This study is concerned with how the black township church leadership mismanage their defunct members especially at times of funerals. In the absence of a pragmatic pastoral method of how to deal with defunct members when they die, the church has devised a church policy which adds to the already experienced pain and grief of mourners. The criteria in the policy stipulates that, if at the time of death, the member has become defunct with regard to:
- Church attendance,
- Dedicated giving ( tithing ), the person should be given a stoep funeral. The problem with this policy, is the manner in which it is communicated to mourners - cold and insensitive, loaded with arrogance and rigidity. Cases are not viewed on merit but mourners are being emotionally and spiritually destroyed by this practice. Stoep funerals have developed a negative stigma in the townships since everyone is aware of the punishment being meted out to the deceased. Because of their alleged dysfunctionality , defunct members gets treated like spiritual criminals by the leadership through the refusal of church funerals. Church funerals are reserved for those who are in good standing and who enjoy implacable status in the church in relation to the mentioned criteria. The priest is expected to conduct church funerals while the lay ministers are assigned to do stoep funerals. A stoep funeral is an embarrassment and it leaves mourners with feelings of rejection and shame, if not truamatization. The aim of this research is to assist the township church to journey with her defunct members in creating a model directed by scriptural truth from a perspective of African pastoral care.