rudi Coertzen:
Dit is ‘n ware voorreg om ons trotse kerk by hierdie vergadering van die WRK te kon verteenwoordig. Aangesien ons eers in Februarie 2022 aangesluit het – het dit baie reëlings geverg. Die mense is so uiteenlopend as wat by so ‘n internasionale vergadering verwag kan word en die gesprekke was met tye vurig en passievol. Dit is ‘n gebeurtenis wat die mense van die wêreld en al hul uiteenlopende standpunte weerspieël.

‘n Paar uitstaande oomblikke was die openingsseremonie waar die Federale President van Duitsland, Frank-Walter Steinmeier gepraat het en die afgevaardigdes verwelkom het. Die eerste aandgebedsessie was onvergeetlik aangesien verskillende gebedstradisies ten toon gestel is en liedere van baie tradisioneel tot byna Pinkster gesing en gevier is. Gesprekke in die verskillende groepe het my die geleentheid gebied om ons eie standpunte oor sekere sake uit te druk.

SLOT

Die AGS van SA is tans die grootste Pinksterkerk en die eerste lid van die World Pentecostal Fellowship wat volle lede van die Wêreldraad van Kerke (WRK) is. Die DNA van Pinkstermense sedert ons stigting op die dag van die uitstorting van die Heilige Gees, is om ekumenies te wees in die uitreik na en die deel van die Evangelie met alle nasies. In die beskrywing van sy ekumeniese betrokkenheid, het pastoor David du Plessis na homself verwys as ‘n “ecumaniac.”

Tydens hierdie sitting van die WRK het ek die eer gehad om verkies te word as die eerste Pinksterlid van die Sentrale Komitee van die Wêreldraad van Kerke. Ek sien dit as ‘n geleentheid om die Pinkster-oortuigings en -waardes op hierdie globale ekumeniese forum te verteenwoordig.

Seëninge!
Henri Weideman

Pastoral Letter: 2nd Quarter 2022

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

AFM Pastoral Letter 2nd Quarter 2022

TABLE OF CONTENTS

– INTRODUCTION
– MILESTONES IN OUR CONTINUOUS JOURNEY TO UNITY
– SPECIAL MESSAGES FROM THE 1996 OFFICE BEARERS
– CONCLUSION

Dear AFM Family,

On the 5th of April 2022, we celebrated our church’s 26th Unity Anniversary at the AFM National Office in Centurion (Gauteng). Together with my fellow National Office Bearers, we had the privilege of sharing lunch with the Office Bearers of 1996. In our conversations, we were reminded of what happened on this day 26 years ago. Many of us were present as the AFM Church gathered at the SuperSport Park stadium in Centurion when Dr Isak Burger and Past. Frank Chikane took to the stage. Prompted by the Holy Spirit, a historic moment of reconciliation was witnessed between these two leaders. That day was the start of the AFM’s unity journey.

We have decided to dedicate this Pastoral Letter to our unity journey. Our unity is precious and part of the witnessing of our church. We trust that it will inspire and bless you!

MILESTONES IN OUR CONTINUOUS JOURNEY TO UNITY

Dr H.J. Weideman (President of the AFM of SA)

Introduction

At its inception in 1908, the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa (AFM of SA) was a multicultural and non-racial church. The decades between 1948 and the 1980s were marked by a racially defined church, as the AFM succumbed to the influence of the Government’s policy of Apartheid and the prevailing culture of the time. The changing political landscape in the country affected the church to a point in 1944 where the White church was viewed as the “mother church” while the Black, Coloured and Indian churches were regarded as “daughter churches”.

Discussions on the church’s unification started around 1975. In August 1985 the AFM produced a Declaration of Intent to unite the church and remove racial connotations from its structure. This document was endorsed by the entire church in 1986.

After a lengthy unity process, the Black, Coloured and Indian churches united into the Composite Division, which united with the White, Single Division. On 3 April 1996 the AFM of SA achieved structural unity when the joint Workers Council (GBM) overwhelmingly adopted a new non-racial and non-sexist constitution and elected National Office Bearers for the united church. This constitution dropped all racial and gender references and presented the AFM as one united church.

Although the church celebrates the structural unity achieved in 1996 as a milestone in our continuous journey of unity, the challenge to deepen and strengthen this unity remains ongoing. This has led to the need to intentionally build cohesion across cultural, ethnic, language and socio-economic backgrounds in the diverse society that South Africa and the AFM reflect.

Unity Restored

In a moving Unity Ceremony on Good Friday, 5 April 1996 at the Centurion Park Stadium (attended by ± 15 000 people) the newly elected President of the unified church, Dr Isak Burger, asked for forgiveness from the former Black, Coloured and Indian – on behalf of the previous White church. The then newly elected Deputy President of the AFM, Past. Frank Chikane, accepted Dr Isak Burger’s pleas on behalf of the former Black churches. This made the AFM of SA the first church denomination to unify since the advent of South Africa’s democracy.


In a video made for the 20th Unity Celebrations in 2016, Past. Frank Chikane talked about the time when the three “daughter” churches decided to unite as the Composite Division. He said: “We had challenges about constitutions, technicalities and all those types of things. At one stage we stopped the process and asked: Does God want us to unite? And we said: Yes, the Holy Spirit wants us to be united. We left the constitution, declared ourselves united and said the constitution will follow, and indeed it did.”

