Stewarding wealth

The following article was written by Neil Hart, Executive Head of the Mergon Foundation, and published as a guest blog for the African Philanthropy Forum. 

Stewarding wealth

 

In a world where celebrity appears to be the highest calling, where everyone wants to be a leader or an owner, management is often seen as a second-rate calling. For so many years I felt the same way, focusing my attention on the things that are prized by the world. Stewardship, however, the critically important role that Jesus outlines in several of his teachings (see Luke 12 and Luke 19) is unfamiliar, even unpopular language in today’s world, closer to the idea of management than leadership.

The Bible offers several inspiring illustrations of the meaning of stewardship: in 1 Peter 4:10 a steward is presented as one who is put in charge of the multiple possessions and property of another – one who is highly trustworthy. In the ancient world, this position was not only a great responsibility but a high honour in society. But when it comes to our finances, are we really leaders or stewards?

Those who have much wealth will at some point in time wrestle with the ownership of that wealth. Does it exist for my personal comfort and satisfaction, or is there a greater purpose for all that I have? Am I a steward of what has been entrusted to me, or can I do with this whatever I wish? Psalm 24: 1 teaches us that: “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” In essence, God is the Owner of all things and we, His children, are called to care for that which is already His. We have the highest honour of being good stewards of all that is entrusted to us, whether it be children, households, talents, possessions, or wealth.

Any philanthropist or foundation that manages wealth must battle the issue of ownership. It is, in my opinion, the number one stumbling block to the healthy giving of wealth.

Philanthropy then is the management of wealth from the perspective of the steward, not the owner. But what are the principles and paradigms that we keep in mind when we steward wealth for greater purposes than ourselves? Beyond the principle I have outlined above, there are 3 additional paradigms that are of critical importance to good stewardship in philanthropy:

Earth’s resources

Let us begin at the beginning: stewarding our calling as Christians intersects with how we steward the planet’s resources. In Genesis 1, God gives us our original mandate: to co-labour creation with him, to steward the planet, and to use the resources to create heaven’s culture on earth. Genesis 1 and 2 use much stewardship language: being fruitful, filling the good earth, and using its resources to cultivate all that the Creator has entrusted to us. God wants us to use resources wisely. Genesis also uses many languages relating to rulership and reigning. Stewardship has a high calling of reigning over things in a benevolent manner where we create a culture of care and flourishing. Christians can sometimes be the worst of stewards of the earth, believing falsely that heaven is our ultimate home and that there is little need to take care of the earth. Nothing could be further from the truth. How we steward the resources of the earth determines how we are entrusted with the more that comes through our hands. God loves his creation and if it is important to him then it must be important to us.

Power

Philanthropy can do much harm when it is not stewarded in the correct spirit. Money brings with it the double-edged sword of power. When ego is not in check then power is wildly at play. Through pride ‘we devolve from a desire to be great to a desire to be thought of as great; from a desire to serve the weak to a desire to be served by the weak; from a desire to save the world to a desire to have it’ (John Mark Comer, Garden City: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human).

Where does this wrestle come from? Galatians 5:17 tells us “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other so that you are not to do whatever you want.” Basically, my soul desires things that are opposed to what the Spirit of God desires for me. Philanthropists must first yield their power to the will of God, working in humility with an attitude that asks ‘how can this money serve those best who need it most?’

At Mergon we have to constantly keep ourselves in check in this area. We distribute several millions every year and walk on the tightrope of power and humility. One of the things we aim to do is distribute finances in a servant-hearted manner. To measure this, we do a survey every year, asking our beneficiaries questions relating to how well we have served them. We present these findings without edit to our Board to keep us accountable.

Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24. This is especially true for those stewards of wealth. The power we carry must be crucified by the cross of Jesus along with everything else.

Legacy

Several years ago, there was a survey done with people over 90 years of age. They were asked one question: if you had your life to live over again, what would you do differently? There were 3 common answers which I find very significant and meaningful to this topic. They were: 1. To love more, 2. To reflect more, and 3. To leave a legacy.

