Boks support BAFANA

Written by Frederick on . Posted in Articles

Coach Peter de Villiers has moved the team’s off-day, which normally falls on a Thursday, forward by one day so that the team can utilise not only the public holiday to spend with friends and family, but also meet in the early evening for a team-building dinner before heading to Loftus.

The Boks have already expressed their support for Bafana Bafana publicly before the current World Cup when De Villiers and captain John Smit swopped jerseys with Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira and national captain Aaron Mokoena.

Reclaiming your Magic Workshop

Written by webmeester on . Posted in News


Gameplan Special

Hello from my new cyber-home. Feel free to go and have a look at

Here is an affordable opportunity to give yourself (again) or your spouse, friend or colleagues a chance to pause and examine their life’s gameplan.
This first half of the year I did quite a few very successful team interventions and it is wonderful to keep contact with the teams on different levels of their growth and development.

Many of these people thought that their spouses/ friends/ colleagues could also benefit. I decided to create such a space with the Gameplan Special.

Why not join this fresh Big Soccer Event vibe on a personal note and join me (or extend the offer to a colleague or friend) with my Gameplan Special – and reclaim your magic!

Remember that I also have group rates for group booking (6-8 participants). Please contact me for a quote.

Hope to see you (or your friend) soon!

Soccer Greetings
Elsa Simpson

Gameplan Special: 3 DAY: Reclaiming your Magic Workshop
This workshop will help people who want to reclaim their magic by deep-tuning their people skills.
Many teams have also done the three days to reclaim their magic as individuals as well as teams. For more details see

Dates: 14-16 July 2010
Duration: 09h00 – 17h00
Costs: R4000 (excl vat) course material, venue and catering included
If you book before 20 June you qualify for the Gameplan Special:
Half price R2000 (excl vat) course material, venue and catering included

Other services and workshops available:
Make your pick: (descriptions at
1 – 2 HOURS: Coaching sessions
1/2 DAY: Learning Groups
1 DAY: Personal Growth Workshop
2 DAY: Living my Magic Workshop
3 DAY: Reclaiming your Magic Workshop
4 DAY: Grounded Facilitation

The venue for all the above bookings is 29 Koorsboom Crescent, Vredekloof, Brackenfell.

Should you be interested in booking or finding out more about any of these workshops/days for yourself or your team, please contact Elsa Simpson at or 021 982 7038 or 083 782 1249.

Articles by Elsa Simpson click here

Our transformation challenge: The Blue Bulls show the way!

Written by Frederick on . Posted in Articles

“And if they’d lost?” I innocently enquired.

“Ag, voetsek man!” he laughed.

But therein lies the rub. But for the change of venue 60 000 Bulls supporters would not have made it to the semi-final and the final in Soweto. They would have played at Loftus and their attitude would have stayed north of the curtain.

Transformation is about behaviour, it happens when behaviour changes, attitude then follows sometimes proudly, sometimes reflectively, and sometimes deeply.

“I want to share with you a life changing experience which my 15-year old son and I had this weekend,” says Matthew Grossett, CEO of Walk for Life.

“We were privileged enough to have attended the semi-final of the Super 14 held at the Orlando Stadium in deepest Soweto on Saturday night. For those of you who don’t know, the semi-final was between the Blue Bulls (from Pretoria) and the Crusaders (from New Zealand). As with all of us white supporters going to the game, we were filled with trepidation…Was it safe, would it be properly organised? Was it safe, how would the locals react to us arriving in Soweto? Was it safe, was it safe, was it safe, was it safe?!

On the way to the game we passed, and were passed by car after car full of Blou Bulle, most of them sporting the traditional Blue Bull hats with horns on, drinking brandy and coke. At the park-and-ride collection point (all supporters were transferred by bus to the stadium from the park and ride) the Blou Bulle were in full cry. I have never in one day seen so many people all wearing horns, drinking “spook and diesel” and – dare I say it – speaking Afrikaans (there were very few of us “souties” there). My initial thoughts were that the integration of the Bulle and the locals in Soweto was a recipe for trouble. I could not have been more wrong!

To say that the locals in Soweto came out and embraced the predominantly white Bulls supporters (and visa versa) is an understatement. Before and after the game, hundreds of light blue shirts (wearing their horns) could be seen in the local shebeens in the area around the stadium. We witnessed literally dozens of Bulls supporters hanging onto locals, eating “pap en vleis” and being taught the diski dance! After the game hundreds of us walked freely in the streets around the stadium, chatting to and interacting with the locals. I can honestly say that over the course of the entire day, I never once felt scared or nervous! Over the entire event I never witnessed one act of aggression. The goodwill and camaraderie that flowed on Saturday was an amazing advert for how far this country has come since 1994, and how much potential there is for the future. The vast majority of South Africans are truly amazing people, who can only but ensure that this country of ours just gets stronger and stronger, and better and better.

I went to bed on Saturday night very proud to be a South African, and full of confidence that, despite our well documented problems, this is a fantastic country with heaps of potential. We all just need to see the good in it and stop focusing on the negative.”

