Newsflash: Friday, 13 July

 13 JULY ENG 2018

 The church is involved with the challenges of the local community

In our celebrations of the AFM’s 110th year we are constantly reminded that we as a church and individuals are “sent” – sent to continue the mission of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:16-20). Community Involvement is one of the AFM’s strategic drivers. It is about addressing the real needs in our communities, to be socio-economically and Spiritually relevant. Below is a short article on how the AFM practically defined Community Involvement.

I would like to encourage you to:

(1) Visit our One AFM Game Plan page on our website. Here you can view and download all the AFM’s strategic drivers in 4 different languages: Afrikaans, English, isiZulu and Sesotho:
http://afm-ags.org/category/one-afm-game-plan/

(2) Send us your story of Community Involvement. We would love to learn more and see how and where our AFM assemblies and members are involved. You can send an e-mail to:
chantalle@afm-ags.org

Blessings!
MG Mahlobo

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

As a church we promote the cause of truth and justice in society and be actively involved in the healing and restoration of our communities.
 
Definition:

“Ethical” for us, means to do what is right according to the principles of the Bible.

“Socio-Economic relevance” refers to our Christlike involvement in the physical, economic and relational circumstances that people and communities find themselves in.

Equivalent terms:

  • Help others meet their needs
  • Reaching out to people in need
  • Doing good to others
  • Upliftment
  • Making a difference in people’s every day life
  • Serving the total person
Key Scriptures:
  • Isaiah 58:6-8
  • Math. 10:8
  • Math. 25:35
  • Luke 4:18
  • Luke 14:13+14
  • James 1:27
Our involvement in our communities is of great importance. It flows from our vision-statement: “We see a church accessible to all people, celebrating our unity and God given diversity, empowering our members for caring and transforming our communities to the glory of God.

Our greatest motivation to be a blessing to our communities is not humanistic or philanthropic, but the love of God. Remember that God sent His Son – not for the church as such, but for the world. He uses His church to be His instrument to touch the world, our communities.

While our missional calling is the foundation of “The One AFM Game Plan”, our community involvement is key to the fulfilment of our missional calling. The extent to which we impact our communities will determine our missional success. Our impact on our communities can me measured by the well-known saying: “Will your community miss you if your church closes down?

We live and minister in communities that are adversely affected by the Evil One. A large part of the South African society suffers because of our dire socio-economic circumstances. Whatever the historical or present reasons for this situation, the church can not stand aloof and merely hold government or humanitarian organizations responsible. If we can help and facilitate people to help themselves, we have achieved something remarkable. The church must come to the aid of such people through caring, empowering and sharing.

In our involvement in socio-economic matters we must however guard against keeping people dependent. This easily develops into a mentality of entitlement – an attitude that is already abundantly obvious in SA. We need to empower people to take responsibility for their own lives and future -in other words, help others meet their needs. If we can assist people in meaningful training and job-creation, we do well.

There are indeed a number of our local churches who in this regard have remarkable success-stories to tell.

Application:

Answer these three questions to determine to what extent COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT is applied in your assembly:

  1. Are you aware of the specific needs in your local community? [List and describe them.]
  2. For every need, are you able to identify the appropriate strategy: (1) mobilising members to get involved, (2) partnering with existing community projects/activities or (3) establish/create a new community project from scratch.
  3. What impact is this project making in your community? [Describe how your community changed as a result of this project.]