Our only true legacy as those that steward wealth is not how much was given and to how many people, or how many people knew about us. Legacy is only ever about God’s enduring Kingdom. It is, as the disciple John put it, fruit that remains into eternity. Pledge something greater than yourself, greater than your wealth. Something beyond yourself and your own abilities. What can you and your business resources create that is far greater than you? What will outlive you and reverberate into eternal realms? It is simply this: the growing Kingdom of God. As Dallas Willard often said, “The Kingdom of God is the best news on how to live on planet earth”. We have a unique part to play in it. Let us play it well.

We have tried our best at Mergon for over four decades. As we steward our entrusted resources for the sake of His kingdom, God has continually exceeded our expectations – multiplying our resources, relationships, and gratitude, for greater Kingdom impact. Knowing we are the stewards, not the owners, has been the golden thread in the tapestry of our story.

By Neil Hart

All rights reserved. Copyright 2018 Mergon Group.

A season of rebuilding

Dick van der Walt is the Executive Director of the Tala Group. He also serves as the Chairman of Mergon’s Investment Forum and a trustee of the Mergon Foundation. Drawing from a distinguished career in law and the commercial sector, Dick has been instrumental in helping establish Mergon and shape its course, from its earliest years until today.  

A season of rebuilding

 

Now that the Covid curtain is lifting, leaders are left to navigate a new and unfamiliar terrain of business. For most leaders, it’s a season of rebuilding; for many it’s a time of significant transition that demands a shift in thinking. These are liminal spaces we lead in, where the disorientation of ending one reality and stepping into another requires more than human wisdom alone.

How do we then build sustainable resilience to repeatedly move from disorientation to inspiration?

Scripture is rich in stories of men and women who, in the fog of indecision and uncertainty, found God’s clarifying perspective to navigate their way to sure footing. The book of Zechariah is a good example of that for me.

Here was a nation who had returned from exile and been given an assignment to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. But adversity seemed to await the Israelites’ every move, resources were limited and progress remained slow. Despondency and demotivation kicked in, the mission seemed increasingly unattainable.

Into this context of despair God spoke:

(Zechariah 4:6) ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zurubbabel, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord. (verse 9) ‘The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you.’

In Greek the word ‘might’ speaks to, amongst others, financial strength; ‘power’ to individual ability or talent. God is essentially reminding us not to have misplaced confidence in our own ability and resources. The ‘temple’ that God wants to build in us and through our businesses will not be built by human effort alone or accumulated wealth but God working through us, who is ultimately the source of all wisdom and provision.

In these uncertain times, I believe God is encouraging us to lead with a mindset of abundance. It’s a mindset that is often counter-cultural but foundational to the Biblical perspective, rooted in the confidence of God’s all-sufficiency. And I believe this mindset will serve as a compass when building and operating businesses with purpose and hope in these trying and uncertain times.

Building a Temple  

It’s liberating to know, God is specific in His assignments. We do not have to be all things to all people. There’s an assigned lane for each of our organisations, and only when we stay within these parameters can we expect to enjoy God’s supernatural provision. Having an abundance mindset leads us to be discerning and discretionary around our activities and investments, because we understand we’re merely the stewards of these resources.

Zurubbabel had a specific job to do, and he was obedient to do it.

Likewise, our job is not to create a dominating brand or even to necessarily chase after an ever growing balance sheet. Our job is rather to be faithful to the task that God has specifically assigned to us. This kind of conviction should lead us to pray, earnestly, and to approach our work with great humility, knowing that everything is on heavenly loan. We can measure our success independent of corporate benchmarks or capital gains, but ultimately by how often we hear God’s commendation: ‘well done, good and faithful steward’.

Gaining God’s perspective

Zechariah’s prophecy came at a key time in Israel’s history, when the temple project had been on a two-decade hold. Zerubbabel was encouraged to look beyond his own limited perspective, believe God at His word, and take to the task of building God’s temple. As a result of his obedience, the temple was completed – the same temple that Haggai prophesised ‘would be greater than the former’ because Jesus Himself would worship there.

Although Zerubbabel’s temple wasn’t architecturally as splendid as the former, the Lord’s abiding presence is what gave it significance. In our businesses, we want to forge spaces where Jesus can show up, unhindered. Where the lure of prominence, visibility and brand never overtakes our dedication to be stewards of His provision and servant leaders to a broken world.

