[notice]A fortnightly column on marriage, family and relationships.[/notice]
From November 20 to 22 2014 the International Ministers Fellowship (IMF) held their annual conference for the SADEC region in Pretoria. There were delegates who came from many different parts of the world. The IMF is a living, loving and functional network of ministers of the Kingdom Gospel across the globe. As long as you are in ministry, this is a home where they do not discriminate on the basis of title, calling, gender or age! Their theme for this year’s summit was OCCUPY TILL I COME from Luke 19:13
The IMF summit speakers included the following: International President Apostle George Akalonu; Apostle Pearl Kupe who spoke on Occupying as the Ekklessia and as sons of God; Apostle Mike Nwoye; Apostle Ron Kinnear who spoke on Occupying in the Mission field; Pastor Rina Kinnear who spoke on Occupying in Prayer; Member of Parliament Steve Swart who spoke on Occupying in the Government sphere; Pastor Noma Msipa who spoke on Occupying as women; Apostle Chris Akaolisa who spoke on Occupying in the area of Church Growth; Pastors Thabo and Xoli Motau who spoke on Occupying as the Next Generation; Advocate Jan Abraham who spoke on Occupying in Him; Prof Theo Burger who spoke on Occupying in Leadership and Pastor Peter Motshitela who spoke on Occupying in the area of Fatherhood.
Because of the work that I do I was especially interested in what Pastor Motshitela had to say about fatherhood. Born again on the 07th November 1986 at a youth camp he is the former youth president of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP). Motshitela is the founder and CEO of Leadership Consultancy Institute. He serves as one of the teachers with the Institute for Christian Leadership Development (ICLD). Talking in his capacity as the deputy president for the IMF-SA chapter he opened by saying: “Africa’s greatest challenge is fatherhood”. I wanted to talk to him further about his thoughts on the areas of fatherhood; leadership and what we can do as the Church during the current 16 Days of Activism Aggainst violence of women and children).
Neziswa Kanju: In your teaching at the IMF conference you started off by saying “Äfrica’s greatest challenge is fatherhood” please expand on that.
Peter Motshitela: Let me begin by saying that the first and ultimate line of accountability in any nation is its leadership. God’s programme of healthy and successful nations is with the fathers. Fathers are an expression of leadership. When a father exercises good leadership in a family environment those skills are transferred into the general society and the same applies when he shows bad leadership. True leadership is fatherhood. God created us in His likeness and one of His main identities is the Father. He is the matchless and eternal definition of fatherhood. Those who are entrusted with the opportunity to be fathers need to realise three things: Firstly they need to be connected to the Heavenly father, Secondly they need to learn from Him so that they can emulate Him and represent Him, and Thirdly they need to be captured and be driven by His desires (this is supposed to be the motive of every father). These three are not the case with most fathers in Africa. Most fathers in this continent subjected Africa to traditions of men against the will of God, and they subjected Africa to different forms of idol worship such as ancestral worship. Their commitment is towards death rather than to life, they celebrate death more than life. They are willing to spend a lot more money on death than they spend on their posterity and their destiny. This is the main reason why death in many forms dominates Africa. Many leaders do not perceive leadership as fatherhood hence they would not care what happens to the welfare of their society. Another way in which fatherhood is Africa’s greatest challenge is with the Church. The Church is more concerned with religion and denominational contests and in the process misses its fatherly responsibility over the nations. This is the reason why leaders do not comply with the three abovementioned conditions of leadership/fatherhood. When territorial leaders are not well fathered by the Church they cannot be good stewards of their resources as a nation and corruption characterises their way of doing things in government, business, sports, etc. It is the Church that can teach the nation that a father type of a leader leads by love as his motive among others. The Church lost its fatherhood over the nations in Africa when it labelled six of the seven sectors of society as secular. This the same way as a father disowns his children. The only sector the Church claimed fatherhood over is belief systems; others call it religion. The absence of fathers in society is rooted in this absence of the Church as the father in society in other sectors. I would say there are different types of absent fathers namely: Labour related absent fathers, rejection related fathers (these are the ones who rejected their families), responsibility related absent fathers (these are the ones who are absent while they are in the family, they do not constructively express their presence into the individual lives of their family members). I will pause this subject with an analogy from Proverbs 1:8 which says “My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother.” What I capture here is that fathers have an instructive responsibility as a principle: if he instructs then there will be structure, while mothers will determine the conduct hence her law. Having said all this, I will therefore submit that all other challenges such as rape, poverty, war, crime and so on are fruit of the actual challenge Leadership/fatherhood gone wrong.
