What Next? Looking At The Next 60 Years
So what do we do in the NEXT 60 YEARS? Answer? Simple! Keep fulfilling the SAME calling He gave us 60 years ago!! Africa is our parish. The cities our focus. Evangelism our activity.
Why do I say that so simply and emphatically? Well, because the Bible says:” The gifts and call of God are IRREVOCABLE.”(Rom.11:29). In other words, once God has issued His call to an individual or group, He gifts them to fulfil that calling and doesn’t change His mind. The calling is irrevocable. Immutable. “Without repentance”, says the King James. In other words, God is not going to repent or turn away from the calling He has given us, and for which He has gifted us.
So if our calling as we define it and understand it is ” to evangelise the cities of Africa through word and deed in partnership with the church”, then we must get on with this in the next 60 years. And if we don’t, the Lord is perfectly able to raise up others who will. Pray God that never has to happen.
But that does not mean we mustn’t seek out new methods and means of contextualising our ministry to fit the new situations in Africa. So while our calling & focus won’t change, our methodologies may, and probably should. That said, I still think the AE Pan African citywide mission of stratified evangelism should remain the core component of AE ‘s ministry, and I believe there are many other strategies within that, and beyond it which should and MUST be explored for greater effectiveness.
Obviously the new world of social media and new techniques for using older media, such as radio and television, demands our thorough exploration of how to use these more effectively. And with COVID 19 perhaps restricting our ability to mount mass gatherings, it becomes even more important that we get more fully into reaching people in their homes. Thus I am very thankful for Leonard Kiswangi ‘s superb weekly TV programs in DRC Congo. which reach thousands without Leonard having to move from a studio.
This is in addition, by the way, to Leonard’s continuing with relatively normal missions. Bravo, Leonard and Anthos. All other team leaders should explore such options. And not forgetting that radio is still the main medium used by the majority of people in Africa. I believe we should have huge radio endeavours throughout our African teams.
And what about literature & books. Africa is ever increasingly a reading continent. I believe all our teams have individuals capable of writing good books or booklets. I have recently encouraged AESA Team Leader, Theuns Pauw, to write up his extraordinary story and testimony and he has done so, and we are hoping to see it published next year. Both Stephen & Rosemary Mbogo have likewise recently written superb autobiographies. Come on other team leaders, you can do the same.
Think too of Melisachew Mesfin, our amazing TL in Ethiopia, whose large volume of discipleship material is read by thousands of young trainee leaders in his country. Nii Amuu has also written great material for the Ghanaian church. So, yes, I am calling on AE team members to usher in a new era of solid Christian writing, both inspirational and theological, for Africa. And our new publishing friends, Oasis International in Chicago, are ready to help us get this out. Their specific calling is to help get African-written books out in Africa.
I also believe, as we launch out into our next 6 decades, that we should recommit ourselves to the full inspiration and final authority of Scripture in all matters of faith and morals. This is clearly set forth in the Lausanne Covenant, our constitutionally enshrined statement of faith. This Covenant we should revisit, restudy, and re-embrace as our theological foundation.
The next sixty years could see the return of our Precious Lord. In the meantime, we should ” work while it is Day, knowing that the night comes when no one can work.”(John 9:4).
So, dear ones, let’s go for it!! We have only touched the hem of Africa’s garment. There is much land yet to be possessed.