AFM Honeydew Community Church

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Church in Community Model

We are grappling with the concept of the traditional ways of doing ‘church’, whereby people are called to gather in buildings and tents weekly.

We feel church is sent and meant to be scattered in community thereby impacting the day to day lives of community members. We believe our mandate is to make Christ visible in community by being interwoven in the fibre of the daily lives of the community. We believe that the core of our calling is to destroy the works of the destroyer, therefore to us the best way to do this is by being church in community, mingling and interspersed into the life of the community. We believe church gather to be equipped and resourced and this is better achieved in small groups like house churches, home cells and equipping and resource centres in community.

We question ourselves whether it is the best use of resources to deploy capital into huge auditoriums and subsequent operational costs of maintaining those structures. We further ask ourselves: is there a better way to do church in a manner that will be sustainably transformational without deploying huge resources in buildings that may end up monumentalised by future generations because they stand empty and derelict?

We want to explore the concept of lifelong discipleship that is a lifestyle of each and every born again child of God. If there has to be ‘Big’ meetings it should be for preaching the gospel to the lost. Those converted in those big meetings must be discipled one on one and be in smaller groups until we all reach maturity and we come in the unity of the faith, and of the Son of God, to a perfect person to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,

Socio-economic Development Modise and Zodwa Moatlhodi has been part of the AFM Naledi Assembly for some time, during their tenure they headed up various ministries and departments, including the Social Development and Welfare Ministry. They have therefore contributed and subscribe wholeheartedly to the Church in Community strategy of the AFM Naledi Assembly from which they have liberally borrowed:

We believe that the AFM Honeydew Assembly as part of its strategic planning process for the next three years, as led by the Lord, must be a caring church in God’s created reality. The assembly starts from its understanding that our God is a caring God!

As Matthew writes when Jesus saw the crowds “He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Mt 9:36). Mark records another incident that Jesus had ‘compassion’ for the people because they had ‘nothing to eat’ (Mk 8:2). The Lord is indeed “full of compassion and mercy” (Jas 5:11).

The concept of a caring church is a holistic perspective of what the church should be like in a community that has complex needs both spiritually and socially. This perspective envisages an assembly that is outward looking rather than just inward looking. It is not what we can get from the church, but what we can give to the world. It is about how we can be instruments of God to minister to the needs of the people of God on earth and God’s created reality rather than just be ministered to.

The assembly’s plan is to go out into the community to engage members of the community (families and individual) about the challenges affecting them and hear them about what they think would resolve these challenges. We will go out with a battery of programmes and services from the church and government which can meet some of the needs community members have. These will include, amongst others:

(1)   The Week of Generosity when the assembly and the community will be invited to give whatever they are moved to give notwithstanding the challenges they face in life. In the words of Paul about the Macedonians, “Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity”. (2 Cor. 8:2);

(2)    The Week of Abundance/Plenty, where individuals and community members who are better endowed will have an opportunity to give away those things, items, or possessions they really do not need which can be shared with those who need them most. Again in Paul’s language, the better-endowed’s surplus over necessity (abundance/plenty) should meet the needs (want) of those who are less endowed, so that there may be equality (2 Cor. 8:14);

(3)   Identification of indigent families within our community to share with them whatever we have as well as draw in Government services and facilities which are meant for such families. We know that the indigent policies of Government are entrusted with the local governments or municipalities. Ours, as the foot soldiers of God, is to make sure that such services/facilities are made available to those who need them.

(4)   Identification of children who are not at school for whatever reasons and make sure that they go or return to school. There is again a battery of policies of Government which are designed in a way that there can be no reason for any child not to be at school. These cover areas of education, social development, health, etc. Again, we will cause the Government to offer the services.

(5)   An invitation to the community to use the opportunity of having a Home Affairs and Social Development units at the relevant site on scheduled intervals to deal with challenges of documentation like Birth Certificates, ID’s, passports, residential permits, citizenship, checking on the marriage register, variety of social grants, etc. This is about bringing services of Government to the people.

(6)   An invitation to High School students to attend a Career Expo involving career guidance sessions, advisory services from institutions of higher learning about what they offer, etc, and encourage students to apply to these institutions on time to avoid incidents like the one which resulted in the tragic death of a parent trying to find space at the University of Johannesburg (UJ).

