Discipling the Nations

18403363_816953041787993_7998231425618973482_n

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!

FullSizeRender (60)

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

FullSizeRender (63)

Health, Science & Technology group

 

Advertisements

Faith in Action…

FullSizeRender (66)

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.

FullSizeRender (65)

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

The Dream Expands…

This year I have seen the expansion of God’s dream for my life with the start of a new chapter in my Campus Ministry journey.

I carry two intertwined roles in this new season. One is serving as a Western Cape Campus Leader for the His People and Every Nation Campuses, strategically helping campus ministries within the Western Cape grow and multiply. In the Western Cape we have campus ministries at UCT, CPUT, UWC, Tygerberg Medical Campus, the University of Stellenbosch and Boland College.

FullSizeRender (11)

Western Cape Campus Leaders social event.

I work with JJ in the City-wide Campus role. The role specifically focuses on enhancing the productivity and fruition of the campus ministers in 5 key areas:

1.Growing and establishing effective, powerful, and life changing God encounters

2.Evangelism

3. Discipleship

4. Raising and empowering student leaders to be released on the campus and later in society

5. World Missions

The campuses will be collaborating with each other to grow in the 5 key areas. During this first phase we will focus on four areas: our unity, taking LIT (see below) to our campuses over the next 3 years, looking at campus staff development (including raising new Campus Ministry staff), and growing our focus on World Missions. The mission fields we will focus on outside of the Western Cape are new campus ministry plants in Port Elizabeth and Kenya, and the strengthening of the campus ministry in Pietermaritzburg.

The other part of my new role is as the LIT coordinator for the Western Cape. LIT stands for ‘Leaders in Transformation‘. It is an institution that works to equip Christian student leaders to impact all spheres of society, and to act as “thought leaders” to influence the affairs of nations in the Southern African region and beyond. My role entails launching the program on the 6 campuses in the Western Cape. This is part of the main strategic objective we continuously have as Campus Ministries, which is to make disciples that transform society. We hope and trust that this program will be a huge step forward in raising up students to transform every sphere of society and bring the Good News into workplaces and businesses. I am excited to see where this takes us!

 

 

 

Culture of Celebration

I am continually amazed by the power of celebration – it helps us to stop and look at what has been accomplished and to pull people together to inspire greater future efforts. Our celebratory events have given us a chance to have fun together; allowing us to interact more deeply and make better connections, consequently building stronger teams and creating real bonds of common purpose . Bible school graduation, Women of the Word lunch and our various Pastorate celebrations were just these kinds of celebratory times.

Year of Your Life 2013 celebration

Year of Your Life 2013 celebration

Year of Your Life 2013 at the celebratory lunch

Year of Your Life 2013 at the celebratory lunch

Forest Hill and Woolsack Residence Connect group leaders have a special tea

Forest Hill and Woolsack Residence Connect group leaders have a special tea

I want to also thank those that partner with us as a family in support and prayer for the vital part they play in making it possible for us to reach and impact these young people. It has been a wonderful time of connecting with various partners over this last month; sharing what God has done on the ‘Campus’ mission field. It has in turn been inspiring to hear what God is doing in their mission fields and families.  We celebrate you and the role you play in our lives and the lives of the young people who are impacted!

Fit to Lead

Our desire as a ministry is to see every believer being a minister (for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, Ephesians 4:12). We want them to live out the ‘Great commission’, to make disciples (by reaching the lost and teaching them to be committed followers of Christ) of all nations! In the second half of the year we increase our focus on establishing and capacitating people to fulfil the ‘Great commission’, because of the nature of the University Campus calendar. We do this by equipping believers in the basic skills required to disciple others and lead small groups of people, where ever they are.

We labour to establish people in the early phases of their Christian faith, encouraging them to be surrendered and committed to Christ and live Ephesians 4:12. We provide ministry, preparation  and training to equip believers in their knowledge of God and their ministry to others. We run short trainings to equip believers by ministering and teaching those that desire to grow. In addition to the foundations of the Christian faith, we have a Bible School and this year we graduated students from both 1st and 2nd year.  We had 124 people learn to use discipleship tools to grow closer to God in many facets of their character; to see how they can experience the miracle of transformation through the Word of God (‘Men and Women of the Word’ courses).  We also train all our small group (connect groups) and area leaders (overseers of many connect groups) to be more effective disciple makers and leaders. It is always one of my greatest joys to be part of the teams that labour (minister, train, lead and teach) so Christ is formed in people.

