An invitation into ministry

East Claremont exists to make the grace of an invisible God visible.  One of the ways we do this is by being the body of Christ – we serve each other and our community and thereby carry forward the incarnational ministry of Christ.  It is one of the greatest privileges of being a Christian – to be a servant of the living God.

The way up is that way down

The Christian life is full of tensions: the lowliest calling is actually the highest calling.  Service was at the core of Christ’s earthly ministry (Mark 10:45, Phil 2:1-11).  He also taught that our lives should reflect the life of our Master (John 13:13-17).  Service meets the needs of others and ministers to their hearts (Acts 6:3-4).  Service also causes the server to grow.  As we exercise our spiritual muscles of love, sacrifice, encouragements and prayer we grow stronger.  Service grows the community of faith as we live out the “one another” statements of the New Testament.  We were never meant to be independent, but inter-dependent.

You can make a difference at East Claremont by the service that you offer.  It is not about the size of the contribution you make, or whether the service is visible or not.  All of our contributions count to God, and he works them all together for the benefit of our community and the increase of his glory. “You are Christ’s body—that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything.” (1 Cor 12:27, The Message)

Service made accessible

Service is a high calling but it should not be thought of as out of reach for any Christian at East Claremont:

  • Although service does require commitment, we aren’t asking you to sign your life away forever and ever! We are not trying to lock you into perpetual service with no way out.  Circumstances change, the ministry may not be a good fit – so everyone must feel free to step out if they need to.
  • Some ministries require more time and commitment than others. Whether this is your first time to offer yourself or whether you are a seasoned participant there is somewhere that you can contribute. There are several ministries which are bite-size in terms of time and ability.  I have given a comprehensive list of ministry opportunities below.
  • Ministry requires support and nurturing. When you offer your time and service we will make every effort to support your service with appropriate resources and information.  When you need help all you need to do is ask and we will do our best to assist.

A genuine ‘thank you’

Before I list that opportunities where you could get involved in ministry at East Claremont, I would like to acknowledge and affirm all those in our congregation who offer their service to God and his people through our church.  It is a great privilege and encouragement to service together with you.

Worship Ministry

Ministry description

At the moment, our church has two bands that lead the worship singing in church on alternate Sundays.  The bands have weekly practices and arrive earlier on Sundays to prepare for the service.

As a volunteer you would…

  • Play an instrument – we are always looking for people who would add their musical abilities to the bands;
  • Operate the sound desk (see separate heading below);
  • Sing – yes, if you can sing in tune (!) and have a passion for worshipping then please let us know;
  • Lead a band – one of the bands is led by the Minister and he would happily step aside to allow someone else to choose the songs and lead the singing once every two weeks.

Sound Desk

Ministry description

Each of our two bands needs someone to balance the sound.  It may look really complicated with all the sliders and nobs but once you get the hang of it will be smooth sailing.

As a volunteer you would…

  • Arrive with the band and help to set the sound before the service (once every two weeks);
  • Monitor the sound during the service and make any adjustments necessary.

Projector

Ministry description

Every week there are slides that display the words of the songs.  There is also a presentation that accompanies the sermon.  This ministry requires clicking through the songs and presentation.  If you can send emails you can do this too!

As a volunteer you would…

  • Click through the songs (they are loaded onto the computer by the band);
  • Follow the sermon notes and advance the presentation at the appropriate time.

Welcoming

Ministry description

First impressions are important.  A warm welcome with a friendly smile can make all the difference to a visitor.  For some people, this will make the difference as to whether they return next week or keep looking for a new spiritual home.

As a volunteer you would…

  • Be on a roster (about once every 5 weeks) and arrive at church at 8:45am;
  • Welcome visitors, members and adherents with a warm and happy smile, a handshake or hug;
  • Identify newcomers to our church and hand them a welcome pack.  Retrieve the “Connect Form” from them after the service;
  • Introduce newcomers to other regulars at our church;
  • Be available at the end of the service to usher them through to the hall for tea and make introductions to other congregants.

Care Ministry

Ministry description

When someone is going through a tough or trying time in their life it is good to know that people care.  When people face times of sickness, bereavement or even the birth of a new child they appreciate the help of a supportive community.  One of the ways (there are many) is to offer practical help.  This may mean help with lifting and fetching, cooking a meal, or looking after children for an afternoon.

As a volunteer you would…

  • Offer your practical service: can you cook a meal, offer a lift, babysit a child or something else (let us know!) and we will call on you in a time of need.

Outreach Coordination

Ministry description

East Claremont has several ministries of outreach.  These include Margaret’s House, Samora Michel Methodist Church, West Coast Outreach, Back to Church, Blanket Fund, and Carol’s by Candlelight.  If you have a heart for serving the spiritual and practical needs of others you will find a place to oversee our church’s involvement in these projects.

As a volunteer you would…

  • Meet with the other committee members to discuss each of the projects and make sure adequate time and resources are available to complete the ministry;
  • Participate in some (not all) of the projects.

Community Group

Ministry description

Every Christian needs community.  You will never grow and develop as God intended without it.  Our Community Groups provide the context for the development of deep and real relationships where we can walk the journey of faith together.

As a volunteer you would…

  • Attend a Community Group – I know that doesn’t sound like volunteer ministry but it is.  This is a ministry of “one anothering”.  There are 59 “one another” statements in the Bible, e.g. love, admonish, encourage, build up, spur on, confess, and offer hospitality to one another.  When you attend a CG you come to minister and to be ministered to;
  • Lead a Community Group.  If you feel called to shepherd a group of people on this road this is a job for you.

