The Movement for African National Initiatives (MANI) is a network of networks (Movement) focused on catalyzing African National Initiatives and mobilizing the resources of the Body of Christ in Africa for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
The Movement for African National Initiatives (MANI) emerges from a 40-year history of African national movements and given full expression during the AD 2000 AND BEYOND MOVEMENT era.
The history of National Initiatives in Africa dates to the 1960’s when many African nations gained independence. These indigenous initiatives started from the launching of saturation evangelism movements in Zaire and the central plateau of Nigeria in the mid 1960’s. Over the past fifty years, at least 37 African countries have launched National Initiatives to mobilize churches and ministries for national and global evangelization.
The Movement for African National Initiatives (MANI) was birthed when 320 delegates from 36 African nations met in Jerusalem for the African Millennial Consultation in March 2001. Building upon the legacy of the AD 2000 & Beyond Movement, these African leaders affirmed God’s powerful work across the continent and committed to accelerate the advance of the Gospel through networking and collaboration. This gathering shared the divine conviction that: Africa’s hour had come to take primary responsibility for the final gospel thrust in Africa and beyond; and the African Church was uniquely positioned to play a major role in world evangelization in the 21st century. The delegates determined to establish a continuing African movement recognizing that the AD 2000 and Beyond Movement which encouraged many nations in Africa to develop National Initiatives to mobilize national churches to respond to the Great Commission mandate was in the process of disbanding. Therefore, the Participants unanimously adopted the ‘Jerusalem Declaration,’ affirming their commitment to pick up the torch for national and global evangelization, as laid down by the AD 2000 and Beyond Movement.
MANI’s purpose is to affirm, motivate, mobilize and network Christian leaders (Churches) by inspiring them with the vision of reaching the unreached and least evangelized in Africa, and the wider world, through advocacy and support for National Initiatives, the communication of up to date research, reports and models; consultations and prayer efforts focusing on the unfinished task.
MANI encourages the mobilization of national churches and ministries in partnership with the wider body of Christ to:
THREE STREAMS OF CONVICTION FROM WHICH MANI FLOWS
MANI flows out of the conviction that: 1) The Church in Africa has a crucial role to play in the fulfillment of the Great Commission in the 21st century; 2) The Church in Africa has the ministry gifts, manpower, and material resources to complete this task in Africa and to make a significant contribution towards global evangelization; and 3) Through the focused deployment of the resources of the African Church, we can partner with the global church to achieve the target of “a church for every people and the gospel for every person” in the countries of Africa and the world.
As an indigenous movement, it is helping churches and ministries work together and linking strategic networks for the mobilization of the African Church. MANI has a working partnership with the Association of Evangelicals in Africa and serves to bridge the African Church with global networks and African Christians in the Diaspora. Members of the MANI Leadership Team relate closely with the WEA Missions Commission, the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, the Great Commission Roundtable, the Third World Missions Association and with global initiatives such as Joshua Project and Operation World.
The Two Main Planks for the Realization of the MANI Vision
Regional Coordinators, National Contact Persons/Advocates and the Ministry Network Coordinators are to work hand in hand to see that these two main planks of the MANI vision are pursued in every country and region with renewed zeal and commitment.
Avenues through which MANI carries out its facilitating and catalyzing functions
It is emphasized that every Ministry Network that is (or seeks to be) affiliated with MANI must have as its purpose of affiliation the realization of the MANI objectives as stated above (and consistent with the Expected Outcomes of the various consultations) which must be incorporated in their statement of purpose and articulated in their plans of action.
Strategic Consultations as avenues through which MANI carries out its Facilitating and Catalyzing Functions
Strategic Consultation is one of the primary engagements of MANI. Renewed vision, strategic plan and focused zeal for the fulfillment of the Great Commission is usually the result when Church leaders gather together, at an opportune time, sharing the right information without sentiments. Every five years MANI holds her Continental Consultation while other regional, ministry network, national or interest based consultations hold as and when necessary. The objective of every consultation is to celebrate what God is doing in, with and through the African Church in furthering His redemption plan among the peoples of the continent and the world, review past objectives, listen to God for fresh insights, leading and direction, to focus our energy on such directives during the intervening period before the next consultation comes up.
