Jesus loves his church. He died for it, prays for it, lives for it and is going to return for it – for AFRICA too.
But let’s be honest: It’s not easy to love the church. It’s easy to love Jesus. Loving His bride is another story. And in Africa that is no different … in fact the struggles churches have here are probably multiplied by 3 due to the extreme circumstances. And add to that that most pastors in African rural churches receives NO SALARY at all!! But the AFRICAN CHURCH has a special way about them. After sitting under many trees and watching many churches …. DO CHURCH … here is a few things I learnt from the African Church.
1. It’s not about us. The church in Africa place a higher priority on what Jesus wants than on what we want. We are, by nature, self-focused beings. I have seen amazing things when the church reach out in their authentic way. Caring and loving is what makes the church moves.
2. It’s incredibly fruitful. In the last 6 months in Mozambique alone 189 new churches was planted. That was done through NEW disciples. On so many occasions after a training seminar we’ve sent them out to bring in new disciples – in 2 hours it was nothing to see in many cases as much as 65 new believers finding Jesus Christ. Simply amazing passions for new disciples.
3. It’s responsive. The African church is very responsive. They usually say after a church planting time, “We’ll go immediately. We can do it – God is with us. In this Spirit alone in Malawi 18 000 churches was planted in over 10 years.
4. It’s caring. This is the most amazing part of the African church. Nothing is ever too much. There is always a plate of food. The whole church ALWAYS show up at a funeral. Everyone is always involved in the church garden to provide funding and feeding for an orphan.
5. It includes everyone: The body of Christ in heaven is made up of every ethnic group. The church on earth ought to be like that too. The African church is always filled with people from different countries, different backgrounds, different continents and different life stages. Red, brown, yellow, black and white, we are precious in His sight! This is one of the things I love most about the African church.
6. It’s entrepreneurial. The African church is not usually a church with a lot of dollars, but they are a church with a lot of dreamers. Through those dreamers, the do a lot of good in the name of Christ and His kingdom. They always tell me: “We are never poor – we all have something to give!”
7. It is a suffering (with joy) church. Nothing comes easy in Africa
. Not the building. Not the infrastructure. Without musical instruments. No salary for the pastor! But oh the joy that comes in the morning. Through the suffering people care and love unconditionally.
8. It’s a happy church. Outrageously happy and loud! There is no watch on the wall or someone that impatiently look at their watch. Even the odd child that doesn’t behave are not chased out ….. it’s a church that tolerates and loves.
9. It has a commitment to church planting. The most effective apple trees don’t simply produce apples. They produce more trees that produce more apples. I’m grateful to be part of the African Church that is planting as a church 40 new churches and training those new church planters. It’s a church that has committed itself to reproduce 200 000 churches by the end of 2020. That’s the dream they share all over Africa!!!!
10. It’s a bold church. I love the boldness of the church when they tackle a project or reach out to others. Everyone is involved and the Christianity is contagious. You are allowed to make mistakes …. no one judges ….. people care ….. people love …… and you are always welcomed back!
Why do you love your church? I’d love to hear.