Mission Project

Christ Central Soweto

Soweto is part of Johannesburg, South Africa’s biggest city. It is made up of 29 townships and is home to 13,000 students.

What’s the need?

From the outside, the church in South Africa appears to be doing well. A large proportion of South Africans attend church regularly and evangelical Christianity is growing. However, there is widespread misunderstanding about the gospel. Many churches teach that the gospel is how you become a Christian but to continue in the faith you need to add to this by adopting all sorts of customs, traditions and ‘extras’. Churches teaching a true and consistent gospel message are scarce. Added to this, poverty, racism, and domestic violence are huge challenges in South Africa, creating many pastoral issues for the church to speak wisely into and support.

Soweto is a township in Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city. Johannesburg is made up of 29 townships and is home to 13,000 students who live on one of the campuses of the University of Johannesburg. Parts of Soweto rank among the poorest in the city, a hangover from its origins as a black community during apartheid. Many people live in informal housing and rates of unemployment, addiction and domestic abuse are high.

But Soweto is very fertile ground for the gospel. People are open to Christianity and will engage positively in conversations about the gospel. There is a great need for more churches in Soweto that will hold out the good news of Jesus, bringing sound, Bible-based teaching to the community.

What’s the opportunity?

Christ Central Soweto launched in 2018 with just 20 adults and 10 children, but in the past five years has become more established, growing into a self-governing church.  There is a healthy mix of professionals, youth, students and young families that love Jesus and desire to make him known to others. The church is now established enough to take the next major step of moving from a church plant to a ‘hub’ church.  This means training and resourcing leaders for ministry and then sending them out to plant and support churches in similar places across the country.

As a gospel-centred church, Christ Central Soweto have a clear and compelling vision to go beyond their existing activities and to engage with the wider church.  Townships have historically been known as problem areas with few resources, few opportunities and bad reputations for violence and crime. But Christ Central Soweto has demonstrated that there is hope in the darkest places. The church has established foundations for the largest township in South Africa to engage meaningfully in kingdom work. Their desire is to see their surrounding communities transformed, with lives flourishing because of people’s encounters with Jesus.

Musa Ntinga, the pastor of Christ Central Soweto, has been involved in the project from the beginning and has a degree in Theology from George Whitefield College in Cape Town. Musa became a Christian as a teenager but grew significantly through student ministry whilst he was at university. Since then, Musa has been passionate about church planting in the townships. He shares, ‘There are far too few reformed, evangelical churches in the areas where the majority of South Africans live. In Soweto, these type of churches are few due to the levels of poverty and the ministry models adopted by evangelical churches. So, when I got the opportunity to plant a church in Soweto, I took it! At Christ Central Soweto our mission is to know Christ, love each other and reach out with the gospel.’

Many lives have been transformed through the gospel at Christ Central Soweto:

  • Sizakele lives in Pimville, an area of Soweto, and has struggled with addiction for many years. Christ Central Soweto have walked a long and difficult journey with her, assisting her into rehab and sharing the gospel with her. She now attends church regularly and cares for her three children independently. She is one of thousands of people that Christ Central Soweto hope to help in this way.
  • Boitomelo is employed by the church as a kids and youth worker-in-training. She is receiving vocational training in theology at Johannesburg Bible College while gaining hands-on ministry experience within the local church. Boitomelo is an example of the many gospel workers Christ Central Soweto seeks to be a training ground for.
  • Mosa also lives in Pimville and started attending the children’s ministry when she was in primary school. Members of the church family have discipled her, and she has since made the faith her own and was recently baptised as a teenager. It is a real joy for the team to see her grow in her faith.

 What now?

Christ Central Soweto needs approximately £60,000 per year to cover staff salaries, building rental, ministry expenses and admin costs. Christ Central Soweto has successfully raised funding itself to the tune of £50,000 p.a.. This comes from church members, local partners and trusts, and UK and US churches. The church has asked Crosslinks to help them raise the remaining £10,000 per year, to help them serve the community of Soweto and reach people with the good news of Christ.

to launched in 2018 with a vision to become a hub from which many evangelical churches can be planted. It began with 20 adults and 10 children and now sees around 40–50 adults and 50–60 children each Sunday. It is a bible-centred church, focussed on teaching God’s word to a community acutely aware of the brokenness of God’s world.

The church hopes to appoint staff workers for each of their areas of focus (children’s, students’ and pastoral ministries) but is unable to do this without external support. They need approximately £64,000 per year, of which £54,000 has been raised for 2020 and £35,000 per year thereafter.

South Africa

Population:

54,301,000

Evangelical Christians:

21%

Main religion:

Christianity

Main Languages:

Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, English

Recent Prayer Letters

The words of this famous psalm have been a comforting reminder to us that it is the Lord who gives success to the work that we do and unless we build using his blueprint, we labour in vain.
The theme of dwelling has been one that has dominated the life of our Christ Central Soweto. The year began with us moving to a new venue in Pimville after staying five years in Klipspruit. Six months later we had to move again to our current venue (Musi High School in Pimville). During all this moving and upheaval, we have tried to secure occupation of the vacant land that we bought in Pimville, zone 6, which has been a slow, frustrating and unjust process.
As many of us got some well-deserved rest during the Christmas break, I looked back at 2022 with gratitude in my heart for the Lord’s kindness to Christ Central Soweto. 2022 was our first official year out of COVID-related lockdowns and the reality of the impact of the pandemic was obvious for all of us to see. Yet the Lord remained faithful and gave us much to be thankful for.

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