Our theme in a previous General Assembly was “the Africa God wants”. This year, we ask, what is the Africa God wants through and during the pandemic? What is the church’s role specifically? As a community of God’s people, our strategy for creating a just and righteous society must be firmly built and rooted in Christ.
A direct way the church can create a just society is by its efforts to effectively containing the virus. It can use its unique position to influence communities and authorities in various jurisdictions. It can also use existing local community trust and its theological foundation to advocate for the most vulnerable members of our communities.
The critical long-term strategy to ensure this is discipleship. When people are taught all that Christ did and said, they begin to pattern their lives along such teachings. This results in exhibiting Christlike qualities that are needed for the social, economic, political, and environmental transformation of our societies. Making disciples is the unique opportunity God has given to the Church in our collective hour of need and dependence on Him.
Individuals are discipled to become just and righteous in their families from a young age, in the church as they learn to be part of the body of Christ, and finally in formal training institutions and programs.
The community of God must use its structures and resources during these pandemic times to build families, the church, and theological training so that Christians can multiply disciples (2 Timothy 2:2).
Although many aspects of our societies and countries have been shaken and changed during this pandemic, God’s Word has not changed. Christ’s mission for us is still the same as when he uttered that Great Commission to “Go and make disciples of all nations.” And fortunately, He promised us that He would be with us to the very end of the age. In this world we will have trouble, but we can take heart that Christ has overcome the world (John 16:33). In Him, we have an eternal peace we can offer our world today.