Pastoral Newsletter 2nd Quarter 2024

AFM Pastoral Letter 2nd Quarter 2024

AFM Family,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video Clips: WATCH HERE

One-Page Summaries: DOWNLOAD HERE

Friendly Regards!
Henri Weideman

Spread the word...