Church Update – Biblical Teaching (October 2019-September 2020)
We draw our belief from God’s Word.
The Pulpit: In October 2019 (which feels like a decade or two ago) we were finishing off the book of Philippians, Joy in Gospel Unity. In November we turned to the book of Ecclesiastes, Under the Sun (which we’ve been in ever since… and what a perfect book God chose for us in light of 2020). Over Christmas we did a three-part mini-series through Psalm 98, Joy to the World! And then Lockdown hit, we couldn’t assemble, and we went through a five-part mini-series The Church. Affected by Covid-19, we did a three-part mini-series on Psalm 119, Christian Suffering. God was so good to us through lockdown. We were well-positioned for the disruption that followed. We’d been streaming services for 6 months when Cyril announced lockdown level 5. Others scrambled to figure out how to go live. We got to think through how to leverage the changing landscape. And we have. God has allowed us to build a platform for Sunday services and midweek Bible studies. And if He wills, we will edify the saints of Crystal Park Baptist Church Benoni and evangelise the lost in Benoni for many years to come. Mark has filled the pulpit complimented by Tshepo, Etienne and Craig. We have also been able to host Tyrell Haag (from Heritage Baptist Church) and Chris Woolley (from Midrand Chapel). Online: There were 4,000 downloads of sermons from our website this year (down from 4,500). But there has been 586 hours of online watch time on YouTube (70 hours) and Facebook (516 hours). And so, we’ve experienced an increase in real engagement. Bible Studies: We have 7 weekly Bible studies. We have 2 monthly Bible studies. There are 2 weekly children’s ministries (although these are now closed until 2021). Conferences and Visiting Preachers: In October 2019 we partnered with Benoni Bible Church. We hosted Joel James and the Conference focused on Biblical Counselling.
Leadership development: We have 3 elders, Mark, Warren and Etienne (same as 2019). Servant development: We have 3 deacons, Katleho, Tammi and Richard (same as 2019). They serve in men’s ministry, hospitality and as treasurer. Other leaders: We have 20 members co-leading our Bible studies (down from 29).
Library and books: We have 938 titles in our library (same as 2019). We have received donations of books from Imprint this year. We continue to donate 60-80% of books we receive to like-minded churches. At the beginning of lockdown we were able to give each member a copy of John Piper’s book Coronavirus and Christ. Towards the end of lockdown level 3 we were able to give each member a copy of Dane Ortlund’s book Gentle and Lowly. Family Devotions: Regular reports of spiritual heads of homes leading family devotions. Corporate Scripture Reading: 8 men read in worship (up from 6). They are Andy, Alex, Kevin, Sandile, Katleho, Sifiso, Chris and Randy. Corporate Prayer Leaders: 2 men lead prayer in worship, Christoff and Chris (same as 2019). Communion Leaders: 3 men lead communion in corporate worship, Craig, Jake and Sifiso (up from 2).