Training to Keep on Planting
France Mookisi is Reformed, has planted a number of churches, wants to plant more churches, and has realised that a high qualification is very important because people are ready to listen and follow someone who is properly trained and recognised. That is why he is one of Mukhanyo’s promising BTh Honours students.
France is now completing his first of two Honours academic years. In some 30 years of pastoring he has concluded that proper training is important, not only to be credible, but even more so to grow in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus, thus able to preach with authority.
From 1982 to 1983 he was sent to train for the ministry by a church which was a part of the London Missionary Society. He completed a two-year theological diploma with Southern Africa Theological College. That was when he surrendered his life to the Lord Jesus. He joined the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) to preach Christ and plant churches.
Now follows a list of church planting and preaching the Gospel: three churches in North West Province; studying at the AFM’s Central Bible College in Soshanguve; planting and ministering a church in Krugersdorp; a church plant in Magaliesburg, pastoring a church in Soweto and Freedom Park.
In 1996, France met a young pastor of the AFM who had studied at a Reformed Theological College. They instantly clicked, and this started a new journey for France to be introduced to Reformed theology. He enrolled for the BTh at John Wycliffe Theological College and studied there for four years (1996-1999). In 1998 he resigned from the AFM.
Subsequently the Curatorium of the Potchefstroom Theological School of the Reformed Churches offered him a candidacy in 2001. He wanted to study at the Potchefstroom University for MTh (New Testament) but did not have the finances to do so.
With the American missionary, Dr Ed Gross, he started a multicultural church in Pretoria – Hope Community Church. From this church, six pastors were raised; two of them studied with Mukhanyo. A hospice, home schooling program, skills training courses and an orphanage were started by this church.
During this time France was sponsored by some Reformed Churches around Centurion and Pretoria. But funds dried up and France joined the Department of Correctional Services as a chairperson of the parole board. That contract ended in 2019.
During these years, however, France mentored several young men in the East Rand who were involved in church planting but had no theological training. France then decided to continue his studies. He is now enrolled for BTh Honours at Mukhanyo. His immediate plan is to plant a church – a Reformed church – around Centurion and run an orphanage again.
He is presently helping out at the Magaliesburg AFM and community on Sundays. But this is an informal, unofficial sacrifice they are doing for the Lord. He and his wife Maggy are not members of AFM and he does not hold the status as pastor, but he wants to help them out because he has a vested interest in the church he planted years ago.
“My heart’s desire is to continue to plant churches where the Lord would open up opportunities. I also want to serve rural communities, informal settlements and poor places where pastors don’t want to serve because there is no means of sustaining them financially”.
“I also realise that the Reformed church needs to experience new strategies and methods relevant to the context of ministry; to try new things they have never tried before. The Reformed church needs to look afresh at context, liturgy and strategy for harvest relevant to the context”.
Wow! What a story (true) of France. We thank God for this testimony.
France is already an incredible preacher and facilitator of disciple making through Discovery Bible Studies. I know that his effectiveness and fruitfulness will only be enhanced by this degree program at Mukanjyo. I hope many will partner with France both in his present studies and in the years to come. God bless you all!
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