Ministry Update: Lynnwood Baptist Church (March 2018)

This information was compiled by the elders to encourage other likeminded churches to pray for Lynnwood Baptist Church (LBC).

Strengthening Ministries Training Institute (SMTI)

SMTI is the first ACBC training centre outside of the USA. This privilege has enabled us to present week-long and evening classes.

Week-long classes cover all eight modules over two years, with four modules per year. Each module is presented over one full week—Monday to Friday to 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. These contact sessions happen four times a year, while assignments are completed during the weeks between modules.

Evening classes cover all eight modules over four years, with two modules per year. Each module is presented over eighteen contact sessions on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

Lecturers

We currently have five lecturers, including Dr. Joshua Mack from Living Hope, Dr. Wayne Mack from LBC, Patrick Nemababuni from LBC, Pastor Sybrand de Swardt from LBC, and Mike Brunk (who has also taken on more responsibility as a grader) from Kathorus Bible Church.

Accreditation

SMTI has submitted its application for accreditation for a Master’s Degree in Biblical Counselling (MABC) with SAQA and CHE. This will enable those who successfully complete the SMTI course, to obtain a MABC in South Africa.

Students

We have 67 students enrolled in the week-long and evening classes combined. Some students travel from as far as Cape Town and Malawi to attend classes at SMTI.

Future Classes

Registration for the 2019 week-long classes is open. We’ve had a considerable number of individuals interested in enrolling as students.

We are in the process of developing a Higher Diploma (or Honours, as it is known in South Africa), which is the entry level requirement the MABC programme. This Higher Diploma programme will also be submitted for accreditation with SAQA and CHE. We believe this diploma will sufficiently prepare students with no previous theological training for the MABC. The programme will run over one year with three contact sessions. The training includes theological studies, how theology relates to biblical counselling, and how to use theology and biblical counselling to understand and give answers to current worldviews that are opposed to Christianity. We believe this programme will enable students to “exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict” (Titus 1:9).

ACBC Certification

In May 2019, SMTI, which is an ACBC training centre, will offer a week-long class to prepare students to complete its ACBC accreditation exams.

EQUIP Webinars

This year SMTI will present four EQUIP Webinars.

Dr. Mack will interview Dr. Tedd Tripp regarding Family Topics and the Tripp’s upcoming trip to speak at the ACBC Africa Conference, which will be held at Lynnwood Baptist Church and Goodwood Baptist Church in October 2018.

Dr. Mack will also interview Dr. Jim Newheiser closer to the end of 2018. Dr. Newheiser will be the main speaker at the 2019 ACBC Africa Conference to be held at Lynnwood Baptist Church.

Pastor Sybrand will interview Dr. Charles Ware on Biblical Counselling and Racism: Grace Relations.

Strengthening Counselling Centre (SCC)

SCC was established in 2017. The counselling at SCC is comprehensive in its approach to understanding people and their problems. While many follow the reductionist approach, which reduces the person’s problems to one cause, such as the person’s circumstances, experiences, unmet needs, physical problems or their emotions. Conversely, SCC takes a holistic approach to counselling which recognises the importance of the whole man in producing change, both in outward circumstances and the core aspect of the person. Scripture calls this core aspect the heart (Proverbs 4:23). The heart is the control centre of a person’s life and consists of responses, observations, interpretations, conclusions, values, desires, beliefs, thoughts and emotions. This comprehensive approach is essential for understanding and helping every aspect of a person’s past, present and future difficulties.

The counsellors at SCC have undergone extensive training in biblical counselling through Strengthening Ministries Training Institute (SMTI), and are certified with the Association of Certified Biblical Counsellors (ACBC). As a result, we offer both counselling and counsellor training for all of life’s issues. The most frequently counselled issues are: marriage counselling, family conflict, anger and depression, stress and anxiety, pornography, and life-dominating sins. Much of LBC’s growth as a church happens through SCC.

Heartbeat Pregnancy Counselling Care Centre (HP3C)

HP3C offers counselling to mothers who are facing an unplanned pregnancy and are lost in the uncertainty and confusion of their unexpected circumstances, and to mothers who are post-abortive and are struggling with guilt and shame from the decisions they’ve made.

The centre seeks to administer spiritual and physical care through the hope and counsel of God’s Word, which tells us of our greatest need and the only lasting hope we have in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The counsellors at HP3C are trained to use an ultrasound machine to show mothers considering abortion the heartbeat of their unborn baby. They are also trained in the use of God’s Word to counsel mothers biblically.

Nadia Hattingh, director of HP3C at LBC, has completed SMTI, is a certified Healing Hearts Ministries International Counsellor, and is in the process of completing her fifty hours of supervised counselling in order to be an ACBC Certified Counsellor.

The 2018 programme for HP3C includes:

  • reaching out to schools in Pretoria East through sharing a presentation on the Sanctity of Life with students and informing them of HP3C;
  • reaching out to and exhibiting HP3C in various shopping malls in the close vicinity of LBC; and
  • working with Bethany Crisis Pregnancy Centre, which operates from Bethany Baptist Church.

Leadership Training

By God’s strength, the elders of LBC seek to be faithful in training men for leadership in the following ways.

Theology

Training men for leadership will include systematically teaching through the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith.

Biblical Counselling

All elders must understand the importance of biblical counselling and discipleship and be prepared to actually do it. This means that all men desiring to be elders must avail themselves of the opportunity to be trained in biblical counselling and discipleship through SMTI or some other likeminded training school. We believe that in order to be faithful as a deacon or elder, a person must be able to use the Scriptures to help people solve their problems biblically.

