My final MT meeting

Tshwane Mission Team

meeting in Soshanguve UU on Friday June 7, 2013

  • present: Boersma, Boon, De Boer [secretary], Lubbinge [special guest], Magagula, Makwakwa, Mhlanga, Mnisi G, Mnisi J [chairman]
  • absent: Matlaela [apology], Matlhokoane

The meeting is opened with Hymn 60, Matthew 28:16-20 and prayer.

We approve the minutes of 3 May. Makwakwa will still provide those of 5 April.

With Lubbinge as facilitator, we focus on the Mission strategical plan. Our discussion is a follow-up of the Silkaatsnek meeting [March 9] and input for the Mission Board meeting [June 12].

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We focus on 3 points: true conversion, congregational structures and Christian worldview. These should receive a place in the new strategical plan.

1.    True conversion

The strategical plan speaks about a network of living congregations. Are our churches living? We see a problem in the fact that many members are backsliding, e.g. in low attendance, arrears in tithing and a worldly lifestyle. The church is growing but the members do not grow spiritually. We focus on new members entering through the front door, but old members are leaving through the back door.

  • We have structures in place for the 1st step of conversion. The new members’ course How great is his love proves to be an asset. We formulated Criteria for admission. [Do we adhere to those? Let us support one another and ask help if necessary.]
  • But we must assist members with the 2nd step of conversion. We want them to keep growing, to persevere in the faith and to remain committed. It is not enough to be in the church – are you in Christ? True conversion will be visible e.g. in church attendance, tithing, involvement and lifestyle.

2.    Congregational structures

The strategical plan speaks about a network of living congregations. In a congregation every member has his or her own place and task. We see a lack of connection in our churches. Every group is doing its own thing – e.g. women, youth, Sunday school – without being linked to the rest. The pastor or missionary is the key figure. But is there ownership of the members? The lack of good congregational structures may be one of the reasons why members drop out.

Various solutions can address this problem, e.g. a church committee with representatives from the different ‘guilds’ or regular general meetings where each ‘stalletjie’ report on its activities.

One group in the church should remain in the centre of our attention. The leadership course for the men must continue. Our goal is to equip them for the offices within the congregation. To invest in this group is vital.

3.    Christian worldview

In mission work we always focus on the contextualisation of the gospel. Time and time again we come back to people’s worldview. How can we help our members to develop a Christian worldview? It is important not only to react on wrong views but to teach them the Christian way of thinking.

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We have an interesting discussion about the direct future of the mission work. The vacancy in XX must be filled before Boon can leave. Maybe some of the missionaries can be reshuffled in the process. And the Extensions should still receive 1 or 2 workers!

Additional points:

  1. Participants for the young men’s camp [15 years and upwards] must sign up not later than June 9.
  2. A youth group from Holland will visit Soshanguve. On July 13 there is a sports event in XX. On July 14 the Dutch guests will visit the different churches. Boon will put them up at the missionaries for that weekend.
  3. The draft sermon planning is accepted. Kgatle can be used more often. Matlhokoane must be reimbursed for his preaching and his travel expenses.
  4. Lubbinge informs us about Thusano. He signals a lack of coordination and integration. Why is John Mahlangu not invited more to deliver his speech on ‘Finances and the Bible’? Thusano is considering a total change of their approach – see e-mail for details.
  5. The next leadership course will be hosted by Living Hope in Akasia on June 28. Boon will introduce the topic ‘Being self-governing as the church’.

Next meeting: July 26 @ rev. Jopie. Chairman Mnisi G, secretary Boersma. Topic ‘Worship’ to be introduced by Boersma.

In our closing prayer we pay attention to the severe illness of Magagula’s sister, the acceptance of Maranata’s call by Boon and the farewell and departure of De Boer.

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