Missional initiatives of the GKSA
God is busy, for the sake of His glory, to:
- gather and unify, with word and deed, people from every nation and language and people;
- by equipping the church, through the Holy Spirit;
- on the basis of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, death and resurrection;
- to serve and Worship Services HIM forever in a new creation.
Note: It is God’s mission! Missio Dei expresses how the Father sent the Son to free His creation from the rule of sin and Satan through His coming, crucifixion, death and resurrection. Together the Father and Son sent the Holy Spirit to bring God’s children to faith and a new life and way of life and to equip them to join in the mission of the Triune God to gather His people from every people and language and nation that they may become part of a local covenant community in the form of the church of Christ. Every believer receives unique gifts from the Holy Spirit to share in their own way in God’s mission.
The GKSA considers missional initiatives as a calling for every local congregation. There are a growing number of local congregations that are taking a holistic approach to reaching, with word and deed, people in spiritual and physical need – far and wide. Quite a few churches annually undertake outreach initiatives to Mozambique and Botswana and there are also churches that support a missionary in Burundi.
One of the standing tasks of the synod’s deputies for ecumenical affairs is to coordinate missionary collaboration with international churches. The deputies, for example, offered advice and assistance to the church council of the Gereformeerde Kerk Rustenburg to enter into an agreement with the Kosin Presbyterian Church in Korea and call Rev. J.H. Chun as missionary to establish, under the supervision and together with missionary groups of the congregation, new multicultural congregations in the Rustenburg-area.
Similarly, the Gereformeerde Kerk Rietvallei came to an agreement with the Heritage Congregations in North America to call Dr. Arthur Miskin to do mission work, under the supervision of the church council, in KwaNdebele, with medical assistance at the Nakekela Clinic for ailing HIV patients; to lecture at the Mukhanyo Theological College and also lead the establishment of an English-speaking multicultural congregation.
Dr. Brian de Vries was called, through a collaboration agreement between the Gereformeerde Kerk Brooklyn and the Heritage Congregations, as principal and lecturer of the Mukhanyo Theological College.
Recently discussions were initiated between the mission commission of the Presbyterian churches in Brazil (IPB) and deputies to investigate collaboration on missionary work in Angola and Mozambique. The deputies also approved a request from a small Reformed house congregation in Hanoi, Vietnam for support in establishing a Reformed church there and congregations are at present being approached to join this project.
Involvement with the World Reformed Fellowship (www.wrfnet.org) has enabled the investigation and facilitation of a range of mission networks. In this way, for example, the establishment of an International Institute for Islam Studies, with branches on different continents and possibly also in Potchefstroom (affiliated to the Department of Missiology) is being explored.
Training of the leaders and ministers of the Word of a range of churches in South Sudan, Malawi and in South African townships is now being provided by WRF-networks and the cooperation of international churches with the GKSA, by means of the distance-learning programmes of the Mukhanyo Theological College.
There is great need for a proper office for the GKSA’s missionary coordination, staffed with a few full-time coordinators. Such an office would have to create a database of all Reformed mission projects, facilitate further cooperation agreements, gather and circulate information on incomplete mission callings of churches across the world; make greater mission and evangelisation literature and training courses available; advise and assist churches with the logistics of calling and placing missionaries; facilitate and expand training on different levels and publish a mission newsletter.