New team to promote mission mobilisation

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The work of KAIROS is supported by SIM Malawi project MW96753 Mission Advancement Fund

The impact of the KAIROS course could be set to increase with the development of a National Co-ordination Team

Over the last few years, SIM Malawi has seen the KAIROS course have a significant impact on the Malawian Church. It started with introductory courses, from which a number of delegates went forward to become Facilitators. Some of those were then invited to train as Head Facilitators, and now a National Co-ordination Team (NCT) has been established.

KAIROS came out of the Simply Mobilising movement, an organisation set up in 2015 but with roots going back to the 1970s in The Philippines. KAIROS is seen as a ‘Level 1’ course aimed at mobilising the local Church.

IntroductionKairos was first introduced to Malawi at a training event for pastors held at the Grace Bandawe Centre in Blantyre

So, with the new NCT in place, what does this mean for the future development of KAIROS in Malawi?

“Well it is not just KAIROS,” said Keith Koster, Simply Mobilising’s Southern Africa Co-ordinator.

“KAIROS is just one of Simply Mobilising’s tools, one of our courses. We have quite a few courses available and  the objective of all of these is ultimately to influence the Christian Church, to mobilise it into high participation in what we call the World Christian Movement (WCM) in the context of world missions.”

This was a view echoed by Hans-Jörg Richter who has been leading SIM Malawi’s work with KAIROS.

“Looking at Malawi, I think that we have run into open doors, so here we can first of all see that God is moving in this country in terms of mobilisation,” he said.

Working together: Hans-Jörg Richter of SIM Malawi (left) and Keith Koster of Simply Mobilising

“We have a lot of interest in mobilisation into missions, and KAIROS has certainly enlightened the Malawian Church as to what is involved, from biblical to strategic to historical to very practical cross-cultural things. It was certainly a light bulb that went on and we have had a lot of interest across many denominations, about both understanding missions and being mobilised for missions.”

The impact of KAIROS has been felt across Malawi. Courses of various types have been held in Blantyre. Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Liwonde, and scores of church leaders have come under its teaching. The development of the NCT will open up the possibility of further expansion of KAIROS, and other Simply Mobilising courses, across the country.

When KAIROS was first introduced into Malawi, all of the facilitators and head facilitators who ran the course had to be brought in from outside the country, mainly from South Africa. As a corps of facilitators and head facilitators was developed, more home-grown leaders were able to take part in the training. Now, when the NCT is fully trained and operational, the complete design and running of courses in Malawi will be conducted by Malawians. While this is the ultimate aim, in reality it is still a little way off.

“We have the NCT in place, but there is still a lot of work to do before they can start running courses,” said Keith.

“The purpose of the training is to bring them an awareness of what it is to be such a team. They are here by invitation, and Scripture says before you build a building, so to speak, you count the cost, and really that is what this is. The training is designed to give them the information they need to understand what they are going to get involved in and what it is going to require, and to see if they are willing and able once they understand that.  That has been the approach and the objective, so from this point onwards it will be up to them to decide whether they want to be involved with us and then to start planning the immediate steps of getting together and working towards becoming a fully functioning NCT.

Leaders: Head Facilitator training

“Primarily, the Simply Mobilising vision is to see all God’s people, the Church as a whole, being mobilised into meaningful engagement into the WCM. For the benefit of people who may not understand what that terms is, when we talk about WCM we are talking mission, the expansion of Christ’s Kingdom through the presentation of the Gospel by all of God’s people to all people, all nationals cross-culturally and all peoples who are unsaved as well,” he said.

Going forward from where we are today, what is the hope that the NCT will bring to the church in Malawi?

“I hope that churches get less self-centred, more interested in spreading the Gospel amongst those who didn’t hear it yet,” said Hans-Jörg, “to see leaders and members become even more active within their church and beyond and, hopefully, even cross-border and cross-culturally. That is our hope, but as I have said before, we want them to understand fully God’s desire for us, His disciples, and that mission is core to that. I expect that more churches will get behind that and get actively involved.

“I would love for people to pray for us to make connections with more churches, more denominations, and that there would be a willingness to listen to us and then to open up their churches for us to connect with them and to run courses – maybe KAIROS, maybe one of the others – so that we can build a firm foundation from which we can go forward.

“We have various denominations on the team, and we have various cultures on the team, but we all want to work together for the same purpose. Please pray that we work in unity and are good witnesses for Christ,” he said.

“Really pray for this team,” added Keith.

“They have an incredible task ahead of them. Please pray for the capacity to be able to fulfil that role and to be part of that team; also for the continual movement that we have seen over just under two years that it will continue with an openness of church leaders, an openness of denominations, because if I were to say anything to any church leader right now it would be to urge them to do KAIROS. The impact it can have on congregations is phenomenal.”

 

New team: Training the new NCT