OUR PURPOSE: NORTHEASTERN EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH IN SOUTH AFRICA
The Northeastern Evangelical Lutheran Church in South Africa proclaims, witnesses and shares the Good News of God’s grace in Jesus Christ.
The NELCSA as a communion of redeemed sinners wants to be an instrument of God’s saving grace. As such she wants to:
A. proclaim the joyful and liberating Gospel of redemption through grace alone in her preaching, call to penitence and through pastoral care, help people towards a personal commitment to Jesus Christ;
B. be an active, growing, serving and hospitable church, with a specific focus on those people living within the immediate environment of her congregations;
C. increasingly becomes a truly inclusive and indigenous church, at the same time ministering to those who have been historically entrusted to her care by heritage, language and confession;
D. help those to whom she ministers to understand their historical situation and social environment, and thus equip them to live, bear witness and serve in this country;
E. contribute to the ministry of reconciliation in South Africa through her congregations in their immediate surroundings and as such bear a credible witness to the body of Christ;
F. ensure that the saving and welcoming Gospel finds its expression in the spiritual life, joyful worship, fellowship and holy communion and loving care of her congregations;
G. lead her members to a greater understanding of Scripture rooted in a full appreciation of her Lutheran heritage;
H. equip her employed and honorary co-workers for better service;
I.. promote in her congregations the priesthood of all believers;
J. actively strive for the unity of Lutherans in South Africa and also maintain and further her ecumenical relations.
1. Motivation and Training
Pastors will be equipped and assisted to develop their skills in preaching, teaching and in equipping others, in management and in promoting church growth. They will also be assisted in deepening their own spirituality.
1.2. The Church supports thorough theological training for the service in the Church in conjunction with UELCSA and ELCSA. This training has a sound theological basis, whilst being open for other theological positions.
Laity will be assisted to develop its call to live out the priesthood of all believers. They will be helped to discover and use their gifts for Christian witness and in the service of love within their congregations, their church and their society. This will be achieved, amongst others through training of lay preachers and pastoral counselors, training of leaders for Bible study groups, care groups, youth groups, administration, etc.
2. Development of Congregations:
Congregations will monitor their worship services to ensure that they are joyful, celebrating and inviting and meaningful to daily life and then initiate changes where necessary. Many members value their traditional service. This should therefore continue to be offered.
Congregational Councils will seek, motivate and / or train members in leadership qualities and experience for service to the congregation and church.
Congregations will promote a sense of belonging and fellowship amongst their members by:
S Facilitating various forms of small groups, congregational functions, events and projects that are conducive to growing relationships.
S Congregations will promote fellowship within the church by supporting church days, circuit events, choir and brass band festivals, etc.
Congregations will promote a positive image of themselves and their church. Congregations will sponsor initiatives, courses and workshops to facilitate spiritual and numerical growth.
Congregations will ensure that the needs of the different groups are addressed, particularly focusing on the work with children, youth and students.
Congregations will ensure that members of different backgrounds are treated equally and find equal space within the church. Cultural diversity should be seen as a welcome challenge and its wealth should find a place in our church.
Congregations of the ELCSA (N-T) will - where appropriate - utilize their unique gifts and opportunities to serve the German speaking community.
3. Ministry of Reconciliation
The ELCSA(N-T) will on all levels further and support all endeavours to build bridges between divergent groups by workshops on “Healing of Memories”, facilitating encounters of previously segregated people, accommodating, respecting and accepting people of different race, culture, and social standing.
4. Unity and Ecumenical Relations
The Church will continue to live in the God-given unity and negotiate and work towards structural unity with Lutheran churches in South Africa.
The Church will maintain and strengthen relations with other Lutheran churches and organisations.
The Church and her congregations will develop and maintain a working relationship with other Christian churches and organisations.
5. Mission Work, Diaconical Work and Outreach
5.1 Mission is empowered by prayer: - a culture of corporate and private prayer needs to be developed.
5.2 Congregations must be made aware of the great commission (Mt 28), the call to make disciples, to reach the de-churched and the un-churched.
5.3 Equip and encourage congregations and each member to be involved in outreach through evangelism, friendships, caring, visits and at their place of work, etc.
5.4 Co-operating with other churches and organisations in the area to reach out to the unreached;
5.5 Co-operate with regional and international organisations. e.g. media;
5.6 The Church will support the following missionary and diaconical projects in the coming years:
The plan of action to achieve the goals is to be defined by the church or congregation respectively. These can be divided into short, medium and long term goals. Specific time frames to be set to achieve these goals.
MyFiles/Objectives Goals Strategies2003
NT8015.hh6 November 2003