Church Update – Fervent Worship (October 2019-September 2020)
We glorify God and enjoy Him together.
Corporate Worship: The idea of assembling is part and parcel of the very word church. Lockdown at first restricted the assembly, then later obstructed “church” in its fullness. Even now there is regulation around gathering. We’ve worked hard all year long, adapting at each level of lockdown, to serve our people as best we can. Level 5: South Africa entered lockdown on the 26th of March 2020. We immediately began to prerecord services, premiering to YouTube and Facebook. Level 4: At the beginning of May, because of the need for community interaction, we started live streaming from Zoom. By the end of the month, we’d added in elements of worship to the service, including singing and prayer. Level 3: From the beginning of June we started live streaming from the building. We had a very limited team, the preacher, a corporate prayer, our worship team and a few technicians. We had to put in place two separate service teams and limited our exposure to one another. Level 2: In August we began inviting members back to the building. Social distancing, screening, <50 in attendance, registrations. There were so many restrictions and regulations we needed to figure out. At the same time, we remained committed to serving both those in-house and those online. Level 1: Under level 1 church has begun to feel like church. We sing, we fellowship, we no longer have to register, we’re back to 2 services. To ensure we have space for everyone who attends there are 4 areas in our building where our people can sit. We’ve continued to improve video, sound and projection for members in-house and those online.
Band: Through a challenging year the worship team has continued to grow, both in number and skill. The team has 4 worship leaders (Warren, Etienne, Struart and Richard) and 7 team members (Lee-Ann, Lana, Stuart, Zakhele, Sibahle, Tseko, Mercy, Kgaugelo). Music: We’ve had to upgrade our CCLI licenses to include reproduction and streaming. We continue to refine and expand our music database. Sound Team: We had 3 sound technicians (Thoriso, Jade, Kathryn). Projection: We had 2 projectionists (Tammi, Sharon). This year we moved from Proclaim to ProPresenter. Videography: We had 3 videographers (Kevin, Liezl, Seyi). We’ve invested in IT infrastructure (including a BlackMagic Design ATEM video switcher) in response to the streaming needs of the church. This will serve us through lockdown as we edify the saints and into the future as we reach our city.
Duty Roster: The priesthood of all believers is on display in our worship services. We have separate pools for preachers (4), worship leaders (4) and service co-ordinators (5). We have corporate prayer leaders (2), communion leaders (3) and Scripture readers (8). We have door greeters (12), counters. We have a designated health and safety officer (1), tea and coffee fellowship (5). Our men take up the collection and distributing the elements. We have members who lead Bible studies (2) and Sunday school (although this hasn’t run since lockdown). 47% of our members have an assigned task on a Sunday morning with only 12% assigned to more than one service team.
Mercy Ministry: Lockdown has placed extreme financial pressure on some of our members. We’ve partnered with the Children’s Hunger Fund and Midrand Chapel. Together, we’ve supported 20 families with monthly groceries. We have also continued to distribute porridge to the homeless and school children. Tshepo, together with Warren, Richard D and Tladi have served in this area.
Giving: Praise the Lord for continual growth in giving. We give thanks for the diligent work of the finance committee (Richard R, Warren and Jake). Our income over the past 12 months has been sightly over budget (over by 4%). Due to lockdown, we controlled our expenses (under by 10%).
Prayer: <10 of our members attend the weekly prayer meeting before the service. Before lockdown, our quarterly prayer meetings continued to draw good numbers.