J-Life Africa is a non-denominational movement that exists to develop leaders who will mobilise disciplemaking movements across Africa. At J-Life, we believe that the best way to bring about lasting life transformation is through life-on-life discipling, which requires of disciplemakers to go deep with each person they are discipling. The more time that is spent in close relationship with disciples, the more the DNA of Christ will be transferred. J-Life seeks to mobilise disciples who will live their lives in such a way, that communities in Africa are transformed by the life of Christ and the Father is glorified.

Purpose statement

“Mobilising Disciplemaking Movements throughout the Church of Jesus Christ in Africa”

J-Life Africa launched as J-Life Ministries in January 2001. Its primary focus was training and coaching emerging leaders to implement a disciplemaking model taught by a North American ministry called Sonlife. Initially this was done primarily by recruiting potential leaders for a year-long programme. These leaders were trained and coached intensively during a four-month period at the beginning of each year. On completion of this training period, these leaders were released to work in local churches and multiply the training they had received by coaching emerging leaders in the churches in which they were working.

Sonlife Africa launched at the same time as J-Life Ministries, and operated as a seminar-based training organisation. Within a few years, Sonlife’s training had spread into sixteen countries in Africa and leaders had been assigned in seven of these countries.

In 2005, J-Life Ministries merged with an organisation known as ASAP (Africa Sports and Praise), and with a gap year programme. This merger diversified J-Life’s training to incorporate sports ministry, the use of the arts and a life discipleship programme, as additional tools in the disciplemaking process.

From the outset, J-Life Ministries and Sonlife Africa shared the same DNA. However, each ministry had different methods of implementation and thus two separate ministries were initially formed. In 2006, God led both ministries to merge with one another. This meant that the different methodologies of the two ministries could dovetail together, which would ultimately lead to a strengthening of the disciplemaking movement in Africa.

At J-Life’s annual gathering of leaders in 2007, the decision was made to use the name J-Life Africa and this has been the ministry’s operating name ever since.

Ministry philosophy
The following values are at the heart of our ministry philosophy and define our “DNA” as an organisation:

  1. Jesus is our Model
  2. Disciplemaking is our Mission
  3. Love is our Motive
  4. Organic ministry is our Method
  5. The Holy Spirit is our Means
  6. Fruit is our Measure
  7. The Gospel is our Message
  8. The Church is our Medium
  9. Youth are our Mandate
  10. Relationships are our Momentum
  11. Leading Servants is our Motto
  12. Kingdom Obedience is our Distinctive Mark

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Statement of beliefs
  • We believe that God is the Eternal King, Creator and Ruler of all things.
  • We believe that Satan and his hosts have set up a counterfeit kingdom of darkness.
  • We believe God created mankind in His own image for relationship with Him.
  • Original man sinned against God and this resulted in God’s judgement on the world.
  • We believe that God did not abandon His rule over the earth, but revealed His grace to sinful man, by convicting man of sin through God’s Spirit and bringing man to salvation in Christ alone.
  • We believe in Christ as Mediator, Saviour and Eternal King.
  • We believe that the Holy Spirit is active today and has been working as part of the Godhead from all time. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells Believer’s in Jesus Christ and that He is our abiding Helper, Teacher, and Guide.
  • We believe that the Holy Spirit inspired the human authors of Holy Scripture so that the Bible is God’s Word to man and is without error.
  • We believe in the power of the Gospel over the kingdom of darkness.
  • We believe that the Church is the ongoing witness of God’s love and grace and is proof of God’s Kingdom rule.
  • We believe that Jesus Christ committed two ordinances to the Church: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
  • We believe that God’s kingdom has come in the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ, that it continues to come in the ministry of the Spirit through the Church, and that it will be fully completed in the second coming of and final judgment by Christ.

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Founding directors’ story

John and Lorna Abrahamse’s story

John and Lorna Abrahamse met while they were both serving on youth ministry teams that toured South Africa during the early 1990’s. Each week, these teams would minister in a different church, which resulted in John and Lorna experiencing many different youth ministries. A few years after this ministry experience, John and Lorna were married and served together as a youth ministry pastoral couple at a church in the south of Johannesburg.

One of the many things that they did during their youth pastor tenure was to take young people on short term mission trips into various countries in Southern Africa. The picture that emerged from each of these mission trips was true to each situation and to each country – young people would be drawn to attend an exciting meeting but were never integrated into the church. God used these and other experiences to birth in John and Lornas hearts the desire to see the church in Africa equipped to mobilise disciplemaking movements that would impact the local and global community. It is out of this desire that J-Life was born.

It has been exciting and challenging to play a part in what God is doing to grow disciplemakers in Africa. We are constantly in awe of what He does.

Ministry ingredients

To effectively fulfill our purpose we believe that the following four ingredients need to be evident in all that we do:


This ingredient highlights the importance of relationships in mobilising leaders and workers. The sooner a connection between trainer/coach and trainee can be established, and the deeper this relationship can be, the greater the transfer of DNA.


This involves a multi-faceted transfer of the DNA to trainees. J-Life believes that this “impartation” cannot happen in isolation and has to occur in the context of the other ingredients listed herein. Other words for ‘impart’ are: pass on, communicate, inform, tell, convey, teach, instruct, divulge, disclose, reveal, expose.


As a ministry, J-Life is responsible to not only “impart information” but also to ensure that the trainee is coached and mentored in the implementation of this information.


J-Life will endeavour to provide resources and assistance to those individuals with whom J-Life has in some way been able to “connect, impart and equip”. This is done to enable these individuals to fulfill a calling that resonates with the core values and ministry beliefs of J-Life.

Some of our ministry partners

J-Life international staff members

John & Lorna Abrahamse

International Director & Co-founder


Tina Smith

International Board, Lead Team and Executive Assistant


M’gliwe Simdinatome

International Lead Team and Regional Leader


Leo Fokoua

International Lead Team and Regional Leader


Joe Nkhoma

International Lead Team and Zambia Country Leader


Jeremy Koeries

International Lead Team and South Africa Country Leader


David & Liz Even

International Lead Team and Ministry Director