Interview by: Gillian Fraser
Article source: JOY! Magazine

In this dark world that is full of depression, anxiety, and fear – our faith needs to be rooted in God’s Word and His promises for our lives. He has a calling and a destiny for us – we need to tap into this and stand firm on His call. One such power couple who are standing today in complete faith are Allan and Janine Bagg, founders and senior pastors of The Bay CFC in Somerset West. I had the privilege to interview them, and was blown away by their testimonies – giving full honour and glory to God for how He has guided them, carried them, and blessed the work of their hands. Today, Apostle Allan and Pastor Janine run one of the most influential churches in this nation.

Questions for Apostle Allan:

Q. The Bay CFC is celebrating 28 years in ministry. Upon which Scripture and foundation have you built this church?
Ephesians 4 is a foundational Scripture of our ministry. We have been called to equip the saints, i.e., born-again believers of Christ, for the work of ministry. Ministry is not just the five-fold ministry (Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers) from the pulpit, but every area we find ourselves in. God created each of us for a specific purpose, and we need to be equipped to walk out our gifting where God has placed us. I believe there are three foundational truths The Bay Christian Family Church is founded upon: 1) The Word of God is the foundation for all we do. 2) Every believer is able to hear God’s voice and direction. So, we learn how do we do that? 3) How do we apply the Word of God in our lives? It is not just something we hear on a Sunday, but we actively focus on the application of that Word for every day of our lives. Discipleship forms a crucial part of this process.

 

Q. In 1994, you and Janine felt called to move from Johannesburg – uprooting your lives – and relocate to Somerset West to start a church. How did you know that you were accurately hearing the voice of the Lord?
One of the first teachings I ever heard as a new Christian, was “How to recognise God’s voice” by Apostle Theo Wolmarans. Through studying that series and receiving greater insight from the Word of God, I realised that I can hear God’s voice for myself. This was a great revelation to me.

Janine and I received the call to full-time ministry very early in our walk with God, we were only born-again for a few months! We fasted over the Christmas season of 1989 to accurately receive God’s instruction and the specifics of this call. During this time, God revealed to us that we would plant His church in Cape Town. He also showed me certain events that would transpire as confirmation. Following that fast, those things started happening one by one. During this period, we would annually come to Cape Town for a holiday and drive from suburb to suburb to determine specifically where the Lord was leading us. On one of these times, we entered Somerset West. Almost immediately Janine said “Here.” As I prayed through it more and more back home, I started experiencing an overwhelming peace in my spirit about Somerset West. Janine and I were in agreement.

During a conference in October 1993 a pastor, who had no idea what we were going through, came to us and confirmed that God had revealed to him that we were called to plant a church in Somerset West. He took it to Apostle Theo who, after praying over it, confirmed that he believes this was what God was calling us to do and where we were supposed to be. Three months later; 23 January 1994, we had our first service in Somerset West. It happened exactly as God had shown us. There has never been a doubt.

 

“God can do anything with a faithful and willing servant. When He calls for it, nothing can stop it.”

Q. The Bay has seen immense growth over the last three decades, reaching millions of lives. What do you attribute this Godly success to?
All glory to God! Jesus said He will build His church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it. I had an encounter with God when I sought His face during a time when the church was going through an extreme challenge. This changed me forever. It was there where God reminded me of the call He gave me – “Equip the saints for the work of the ministry.” I was reminded that I just need to do what He has called me to do and allow Him to do the rest. He can do anything with a faithful and willing servant. I realised that when God calls for it, nothing can stop it. The only thing that can stop my involvement in what He is doing, is me. I made a quality decision to ensure that everything we do is by God’s instruction. It was here where I became a glove on God’s hand, ready and willing to be used by Him as HE builds HIS church. Janine has always been by my side, willing and faithful to obey His every instruction. I believe this unity has also called for God’s blessing on the ministry.

