Men's department vision
It is only by being divinely led and inspired by the Holy Spirit of God, through our belief and faith in our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ; can the men of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) Aston be effective in carrying out our duties. Our aspiration is that every man within the church develops a personal relationship with God, understanding his purpose and responsibilities so he can work diligently to edify the kingdom of God.
.To preach the Gospel that is Jesus Christ – through evangelising, with the specific aim of increasing the number of men within the body of Christ.
.To provide spiritual guidance according to the word of God for all men within the church.
.To develop and promote all men into the areas pertaining to the physical wellbeing of the church and wider community; including the general upkeep, safety, security and integrity of the church site and surrounding areas.
.To work with young men (ages 13-25), imparting key principles and spiritual guidance; effectively developing our young men from within and outside the church. We believe that our young men are paramount to the continuing and future work, for the edifying of the kingdom of God.
.To fulfil the will of God that all men realise and adopt their rightful role as leaders within church and the wider community.
.To ensure that all men who are part of COGIC Aston, increase in the understanding of brotherly love according to the teachings of Jesus Christ, through continual fellowship and ministering to the needs of one another (mind, body and soul).
Progress and some highlights during 2016/17
Over recent years, God has blessed the men’s department at COGIC Aston and we are able to testify of significant growth, having extending the right-hand of fellowship to many brothers during this time. The move of the Lord in Aston is evident by a thriving men’s ministry, which is building upon previous good work and taking the department to the next level.
The men have been active in working towards Reverend David Henry’s vision for both our department and the wider church. In particular, the men have focused on ways to develop our boys and support single mothers in the following ways:
. An initiative commenced to facilitate a Youth Empowerment Class, which aimed to teach young people how to prepare and cook meals. Part of the dynamic of this class, focused on etiquette with those involved learning key skills around both serving and eating in a formal setting. We found that this learning experience has increased participant confidence in these areas significantly. The course culminated with the young people involved preparing and hosting a ‘Master Chef’ style banquette for up to 30 diners and graduating with honours in February 2017, receiving a certificate in church. As a result, young people are themselves taking on roles as mentors amongst their peers, passing on some of what they learned in subsequent classes.
.The brothers hosted its annual mother’s day meal, which as usual attracted a large turnout and proved very successful. This is our way of saying thank you to all the mothers of the church and the community and is something that lifts the spirits of those who attend.
. Realising that it is often the smaller practical tasks that can often offer the most support to single mothers, our men have been instrumental over the past year in this area. One example involved the brothers transporting boys to and from football practice or match days and home again, enabled mothers to attend work. This helped the boys make best use of some of their talent and encouraged them to work towards realising sporting aspirations. On other occasions, boys have also been dropped off and collected from school. Where boys have absent fathers, brothers have supported mothers at parents evenings so there is an additional level of support at what can turn out to be critical moments in the upbringing of a child.
. It became apparent that many single mothers were struggling with everyday maintenance tasks around the home. Brothers setup a gardening team, operating during the summer months to cut the grass and landscape garden areas. Fixing fencing, washing cars, odd jobs around the home and decorating, meant that while brothers worked together to help in these areas, young boys had the opportunity to learn vital life skills.
. Our boys have also been given the opportunity to experience the reality of working for a living. On Saturdays, a group of boys have worked alongside a vehicle mechanic, learning the value of having a good work ethic.
. Brothers have relished the chance to bond with some of the teenage boys on a one to one level, by meeting away from church at coffee shops or restaurants. This approach lends itself to our boys being able to discuss personal issues in a safe environment.
At COGIC Aston, the men’s department strive to maintain a covenant relationship to be our brother’s keeper, to love him as we love ourselves and to support his physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing and to strengthen our brother when he is weak and to honour and respect him in all affairs so help us God.
To this end, we have continued to strengthen our brothers in times of bereavement, supporting each other with prayers and words of encouragement. In addition, brothers have been supported financially in such times as on many other occasions, where some individuals have been unemployed, other brothers have come together to provide financial assistance too.
Where one is weak, the strong must help and this type of approach has seen brothers helped physically, when needing assistance to move home for example or when someone has been unwell so as well as visiting the sick, brothers have helped by ensuring that the family of the sick are looked after also and able to get to and from church, home, work and school.
The brothers continue to meet together monthly, generally on a 4th Sunday after church, which is an opportunity to provide further moral support and discuss issues involving or affecting men. Separate to this, there is an executive board of brothers formed to push through the most poignant matters where appropriate, consisting of the following:
Assistant Men’s leader