Discipling the Nations

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Our slogan for campus ministry is “Change the campus, change the world.” Over the last couple of years, this underlying truth has been brought front and center for so many churches. Being a campus ministry, we have a very high rate of turnover in our students: we invariably have an entirely new group of students (and essentially an entirely new congregation) every 3-4 years!

Through this series, it was amazing to see God open up purpose and significance for the 450 students that sat and listened! This was an incredible series to minster with Kathy Gooch and Jonathan Rens. It was at a similar series more than 15 years ago that I found my own sense of purpose and destiny in God!

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Ministering at the Sunday service

In the second week we had an altar call, and it was incredible to see a couple of young people give their lives to God as a result of understanding God’s good news and purpose for every aspect of their lives! We preached for three Sundays and then had a workshop for the final Sunday. Our aim was to take a look at what God intended the church to be  and do by looking at the “Great Commission.”

Matt 28:18-20:

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

We started by covering split thinking (Dualism) and how this has affected our understanding of the “Great Commission”. We then covered all 7 spheres of society and looked at Biblical principles for the Arts, Entertainment & Sport, Business, The Church, Media & Communication, Education, Family, Government and Health, Science & Technology.

 

The workshop was in two parts. There was first an exhortation by Jonathan Rens to go and make a difference where God has placed you. There was then a chance for students who wanted to engage further to meet and ask questions of incredible leaders in each sphere. These leaders are on a journey to glorify God as they worship Him through their work and grapple with Biblical principles in their field. About 150 students and graduates signed up for this workshop.

This is what one graduate had to say regarding the series:

“The Discipling Nations series…gave me a better understanding of the sphere I studied and God’s purpose for it. It unpacked for me how God’s character is displayed or glorified in the three spheres I feel called to, which are Business, Media and Ministry.

Personally, it also highlighted the same God-like qualities in me that helped me understand and confirm that God had indeed called me in to these Spheres. The media and communications sphere especially helped me understand that my choice of studying Media and Marketing was not in vain even though I chose it because it was the best option for me at the time.” – Ayanda Mpongwana

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Health, Science & Technology group

 

Faith in Action…

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Three churches meeting to ask God how we can respond practically to the needs on our campuses.

With the “Revolution” happening on our campuses we are seeing a chance to really press in with what we’re doing, because we know that God brings true change as He changes hearts. There are so many areas on campus demanding responses, and this creates opportunities. When we can practically meet needs, it opens up incredible roads to bring the gospel to young people. It also allows the message to be incarnational as people see believers who have been filled with God’s love act it out by sharing, giving and sacrificing.

Churches are finding that there are so many ways to respond and really be missional and practical in our love for people. We recently met as a group of 3 churches that are affiliated with UCT and CPUT to dream and talk about God’s response to the needs on our campuses. It was incredible to see churches come together, even on a small scale, to think about  how we can work together to practically LOVE students on our campuses.

This initiative is one of so many stories we are hearing after “The Justice Conference” which is so exciting. There have been many churches and individuals doing justice in Cape Town and South Africa but bringing the stories together begins to build a movement that draws in other churches, organisations and individuals, and then they can more easily see ways in which they can do acts of justice in their communities.  Many churches met again recently to look at the future of Biblical Justice in our city and nation through the support of the “The Justice Conference” movement.

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Asking if the Justice Conference will fuel and give way to acts of righteousness in our communities by believers.

The First ‘Justice Conference’, South Africa

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Our real kick off for the year was the Justice Conference! This was an absolutely wonderful way to begin the year in light of all that has ensued in our nation over the past months. It was just so timely. The students who came to the conference were so excited by the content and the fact that all the issues facing South Africa were being looked at head-on. It was well attended and diverse making the learning challenging, very emotional but most effective, everyone left the conference stirred.

My highlights were seeing this conference come together in this incredible weekend, and speaking to friends and students about what they were learning. It was an answer to prayer to see justice accessible for individuals and institutions, which was so helpful, as people’s most frequent question is, “What does this mean for me?” All in all, it was an awakening, relevant, and rewarding weekend with much work to be done in South Africa!

 

Leading after #FeesMustFall 2016

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Photo of the protests courtesy of the Duke Chronicle

In the Western Cape, the university campuses where we have our campus ministries started very late this year (mid March), except for the University of Stellenbosch. This is some of the aftermath of the Fees Must Fall protests; deferred exams, lack of student housing for the new year and delayed employment for those who were meant to be graduating.

As the dust settles and we look ahead to our future – and the prospect of more unrest – we sense the need to both strengthen leaders and raise up more leaders as we move forward. We are aware as campus ministries that we are always only 1 year away from extinction because of the fast student turn-over. We witnessed last year that God’s presence, and specifically His presence through Christians, makes such a difference during times of deep turmoil. The mediation, the peaceful witnessing, the prayer, and the counseling carried out by many Christians across the body of Christ had such an incredible impact on the situation.