Unified Structure

Since 1996 the AFM of SA functions with the following fully integrated organisational structure:

  • A bi-annual General Business Meeting (GBM) to which each registered Assembly can send two representatives.
  • Four National Office Bearers (NOB): The President, Deputy President, General Secretary and General Treasurer – are elected every 4 years by the GBM.
  • The National Leadership Forum (NLF) meets three times per year and consists of the leaders of the 43 Regions of the church, as well as the National Department leaders.
  • Six National Departments with their Directors and Governing Bodies: Education and Training; Welfare; National Men’s Fellowship, National Sisters Fellowship, National Youth, and the National Children’s Ministry.
  • Regional Leadership Forums (RLF) and -Committees (RLC) for the 43 Geographical and Non-Geographical Regions/Networks.
  • Local Assemblies (currently 1,721) with their Governing Bodies, departments and ministries, function within the structure of the respective Regions and Networks.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission

On 19 November 1999, Dr Isak Burger and Past Frank Chikane along with Pastors George Mahlobo, Peter de Witt, Ronnie Naidoo and Ansley Jacobs, met with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in East London and made a presentation on behalf of the AFM Church.

As part of the AFM’s presentation at the TRC, Dr Isak Burger said: “The 1997 Workers’ Council (the first GBM after unity) reacted in humiliation to the call of the Almighty to become an instrument of healing and reconciliation and decided to unconditionally accept responsibility for the fact that the church was not the voice of God of reconciliation in this country for so long as the community was separated by racism.”

He also said: “We have admitted the errors of our ways; we have apologised collectively and individually to each other. We have apologised to those beyond the reach of the AFM which we might have caused harm to. We now are faced by the enormous task of getting to grips with questions such as reconciliation, healing, bridge building, poverty, joblessness, and creating a mentality of challenging government and keeping an eye on those ruling over us, in a bid to prevent the mistakes and sins of yesteryear being repeated.”

Vision Statement

Although many local Assemblies have their own vision statements and focus areas, they all relate in some way to the united AFM’s national vision:

“We see a church accessible to all people, celebrating our unity and God-given diversity, empowering our members for caring and changing communities to the glory of God.”

To fulfil this vision the AFM of SA adopted a Missional strategy, also known as the One AFM Game Plan in 2013. This strategy focuses on Discipleship, Empowerment, Community Involvement, Ecumenical Involvement and Good Governance as drivers toward becoming a Missional movement.

Reconciliation Process

We understand repentance, forgiveness, healing as well as restoration and restitution to be an integral part of the Biblical basis for reconciliation. Repentance and forgiveness have been expressed and experienced to a great extent. While the vertical dimension of reconciliation (between God and humanity) is high on our ministry focus as a church, the horizontal dimension of reconciliation (person to person) is still unfolding.

At the different structural levels of the church reconciliation and unity are experienced as follows:

National Level
Unity and growing reconciliation are experienced. AFM leaders are building relationships as colleagues and friends. The National Leadership Forum had a few empowerment sessions intended to make participants sensitive to, and appreciative of our cultural diversity. Painful experiences emanating from the past can be exchanged more candidly, without members taking offence or becoming bitter. Acceptance of one another’s views on issues are growing.

Regional Level
Regions and Networks experience the deepening of unity and reconciliation at different speeds – the most being representative of the diversity of the AFM. It is however mainly Pastors, their spouses and Assembly Governing Body members that regularly meet on a cross-cultural basis for regional meetings, break-aways and empowerment sessions.

Local Assembly Level
Although there is a noticeable increase in multi-cultural Sunday services and -Assemblies, many members do not experience unity and reconciliation in practical terms at the Assembly Level. Most Assemblies remain in the paradigms of culture, language and geographic areas.

Advisory Committee on Cohesion

Past. George Mahlobo, AFM General Secretary since unification and President from 2016 to 2021 headed an inclusive advisory committee on cohesion during his tenure. The purpose of this committee and the ongoing focus on cohesion is: To explore more ways of celebrating our God-given diversity; To understand our communities and measure social cohesion; To engage our communities and build partnerships between key stakeholders; To prevent and respond to incidents of racism or conflict between groups; To strategically plan for the needs of our communities now and into the future; To monitor, evaluate and share outcomes.

The Way Forward

The list below includes, but is not limited to some of the proposals made by the Committee on cohesion:

  • Define the challenges of cohesion and engage in a frank discussion about it.
  • Consult AFM Members, especially the younger generation about their views and expectations regarding cohesion.
  • Create more opportunities for leaders to share their life stories, interact and discuss issues openly. This should include sessions where people are allowed to express their felt pain and be guided on how to deal with it.
  • Promote integrated fellowships and conferences. Conferences are useful if they are organised in such a way that they display diversity in terms of speakers, musicians, worship, music and other related matters. At most conferences, communication and preaching are in English with interpreters. Singing is also mostly in English and the dominant languages of the particular area.  Where possible, lyrics of songs are displayed on a screen, with vernacular subtitles.
  • Empower church leadership on all levels to participate in the planning and implementation of activities that promote diversity and cohesion. This should include relationship-building activities and opportunities for Pastors and members to interact and visit one another as individuals or as a group.
  • Share and encourage good practice and success stories of integration and social cohesion.
  • Use the church’s social media platforms to communicate messages that build social cohesion.

