A report from Brother Gaius updating on his work in the month of August:
Time flies! By God’s grace and blessing the month of August has passed. August has been very unusual for me. In the past the month of August was the busiest time of year, but I assumed this year would be different. However, I had more to do this August than ever before.
In August my ministry involved the following things. I have continued to work on the Scripture reading plan for the brothers and sisters. Every day they have 2 chapters to read and I choose a few verses out of that for everyone to memorize. Because of the good response from everyone, some sisters not from our group heard about this reading plan and asked to join in, so I gladly welcomed them to enter into the plan.
Also, our morning prayer has continued. We all are in different locations but we pray at the same time together. Although the brothers and sisters have not been able to fully persevere at doing this, we have continued to press everyone to join in. I have persevered in keeping up this habit for a few reasons. One, because I want to give more time for prayer, but also because I want to set an example for the others. I believe that pure doctrine needs to be testified to by living it out. I am getting up earlier than I used to (5am), so I have a little more time for devotions, preparation of sermon notes, and personal study.
This month we also had a special get-together that two unbelievers came to. I was able to talk and share some with them. This gave us an opportunity to make connections with unbelievers and so have a door to slowly share the gospel with them.
I did a lot of counseling this month. The reason for the increase is that the college students in my former church have all returned to school and have brought a lot of personal issues with them. They are facing difficulties of a career, personal spiritual problems, and some other problems. They have brought these problems to me asking for counseling. Another case is a brother in our meetings (he does not attend regularly) whose marriage has encountered major problems. His wife (who doesn’t attend our meetings) called me and said she wanted to talk with me about their marriage issues. So I set up a time to meet with both of them together. The wife told me she can’t stand her husband’s lifestyle any longer and wants a divorce. Her husband is addicted to the internet and is a workaholic (often he doesn’t sleep till 3am because of work). So I counseled the wife some about their marriage and then several times had talks with the husband. I also have been counseling two other sisters. One of them is living under great pressure because she cannot get pregnant. The other has several chronic illnesses and so is frequently worried. I and my wife have together spent some time talking with these sisters.
This month our family invited some of the brethren over to our house to eat. Through the meals we sought to strengthen relationships and thereby to better understand their spiritual condition, inner struggles, and other problems they may be facing in life. Also, to further establish the relationships between my co-workers and me, my family invited them and their families out to spend time hanging out and talking.
For the brothers and sisters in our meeting we also had some special oversight this month. I gave out a few books to several people and asked them to have them read within two weeks. Then I met with them to discuss the books and what they gained from reading them. This time I gave out Packer’s “Knowing God”, “What is Reformed Faith”, “Why Keep the Lord’s Day”, Paul Tripp’s “A Quest for More: Living for Something Bigger than You”, and “Strengthening Your Marriage”.
This month I preached three Sundays, led service once, and led two prayer services (Sunday afternoons). Thursdays I have continued leading a group in studying the Confession of Faith. Discipleship has also continued. The brother I talked about last time is still reading “The Gospel’s Power and Message”. My coworker finished reading “Church Membership” and so I’ve suggested he begin reading Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs”.
Our number of regular attendees this month has been about the same, it hasn’t really grown or diminished. However, we have added one irregular attendee and one seeker. This is how things have been this month.