Ministry Update: Crystal Park Baptist Church (Benoni, South Africa) (August 2019)

I’m excited looking back where we’ve come because it fuels my dreams of where the Lord is taking us. Below is an update of Crystal Park Baptist Church Benoni’s last quarter. It is a reflection of our four core values: Biblical TeachingFervent WorshipLoving Fellowship and Passionate Evangelism. I trust it excites you too.

Biblical Teaching

The pulpit: Over the past three months (June–August 2019) we continued through Philippians. Mark has filled the pulpit, complemented by Tshepo and Etienne. There are five men in our preaching team: Mark, Warren, Tshepo, Etienne, and Patrick.

Bible studies: We have seven weekly Bible studies. We have two monthly Bible studies. There are three weekly children’s ministries. So, 76% of our members are active in small groups.

Conferences and visiting preachers: John French served as a guest preacher in June.

Leadership development: At our quarterly general meeting the elders brought Etienne forward as an elder candidate. We have two elders: Mark and Warren.

Servant development: We have brought forward Richard R as a deacon candidate (treasurer). We have two deacons, Tammi (hospitality) and Katleho (men’s ministry).

Other leaders: We have 18+ members co-leading our Bible studies.

Library and books: Our library continues to grow. We have 934 titles.

Family devotions: Regular reports of spiritual heads of homes leading family devotions.

Corporate Scripture reading: Five men read in worship: Andy, Alex, Randy, Sandile, and Zakhele.

Corporate prayer leaders: Three men lead prayer in worship: Christoff, Patrick and Chris.

Communion leaders: 2 men lead communion in corporate worship, Jake, Sifiso.

Fervent Worship

Corporate worship: Over the past three months (June–August 2019) our corporate singing has been strong. The number of people in the sanctuary assists us with volume. We’ve selected some new songs and said goodbye to some old ones to gear us for even better corporate singing. There are 112 hymns and songs in our repertoire.

Band: Our worship team continues to work through the book Worship Mattersby Bob Kauflin. The team has grown to three worship leaders and fourteen team members.

Sound team: We have four sound technicians.

Duty roster: The priesthood of all believers is on display in our worship services. We have separate pools for preachers (5), worship leaders (3) and service co-ordinators (4). There are identified corporate prayer leaders (3), communion leaders (2) and Scripture readers (5). We have men who give thanks for the offering (4) and men and women who do intercessory prayer after the service (8). We have door greeters (4), counters (7), men involved in setup (1) and tear down (4). We have designated medics (3), tea and coffee fellowship (9), dishwashers (8). There are men taking up the collection and distributing the elements (19). We have a team assigned to doing the notices (2) and a team assigned to media (2). Besides members leading Bible studies (3), Sunday school (6) and teen classes (2) before the service. All in all 63% of our members have an assigned task on a Sunday morning with only 25% assigned to more than one service team.

Mercy ministry: We do need to be more intentional in taking care of holistic needs. There were 25 food parcels distributed amongst members (and close adherents) over the past three months (we have just received eighteen more parcels from the Children’s Hunger Fund). We distribute a fortified nutritional porridge to the homeless and school children in need of nutritional support. Richard D and Mirriam head the mercy ministry.

Giving: Praise the Lord for continual growth in giving and careful stewardship of our funds (thanks to diligent work of the finance committee of Warren, Jake and Richard R). Our average income reported over the past 3 months has been 101% of budget. Our average expenses 99% of budget.

Prayer: Ten percent of our members attend the weekly prayer meeting before the service. Our quarterly prayer meetings draws 30+.

Loving Fellowship

Attendance: Over the past 3 months (June-August 2019) we have grown well. We have experienced an increase of 21% attendance year on year. Over 123 people attend on any Sunday morning with highs of 145 and lows of 100. There is seating capacity for 144. Over the last 5 weeks all our services have been above 90% of seating capacity (on average 136 people in the building or a 27% increase in attendance). To address the constraints we have 28 seats in an overflow, 12 in the mothers’ room and 10 in the toddlers’ room. We have made the decision to go to 2 services (8:30am and 10:30am) from the 15th of September.

Member care: We will take in ten members at the end of August. This brings our membership to 101. Additionally, we have sixteen members on our supplementary register. Our average member attendance at Sunday morning services is 60%.

Discipleship: There are some formalised discipleship relationships. We hope more intentional discipleships relationships will form over the next three months.

Biblical counselling:There is a growing number of trained counsellors (8). So, our counselling ministry continues to mature. There is a real sense that our people are dealing with sin and situations in God-glorifying ways. We will formalise our counselling ministry over the next three months.

Renovations: Painting and carpeting of the function rooms in the church has completed. We have purchased a large tent for our hospitality area and it should be up by month-end.

Passionate Evangelism

Schools outreach: Over the past three months (June–August 2019) we’ve had many evangelism opportunities. Schools are a great opportunity to reach the children in our suburb. We preach weekly at Jahari Christian Academy and Crystal Park High School. There is opportunity to preach at Crystal Park Primary School and Noorderlig Gekombineerde Skool on invitation.

Clinic outreach: We preach to patients in the mornings and run a monthly soup kitchen.

Door-to-door and street preaching: We will partner with Northmead Baptist Church.

First responders: Finally, we host the weekly Community Police Forum meeting. We also host patrollers meetings and community meetings from time to time. Recently we’ve been preaching at the Road Traffic Management Corporation.

Salvation testimonies: We’ve heard five testimonies from baptismal candidates and new members.

Baptisms: We’ll baptise seven people into membership this month. Our ratio of baptisms to membership remains at around 50%.

Visitor care: We have around ten first time visitors every Sunday morning. And so, Tshepo has been improving our capturing of their information and follow up.

Hospitality: Tammi has grown the pool of woman serving in this area.

I’m sure you can see why I’m excited? The Lord has bought us so far. At the QGM on 25 August 2019 we’ll be talking about where he may be leading us forward.

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