July 2022 Impetus.
I have always prided myself on being able to recall names, faces and details of the people I meet. As a pastor, it’s a very useful skill. In many African contexts where local dialects and languages make pronunciation and recall more difficult however, this can be more challenging. But I think the same is true in reverse. Only this morning, I received an email from someone I recently met digitally addressed: ‘Dear Steve’!
Names are important.
This is especially true in Biblical thought: Adam means ‘man’, Eve means ‘life-giver’, Ruth means ‘friend’ and David (I have always liked this one) means ‘beloved’.
Above all, Jesus means ‘God who Saves’.
Ever since my early involvement in APF there have been conversations about the name ‘African Pastors Fellowship’. How does it communicate to a largely white British supporter base? Does it adequately describe organisational priorities around training and equipping Christian leaders? To what extent does it suggest a forward thinking and pioneering 21st century mission?
The most common response I get when I tell people I work for African Pastors Fellowship is, “but you’re not African!”. We need to be serious about the possibility our name could actually be a barrier to some opportunities.
The conversation is on-going and I would warmly welcome comments from supporters and friends of APF, both positive and negative concerning our name.
In the meantime, I hope you will be encouraged by this edition of Impetus which contains a significant section of prayer requests submitted by African friends and partners and has been prepared in response to your requests for more of a focus on prayer.
Dave (not Steve!)
Revd Dave Stedman