HISTORY OF THE MANI STRATEGIC CONSULTATIONS
In July 1997, 1,200 African leaders from 46 nations came together in a consultation on African National Initiatives at the GCOWE ’97 in South Africa. This consultation accelerated the birthing and development of structured African National Initiatives. This catalytic event led to the proliferation of new national movements, such as Finish the Task Kenya.
In March 2001, 320 delegates from 36 African nations met in Jerusalem for the African Millennial Consultation to celebrate and share the blessings of God in the evangelization of Africa over the years, and to consult together on the unfinished task in Africa and the world. This consultation gave birth to MANI, a strong continental awakening of Africa’s Kairos Moment.
MANI CAIM 2003 – Ibadan, Nigeria
In 2003, MANI convened a consultation on AFRICAN INDIGENOUS MISSIONS at which the various issues, models, structures and strategies of African indigenous efforts were articulated, shared and documented in a compendium with similar title.
MANI 2006 – Nairobi, Kenya
Two years later in 2006, the world watched as 520 leaders from 49 African nations gathered at MANI 2006 in Nairobi to pray, share best practices and assess the unfinished task in Africa. They celebrated the dynamic growth of the African Church and faced up to critical challenges. Commitments were made to advance national initiatives and to cooperate regionally to advance the Great Commission.
Nearly every African nation was represented by a delegation of high level leaders representing the major sections of the Body of Christ. The consultation created the platform to celebrate the vibrant growth of the African Church and to voice profound hope in the Lord’s intentions for the continent. The following years witnessed a continental harvest on the critical issues raised at the consultation: necessities of transformational discipleship, transformational leadership, united prayer, and empowerment of women for ministry, initiatives to tackle the social and economic challenges the Church and people of Africa are facing through holistic community transformation ministry interventions, taking more seriously the challenge of Islam, etc. Out from Nairobi 2006 was the challenge to clarify the task and refocus attention on reaching the remaining unreached peoples of Africa, hence the launching of the Country Assessment Process (CAP).
MANI 2011 – Abuja, Nigeria
In September 2011, a total of 614 participants from 60 countries gathered in Abuja Nigeria for the consultation of the Movement for African National Initiatives. This Consultation gave birth to Strategic Networks: Denominational Leaders, Emerging Leaders, African Women in Ministry, Strategic Prayer Network, etc, and many untold testimonies of post consultation engagements at local, regional and network levels. Through the CAP carried out in the past five years, it was discovered that an estimated 970 least–reached people groups in Africa do not yet have a viable indigenous Christian fellowship in their midst. The majority of these are in a belt stretching from Senegal in the West to Somalia in the East of the continent. Here, where Christianity of the South engages Islam of the North, the missionary task of the church is usually the hardest, and the greatest sacrifices are required. The African church is uniquely positioned to spread the sweet fragrance of Christ (2 Cor. 2:15) in these areas and to ensure the expansion of the Body of Christ to North Africa, where it once was so strong, and from there to the Middle East, Europe and beyond. We have heard God’s command to the African church to “Go North” and we commit ourselves to obey. We appreciate the hard work already done to gather data about unreached people and the most effective response of the church. More work is needed in this task and we are willing to assist in this important task of scouting the land (Num. 13) and exploring what needs to be done (Nehemiah 2). It was also decided by the Denominational Leaders Network to convene a Summit at which the African Church leaders will be encouraged to own and drive the last push of the African Church towards reaching the identified remaining least reached/unreached people groups in Africa.
