“Clergy often too busy to ‘make disciples'” – South African priest

SOMA’s the Revd Christian Viljoen who says clergy should focus on making disciples
Photo Credit: Bellah Zulu/ACNS

By Bellah Zulu, ACNS

A South African priest has observed that many clergy are too busy attending to other aspects of church life and neglecting one of Jesus’s core commands of making disciples of all nations.

The National Director of Sharing Of Ministries Abroad (SOMA), Southern Africa, the Revd Christian Viljoen said this as his organisation prepares for a mission trip to Malawi at the invitation of one of the bishops there.

The Revd Viljoen told ACNS: “Clergy are often busy with so many things except obeying the command of Jesus to make disciples but neglecting this command means that we do not see the multiplication of disciples but rather a maintenance mode.”

SOMA Southern Africa has prepared a team of clergy and lay people including the Bishop of Johannesburg, the Rt Revd Stephen Moreo – a gifted evangelist and pastor – and a number of intercessors.

He explained that the mission, which lasts from November 3 to 14, seeks to reach the clergy in Malawi and their congregations in general through outreach services to “become disciples who need to be taken further on their journey.” He added that the mission seeks to meet the deep spiritual needs the Bishop there perceives are present in the diocese.

“During the Clergy Conference we will focus on an important aspect of discipleship, that of equipping and empowering the clergy or pastor to be a disciple because what Jesus began to do and teach as mentioned in the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles is not being done by the clergy,” he said.

SOMA is an international Anglican institution that seeks to work with leadership to build up and equip the Body of Jesus Christ through the renewing power of the Holy Spirit principally through short-term cross-cultural missions.

In the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, SOMA works closely with ‘Growing the Church’, a growth institute within the Province, to provide the mission component within the church.

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