Small Church Leaves Big Imprint

cross“We see the world through the cross,” says Andy Kikuta, who has pastored Hawaii Kai (Alliance) Community Church for nearly 30 years. The Honolulu suburb of Hawaii Kai takes on a crimson hue viewed through a red cross centered in the middle of a “stained glass” window transparency. “That’s our community out there,” says Andy, pointing beyond the cross to the city skyline.

It’s All About Community

Andy’s passion is community outreach, which begins in the church. “We look to our own people first,” he says, “building them up to be Great Commission Christians. They, in turn, can reach out to people around them with Christ’s love and minister to their needs in whatever way that might be.”

The Hawaii Kai family connects with the community in countless ways through practical demonstrations of God’s love. Andy serves on the board of the Independence Day at Maunalua Bay Foundation (IDMBF), which hosts an annual Fourth of July benefit that provides scholarships for east Honolulu public high school students who desire to go to college.

Andy also serves as vice president in charge of the scholarship fund-raising and distribution, and the church rents a booth at the fireworks extravaganza each year. Hawaii Kai Community Church was the first church in the city to contribute to the fund, donating more than $500.

At the IDMBF festival on July 4, Hawaii Kai members will provide games for the kids and also distribute business-card-sized invitations to visit the church to the hundreds of people attending the celebration. “This event opens doors for us to meet people and build relationships,” Andy says. “Last year, our church gained a family through this outreach.”

Love Your Neighbor

Occasionally, Hawaii Kai Community Church “moonlights” as a coffeehouse, providing free refreshments and featuring a local band, Heartsong, of which Andy is a member. Friends and neighbors are invited to hear Heartsong’s smooth jazz and contemporary pop in a warm, friendly setting. “We had 78 people attend recently,” says Andy. “Only 28 were from the church.

“Through the years church members have shared the gospel through varying ministries in our church,” says Andy. “Much of our contact with lost people has come through one-on-one encounters, which we believe were divine appointments.

“Children and youth have come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through the witness of our Sunday school teachers and also through our partnership with Youth for Christ. One child accepted Jesus as his Savior, and he is still a part of our church as a young adult. Another young adult member shared the good news with a peer through friendship evangelism. The man became a believer and has been a solid church leader, consistently sharing his faith with others.”

Sometimes neighbors come to the church. “I have received calls for many things,” Andy recounts. “One morning, a friend was waiting at the front door when I arrived. He was crying as he told me that his grandson had choked on a gumball and died.” After offering a compassionate shoulder for his friend to lean on, Andy prayed for the man, who later began attending the church.

On Mission

Missions is always a priority at Hawaii Kai, whether at home or overseas. One way that the small church supports overseas missions is through an innovative stamp ministry that is facilitated by Alliance Women Ministries. Each year, thousands of used stamps are collected from around the world, including from the Hawaii Kai church family, and sent to Shell Point (Alliance) Retirement Community in Florida, where they are categorized and sold to wholesalers who buy them for distribution to collectors. All proceeds are designated for Publicaciones Alianza, a ministry in Argentina that produces curriculum emphasizing Scripture for youth in Latin America.

For 25 years, Andy also has served as an Alliance chaplain in the Honolulu Police Department. On more than one occasion during his tenure, Andy has been called upon to intervene in a life or death situation. When a man threatened to jump from a cliff to the rocky coastline below, it was Andy who went out on the slippery ledge and dissuaded the would-be jumper. “I have kept a pair of hiking boots in my police vehicle ever since that day,” he quips.

Living the Call

Holding fast to Christ’s Command in Matthew 28:19, Hawaii Kai is a disciplemaking church. “Recently, the people have rededicated themselves to being a Great Commandment and Great Commission church,” Andy says.

Hawaii Kai Community Church members are impacting their neighborhoods for Christ through every door that God opens, reaching lost and hurting people with the hope of the gospel.

“I have been preaching through our Alliance Core Values,” says the impassioned pastor. “The people reflect those vital beliefs and commitments in their lives, thus we get excited over outreach opportunities like the one coming up on the Fourth of July.

“Lives are being transformed and families are being restored for the glory of God as our little church looks at its big world through the cross.”


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