Twenty-thirteen has been an exciting year for us in many ways. We are pleased to share with you how God has been working in his church at Lynnwood Baptist Church (LBC) thus far.
CELEBRATING LBC’S FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY
The year kicked off with a celebration of the fortieth anniversary of our founding. This wonderful celebration was well-attended and many travelled far to commemorate the occasion with us. In preparation for the day, a detailed historical overview of the life and ministries of LBC was compiled into a soft-cover book format. The day included powerful testimonies of how God has worked in and through LBC. For example, Mrs Halland, who has been deeply involved in LBC since its inception, shared about Tuesday Chapel, a Tuesday-evening ministry targeted at domestic workers, which has been in existence for the last forty years. The day was also marked by recalling many fond memories of pastors like Wilhelm Odendaal and Ronald Kalifungwa, and the significant influence they played in the life and ministry of LBC.
Dr John Temple, one of the original members of LBC, gave an overview of the first eleven years of LBC. He shared that the day held special significance to him because of his long-standing acquaintance with Dr Wayne Mack, who, along with Albert Martin and Walt Chantry, was instrumental in the early stages of the Reformed Baptist Church movement in America. Dr Temple related that, before LBC began, his family toured the USA and visited numerous Reformed Baptist Churches in order to gain as much insight as possible to aid the founding of a new church. Dr Mack and his wife, Carol, hosted them for several days and introduced them to a number of Reformed Baptist Churches, including the one at Media that Wayne had been used of the Lord to plant and develop.
Dr Temple commented that the fortieth celebration was a fitting time to remind the church of its inception and Dr Mack’s significant role in the formation of LBC. How serendipitous it seems that, many years later, the very same Dr Mack is (since May 2012) serving as an elder at LBC!
INITIATING THE STRENGTHENING MINISTRIES TRAINING INSTITUTE
We are excited to have Dr Mack as part of our church. In light of his extensive background in training others to use the Word of God to help people, we at LBC decided to start the Strengthening Ministries Training Institute (SMTI). An introductory class in biblical counselling was held in October 2012, with close to fifty people from twelve different churches in attendance. Our intensive two-year biblical counselling programme officially began in February 2013 and we have about twenty regular students from several churches from Gauteng and Polokwane provinces attending. You may find information about the SMTI classes on the Lynnwood Baptist Church website. Several pastoral training institutes in the USA have agreed to accept credits from all courses toward a Master’s Degree in biblical subjects. These schools include Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky; Faith Bible Seminary in Lafayette, Indiana; Christian Heritage Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan; The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, California; and Montana Bible College in Bozeman, Montana.
We have received much encouraging feedback about the classes. For example, a pastor who attends the classes sent us a mail as follows:
I’m a pastor in a church in the southern Johannesburg township of Katlehong. I’ve been attending the SMTI classes with Dr Mack since February. As a pastor, I am often called upon to counsel and it has been an ongoing frustration for me to feel the inadequacy of my ability to counsel. The courses I have taken so far from Dr Mack have genuinely revolutionized my ability to counsel people biblically. The homework assignments alone have made the classes extremely helpful. As I’ve been forced to counsel myself, it has helped me to understand how to counsel others. I am now beginning to feel like I can help people get their lives back together and have even seen some progress along those lines in several counselling situations I’m currently involved with. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you, the members of Lynnwood Baptist Church, for allowing us to use your beautiful facilities for these classes. May the Lord bless you in your service to Him.
In July Pastor Sybrand had opportunity to go to Harare, Zimbabwe to teach a biblical counselling course at Central Baptist Church in that city.
In October 2013 SMTI will host the Pilgrims Progress Conference. For more information go to the church website.