SPECIAL MESSAGES FROM THE 1996 OFFICE BEARERS

Dr Isak Burger; Past. Frank Chikane; Past. George Mahlobo & Past. Peter de Witt

“Since the start of the AFM in 1908, the unification of our church in 1996 may be considered the most important event in our history. One can hardly imagine what would have happened to the oldest and leading Pentecostal church in South Africa had this not happened. We would have been unfaithful to the Scriptural principle that race should not be a dividing and separating factor in the church of the Lord. We would also most likely have been relegated to the periphery in an integrated, democratic society. Our unification certainly gave us some moral high ground. God was gracious to us during a favourable time in our young democracy. It was a time of remarkable national goodwill and reconciliation – indeed a “kairos” time for an event of this nature to realise. If we had missed that window of opportunity, I believe unification would have become increasingly challenging. We can truly thank God for His grace, favour and wisdom to do the right thing.”
– Dr Isak Burger (Former President of the AFM of SA)

“I thank God that we have walked this journey thus far. I must say that many people missed the fact that the unity of the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa was extraordinary. The AFM has moved further than any other church in terms of its unity. Not many people understand how challenging this experience was. We walked a long journey with an Apartheid church that was a child of its time. We had to listen to the Holy Spirit speaking to us and we had to work together to ensure that the AFM gets united. 1996 was a culmination of this miracle. I am pleased that 26 years later, I can say that I am proud of the AFM for listening what God wanted to do. We are now united and can preach the Gospel together without worrying about that history.”
– Past. Frank Chikane (Former Deputy President of the AFM of SA & Former President of AFM International)

“The acceptance of the Declaration of Intent document was a milestone achievement. In this document the AFM declared that racial discrimination cannot be used as a principle in God’s kingdom and in the church. The acceptance of the church’s constitution in 1996 which does not define church members in terms of race was a second historical moment for the church’s unity.  These were the two important decisions that set the church on the path of unity. We must all work together to deepen this unity through meaningful engagement. We must all commit to embracing one another as sisters and brothers irrespective of our various cultures, race, class and gender. In Psalm 133 we are reminded about the beauty and pleasantness of the unity of the saints.”
– Past. George Mahlobo (Former General Secretary of the AFM of SA; Former President of the AFM of SA & Current President of AFM International)

“The unity of the church in 1996 was a culmination of a God-given desire to fulfil His purposes of being one in Him, a unison that extends beyond the boundaries of race, colour and culture; heralding the prayer of Jesus in John 17: 11 “… that they may be one, even as We are.” This unity has had an ongoing profound positive impact on my life as well as those with whom I have contact in my daily dealings within the church. It has broadened my horizons in communicating and reaching out to the community whilst fulfilling the call of the gospel of Jesus Christ, “… Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark 16:15). It is a wonderful experience to know and gain a richer understanding of one another within a church that has so much God-given diversity and talent. May the fulness of God’s rich and wonderful blessings be bestowed upon every person within the church in our onward journey of knowing Him who was and is and shall be into eternity!”
– Past. Peter de Witt (Former General Treasurer of the AFM of SA)

CONCLUSION

We cannot say that we have completed the journey to unity yet. It has been and still is a challenge for several reasons. We also still have vestiges of prejudice, superiority and typecasting between cultures.

We acknowledge all the members and leaders who have paid a hefty price and played a persistent role in bringing us to where we are. As the AFM of SA, we are humbly thankful for our journey to unity thus far, and we hope that our experience can in some way assist others.

Blessings
Henri Weideman

 

 

Pastorale Brief: 2de Kwartaal 2022

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

Pastorale Brief 2de Kwartaal 2022

INHOUD
– GROETE
– MYLPALE IN ONS DEURLOPENDE REIS NA EENHEID
– SPESIALE BOODSKAPPE VAN DIE 1996 AMPSDRAERS
– SLOT

Geagte AGS Familie,

Op 5 April 2022 het ons die kerk se 26ste Eenheids Herdenking by die AGS Nasionale Kantoor in Centurion (Gauteng) gevier. Saam met my mede Nasionale Ampsdraers het ons die voorreg gehad om middagete saam met die Ampsdraers van 1996 te geniet. In ons gesprekke is ons herinner aan wat op hierdie dag, 26 jaar gelede gebeur het. Baie van ons was teenwoordig terwyl die AGS Kerk by SuperSport Park Stadion in Centurion bymekaargekom het, toe Dr Isak Burger en Pastoor Frank Chikane die verhoog betree het. Deur die leiding van die Heilige Gees, is ‘n historiese oomblik van versoening tussen hierdie twee leiers waargeneem. Daardie dag was die begin van die AGS se reis na eenheid.

Ons het besluit om hierdie Pastorale Brief aan ons eenheidsreis op te dra. Ons eenheid is kosbaar en deel van die getuienis van ons kerk. Ons vertrou dat dit jou sal inspireer en seën!

MYLPALE IN ONS DEURLOPENDE REIS NA EENHEID

Dr H.J. Weideman (President van die AGS van SA)

Inleiding

Met sy ontstaan ​​in 1908 was die Apostoliese Geloofsending van Suid-Afrika (AGS van SA) ‘n multikulturele en nie-rassige kerk. Die dekades tussen 1948 en die 1980’s is gekenmerk deur ‘n rasgedefinieerde kerk, aangesien die AGS geswig het onder die invloed van die Regering se beleid van Apartheid en die kulturele klimaat van die tyd. Die veranderende politieke landskap in die land het die kerk geaffekteer tot op die punt in 1944 waar die Blanke kerk as die “moederkerk” beskou is, terwyl die Swart-, Kleurling- en Indiër kerke as “dogterkerke” beskou is.


Gesprekke oor die kerk se eenwording het rondom 1975 begin. In Augustus 1985 het die AGS ‘n Verklaring van Voorneme opgestel om die kerk te verenig en rassekonnotasies uit sy struktuur te verwyder. Hierdie dokument is in 1986 deur die hele kerk aanvaar.