So, on a serious note, we are also celebrating (some of us anyway) a hundred years of the Union in South Africa and independence from Britain. Business Day has run a series of fascinating articles on this history with significant contributions from blacks and whites alike. They have been a compelling read and, in a way, show just how complicated our history is and therefore how complicated our transformation will be. Reading about this history has been most informative, and I guess for me has produced a number of paradoxical learnings.

•We have a shared history, but not a common history, a past in which communal-based African political traditions were repressed by liberal-based European political traditions under the guise of nationalism.
•Now we have a constitution that is as much our peace agreement as it is our supreme sanction.
•We have a national identity that is focused on common issues, but we don’t have a common identity that is focused on a national agenda.
•How we write about our history reflects our heterogeneity and our division, yet how we write about our destiny reflects our homogeneity and our union.
•Our media seems preoccupied with ahistorical opposition and otherness and seems disinterested with nation building and healing

So as we move forward faced with these complicated paradoxes , as we transform into our next centenary, will we preoccupy ourselves with more of the Bulls-in-Orlando type union and less with the Zapiro-denigrating-prophet type division?

As Peter Bruce (Business Day, 31 May) says “South Africans need to be careful not only of what we say to each other, but how we say it”.

That has to do with how we behave towards each other, and it has to do with the truth of our country.

It’s easy to find fault, talk up the negatives, say that Soweto is a dangerous place, say that “They” don’t respect life, say that this country is “Zimbabweanifying”. (I’d leave if I believed that!)

It’s harder to find the good, to talk up the positives, to go and visit Soweto or any other township, to put our arms around our fellow South Africans in a shebeen and say that our country is the best place to be.

But if we want to really transform…

That’s what we need to do!

By Steuart Pennington of

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The contribution of Appreciative Inquiry on the attitudes of church members towards a change in strategic focus

Written by webmeester on . Posted in Communitas Resources

The research had been done as a qualitative study using Thematic Analysis. Semi-structured interviews were used to obtain the data.

The study findings had indicated that the Appreciative Inquiry model has the potential to elevate the change conversation to a higher level where resistance and cautiousness no longer have the final say in determining members’ reactions to the change in strategic focus. The change conversation began to focus on themes such as purpose, opportunities and continuity. Interviewees had experienced that discovery of the Positive Core of the congregation had indeed helped them to embrace the proposed changes rather than resist it.

To conclude the research project, the following recommendations have been made:

  • There is a definite need for congregations to ensure that members know the Positive Core of their congregation. Members have to share their positive experiences of the past so as to inspire a next generation.
  • Leaders of congregations have to focus on this Positive Core. They have to be aware of the achievements of the congregation. They need to be focused on organisational wisdom. Leaders have to ensure that the collective spirit, the vital traditions and alliances and partnerships are conserved and used in a new era. It will be these elements of the Positive Core that will ensure that a congregation remains relevant.
  • Leaders of congregations have to ensure that the change conversation is conducted on the ‘higher level’ where purpose, opportunities and the role of the church are discussed. Change in congregations is too often discussed on the level of personal preferences.
  • The leadership of a congregation would do well to have regular focus groups that discuss this Positive Core of the congregation. In this way they will ensure that the congregation remains ready for change because of the sense of purpose and a commitment to the values and beliefs of the congregation.


Hirsch (2006:53) has been quoted earlier in the study as saying that the track record of congregations in terms of change is rather poor. The researcher contends that this research study has shown that the Appreciative Inquiry model of change management has the potential to put this record straight.

It is up to leaders facilitating change interventions to do just this.

Francois Retief


PMC Southern Africa at 5 years! By Patrick Keifert

Written by Gideon Kok on . Posted in News

This conversation was to be the first of many powerful, intense, delightful, fruitful conversations, including one just last week. Last week’s conversation took place in the house of Coenie and Lydia in Stellenbosch. They were hosting me the last few days of my recent journey to South Africa to celebrate the first five years of Partnership for Missional Church-Southern Africa. The visit included two major gatherings, one in Johannesburg (over 80 congregational and judicatory leaders and scholars) and the other in Cape Town (over 150 congregational and judicatory leaders and scholars). We both were filled with joy at what God has made of that first conversation. His Dutch Reformed imagination would call it Providence. God surely provides more than I usually imagine.

That first conversation led Coenie to visit a Gospel in Our Culture conference where Alan Roxburgh and I made presentations on the research we were guiding on demoninational, and non-denominational, systems and how they innovate local missional churches. We shared among other things the work of the Partnership for Missional Churches-North America. Coenie and his colleagues, including Jurgen Hendriks, also a professor at Stellenbosch, were engaged and intrigued. Perhaps, they thought, something like PMC could work in southern Africa.

They returned to South Africa and organized a trip of 14 church leaders, with the primary focus on local church leaders. They visited a number of local churches and judicatories who had been a part of PMC North America. We sent them to a wide variety, including congregations who really had not taken up the challenge to be missional. They ended their visit with a few days with us in Saint Paul. They noted that they had visited a number of other organizations like ours and the congregations and judicatories they had worked with over the years and made a comparison. They noted that we were the only organization to send them to congregations that had not taken up the missional challenge; you might call them failures from our point of view. They noted they liked our concept of excellent failures since they were quite certain they would have many failures in southern Africa and they wanted to work with an organization that knew how to innovate out of failure. They knew the church could fail; they needed partners who understood failure as a part of Christian innovation.

