Twenty-five years ago, the Presbyterian Association in England, forerunner of EPCEW, was formed. The London Presbyterian Conference 2012 will, we trust, be a reminder of the grace of God over the last quarter of a century to our denomination, and an opportunity to engage with those who are interested in EPCEW and who are in sympathy with our desire to plant churches in England and Wales. The purpose of this conference is threefold.
- To present biblical and warm-hearted Presbyterianism. This day will provide a window through which people can learn more of EPCEW.
- To foster and develop our church planting contacts with a view to seeing new churches planted in the years ahead.
- To be a rallying point for our church members as well as our office bearers.
Date: Saturday 20th October, 2012
Venue: Regent Hall, 275 Oxford Street, London W1C 2DJ
Time: 11.00am for 11:30am until 4.00pm. Continue reading “London Presbyterian Conference 2012 in a Few Days”
“GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD”
We give thanks and praise to the almighty God for making the 5th Annual Missions Conference July 4-8 a success at the Kamuzu Academy, Mtunthama Kasungu under the theme, “Give us this day, our daily bread” taken from the fourth petition in the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:11). This has been one of the most productive and fruitful conferences. We give glory and honour to God for taking us to new heights and a step further in advancing the call to awaken the passion for missions not only in young people but even in pastors too.
PARTICIPANTS: This year’s conference registered 150 residential participants with a few operating from their homes. Participants were a combination of youths, laymen (elders and deacons) and pastors from Pentecostal, Evangelical and Presbyterian Churches in Malawi. We were encouraged also to have a missionary from Papua New Guinea, Gabriel Pondrun, serving here in Malawi; Mr. Hussein Latif, a Malawian missionary serving among the Muslims in Mangochi. These two were a great encouragement to the participants.
GENERAL COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS:
- This year’s conference registered a high number of pastors in comparison to the previous conferences. This is a great development because it is these pastors who will be instrumental in transforming their churches as regarding to missions work. After training these pastors it is evident that they have realized there is work to be done in regard to missions and have embraced the call to missions hence will be in the fore-front in their churches advancing this cause.
- This year’s conference has made a great difference as the participants agreed with the organizers to set the course for missions in Malawi. This was supported with a special offering on each of the conference days. By the end of the conference a enough money was raised and some pledged by the conference participants to support work of missions in Malawi. Following this, two faithful men responded to the call into local missions in a Muslim-dominated area in Mangochi District where they will be working for a month – the month of August this year. We thank God for this amazing response.
- During the conference, a local mission’s body was prayerfully chosen comprising of 10 people from among JTW Missionaries and others. The role of this Missions body will include identifying mission’s fields, receiving, recruiting, sending and supporting missionaries into various mission fields both locally and internationally.
- It has been noted from people who have been attending these conferences in the past that there is a need to follow these annual conferences up with smaller seminars (mini-conferences) at regional level. This is a call that came in from the participants to JTW and has to be considered as it would greatly help participants to keep in touch and encourage each other.
- To keep the focus on missions and the servant self-watch in the ministry. It has been agreed that next year’s seminars will be designed as special classes (running progressively throughout the conference). This will allow the participants to concentrate/focus on their area of calling and will equip them with necessary materials for their particular ministries.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES: Many participants hailed JTW for organizing these conferences and recommended the following issues:
- That we should be conducting follow-ups conferences with participants at regional level (at least once) before the next conference.
- That the missions’ board should be maintained and that its functions should be open to all those willing to serve in missions. Any open opportunities should be communicated to them.
- One participant pledged to continue supporting the cause of local missions not only by praying but also by giving financially.
- Many participants have at least made a commitment to continue attending the coming conferences.
SUMMARY: It was a great JOY to see what God is doing in Malawi in the area of Missions work and to be a small part of it. We are so grateful and thankful to the Almighty God for connecting JTW Ministries with not only Malawian believers but with so many across the world with a common vision of serving the lost world for the sake of God’s Kingdom. We hope to reach new heights and sail into deeper waters in this cause for Christ’s sake.
Speaking at this conference was, Rev, Fletcher Matandika, Dr. David Reimer, Rev. Charles Morris, Rev. Stephen Roberts, Mr. Hussein Latif, Mr. Khembo Elliot, Mr. Confex Makhalira, and Mr. Joseph Matandika.
SOLI DEO GLORIA!!
It is with many thanks and praises to the Almighty God for making the five-day Preaching Conference that took place in Uganda from June 4-8, a great success. The conference was organized around the theme, “The Supremacy of Christ in Preaching” with the aim of equipping pastors to faithfully preach Christ from all Scripture. ALL the conference messages can be accessed here for FREE. Please feel free to share them with others as you have opportunity.
The conference drew participants from ten (10) different countries (i.e. Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Congo, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Cameroon and the United States of America). For us, this was a great milestone and we praise the Lord for making us a part of it. The majority of the conference participants and speakers are gospel ministers from various denominations. Some are Bible College and Seminary students.
Each participants was given a very beautiful certificate of attendance, a copy of The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper and a booklet from Biblical Foundations International written by Linleigh Roberts. A few others also received Brothers, We Are Not Professionals also by John Piper.
GENERAL COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS:
- The conference was very important as it provided participants with very helpful tools for ministry. The teachings and presentations were quite transforming to many of them. This was evident in the testimonies from many of them who agreed that the conference will certainly have a great impact on their ministry and personal lives.
- We have invitations to continue hosting such conferences in the future. Many pastors were asking if JTW can consider organizing a similar conference in their respective countries next year. Most of them promised/pledged to help with organization of similar conference in their home countries. This gives a clear picture that there is a great need among pastors for refresher courses as well as theological training and such conference.
