SACLI (South African Christian Leadership Initiative) exists to network and amplify the voices of Christian leaders from all sectors of society. We were formed as a common platform by the big three ecumenical organisations: the South African Council of Churches (SACC), The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa (TEASA) and African Enterprise (AE). Our council consists of senior denominational leaders from across the Christian traditions. We are focused on developing a common vision for our nation over the next 30 years. We act as a bridge between churches and Christian leaders in different sectors of society. We also work to amplify the Christian and moral voice in the public square.
Church leaders came together in earnest after the Marikana shootings in 2012 asking what the churches’ role in the nation should be and how best to make our voice heard. A statement was released “the church speaks…” to the leaders of the nation in December 2012, just ahead of the ANC Mangaung conference. This attracted huge publicity and positive feedback from people who were waiting for the church to speak into the crisis in the nation. Not content with speaking, the church leaders called for an Indaba in January 2013 to discern God's wisdom about how the church could unite in action for Christian mission and prophetic witness.
In the past it was easier to mobilize people because we had one common enemy. However, today we have many issues and so we cannot mobilise against something but rather need to come together around a common vision for the nation. SACLI is taking a long-term view of nation building and transformation. We need to consider how we change our current narrative of despair to a narrative of Hope. Our initial focus is serving church leaders, young leaders, business leaders and leaders in education. This will expand to other sectors as we develop capacity.
After playing a significant role in helping South Africa escape from the captivity of the Apartheid era, the South African church has found itself in a two-decade wilderness period where it has lacked focus in regards to its public witness and impact. There is an increased awakening amongst Christians, and the leaders of the nation, that if the nation is to cross into the promised land, the church has an essential role in leading us through the Jordan.
This is a Kairos moment to speak and act together.
Chair - Moss Ntlha
Marcus van Wyk
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba (Anglican Church of SA)
Bishop Joe Seoka (Bishop of Pretoria)
Bishop Zipho Siwa (Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church and SACC President)
Dr Jerry Pillay (General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa)
Dr Frank Chikane (International President of AFM)
Dr Isak Burger (President of AFM)
Dr Mary-Anne Plaatjies van Huffel (Moderator of the Uniting Reformed Church)
Dr Nelus Niemand (Moderator of the Dutch Reformed Church)
Rev Paul Msiza (Chairperson: TEASA)