In this report, I want to tell you briefly about the general situation of the church as we continue into 2018. Ariel (the other elder in our church) and I recently committed a number of hours to evaluating this past year at Family of Grace church. We considered the spiritual condition of each member, thought through the strengths and weaknesses of the membership, examined our own decisions and errors, and made plans for this coming year. So what follows, from a bird’s-eye view, are some of conclusions we reached as pastors that we’d like to share with you.
When we look at the membership of our church, we see a picture of both strength and weakness at the same time. Many of us are characterized by a brokenness, a desire to be holy, a deep and evident sincerity, a love for the gospel, zeal for the truth, a gentleness in being corrected, a freedom to express genuine love for one another, and for a heart of humility and respect. At the same time, some general characteristics would be a lack of initiative in acts of mercy and justice, an overly introspective attitude, and a struggle to overcome the fear of man in evangelism.
For all of these reasons I am very content with the growth of the church, while at the same time I am very conscious that there is much to continue adjusting. This isn’t surprising considering that we are a young church and our membership is made up of many people with difficult backgrounds that have also spent a large part of their lives deceived by much of the religious apostasy that surrounds us.
What I am most concerned about is that our church continue to grow in our ability to reach the secular world around us that is increasingly and aggressively atheistic. The great majority of people that make their way to our church, whether it be through social media o personal interaction with one of the members, come from religious backgrounds and bring with them all kinds of wrong understandings of the gospel. May the Lord help us, without neglecting the religious sinners, to also reach the secular sinners that don’t even look for us or want to listen to us, but urgently need to hear what we have to say. We hope to be able to better penetrate some of the secular spheres with the light of God.
Also, I want to share with you the joy of now having a group of faithful and gifted men whom I am discipling with the confidence that they will become a great help in the ministry. As I look forward, there is now a group of co-laborers that are eager to serve and gifted for ministry.
To finish, I would like to ask you to pray for some specific things. Pray that Arial and I will be guarded from anxiety and unbelief in the midst of the strain, fatigue and opposition that we face in the ministry. Pray also that the Lord would speed up the process of maturity among the men that are serving as co-laborers with us so that they can assume greater and greater responsibilities. Pray that God would give us an evangelist that would be able to commit himself to reaching the secular world with the power of God, and that could teach the church to also do so. Finally, pray that we would be able to wisely administrate the possibilities that are opened to us to help other churches, to minister on the radio, and to minister through the internet.