Neziswa Kanju: At the IMF conference you taught on Matthew 4: 2-9 and revealed the hidden truth of sons as bread versus stones. Please explain the difference.
Peter Motshitela: Stones versus bread: When I asked the Lord to reveal to me the meaning of these temptations (outlined in Matthew 4), He led me to a number of scriptures such as Exodus 28:9 where He said to Moses “Then you shall take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel…” then followed by Matthew 3:9 “God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.” In Matthew 16:17-18, the Lord reveals His work (fatherhood) on Simon’s life and these two verses summarise that work. In verse 17 He calls him Simon Barjona which is translated Simon (Reed) son of Jonas and in verse 18 He says but I say you are Peter (Petros) meaning a stone/ small fragment of a rock. The revelation I received there is that your former father raised a reed out of you and I took you and made you a stone. This is a reference to spiritual character building. To express it all Peter wrote in 1Peter 2:5 and said “you are living stones…” On the other hand I had to locate bread in reference to man which the Lord showed me in two passages of scripture; the first was when Moses sent 12 spies with the aim of understanding their enemies and Joshua submitted that the same giants the other 10 were taking about were “bread” (Numbers 14:9). And in Proverbs 6:36 it is written “by means of a whorish woman man is turned into a piece of bread…” from here we see that the devil was referring to the spiritual character of the saints. He would prefer them as pieces of bread because in that state they cannot defeat him. Hence he chose to say turn these “stones to bread”. I have a full lesson on this subject I titled it “In league with the stones” wherein I explain the process stones must go through. From a Reed you get wheat to bake bread but from stones you get wealth. In Spiritual warfare this is how God uses stones: Stones from heaven killed the enemy’s army more than the fleshly army could in Joshua 10 and David went to the River (a symbol of the Church) to pick up stones against Goliath and his four Giant brothers.
Neziswa Kanju: You spoke of “Fathers who will pursue along their sons to possess the mountains of all sectors by occupying in order to make the ultimate transaction” How do fathers and sons carry out this mandate and what is the ultimate transaction?
Peter Motshitela: I will start first by saying fathers in the ministry are different to preachers. Preachers present good sermons while fathers go beyond preaching. I can suggest the following for fathers: They should lead by Love! They should focus on character building; Understand the Lord’s desire of the Kingdom and be committed to it.
They should be sold out for the progress and advancement of their sons. Fathers should pray for their son’s promotion; Train them to excel towards promotion (create practical strategies); Monitor their progress and play an active role in making sure they overcome barriers. They need to operate in a team of fathers who are gifted differently to them, since they do not possess all the skills and abilities. They should also guard their hearts from being corrupted.
Sons should be submissive to the Kingdom mandate about their occupations. They need to be attentive. They need to be cooperate with the fathers. Sons should determine to be blessings to their fathers. They must live in honour. Understand that God wants to promote them. Commit to excellence and to overcome mediocrity and laziness. Guard their hearts from being corrupted.
Neziswa Kanju: A journalist today said with regard to the 16 Days of Activism planned events; “There should be less prayer and more action” (There are planned Days of Prayer in the line up of events) Your thoughts?
Peter Motshitela: I will say that as the Church we have not given them a reason to believe otherwise. We have been praying without understanding the true reason why we should pray for our nation. We have been praying with wrong motives. Biblical truth has been before their eyes that they would see nothing happen because many of us have been praying without works. The Bible says: “Faith without works is dead”. It is time for us to correct this with upcoming prayer events that are scheduled by doing it the right way with the Lord’s desire as our central focus. This time we need to balance much prayer with fitting actions preferably as instructed by the Lord. We should no longer pray and declare only but we should also expect to hear and obey what the Holy Spirit will say we must do. Those prayer events must go on because the enemy does not want them to happen anyway. An attempt to solve a society’S problem without God is a futile exercise. Proverbs 11:11 say “by the blessing of the upright a city is exalted”
Neziswa Kanju: We are a nation whose children in the main are raised by single mothers. What do you think is the root cause of violence against women when men are violent towards the very people who raised them? Surely they should be more respectful?