For God to show up, it means that we must show up too. Zerubbabel could never have known what he was building or whether he would finish what he set out to do. He simply picked up the trough and began the work. When we cannot see the whole picture, an abundance perspective simply helps us to start with the job that God is calling us to. Similarly in our business endeavours, we cannot predict how today’s actions will impact the future. But if we just keep ‘showing up’ – with joy and integrity, faith and perseverance – who knows how our workmanship will host His presence both now and into the future?

Being the lampstand

To be a ‘temple’, our organisations need to position themselves as ‘people focussed’, creating platforms that foster others’ callings to come to the fore and flourish. Then we can be that lampstand in Zechariah 4, giving light to darkened spaces and evidence of God’s sustaining hope.

In our modern context the encouragement and wisdom found in Zechariah 4 reminds me of the love of the Father, whose desire is to meet us in our unique context of a broken world and be our source of hope and provision. It is the backdrop of God’s desire to continue the rebuilding of His temple in us, and work alongside with us, to create places rich in mercy and redemption.

May God grant us all the grace to learn how to live ‘not by might not by power but by My Spirit’ – and may we be faithful stewards of business that, through His abiding presence, can change a broken world.

All rights reserved. Copyright 2018 Mergon Group.

Stewarding our joy

 

By Almero Strauss

It’s that time of year again, when we’re all running at full speed to tie up loose ends and power down our laptops for a while. The pressures and pace of this year all seem to be culminating in this last final stretch – and we are tired. It’s understandable, and to some degree, an inevitable reality for every November of any year.

We all want to end strong – and we can. But to do so, it requires us to stay focused on the right things – things that lift our gaze and lighten our burdens as we go.

Lately I have been thinking about our role in Mergon as stewards – not only of God’s entrusted capital but of every aspect of our lives, including our joy. I believe the more we grow in and live from the understanding that ‘God owns it all’, the more effective we will be in stewarding our joy and energy levels in any season. Here are some thoughts that I hope will help take you strong over the 2021 finish line.

The pressure is off

Somewhere in this past month, as the first signs of ‘Novemberitis’ started showing, a thought suddenly dawned on me: God gave us talents to enjoy them. So often, however, we can turn those talents into burdens. We live and work within a predominantly performance-based culture that prizes hard work as the means to earned success. We are brought up to believe that our talents are given for the sake of excellence and achievement. Our worth is then determined by how well we use and multiply our talents for the sake of God’s Kingdom. If we succeed, it goes to the head. If we fail, it goes to the heart. Either way, it puts the onus on us and takes the focus off God, the only One who can ultimately write this story. Suddenly that which was meant for God’s pleasure, becomes a burden and a drain.

Received, not earned

There is joy from doing something with excellence. But this joy should be rooted in the act itself of producing excellence, not driven by an appetite to achieve or outperform. There is an unspoken satisfaction in partnering with creation in bringing beauty and innovation to the fore. Whether it be painting, or pouring the perfect cappuccino, or brokering a major investment – we were made to pull heaven down to earth and make things better.

What helps us to stay joyful and light? I believe it’s in understanding heaven’s posture towards humanity, one in which God does all the giving, and we simply open our hands to receive it. In a Faith Driven Investor podcast entitled Who Do You Think You Are?, Tim Keller shares from Luke 10 how the seventy-two returned from the field to report their ministry success to Jesus. ‘Even the demons submit to us in your name!’ they boasted, to which Jesus replied: ‘do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’

Jesus was saying here that their joy should not be in what they accomplished, but in what God initiated and generously gave in His kindness. Their names, like ours, do not deserve to be written in the book of life. They could not earn their spot on the page. Jesus was essentially saying, ‘don’t fall into the trap of defining your worth based on your ministry outputs – rejoice in the fact that your worth is defined by My unmerited grace.’

Although God wants us to succeed, we must mind the fatal gap of self-importance and think He somehow needs us to multiply our talents. He’s shown us through a little boy’s lunch box in Matthew 15 that He can multiply things without us. But if we work from an understanding that everything we have – our money, influence, health, time, talents – is a gift, then we will operate under a light yoke and do more than we could have ever accomplished in our own strength.

Strategising for joy

To maintain the joy of what we do requires strategy and discipline. Aside from our spiritual disciplines, we need to ensure our work or ministry is in balance with other areas of our lives. Stewardship begins with self, so boundaries are key to safeguard our health and wellbeing. Family and friends are vital – we need to carve out time to invest in these relationships. Hobbies and interests, rest and recreation – all these things are important in the eyes of God and should be woven into our weekly rhythms.