NEW CURRICULUM FOR MEMBERSHIP CLASSES AT LBC
In the last year, we changed the curriculum for membership classes at LBC to use the 1689 Statement of Faith and Salvation—A Work of God, Active Membership and Life in the Father’s House: A Members Guide to the Local Church by Wayne Mack and Dave Swavely, and To Be or Not to Be A Church Member by Wayne Mack. This membership class was successfully completed by Tebogo Seate, whom we welcomed into membership in May. Our next church membership class starts in September 2013.
EQUIPPING FAMILIIES THROUGH YOUR FAMILY, GOD’S WAY CLASSES
We have been excited to see God adding families with young children to our body of believers. In light of this, the elders decided to begin a Bible Study class entitled Your Family, God’s Way on Thursday evenings from 18:00 to 19:30. This meeting aims to strengthen relations between spouses, their parents, their children and their extended families. Within the first few weeks of Your Family, God’s Way classes, attendance grew from about twelve to thirty people.
ENCOURAGING FAITHFULNESS IN THE MEN’S DISCIPLESHIP GROUP
As spiritual leaders of their homes and in the church, we seek to develop men according to the principles outlined in 2 Timothy 2:2: “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” We desire to see men disciple their wives and children in the ways of the Lord. We have a group of faithful men who regularly attend this meeting on Saturday mornings at 08:00. After four years of discipleship classes, the men that went through the discipleship are beginning to come into the leadership. Two men have been faithful at serving and their names are brought forward at the next QGM in September.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF BIBLICAL TRUTHS IN FAMILY BIBLE SCHOOL
Family Bible School (FBS) aims to integrate the truth of God into the lives of young and old through evangelism and discipleship, as stated in 2 Timothy 3:15-17: “And that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
In the first half of 2013, the FBS ministry focused on how to resolve everyday conflict, using material from the American-based Peacemakers Ministry. Running concurrently was a children’s programme on peacemaking. Parents later remarked on how helpful it was to have their children learning the same principles as they were.
In May, we embarked on a long-term series of classes based on the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. After receiving extensive guidance from Errol Hulse on suitable material to be used in these FBS classes, Pastor Sybrand de Swardt began teaching the Confession with a strong focus on its everyday, practical application. Nick and Sheila Court are in the process of developing Sunday school material to teach the 1689 to children 6-9 years. We hope to make this material available to others churches.
It gives us great joy to witness fruits of our evangelistic endeavours, most recently with a man named Gilbert from the DRC. Following the evangelistic outreaches by a group of church members, Gilbert started attending our Tuesday Chapel meetings and Your Family, God’s Way on Thursdays. He seems eager to be discipled.
In July we had another evangelism outreach after the service and invited outsiders to join us for lunch. Nine people came. At that meeting, as well as when talking to them in our evangelistic outreach street endeavours, the gospel was shared with them and gospel tracts and eleven Bibles were given to them. Out of this Jabulane and his family started to attend Tuesday chapel and the morning services.
As we continue to evangelise, we pray that God will use our outreach as opportunities to bring others to Himself. We started regularly evangelising in the Hatfield and Lynnwood areas after our Men’s Discipleship Group meetings on Saturdays and our morning services on Sundays. We have been much encouraged to see young men at LBC join us in reaching out to present the gospel to people in public by speaking to them, giving out Bibles and tracts and by inviting them to attend our church and Tuesday Chapel meetings.
HOLIDAY BIBLE CLUB
Nick and Sheila Court have been a great help at LBC. Their skill in working with children has been such a great blessing to our church. They are currently involved in helping with FBS and the crèche at LBC. In July we had a three day holiday club run by the Step Wise Youth Ministry. It was a great success.
On 25-27 September we will have our second children’s club for the year in conjunction with Living Hope Church in Sunnyside where Dr Joshua Mack pastors.