Bible School graduation 2013

Bible School graduation 2013

'Men of the Word' 2nd semester. Acourse to help with the tools needed to develop Christian character

‘Men of the Word’ (2nd semester group) is a course to help with the discipleship tools needed to develop Christian character

'Women of the Word' (my 2nd semester group) is a course to help with the tools needed to develop Christian character

‘Women of the Word’ (one of the three 2nd semester groups) is a course to help with the discipleship tools needed to develop Christian character

The newly trained 2014 Tugwell Connect group leaders

The newly trained 2014 Tugwell Hall Connect group leaders

Following on from this we had a really great planning time at the end of the year to reassess and improve the growth path we have so we can better help believers make disciples in 2014!

The Baxter 2014 planning time

The Baxter  team at the 2014 planning time

Jason, Andre and myself will be looking at our 3 different phases of training to imporove how we labour to see Christ formed in people

Jason, Andre and myself will be looking at our 3 different phases of training to improve how we labour to see Christ formed in people

A place to call ‘home’

 New PictureThose who are without friends, God puts in families Ps 68:6

When University starts up every semester, we make sure that the students have an opportunity to get connected to the local church so that they have a spiritual home and family here in Cape Town. One of the ways we do this is through a very important element in the life of the church: small groups (or, as we call them, connect groups).

These connect groups are where real spiritual growth takes place as students connect with and learn from each other. It is in and through these groups that they get deeper into the Word, pray with others, grow their faith, are transformed, discover their purpose, make lifelong friends, and are cared for. At the beginning of the semester we had a ‘connect group drive’ where we made sure the students were aware of connect groups and encouraged them to get connected by signing up for one. Incredibly, we had 200 people sign up for groups! I had the amazing opportunity to preach on “Biblical Community” on the Sunday of the connect drive, and to encourage students to get plugged in.

I also went to visit the Glendower Residence (GlenRes) connect group, one of the groups I oversee, the following week. It was wonderful to see so many young people coming together in the residence for an engaging evening of exploring the doctrine of sin. The leader of the GlenRes group, Ayanda, is exceptional, she has built tremendous team dynamic. There was a definite sense of family as different members organized the games, prayer, and the discussion for that evening.

20130801_205625Since returning from maternity leave, it has been so inspiring for me to visit the connect groups I oversee, and to see them full of passion for God and life!

Please pray with us as we work to increase the number of connect groups over this semester. We are planting a new connect group in Tugwell Hall Residence, splitting the existing connect group in GlenRes into two and raising more leaders in Forest Hill and our ‘off campus’ connect groups. We are trusting God that all the leaders will be passionate about obeying God’s command to make disciples and be excellent shepherds.

Transformers

In previous years, Campus Harvest was held as a single national event or 4 regional events, but for 2013 we had a total of 10 different Campus Harvest events across the country with 1745 people attending in total. The point at issue was ‘Transformation’ and “Transformers” is the name the campers gave themselves at this year’s Campus Harvest ‘Western Cape’ camp. There were about 250 people there from the University of Stellenbosch, University of the Western Cape, Cape Peninsula University of  Technology, and University of Cape Town campuses.  It was a warm experience for the students and campus ministers, even though the weather was bitterly cold! Friendships were strengthened and new friendships were formed. The weekend was lots of fun and crazy as it always is with young people. I am always amazed at how it is cumulative moments like these that forever change the course of students’ lives. They are opened up to the possibility of a life lived solely for the glory of God, and have the opportunity to answer the call to be world changers. It was a spiritually refreshing time, with great messages on transforming our society by being agents of transformation ourselves.

It was also an emotional time for me as I looked around and was struck by the number of lives that we have the privilege of impacting through campus ministries. A combination of joy and responsibility; joy of being a part of impacting and shaping lives for God’s glory, and the urgency and responsibility to use this opportunity for the greatest possible impact in the short time we have with each group of students!

The highlight for me was watching the students themselves leading and serving, and the younger campus ministers doing a great job with organising Campus Harvest. I look forward to the fruit that will come from this time away as we were all inspired to go and transform society for God’s glory!

Malibongwe, pictured speaking, was part of the 2011-2012 Year of Your Life team. He is a great evangelist and it was wonderful to see him minister.

Malibongwe, pictured speaking, was part of the 2011-2012 Year of Your Life team. He is a great evangelist and it was wonderful to see him minister.