As the Mergon leadership team we have also been asking the question, how do we ensure our people are getting ‘larger’ and not smaller in their capacities, their vision and their passion for what they do? Are our work rhythms sustainable? Do they nurture a culture where we are inspired and equipped to steward every area of our lives? And though we don’t have all the answers, we are committed to learn how best we can help our people, and our partners, to thrive. It’s an ongoing learning journey for our team and for me personally, but one that I feel privileged to be on.

As you head into this holiday season, my prayer is that you’ll find your rest and strength in His – the One who owns it all.

Almero Strauss is a director of Mergon and serves on the boards of multiple investee companies within Mergon’s investment portfolio.

All rights reserved. Copyright 2018 Mergon Group.

A Christian perspective of philanthropy – more than just charity

 

By Neil Hart, executive head of the Mergon Foundation

Generosity through catalytic partnerships

The culture of biblical stewardship which underpins the character of Mergon dates back to a September morning in 1980. Francois van Niekerk found himself desperately reaching out to God as a lifeline to save his business.

Never in his wildest dreams could he have imagined just how significant that day was and how it would change the course of his life – how his influence would grow, his perspective on giving and stewarding finances would be shaped, and perhaps most importantly, how many lives would be impacted as a result.

The Mergon story is unique in that, from humble beginnings and limited capital, Francois initiated a structure and financial ecosystem that now allocates the majority of its investment proceeds through the Mergon Foundation. In distributing these funds, the Foundation works with many ministries and NPOs across Africa and the Middle East.

A view on generosity

As a Christian faith-based organisation, some might say we have a unique view on giving and generosity. First of all, we believe it is more blessed to give than to receive. There is such joy in the act of giving when it is done with pure motives and it often promotes our own peace.

Secondly, it undoubtedly links up with our belief that nothing we have is our own, but that we are to steward what we have well, for the benefit of others and the generations that follow. Yes, we often also reap the benefits, but it is not as a result of holding on to what we have due to a fear that we might lack.

As Francois puts it in his book Doing Business with Purpose: “Whatever success we may achieve is not from within ourselves. We should continue to seek common ground not only in furthering commercial success but also to improve the social fibre of the world. A giving disposition brings significance to our lives and often also unexpected material benefit. But we receive the latter only if we do not give to receive, and the material blessing does not become the focus of our life.”

Thirdly, we don’t want to get attached to money and allow it to rule us or hold on to it for our own interest. The Bible teaches us that “Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them.” (1 Cor. 7:31) and “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:10)

RT Kendall also beautifully explains that “Joseph was given something that he could be trusted with because it didn’t mean that much to him.” That is, a Jew given the authority to manage the entire Egyptian empire on behalf of Pharaoh!

From funder to partner

Over time, the Mergon Foundation has evolved from purely being a conduit of funds, to being a resource partner. Even though funding is still at the centre of what we do, there are several, equally valuable resources we make available to our ministry partners, such as leadership and organisational health tools and support. This is motivated by 1) our desire to see healthy, thriving organisations functioning at their full potential to achieve maximum impact and 2) our mission to be a catalyst.

A catalyst is defined as a small dose of substance that, when released into the right environment, can cause a disproportionate effect. Scripture talks about a small seed sowed to yield a great harvest. Across Africa and the Middle East, we aim to sow our small seeds in order to be a catalytic partner that contributes to the multiplication and increase of the impactful work of our partner organisations – be that in discipleship, education, skills development, training or caring for the poor, marginalised and vulnerable.

We ask ourselves how we can leverage that which has been put in our hand — funds, knowledge, experience, networks, and relationships — to facilitate a disproportionate impact. This has led to various impactful strategic initiatives and partnerships.

Staying true to the calling

It’s 40 years later since its founding and the Mergon Foundation’s reach has increased to the point that thousands of lives are being impacted. From having only a handful of partners a few years ago, the Mergon Foundation now resources over 100 partners across three regions namely South Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East & North Africa. This is not our doing, but God’s. Perhaps another thing that has played a role is the fact that our calling hasn’t changed and we remain committed to keeping it at the centre of all we do.