VISITING MISSIONS TEAM
A supporting church from Atlanta, Georgia came for a week mission’s trip to assist Lynnwood Baptist Church. The nine people on the team helped with some urgent work at LBC to make our classrooms more useable and user friendly. What was especially encouraging was the day trip that was made to a church in Modimolle whose pastor’s wife has been involved in the biblical counselling classes taught by Dr Mack. Todd Guthrie, an elder from Providence Church in Duluth, Georgia who was part of the USA missions team preached in the morning and Pastor Billy Mahoia of the Modimolle Church translated. After tea time the team moved out and joined in the outreach of the church to families in great need in the area who are not part of the church. Six vegetable gardens were planted while encouraging the people with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the afternoon the team led a children’s outreach at the church. Sixty children attended. These photos can be seen on the gallery of the LBC website.
It came to our attention that there are families in the Modimolle church without water. Sadly, their neighbours do not want to assist them with water any longer. Since the rainy season is coming we thought perhaps we could assist in installing one or two water tanks to help provide water for the families. Folk who heard about this are eager to help and two tanks will be installed by the men of LBC in September.
GRATEFULLY PRAYING FOR CHURCH GROWTH
While 2013 has seen some changes at LBC in terms of attendants that left, we praise God for those whom He has brought. We have been blessed to minister to some new individuals and families who have started and continued to attend LBC. We have also had a few people joining us at LBC from other churches in the area. Please pray for us and thank God for the work that He is doing at Lynnwood Baptist Church by maturing members and His adding to our numbers. We are thankful for the way in which God has chosen to bless His work.
Personally, Dr Mack just returned from a successful trip to the United States, where he had the opportunity to minister in many churches in Georgia, Arkansas, Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania. We are thankful for the way God has sustained him and Carol and their example of faithful ministry.
As for the de Swardts, we are thankful to God for sustaining our health. There has been a significant change for the better in my health after four years of great immune problems. Beth is doing well after her foot surgery in February. Carol-Marie is still going from 0-120kl in three seconds. It is also with great joy that we can share that we will soon have a second child. Our interviews with social workers have been completed and we are waiting to have a child placed with us.
Thank you for reading this report. It is always privilege share news of what God is doing at LBC with friends and likeminded churches. We are eager to partner with any church in the spreading the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join in with us in any of the ministries mentioned. We are looking forward to having fellowship with you. We thank you for your continued prayers and trust that God’s name will be glorified in all that we do.
PRAY WITH US
Please pray with us for the following:
- That the members at LBC will increase in having an outward focus for the gospel.
- That members will be FAT—Faithful, Available and Teachable—in the Word of God.
- That there would be an increased sense of working together and for unity as a church family.
- Our kombi, a Volkswagon 1975 model, which is a key to our Tuesday Chapel and Children’s Ministry, is also very unreliable and often needs repairs. Please pray that God may provide a vehicle for these ministries to continue.
- For the men we are considering to serve as deacons.
- We have had many new families in the last six months visiting and staying at LBC. Pray that they may be fully integrated into the life of the church.
- Ask the Lord to provide LBC with a qualified person who can serve as ministry coordinator.
For contributions toward the Modimolle outreach please see banking details below.
Reference: Water Project
The Lynnwood Baptist Church
Account Number: 012219398
Branch: Lynnwood Ridge
Bank: Standard Bank
MINISTRIES OF LYNNWOOD BAPTIST CHURCH
- Elder: Sybrand de Swardt (083 450 6282)
- Elder: Dr Wayne Mack (079 492 3415)
- Deacon: Nelson Matsie (082 753 8517)
- GAP (Young People): Willoughbys (082 522 5319)
- Ladies’ Ministry: Beth de Swardt (083 561 1193)
- Recording: Nelson Matsie (082 753 8517)
- SMTI: Dr Wayne Mack (079 492 3415)
- Tuesday Chapel: Mike Valentine (079 884 0585)
- Visitor’s Ministry: Ella Chikoni (073 938 1783)
- Young Adults: Cillie Malan (078 345 9668)
In His love and for His glory,
Pastor Sybrand de Swardt and Dr Wayne Mack
Elders at Lynnwood Baptist Church