This article marks the end of Growth of a Community.
A community cannot remain static. It has to remember that it is not an
end to itself. God has to remain at the centre of the community. For God, through the Holy Spirit, inspires the
community to go further. As God remains at the centre of the community, we take
risks with God, and in the process the ordinary becomes the extraordinary.
The community will continue to grow when young people are encouraged to discover
their gifts and to bring them forward.
A community that does not nurture its young is sure to die. St Barnabas
has many young people, and we need to pray for clarity from God on what youth
policy we need to have and to pursue.
If we fail to encourage our young people then they will leave the
community and find other communities that will allow them to thrive. On the
5th of February 12 young
people are being confirmed plus two young adults.
How are these going to be nurtured, encouraged and discipled post
confirmation classes? This has always been the Achilles heels for the Anglican
Church -continued discipleship after confirmation. These who have been confirmed
have been anointed by the Holy Spirit and equipped by the Holy Spirit to do the
work of God. Our task as a parish is to pray with them to discern the gifts that
have been bestowed on them at confirmation. It could be that our youth are being
called to go on a mission to the areas devastated by the recent floods in
Limpopo and Mpumalanga, and to offer support with the building of shelters! It
could be that among them one is being called to be a youth pastor or even to
become an ordained minister. The two adults could be called to be involved in parish council, youth ministry,
reading in church or side’s people duties. Our task as a congregation is to help
them not to be static, but to be on the move and to ultimately discover where
God is calling them. We must see this not as a burden but a joy. For to be confirmed is like experiencing the
birth of child in a home and what joy and possibilities it brings as we gaze
upon this new birth. In five years’time these 12 will be young adults, and what
an investment it would have been if we have nurtured them to remain in the
Anglican Church as participating members. Think of the possibilities that come
with this approach. That is called forward thinking and ultimately Growth.
Fr. Barnabas Nqindi
My name is Barnabas Sibusiso Nqindi, rector of St Barnabas-Bluff. I enjoy a good debate and I love to see people grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