A Brief Report from Brackenhurst Baptist Church, Alberton, South Africa
2015 has proved, like most years, to be one filled with experiences of highs and lows, blessings and discouragements with reference to church life. Yet most importantly like every year, the Lord proves faithful. Truly the Lord is good to His people.
With Christo Beetge’s move to join the pastoral team at George Baptist Church our congregation has been ‘finding our feet’ regarding the filling of gaps. In addition to the faithful ministry of
the Christo Beetge eldership, many members have willingly stepped forward to serve in various ministries. Many members are involved in our ongoing ministry of one and on discipleship and there is a new enthusiasm for this ministry having just recently had a brief ‘refresher course’ on this vital part of our church life. We are encouraged as many have expressed their willingness to do the hard work of making disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We have had two membership classes this year and both have been well attended. We do this for about 2- 3 hours on a Saturday morning. Such areas as the history of our congregation, the doctrinal and practical distinctives, as well as a general introduction to the ethos of our church help prospective members to evaluate whether this is the church where the Lord wants them.
We are about to conclude what has been a two year study in the book of Hebrews on Sunday mornings and we have grown in our appreciation for the new covenant, both doctrinally and practically. Sunday evenings we are working chronologically through the Psalms and the congregation is encouraged then to pray through the ‘Psalm of the week’ until the next Lord’s Day. Our adult Sunday School has five different modules addressing practical areas of the Christian life and these have been fairly well attended.
We have been blessed over the years with many children of church members and many of these are at the age where they are seriously considering following Christ. Some recent discussions as well as some published articles are helping us to work through the issue of ‘When should my child be baptised?’ We continue to pray for the Lord to save our children!
Our financial giving as a church has experienced a bit of a set-back this year, and particularly concerning our missions giving. Nevertheless we have been able to continue to hold the ropes for several missionaries and ministries. God willing, in March 2016, our church will be sending another one of our families to Asia as missionaries. This will mean additional gaps to fill at home but we are glad that a gap in missions will consequently be filled.
We continue to be concerned that we are not seeing more conversions. Though we are careful not to ‘despise the day of small things’ nevertheless we desire to experience the reaping of a greater harvest. Of course prayer is so important in this regard. Our Sunday evening prayer meeting is growing yet we have a long way to go.
As any church can relate, we continue to face the challenges of sin in the church including marital disruptions, sinful habits and in some cases, unfaithfulness to prioritise the worship and work of the Lord. Nevertheless we find encouragement in Christ Jesus our Lord and in His Gospel. So if you think of us, please, ‘brethren, pray for us.’