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Senior Pastor of Shofar Christian Church
What an honour it was to sit under the ministry of Suzette Hattingh during our God Encounter held in November 2018.
It was truly a God encounter as Suzette came to stir our hearts again to walk in the fullness of our calling to pray for the nations of the world. Over and over again, the call to the nations came as a personal call to intimacy with God in the first place. It is clear that everything in Suzette’s life flowed from a personal, intimate and faithful walk with God. Her passion for Jesus and for time with Him, outside of any ministry context, was refreshing, challenging and contagious.
Her teachings were a reminder that the lifestyle of an intercessor is not the preserve of a select few very radical Christians, but the inheritance of every believer. Her emphasis on the dovetailing between entering the presence of the Lord through praise and worship and then praying out of that place was confirmation of what I believe the Lord is reminding us of – that the sound of prayer and the sound of worship go hand in hand. It truly is the blowing of the shofar.
Her session on the different, yet complementary approaches to intercession, was especially powerful. Some of us are more inclined to pray prophetic prayers, others prayers of declaration, still others prayers of warfare and still others feel more comfortable within a very clearly structured prayer environment that makes provision for praying through a predefined list of needs or objectives. The beauty of all these styles or approaches is that not one of them is more spiritual than the other nor more special than the other, but that each one is dependent upon the other to bring the full counsel and wisdom of God to the fore.
Be encouraged therefore that there is a place for each one of us, even as we differ in our praying styles and approaches. I believe that this mutual respect for differing spiritual approaches is a powerful building block that will enable us to walk together in unity as we earnestly pray for the harvest and the harvesters in these days.
As far as teaching impartation is concerned, this promises to be one of the most significant, challenging and practical opportunities we have to be aligned with one another and with the Spirit of God, so I urge all of us to make an effort to download and watch the sessions in whatever capacity you can.
Feel free to visit Suzette’s website for more information on her ministry and further equipping resources. For more information on her ministry, visit Voice in the City.
A big, colossal thank you to the entire Shofar Wellington team of elders, leaders and volunteers who initiated the weekend with Suzette and organised it with such excellence and loving service. This is truly a wonderful example of how the gifts and opportunities of one congregation can be leveraged and used to benefit the entire church family. It was hugely encouraging to see so many friends from other denominations and churches also joining us for the weekend. We are truly beginning to see the Body of Christ beginning to walk in ever-increasing unity and mutual service.
It is time for us to gather to pray. It is time for us to dare to believe that our prayers are answered and it is time to believe that God can still do impossible things when we cry out to Him.
See you in the throne room.
In October last year, a team from the worship ministry was invited to take Shofar’s vision of reaching the nations to New Delhi, where they hosted India Must Worship – a workshop and retreat for those with a heart for worship from different churches and denominations.
In John 4:24 (NKJV) Jesus said to the woman at the well: “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Following a word that “the nations must worship”, the Spirit | Truth School of Worship was started in 2015 and has since been presented across South Africa, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Namibia and now also India.
“Our focus is on worship discipleship,” says Richard Wade, pastor of Shofar Franschhoek and a worship ministry leader. “Our heart is to worship together with churches in those nations, discuss issues related to worship discipleship with local worship leaders and praise teams, and learn from each other.”
The program includes teaching on topics such as the theology of worship, songwriting, prophetic dance and worship, music theory and recording. Students attend weekend retreats and complete the remaining sessions online on the Shofar courses site.
There are also designated times of free worship – unscripted, open-ended worship sessions where they really trust for a connection with God.
“We see local worship leaders and band members set free in their worship expression following teachings and times of impartation and praying for them.”
Shofar’s Ministry Training Program (MTP) is an established finishing course to equip leaders for pastoral training and expose them to practical ministry in order to plant churches.
But the perception of ‘skills development’ or ‘learning’ does not do MTP justice, according to Kennith Muller, pastor at Shofar Klerksdorp from the MTP class of 2018.
“Both the testimonies of the teachers in the sessions and those of the fellow brothers and sisters in Christ touched me deeply. It stirred my faith in God for my journey in ministry. Although some sessions would be scheduled for a specific topic/theme, the teacher would be flexible enough to listen to the Holy Spirit and teach the theme accordingly.This is also where you learn to work with ‘nations and generations’ you would not normally be exposed to. We arrived there on the first day as strangers: various people from various places; but we left as family. Understanding different contexts and what God is doing in each context also influences one’s faith. Something as simple as quickly having lunch together was a learning experience – of language, etiquette, love and acceptance. Everybody learns and learns to love, just like Jesus. Through community and fellowship, God came to heal and restore what no course, skill, Encounter or sermon could.”
