OUR NEW MANAGING DIRECTOR TAKES OFF HIS SHINING MASK
15 July 2016
How shall I introduce myself to you?
Nico van Rensburg was born in the same room as his mother on his grandfather’s farm DE NOVO on 19 November 1953. My mother simply named me after all of the family. From the van Rensburg side my grandfather and both my great-grandfathers were Nicolaas. My grandfather Bokelmann and his father were Wilhelm. And my other great-grandfather was Johann Ramsauer. On 1 December 1953, the first day I came outside the house, I was christened in the German Church in Phillipi.
I was an eldest grandchild and my godmother was childless. She called me the prince – I suppose that is why I am so flamboyant. I grew up in Cape Town until my father was transferred to the Free State. As long ago as that, my lifelong friend and teacher, Pitie Gerber, told me that I would have to talk for a living.
The Free State was very good to me. I was mad about school (perhaps a ‘nerd’) and in the old South Africa after my army training I attended Free State University (Reitz Kamerwonings) where I studied politics. It was in those years that the Lord called me to become a man of the cloth. And this is where I became a loyal Cheetah fan. I enrolled for the course BA Admission at the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education and completed it. There my preference for the Formal Creed of Faith and the Totius rhyming of the Psalms became the rhythm of my dance of life. Thereafter I studied Theology at University of Pretoria. There my love for Dogmatics, Liturgy, Ecclesiastical Law and Ecclesiastical history took root.With my legitimation in 1980 I was called to Benoni North and Brakpan Mother Church. Ina Pretorius and I (who were married on 5 February 1978) were received in Benoni with great love and understanding, toleration and pampering and so I irrevocably became part of our proud Afrikaans culture. In those years I was strongly influenced by the theology of Dr Manie Malan as whose colleague I was called in 1985. I was also very closely involved in the local CMR as well as Missionary Commission.
In Kameeldrift I discovered the joy of partnership. From my mentor I learned how a contemporary reformed church can be a church with a warm confessionary-grounded heart-beat. I also learned that I as politician-theologian have to be careful not to let my pen become a dagger. My other colleague was the big student leader ASB president and exceptionally gifted George van der Merwe. In Kameeldrift I also developed a love for clerical leadership. This leadership focused particularly on Social Service and the Abraham Kriel Children’s Home which also was situated in my ministerial area. They built me a lancing hub for the following years of my service.
The Lord then called me from there to Helikonpark in Randfontein. Take note, in the week of 2 February 1990; a ‘New’ congregation with new challenges for a congregation consisting of 90% prospering Boomers and their talented children. Furthermore, they developed me at great costs. I could take a post-graduate qualification in Marketing at Tukkies. At two occasions I could undertake study tours for a month each to the USA and could keep my pencil sharp (so I believe) to this day. In those years I was afforded the privilege of assisting in building a contemporary church for a contemporary service. Following the 1994 General Synod, the congregation expanded with gigantic strides so that we more than doubled the church building in 1996. In 1997 we received a first colleague; in 1999 a third colleague. I then also had the privilege of becoming the first Boomer on Western Transvaal’s Executive Church Council. It led to the restructuring of our synod by means of the Commission for Contemporary Church-being which I could lead.
As from 2002, Helikonpark became the Home of the synod for all types of meetings. From 1 March 2007 I was appointed Executive Officer of the Synod. Hermien Bezuidenhout, the friendly face of the synod, supports me in all ways so that I can throw in my full weight (!) at General Synod level. In the meantime I was involved at all levels of NG Welfare and the Synod Management Commission also appointed me as Managing Director on recommendation of the Board of Directors of NG Welfare from 1 June 2016.
In this position I am looking forward to bringing hope and touching lives. I believe my family (Ina-Lize and George, Irma and Jan, Ina and little Cathrien), the leadership of our synod and my Helikonpark colleagues will give it momentum. Helikonpark remains in the good hands of our Lord and Rev Irma (Nel) van Rensburg and pastoral assistants, Rev Pieter de Wet, Rev Sarel Kotzé and Rev Jan Nel.
I believe a challenging time lies ahead for our synod and all its staff and leaders and me myself so that I DV can vacate this chair with joy in my heart on 28 February 2019.
And yes – I am fond of music, art, cinema, gardens, décor and striking clothing, and although I look so flamboyant, I only have a radio face –the radio where I have had a joyful service since 1994. For this I was honoured with the Kerkbode prize. My life motto is: Walk where no footprints yet exist. And my prayers are Kyrie Eleison, meaning Lord, have mercy.
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