Social Morning

Ministry description

Social Morning happens on the last Thursday of each month.  Most months the group of approximately 50 Socialites meets in Craven hall, but some months there are excursions.   The meetings create opportunities for friendly chats, provides a warm atmosphere where guests are welcome, and time for listening with compassionate understanding and a desire to share Gods love in practical ways.

As a volunteer you would…

  • Help to plan the program for the year;
  • Be available on the last Thursday of a month to help setup, serve and interact with the Socialites

Youth Group

Ministry description

On Friday evenings during term time we have a Senior Youth Groups that caters for grades 8-12.  The program runs from 19:00- 21:30 and provides a relaxed and real environment for teenagers to interact with one another, while offering them the opportunity to learn what it means to follow Jesus seriously.

As a volunteer you would…

  • Help to plan the termly program;
  • Be available on Friday evenings to run the program;
  • Be available at other times in the week to mentor the young people.

Learning Support

Ministry description

For many young people in South Africa, life is something that happens to them.  We believe that those young people should be able to make choices beyond those defined by their context.  However, in the absence of a good education, they have been denied this opportunity.  The Learning Support program on Thursday afternoons from 16:00-18:00 is a space for young people be assisted in their learning to that they can reach their full potential in their education.

As a volunteer you would…

  • We need people who can tutor grade 6-12 learners.  Not all of us can remember our Matric Maths and Physics – so we will be sure to match you with someone that you can help.


Counselling

Ministry description

Pat Scott was part of a team of counsellors at Swords Baptist church, Ireland.  When she returned to Cape Town and to ECCC she offered to have the same kind of ministry in our church.  We have been very happy to make the space available to her and she has been seeing people since 2015.

As a volunteer you would…

  • If you felt that God was prompting you to minister to other people though counselling then Pat would be happy to assist you in growing into this important need in Christian community.

Transformed Living in Christ

Ministry description

TLC is a ministry of prayer, enabled by the Holy Spirit, to bring inner healing and wholeness from God to individuals. It is for Christians who desire to grow in their relationship with God and become more effective in their Christian life and service.  A trained group of ‘prayer ministers’ spend time with individuals in a prayer ministry appoint in which they focus on four areas of brokenness in our lives namely wounds or hurts, sin, bondage and contrary spirits.

As a volunteer you would…

  • Be involved in the prayer vigil.  This is a time of prayer for those who are receiving ministry.  There are four prayer ministry Saturdays a year and you could attend for the morning or afternoon session (or both!);
  • If you have received ministry through TLC and feel that you would like to minister to others in the same way, you can be trained and prepared to be a ‘prayer minister’.

Children’s Church

Ministry description

We have a vibrant Children’s Church that runs concurrently with our Morning Worship Service (9:15-10:45).  We cater for toddlers all the way up to High School learners.  The Children’s Church is run by a committed group of volunteers who teach the Bible through relevant and exciting lessons.

As a volunteer you would…

  • Help to co-teach a class.  Each class has two or three teachers who share the teaching responsibilities of the class.  This allows the teachers to also attend the church service on the weeks they are not teaching.

Facebook

Ministry description

Social media is the 21st century equivalent to the town square.  In the olden days, the town square was a public space where the local community gathered for social and commercial purposes.  In many ways Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms perform this function today. Forbes[1] has reported that some 14-million South Africans use Facebook every month, a 16.6% increase year on year (2015-16).  Facebook is a great way for us to have a presence in our community and engage with friends and followers.

As a volunteer you would…

  • Oversee the church Facebook account.  Post pictures, promote upcoming events, share weekly sermons, and re-post other appropriate links.

Website

Ministry description

A church’s website is their new front door.  Most people will visit a church’s website before they visit the actual church service.  Our website is a place to learn about the church and its ministries, be updated about events, and access the weekly sermon podcasts. The website is based on a WordPress theme.  It is set up so that it does not require large amounts of maintenance.

As a volunteer you would…

  • Update and add information and graphics to keep the page up-to-date.  This would require about an hour’s work each week.

Noticeboard

Ministry description

The noticeboard at the back of the church carries important information and updates about our church.  It is a place where you can get a snap shot of the ministry of the church.  There are many possibilities here so we need someone with great imagination!

As a volunteer you would…

  • Be responsible to put up new information and notices and take down the old. Use your initiative to brighten up the noticeboard to that it is attractive and useful for regulars and visitors alike.

Garden

Ministry description

For many years Rosemarie De Villiers has looked after our church garden.  Even with the recent water shortages she has done a sterling job of keeping the garden going.  Rosemarie has however asked that, if there is someone who could take over or assist with the garden, she would greatly appreciate it.  We do have a gardening service that comes about once a month.

As a volunteer you would…

  • Assist (or take over from) Rosemarie in making sure the garden is watered (there is an automated system), that new plants are planted when needed, and the garden service is working well.

Service leaders

Ministry description

The Minister usually leads the worship service and preaches.  But because he also leads the worship singing once every two week, it would be great to have someone lead the other parts of the service (i.e. everything except the singing and the preaching)

As a volunteer you would…

  • Welcome people to the service, open with a reading and prayer, facilitate sharing of other information during the service, and lead an intercessory prayer.

The Challenge

Ministry description

The Challenge is the monthly magazine of East Claremont.  The publication contains a variety of articles and pieces of information about events and ministries of our church.

As a volunteer you would…

  • We do have an editor for The Challenge (thanks Linda!) but she would happily receive any article that would be appropriate for the magazine.  You can write these yourself, or if you come across an article online or in print then we could republish it for all to read.
  • Each month the Challenge needs to be printed and stapled.  This is a once-a-month job that will take an hour or two.

 

 

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/tobyshapshak/2016/06/30/facebook-grows-16-in-south-africa-6-in-nigeria-18-in-kenya/#45c1381562e7

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