Most of the readers of this blog know that the writers are (mostly) pastors in the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, which is currently wrapping up their annual meeting of synod at Indiana Wesleyan in Marion, Indiana. Without giving a full update, I thought I might mention a few encouraging blessings God has given this week.
God has blessed us with valuable and timely preaching from His Word, around the theme of fasting and praying. If you have time, you couldn't spend it better than listening to Kyle Borg's sermon from Isaiah 58. This morning Pastor Bruce Parnell charged us from Zechariah 8 regarding the incredible promises God has given regarding His gospel:
May it not be said of us that we have not asked the Lord of the harvest to fulfill these breathtaking promises.
God has blessed us with an increasingly worldwide and diverse denomination. There are names and places that we can't post online, but suffice to say that God is bringing our small denomination to many corners of the globe in order to seek the salvation of His elect.
Also encouraging is the progress God has given in church planting. In 2005, we adopted a 20/20 vision, praying for God to help us plant grow to 100 churches (from 83) by 2020. Not including some of the explosively growing mission fields, this year we grew to 100 congregations. It's hard to overstate how amazing this is and how hard it was to imagine this happening just 11 years ago.
God has blessed us with the memory of those residing now in heaven. Every year we spend time remembering the pastors, elders and their wives who have died in the past year. This year we lost more than normal. And while the remembrances were sad, it was also a reminder of how we've been blessed with godly mentors and servants. It gave us reason to pray that God would continue to raise up laborers in the harvest.
It may seem like another small thing, but synod voted to have another 3-day synod in 2017. Not only will this help us be more efficient, it will encourage the increasing participation of our ruling elders. The majority of Synod tends to be teaching elders, but we are working to show greater honor and deference to those elders called by God to rule in our midst.
God has blessed our church with unity. Though we are dealing with some difficult discipline cases and though we minister in some increasingly secular and hostile environments, we remain committed to each other, institutionally but also relationally. I am often struck at how friendly our synod is; the ultimate reason is that most of these guys are really friends. Not only has God kept us united in the truths of the gospel, but in the love that flows from the gospel.
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