Going Solo

Wham once famously sang "Wake me up before you go-go, Cause I'm not plannin' on going solo".

At The Gathering we've tried working in partnership with the government, the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), the Department of Social Development (DSD) and the South African Council of Churches (SACC), and each time we've been excited by the prospect only to get dragged down by slow moving cumbersome organisations with onerous expectations and criteria for any partnership.

It's no wonder churches choose to go solo. It's sad, but it's also very understandable.

As South Africa's lockdown moved to Level 3 a few weeks ago, for all intents and purposes it signaled the end of lockdown. So many people were now back at work and the rest were freely moving around that the regulations were virtually unenforceable and the police presence all but disappeared, leaving no incentive to comply.

What this has caused is even more hunger and destitution as jobs have been lost at record rates whilst those with means carry on as if nothing had ever changed. As a church we're seeing the number of vulnerable people increasing along with their needs. You would think it would be the ideal time to put aside the things that shackle us and work together to make a truly significant impact. Sadly not.

The SACC first asked for names (at incredibly short notice!) back on 28 May. So far we haven't heard of a single person receiving one of their vouchers. After much pointless to-ing and fro-ing in the last few weeks, today the SACC let me know they are having another meeting today and have requested (once again at very short notice) certain information. Well, I'm sorry, but I'm outta here .

What The Gathering can do solo far outweighs the burden of trying to work in partnership with these organisations. On the flip side of this, what The Gathering and other churches & Christians can do when pulling together is off the scale!

Once again this just underpins my commitment to, and belief in the local church, and why it is the hope of the nations.  I've posted on this before here, here and here, and remain convinced that organisations like political parties, relief and development agencies and international organisations like the World Food Programme are best avoided at all costs, rather give to the local church where 100% received is used for the stated purpose.


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