My name is Andries Louw. I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am Cecile’s husband and the proud father of three cute young girls, Anelia, Marisje and Andiswa. I am an African and a South African. I am an Afrikaner deeply rooted in Africa. Many more aspects combine to shape my identity e.g. that I love cycling, am crazy about test cricket, rave about learning languages and enjoy anything from opera to rock music but these are some of the major ones.
One of my biggest struggles has been to come to terms with the fact that it was my people who created apartheid, my government that enforced it and my church that sanctioned it. Quite a few African brothers and sisters have helped me find my own freedom from this burden.
I am on a journey to discover what church could be and should be. The emerging church conversation has given me new hope and a breathing space to explore some of the most difficult questions and challenges facing the body of Christ. It is opening up windows for me to see what the next church should be like.
Some of the main features I envision for the next church are worship (living a life of worship, living as if you really believe that God is present in everything you do), diversity (cultural, gender, generational etc), learning to interpret the Bible and society, listening to God, realising the kingdom of God, simplicity, community, hope for marginalised people, social justice, environmental responsibility etc. I believe that families are key as basic building blocks in this endeavour to create alternative communities. I love the concept of the church being the household (family) of God (Ef.2:19). The church should be a place of safety, healing and growth for people who are usually not associated with God and people who simply don’t have a family.
I am very much drawn to people who are suffering for whatever reason, be it poverty, oppression, depression, rejection, loneliness, violence, bad choices or broken relationships. So much suffering starts in the family. Therefore we need examples of healthy marriages and good parenting. Those of us who have that need to learn how to share it with people without a home.
Two of my favourite psalms are Psalm 82 and Psalm 147.
Psalm 82:3, 4
3 Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless;
maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.
4 Rescue the weak and needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
3 He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
Quoted from the New International Version on Biblegateway.com
Thanks for visiting. I would love to hear your comments / views on what the next church should be like.