Year in Review: Crystal Park Baptist Church (2018)

Dear friends,

We find ourselves at the end of another year. And how time has flown!

This year has been characterised by growth—of our people, in number, in ministry. I’m so excited about the way the Lord continues to strengthen us, prepare us, and use us to his own praise and glory.

Echoing Paul’s prayer to the Philippians, may our love keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, so that we may approve the things that are superior and may be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.

In Christ and for his glory alone,

Mark Penrith

(on behalf of the elders: Craig Dadoo, Dave Courtney, and Warren Scott)

Our Teaching

This year was marked by our fastest growth in midweek and monthly Bible studies. Not that the individual Bible studies grew in attendance but rather that we added a number of new Bible studies into our fold. This is important because it means our people see the value in spending time in God’s word that their lives may flourish. They are also increasingly committed to the kind of fellowship which holds us accountable and encourages us to strive towards holiness. And it is also an indication that we’re producing leaders who can teach. And that will be a wonderful platform for our church to grow in the future.

The Pulpit: This year we finished John’s Gospel, Genesis 1–11, James, and began, Genesis 12–23. Our preaching team is Mark Penrith, Menzi Mohale, Craig Dadoo, and Dave Courtney.

Leadership Development: We are working with eight men by invitation and are pleased to see them serving in the body. We have 25 members co-leading our Bible studies.

Servant Development: We are working with three members and hope to recognise more deacons.

Conferences: We hosted conferences on Career Guidance, Creation Ministries International, Steve Lawson, HeartCry Missionary Society, Tim Challies, and the Reconciled Conference. We also had James White preach.

Library and Books: We received and distributed books from Banner of Truth, Chapel Library, Sola 5, and Ekklesia Afrika. Our library continues to grow and be utilised.

Family Devotions: I’m delighted by regular reports of members doing family devotions.

Bible Studies: We have eight weekly Bible studies, two monthly Bible studies, and three weekly children’s programs (Sunday School, Teen Class and Youth).

Corporate Scripture Reading: Our reading team has grown to five men.

Where to from here? I hope that over the next year we will see more members developed and getting involved in our midweek preaching slots, boosting the church’s visibility in the community and growing our pool of future leaders.

Our Worship

“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16).

Consider Colossians 3:16 for a moment. Can you see the link between biblical admonishment and teaching with singing? Did you know singing is a form of teaching and admonishment? Observe the entire musical repertoire: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Singing with thankfulness is prescriptive. As a church, we must ensure that our singing is God-glorifying and Christ-exalting; at the same time incorporating biblical truth. Thankfulness in our hearts to God is centred around the gospel and we must appreciate that our worship is only acceptable through the work of the cross.

Where to from here?

Corporate Worship: Continue to grow in our understanding and application of Colossians 3:16.

Sound Team: Radical growth.

Band: Continue the journey through the book “Worship Matters,” and refine our song repertoire with some amazing new songs!

Worship as a Lifestyle: Continue to mature in this area.

Mercy Ministry: Become more intentional taking care of holistic needs.

Duty Roster:We have separate pools for preaching, leading communion and leading corporate prayer and so seven additional men have opportunity to visibly lead.

Giving: Praise the Lord for the strong growth in giving and careful stewardship of our funds!

Our Fellowship

We’re growing. Every year we’re a little bigger than the year before. And we’re retaining the people that the Lord adds to our number. And so over time saints are matured and leaders are developed.

Shepherding, teaching, encouragement, exhortation and counselling is happening amongst our flock. We’re loving one another more, serving one another more. The Lord is doing a mighty work in our midst. And so we’re shining brighter and brighter in our city which in turn is attracting more and more people to our assembly. What a joy to watch!

Attendance: We have experienced our eighth year of consecutive growth. Over November we averaged 20% member, 23% adult, and 68% child increases in attendance at our Sunday morning services year on year. We expect over 120 people in any Sunday morning service now with seating capacity for 144. Due to capacity constraints we’re limited regarding hosting speakers and special services.

Members: We have taken in 24 members this year. At the end of the year we had 98 members on our main register and 16 members on our supplementary register. Our average member attendance at Sunday morning services is 62%. We baptised twelve people into membership this year.

Visitor Care: We have around ten first time visitors every Sunday morning. We need to get better at capturing their information on visitor cards and following up with them during the week.

Hospitality: Tammi has been developing this area. We’ve bought new cups to accommodate our growth, expanded the kitchen facilities and hosted a number of fellowship events this year.

Renovations: We repaired our roof, renovated our bathrooms, done some touch up painting, and had air conditioning installed.

Where to from here? We need to extend. And praise the Lord we’ve been able to save an amount towards it and are ready to get the process underway. A building committee has been nominated and hopefully plans will be drawn up shortly.

Our Evangelism

Door to door and Street Preaching: We preach weekly at Library Gardens and monthly in Benoni, Actonville, Crystal Park, Northmead and Daveyton.

Jerusalema: We partner with Germiston Baptist Church preaching, handing out tracts and running a Bible Study.

Grace Baptist Church Daveyton: This year they have moved under Brackenhurst Baptist Church.

Training: We have conducted Way of the Master training with the teens and a Bible Study. All 24 new members this year have gone through How to Share your Faith with a Friend.

Schools Outreach: We continue weekly outreaches to Crystal Park High School, Crystal Park Primary School, and Jahari Christian Academy. At Noorderlig Gekombineerde Skool, Ben has opportunities to preach, lead staff devotions, and run the Student Christian Organisation.

Police Station Outreach: We preach during the shift change and host the weekly Community Police Forum Executive and Patrollers meetings.

Clinic Outreach: Together with Healthcare Christian Fellowship we conduct in-service training with staff, run monthly soup kitchens and preach weekly to patients in the mornings.

Where to from here? Craig will be focusing on raising and training our members in evangelism. Mark will be focusing on raising more preachers to go to the schools, police station and clinic in the mornings. Pray that a door may open in Chief Albert Luthuli Park so that we can reach this area with the gospel.