Future candidates equipped for righteous leadership — Afrika Mhlophe

South African Parliament (PHOTO: The South African)

Many Christians freely discuss the need for righteous leaders to be raised for every sphere of influence. And I am happy to announce that this is an issue that the School of Governance is seized with.

The school last week completed a “Future Candidates” training time at Every Nation in Cape Town for people who aspire for political office. This was hosted from March 29 to 31 in partnership with the Leadership Institute in Washington DC. 

We followed a hybrid model for the training whereby some candidates attended in-person and others online via Zoom. We also had speakers in the host venue and others joining virtually. Among those who appeared in person were:

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  • Cheryllyn Dudley (former ACDP MP), 
  • Michael Louis (co-founder of the School of Governance and pioneer of electoral reform in SA), 
  • Graham Charters (political communications strategist), 
  • Jonathan Moakes (vice president GQR and political strategist), 
  • Mmusi Maimane (founder and chief activist for One South Africa Movement), 
  • Masizole Mnqasela (DA member and Speaker of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament) and 
  • Neil de Beer (president and founder of United Independent Movement). 

Zooming in was Ron Nehring, the director of international training at the Leadership Institute and a Republican strategist and communications expert. He served as a national spokesman in the 2006 Presidential Campaign of Senator Ted Cruz. He was followed online by Bill Faulk, government affairs professional, political strategist, and communications consultant from Long Island, New York. Next was Steven Sutton who serves the Leadership Institute as vice president of programs. Lastly, we had Dave Brat, PhD, dean of the School of Business at Liberty University, and a former congressman. 

Our American guests’ input dealt mainly with the nuts and bolts of running a successful election campaign. They unpacked issues like candidate development, campaign management, funding and sustaining a campaign. Of course, some of them could not avoid touching on former president Donald Trump’s failed re-election campaign. In other words, even this setback for the Republicans presented us with an opportunity to extract some important lessons. 

So, where to next? Borrowing from the topic I was asked to speak on, I believe we are in desperate need of “Courageous Leadership”. We need to recognise that what sets apart those who lead in government and other sectors isn’t always the fact that they are the best and brightest among us. Many of them are simply courageous — something that is sadly in short supply among Christians today. 

My challenge to you is that you consider putting your hand up and be the answer to the cry for “competent leaders who respect God and are trustworthy and honest” (Exodus 18:21). As Dr H Dale Burke says: “great organisations are built on great leadership. Great leadership requires great leaders. And great leaders are gleaned from the fields of good people — men and women of moral character, strength, and conviction” (2004, p. 47).

Let me end with a statement from Honourable Masizole Mnqasela. He quoted from Winston Churchill who said: “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” As the Church we are a field of good people and as such we could rewrite the history of our nation. 

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  1. Excellent summary of a hugely informative conference. The School of Governance is a much needed, long awaited initiative equipping and preparing young and old with the tools and realities of political life so we can be more relevant and effective in our efforts to positively impact our nation through the political arena as Believers.

  2. I am glad I did not register to attend this. I would have protested Maimane .
    Has he repented for his betrayal of Jesus?
    Has repented for his support of homosexuality?
    How could this be a conference for “righteous leadership ” if unrighteous people are teaching?

    • Joseph Temlett

      I’m with you on this one Billy. Our God does not bless compromise…. See my further comment below….

  3. Well said Afrika. Let’s work together to move forward. No one person has all the answers, no one person is without fault and no one person can sing in a choir. Let’s make it count, we’ve got the opportunity now.

  4. Leadership (Matthew 23vs 10-12) and democracy is not what Jesus taught.
    He taught – humility-obedience- penitence- endurance.
    Matthew 23vs 10-12 TEV=..Nor should you be called ‘ Leader’ because your one and only leader is the Messiah. The greatest one among you must be your servant. Whoever makes himself great WILL be HUMBLED and whoever HUMBLES HIMSELF will be made great.
    Despite all the use of the now popular words ” servant leader” this is not scriptural.
    John 18v36- …My kingdom does not belong to this world, if my Kingdom was of this world, my SERVANTS (FOLLOWERS) would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish authorities. No, my kingdom DOES NOT belong here. We are all (true believers) equal subjects to the King.
    *Save our Nation*
    God’s Way with God’s Word

  5. Suzette van Rooyem

    Thank the Lord for those men and women who are trying to make South Africa a better place to live in. Please ignore the couch potatos who do nothing but criticize other people who are prepared to roll up their sleeves and be part of the solution to the many problems our country is experiencing.

  6. So Suzette what are you doing criticising , is your faith
    1) Self centered
    2) Man Centered
    3) Church Centered
    Read Psalm 2 and notice that God and his Chosen King JESUS are in control of all the nations and world leaders.

    • Afrika Mhlophe

      I think you are nitpicking. Of course, the word ‘leader’ does not exist in the Bible. But what we see in the Bible are metaphors relating to leadership. For instance, in 1 Cor 11:1, Paul wrote, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” This means that the Bible does not teach anywhere that believers should eschew leadership but rather that they should model and exemplify Christ’s values to those who look up to them.

      Even when Jesus spoke of being a servant, when He focused on was the attitude related to selfish ambition. He was NOT against ambition or desire per se. In fact, Paul spoke of a DESIRE of those who want to be bishops (1 Tim 3). Notice that Paul never said anywhere that the desire is wrong, but also dealt with the characteristics of bishops. He also spoke of the characteristics of deacons. But never did he say it is wrong to be a bishop or deacon but the same words simply relate to the station a person serves in.

      To desire” in the context of 1 Timothy 3:1 means to stretch out your hand to grasp something. It also means to aspire to or aim at something. Paul says that a person who desires to become a leader “desires a noble task”. The word noble refers to something that is honorable, superior, illustrious or distinguished. In other words, something that is uncommon or not readily found in others.

      It seems to me that you are suggesting that any position or task of leadership should be left for unbelievers. In other words, believers who are leading law firms, medical facilities, businesses, etc. should resign those posts simply because ‘Christ’s kingdom is not of this world.’ Is this what Jesus meant by these words? How then did He have Luke, a doctor recording events around His ministry? And why did Luke not ask Theophilus, a high-ranking official to whom the gospel of Luke and books of Acts is written, to resign his position as a condition of being a follower of Christ? Or Paul to Philemon?

  7. Joseph Temlett

    It looks like a great initiative and we definitely need God fearing leaders to navigate our troubled, corrupt, crime riddled country. However, if we are including speakers who have publically voiced their support for the legalization of prostitution; who have publically announced their support for same sex marriage and those who are part of the DA who support abortion, then the start of such an initiative is already flawed and will not carry the blessing of God. If we are calling for Christian leaders to stand up and the church to unite, irrespective of differences, why are we not standing with and supporting the proven, uncompromising track record of the ACDP since 1993?

  8. Afrika! I have deep sympathy for you., and pray that the ” scales will fall from your eyes”.
    I only quoted the Words of Jesus, so you are indirectly criticising Him.
    It seems that that you are caught up in the New Apiatolic Reformation and Humanism.
    Jesus never criticised the poor and the political leaders., but He was extremely critical of the ” Religous leaders “.
    ” Even then, many of the Jewish authorities believed in Jesus; but because of the Pharisees they did not talk about it openly, so ss not to be expelled grom yhe synagogue. They LOVED human approval, instead of the Approval of GOD.
    John 12 vs 42-43 TEV.