This month was no less busy than the previous month. It was a special time for us because of the visit of brothers from HeartCry, Paul Washer and Holden Barry, and the conference devoted to the Gospel which was held in our city. The conference was for the whole Evangelical Baptist Union of Saint Petersburg although there were attendees from various parts of our country as well.
The conference took place at the central baptist church, the theme of the conference was “The Necessity of the Gospel in a Person’s Life”. Paul Washer was the main speaker. There was also luncheon during the conference where all the pastors of the baptist union churches got together with Paul to discuss various issues of pastoral ministry. Some of the pastors asked hostile questions regarding differences in doctrine, but Paul was very wise in his answers to all the questions and even helped to bring peace among the group. This conference took place on Saturday, October 5th.
On Sunday morning, after the conference Paul preached at the worship service of the central church. After that he came to our church (we meet at 4 pm on Sundays) where he also preached for us. He spoke about the responsibility of men for their families. On Monday we had a brothers’ meeting for men in our church. He spoke to us about personal responsibility of prayer and service to God. He also touched on the issues of our personal righteousness, being devoted to our families and personal evangelism.
He warned us of the dangers that could be awaiting our young church if we stop evangelism for a moment and start focusing merely on good preaching and the administrative aspects. If there is no growth in our daily lives, in reading Scriptures, prayer, evangelism, sanctification, then we cannot help other people – we cannot influence their lives and move them to change. Then the men in leadership at our church also had an opportunity to spend some quality time with Paul and Holden. It was a wonderful time of fellowship and getting to know each other on a deeper and more personal level.
Their visit helped to improve our interactions with each other and our communication. It was good for our church to see the people who help and support us in our ministry. People in small groups and study groups are still talking about the positive influence of this visit and the service of brothers Paul and Holden.
This month was also devoted to building our pastoral team. We have established consistent meetings for ministers were we try to devote time to pastoral prayer for each other and for our congregation. We also get to resolve our current matters and issues that arise but most importantly we are learning to dive into the lives of our ‘flock’. I can see the deep interest of others in people’s needs and it brings me joy to see that God is forming unity of thinking in our minds. I see that we begin to see questions and problems of our church members in the same light. This not only inspires our pastoral team but also the whole congregation because they see God’s guidance in this – that all pastors have unity of thought in a variety of situations.
Continue to pray for my family, that God would give my wife and I the strength in ministering to our children. Also a separate prayer for our children, that God would open the truths of the Scriptures to them, that the Gospel would touch their hearts.
Pray for the building up of our pastoral team, that we may not be afraid of being open and vulnerable with each other and through this also that we would build each other up in love of God and people. Also, continue to pray for the brethren in our congregation, that they would not be passive in ministering to their families. And that they would devote themselves to serving in our church.