Jun

14

My favourite class to teach is an applied hermeneutics class created last year. I laugh a little when I say that as I think of the struggle most have to say the word.  Also, how the word alone carries an impression of greatness and is therefore one of the reasons for the interest in taking the course!

I knew from personal experience that hermeneutics can be challenging and really wanted to make it a practical course. Thanks to generous gifts and donations we have been able to build a resource library (including computers) for the students to use to apply the methods as they learn them.

The truth is that many do not know that Bible study can (and should) include more than reading the text.
The fact is that many of the pastors and church leaders here are amongst that group.
The truth is that inaccurate interpretations may lead to false truths or even heretical beliefs being preached.

Kind of scary when you think of it that way.
Regardless of our best intentions we could lead people astray…

Though all of those things are important, the real reason I love teaching the class is seeing the students come alive as they learn to use various resources. As they uncover cultural or historical facts that bring a deeper understanding of God’s Word to them. When they realise the various scripture interpretations are exactly that…. interpretations – some of them better than others. And finally, when they experience the impact it makes in their own life.

Our recent class just finished and here is what a couple of them had to say:

I was blessed learning how to use different study aids and materials, knowing the difference between bible translations and how to SOAP journal. I have been using what I learned during my personal devotion times and when preparing for sermons. This year as I prepared for Passover I spent time studying the significance of the feast and was able to prepare a powerful message. I saw the Holy Spirit make His presence evident during the service in a way I have never seen before! ~Rev. R.P. Maleke

It was a blessing to me to learn about various methods of interpretation, analyzing scripture, reflection and resources. I have already been using it while teaching in my church and plan to organise a bible class at my house for others to learn as well. I have a much richer understanding of God’s Word now. ~Pastor T. Nhlabathi

Nov

16

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Starting the Year Right

The  first of the year can be hectic with school starting and teams coming.  To prepare well we decided to print the first 6 months of our Enrich Discipleship class materials. This is our adult education program.

Nefthali is making over 100 text books for the 9 classes that our volunteer teachers will hold all over Qwa Qwa. We estimate it will take 3 days of diligent work to accomplish this goal. In a couple weeks the coaches will join him to collate, bind and ensure each book is made well.

Our new Printer is well used and loved

We are delighted at how simple and error free our printing has become since the purchase of the Riso printer.  Though grateful for the old Duplo, it was clunky and the copies of medium to poor quality making reading hard. I truly believe that God has allowed our classes to expand (nearly doubling next year)  as we have the capacity to meet the need.

Thank you to all who contributed and made this purchase possible at the beginning of the year. I know that our ability to print well has opened the door allowing the Enrich Adult Education program to expand. You see, without it we would never have been able to handle the printing needs required.  So grateful to you.

 

Sep

9

Hermeneutics Bible

SOAP is a simple yet powerful method for studying Scripture.  It stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer.

  • S – Scripture:  As you study scripture, make note of the key verses that jump out to you.  Writing them out helps you to slow down, really see them, and allow God speak to you through them.
  • O – Observation:  Write down your observations about what you’ve read.  Who is the author?  Who is the audience?  What is the situation?  Are there certain words repeated or emphasized?
  • A – Application:  Write down how those observations affect your life today and how you can apply them.  This is where God’s Word becomes personal.  What is God saying to you today?
  • P – Prayer:  Pray to God about what you’ve learned and how to live it out.  Also pray about anything else He may have revealed including any sin that may be getting in the way.

This is just one of the many study methods that students learned in our recent Hermeneutics class.  When asked about how they were blessed by the course, here is what some of our students had to say.

“God blessed me through this class…It class taught me about the Old and New Testaments, and I want to thank God because now I have resources like books and notes that will help me to read and understand the Word of God so that I can be ready to preach the Gospel to others.” – Mokokeng Motsami

“One key lesson that I have learned and enjoyed is how to work with the word SOAP when it comes to Bible study…I have been applying this method in my teachings in the church and it has been helpful.  I thank God for you and others in the class.” – Jeanette Mofokeng

“I enjoyed the class times and learning with others.  Before this class, I would become frustrated at times when I didn’t understand certain Scriptures.  Learning to study scripture in context has made a huge difference in my understanding of it.” – Amanda Radebe

We are currently building a resource library in our new office facility.  If you have any new or gently used Biblical resources that you’d like to contribute, please email office@ignitesouthafrica.org and we will help with the necessary arrangements.  