 

Q. You are blessed to be in a position with so much influence, why do you believe God has brought you here?
I believe it is because I have a deep revelation that I am only a vessel for God to work through. I recognize that I am a paint brush in the Master’s hand. The integrity and faithfulness of my heart is for the Word of God to be preached uncompromised, accurately, and boldly throughout the world. To never offer my opinion and only to speak His Word. It’s all about making Jesus famous. When the heart is for the Word of God to be taught, for faith to rise, and for people to step into the fullness of God’s call for them, I believe God grants His vessels places of influence, because the influence is His. My heart is absolutely for Jesus to be known fully and for me to stay pure and true to that which He has called me to do with absolutely no compromise whatsoever. I believe, truly believe, that I will stand before God one day and have to answer, “What did you do with My Church?” This knowing keeps me close to His heart and completely dependent upon His leading.

Q. What do you believe is the biggest threat to the modern Church?
Mediocrity. What the Bible calls lukewarmness or growing cold in heart. The temptation to dilute the message of Christ to remain relevant in the world. Yes, we need to reach people where they are, but never compromising the Gospel of Jesus. The integrity of God’s Word is crucial, and we should not depart from standing up for what the Word of God says is right. Jesus said in John 14:6 that He is The Way, The Truth and The Life. He is not an alternative thought. The Gospel of Christ needs to be shared in love, in its fullness, by faith, with integrity, and without compromise.

 

Q. We have sadly witnessed many influential pastors and church leaders falling from grace in recent years, bringing the Church into disrepute. Do you have any comments on the current state of the Church worldwide?
Jesus is still building His Church and it is strong and growing! There are many faithful men and woman of God walking in integrity and working together to carry out His mandate. As led by the Word of God, I have decided in my life to not speak against anyone else’s servant. I do not know the circumstances firsthand and therefore I do not raise an opinion. If, however, it was someone that was under my care as their pastor, I would walk with them personally and work towards restoration. Circumstances differ and most of what we hear in the media is not necessarily authentic information. We need to be cautious to make assumptions about people if we are not directly involved. Just as Paul requested prayer to preach the Word accurately and boldly, we should be praying for those preaching the Word to do so in humility, integrity, and boldness.

Q. What advice do you have to young pastors who are eager to start a church?
Make sure it is God calling you! Know what God has called you to do, and do that. God has a blueprint, a template if you will, that each of us are individually called to walk in. I believe, when we stand before Him one day, we will be measured against His plan for our lives. I can do many things in the Name of Jesus and yet not be following His instructions for me (Matt 7:22). It is easy to get carried away with good ideas, by trying to please people or stay relevant to the world. At the end of the day, we will all be accountable before Jesus and answer to Him whether we did what HE asked of us. It is not about a platform or showcasing our talents. It is not about what we think are good ideas. It is about those God-inspired ideas that bring about lasting change and impact lives for Christ eternally. Remain at His feet and know that Jesus will build His Church as you surrender to Him daily.

 

Q. Why do you believe mentors are so important to one’s journey?
In 1 Corinthians 11:1 Paul made a profound statement, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.” When we imitate those who imitate Christ and we become closer to them, we start seeing their humanity. We are called to imitate those parts of others that look like Christ, those parts where they are accurately imitating Christ. This does not mean we walk away at the first sight of imperfection, but we look for the parts of Christ we can learn from. If we are one step behind someone and they bump their head, the wise person will know that they need to duck as they take their next step. That is the power of imitating someone who loves Christ. Our journey becomes less complicated, and we have the privilege of walking in victories we did not battle for. We are thankful for Apostle Theo and Doctor Beverly Wolmarans who have allowed us to imitate them as they imitate Christ. Their example has taught us more than words can describe.

Q. The pandemic changed the way that the world operates – what changes have you seen in your own church?
In the year leading up to the National Lockdown in 2020, God had led me to focus greatly on discipleship in our messages. When Lockdown was announced, deep and intimate discipleship relationships were already in place and people remained connected. Because we are a multi-site live-link church, we already reached a lot of people through church campuses and television, therefore we could continue to do so as our infrastructures were already in place. Since the restrictions have been lifted, and new floor limits were set, each time we have reached capacity in our church buildings. We have had to find various new buildings to accommodate people excited about coming back to church meetings.