This led to an invitation to travel with a number of key leaders in their country sharing our theory of Christian innovation and explaining the journey of spiritual discernment we call PMC. I arrived to find a new partner, one of the most amazing church consultants, pastors, and theologians I have ever had the privilege to partner with, Frederick Marais. Frederick had done his doctoral work with Jurgens and was Coenie’s partner at BUVTON, a continuing education organization attached to the Theological Faculty of the University of Stellenbosch. Over the next couple weeks, Frederick and I traveled to Gauteng, both Johannesburg and Pretoria, the Eastern Cape (Port Elizabeth), the southern Cape (George) and the western Cape, (Cape Town) and spoke to faculty, pastors, laity, and other mission related organizations.

Along the way, I met other partners who have become close friends and co-workers in the missional church movement. Among those were Jannie Swart, Nelus Niemandt, Gideon Kok, David Venter, Theo Marais, Johan Kotze, Steven Moreo, Andrew Esterhuizen, Gordon Dames, Nico Simpson, Danie Mouton, Felix Meylan, Benjamin Nopeche, Elna Mouton, Dirkie Smit, Nico Koopman, Wynand Nel, Divine Robertson, Pieter Van der Walt, Corrie du Toit, Ian Nel, Cicilna Grobler, Christna Van de Merve, Hannes Theron, Frances Ludik, Hannes Pretorius, Frederick Nel, Hugh Arnott, Marius Nel, Christhilde Pretorius, Hettie van Niekerk, Esme Arnott, Kubus Sandenbergh, Hansie Breedt, Linda Sandenbergh, Skalk Pienaar, De Wet Strauss, Breda Ludik, Zack Pienaar, and the list could go on. (I hate making a list because I know I have neglected some very important persons.)

While starting in the four Reformed Churches, still divided by the forces of Apartheid, the original gatherings included Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, and some independent churches. Eventually over twelve major denominations would become a part of PMC-SA. They would speak five different languages and make this American English speaker feel exceptionally welcome at the same time asking tough questions that indicated how seriously they were considering the partnership with CI.

Against my advice, they started with clusters in Gauteng, Port Elizabeth, George, and Cape Town. The beginning two years had me crossing the Atlantic to Amsterdam and then south to the tip of Africa twice a year. I learned the lessons of sleeping on planes and working through the jetlag. I learned the lessons of constant translation and the work of listening to how I was continually failing and needing to learn from the failures.

Soon Pat Taylor Ellison joined me on the trips as we coached our partners into the work of PMC. In addition to doing training and consulting, Pat worked with the reading teams who had the overwhelming task of reading hundreds of Congregational Discovery interviews and writing thoughtful reports. I am still amazed at the work they accomplished. Despite the massive challenges of creating a support system of consultants, trainers, readers, researchers, and theologians in several different denominational systems and languages, those initial clusters of congregations hung in and accepted their “guinea pig” status with energy, good will, faith and hope. The financial resources alone were so much smaller than our North American resources as to make it a miracle that the partnership flourished. Amazing, I say, truly amazing.

Now five years later there are hundreds of congregations in Namibia and South Africa already through the three year journey and working on their own learning and growing phases. The drop out rate was almost negligible when compared with North American experience. Despite the steep learning curve, the financial challenges, the continuous innovating of culturally appropriate processes, PMC southern Africa continues to grow. Other churches in other countries have invited PMC-SA to partner with them in the journey. These include Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi, and Nigeria with interest in other sub-Saharan countries. Nothing in my life’s experience prepared me for this blessing.

Some of the scholars and congregational leaders gathered for the two conferences, one in Cape Town and the other in Johannesburg, repeated my amazement, delight, and thankfulness. They spoke of the surprises from the research. They admitted to failures and asked very tough questions about the remaining challenges. We saw genuine growth in the ability of local churches to work across denominational and cultural boundaries but we also learned of failures to do so. New and tougher challenges were uncovered by both missiologists from three of South Africa’s major universities, Stellenbosch (Xolile Simon), the University of South Africa (UNISA) (Klippies Kritzinger), and Pretoria (Nielus Niemandt) and Wellington (Eben Moories) and lay and clergy leaders of the congregations who have made the journey.

Still, the overwhelming evaluation was one of transformation, personal and communal. The basic practices of PMC, the three phases, the Dwelling in the Word, the Congregational Discovery process, the risking to create multi-cultural bridges to members of the community, and the struggle to focus and get short lists, proved durable, dependable, and strong for most of the congregations in PMC-SA. From the side of PMC-NA, we have seen tremendous learning from our southern African partners. In PMC-NA we made major changes in our second phase, especially the plunging into cultures different than the dominant culture of the local church; these changes have alone transformed PMC-NA by the PMC-SA learning. The learning goes on and the challenges exhaust and inspire. The Holy Spirit leads on and we stumble and tumble into God’s preferred and promised future together in God’s mission.


Pat Keifert