Information On Selected Church Activities In Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe
This information relates to the activities of the New Apostolic Church District of Zambia. This has been restricted to selected areas of our church activities. An attempt has been made to provide an objective of the practical, rather than the theoretical, aspects of the church activities in our District.
While we are thankful that there are thriving congregations in Zambia we ascribe whatever success we have made, firstly, to the selfless dedication of the pioneers, especially at a time when resentment and opposition to the establishment of the work of God in our country was more often than not. We also want to recognize the fiery zeal, with which their successors have upheld that legacy. The District Apostles Andrew James Fernandes and Duncan Burton Mfune, my predecessors, have upheld the legacy. With the help of God, together with my fellow labourers in the work of God, we desire not only to uphold, but to also build upon this legacy.
The emphasis from the very beginning was upon laying a sound and firm foundation. Our fathers of faith got to work with clear minds and with God’s blessing blazed the trail. Then, as now, the core message of the gospel of salvation, as exemplified in the Apostle doctrine, is the same.
From their experiences and our own, we have come to believe that the role of leaders in any given community is crucial and good leadership can make a difference between success and failure and sometimes between success and great success. We have been persuaded to bring in a cadre of leadership supported by organs that are capable of producing desired results. Since leaders are not easy to come by, fervent prayers are always needed so that the Lord can show us the men he has chosen.
It is imperative that the choice of leaders is made on the basis of merit. Merit connotes not only ability but integrity and devotion to duty. Obviously, a good leader will act responsibly. He will lead by example. Leading has more to do with doing and practicing what one talks about. He must be capable of teaching, guiding and inspiring. He must utilize his gifts and talents for the benefit of the brethren and the church. He should not be arrogant and cynical. He should have a broad outlook, believe in and recognize the intrinsic worth and dignity of those he is charged to work with. He should not be seen to work from an ivory tower (position of superiority). The artificial differences such as race, colour, culture, upbringing, education, wealth etc, should not only be avoided but also discouraged, at all costs. It would be unhelpful in any case because it only engenders resentment, frustration and lethargy. Rather, unity in diversity should be promoted.
The other important consideration is management by objectives. There has to be a clear vision. People must work towards achieving set goals. They must know what to do and when. In other words, there has to be a plan and also division of labour. The Priests and Deacons must have set goals to be achieved.
Let me refer to the text that District Apostle Mfune used in a similar edition:-
“For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law;
To those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God but under law toward Christ) that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men that I might by all means win some. Now, this I do for the gospel’s sake that I may partake of it with you.”
(1 Corinthians 9 : 19-23)
The Same Paul says:’ “… I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having my own righteousness which is of God by Faith…”Philippians 3 : 8-9.
At that level of understanding Paul is happy to lose “all things” for the sake of Christ. He was ready to stop eating meat if it made his brother to offend (1 Corinthians 8 : 13). Such level of understanding cannot be acquired instantly. It is preceded by in depth soul searching and maturity.
Where there is a system that is well known, success may be achieved. As the old saying goes, “the devil is in the details; success is in the system.” We therefore continue to lay systems that are easy to understand at all levels of our operations.
Most times, by treating people as if they were what they ought to be, you help them to become what they are capable of being or doing. The positive approach has enabled us to achieve some progress.
It is important to know that there are limits to what one may know and do as no tree grows to the sky. We must therefore always be ready to learn although we may not like to be taught. We therefore appreciate the helping hands that our Heavenly Father has availed us.
The contents in this page are not exhaustive, but it is my sincere hope and prayer that it will serve as a useful tool for reference purposes.
Charles S. Ndandula