Clerics must do their bit to help fight a growing wave of social ills sweeping the country, Finance MEC Ivan Meyer told a meeting in Gugulethu on Tuesday.
It was organised by councillor Deon Basson to forge better ties between government and the churches.
Mr Meyer told the meeting with the Our End Times Global Ministries Network Committee that the country was going through chaotic and uncertain times, and he was worried about the state of both the province and the country.
People had forgotten their values, crime was a constant worry and land invasions were on the rise.
He urged churches to help build the nation and fight poverty.“A pastor is a leader in his community. True pastors do not create followers but leaders. Your job is to help direct God’s plan. Pastors must take people out of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and distress to light,” he said.
“You need agility when there is ambiguity. Provide trust and hope and give light and vision. Lead people to their purpose. Go and touch people’s lives.”The provincial government was prepared to walk with them on that road, he said.
There were many government support programmes churches could draw on to help the youth.
“Do not deal with social ills only. We need to change our minds and build the economy. Where is a tailor in Gugulethu? If you walk in the streets of China, you will see a tailor. We need to change the way we do business. Churches must have their economic arm too,” he said.
Crime could also be stopped before it started, he said, by helping ex-cons reintegrate into their communities.
The pastors welcomed the challenge and promised to work with the government. Pastor Mzwandile Dube said he believed when God was in control, they would defeat all crimes.
“We pray for all the challenges, challenging our communities,” he said.