Na ‘n lang eenheidsproses het die Swart-, Kleurling- en Indiër kerke verenig in die Saamgestelde Afdeling, wat met die Blanke, Enkel Afdeling verenig het. Op 3 April 1996 het die AGS van SA strukturele eenheid bereik toe die gesamentlike Werkersraad (GBM) oorweldigend ‘n nuwe nie-rassige en nie-seksistiese grondwet aanvaar en Nasionale Ampsdraers vir die verenigde kerk verkies het. Hierdie grondwet het alle rasse- en geslagsverwysings laat vaar en die AGS as een verenigde kerk beskou.

Alhoewel die kerk die strukturele eenheid wat in 1996 bereik is vier as ‘n mylpaal in ons reis na eenheid, bly die uitdaging om hierdie eenheid voortdurend te verdiep en te versterk. Dit het gelei tot die behoefte om doelbewus samehorigheid oor kulturele, etniese, taal- en sosio-ekonomiese agtergronde te bou in die diverse samelewing wat Suid-Afrika en die AGS weerspieël.

Eenheid Herstel

In ‘n roerende Eenheid Seremonie op Goeie Vrydag, 5 April 1996 by Centurion SuperSport Park Stadion (bygewoon deur ± 15 000 mense) het die nuutverkose President van die verenigde kerk, Dr Isak Burger, die voormalige Swart-, Kleurling- en Indiër kerke om vergifnis gevra – namens die vorige Blanke kerk. Die destydse nuutverkose Adjunkpresident van die AGS, Pastoor Frank Chikane, het Dr Isak Burger se pleidooie namens die voormalige Swart kerke aanvaar. Dit het die AGS van SA die eerste kerk denominasie gemaak wat verenig is sedert die instelling van Suid-Afrika se demokrasie.


In ‘n video wat gemaak is vir die 20ste Eenheidsherdenking in 2016, het Pastoor Frank Chikane  gepraat oor die tyd toe die drie “dogter” kerke besluit het om te verenig as die Saamgestelde Afdeling. Hy het gesê: “We had challenges about constitutions, technicalities and all those types of things. At one stage we stopped the process and asked: Does God want us to unite? And we said: Yes, the Holy Spirit wants us to be united. We left the constitution, declared ourselves united and said the constitution will follow, and indeed it did.”

Verenigde Struktuur

Sedert 1996 funksioneer die AGS van SA met die volgende ten volle geïntegreerde organisasiestruktuur:

  • ‘n Tweejaarlikse Algemene Besigheidsvergadering (GBM) waarna elke geregistreerde Gemeente twee verteenwoordigers kan stuur.
  • Vier Nasionale Ampsdraers (NOB): Die President, Adjunkpresident, Algemene Sekretaris en Algemene Tesourier – word elke 4 jaar deur die GBM verkies.
  • Die Nasionale Leierskapsforum (NLF) vergader drie keer per jaar en bestaan ​​uit die leiers van die 43 Streke van die kerk, sowel as die Nasionale Departemente se leiers.
  • Ses Nasionale Departemente met hul Direkteure en Beheerliggame: Education & Training; AGS Welsyn; National Men’s FellowshipNational Sisters FellowshipNational Youth, en die National Children’s Ministry.
  • Streeksleierskapsforums (RLF) en -komitees (RLC) vir die 43 geografiese en nie-geografiese streke/netwerke.
  • Plaaslike Gemeentes (tans 1,721) met hul Beheerliggame, departemente en bedienings, funksioneer binne die struktuur van die onderskeie streke en netwerke.
 

Die Waarheids- en Versoeningskommissie

Op 19 November 1999 het Dr Isak Burger en Pastoor Frank Chikane saam met Pastore George Mahlobo, Peter de Witt, Ronnie Naidoo en Ansley Jacobs met die Waarheids- en Versoeningskommissie (WVK) in Oos-Londen vergader en ‘n voorlegging namens die AGS Kerk gedoen.

As deel van die AGS se aanbieding by die WVK het Dr Isak Burger gesê:

“The 1997 Workers’ Council (the first GBM after unity) reacted in humiliation to the call of the Almighty to become an instrument of healing and reconciliation and decided to unconditionally accept responsibility for the fact that the church was not the voice of God of reconciliation in this country for so long as the community was separated by racism.”  

Hy het ook gesê: “We have admitted the errors of our ways; we have apologised collectively and individually to each other. We have apologised to those beyond the reach of the AFM which we might have caused harm to. We now are faced by the enormous task of getting to grips with questions such as reconciliation, healing, bridge building, poverty, joblessness, and creating a mentality of challenging government and keeping an eye on those ruling over us, in a bid to prevent the mistakes and sins of yesteryear being repeated.”

Ons Nasionale Visie
Alhoewel baie plaaslike gemeentes hul eie visiestellings en fokusareas het, hou hulle almal op een of ander manier verband met die verenigde AGS se nasionale visie:

“Ons sien ‘n kerk wat toeganklik is vir alle mense, wat ons eenheid en God-gegewe diversiteit vier, wat ons lidmate bemagtig om om te gee en gemeenskappe te verander tot eer van God.”
Om hierdie visie te verwesenlik het die AGS van SA ‘n Missionale Strategie in 2013 aangeneem, beter bekend as die One AFM Game Plan. Hierdie strategie fokus op Dissipelskap, Bemagtiging, Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid, Ekumeniese Betrokkenheid en Goeie Bestuur as dryfkragte om ‘n Missionale beweging te word.