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Photo of UCT’s Jammie Plaza courtesy of Stay Centred

This year, we are looking to strengthen our leadership development across all of our campuses. For us this means being more effective in equipping our student leaders both for their own growth, and to improve their ability to disciple other students. It also means more effective equipping of Christian students who are entering student governance, and framing the issues of the day with a Biblical perspective so that they can be salt and light on the campuses. There has also been a greater interest among the Christian university staff to engage and explore their role in campus life.

Through every adversity and difficult situation, we move forward with the knowledge that God has His hand on His people, and that we carry His presence within us.

New name – same people, passion and purpose…

His People Church in Southern Africa officially changed their name from His People to Every Nation, effective from the beginning of 2017. We wanted to adopt the name of the apostolic movement that His People Church belongs to. Many of the students were still on break at the time of all the congregational commemorations, so we are yet to commemorate the change with our students. We will still do so at the Every Nation Campus Conference in September this year!

Have a blessed Christmas!

Our prayer for you this Christmas as you are preparing and celebrating is that you would be filled with the Hope, the Peace, the Joy and the Love that Jesus brings to all circumstances!

With love,

The Kruger ‘Kru’

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God and Justice

 

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In response to much of the political and national debates happening on our campuses and in our nation, a group of us from across the His People churches have come together to initiate response and service to the campuses and our communities at this time. We have had the honor of putting together a ‘God and Justice’ sermon series for the Cape Town His People churches that was leading up to the local government elections. The response has been really good. Many students have said that they are so glad their church is finally speaking and addressing some of the issues that are burning in their hearts from a biblical perspective.

We split the sermon series into “God’s Heart for Justice“, “God and Social Justice” and “God and Political Justice“. At the end of the series we asked if there was anyone who felt called to serve in government, whether in student government on campuses or in local and/or national government. We will be meeting with these students in September to inspire and encourage them on their journey.

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I had the privilege of preaching on “God and Social justice” at His People Baxter

Following on from the God and Justice series, there are many collaborations we are a part of so we can keep communication open and work towards unity and change in our nation. Two such initiatives are Real Talk events in August – a frank public conversation about race and the other initiative is the first Justice Conference in Africa, which will be in March 2017.

Info graphic - 24-25 August

 

 

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Leaders in Transformation (LIT)

Leaders in Transformation (LIT) at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT):

LITLeaders in Transformation (LIT) at Cape Peninsula University of Technology went deeper and further this year after its launch toward the end of last year. We started the year with an amazing  sermon series on “Reclaiming the Kingdom” at the His People City Bowl church, followed by bi-monthly workshops on the different spheres of society (Business, Government, Education, Science & Technology, Family, Arts & Media and the Church) to facilitate a network and to engage possibilities for ‘godly” influence and transformation in each sphere. Each workshop has been so powerful, eye opening and faith building for all those attending.

We have just had the 5th discussion, which centered around God and family.

In addition to this, LIT in conjunction with the His People City Bowl church and the campus ministry held an event at the CPUT campus called “I have a Dream”. It was an incredible day of inspiring and encouraging students to lift up their eyes and dare to believe that God has a plan and a dream to use them to impact and transform their societies through their field of study, and later, through the vocation they will spend most of their days as graduates pursuing. We had lots of testimonies and we broke up into interactive sessions to set the seen for the future mentor-ship of students. We now have 75 CPUT students seeking mentor-ship, and some of our mentors from the His People Baxter church have stepped in to help mentor students at CPUT.

 

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Transformation

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Our first collective response to the student movement as campus ministries in Cape Town was to have a campus tour with Afrika Mhlophe. Our intent was to not shy away from the issues and to create venues to allow students to participate in the national conversations that have been happening with a Christian framework. The tour was successful in providing a safe place to get students with different viewpoints to really talk and listen to each other publicly. The outcome was the beginnings of open conversations on “race” and the issues that surround it, equipping students with a Christian perspective on justice and an encouragement to the students to begin seeking solutions to the issues of their day. You can check out the video recorded at UCT here.

In response to this event we will continue to keep the safe space we created open for future dialogue around “transformation” of the campuses. We have several more events planned for next semester, as we know that change occurs gradually and outwardly, from internal to external. More than ever we are aware that we must keep doing what we have been doing until now: evangelize, make disciples and raise leaders because it’s people that change a nation!

Chaos is an opportunity. With that in mind, please keep praying for us that we would have  the courage to lead in this time. We are aware that this is a momentous time in our nation, and as such, we pray that we would come out of this united as citizens toward the dream and destiny God has for us as a nation. In Him, all things are possible.