Just over a year ago my wife, Heike, and I were part of the amazing team that planted Joshua Generation Church’s congregation that meets in Muizenberg - in August of 2020. We were fortunate enough to have a community group in the area, with around 20 people, excited to reach the deep south for Jesus through the local church. We had, for a while, felt we would plant in the area and so as an act of obedience we bought a house and planted roots, but we weren't alone! Saints living in other areas also moved to Muizenberg to foster a greater sense of community and really focus on the mission - Dying to live!
Now, planting a church can be challenging at the best of times, there are people to love and reach, venues to find and secure, sermons to write and lots and lots of admin, but despite all the Podcasts we listened to and books we read, nothing could have prepared us for planting during a worldwide pandemic.
It would be easy to write about all the challenges we faced, the venues we lost and the endless last minute plans we had to make, but all of these things fade into the background when I think about all that God has done in and through us as a congregation.
When we expected to shrink, we miraculously grew! What started as 20 people in a community group has miraculously grown to a congregation of 50 – 60 strong! When we couldn’t see each other in person, the community flourished online. When there was a need The Lord met it! We appointed new leaders, welcomed new saints, saw people healed, started a youth group for our teens, unearthed new worship leaders, and when the beaches were finally opened we rejoiced as we baptised new believers, as the whole church watched on. I’ll never forget baptising my eldest daughter, Rosie, as the whole church cheered on from the beach.
Ephesisnas 3:10 says, “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,” and we hold on to that scripture as a congregation. We are convinced that it is through the church that the Kingdom of God is advanced – from the smallest gesture of kindness to our neighbours, to volunteering at the local soup kitchen, evangelising on the beachfront and faithfully sharing the gospel.
For a small church, all of these moments are a vital part of our story, but this plant did not happen in isolation. We have had amazing support from worship teams, congregations visiting, apostolic input and everyday saints supporting and encouraging us throughout. It’s been a truly amazing year and we can’t wait to see what God has in store for us as we forge ahead.