Versoeningsproses

Ons verstaan dat ​​berou, vergifnis, genesing sowel as herstel en restitusie ‘n integrale deel van die Bybelse basis is vir versoening. Berou en vergifnis is tot ‘n groot mate uitgespreek en ervaar. Terwyl die vertikale dimensie van versoening (tussen God en mensdom) hoog op ons bedieningsfokus as kerk is, is die horisontale dimensie van versoening (persoon tot persoon) steeds besig om te ontvou. Op die verskillende strukturele vlakke van die kerk word versoening en eenheid soos volg ervaar:

Nasionale Vlak
Eenheid en groeiende versoening word ervaar. AGS-leiers bou verhoudings as kollegas en vriende. Die Nasionale Leierskapsforum het ‘n paar bemagtigingsessies gehad wat bedoel was om leiers sensitief te maak, en waardering vir ons kulturele diversiteit te kweek. Pynlike ervarings wat uit die verlede voortspruit kan meer openhartig uitgeruil word, sonder dat leiers aanstoot neem of verbitterd word. Aanvaarding van mekaar se sienings oor sake neem toe.

Streeksvlak
Streke en Netwerke ervaar die verdieping van eenheid en versoening teen verskillende tempo’s – en is die mees verteenwoordigende vlak van die diversiteit binne die AGS. Dit is egter hoofsaaklik Pastore, hul gades en die Beheerliggame van Gemeentes wat gereeld op ‘n kruiskulturele basis vergader by streeksbyeenkomste, wegbreke en bemagtigingsessies.

Plaaslike Gemeentevlak
Alhoewel daar ‘n merkbare toename in multikulturele Sondagdienste en -Byeenkomste is, ervaar baie lidmate nie eenheid en versoening in praktiese terme op Gemeentevlak nie. Die meeste Gemeentes funksioneer nog in die paradigmas van kultuur, taal en geografiese gebiede.

Advieskomitee oor Kohesie

Pastoor George Mahlobo, Hoofsekretaris van die AGS sedert eenwording, en President van 2016 tot 2021, het tydens sy ampstermyn aan die hoof van ‘n inklusiewe advieskomitee oor kohesie (samehorigheid) gestaan. Die doel van hierdie komitee en die voortdurende fokus op kohesie is: Om meer maniere te ondersoek om ons God-gegewe diversiteit te vier; Om ons gemeenskappe te verstaan ​​en sosiale samehorigheid te meet; Om ons gemeenskappe te betrek en vennootskappe tussen sleutel rolspelers te bou; Om voorvalle van rassisme of konflik tussen groepe te voorkom en daarop te reageer; Om strategies te beplan vir die behoeftes van ons gemeenskappe nou en in die toekoms; Om uitkomste te monitor, te evalueer en te deel.

Die Pad Vorentoe
Die lys hieronder sluit in, maar is nie beperk nie tot sommige van die voorstelle wat deur die Advieskomitee oor Kohesie gemaak is:

  • Definieer die uitdagings van samehorigheid en voer openhartige gesprekke daaroor.
  • Raadpleeg AGS lidmate, veral die jonger generasie oor hul sienings en verwagtinge rakende kohesie.
  • Skep meer geleenthede vir leiers om hul lewensverhale te deel, interaksie te hê en kwessies openlik te bespreek. Dit moet sessies insluit waar mense toegelaat word om hul gevoelens van pyn uit te druk en begelei te word oor hoe om dit te hanteer.
  • Bevorder geïntegreerde byeenkomste en konferensies. Konferensies is nuttig as dit so georganiseer is dat dit diversiteit toon in terme van sprekers, musikante, aanbidding, musiek en ander verwante areas. By die meeste konferensies is kommunikasie en prediking in Engels met tolke. Sang is ook meestal in Engels en in die dominante tale van die betrokke gebied. Waar moontlik word lirieke van liedjies op ‘n skerm vertoon, met onderskrifte in ‘n relevante taal.
  • Bemagtig kerkleierskap op alle vlakke om deel te neem aan die beplanning en implementering van aktiwiteite wat diversiteit en kohesie bevorder. Dit moet verhoudingsbou-aktiwiteite en geleenthede vir Pastore en lidmate insluit om interaksie te hê en mekaar as individue of as ‘n groep te besoek.
  • Moedig sosiale kohesie aan asook die deel van sukses-stories van integrasie.
  • Gebruik die kerk se sosiale media platforms om boodskappe te kommunikeer wat sosiale kohesie bou.

SPESIALE BOODSKAPPE VAN DIE 1996 AMPSDRAERS

Dr Isak Burger; Pastore Frank Chikane; George Mahlobo & Peter de Witt

“Sedert die ontstaan van die AGS in 1908 kan die eenwording van ons kerk in 1996 as die belangrikste gebeurtenis in ons geskiedenis beskou word. Mens kan jou skaars indink wat die resultaat sou wees vir die oudste Pinksterkerk in Suid-Afrika, as dit nie gebeur het nie. Ons sou ontrou gewees het aan die Skriftuurlike beginsel dat ras nie ‘n verdelings- en skeidsfaktor in die kerk van die Here moet wees nie. Ons sou ook heel waarskynlik op die kantlyn gesit het in ‘n geïntegreerde, demokratiese samelewing. Ons eenwording het ons beslis tot ‘n mate die morele hoë grond gegee. God was ons genadig gedurende ‘n gunstige tyd in ons jong demokrasie. Dit was ‘n tyd van merkwaardige nasionale welwillendheid en versoening – inderdaad ‘n kairos-tyd vir ‘n gebeurtenis van hierdie aard om te realiseer. As ons daardie geleentheid gemis het, glo ek eenwording sou al hoe meer uitdagend geword het. Ons kan God waarlik dank vir Sy genade, guns en wysheid om die regte ding te doen.”
– Dr Isak Burger (Voormalige President van die AGS van SA)

