During the weekend, Brandon Snavely presented a revolutionary framework for developing a Sunday School curriculum that would cater to the needs of children and youth in South Africa. Following this, several smaller groups were formed to address the challenges faced by this demographic more effectively. These groups got to work by creating preliminary lesson plans, which will undergo extensive refinement over the next few months.
The goal is to implement this curriculum in local African churches to provide unparalleled discipleship and biblical guidance to the next generation of South African children and youth.
The Issachar Initiative: Crossroads has launched a new discipleship initiative within South Africa called The Issachar Initiative. The name is taken from 1 Chronicles 12:32—”the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do”. This conveys the scope of what Crossroads seeks to accomplish through this new discipleship initiative—raising up a generation of young adults grounded in a biblical worldview who become “agents of change” in their communities, passionately working to advance God’s kingdom with unwavering enthusiasm and conviction.
Meetings were held with Crossroads leadership and key stakeholders throughout South Africa. Organizational policies and structures were finalized, registration as a non-profit Christian organization is now underway, the discipleship curriculum is being designed and written, and all additional structures and players are being put into place. Our hope is to launch The Issachar Initiative’s first three-phase school of discipleship late in 2024 or early 2025. Recruiting, Financing, and Promoting The Issachar Initiative will begin early in 2024.
Reimaging Missions and Africa’s Role in Missions: We conducted two round table meetings with South African pastors around the topic of Reimaging Missions and Africa’s Role in Missions. Forty- seven pastors of diverse races, ages, and backgrounds gathered to begin reframing Missions and their role as South African pastors in accomplishing the Great Commission. The meetings were a tremendous success. The feedback our national partners in Durban, South Africa, and Pretoria, South Africa, have received from pastors attending is as encouraging as it is revealing.
The crucial importance of meetings with these pastors on Reimagining Missions is underscored by research that by 2050, there will be 2.6 billion Christians in the world, with 77% of them living in the southern
hemisphere. Africa makes up more than 50% of that 2.6 billion total. Further, it is predicted that one out of every four evangelical Christians in the world will be of African descent by 2050. Also, if current missional trends continue, one out of every four active missionaries working globally will be out of the African church.
What this means is that not only has there been a seismic shift of Christianity from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere, but Africa is becoming the epicenter of Christianity and, therefore, missionary sending activity after 2050. If these mission trends hold true and the shift happens, it’s not hard to understand why today, a conversation about Reimagining Missions and Africa’s Role in Missions is not only crucial but pivotal for the completion of the Great Commission. Crossroads is positioning itself to be at the forefront of forging a new understanding of Missions— how it is done and by whom it is done.
Your continuing prayers for these three missional initiatives are crucial for the future unfolding of God’s eternal plans and finishing the Great Commission. Again, here we are, seeking God’s favor, wisdom, opportunities, and the emergence of new leaders within South Africa who think “outside of the box” to forge a new reality for the kingdom of God.
- For open hearts and minds of the Persian people to the gospel – Afghanistan, Tajikistan, & Iran.
- That Crossroads can develop highly efficient digital platforms and methods for making disciples in a growingly complex world, especially in places where the gospel is outlawed and persecution is common.
- That Crossroads will effectively prepare and train the next generation of house church leaders capable of taking the gospel into all the world.
- For the funding required to produce our next-generation digital online platform – $16,000 needed to build the platform with all its capacities (a one-time expense) plus $6,000 for a year of Google ads targeting “seekers” who are online looking for answers to life’s 13 most pressing questions. A total of $22,000.
- For Ramazan and his family:
- Open doors for Ramazan to raise his missionary support – he now must raise support, something he has never done before.
- Adjustments to living in the USA – dealing with the cultural realities and struggles living in a strange new country.