Sep

1

Hermeneutics Class

Just as we need to eat nutritious food for physical health and strength, we must spend regular time feasting on God’s Word for spiritual health and strength. And as anyone with young children knows all too well, it takes learning and practice to master eating “big-people” food.  The same is true for studying God’s Word.

Hermeneutics is a discipline that teaches us how to study God’s Word. It takes into consideration things like cultural and historical context, literary genre, grammar, syntax and semantics to better understand the author’s intended meaning.

In our recent 13 week Hermeneutics course, based on the book How to Study the Word by Terri Lawson, students learned methods of Biblical interpretation for both personal spiritual formation and for teaching others.

As they shared testimonies, many said that they discovered falsehoods they had believed based on their own cultural traditions, but they now felt better equipped to study, interpret and teach the Bible for themselves with the help of the Holy Spirit and the tools provided.

“This class has been a great blessing to me indeed, as it has given me the ways of taking the word of God from the pages to my heart. From now on I know how to study the Bible in a different way than I did before. And the most fascinating thing was to learn that the Bible has its own original language, that was a key lesson for me, though a difficult one, but it makes me want to dig deeper and deeper to find out more. So far, I have applied the methods I’ve learned in my devotional journal. As I study the Bible, I’ve been practicing what I’ve learned. I’ve also been helping my brothers in the Lord by teaching them.” – Thabiso Makhorole (pictured bottom left)   

Please pray for our recent course graduates as they practice what they’ve learned and press deeper into the Word of God.

Aug

29

Declaring Fearlessly

Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”  Ephesians 6:19-20 (NIV)

Paul had just been encouraging the Ephesians to be strong in the Lord, to draw their strength from His and to clothe themselves with the full armor of God so that they’d be able to stand against the devil’s schemes. We’re in a spiritual battle and the enemy wants nothing more than to keep us from following Christ and from reaching others for Him. So he’s telling us to stand firm, gear up, and pray, pray, pray.

He tells us to pray for all the saints, then goes on to ask for prayer for himself. Why? Because he’s an ambassador in chains charged with sharing the Gospel. We can think of the chains figuratively, but in Paul’s case he was literally in prison in chains at the time.

As an ambassador, Paul was Christ’s representative. Christ chose him, entrusted him with the Gospel, commissioned him, sent him out to share it, and qualified him to do so. We are Christ’s ambassadors as well.  2 Corinthians 5:20 says this: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

God makes His appeal through us. What an awesome privilege and responsibility that is!

Even in jail, Paul’s priority was doing the will of God, sharing the Gospel, and encouraging others to do the same. Paul doesn’t ask for prayers to get out of prison. His own comfort and freedom weren’t top priorities in his heart or mind. Rather, he asks to declare the gospel fearlessly – without fear of the enemy, without fear of man – as he ought to speak. 

Whether we are in chains or able to go freely, we ought to proclaim the Gospel boldly, without fear. So what are some of the things that are holding us back from doing so?

Fear of rejection? Fear of persecution? Fear of embarrassment or humiliation? A lack of love for our fellow man?

Ask the Lord to reveal any fears that you have so they can be dealt with and you can be reconciled with God, ready to battle for Him and for those who don’t know Him.

Dec

2

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After thirteen weeks of studies and dedication our Foundations for Christian Growth, God’s Plan for Christian Service and Discipleship Training classes have completed and graduated across their respective levels! During our graduation celebration Mme Annie, a DT graduate, shared the power of all three classes in her life:

I just completed the third class in this series and have learned much.
I find myself going back to review the lessons learned in FCG often as they are rich and continually teaching me. It was through GPCS that my understanding of God’s gifts and calling was deepened and I got excited about the work of the Lord.  Finally, in DT all that I have learned has come together as we applied and practiced what it means to truly be a Disciple. I have started walking in my calling with confidence and a deepening relationship with God.

It was because of these classes that when God called me to go to a remote area to share His Word, I went in faith.  Here God put me in front of a woman who happened to own the field He impressed me to ask about.  At this field I shared of His love, grace, and mercy – a message much different than I would have preached before these classes!  It was after this message that 21 people gave their lives to Christ. While excited about the decisions I now was also determined that they be discipled therefore I returned home and approached my Pastor.

