In addition to the church and ministry updates that appear regularly on the association’s website, Sola 5 will occasionally make available other resources that we believe will benefit the association. You can access some of those resources below.
The Sola 5 Handbook
Sola 5 is focused upon bringing together biblically-minded, God-centred churches and believers to encourage one another to meet this need throughout the whole southern African region. True churches and believers who have been disillusioned and disheartened by the definite weakening of the church need not feel isolated and frustrated. As he had in Elijah’s day, we are persuaded that God still has his people today who are willing to speak up and confront our man-centred culture. Likeminded local churches can be linked together in productive and supportive association without the development of cumbersome ecclesiastical structures and without the cultivation of personalities that engage in destructive power-plays and pragmatic politics. It is clear that local churches and individual Christians are searching for identity, and direction and an escape from man-centred administrative structures and mindless tradition. Practically, isolated local congregations and individual believers are yearning for answers to questions such as:
- What is the local church really here for?
- How ought we as a church family to relate to other church families?
- If we are not meant to lead an isolated and independent existence as local churches, on what basis can we cooperate and associate with other groups of believers?
- Where can I find a genuine New Testament church?
Sola 5 is an association of likeminded congregations that straddles country borders to embrace churches in the whole southern African region, including Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa. It enables committed local churches to benefit from:
- an unambiguous shared identity;
- theological education;
- mutual support in church planting ventures;
- coordination of missionary activities;
- a usable internet website; and
- economies of scale in the publishing of sound literature.
The beliefs, values and principles of association within Sola 5 are set out in our Confession of Faith, Core Values, and Constitution. These documents are included in the assocation’s handbook.
Biblical Inter-Church Associations
On what basis can a local church associate with other local churches? What makes it necessary for a local church to do so? What are the biblical boundaries for inter-church associations? How far should we go in associating with other churches? What ought inter-church associational activities to be comprised of? What activities ought to bind us together in inter-church associational life?
In this booklet, Conrad Mbewe, pastor-teacher of Kabwata Baptist Church in Lusaka, Zambia, seeks to wrestle with and answer these questions. Conrad writes capably, from a biblical and insightful perspective, which is both refreshing and challenging.
A Guideline for Paying Pastors in South Africa
Many Baptist churches in SA, even within Sola 5 appear to struggle with addressing the issue of pastor remuneration. Few elder boards appear to have a firm, united grasp on the relevant biblical teaching. No doubt, this problem is part of the larger problem of leading the church members to give faithfully and sacrificially. On this latter matter, pastors and elders also appear to struggle.
Unfortunately, all of this negatively affects the ministry. Some pastors, in the face of insufficient funding, have been forced return to secular employment to sustain themselves and their families. Further, healthy, gospel-preaching churches in township areas are weak and few in number—and this is largely due to these churches having little money and their pastors being very poorly paid.
Sola 5 has provided a document that seeks to practically address the matter of how a church should consider paying its vocational pastoral staff. You can download the document here, or view it online here.
Church Planting Proposal
In July 2017 Sammy Leballo (Moletsani Baptist Church), Donovan Drew (Living Hope Church) and Chris Woolley (Midrand Chapel) presented to the steering committee of Sola 5 a church planting proposal. This document covered the need for church planting within Sola 5 and an appeal for these endeavours to form a specific focus at the annual conference. The steering committee believes that this is a worthwhile suggestion. You can read the document in full here or download it here.