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Jacob Igba, a Mobilising Officer for AIM’s South African office, explains what the Kairos course is, and how it is addressing one of the main challenges they face in mobilising people for mission.
Max Chismon, who developed the Kairos course, maintains that the key to doing fruitful mission in this era is the mobilisation of all God’s people into active and meaningful participation, making every Christ follower a mobiliser for mission.
Business as mission
A big challenge facing prospective mission candidates is raising financial support. This has led us to ask whether there is an alternative to our traditional way of sending workers. Can we learn from what is being done in and outside of AIM? The goal is still to see Christ-centred churches among all Africa’s people, and we are committed to see more Africans reaching the unreached in Africa.
The South African ‘CAN’ Opener project was set up to provide more opportunities for the South African and African Church in creative access nations (CANs), focusing on business people, professionals and students. After spending a term in North Africa starting a business, our Creative Access Mobiliser wants to see a greater number of African Christian business people mobilised to take up opportunities to reach the unreached through business. Business blesses the community by creating jobs, contributing to the economy and most importantly sharing the light and love of Christ with those who have never heard about it through Christian business people.
In May we had our first Business as Mission Café. Business as Mission is a growing movement. God is calling business people to join him as he draws the unreached to himself. We trust there will be many who will respond.
In seeking to mobilise the church for mission in Africa, especially in our immediate South African context, we saw the need for a strategy in which we connected with churches more widely. As we thought that through, we realised that there was a need to re-envision the church for mission. We could see that only a minority of the churches here had a vision and passion for mission. So in South Africa there is now a generation of church members with a lack of understanding about mission and their personal need to be involved. It became clear that asking individuals to go, send or support in our current environment was more difficult than we’d imagined.
It was with this in mind that discovering the Kairos course was such a joy. The Kairos course is a nine-session, interactive course, designed to educate, inspire and challenge Christians to participate in mission.
A tool for vision
All our office staff completed the facilitator’s course in July 2016. Now, a year on, we have seen how the course is a very accessible tool in connecting with churches and envisioning and equipping the church for active participation in God’s mission. The Lord is opening doors for the course to be run in different churches – we have so far been involved in courses that have benefited over 10 churches. We are encouraged to see that the the first course conducted by our office is yielding fruit, in that it has led to a participant championing the start of the course in Tanzania!