Developing Indigenous Leadership

Part of the aim of the Great Commission is the raising up in every land and among all peoples a church ade­quately manned and led by indigenous workers, and maintained by the tithes and offerings of the people they serve.

G. S. STEVENSON, President. South African Union Conference

Seventh-day Adventism is a world church with a world mission. It must pro­claim the everlasting gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people; it must make dis­ciples of all nations. Part of the aim envisaged in these di­vine commands is the raising up in every land and among all peoples a church ade­quately manned and led by indigenous workers, and maintained by the tithes and offerings of the people they serve. Until this has been achieved in any land the church has not attained maturity; but where a self-sustaining and self-propagating church has developed, the work of the foreign mis­sionary is crowned with success.

Throughout the Southern African Divi­sion there has been great progress in this direction in recent years. While the general poverty of the masses makes it difficult for the work to be sustained without large ap­propriations from mission funds, there has been a general advance toward indigenous leadership and self-propagation. The South African Union Conference has moved far along the path of developing art African-manned and African-led work in its mission fields. Now a vigorpus program of Africanization of the work is under way.

At the beginning of 1961 the mission fields were reorganized, and nine new fields were created, largely along ethnic lines, and for each an African president and sec­retary-treasurer were appointed. This phase of our work was placed under the direc­tion of the union vice-president, J. D. Harcombe. After one year of the new program he is able to report unqualified success in all parts of the union. In addi­tion to those carrying the administrative responsibility in the nine mission fields, two Africans serve as union departmental secretaries for this group, and a number of publishing department secretaries are be­ing trained to lead out in this phase of the work in the fields.

Accompanying this article is a picture of brother Harcombe with the nine mission field presidents, taken at the recent year­-end committee session.


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G. S. STEVENSON, President. South African Union Conference

July 1962

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