South Africa’s Mission
Crossroads International is spearheading several groundbreaking initiatives in South Africa to advance the gospel and establish the Church of Christ in three key areas of development. These areas include Church Curriculum Development for Youth and Early Childhood, establishing the Issachar Initiative (a discipleship program), and mobilizing the African church for global missions’ engagement (Reimagine Missions and Africa's Role in Missions).
Significant progress was made in all three initiatives last month. See below for a progress report on each.
Church Curriculum Development for Youth & Early Childhood: A significant meeting was held by Crossroads International, bringing together 22 prominent South Africans on the weekend of August 25 to 27. The main objective of the gathering was to initiate the groundwork for creating a Sunday School curriculum that would be focused on Early Childhood and Youth from an African perspective. It would be written by Africans for Africans, with a biblical perspective on life issues and cultural challenges faced by Africans. The group was a diverse mix of individuals, including a university professor, a graduate student pursuing a Master's degree in Psychology, a government employee who works with displaced children and impoverished households, several experienced school teachers, and a few pastors.
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
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.