We believe when all restrictions are finally lifted, we will see the church building overflow once again. Our Family of God are passionate for more of Him due to solid discipleship and knowing how to apply the Word of God in their lives – they are seeing the success and victories of walking with Christ. We have an online campus for those who want to hear the Word and become part of a community, however our hearts are always to not neglect the physical gathering of the saints(Heb 10:25), therefore we encourage people to plug into a local church, serve, and be part of the community.

 

“God has a purpose for each of us. He has given us everything that we need to fulfil this.”

Q. Apart from keeping spiritually fit, you have also been known to like CrossFit! Why do you believe that it is so important to remain healthy and physically active?This is an area I am quite passionate about. God has a purpose for each of us. He has given us everything that we need to fulfil this. Our earthly bodies are all that we have in this lifetime to carry out His calling on earth, and they need to last us full term. It is of utmost importance for us to look after our bodies. Research has shown that there are three major areas that can affect our health. They are nutrition, exercise, and stress. I believe exercising regularly encompasses all three of those aspects.

When I exercise regularly, I find that my body tells me what it needs nutritionally. I have come to learn that when I eat something that is not good for me, my body lets me know in my next training session. After casting all my cares on the Lord (1 Pet 5:7), I am able to vent stress by exercising regularly. Whatever your preference may be, I encourage everyone to find what works for them and just get moving! If you are able to, even if you walk around the block, just get started! As Paul said, we have a race to run, and our bodies need to be ready and healthy to finish the race set out before us.

Q. Do you have any words of wisdom to share with our readers?
John Wesley said, “God will do nothing but in answer to prayer.” We should never become too busy to pray. Whatever our calling is, whether it is five-fold ministry, business, to run a soup kitchen, whatever; the FIRST thing we need to be is IN LOVE with God. The second thing that will follow, is to be in love with the Word of God. And when we are in love with the Word of God, we will DO it. These are three vital areas, 1) Love for God. 2) Love for God’s Word. 3) Being a doer of God’s Word. When these are our lifestyle, we will see the fullness of God’s promises manifest in our lives.

 

Questions for Ps Janine Bagg:

A testimony of faith & passion

Q. Your life story consists of testimony after testimony – from fibrous dysplasia, to infertility, to covid (to name a few). Can you share the role that the Lord has played in your life, throughout it all?
He is my everything. I cannot imagine taking a breath without Him. I am so thankful for the price Jesus paid in order for us to never be separated from the love of God. I have made a decision to be available, to be His hands and feet, whenever, wherever. He gave His life for me, the least I can do is live for Him fully!

Q. Early on in life, doctors declared you infertile. Today, you have been blessed with a stunning family. What word of encouragement do you have for women who are feeling hopeless, as they may be unable to have children?
Do not lose hope. I have had the opportunity to walk with many people through the journey of trusting God for children, and I have seen many times that it is not always faith that fails them, but patience. God has a plan and purpose for each one of us. His Word is full of promises for us to know that He wants us to have children and He, Himself, instructs us to be fruitful and multiply. His promises are received by faith and patience. Do not let your patience run out. Keep on declaring His promises faithfully, stand on the Word of God and look forward with joy to what is to come. If He has put the desire for children in your heart, He gave that desire to you – and as you delight in Him, He GIVES you the desire of your heart, He makes it manifest! Do not lose hope.

I have an excellent resource that I would like to share with you if you are trusting God for children. Please go to to allanbaggministries.org/collections/gift-the-word and download your Heart’s Desire booklet by using the coupon code joymagjuly – I would love to bless you with some declarations and practical tips on how to walk this journey. Surround yourself with people who will speak faith with you and lift your arms when you feel weak. You are not alone. And I am excited about your pregnancy. Hallelujah!

“Keep on declaring His promises, stand on the Word of God and look forward to what is to come.”

