November 4th was Vision Sunday at The Life Church of Durban. Greg shared where we have come as a church in the past year and vision for 2013 as a church. Here are the highlights:
Church Attendance - This past year we have had consistent growth of 70% over last year in our weekly attendance! On our Big Days at church we are running out of chairs and have people standing in the back! In January, we will launch two identical Sunday services to accommodate the growth – 9am service and 11am service. Not only will this give us more room, it will enable those who might work later on Sundays to attend the early service and for the children’s workers to serve in one service and attend one service. We also hope to launch a service in French to minister to the many refugees and immigrants we have in Durban from French speaking African countries.
Axis - This past year we launched our youth ministry for teenagers 11-18 years old. Axis meets on Friday nights from 5-7pm with some hang out time for the teens, games and fun, praise and worship, and a message from God’s word geared to them. We have averaged 70 teenagers a week, with our highest attendance on a big day being 197! God is moving in the hearts of our teenagers. Half of Durban’s population is below 18 years of age, so this is a huge area of ministry for our church. We are believing for this ministry to grow in leadership and attendance next year.
Axis Internship - We also launched a special internship program for those teenagera in whom we saw potential. These 7 teenagers have jumped into church life coming early for all events, helping out wherever is needed with enthusiastic attitudes and overall growing in their love for the Lord and His House. These students come on Saturdays for a special leadership class with Greg plus during the week to help out around church. At the conclusion of their internship, they will be going on a trip. Next year, we hope to double this number of participants.
Hope Lunch – The outreach lunch to ladies has seen considerable growth this past year. Last year, we could all sit around one table, average 8-12 ladies each Thursday. This year our average attendance is 60 ladies! Our highest attendance was 83 ladies! Plus, we have built a team of volunteers who arrive early (and stay late) on Thursdays to cook, care for the preschool age children and greet and welcome ladies. Numerous families have joined our church because the mother was initially invited to the Hope Lunch. Next year, we want to start ministering to some of the felt needs of this group with a medical clinic and English as a second language classes. Some of these ladies come from other African countries that do not speak English or they grew up speaking Zulu (a common South African language in the Durban area) and never learned English. To get a job in Durban, speaking English is a necessity.
Next year we also plan to start Damascus Road Ministry Training school, a one year training school for those leaders who want to grow in their knowledge of ministry, leadership and church growth.
The Bible tells us that without vision the people perish. (Proverbs 29:18) Vision motivates you to keep going and keeps you from doing what you should not be doing. We are so glad that God has given us a vision for the city of Durban and that He is helping us step-by-step bring this vision to pass. This past year has been, and next year will be also, about training up leadership and building a strong foundation so we can step out into even bigger dreams and visions to make an impact in this community. Please remember us and The Life Church of Durban in your prayers as we seek expand God’s kingdom in Durban, South Africa.