Philosophy of Ministry

It is essential for leaders to be trained in a biblical philosophy of ministry. A philosophy of ministry is the answer to questions such as: What is ministry about? What is God up to in the world? How should ministry be conducted? What should be the goal and purpose of our ministry? The answer to these questions can be understood in two parts: conversion and growth.

Current Worldview

In his excellent book, Counter Culture, David Platt rightly states that:

Everywhere we turn, battle lines are being drawn—traditional marriage vs. gay marriage, pro-life vs. pro-choice, personal freedom vs. governmental protection. And as difficult conversations about homosexuality, abortion, and religious liberty continue to inject themselves into our workplaces, our churches, our schools, and our homes, Christians everywhere are asking the same question: HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO RESPOND TO ALL THIS?”

It is therefore essential for elders to be trained in defending God’s truth. And in order to do this, men must have a biblical Romans 11:36, 1 Corinthians 10:31, 1 Thessalonians 5:21 worldview. Titus 1:9 states that elders must be men who are accustomed to “holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching,” they must be “able to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.” They must be like “the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do” (1 Chronicles 12:32).

ACBC Africa

When Dr. Wayne Mack came to South Africa in 2005, he was the only light on the biblical counselling tree in the country. During those formative years, he trained over 250 men (mostly pastors) and women in biblical counselling. Some of his students pursued their Master’s Degree in Biblical Counselling through The Master’s University in Los Angeles, California, USA. They were nationals who are currently teachers in SMTI.

Nearly three and a half years ago, Dr. Mack gained permission to establish the Association of Certified Biblical Counselling Africa (ACBC Africa). Exponential growth in the biblical counselling movement has been seen over the last few years due to the first three annual ACBC Africa Conferences and Road Trip Conferences.

The past ACBC Conferences were:

  1. 2015—“Sex as God Intended”
  2. 2016—“The Sufficiency of Scripture in Counselling” with Dr. Heath Lambert and Dr. Ernie Baker
  3. 2017—“Racism: When Colour Divides” with Dr. Charles Ware and Dr. Nickolas Ellen

The upcoming ACBC Africa Conferences are:

  1. 2018—“Your Family God’s Way” with Tedd and Margy Tripp
  2. 2019—“Counselling the Hard Cases” with Jim and Caroline Newheiser

Personal Ministry Updates

Below you will find some information about Pastor Sybrand and Dr. Mack.

Pastor Sybrand and Beth de Swardt

Please be praying for Sybrand and Charles Ware as they begin a book project: Biblical Counselling and Racism: When Colour Divides. Please pray that God would give them much wisdom and discernment as they deal with the sensitive topic of racism.

Please be in prayer for Sybrand as he begins his doctoral studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in the USA. Please pray specifically that God would provide the necessary financial resources to make this possible.

Please continue to pray for Sybrand’s health. He was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder last year called Gaucher’s which has resulted in non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver that then means he has a compromised immune system. We recently were put in contact with a patient advocacy group by an endocrinologist. They are working with us to have our health insurance pay for treatment for this.

Please pray for our children—Carol-Marie and Thomas-Wayne—that they will come under a godly conviction of their sin and that God will convince them of Christ as Saviour and Lord.

Pray for Beth, who serves as a great encourager and friend in the ministry. Please pray that she will be encouraged as she continues in her service to God’s people, which has been remarkable.

Pastor Wayne and Carol Mack

Writing projects: This past year by the grace of God and with secretarial and editorial help from three individuals and from a couple publishing houses (P&R and Focus), three books were written and published. One was Anger and Stress Management God’s Wayand then also a two-book series on discipleship calledChristian Life Issues, Vols. 1 and 2. The subtitles were The Journey Begunand then The Journey Continues and Concluded. These books were biblical expositions and applications of John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, a book that deals with the Christian life from conversion to entrance into heaven.

Supervision and mentorship of pastors and key lay people seeking membership in ACBC: This mentorship has involved meeting with men and critiquing fifty hours of counselling per applicant. They must first take theological and counselling exams and then Dr. Mack meets with them regularly to discuss each of their counselling sessions.

Teaching regularly at SMTI classes and interacting with students: As noted previously under Sybrand’s report, we now have 67 students enrolled in our programmes. This involves not only the teaching, but also preparing syllabi, PowerPoint presentations, reading and homework assignments.

Regular counselling sessions: I have been conducting regular counselling sessions with people from Lynnwood Baptist Church and from other churches and people in the community. Providing assistance for pastors who seek help with counselling or church related issues.

Teaching seminars on Christian life issues:At LBC we are now in the process of teaching an extended seminar on a biblical approach to anger and stress management. This seminar has already been conducted every Wednesday evening for several months. We still have several more sessions in this extended seminar to conduct.

Teaching church membership classes: These classes are conducted for individuals or couples interested in becoming members of Lynnwood Baptist Church.

Answering emails of pastors and people: I frequently correspond with individuals who write to me about counselling issues usually stimulated by their reading of some of my books.

Preaching at conferences and churches in South Africa and other countries: This past year I either preached or conducted conferences in churches in Germany and the United States.We also have done conferences in Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein and Cape Town. We have two conferences planned for 2018 in Pretoria and Cape Town, at which I will be a main speaker. I have also made contacts with other international speakers for conferences in 2018 and 2019 and am involved in planning the schedule for all these conferences.

Prayer requests:

  • Wisdom for which requests for writing or speaking that come from outside South Africa I should receive. Wisdom and strength for fulfilling the requests I accept.
  • Future plans for the ACBC ministry in Africa. Wisdom and energy to know what should be done to encourage the ministry of distinctly biblical counselling/discipleship in Africa.
  • Wisdom and strength for Carol as she joins me in counselling, counsels women personally or by through email, participates and leads women’s Bible studies, speaks at women’s meetings, counsels and helps me and grandmothers our South African grand