MANI AHC SUMMIT 2016 – Accra, Ghana
The African Heads of Churches Summit, convened in Gomoa-Fetteh, Accra, Ghana, with the theme, “African Churches’ Response to the Critical Issues Facing Christian Witness in Africa and the World Today.” 1 Chronicles 12:32. There were about 105 from over 20 Church denominations in Africa. The Goal of the Summit was to facilitate a platform/forum where strategic awareness was generated and action provoking QUESTIONS were raised, discussed and agreed upon by a catalytic group of African Church leaders on critical issues that present threats and opportunities for the African Church in fulfilling the Priestly, Prophetic and Apostolic (missionary) mandate of the Body of Christ in the continent and from the continent of Africa to the rest of the world in the 21st Century and beyond, if Christ tarries.
MANI 2016 – ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA
MANI 2016 Continental Consultation is the 3rd of the post-Africa Millennial Consultation (AMC 2001) is aimed at ensuring that every effort in carrying out what we understand as the mission mandate of the African Church in the present context and realities of events in our continent and in the world, is being done according to the dictate and leading of the Holy Spirit, God’s Director of Missions, hence the theme chosen for this period. Five hundred and sixty (560) delegates from more than fifty (50) countries gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 7 to 11 March 2016 for the third consultation of the Movement for African National Initiatives (MANI). The consultation took place in the African Union Centre where heads of African states and their representatives meet to deal with issues affecting the African continent. Significantly, Ethiopia also represents Africa’s early and unbroken connection with the Gospel of Jesus Christ (e.g. Acts 8:27-39). As stated in the consultation theme, “Hearing and obeying God in times like these“, we placed ourselves alongside the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3 to hear what the Spirit of God is saying to his church in Africa regarding our mission in this world. The Addis Ababa Consultation was significant in several ways. Firstly, it was hosted by the oldest Church in the continent. Secondly, it was held on the premises of the African Union, the political seat of the Africa. Thirdly, we had participants from all the four continental geographical regions (North, South, East and West Africa), the Indian Ocean Islands and Africans in the Diaspora. Fourthly, there were fraternal delegates from Chinese, Asian, North & South American, and European Church who brought greetings and shared of the great doings of the Lord in their parts of the world and extended hand of fellowship and partnership to the African Church in these days of God’s power among the nations!
“We were reminded of the great need for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in North Africa, the Middle East and Europe, once the heart of Christendom. At the 2011 MANI consultation, we clearly heard God’s call to “Go North”. We rejoice over advances already made and hear again God’s mandate and invitation to increase our efforts and focus. As Ethiopia reminds us of Africa’s earliest response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the faithful preservation of our faith throughout the centuries, we want to erect a spiritual memorial to declare that the Church in Africa will not rest until the whole world is filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14}.
From Addis to everywhere … until Jesus comes”.
CATALYZING AND STRENGTHENING AFRICAN NATIONAL INITIATIVES
An African National Initiative is a strategic, national process designed to mobilize the whole Body of Christ to complete the Great Commission within its borders and to send Africans in mission to the least-evangelized of the world. The goal is to see healthy churches transforming every community throughout a nation and beyond. United by common vision and solid information, national initiatives take a unique form in every country and assume a local name, such as Ghana Evangelism Committee (GEC), Nigeria Finish-The-Task Network (FINTASK); the World Evangelization Network of South Africa (WENSA), Finish the Task (Kenya-FTT), the Zimbabwe National Evangelism Task(ZIMNET), Swaziland Evangelism Task, the Disciple Namibia Movement, and continental/global networks such Transformation Africa/Global Day of Prayer, to mention but a few.
Nearly half of the countries in Southern Africa are engaged in some expression of a National Initiative. The first National Initiative in the region was launched in Zimbabwe in the early 1990s. Called “Target 2000”, this strategic partnership involved 60 denominations in an effort to plant 10,000 congregations in un-churched areas by the end of the decade. Intrigued by what was happening across their borders, Swaziland sent a group of leaders from 13 denominations to attend the Target 2000 national congress in 1992. Profoundly challenged, they returned home and helped the three major church associations to launch a partnership called the “Swaziland Evangelism Task.”
