“How do we as Christian leaders walk together to bring a prophetic voice of prophetic action to the nation?” Miles Giljam, AESA Team Leader.
The South African Christian Leadership Indaba was held in Edenvale, Johannesburg on January 22 to 24th to address the above question. In essence, the conference set out to create a platform for conversation between leaders who are concerned about the current and future state of South Africa. In attendance were 140 delegates within leadership from the fields of politics, business and the church. AE, The Evangelic Alliance of South Africa, Kairos South Africa, The South African Council of Churches and the Christian Leaders Forum were among the organizations that had a hand in making the Indaba possible. Four main objectives had been ear-marked as the bases of conversation said AESA CEO, Miles Giljam, these included: hearing the Lord speak, mapping out a clear vision for the nation, designing a process that will produce a way forward and addressing the issues of leadership and unity both within Christian bodies and the country as a whole. He added that he was pleased with the outcomes, as a clear path has now been carved for a journey that leads to the fulfillment of a unified goal. A vision for 18months, 5 years and 30 years had also been discussed and plans are underway for a second meeting to be held at the end of February to solidify some of the discussions from the Indaba.
This is what the attendees had to say about the conference:
“God is now calling the church, saying ‘This is your time to take responsibility.’ We can no longer hide and think that the country will find its way. The church is there to show the way, the truth and to help people overcome the patterns that are destructive and destroying our nation. When we now leave our task is to uproot some things, strengthen some things, plant new things, call the elderly to complete their generation, call the middle age group to do their part because this is their productive years and call the youth to follow us.” Elizabeth Jordaan.
“This conference is going to have an immense impact on the broader South Africa because all who care have come to one unified vision of how to go about in order to have a prophetic voice in post-Apartheid South Africa. Jointly we can do much more than individual churches. The Lord will give us new vision of how to attend to the social and economic injustices in post-Apartheid South Africa.” Mary-Anne Van Huffel-Plaaitjies, Moderator of United Reform Church in Southern Africa.
“[This was a] wonderful opportunity to unite the body of Christ. While we were here God showed me that this is the beginning of awesome things to come, we only need to walk with Him in faith and He will lead us and unite us and He will solve all of the problems of the world starting here. He will feed the nations, educate them, but it’s going to cost us, we must surrender everything to Him.” Marius Brandt,
“This is an important moment, as churches we have rare moments where we have opportunity to do something about the unity of the church and this was one of those moments.” Moss Ntlha, Kairos South Africa
“This is one of the processes where we must relook at the role of the church especially if we feel there is a gap that we are not filling or there are issues that the church has become less involved in. This conference is able to talk to the gap. A lot of people are saying that since 1994 the church has been relatively quiet, it [the conference] is the beginning of a process and it sets the process going.” Spiwo Xapile, James Zweli Memorial Church in Guglethu
“I am excited about the level of enthusiasm that this conference was received, everyone was a willing participant of the process. [Leaving here] I have 3 prayers: Firstly for leadership, that God would raise up different kinds of leaders in different areas; secondly the role of the church in society, clarity of what we can do together and thirdly for the next generation, for a ministry of discipleship, that nobody will think of themselves as a leader on their own but we will all work together. ” Rene’ August, St. Aidens in Lansdown, Cape Town
“It was a kairos moment, there is something happening in the nation that is pushing the church to act.” Miles Giljam, AESA CEO
“[Coming in to this conference] we want to acknowledge our own failures. We have started a process towards a 30year vision, we have committed to walking together on this road, we are committing ourselves to prayer…, we want to affirm actions and initiatives that are already taking place, we commit to engage with leaders from across the spectrum….. to broaden this process. The current leadership…will take these plans forward, beginning with a meeting on February 21st.” Peter Tarantal
“I am encouraged because you must remember we were a nation that was at war with itself and so people carry the wounds and need healing and we have been called by God to bring that process of healing and transformation…Secondly wea re not asked to be the voice of the people but we are asked to propel our people to find their own voice…” Bishop Seoka Seero
“We have acknowledged from the beginning of this meeting that crisis has brought us together, crisis in our country and crisis in the church because we failed to stand as a united Christian witness in the land. Crisis speaks of two things, danger and opportunity, and one of the things we have been focusing on is the opportunity we as Christians have to make a new solution. I am wonderfully encouraged and fascinated by the quality, competence and kind of people that we have here [at this conference]” Jerry Pillay
“…The Lord has been bring His people together and continues to do so. Most of us who have had some responsibility probably feel that we have been failing leaders, that we have not done very well and that somehow our capacities are such that we could only help get the body of Christ to the Jordan. It would take a new generation of Joshua’s to help the body of Christ and South Africa to cross the Jordan and that there would be new challenges in the ongoing efforts to conquer the promised land. For some of us who have have struggled and maybe failed, it was only proper that the Lord would let us see the generation of Joshua’s rise up…” Dr Michael Cassidy, Founder of AE