“Ek dank God dat ons hierdie reis tot dusver gestap het. Ek moet sê dat baie mense nie besef hoe buitengewoon die eenheid van die Apostoliese Geloofsending van Suid-Afrika is nie. Die AGS het verder gevorder as enige ander kerk wat sy eenheid betref. Nie baie mense verstaan ​​hoe uitdagend hierdie ervaring was nie. Ons het ‘n lang reis aangepak met ‘n kerk wat onder die druk van ‘n Apartheids Regering geswig het. Ons moes luister na die Heilige Gees wat met ons praat en ons moes saamwerk om te verseker dat die AGS verenig word. 1996 was die hoogtepunt van hierdie wonderwerk. Ek is bly dat ek 26 jaar later kan sê dat ek trots is op die AGS wat geluister het na wat God wou doen. Ons is nou verenig en kan saam die Evangelie verkondig sonder om ons oor daardie geskiedenis te bekommer. ”
– Past. Frank Chikane (Voormalige Adjunkpresident van die AGS van SA & Voormalige President van AGS Internasionaal)

“Die aanvaarding van die Verklaring van Voorneme-dokument was ‘n mylpaalprestasie. In hierdie dokument het die AGS verklaar dat rassediskriminasie nie as ‘n beginsel in God se koninkryk en in die kerk gebruik kan word nie. Die aanvaarding van die kerk se grondwet in 1996 wat nie kerklidmate in terme van ras definieer nie, was ‘n tweede historiese oomblik vir die kerk se eenheid. Dit was die twee belangrike besluite wat die kerk op die pad van eenheid geplaas het. Ons moet almal saamwerk om hierdie eenheid deur betekenisvolle betrokkenheid te verdiep. Ons moet ons almal daartoe verbind om mekaar as susters en broers te omhels, ongeag ons verskillende kulture, ras, klas en geslag. In Psalm 133 word ons herinner aan die mooiheid en aangenaamheid van eenheid onder die heiliges.”
– Pastoor George Mahlobo (Voormalige Algemene Sekretaris van die AGS van SA; Voormalige President van die AGS van SA & Huidige President van die AGS Internasionaal)

“Die eenheid van die kerk in 1996 was ‘n hoogtepunt van ‘n Godgegewe begeerte om Sy doelwitte te vervul om een ​​in Hom te wees, ‘n eenheid wat verder strek as die grense van ras, kleur en kultuur; wat die gebed van Jesus in Johannes 17:11 aankondig “… sodat hulle net soos Ons een kan wees.” Hierdie eenheid het ‘n deurlopende diepgaande positiewe impak gehad op my lewe sowel as diegene met wie ek kontak het in my daaglikse handelinge binne die kerk. Dit het my horisonne verbreed in kommunikasie en uitreik na die gemeenskap, terwyl die roeping van die evangelie van Jesus Christus vervul word, “… Gaan die hele wêreld in en verkondig die Goeie Nuus aan almal, oral.” (Markus 16:15). Dit is ‘n wonderlike ervaring om mekaar te ken en ‘n ryker begrip van mekaar te kry binne ‘n kerk wat soveel God-gegewe diversiteit en talent het. Mag die volheid van God se ryk en wonderlike seëninge aan elke persoon in die kerk geskenk word in ons voortgaande reis om Hom te ken wat was en is en sal wees tot in die ewigheid!”
– Pastoor Peter de Witt (Voormalige Algemene Tesourier van die AGS van SA)

SLOT

Ons kan nie sê dat ons die reis na eenheid voltooi het nie. Dit was en is steeds ‘n uitdaging om verskeie redes. Ons het ook nog oorblyfsels van vooroordeel, meerderwaardigheid, minderwaardigheid en kategorisering van ander kulture in ons geledere.

Ons gee erkenning aan al die lidmate en leiers wat ‘n stewige prys betaal het en ‘n volgehoue rol gespeel het om ons te bring waar ons is. As die AGS van SA is ons nederig dankbaar vir ons reis na eenheid tot dusver, en ons vertrou dat ons ondervinding op een of ander manier vir ander tot hulp kan wees.

Seëninge
Henri Weideman

Pastoral Letter: 1st Quarter 2022

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AFM Pastoral Letter: 1st Quarter 2022

TABLE OF CONTENTS

– INTRODUCTION
– STRATEGIC MISSIONAL INTENT
– MISSIONAL GOVERNANCE
– FINANCIAL STEWARDSHIP
– CONCLUSION

Dear AFM Family,

It is a privilege to write this first Pastoral Newsletter in my capacity as the president of the AFM of South Africa. Thank you for your goodwill and continuous prayers for the newly elected National Office Bearers (NOB). We will work hard to make a positive contribution towards realising the redemptive purpose of the AFM church as part of the Kingdom of God. In this edition attention is given to the strategic missional intent of the NOB for the next three years, as presented to and approved by the March 2022 NLF. The letter also includes articles on governance and missionality, as well as financial stewardship.

The following must be noted regarding the updated Covid -19 regulations as published in the 23 March 2022 Government Gazette, and forwarded to all NLF members:

  • The AFM will not force our assemblies or members to be vaccinated and provide proof thereof, in order to get to 50% occupancy of building capacity. In this regard we maintain the principle of freedom of choice, as previously communicated by us in meetings with the SA Government.
  • The practical implication of this is that gatherings are “limited to 1000 persons or less for indoor venues and 2000 persons or less for outdoor venues and if the venue is too small to hold the prescribed number of persons observing a distance of at least one meter from each other, then not more than 50 percent of the capacity of the venue may be used, subject to strict adherence to all health protocols and social distancing measures.”
  • “Attendance of a funeral and cremation is limited to 200 persons or less and if the venue is too small to hold the prescribed number of persons observing a distance of at least one meter from each other, then not more than 50 percent of the capacity of the venue may be used, subject to strict adherence to all health protocols.”