- Many of the pastors who attended the conference were lay men who have the passion to preach and for ministry. With their passion many have at least founded a church and others are helping with newly founded churches but their lack of proper theological training poses great challenges and threats to their ministries. This was evident in the questions they were asking and some of the issues that they are struggling with in respective church ministries. Such issues included women in ministry and polygamy among pastors. These two issues took ground in all the days of the conference during the panel discussion session. This is a clear picture that many of them need a proper doctrinal and biblical background.
It was truly a privilege to speak at the conference alongside great men of God like, Rev. Dr. Dennis Johnson (my former seminary professor from Westminster Seminary in California; Rev. Dr. John Carson who currently serves as a theology professor with the Mobile Theological Training Team (MT3) of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church; Rev. Timothy K. Hoke, who is an instructor of biblical and pastoral studies at the African Bible University in Kampala, Uganda; Rev. Jerry Maguire, pastor for Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Concord, Massachusetts; Rev. Gerald Sseruwagi, pastor for New City in Kampala, Uganda and Rev. Dr. David Eby, Dean of Graduate Studies at Westminster Theological Seminary in Uganda.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!
On behalf of Joy to the World Ministries, I am pleased to announce that plans for the Fifth Annual “Chosen Generation” Missions Conference are under way. Here is more information about the conference:
Theme: “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread” taken from the Fourth petition in the Lord’s Prayer. Since 2009, we have been studying the Lord’s Prayer at these conferences (one petition at a time). This year, we have built the conference around this theme. I am very much looking forward to this conference. I trust that the Lord will do some wonderful things in our midst. I encourage you to come to this conference. Pray and plan to be there. Bring your family and friends. We are going to have a wonderful time together in fellowship with one another as we feast on the Word of LORD and worship the LORD of the Word!
Venue: The Namoni Katengeza Church Lay Training Center (Chongoni) in Dedza District – Malawi
Dates: July 4-8, 2011 – I hope this will suit many of you who are students. If you are working, I hope you can plan ahead so that you can have some time off work to bring your family and friends to this conference.
- Mr. Elliot Khembo – National Director, Joy to the World Ministries, Malawi
- Mr. Hussein Latif – Missionary among Muslims in Malawi
- Mr. Confex Makhalira – Board Secretary, Joy to the World Ministries, Malawi
- Mr. John Joseph Matandika – Missionary with Joy to the World Ministries, Uganda
- Rev. Stephen Roberts, Missions Director, Joy to the World Ministries, USA
- Rev. Charles Morris – President, Haven Ministries, USA
- Dr. David Reimer – Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh’s School of Divinity, Scotland
- Rev. Fletcher Matandika – Founder & President, Joy to the World Ministries
A few days ago, the London Telegraph published a story entitled, “More new women priests than men for the first time.” I read the story with great interest because it touches on something that I am very much interested in, namely the biblical teaching regarding the role of women in church offices. I believe that it is a direct violation of God’s Word (thus sinful) for women to take up leadership positions in the church (i.e. as pastors or elders). Well, this article approvingly talked of women priests outnumbering men. In summary, the author fo the article basically wanted to let us know that: “More female priests are joining the Church of England than male ones for the first time ever, it can be disclosed as it takes another step towards the introduction of women bishops.”
My initial response was: “Where are all the men?” It’s such a sad reality of our times particularly here in the West where a lot of men (if not most) have become too lethargic and sluggish to lead both in the home and the church. The end result? Well, somebody has to step up to the plate and lead – and the women are doing just that. That’s the tragic reality that the Western Church (mostly) has to deal with. But is that really the answer? Should women take up these roles/offices which are clearly and divinely assigned to men? The answer to this question and all it’s practical implications is no doubt complex. Each particular situation where this is an issue would have to be evaluated individually and the practical implications would have to be worked out the same way. However, violating the clear principles found in God’s Word is not the to deal with our social ills (e.g. lack of male leadership, etc). Whatever we decide to do by way of addressing the lack of male leadership in our society, particularly in the church, we must unwaveringly adhere to the standard that has been set forth for us by God in His Holy Word! See 1 Timothy 2:9-15.
What is happening in the Church of England and other similar Christian denominations like the Church of Scotland or the Presbyterian Church – USA is quite sad and tragic. One can only hope and pray that those who lead these denominations will come to their senses, repent and return to the clear teaching of Scripture on this issue! But O, it’s a slippery slope and the devil seems to be holding a tight rein on these denominations with some relative success. For most of such denominations, it all started with the erosion of biblical inerrancy. Once that was thrown out of the window, then pretty much everything that men/women didn’t like could be thrown out of the window on one hand and everything that men/women wanted could be entertained in the church. So, the ordination of women to church offices was brought into the church as 1 Timothy 2 and other related Scriptural passages were thrown out of the window. Quite tragic isn’t it? People are picking and choosing what they should and shouldn’t listen to in the Bible. If I don’t like what Romans 1 says (for example), then I can just tear it out of my Bible, and so on and so forth. That’s where we are today. But what’s next? Well, I hope and pray that there will be a spirit of repentance which will in turn bring a true reformation in these denominations so that Christ and His Holy Word may be honored. That’s what I pray for! Please join me.
Finally, a word to all Christian men reading this: “Rise up, be men and start leading in your home and church as the Lord would have you do.” I encourage you to watch/listen to the messages preached at this year’s pastors’ conference organized by Desiring God Ministries in Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA) especially these two: 1. “Father Hunger” in Leading the Home, and 2. “Father Hunger” in Leading the Church.