“Then the Lord said to me, 'Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.'" Habakkuk 2:2-3 NLT
The above Scripture summarizes the journey of setting up an accountability organization. It is a vision from God, directed in detail by Him, and fulfilled by Him in His time through those He has called. Our role is to be faithful on the journey. This requires accountability first to our Lord, which then flows to others.
Voluntary accreditation is a new concept. It is a solution to accountability problems within Christian organizations that bring disrepute to the Body of Christ. Like anything else that one wants to start, there has to be a champion and like-minded companions that are so passionate about accountability that they must do something about it. They are willing to commit and volunteer their time, talents, and resources to the completion of its formation and early years.
Whilst going through the formation of the African Council of Accreditation and Accountability (AfCAA), we went through the following stages:
1. Concept Paper. The champion invited a few like-minded companions and they came up with a concept paper. It included the next steps needed in the formation of the organization such as committees required and their terms of reference.
2. Inaugural Working Committees. Through our networks, we invited other like-minded companions (Founders) in line with the concept paper, to an Inaugural Steering Committee meeting to help us get a bigger footprint and buy in, to critique the concept paper and be part of the working committees. The outcome of that meeting was a revised concept paper and the formation of three working committees with Chairpersons. The Standards Committee was to come up with the Accountability Standards. The Operations Committee would deal with the legal matters, vision, mission, core values, logo, branding, and other administrative issues. The Executive Committee was tasked with bringing everything together. This process took approximately 18 months with six months thereafter awaiting registration.
3. Peer Learning. There was peer learning with contextualization during the process from ECFA and Unashamedly Ethical amongst others, and immediately after registration at the International Accountability Summit 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.
4. Set up Stage. After the company was registered, Boards and Committees with the right skills matrix were formed and started meeting. The champion was appointed by the Board as the first Executive Director and set up the systems, structures, and procedural manuals for Board approval. A professional consultant was hired to help during this time. The Executive Director was hired in the second year. The two Executive Directors were on a pro bono basis as AfCAA had no funds. Any services that needed payment were from contributions from the Board and other well-wishers.
5. Launch. AfCAA accredited its first member in the second year of operation and this was celebrated at its launch preceded by Board and Committees training by ECFA.
6. Office. AfCAA operated from homes and donated board rooms until we got funding in our third year of operations. It is then that AfCAA could hire staff and start full operations.
The key lessons learnt is to ensure that the Founders, Board and Committee members, the Executive Director in particular are sold to the vision, comply to the structures and systems they have set and are willing to volunteer over the long haul. We all have to be called by God and remember it is His vision even if it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.”
Finally, it is important that we adhere to the accountability standards we are setting for others.
“To set high standards for someone else, and then not live up to them yourself, is something that God truly hates. But it pleases him when we apply the right standards of measurement.” Proverbs 11:1 TPT
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 NIV
To learn about the current progress of AfCAA, read their 2020 Annual Report. Join us in praying for AfCAA to flourish in its work and direct ministries in Africa to their website for more information and to pursue accreditation.