Local Transformation Initiatives
The Nehemiah Vision - Nelson Mandela Bay
We live in a divided community. Crime rates are high, with the worst-affected being women and children. The average man on the street is unemployed and, worse yet, unemployable due to lack of skills and education. This leads to poverty and desperation. And the younger generation faces no better hopes for the future due to continuing failure in schools and hospitals to meet even the most basic standards. We are living in a modern-day vision of city Nehemiah faced, divided by factionalism and disunity.
Like Nehemiah, we can rebuild our city. Imagine NM Bay in transformation, where there is socio-economic upliftment. The standard of education and health-care improves, leading to more skilled and educated graduates. The people are better able to find work and earn a stable income, which means less poverty. In turn, daily living becomes less of a battle of desperation. People have time to examine their behaviour and hold their leaders accountable to moral and Godly principles. Communities develop pride and so unite to protect each other and maintain their upliftment. Violent crimes lessen as people are held accountable for their actions. Children can walk safely in the streets, knowing their neighbours will protect them. (Zechariah 8: 4-5; Isaiah 60: 17b-18)
4 Parts of the Vision
In August 2012, Bishop Lunga Ka Siboto chose Nehemiah 2:17 for the theme of his address at a Community Forum. A month later, a vision of how to implement the Nehemiah vision in NM Bay was presented at the Bishop’s prayer meeting. This vision was confirmed by the Church Leaders at the next Bishop's monthly prayer meeting in November 2012 with a scripture from Habakkuk 2: 2-3. The vision is in four parts.
- A big circle in the form of a foundation surrounds NM Bay. A strong foundation is not possible without the mixture of all the elements needed. Only once these elements are united, will they have the strength to support the metro. This is “church unity”. (John 17:21) That strength will be determined by the strength of the unity of churches in our metro. (Psalm 133)
- On this solid foundation the first layer of 60 large bricks is laid, “end to end” forming a circle, with each brick as a section. These sections represent the 60 municipal wards of NM Bay. Just as Nehemiah divided the wall of Jerusalem into sections and allocated each section to a specific group of people, we need to motivate and mobilize the people in each ward to accept responsibility for the rebuilding of their section of our metro. (Nehemiah 3: 1-32)
- There are eight domains: church, business, education, government, family, media & communication, arts & entertainment, and sport. These represent the bricks of the wall. Just as the foundations support the brickwork above, so we call upon the people of each ward to work together in the domains to rebuild their section of the wall.
- The walled city is covered by a canopy of prayer. To build this canopy over the metro we need to find a prayer “warrior” for each ward. These warriors will establish prayer groups to saturate their wards in united prayer and encourage the establishment of further groups covering all domains in their wards. (Isaiah 62:6)
Execution Strategy (Abbreviated)
Quotes from three Bishops:
Bishop Bethlehem Nopece: “We need to reconnect with our communities”.
Bishop Lunga ka Siboto: “We need to go to where our people are suffering”.
Bishop Zipho Siwa: “We need to come out of our Church buildings”.
1.1 WHAT are we trying to do?
We are committed to being obedient to a vision of rebuilding our city, to reach as many people as possible and saturate our city with the gospel.
1.2 WHY are we doing this?
We believe that only the gospel of Jesus Christ will bring meaning and hope to the people of our city. Only the gospel can put SA on a different trajectory.
1.3 WHERE do we want to reach the people?
We want to reach all the people of the city, wherever they live ie every person in every Municipal ward(60). We want to “place” the gospel like a management grid over our city.
1.4 WHEN should we meet to ensure that we execute this vision effectively?
We should encourage church leaders, especially experienced leaders, to commit 2% of their time to promote John 17:21. We need to review our understanding of servant leadership. I believe it is time the leaders of the larger resourced church reached out to the leaders of smaller, less resourced congregations. Larger church leaders should visit their colleagues where they are and motivate them and give them a feeling of belonging to a mighty army. We need to change the paradigm - big should now go to small and not the other way round.
1.5 WHO do we want to reach or who is our target market?
We want to reach every person in every Ward and encourage them to participate in the rebuilding of their Ward.
1.6 HOW do we aim to execute and implement this vision?
We will utilize our Nehemiah Scorecard to encourage each other.
2. Nelson Mandela Bay Nehemiah “VISION”.
3. Five Steps to Success Modeled by Nehemiah (Project Manager).
3.1 Prayer assessment.
3.2 A compelling vision.
3.3 Find the right leaders for leverage.
3.4 Build collaborative teams.
3.5 Encourage commitment and accountability
4. Nehemiah Ward Project.
5. Nehemiah Scoreboard.
6. Building Partnerships in NM Bay.
7. The overall role of Prayer Networks in NM Bay.
Nelson Mandela Bay: NEHEMIAH VISION
Nehemiah Projects Scoreboard (Oct 2017)
GAP Ministries is partnering with Transformation Christian Network to bring spiritual and community transformation to the Metropole.