The AD2000 & Beyond Movement, and in particular the GCOWE 97, was used by God to light the fire of additional national movements across the region. The Namibia delegation was inspired to launch the Transformation Namibia movement, with significant strides made in networking church, business and government leaders. Building upon the foundation of the Love Southern Africa initiative, The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa helped to initiate the World Evangelization Network of South Africa (WENSA) which serves as a network of ministry streams within the country.
The Malawi National Initiative for Missions and Evangelism took initial steps following GCOWE 97 and the Copperbelt Survey began as a pilot project in Zambia in the years to follow. Lesotho has explored the initiation of a National Initiative and strong interest has been expressed in Botswana. The Portuguese-speaking countries of Africa converged at MANI 06 and voiced their commitment to encourage one another in the formation of national movements.
Each initiative is at a different stage of development. Several are vital and growing. Some are in the exploratory stage. Others may need revitalization. Yet all are expressive of the desire among many African leaders to mobilize the whole Body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission within their nation and beyond.
NETWORKING FUNCTIONS OF MANI AND THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES
WHO COORDINATES MANI?
MANI is coordinated by a team consisting of a Continental Coordinator and Regional Coordinators. The Team seeks to facilitate the MANI vision at a continental level and works with National Coordinators, Regional and National Church and Missions leaders, Network Coordinators and Task Force leaders whose responsibilities are related to the following areas:
What Are the Roles of Continental and Regional Coordinators?
The role of the Continental and Regional Coordinators is to function together as a team:
What are the Selection Criteria for Regional and National Coordinators?
What are the Job Descriptions for Regional Coordinators?
What is the Job Description for National Coordinators?
HOW IS THE MOVEMENT TO BE FINANCED?
MANI is primarily a catalytic movement networking and operating through existing organizational structures. As such it is not a funding agency. It is not anticipated that MANI will establish itself with its own office and paid staff. Rather it is expected that those who serve as coordinators at continental, regional, national and ministry network levels will do so from and with the support of their existing ministry base.
HOW DOES THE MOVEMENT RELATE TO EXISTING STRUCTURES IN AFRICA?
MANI does not see itself as having a monopoly on the task of evangelization in Africa. Nor does it have the manpower, ministry-giftings and material resources for the completion of the task. These resources are to be found in the denominations, churches, ministries and mission agencies that make up the Body of Christ.
MANI is a movement committed to affirming and serving existing structures and ministries as a catalyst and network of networks for the mobilization of the Body of Christ in cooperative efforts to reach the least evangelized nationally, regionally and globally.
MANI’s commitment is to servant hood and cooperation with continental, regional and national structures, networks and ministries called to the Great Commission mandate.
TO WHICH GLOBAL STRUCTURES DOES MANI RELATE?
The members of the MANI Continental team have established relationships with (and involved in some of the following) the WEA Missions Commission, Third World Missions Association, Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, Joshua Project and the Association of Evangelicals in Africa. MANI also maintains fraternal relationship with other continental bodies such as COMIBAM, Asia Mission Association (AMA), while maintaining some form of working relationship with some global strategic ministry focus-networks (such as Ethne, Vision 5-9, IPC, NAP, Global MemberCare, etc,) through specific representations
It is anticipated that MANI will adopt the following documents related to the above bodies:
– Lausanne Covenant as MANI’s doctrinal statement.
– Joshua Project definitions and security standards
Note the above is extracted from MANI documents tabled and adopted at ‘MANI 2006’
MANI LEADERSHIP TEAM CONTACT ADDRESSES
ADMINISTRATIVE, ADVOCACY AND ADVISORY TEAM MEMBERS
THE DIASPORA REGIONS
THE HORN AND EAST AFRICA REGIONS
SOUTHERN AFRICA, PORTUGUESE SPEAKING AND THE INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS REGIONS
ANGLOPHONE WEST AFRICA I & II REGIONS
FRANCOPHONE CENTRAL, WEST AFRICA & THE CONGOS REGIONS
STRATEGIC MINISTRY NETWORKS