Ben is the minister-in-charge of Christ Church Hillbrow (CCH), a young congregation in inner-city Johannesburg. Ben oversees the pastoral ministry as well as leading the small group ministry, preaching and leading Sunday services.
Hillbrow is a needy area but in easy reach of a student community and the business centre. Christ Church has the potential to be a light in all these areas, proclaiming the gospel so that people would come to know and love the Lord Jesus.
Since 2016, CCH have employed a curate, Godfrey Penduka, to support Ben and the ministry of the church. From January 2019, Ben will return to the staff team at Johannesburg Bible College, which he taught at from 2010-2013. Ben will step down as minister-in-charge of CCH and Godfrey will take up the role. Ben will remain at CCH as an associate minister but will focus primarily on teaching at JBC.
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It is often hard to explain to those in the UK what the church scene in South Africa is like, particularly in places like Hillbrow.
In Hillbrow you will see sin and brokenness on every corner, but paradoxically you will also see a church of sorts on every corner. Many of these churches are centered around the pastor, whom you are not to question or doubt. You are not to disrespect ‘the man of God’ for he is the one who brings you to God. It is a new form of a very old idea. They do not use the word, but the idea is that the pastor is a priest, one who grants access to God. We have been working our way through the wonderful letter to the Hebrews. But the lesson we learn in the central section of the book is that we don’t need a priest because we have a priest, and his name is Jesus! What a comforting truth to pastors and others alike. The writer of the Hebrews is always seeking to show that Jesus is better than any human priest who might seek to take his place. In one of the bible studies, one of the ladies commented about this truth, ‘Isn’t this great, because this means that even if Ben leaves we are trusting in Jesus and not him!’ Indeed, and a fairly apt comment.
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