(7)   To work to establish an Information and Advisory Services Centre to offer advisory services to the community on any matter that affects them and assist in finding solutions to the challenges. Due to scarce resources the Centre will start with a half a day service per week on a Saturdays from April 2013.

(8)   Participation in the local Community Police Forum (CPF) to deal with crime and related matters.

In the process of working on this community outreach programme it became clear that this was exactly what Government wanted to do with its War on Poverty Campaign. The assembly will seek to partner with Government to be the food soldiers of this programme, an army of God to reach out to the people and make this world what God wanted it to be.

In this regard consultations will be held with the Regional Officer of the Johannesburg Municipality with the view of meeting with the local councillors to agree on a strategy of cooperation in meeting the needs of the people. The meeting is expected to happen during March 2013. The responsible official for the War on Poverty Campaign from the Presidency is well known to Modise and Zodwa Moatlhodi and continuous consultations will be pursued with him so that the government may interact with community members and leaders to involve and subsequently train them to roll out the War on Poverty outreach programme.

In this process we, as a church, will be fulfilling our calling as we have been anointment to do.

To preach the Good News (Gospel) to the poor; To heal the broken-hearted; To preach deliverance to the captives; and Recovery of sight for the blind; To set at liberty them that are bruised; and To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour (Lk 4:18-19)

This will involve counselling and support services spiritually and otherwise to those who are distressed, broken-hearted and bruised who may need such services. Some of the sister churches within the targeted area will be consulted to be involved. Others CBOs and NGOs are still to be identified so that they may also be consulted in the following weeks to invite them to be part of this community outreach programme. Schools and police station within this area will be invited to participate

The Programme will start with a Community Scanning Service on the 1st March 2013 followed by a consultation programme for:

(1)   Volunteers for the Information and Advisory Services on Saturdays starting April 2013; and

(2)   The Community Outreach Programme from the 1st March 2013 starting with house-to-house visits.

We believe that this model that is being developed will be adjusted as new information surfaces and lessons learnt making the church and its members a living army of God on earth to reach out to God’s people thereby becoming the visible expression of the Invisible Christ, as well as assisting Government to fulfil its commitment to meet the basic needs of the people, particularly the poor

Gospel Outreach

After careful assessment of various methods we have decided on the following relevant, compelling and successful ways:

1.      Revival and Launch

Revival and launch of the AFM Honeydew Community Church is to take place in September to give the new church adequate time to plan and raise sufficient funds to host a more successful and compelling event. Other events we will participate in are the Central Gauteng Region Passover Convention which happens earlier this year during the last weekend of March; the AFM International Conference which is taking place last weekend of May. We believe therefore that these Conferences will bring the necessary exposure to the assembly, providing maximum attendance of both is encouraged. The Pastors and Elders will help with planning an inspiring programme to be hosted by the Young People’s Fellowship in June and Women’s Fellowship in August.

2.      Open Airs

Every alternate Sunday afternoon volunteers/supporters and new members of the assembly be encouraged to host these open airs. Each established home cell will be encouraged to take the lead in planning and organising the open air in their area.

3.      House to House Visitation

It is recommended that every Saturday afternoon volunteers/supporters and new members, after training or refresher courses on ‘Coffee with John’, to go house to house, to minister to the need s of the community with the objective of winning them to Christ in line with the AFM Vision 2020

4.      Cottage Meetings

Each volunteer and new member will be trained to conduct a gospel outreach cottage meeting with unchurched/non-member. The idea is that at least once a week the home-cell will be held at any of the above-mentioned houses of a neighbour, who will be asked to invite non-believing neighbours to his/her house and once the home-cell members are there, they will preach the gospel to all present, as they were trained, and lead others to the Lord Jesus Christ

5.      Person to person evangelism

Every Sunday members are to be trained or given a refresher course on any of the tools like Four Spiritual laws, after which they will be released to go to the streets of an identified area to share the gospel using this tool with anyone willing to listen. They will then return to report on their experiences and pray for those who received Christ and others with felt needs in the community

6.      Tent Crusade

We will work with God’s Way Evangelistic Ministries who host tent evangelistic campaigns in and around Soweto. Now that a relationship with them has been established they have invited us to participate in these campaigns.  Hopefully we will be part of a planned crusade in Honeydew once dates are allocated.

Address 1st Floor, Shell House, 3 Blueberry Rd, cnr Beyers naude Rd, Honeydew
Cellphone +27832414022
Telephone +27117941620