Peter Motshitela: The grooming of men is the root of this violence. It is unhealthy for a man to grow without a father figure. The grace of a mother is to make laws (this is the grace of conduct) while the father is the one who shapes the character of the son (conduct can be violated when there is no structural building of the person) [Proverbs 1:8] that is how they can turn against their mothers. But the bottom line is that the root problem is that the devil knows that if he attacks mothers he weakens the nation. Where God is not in charge the devil will take opportunity to inspire violence hence God said in Deut 16:16 “…all thy males should appear before the Lord…”
Neziswa Kanju: 2014 is the 15th year South Africa has been involved in the 16 Days of Activism For No Violence Against Women And Children. Do you think we have improved in the way we treat our women and children since 15 years ago? If not what can we do as a nation to improve our treatment of women and children?
Peter Motshitela: We should realise that things such as pornography make women and children to be seen as objects. I believe we should demand their removal from society. Prostitution likewise is not an honourable occupation; it should not be accepted and encouraged in our society. We should have assertive programmes for the males about women and likewise with the females.
Neziswa Kanju: The international theme for this year 16 Days Campaign is “From Peace in the home to peace in the world”. How do we have more peace in the world when husband and wife are killing each other; when dad is raping daughter; when grandson violates his own grandmother? How do we respond as a church in the face of such incredible challenges?
Peter Motshitela: We need to raise what I would call the “territorial church”. This is a concept I learned from the CEO of the Institute for Christian Leadership Development Ps Segun Olanipekun. The church should raise and equip groups that will do a neighbourhood watch by the Holy Spirit. Learn strategies of interaction with families and individuals to let the presence of the Lord infiltrate our communities.
We should do more of prayer marches where we intensely and relentlessly pray for our cities.
I think we should also create pamphlets that have bold messages of hope and peace. They need to be short creative and simple.
Neziswa Kanju: You have written three books! Please tell us about them? When will they come out (are they out yet?) and where can we get them!
Peter Motshitela: The First one is “The Sex Revolution” — this is a workbook and not a readers’ book. It presents 50 Biblical reasons why sex outside and before marriage is sin. Each of these reasons is to be given their workshop with full Biblical preparation and research done. The purpose is to empower the church to diligently promote abstinence. This book will be launched around April 2015. It will be released through workshops nationwide and internationally.
The Second book is “The 21 Leadership Traits” — it presents 21 foundational leadership ingredients in the character of a leader. The book will be a strong tool for leaders to know how to focus on the foundation of young leaders more than just working at their skills.
Our institute, the Leadership Consultancy Institute, will be hosting a leadership retreat on the January 31 to February 1, 2015. This book will be the focus of the discussion and the discussions that will occur will be incorporated into the book as well as the names of the participants. Anyone who wishes to attend may book with a deposit of R400 since all the material will be personalised. They will find more details from Training Director Mrs Doddy Buthelezi on email firstname.lastname@example.org. It will be launched later in the year 2015.
The Third book is “Refined Leadership” — it speaks to the priesthood nature of a Christian leader. It presents topics like “Doing It Right; The Prophetic Points in the person of a leader”; “Dealing with the Beasts in the Church – Identifying five Biblically mentioned beastly habits” and “Types of unacceptable leadership qualities”. It will be released together with the second book.
Neziswa Kanju: Please give us details of how people can contact you
Neziswa Kanju: Thank you for your time pastor Motshitela and may the Father continue to bless you in your kingdom work!
I will love to hear your thoughts on the above topics of fatherhood; leadership and the annual campaign of the 16 Days of Activism For No Violence Against Women And Children. Write your thoughts below or email me at email@example.com. You can also connect with me on Facebook on my Facebook page “Life in Full Bloom” with Neziswa N Kanju.