We are looking forward to some fantastic speakers and spending time together as a church family in God’s presence, focusing on our theme for the year: The Sound of the Harvest.
This year the Shofar Conference will be hosted at two separate venues – one in Gauteng and one in the Western Cape, which will make attending Convergence a lot more feasible for many people by reducing the time and costs of travelling.
Save the date and join us on 6-8 September 2019. Registrations will open soon.
How can leaders, especially in a church context, encourage a culture of growth, trust and engagement, both in themselves and those around them, while preventing burnout?
Dr John Andrews is an experienced church leader, author and teacher based in the UK with a passion to equip and inspire leaders and empower Christians to live and serve effectively.
After hearing him speak at the Empowered21 conference in London, Shofar’s leaders invited him to Convergence 2017. Following these powerful sessions, Shofar Ceres and Shofar Johannesburg partnered to bring him to South Africa to present the abovementioned short course. It had such a huge impact on the pastors and staff who attended that the videos have been made available on the website for anyone who’s interested.
View the course here: Developing a Culture of Discipleship
Intercession is every believer’s inheritance, not only for a select few radical Christians. In this series, Suzette Hattingh, former head of intercession and associate evangelist for Reinhard Bonnke, ministers on intercession – the different, yet complementary approaches to prayer (prophetic, declarative, warfare, and structured), explaining that none of these styles are more spiritual or special than the others, but each one is dependent upon the other to bring the full counsel and wisdom of God to the fore.
She also teaches on the importance that the believer must enter the presence of the Lord through praise and worship, and then pray from that place.
“I believe the Lord is reminding us of this – that the sound of prayer and the sound of worship go hand in hand. It truly is the blowing of the shofar,” says Ps Heinrich Titus, who ministered with Suzette at ‘God Encounter’ in November 2018, an interdenominational event organised by Shofar Wellington.
“It was truly a God encounter as Suzette came to stir our hearts again to walk in the fullness of our calling to pray for the nations of the world. Over and over again, the call to the nations came as a personal call to intimacy with God in the first place. It is clear that everything in Suzette’s life flows from her personal, intimate, and faithful walk with God. Her passion for Jesus and for time with Him, outside of any ministry context, was refreshing, challenging, and contagious.”
“This promises to be one of the most significant, challenging, and practical opportunities we have to be aligned with one another and with the Spirit of God, so I urge all of us to make an effort to download and watch the sessions.“
“It is time for us to gather to pray. It’s time for us to dare to believe that our prayers are answered and it’s time to believe that God can still do impossible things when we cry out to Him.”
The God Encounter sessions are available for free here: God Encounter
For more information on Suzette’s ministry and further resources, visit her website here.
Shofar’s training content is now available online as another tool in our vision of reaching the nations. Now anyone can do Bible School or any of the other shorter courses from anywhere in the world. All they need is a laptop and an internet connection.
From February, the Shofar online store will merge with the former e-learning site to create a new platform where products and electronic courses will be accessible on the same platform, with a single login.
All Bible School campuses will use this platform to administrate and run their courses. Bible School content will be accessible here, as well as other course elements such as tests, reflection questions and feedback.
The new courses site will also be frequently updated with other short courses such as Dr John Andrews’ Developing a Culture of Discipleship and God Encounter with Suzette Hattingh, as well as sessions from the School of Worship and Ministry Training Program. People who are therefore unable to attend these events in person will still have access to the full teachings.
Visit the courses here.
YouVersion is the go-to Bible app for many Christians, also offering users reading plans that guide their study of the Word. ShofarBand’s Behold plan is an extension of the heart behind the album: To magnify the Word of God because of its transforming power.
The 12 devotionals are each based on one facet of God’s character as highlighted in each of the 12 songs on the album. These devotionals delve deeply into Scripture on topics such as God’s faithfulness and what it means to truly hope in Him.
“Each song was inspired by so many Scriptures, and we wanted to share those Scriptures and themes with people so they could dig deeper into the Bible with us,” says James Pringle, ShofarBand’s leader.
Over 2200 people have signed up for the Behold plan, with a completion rate of nearly 50%.