Pastor Manie Schoeman who has been in ministry for 37 years is excited about a new thing that God is doing in his Pretoria church through a revival culture activation course called Firestarters.
“I’ve seen people who are very timid and shy blossoming and being used by God. The fact that they have found new passion, purpose and power propels them into ministry and sets them free from whatever is holding them back,” says the pastor of Capital Park Christian Church which started running the course a few weeks ago.
Schoeman says his church began the 12-weeks course which was developed by Bethel Church in Redding, California, with a group of 35 people meeting from 9am to 11am on Saturdays. Some of the people were from other churches because it was the first time that the course was being presented in Pretoria.
“There was such interest in the course that we started a second group on Wednesdays with 24 people . It also helps if someone couldn’t attend on the Saturday, they can come on the Wednesday,” says Schoeman.
He explains that the course is divided into three sections: pursuing passion, purpose and power and is presented on DVD by its writer, Kevin Dedmon. There are four to six people, including a coach, at each table. Each session begins with testimonies about participants’ ministry opportunities since the previous session. After the DVD presentation there is a table discussion followed by an “activation” time.
Stepping over the chicken line
“One of the most amazing things is how people get activated by the Spirit into ministry and stepping over the chicken line.The activation is very easy and releases everyone into hearing or recognising God’s voice. Then they start ministering to one another what God has told them.
“The one activation is that everybody should ask God for a name. Then they ask God to whom they must minister; they go to that person and give the name and ask that person if he has anyone in his family with that name. Then they proceed to prophecy about that name and what God has said to them. When we as leaders had the training, a person who I have never met before came to me and said that God gave the name Jan. He also sensed that this Jan hurt me very much and caused many problems in my life. Little did he know this was my father’s name. He divorced my mom when I was three years old and I’ve never had a relationship with him, etc. It was spot on!”
The course teaches that “Royalty is my identity, servanthood is my assignment and intimacy with God is my life source” and once people understand that “so many new things open up to them” says Schoeman.
“The course affected our Sunday service tremendously and ignited a new fire in many lives.The worship stepped up, there are many prophecies and people are encouraged with the love and zeal of Jesus. It simply ignites fresh fire in Christians’ lives. The joy that goes with this ministry is absolutely amazing and life changing.
“We encourage everyone to do treasure hunts [following up ministry clues provided by God] and healing wherever they go or work and we hear testimonies of people getting touched and getting healed in work situations and shopping centers. Within the next few weeks we will also present the course at a New Covenant church near to us.
Big outreach planned
“We plan a big outreach here in Capital Park, Pretoria as soon as we finish the first course. We will be doing a treasure hunt, giving food away at church, having a prophetic table outside the building, getting the artists involved, praying and ministering, doing prayer walks and ministering to people on the streets,” says Schoeman.
Schoeman says that he and his wife began to seek God in the 1970s after he was badly injured in a car that he crashed while driving under the influence of alcohol. Prior to that he had been a rebellious child with no father figure in his life, a policeman who had a problem with alcohol and sometimes smoked dagga, and a crane driver whose marriage was falling apart because of his substance abuse.
When he woke up in hospital after the motor accident he immediately realised that God was speaking to him and that it was a miracle he was alive.
“I was in hospital for about three months, nearly lost my left foot. For a year I couldn’t work because I was on a wheelchair and later on crutches. My wife had to work to support us.
“I started working again after being out of work for a year. We were really searching for spiritual help. My wife’s grandmother was born again and praying for us. My wife and I went to Danny Bosman’s (healing evangelist very active in the 70s) meetings and on the 5th of March 1974 we accepted Jesus and dedicated our lives to God. Before I went to this meeting I had a few double brandys and smoked a joint. I wanted Jesus but I also mocked Christianity.
That night evagelist Danny Bosman was praying for the sick and I saw a great miracle happening before my eyes.There was a young girl of 10 years old whose one arm was shorter than the other. She had a short sleeve dress on and I remember thinking by myself that there is no way that he could fake a miracle. Danny said if anyone would like to have a closer look, you can can go up front and check this out. I went and before mye yes this young girls arm grew out about 10cm. That night I realised that Jesus is alive and real and I surrendered my life to Him, confessing my sins and receiving new life. What a wonderful experience it was. God set me free from drinking and I became a totally new person.
“We got baptized in water and baptised in the Holy Spirit at Hatfield Christian church a few months later.In 1978 God called us into full time ministry under Floyd McClung’s ministry and I went to the Afrikaanse Baptieste Seminaruim where I completed my training. At the same time we started a church in our house. God has been faithful through all these years. When the Toronto blessing started I visited there.I was very conservative, although charismatic.I found a wonderful inner healing and when I arrived home (Pretoria) God turned the church upside down.”
Speaking about the current season in which God is once again doing something new in the church, through the Firestarters course, Schoeman referred to a statement by Bill Johnson, Senior Pastor of Bethel, who says: “God is revealing assignments and empowering Holy Spirit shifts.There are many divine shifts taking place in the Body to align people with great purpose.For those who seek the Father there will be revelation of assignment and destiny. God is illuminating the path and revealing His plans.”
“God is good and is releasing His goodness, joy and power on His people in many new ways.