Planting Churches in South Africa – Marthinus Pretorius

Bachelor of Divinity Degree

I am Marthinus Pretorius, born in 1958 staying in Pretoria, South Africa. I am married and minister with my wife.

I give glory and praise to God for bringing me to a point and place in my life where I can reflect on my studies through CLI, and for what He has done with and through me the last four years as part of CLI student family.

I want to thank CLI and all the staff for bringing not only free ministry training to students like me, but also for bringing hope in a lost world. Hope that can still bring about change to people’s lives through the obedience of leaders like Pastor Henry who has started CLI, and for every leader that has joined. I want to include every one, because it will be an injustice to name just a few.

My sincere appreciation and thanks also to CLI for granting me a scholarship to complete the Associate of Divinity as well as the Bachelor of Divinity Degrees.  Without your help it was not possible for me to complete the degrees

In 2000, I had a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit that changed my life and took me out of my comfort zone. The sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit quickened my calling and passion for ministry. The encounter began a process of purifying and confirmation, both in Retha and me. I began ministering to others on an informal way and was soon  joined by Retha, who accepted her calling after a period of responding, ” No,… ministry is not for me…!”

I had to learn the hard way, that by accepting your calling and walking with Jesus, it is almost guaranteed that you will experience some form of rejection, false accusations, jealousy, hate and things not always associated with a “godly” person.

Fortunately, in our walk with God, we experienced the supernatural presence of the Holy Spirit, the supernatural provision of God and the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit.  He gave me the passion to minister HIS Word and to be part of healing so many people who seek their salvation in ways other than through the Lord.

I enrolled with CLI in August 2014.  I completed the Getting started class but for a few months I struggled with some issues and eventually when I started again, I could not stop.  It was as if I had a new outlook on my studies. I was motivated and started a journey allowing the Lord to break down false perspectives about Him, and to discover the reality of the truth of God’s love for me. It was a journey of gaining knowledge, and of experiencing the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in me.  It was a journey full of tears and at the same time joy!

I have done classes that have shaped and changed my thoughts on what fulltime ministry really is about, and what my role should be in the proper and practical implementation of guidelines set by the Lord in His Word so that He will get the glory.

If I think back, the Theology classes gave me new insight into the person of the God we serve, the God who created and sustains everything.  Through my studies I have met the real Jesus who restored my relationship with God the Father. Through the Biblical Interpretation classes I have discovered the incredible love that God has for us.  I have discovered who I am in the Lord.

I also enjoyed the Church Planting class and it helped me in planting a House Church and to assist some CLI students with the planting of their churches and ministries.  We have now trained students who are part of the church to also minister on Sundays. That gives us the opportunity to once again go out to minister on invitation in the whole of South Africa and elsewhere.

If I have to highlight classes that was challenging for me, Biblical Greek 1 stands out. I had no prior knowledge about Biblical languages, but through studying this class I became aware of the importance of understanding the reasoning and message the original writers wanted to convey to us, the readers.

It is a joy studying through CLI. The lectures are all of a high standard, and it is uplifting and inspiration to see and hear the CLI lecturers in action.

I am in full time ministry with my wife. I am the senior Pastor at Christian Leaders Community Church in Pretoria.   Our vision is to equip individuals for works of service.I share the Christian Leaders Institute dream of free ministry training. We have been assisting Church leaders in the past with problems in their churches and that enables us to help CLI students with similar problems.

In a video, as part of the Philosophy class, Dr Ravi Zacharias spoke on choices and mentioned that we have to recognise our accountability before God.  I thought about that and realized that the only way I can do that, is to know Jesus.  I wrote the following, and it will be part of my ministry for the future: “Your knowledge of the reality of the cross will determine the way you recognise your accountability before God”.

CLI enabled me to live out God’s dream for me and to minister in a total new way.

I started ministering to other CLI students by hosting regular meetings for mentoring purposes as well as assisting them in ministry needs such as formally registering their ministries and facilitating practical ministry training sessions. We also assist new students enrolling at CLI and facilitate Ordination services for CLI students.

We hosted a number of CLI student meetings throughout the year where we could share ministry problems and as a group gave advice on how to deal with specific problems. It was also my priviledge to mentor seven students on individual basis during the last year and to see how they grew nto their callings.

The launch of the Minister Mentor program brough about some challenges in South Africa, and we will be part of assiting new mentors setting up mentor centers.  From our meetings with students, we have identified the need for assiting new mentors with a program to get them started. As from January 2019, we will be hosting teaching sessions for new mentors, helping them to identify students in their areas that can be part of the centers, and assisting with arranging and conducting meetings.

I have written a course on Practical ministry and have also opened participation to students attending our local meetings.  The content of the course has been changed to assist those who want to formalize their churches by registering it with the government institutions, assisting with marriage officer registration as well as ministry protocol and ministry team protocol and training.  These sessions were attended by a number o Pastors, and subsequent to them attending the course, they have enrolled with CLI.

I am planning a ministry trip to Botswana, our neighboring Country with a view to discuss CLI training with a group of people.  We will also advice our hosts on the possible starting of House Churches.  We are very excited about the doors that the Holy Spirit is opening.

In 2012 I wrote a book in Afrikaans (my home language) about our walk with the Holy Spirit.  During my studies with CLI I edited the content of the book and I translated it into English.  This will be available in electronic format shortly.  We are planning to use this as a ministry tool to help people get into their calling for ministry.

i believe that when we unconditionally make Jesus King of our life, allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us and work through us – then we will be able to walk into His calling for us.  

I believe that spiritual leaders are being prepared in South Africa (and other parts of the world) to be part of God’s plan to restore and heal our land and it’s people.

Nowadays in certain Seminaries in South africa, the character of God is being attacked and it is said that the Bible is based on Greek mythology and other myths, etc. – even that Jesus is not the Son of God!  For this reason I will not stop promoting CLI wherever I can.

In taking the PeaceSmart Relationships class I realized how important reconciliation and forgiveness is.

In a political volatile South Africa there is a need for Christian Leaders of all races and genders to stand and fill the gap that separates peoples.  CLI Christian Leaders in SA are and will play a pivotal role in reconciliation and the spreading of the true message of the Gospel of Christ

There is a general teaching that reconciliation should follow forgiveness.  Reconciliation focuses on the healing of relationships between people.  Forgiveness can be done by one person, but reconciliation needs two parties.  This means that you can forgive even if the other party does not want to do so.

I am grateful to the Lord for allowing me to walk with my spouse on this special road, as part of God’s work in His Kingdom.

We will apply what we have learned through our studies at CLI to make a difference where we can.

 Again, all glory to God for the work done by CLI and everybody involved in it

With Regards in the Name of our Lord Jesus

Marthinus Pretorius

3 January 2019

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