Zurich/Lusaka. The New Apostolic Church’s celebration of Pentecost 2015 has officially begun with a meeting of nearly all the Apostles of Africa in Zambia. In this assembly, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider set some new goals for the development of the Church on the African continent.
The Church in Zambia numbers over 1.1 million members. It did not develop through western influence as a classical missionary country, but rather independently—from African roots. This District Church produced the very first black Apostle and the very first black District Apostle, operates its very own humanitarian relief organization, and is home to one of the New Apostolic Church’s three communion wafer bakeries around the world.
Majority in Africa
This year it is Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia, that is hosting the Church’s traditional central celebration of Pentecost. The high point is the divine service conducted by the international Church leader, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider, on Sunday in the “National Heroes Stadium”. In addition to the more than 60,000 local participants, millions of Church members on five continents are also connected by satellite, internet, and television.
At present there are 234 Apostles who work on the African continent. Another 119 Apostles work in other countries of the world. This means that the emphasis lies on Africa, which is home to more than 80 per cent of all New Apostolic members. And the trend is on the rise.
Miracles and miracle workers
The first event was the Apostle meeting on Saturday. The meeting was attended by over 250 participants. In the spiritual portion of the gathering, Chief Apostle Schneider addressed the topic of “Belief in miracles”.
“A miracle is a sign of the omnipotence of God,” he explained before going on to list some biblical examples. “But in the end,” noted the Church leader, “only those who believed in Jesus as the Son of God remained with Him—and not because of the miracles he performed. “Belief in miracles is a sign of lacking humbleness,” he concluded. “Man is never greater than God. And we cannot prescribe to Him what He should do, how He should do it, or at what point in time He should do it!”
The Church leader spent a large part of the morning talking about the education system in Africa. “Education is on the rise in Africa. The education of our members is also growing steadily.” He went on to emphasize: “This also has its effects on our education system within the Church. Religious education must also increase.
“I ask you, my dear Apostles, to please make a priority of these tasks: instruct the ministers, and establish Sunday School for children in all congregations,” said Chief Apostle Schneider. “This is my agenda for Africa. I am aware that it is demanding, but I also believe that with God nothing is impossible!”