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!

 

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!

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.