As part of the Mergon Group, the Foundation’s vision is to see God’s Kingdom come in every level of society and every geographic region we work in. When ‘God’s Kingdom comes’ in a community or an individual’s life, we see that restoration takes place, peace is restored, people’s needs are met, and sustainable community transformation happens.

We have a passion to see the good news of Christ shared and people being discipled; to see the poor and marginalised uplifted, filled with hope and their dignity restored; and to bring about reconciliation and peace in our nation and beyond. Because of this, we strategically deploy our entrusted resources through well-chosen partnerships for the maximum expansion of God’s Kingdom.

As a funder and partner, our focus is being faithful with what has been entrusted to us. That’s what drives us to be generous and give strategically.

We believe that we are part of God’s story and that we are merely stewards in amazement of what He is doing in and through us. As we mix our endeavors and resources with faith, we entrust them back into God’s hands with an expectation that He can do so much more than we can ask or imagine.

All rights reserved. Copyright 2018 Mergon Group.

Our mission explained: Calling at the centre

 

By Pieter Faure

At Mergon we live with a deep awareness that our work wasn’t established through the generosity of a man, but through the grace and provision of God. The golden thread that has woven through our +40-year story is one of surrender – the more we have learned to lean into His leading through prayer, the more crystallised our calling has become as an organisation over the years.

In the early days of Mergon the narrative was slightly more straightforward – our impact was measured primarily by the reality of people coming to the knowledge of Christ and to salvation. Over the past decade, however, this perspective has broadened to reflect a more holistic understanding of what it means for God’s Kingdom to intersect our lives. Today we see ourselves as catalysts for Kingdom impact. Everything about us – our activities, behaviours and approach to relational partnerships – pivots on this purpose.

But perhaps the questions beg asking, ‘What exactly do we mean by Kingdom impact – and how do you begin to qualify something as vast and illimitable as the ‘Kingdom of God’? Over the years we have wrestled with these questions. Scripture, in particular Colossians 1, has helped provide some clues.

Verses 16-20 read:

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

There is a certain far-reaching, all-comprehending ‘fullness’ that God desires for every sphere of living when heaven invades our lives. A flourishing takes place as our lives align to the original intent of God’s design – not just inwardly, but practically: economies thrive, science innovates, arts flourish, medicine advances, the poor are uplifted and just law prevails. As John Dunn puts it, through the single act of reconciliation in the cross, God ‘resolves the disharmonies of nature and the inhumanities of humankind’ and reinstates us, and his creation as a whole, to the way things ought to be.

The ‘all things’ to which Paul refers in Col 1:16 and 1:20 implies that all broken relationships will be reconciled and restored to Him – beginning with our relationship with him, overflowing to our relationships with others and ultimately extending to the elements of culture and society at large. As Paul reminds us in Romans 14:17, when our broken humanity is restored to perfect harmony in Christ, ‘righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit’ break out in unexpected places, bringing light and freedom to architect a new Kingdom atmosphere.

Our mission: a 3-pillar strategy 

Now we know this mission is vast and wide, and we need to prayerfully discern the role we are meant to play within it. That’s why we have identified three areas on which we believe God has called us to focus:

1. To see the good news of Christ shared and people being discipled and assimilated into communities of faith. (Restoring relationship with Him)

2. To see the poor and marginalised filled with hope in Christ and experience their dignity restored. (Restoring relationships between people)

3. To see culture transformed by inspiring redemptive stewardship of God-entrusted resources (Restoring relationship with creation back to God’s original intent)

In the same way, we believe these three priorities encapsulate this nature of God’s restorative work in our lives – a work that begins with personal transformation and then extends outwardly in ever-expanding circles to see relationships, culture and creation realigned to the original blueprint for human flourishing.

The priority of partnership

With these areas top of mind, we strategically invest and deploy our resources to see God’s Kingdom expand. How we do this is mainly by partnering with like-minded people and organisations. Whether it be by helping entrepreneurs to build strong, scalable businesses, supporting impactful ministries across Africa and the Middle East, or co-creating resources with our Ziwani and Nation Builder communities – we strive to do it together.

Christ walked in relationship – and as his ambassadors we have to approach each opportunity in a similar way. By assuming a posture of humility, through the same gritty, on-the-ground commitment to see a work beyond ourselves succeed, we position ourselves as relational partners on the journey, rather than those who leverage their influence to optimise investment returns.

