By James Pringle
After three office moves in one year, James Pringle took a moment to think back over 2016 and the joys and challenges of working at Shofar Headquarters…
Working at Shofar Headquarters is an immense privilege. As the coordinator for the various training programs and ministries, my day jumps between planning a Shofar Kids CD, brainstorming our upcoming Bible School 1 and 2 revision, development of Amplified Youth discipleship material and many other projects. Conversations move from one topic to another at a rapid pace, ensuring that I’m kept on my toes as the tabs on my Excel spreadsheets multiply overnight.
We take our work seriously, because the Gospel deserves nothing less than our best. Something I’ve learned from Pastor Fred May is that our view of excellence is a reflection of our understanding of God’s excellence. One brief moment of gazing at the Milky Way on a clear night is enough to humble us into acknowledgment of the glorious excellence God demonstrates in creation. During my postgraduate studies as a microbiologist, I remember reading in awe of the God who designed signal pathways on the most minute scale. God’s excellence is reflected on both the macro and the micro level. However, the ultimate demonstration of His commitment must surely be the most extravagant, unfathomable, undeserved gift of His Son. He only gives His best, so how can our worshipful response be anything less than our best?
I’m grateful to work with colleagues who are committed to seeing the Kingdom come. Whether I’m partnering with our Apostolic Office on the development of mission training videos, the Media Team on editing and distribution of the latest Small Group series to be shown in all the Shofar Small Groups, the Finance Department on budgets for our one-year residential Ministry Training Programme or any of the other departments, I’m humbled to see staff members put our theme for the year, Being One, into practice on a daily basis.
A recent project might illustrate the synergy we experience at Shofar Headquarters. Pastor Anton Myburgh, one of our International Apostolic Team members, has been revising our current Foundation 1. Upon receiving his first draft, several of the Shofar Regional Leaders were asked to give critical feedback on the content of the participant manual. Their feedback resulted in a rework of the content and generation of a manual specifically targeting our African network churches. Pastor Anton was due to visit our network churches in French-speaking Burkina Faso and needed a French version of Foundation 1 to take with him. Of course, the deadline was an impossible one, so the team sparked into action.
A French-speaking member of Shofar Malmesbury who is relocating to Ethiopia was tasked with the bulk of the translation. Although he was in the process of driving from South Africa to Ethiopia with his wife and two children, he made an unplanned two-day stop in Windhoek, Namibia, in order to work on the translation. As he translated the content on Google Drive, a third-party proofreader in France was working furiously to keep up with him so that by the time the manual was translated, it was proofread and ready for formatting. Our Resources Department, having prepared the printers for what was to come, raced to edit the layout and design of the manual together with our Media Team in a matter of hours, did the final check and sent the document off to the printers. Within a few days, 1000 copies had been printed, delivered and were ready for their trip to Burkina Faso. Just another day at Shofar Headquarters!
I praise God for the grace He gives us to accomplish what He’s called us for and to be a part of a team that seeks to reach nations and generations through disciple-making, leadership development, and church planting. I’m constantly reminded that it is His faithfulness and not ours that will hold us close until the day we see Him face to face. As Paul says to the Philippians, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 (ESV).