This includes the maintaining of a one metre distance between people, the wearing of masks indoors and the regular sanitizing of hands.

STRATEGIC MISSIONAL INTENT

Dr H.J. Weideman (President of the AFM of SA)

The National Office Bearers (NOB) spent three days in January and February 2022 to deliberate, reflect and pray about the Strategic Missional Intent for the next three years. We reflected on the context we find ourselves in as a church, regarding the world, our country and the church in general. Amongst these matters, the following form an integral part of our current reality:

The State of the Nation

  • The devastation caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic. To this we can add the war in Ukraine, the political tension between the West and Russia, as well as the accompanying devastation and uncertainty.
  • The deep poverty, unemployment, inequality, and low economic growth in our country.
  • Unreliable electricity supply.
  • Inefficient ports and railways – inclusive of the passenger rail network.
  • The effects of State capture and corruption.
  • The slow move from analogue to digital broadcasting and telecommunications, as well as broadband infrastructure.
  • Inadequate investment in water resource maintenance and improvement of water security.
  • The effects of climate change.
  • The state of our armed forces.
  • Rampant crime.

The State President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address, mentioned that we need a “…new consensus which embraces our shared responsibility to one another and acknowledges that we are all in this together.” He also said that “…to be effective, this social compact needs to include every South African and every part of society.” We must ask whether we regard ourselves to really be part of the South African society and if so, what we as the AFM church in our respective constituencies are doing to add to the solutions.

The State of the Church

During our strategic session, the NOB assessed the state, as well as the context in which the church(es) in South Africa, finds itself. We noted that in general, the church:
– Vacated the moral and prophetic space and voice it had.
– Compromised its ability to speak truth to power.
– Has too many leaders who experience moral failure.
– Grapples with the effects of Post-Modern times and the Pandemic.
– Is not adequately utilising the opportunities the current time frame of uncertainty and a search for purpose and hope, offers.

The challenge for us as the AFM of SA is to step into the gap and provide spiritual leadership on National, Regional and Local level.

Strategic Missional Intent 

The NOB deliberated on critical focus areas in taking the church forward successfully over the next few years. The following Strategic Missional Intent, inclusive of focus areas, goals and action steps, as well as the NOB member for whom it will be an area of responsibility, were presented to and approved by the March 2022 National Leadership Forum NLF. (For the purposes of this article, the timelines as presented to the NLF were not included.)

Administration of Justice (Pastor B. Petersen)
The focus will be on clarifying the risks and develop a concept document in reviewing the structure, policy, functionality and training of the AFM’s administration of justice.

Church Planting and Growth (Pastor B. Petersen)
The planting and registration of 300 churches over the next three years is envisioned. To achieve this the concept “church” will be (re)defined, role players engaged, a concept document developed, and timelines established. A draft church planting strategy will be presented to the NLF, followed by implementation and monitoring.

Communication (Pastor M.S. Khumalo)
This focus area is about the development of a comprehensive internal and external communication plan. A concept document will be developed, followed by engagement of role players and the presentation of a draft strategy.

Compliance of Assemblies, Regions & Departments (Pastor R.J. Coertzen)
All areas of compliance will be defined and assessed, inclusive of statutory compliance and PBO and NPO status, after which an action plan will be developed.

Deepening and visible expression of Unity (Dr H.J. Weideman)
The understanding, expectations, fears, success stories and possibilities of unity will be defined and assessed by engaging role players. This will be followed by the development of a strategy on moving unity to the next level.

Departmental re-envisioning and alignment (Pastor B. Petersen)
A concept document will be developed, role players engaged, and a draft strategy aimed at strengthening the effectivity of our departments, presented to the NLF.

Ecumenical Engagement, Positioning and Prophetic Voice (Dr H.J. Weideman & Pastor B. Petersen)
In this regard the strategic intent of our ecumenical engagement, positioning and prophetic voice will be defined, and an action plan developed.

Education and Training (Dr H.J. Weideman)
A fully functional AFM training institution is envisioned. Actions will include engagement with role players and defining the strategic intent of education and training in the AFM. A concept document, inclusive of a draft action plan and financial model will be presented to the Education and Training Department and the NLF.

Leadership Development Program implemented (Dr H.J. Weideman)                                          The identification and intentional development of +/- 80 potential leaders is envisioned. To achieve this, role players will be engaged, a concept document developed, and a draft leadership development program presented to the NLF.

Minimum wage fully implemented (Pastor R.J. Coertzen)
NLF decisions, factual realities and possibilities in this regard will be established and monitored, after   which a proposal will be developed.

Welfare Department Review and Sustainability (Dr H.J. Weideman)
The intent and sustainability of the Welfare will be assessed, and role players engaged, to develop and present a draft strategic plan, inclusive of a business plan and operational structure to the NLF.

Youth Retention and Campus Ministry Strategy (Pastor B. Petersen)
A draft document will be developed, role players engaged and a draft strategy on this very important focus area, presented to the NLF.

Archives and Heritage (Pastor R.J. Coertzen)
A concept document on the enhancement and inclusivity of the archives and the preservation of our heritage will be developed. Role players will be engaged and a draft strategy presented to the NLF.