Prayer at the centre 

Above all else, cultivating a culture of prayer in Mergon has been the single-most important strategy to help quicken and catalyse our Kingdom impact. Prayer has anchored and safeguarded us in the reality that all we have comes from God. Though we’re called to faithfully steward these gifts, talents and time throughout our lifetime, at the end of the day these resources are only on heavenly loan and will ultimately be given back into his hands.

Galatians 5:25 encourages us to ‘keep in step with the Spirit’, as well as Philippians 4:6 which reminds us to ‘not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God’. As we continually learn how to enquire of Him and wait on Him, trusting that He will direct our steps, we are able to strengthen our dependence on Christ to navigate our way forward.

Prayer has opened countless doors for us, but it has thankfully closed many too. On more than one occasion we have had to face tough decisions. In spite of what at times seemed to be the perfect investment opportunity, the team has occasionally had to decline the offer because they just didn’t have the peace of mind to enter into the relationship.

More than anything else over the years, prayer has enabled us to stay steady and true to the vision God has placed within our hearts. When peace has paved the way, we have been able to take risks and act on brave ideas, knowing that God is ultimately the One who guides our steps and carries the load. Prayer has enabled us to act, but also take the long term view, remembering that it’s all a work in progress – ourselves included.

The mission to catalyse Kingdom impact spans sectors and generations, and draws upon the creative capacities of God’s diverse people to accomplish. As individuals and as Mergon, we may only contribute to one chapter, but our combined contributions will some day complete the story of God’s redemptive work in our lives. The beauty of it all is that, as we experience change through what we do at Mergon we ourselves are changed.

All rights reserved. Copyright 2018 Mergon Group.

Catalysts for Kingdom expansion: learnings along the way

 

By Neil Hart

The underlying mission of everything we do at the Mergon Foundation is to be catalysts for the expansion of God’s Kingdom. It’s a mandate we all received from Jesus when He left the growth of the new testament church in the hands of His disciples, including you and me. He told us to ‘seek first’ His Kingdom. He said that His Kingdom was advancing, and it is happening here, now.

A catalyst is described as a ‘small dose that is added to cause a disproportionate effect’. We are not done learning, but have seen over time that to be a catalyst, one must have a few things in place:

Partnerships and networks

Kingdom partnerships are incredibly important to us and we’ve learnt a lot about what constitutes an effective partnership over the last 40 years. We value mutually beneficial partnerships with the purpose of building God’s Kingdom.

We intentionally take time to build relationships with a broad range of ministries across the world, primarily working in Africa and the Middle East. Our aim is to walk a good journey with these partners, to support them and see them grow. Each region is so unique and each partnership brings with it obstacles, victories and learnings.

We’ve also seen the benefit of connecting people who may have two different pieces of the same puzzle: people who have regional knowledge with those who have global insight; evangelist ministries with disciple-making ministries; or technology enablers with on-the-ground implementers. Each of these is essential in creating a greater impact out of what we have been given to steward.

Perspective and strategy

One of the unique benefits we have as a Foundation is our wide network, spanning across Africa and the Middle East. With a wider network, we gain better perspective, and perspective is essential for great strategy. In fact, catalytic Kingdom partnerships is the essence of our strategy.

It’s not uncommon to find a discrepancy between an organisation’s strategy and its reality. That’s why it’s imperative to remember that strategy takes time. Einstein once said that if he had 60 minutes to save the world, he’d spend 59 minutes on problem definition.

We need to be clear on what we are putting our effort into when we speak about Kingdom expansion. I believe God expects us to carry a tenderness to hear his voice (prophetic heart) with a strategic, apostolic mind.

Unity 

In God’s economy, unity is a supernatural, catalytic ingredient. Ephesians 4 speaks about working towards the unity of the body of Christ so that ‘when each part is working properly, it makes the body grow…’

I’m certain that we will not see the effective expansion of God’s Kingdom without an intentional working towards unity. It is something that only God can activate but relies on us to move our hearts together towards one purpose with one mind.

Our aim is to work with and through the body of Christ. At times following and at times leading, but always serving. We hope to thereby fulfil our mandate to be catalysts for the expansion of God’s Kingdom.

All rights reserved. Copyright 2018 Mergon Group.