After completing a 2-year pastoral internship with Brackenhurst Baptist Church, they sent Shane out to work with a black co-pastor, Sihle, in planting a multi-cultural church, Renewal Fellowship, in the Greenstone area of Johannesburg. This church will be uniquely situated to minister in both the suburb and township.
Testimony of Salvation
By the grace of God, I was born and raised in a family that attended church and exposed me to the Gospel. Of course, such exposure did not automatically mean that I had been born again. I lived most of my early years with an awareness that I was accountable for actions, that no deed or thought went unnoticed. Because of this I was dedicated to legalistic tendencies. But such concerns have no power to change the heart of stone. I lived in fear, and my so-called obedience—to my parents and others in authority—was no doubt accomplished in self-righteousness. I had no desire for the Word, for God’s church, or for the lost. I pervaded an external righteousness before my peers and parents, but inwardly I was enslaved to my desires, lusts, and selfish heart, worshipping that which was created, and not the Creator.
It wasn’t till I reached high school where the Lord used a combination of witnesses that called me to repentance and faith: a friend of mine who was committed to proclaiming and living for Christ, exposure to the preaching of the Word, and the youth ministry in my local church, all worked to press me with the reality that I needed to repent of my sins and trust in Christ’s death on the cross for me. This change was slow yet perceptible. I began to hunger after God’s Word, for fellowship with his saints, and to serve in any way possible in the church. I began sharing Christ with the unbelievers in my school.
The public schools are an incredible mission field for the Christian student. I was able to share Christ with Muslims, Hindus, and many more worldviews. My quest for obedience now was concerned about pleasing him who saved me, all the while knowing that his grace toward me in Christ was sure and safe, that forgiveness had been purchased, that the benefits of Christ’s greater righteousness was mine because of faith. The Lord, by the power of his Spirit, began to change me from the inside out, and I’ve been growing in the knowledge of this precious Gospel daily ever since.
Call to Ministry
It wasn’t long into my Christian walk that the Word of God began to consume me. I remember being frustrated that schoolwork got in the way of my study of the Word. ‘If only I could do this all day!’—I told myself. This initial desire to know the Word of God, to understand it, and to apply it, lead to now what is an ardent passion for the ministry. By God’s kindness, my desire to simply know the Word developed into a desire that others would know the Word in a meaningful way.
I found myself just out of high school and teaching in the youth group, and looking for any and every opportunity to teach the Bible. Through the gracious patience and generosity of my local church I was given opportunities to preach. I involved myself in evangelistic Bible teaching, reading books with other brothers, and attempted to immerse myself in discipling relationships, particularly among young men. Through these experiences and exposure, the ministry was something that became attractive and desirable for me. I loved discussing God’s word and engaging others in this, seeing them arrive at the truth and being changed by beholding Christ. There’s not much that surpasses this.
I initially wanted to attend seminary but put that on hold as I met, courted, and married my wife, Danielle. It was at this point however that I began serving as a pastoral intern in my local church. By God’s grace, further equipping took place in Washington D.C, where I completed the Pastoral Internship as an International Associate at the Capitol Hill Baptist Church. These intense five months gave me much clarity on the Gospel ministry, the role of the pastor, and the plan that God has for the church in the world: she is to be a display of his glory, the protector and proclaimer of his precious Gospel.
My call to ministry, as it were, has been discerned and affirmed by my ongoing and increasing involvement in the ministry, with faithful older brothers and shepherds spurring me on and sharpening me in the process. As it stands, I have just completed a two-year pastoral training program and hope to be used by the Lord in a church plant nearby. Looking back, the Lord in his kindness has provided me with a solid foundation through the local church, and has further provided for me in enabling me to pursue an M.Div. through the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
From the influence of churches, members, pastors, books, professors, family and friends, the Lord has planted and confirmed a burning passion to see his fame spread across the lands of South Africa. He will do so through the preaching of his Gospel and the planting of healthy churches that reflect and proclaim this good news. This is something I want to be part of and spend my life doing. May the Lord use my feeble words to accomplish his purposes.