Ministry in Lockdown – Update

Knysna Baptist is Open!

(No, not the building, but the Ministry!)

Here is an update to encourage you. Please stay in touch and remember to continue praying for this ministry and it’s leadership.

my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord,
knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain (1Co 15:58)

Online Services

A steep learning curve: Recording, editing, and producing

It has been a steep learning curve for Malcolm, Claude and Jemaine. The sermon is now preached a day earlier on Saturday which requires sermon preparation to start latest by Tuesday. The Worship leading elements of welcome, reading, prayer and songs need to be prerecorded, edited and published online with the sermon. Fortunately the elders agreed to purchase a new sound mixer just before lockdown, which Malcolm now has at home and so there has been a great improvement in the sound recording quality. We are also working to get our young viewers engaged through story and song because they no longer have a Sunday School to attend!

Getting the Online Service Right

The service is ordered by a YouTube playlist of videos for each item. This works fairly well, except that some worship songs have advertising links, and in the middle of the service one may be presented with an advert! Unfortunately we cannot make our own videos of the songs as we need to respect copyright law. Much time is spent finding songs that a) we know, b) have words on the screen, c) are sing-friendly, and d) don’t have adverts! We don’t get it right all the time. Remember, on the YouTube playlist, click on the Big Red Pay button, and the service will play automatically in the right order. Suggestions are welcome!

Making the Service accessible

For those who wish to view the service via computer and not cell phone, the YouTube link is also published on our website : For those who cannot access YouTube, the sermon audio recording is available from Jacques Malan directly. By Wednesday, Matthew also uploads the sermon audio to our website with manuscript and PowerPoint as usual.

Elder meetings

The elders Whatsapp group is regularly flowing with strategy, organisation and updates. It is great to have our rogue elder Mark participating even though he is stuck thousands of miles away on a sea vessel! The group keeps us in tune and available. We have also done conference calling, a first for us. In times gone by, there was not much confidence in meeting online. But it has proven a very good alternative, and might even improve our ability to meet after lockdown!

Caring for the most vulnerable

2 main caring initiatives were launched as soon as the lockdown fell in place.

  1. Under the direction of Diane, the deacons have identified those in our church who would be the most at risk when going to shops. Statistics of Covid19 show that older people are affected more severely. The elders identified Jared’s business ‘Shop4U’ as a good solution. His service delivers groceries to the home. The elders have agreed that we can cover the delivery cost for these most vulnerable in our church. If you need to know more, please speak to Diane.
  2. Secondly, there are those in the church who have lost all or much of their monthly income. We have already helped 3 homes. If you are in need, please speak to a deacon or an elder.

As far as helping the broader community, we are not equipped for that in any significant way – financially and logistically. Our best material help is to channel people toward the organizations that are geared (and licensed) to distribution. Examples include Rotary and YFC who are currently providing this ministry. It was a great blessing to see Alan White arrange masks for the Provincial Hospital (see here: )

Investing in Courage

What the Church needs most in this time is the Church! Are you remaining in touch? For this reason we have lit the fire of an “Encouraging Ministry”. The goal is to keep spiritual encouragement alive among us all. Angelique and Charlotte have asked some of our members to help get this flowing by providing them with a list of names to whom they can send scripture and prayer in a personal Whatsapp message. I’m hoping and praying that the principle will take off and everyone will be motivated to do likewise – Send a personal Hello, with an encouraging scripture, and a short prayer. It’s not a program. It’s part of God’s design for spiritual health. This is very close to my heart.

Weekly Bible study

It’s a blessing to have access to Alistair’s Bible study every week. He is covering “The Miracles of Jesus”. His video recording and the material are being uploaded to our website. If you wish to have material sent to your email, you can request that at

Easter Week

I hope it was a blessed 2020 Easter Week for you. The daily devotions by DesiringGod called, “Love to the Uttermost” were a fitting title for our Easter sermon series, “Saved to the Uttermost“. I enjoyed sitting quietly in the sun and taking in the timeless truths again. The Gospel never gets old, only we get old in our passion! There was quite a lot of positive feedback from the Thursday evening program. I only know of one other family that held communion, and I’d like to know if you did too! We had a dimly lit time in the lounge and each took a turn to read. After the second reading and communion we needed to attend to the chicken braai so we combined the dinner and communion – not too different from the last supper! We came back in for the final 3 readings and then settled into bed quietly. I’d love to hear how you did it!

Please remain plugged in!

May I urge you to keep your home worship consistent. The worship leader has taken much time to prepare the welcome, readings, and prayer as ministry to the people, and the preacher has laboured many hours to feed the flock. See the Sunday service not as one option of many online subscriptions, but a core aspect of your spiritual life. Follow through the whole service and don’t skip the videos. Get everyone around. Sing with the songs. Read with the scripture. Have your bible during the sermon and take notes. And turn all other cell phones and notifications off!

Our family is fortunate that we can plug our PC into the TV, so we get a big experience. A smaller computer screen would be 2nd prize. But even if all you have is a cell phone, it is still blessed to let the audio fill the room.

If you have any problems in this area, do let me know.