Transformation Christian Network, (TCN) as its name suggests is about the Transformation of the city, i.e a moral transformation which really can only happen through God working through His people.
The major area for transformation to take place is the Worklife and hence a major initiative for TCN is its Worklife Ministry.
TCN’s Worklife Ministry’s desire is to see Christians flourish as faithful and fruitful followers of Jesus, making a difference wherever they are – home, work, university, club, in all the places where they connect with people in today’s world. We want to be part of a movement to make ‘whole-life missionary discipleship’ central and effective in the church at large.
Both arenas of TCN Worklife activity – the Work Place itself and the partnership with local churches are in various stages of development. Our hope for churches and individuals is that the whole people of God might engage with the whole word of God in a way that touches and transforms the whole of our lives, individually and together, for the sake of the world in which we are called to live.
As far as the Workplace itself is concerned, where our strategy includes the encouraging of prayer/bible study/fellowship groups within the workplace, a significant step we have yet to take is to identify the Christian CEO’s and/or other decision makers in Corporations in Nelson Mandela Bay to consider joining a conversation around business and faith and how the integration of both, is key to City transformation.
It was in light of this that we thought the time ripe to consider introducing the Unashamedly Ethical pledge/commitment programme to the business community and to local government in Nelson Mandela Bay.
This was not intended to be a major Christian initiative, although the instigators may very well be motivated by their faith and, because we observed that the UE programme was not overtly Christian we decided to go BIG and motivate for a City wide ethics campaign.
This, we believe, would be accomplished through a “bottom up” and a “top down” approach. The bottom up to be accomplished through the launch of Unashamedly Ethical at the venue of one of the current members in the city on the Saturday and at a local church, St Nicholas, on the Sunday. The top down approach was accomplished by inviting as many representatives of organised business and professional bodies as we could motivate to come to a breakfast on Saturday for a discussion on the campaign, to answer the questions; why now; why a pledge or commitment campaign; why Nelson Mandela Bay and why use Unashamedly Ethical? Attempts were also made to meet separately with representatives of local government, but unfortunately, due to some pressing matters of their own this was not possible.
We had very encouraging response from every one of the participants at the breakfast, which included two business chambers, a business woman’s association, the Black Management Forum and the chairman of the local chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. The business chambers resolved there and then to adopt the campaign, subject to due process, whilst everyone enthusiastically agreed to promote the idea within their own constituencies, as well as agreeing to act as a sounding board for the road ahead. The following is a written response from one of the participants at the breakfast on Saturday: “It was indeed great to meet the group and I am excited that BMF is part of this initiative. I am willing to share the initiative with other Corporate Leaders in various organisations where I have good relations with some of the Executives. I can also introduce your campaign to the Head of Treasury, EC Government and the Office of the Premier – so that you can link up with them as well.”
She then went on to request whether we would consider presenting to the BMF constituency in Nelson Mandela Bay and East London during their general meetings/networking sessions.
Although the afternoon session, open to the public, was not very well supported, the enthusiasm more than made up for it. One of the participants has started a local facebook page, whilst a young writer from the Christian publication, Gateway News, has already signed up 8 friends.
The congregation at St Nicholas Anglican Church on Sunday was reminded that the foundation for this whole initiative was a Godly one. Steve Johnstone managed to weave what he had to say into a wonderful Gospel message and his personal testimony is bound to have influenced the uncommitted few in the congregation, thus proving, that the individual commitments can be wonderful conversation starters to bring others into the Kingdom.
Future plans revolve around taking the concept of a City Wide Ethics Campaign to the local government, to large Corporations in the city and to additional representative bodies. Simultaneously we will approach other churches in the city and the small community that was formed will build up their base by including the other known members of UE.
We really BELIEVE that we have never been so well placed for God to change our city as now. We believe that through Gateway News technology and Unashamedly Ethical God can change Nelson Mandela Bay. Gateway News and other social media can connect, inspire, motivate and reach every Christian in every church, business, government department and school and UE with the initial focus on business and government can reach every citizen in Nelson Mandela Bay. We have always known WHY we are doing it. Now we know HOW to do it. Finally we can invite others and show them WHAT to do. God has given us new mission tools. We BELIEVE, now the Lord has given us the TOOLS to do the job, so all we have to do now is DO it. We are people who don’t mind dancing on our own.
Trevor Jennings, Mike Smith and all those who walk with us at Transformation Christian Network.
6 July 2011.