 

Q. You suffered tremendously with Covid, can you share your testimony with us?
I was diagnosed with Covid-19 in December 2020. During this time Allan and I slept in separate bedrooms to ensure that the Word can continue to be preached every week and for him to not be exposed to the virus as far as possible. Allan tells me this part: He woke up in the night due to a loud noise. This was me falling. He ran to me, picked me up, put me in bed, and told me to breathe. I could only take shallow breaths that did not fill my lungs at all. He called the ambulance. I still don’t have much recollection of this. I was taken to the Covid-ICU ward and told that I will be put on a ventilator. I said “Absolutely not,” even with the limited air in my lungs. I knew I had to fight!

I realised later that my house had been built before the storm. When the storm hit, the faith in my heart was strong and ready for every attack. It was a battle and I had many people in my corner praying for me. The normal range for White Blood Cells (WBC) in a healthy body is 5 to 10 K/uL. This measurement is used to determine the level of infection in one’s body. My WBC count was >1000 K/uL. That was a staggering high infection rate. Normal oxygen saturation is 99-100%. Mine was below 80% without extra oxygen – this is extremely low and can cause trauma to the brain and other vital organs. Doctors did not believe that I would survive. I started declaring “I will live.” Eventually I could say “I will live and not die.” And later on I was able to say “I will live and not die to declare the works of the Lord.” Months of rehabilitation took place after the weeks I spent in hospital. Today I am back to Crossfit, preaching more than ever, and am healthy and strong.

Q. As a pastor who preaches unshaking faith, did you struggle at all with your own faith during this difficult time?
I was definitely tempted with fear when I was diagnosed with Covid. I found myself reading up on social media and the internet about other people’s stories who dealt with the virus in their lives. This was not wise, but unfortunately those things were already put in my heart by me allowing myself to read it. I had to go through a time of uprooting fear and declaring life over myself. Fear contaminates faith and I knew I had to get rid of any form of fear. During this time I was still healthy enough to declare the Word and uproot the seeds that had been sown into my heart. I am thankful for those people around me who stood in the gap when I was not able to, due to being unconscious for a long portion of time. I am thankful for the fighting spirit God put within me to not go onto the ventilator at that time. I am thankful for the Word that was within me that could sustain my spirit, even though I wasn’t able to in speech, and therefore sustain my body and my health. Yes, it was a hard journey, and I had to work my faith. God is faithful.

 

“The battle is the Lord’s; the victory is ours – we should worship Him until we see the victory!”

Q. What did this near death experience teach you?
It taught me to be thankful for every single moment we have. It is important to sometimes take a deep breath and just take in the moment. I was and am reminded of the importance of having the Word in our hearts and our mouths always… not just when a storm comes. Having family and friends around us who love Jesus is extremely important. I now live with a mindset of being quick to forgive – I don’t allow anything in my life that will steal my faith. Worshipping God with everything I am has always been a big part of my life, but through this journey I have realised that my life is His song and He has the full authority to write out the harmony by which I should live. Living life with an attitude of gratitude has become an integral part of how I approach my life, and every moment I am in. The battle is the Lord’s; the victory is ours – we should worship Him until we see the victory!

Q. Among your many passions, worship lies at the core. What role do you believe worship can play in the healing and transformation of a situation?
I love worshipping God. I have seen so much breakthrough by just surrendering everything to God in worship. I have heard many testimonies where people did not know what to do next, someone dear to them was about to pass and they knew that it wasn’t their time to go…and they will just lift their arms and start worshipping God from a place of absolute surrendered faith…and how God will heal, restore and perform mighty miracles through their worship! It is clear in the Bible that worship is warfare! King Jehoshaphat sent the worship team to lead them into a battle…that is the power of worship! They won that battle and total victory was theirs. It is still the same for us today. The battle is the Lord’s, the victory is ours – we should worship Him until we see the victory!

Q. What are the areas that you would most appreciate our readers pray for you?
Thank you for your continued prayers for good health, for boldness and courage to continue doing God’s work without compromise, and to be a vessel of honour in His service. I pray that my faith won’t fail me and that I will continue to stand strong in the Word of God and always worship Him in spirit and in truth, until I have lived out the fullness of my days.

 


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