Chaplaincy (Pastor R.J. Coertzen)
The strategic intent, functioning and possibilities of the Chaplaincy Committee will be assessed. Role players will be engaged, and a concept document presented to the NLF.

Litigation (Pastor R.J. Coertzen)
The status of current civil cases will be assessed, and the necessary action taken. Role players will be engaged and a strategy on the way forward developed.

Pastoral Wellness (Pastor S Khumalo)
Existing documents regarding Pastoral wellness will be assessed and role players engaged, with the view of presenting of a draft strategy on the way forward to the NLF.

“We need the prayers, support and involvement of all AFM members, inclusive of individuals skilled in the areas mentioned above.”

The President, Deputy President and General Treasurer will each have five focus areas, over and above their normal responsibilities. The General Secretary who has a lot of administrative responsibilities, will have two additional ones at this stage. This is a tall order and although the NOB members will take responsibility as indicated, we cannot do it alone. We need the prayers, support and involvement of all AFM members, inclusive of individuals skilled in the areas mentioned above.

MISSIONAL GOVERNANCE

Dr H.J. Weideman (President of the AFM of SA)

How is Governance linked to Missionality?

In Matthew 5:16 (ESV) Jesus says: “…let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” 1 Pet 2:12 (NLT) echoes this notion, when Peter says: “Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbours. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honourable behaviour, and they will give honour to God when he judges the world.”

According to these two Scriptures, there is a definite link between our behaviour as followers of Jesus and our testimony in the world. When people, even unbelievers, see how we conduct ourselves, they will recognise it as good and honourable and acknowledge God in the process. The “good works” and “honourable behaviour” that Jesus and Peter talk about, includes but is definitely not limited to our lifestyle and vocabulary. The way we conduct our business and work, whether as an employer or employee, speaks loud about who we are and what we believe.

In 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 (NKJV) Paul says: “Let a man (others) so consider us, -as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”

When people see how we conduct ourselves, how we speak, how we govern ourselves and the things we are given responsibility for, they should think about us as good stewards. That in itself, is being missional in practice: Our stewardship of the property, people, finances, skills and area/s of responsibility entrusted to us, is a witness to our beliefs and existence as followers of Jesus. Whether that testimony is a good or a bad witness, depends on how good our governance is.

In the business world, the effectiveness of a governance system is often measured by the achievement of the organisation’s mission or purpose. This is also true for us as the church: The core of our mission and purpose is to make people disciples of Jesus (Matt.28:19). This does not only happen from the pulpit, or in one-on-one conversations, but also in how we govern ourselves in leisure and in business.

“How we govern ourselves and our assemblies either glorifies God and draw people to Him or causes them to turn away.”

Church governance on Local, Regional and National level, must be informed by a missional understanding of being church. How we govern ourselves and our assemblies either glorifies God and draw people to Him or causes them to turn away. May we be found to be faithful stewards of everything that has been entrusted to our care.

FINANCIAL STEWARDSHIP

Past. R.J. Coertzen (General Treasurer of the AFM of SA)

Financial stewardship is part of the Governance focus in our AFM missional strategy. Let me start with a question: What is the culture in your congregation? What do you promote and do with purpose? What do you tolerate? What do you kill when it appears in your assembly? What lives in your heart for your assembly?

If you and I can live a generous life, and teach our people to live a generous life, you will see remarkable things happening.”

I think an especially important area where we need to take stewardship of is in the area of generosity. Many of you would react by asking: What are you talking about? I can barely get by with what I have and now you want me to be generous? Yes, that is what I am suggesting because that is what the Word of GOD tells us to do – and if you follow HIS guidance, you will reap the fruits of HIS word. If you and I can live a generous life, and teach our people to live a generous life, you will see remarkable things happening.

Just to help you, GOD’s blessing stands on two legs: Generosity and stewardship. The one cannot go without the other. You can be ‘n generous person, but if you are not a good steward, you will run out of money very soon. If you are a good steward but are tight – meaning you do not give away, GOD cannot bless you either, because you are not generous. If you can be both, a good steward and live generously, GOD will bless you, especially your financial world. Because that is GOD’s principles.

What are the Steps?

Live it.
If you want your people to be good stewards, you and me will have to live it. If you want your people to live generously, they will have to see it in your life. I can only teach the congregation what I do myself and live it for them.

Preach it.
The second thing that we need to do is preach on it. Many pastors will now say: Yes, my brother, I preach regularly on it, but my question today is: What is your motive? Why do you preach on it? Is it just to get more money for the church? And this is the reason many pastors are ineffective when preaching on it. GOD is interested in our hearts not the external things. Matt 6:21 “…where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” The best way to kill selfishness in your congregants’ hearts is to teach them that we are only stewards, not owners.

“…by modelling it I mean that you have to share truths with your congregation by using personal stories of what GOD has done in your life.”

Model it.
To create a culture of stewardship in your assembly you must model it. It must come from the top down. It must start with the Pastor, the staff, and the Governing Body before it will be embraced by the ordinary members. To model stewardship is different from living it. You have to live it to model it, but by modelling it I mean that you have to share truths with you congregation by using personal stories of what GOD has done in your life.

I pray that GOD will bless you in your walk, especially in the area of finances. I pray that you will be a generous and good steward.

CONCLUSION

May God empower us as followers of Jesus to keep our focus on the ultimate task and purpose of the church: To make all people disciples of Jesus. It is my prayer that whilst we are fulfilling our calling with integrity and excellence, we will keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the initiator and perfector of our faith.

Blessings
Henri Weideman