Mission Planning for the Future of AE

AE Admin | May 9th, 2017

The AE Planning Team in Nairobi

The AE Planning Team in Nairobi

Excellence in missions is something African Enterprise takes very seriously. Over the last two years, AE International has begun an initiative to harmonize and refine the mission materials that have been created over the last 50+ years of ministry. With God’s help, the end result will soon be an Integrated Training Model which can be implemented anywhere and to any people group while maintaining the high standard of AE missions.

Liisa Zondervan, of AE South Africa, recently took part in an AEI Training Manual Retreat in Nairobi where staff from around the continent of Africa gathered to create this new resource. She has shared her encouraging experience below.

“When I was asked to be part of the AE International Staff Consultation in Kumasi, Ghana in September 2016, I was not quite sure how I fit into the activities that would be taking place. However, it soon became clear to me.

“Within moments one team leader was asking another for permission to use their materials! It was clear to everyone that a more structural approach was needed.”

“African Enterprise works within ten African countries, and the teams are run fairly independently. Because of that, it’s often the case that teams use different training materials from country to country and those materials are not always best equipped to train the churches in evangelism and discipleship. This was made evident when each team gave a short presentation of their work and placed their locally developed materials on a table. Soon there were piles of books: from manuals that explain how to plan AE missions or how to teach church leaders to run discipleship classes to Bible study books and deep theological material. Within moments one team leader was asking another for permission to use their materials! It was clear to everyone that a more structural approach was needed.”

“In late April 2017, a group of AE staff gathered in Nairobi for a week with the goal of creating an AEI Missions Training Programme that will be capable of steering a local AE team and the local church through the process of seeing an AE mission through from start to finish.”

“The group that was gathered represented the crème de la crème of AE intellectuals. I was only selected for my work in the Training Centre of AE South Africa, but the others came to the table with PhDs and tons of experience under their belt. Truly a team worthy of the task ahead of them.”

 

The team getting down to the business of effective mission planning

The team getting down to the business of effective mission planning

“As we began, a curriculum was proposed and was improved upon as the week continued. The available materials, as far as they exist in writing, were presented and the team members each took responsibility for the modules in their respective areas of expertise There were often gaps in the materials which we were able to stitch together due to the vast knowledge in executing missions which was represented among those present. As we bounced ideas off each other, we sharpened one another and took the materials to the next level.”

 

“As we bounced ideas off each other, we sharpened one another and took the materials to the next level.”

“Of course, one cannot expect to produce a textbook for an entire training programme in less than a week; yet the progress made was mind-boggling. It really revealed to me the quality of AE staff. Now it is our homework for the next couple of months to complete the materials. For some books, it is a matter of making final touches, for others, it is adding content to the outline we discussed. A lot of hard work remains to be done but the progress made during that week was very encouraging.”

Ben Sachie (AE Ghana), Liisa Zondervan (AE SA), Emmanuel Kwizera (AEI Missions Director)

Ben Sachie (AE Ghana), Liisa Zondervan (AE SA), Emmanuel Kwizera (AEI Missions Director)

 

“I learned so much from my colleagues during our time together. There is an inexhaustible source of wealth locked up in these people; both in terms of knowledge and in terms of experience. I learned how capable we are of working very, very hard. So, I can only admire and deeply respect my colleagues from around Africa. I also learned something else: when you put a bunch of AE people together, regardless of their titles and cultures, we have a lot of fun!”

Emmanuel Kwizera, AEI Missions Director further explained, “As a result of this hard work, AEI is happy to report that a new ‘Missions Training Model for City-Wide Missions’ has been approved. Training will begin soon for all Team Leaders, Missions, and Social Action Staff and will aim to be completed prior to the end of 2019. Thank you for your prayers and your support during this wonderful process!”