If you attended the life-impacting Kingdom Come South Africa 2018 event in Gauteng a month ago, you would have heard Moss Nthla, the co-convenor of the conference, speak about this conference being the beginning of the fulfilment of a dream he had carried for more than 30 years.
I spent a few minutes with Moss to find out more … and he told me his story, confirming again how God answers the cry of the heart and brings about divine connections to accomplish His purposes.
Moss was born again in 1976 and shortly afterwards, as a university student, attended the SACLA conference (convened by Michael Cassidy of African Enterprise) where he first encountered black and white delegates relating together in a Christian context. He also encountered Derek Crumpton, a speaker at the conference who was spearheading the charismatic renewal in South Africa at the time. A vision stirred in Moss’s heart for a united church.
The country was still in the ugly grip of “separate development” and young Moss and his fellow students were trying to reconcile the God of the Bible with the white church which seemed largely supportive of apartheid, sometimes even theologically. He says: “To survive in the faith one had to intentionally figure out how to be a Christian in that context.”
Fast-forward some 20 years and Moss, now heading up TEASA – the Evangelical Alliance of South Africa – is having a conference call with a couple of leaders including Derek Crumpton. John, Derek’s son, happens to be in the room although not participating in the conversation.
Moss shares his vision: to build a discipleship platform in the nation to equip the church – black and white — to emerge from its apartheid past and to move forward into its post-apartheid future together. Moss was aware that the gifts God had given to His people were locked in the different race groups which robbed and paralysed the church at a time in the history of South Africa when it was sorely needed to be salt and light and united; not sick, inferior and divided.
Whilst Derek was sympathetic and supportive of the vision, it was not God’s “kairos” and Moss had to wait two decades before he began to see it come to pass….
In December 2016, Moss and the leaders of his church were focused on Acts 1:8 “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you….” Moss had been baptised in the Holy Spirit some years before, but believed that most black churches had not been influenced by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Now he realised that his church needed to appropriate the power of God more intentionally. Recognising that John Crumpton carried a similar call to his father’s — to unite the body of Christ in the nation and that he was also a “Holy Spirit man” — Moss invited John to speak at his church conference
John ignited hunger in the congregation and afterwards he asked Moss: “Have you heard of a man called Bill Johnson?” “No” said Moss with disinterest (slightly wary of American preachers). John invited Moss to attend Kingdom Come South Africa in February 2017 .
Moss brought a few of his leaders and they were hugely impacted by the depth of teaching, fresh revelation and stature of Bill Johnson. Seeing his interest, John invited Moss and his wife Khumo to join his US tour later in the year to visit Bethel Church in Redding and the Mission Church in Vaccaville. Again Moss was “blown away” by his God encounters there. He says he saw the practical reality of a lifestyle steeped in the presence of God and the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. It was exactly what he had been longing for.
So at Kingdom Come South Africa this year, Moss co-convened the conference with John who wrote in the information booklet: “Surely if we encounter the King in a new way, we cannot remain the same. And the country needs changed believers to effect Kingdom change in society.”
Moss told me of an AFM pastor from Soweto who had been at the conference for the first time and has been forever changed. He reported that he was amazed that God showed up in a very unusual way in his congregation the following Sunday. And a Vineyard pastor in South Gauteng said his life has been greatly impacted by Kingdom Come.
Moss marvelled how conversations with Derek Crumpton in the nineties have been answered through his son two decades later. Both John and Moss recognise that their commitment to a united, Holy Spirit-led church is not a sprint or an occasional conference together, but a lifelong marathon. Let’s keep the vision in our prayers.
Next week John Crumpton will tell his side of the story …