Regina Claus is the General Secretary of the Union of Evangelical Free Churches of Germany. She writes of her time when teaching in South Africa:

“A creative venture was a course I gave at the Baptist Convention College in Soweto, South Africa, on project management. Knowing that the future pastors would be confronted with the challenge of not only being the spiritual leaders of the churches, but also having to manage social projects like a church owned kindergarten/day care centre, or care for aids patients, or low-maintenance income generation projects, I invited the students to choose their own project and develop a project plan from A – Z, present it to the class and use the classes feedback to fine tune the plan. Outside the curriculum I encouraged the students to evaluate after 6 – 12 months what they had implemented of their plan.”

“Some students kept to their theological studies and developed a plan for a youth ministry project, an evangelistic outreach or such, but some used the opportunity to develop their own income generating project, knowing that their meagre pastors’ salary would not get them far in terms of raising ‘lobola’ (marriage endowment) and supporting a family.”

“The best idea was from a student in the Far North who was determined to go back to his village and start a church there. He wanted to open a high fashion hair saloon because he said the villagers wanted to look as stylish as the townspeople but could not afford to travel far to town just to go to a hair dresser. With a wicked smile he added: ‘If they sit in my chair for treatment, they can’t run away while I tell them about Jesus!’”

Image: Regina Claus; ‘If they sit in my chair for treatment, they can’t run away…’

Dr. Geoff Pound