From the first moment we started our journey with the PMC, we new that to be missional, we needed a different paradigm. How big a paradigm shift this would be, is something that we just could not contemplate.
As country, church and congregation, we experienced very much of uncertainty and an immense quantity of stuck ness. From our side as congregation, we new that change were absolute necessary. In fact, since 1998, a very serious decision was made by the church counsel to enhance our focus on our calling as church.
Sad to say, with all our efforts, we just could not change the culture of the congregation from maintenance to mission. Strategic planning was the only way new. And then, in 2003, Coenie Burger introduce a few congregations in Gauteng to the PMC! For us, it was like a life-boat.
What we have experience over the last few years, amazed us all. In our understanding of God, our understanding about being a church and being a Christian, we are in a process of learning and adapting.
We thank God for our congregational calling, for our three missional patterns, for boundaries we have crossed, for adaptive changes we have made, and all the lessons we have learned.
Daar is geen vergelyking tussen waar ons was en waar ons vandag is nie. Op ’n geestelike onderskeidende vlak kon ons, tree vir tree, die reis van gestuurdheid aanpak. Aanvanklik dikwels getwyfel oor die uitkoms, en by tye gewonder of ons nie die reis vaarwel moet roep nie. Tog dank ons die Here vandag dat ons deel gebly het van die proses.
Tydens ons afgelope kerkraadsvergadering, is aan elkeen van die lede gevra om hul gewaarwording, ten opsigte van wat hulle in die gemeente ervaar, met mekaar te deel. Woorde soos – gestuurdheid, om ’n verskil te maak, om jou roeping te verstaan, gefokus te wees, in biddende afhanklikheid te leef, iets van die wil en hart van God te leef – is oor en oor gehoor.
As leierskap, is ons daadwerklik besig om die gemeente terug te gee in die hande van die lidmate. Ons is verstom oor die grense wat die gemeente oorsteek, die nuwe geloofsgemeenskappe wat gevorm word, en die hulp en hoop wat gebring word aan soveel verwondes in ons omgewing.
Wat ons nie lekker aan die begin verstaan het nie, begin ons stelselmatig te begryp nl. – dat God nog altyd aan ons alles gegee het wat ons as gemeente nodig gehad het om te wees en te doen waarvoor Hy ons geroep het.
What a journey!!
And it started in the late 90’s with, what I would call, a Holy Discontent. But then, in 2003, we were introduced to the Partnership for Missional Churches.
At that stage we did not know about:
1. Spiritual discernment
2. Dwelling in the Word
3. Missio Dei
4. Capacity building
5. Adaptive chance
6. Risk taking
In a certain sense this was new to us all. But, through the grace of God, we started our journey with South African Partnership of Missional Churches.
And now, after nearly 6 years, our growing into being missional, is gradually becoming visible in the community.
The one thing we know is – God is sending Constantiakruin to the wounded people, to form a new community with them, where we can help each other, and where we can bring new hope. On a physical, emotional, spiritual level.
And to enhance our congregational calling we, in a very serious manner, blow torch our 3 patterns. And they are:
The Biblical Formation into Discipleship
Practices That Demonstrate God’s Intent for the World
Dependence on the Holy Spirit
We focus on them, we stress them, emphasize them, and it is just amazing how, in doing this, a culture is being changed from maintenance to mission
What I have experienced the last few years in the congregation, is só unprecedented. If you would have asked me six years ago – where are you heading? In no way would I have been able to share the outcome with you.
But it did not only change the congregation, in a very personal manner, it changed me.
The one verse that stuck in my mind is Philippians 2: 5 “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus –
He who made himself nothing
He who took the very nature of a slave
He who humbled himself, and became obedient to death”
Over the last 5 years, I have sense this change:
I have changed from a lone ranger into a team player
I am much more relaxed about the processes in our congregation
I really trust God with the way ahead, although I don’t know where we are heading
I am much more relaxed with chaos.
I know that living out our missional vocation will not please everyone – and I am OK with that.
I am also OK with – taking risks
For me, it is not any more about Constantiakruin and what we want to become, I understand that it is all about God, about God’s nature and character
I haven’t got an issue about who is going to get the recognition or credit for work being done
Deep inside I sense much more trust and tranquility and fulfillment
Being part of this missional journey – energizes me, it keeps me young, and it helps me to focus.
In a special way we want to thank CII for allowing us to be part of the PMC. But then, in a special manner, we want to thank you for sharing your wisdom and knowledge and all your research results with us. Thank you for introducing us to “Dwell in the Word” and for helping us to grow into spiritual discernment. We owe you so much recognition and thanks for your outstanding work through all the years!
As kerkraad staan ons verwonderd oor die werk van die Here in die gemeente. Ons kan nie genoeg dankie sê vir al die rolspelers wat betrokke was by die prosesse waarmee ons besig is nie. Daarom, vanuit die kerkraadsvergadering, besonderlik aan jou ’n woord van opregte dank en waardering vir al jou insette, tyd en opoffering, vir wat jy vir ons as gemeente, “cluster”, asook vir die SAVGG beteken.
Ons het eweneens groot waardering vir jou gesin, en hulle opoffering van die afgelope ses jaar.
(nms Constantiakruin Kerkraad)