As my Pastor also just graduated from DT, we both recognised the need for ongoing discipleship and I was commissioned to go.  Today my husband and I lead this fledgling congregation where we are seeing new believers coming to Christ regularly.

I praise the Lord for the opportunities He has provided through Ignite South Africa and these classes!

Join us in praying for this fledgling congregation and all the participants of our classes.  May the seeds  planted in their hearts continue to blossom and be fruitful not only for them but for everyone around them.

Jun

24

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We have eternal life because of Jesus.

Born of a virgin, God came in the flesh. Jesus, the incarnate Son of God who tasted (experienced) death for us all, so that we might live.

“But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.” Hebrews 2:9

It is because of Jesus that we can now taste life – because of His death.

We are delighted to welcome Pastor Leon De Haan, and guest teacher Rick Kearney, who will be joining us this Monday to lead a week-long Ministry Intensive in Hebrews and Jude.

Please pray for:

  • Safe travels for both Leon and Rick.
  • Pastors and leaders who will be attending the course.
  • Teachings to bring truth and revelation knowledge.

Teaching such as these help to build the local Body of Christ, we would be thrilled if you would like to partner with us through a gift of any size.  

Jun

12

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Bringing unity amongst churches, ministries, and their leaders has always been a passion of Ignite South Africa. Recently we are seeing the fruit being realised as pastors and leaders unite to strengthen each other, their churches, and communities.

This new camaraderie, and determination to build God’s Kingdom, has led to a multitude of benefits. Currently, we have a team of leaders from various churches preparing to teach the Sanctity of Life message in conference format in a few months.

In addition, the bonds of friendships has extended to include a willingness to share from the heart during the small group sessions of our workshops. Listen to what a few have to say about their time together…

The time spent with the Pastors was good. This shows that meeting regularly will strengthen us in wisdom in His Word- John Moletsane

A wonderful time, I have learnt what other pastors do when facing challenges and how they overcome them. – Mofokeng Sylvia.

I had a good time with the other pastors. A pleasant time to be together because I have learnt so many things. – Mpatana A Pitso

It was a very good time because we were able to build each other up and that there really is strength in unity! – Anonymous

I love it when we come together as pastors. Thank you Ignite South Africa! – T.I Moloi

We praise God for how He is moving in our hearts to reach Qwa Qwa, together! Please join us in prayer, praise, as well as sharing any gift God may place on your heart.
We thank God for you!

Jun

3

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Have you noticed that when your phone rings, or a message chimes, your body automatically  responds. Whether you are engaged in a conversation or reading a book, everything stops and your attention is focused on who called.

The same should happen with our spirit when we are called by God.

God calls each one of us to be His children and reflect His glory where we are.
Whether He has called us to be godly wife or husband, a leader in our local church, or businessman; God calls, He qualifies, and we need to respond.

Our upcoming Pastoral workshop will be focused on this topic as we share God’s word with local pastors and leaders who often do not feel qualified to serve.

Please join us in praying for our bible teachers  and those attending the workshop. May His truth be a source of encouragement and the needed refreshment for them to continue to run the race He has set before them.

May

29

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“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 

Our May Pastoral Workshop was on fire this month!
This is where local pastors  and ministry leaders come together for encouragement and enrichment in God’s word and that is indeed what happened.

The Bait of Satan by John Bevere was the foundation for May’s sessions. Although it seemed a “hefty” topic, as soon as the enemy’s bait (hurt, pride, rejection) was revealed and how he uses our feelings as a trap, it was clear that his tricks would no longer work.

This is what some of the leaders who attended had to say:

 I will not let pride ruin me. I will not take offenses and put them in my heart. I choose to walk more in forgiveness. This may sometimes be painful but God’s grace is sufficient for me and I will not repay evil with evil. I will walk in love no matter what. – Sello Mpho.”

“Asking God to reveal offenses and give me the wisdom to deal with them properly, was really an important step for me. I felt really humbled by this opportunity because the devil will use our pride to trap us into feelings of negativity.” – Anonymous

“I am passionate about sharing today’s teaching with others; we must not run away from the trails and tribulations! Standing firm in His word will ensure that the traps of bitterness will not have any hold on us.” -Pastor L.D Leboto

How we react to offenses is a test of true character. We must immerse ourselves in the Word and know that when it comes to a challenge; We have to rise above it and press on.