Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The 21st Zambian Annual Reformed Conference is here!

“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19-20).

The rallying point of the Reformed movement in Zambia for the last twenty-plus years has been the Reformed Conference held every year in August since its inception in 1990. Having entered its third decade of existence, it has become the rallying point of the Reformed movement in the sub-region, with Christians regularly coming to attend from Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Kenya.

This year the conference starts on Monday 23rd and ends on Friday 27th August. The theme is “The Christian Family”. This theme was handled before in 1996, when the conference was held in Kabwe. Our invited preacher, Dr Voddie Baucham, has had to excuse himself due to pressing difficulties in his home church. So, as was the case last year, we have to rely upon our local team of preachers.

The keynote address on Monday evening will be given by Ronald Kalifungwa (photo above), the host pastor. The conference will be held for the first time in the Lusaka Baptist Church new auditorium (what many Zambian Christians wrongly refer to as a “sanctuary”). There will certainly be enough leg-room for everyone. The days of late-comers sitting under God’s canopy, with twinkling stars providing just enough illumination for them to see their neighbour, are over!

At the Reformed Family Conference, the preachers will expound Proverbs 22:6, which says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” They will deal with the trainees (i.e. the nature of children and young people), the trainers (i.e. the specific roles of fathers and mothers), and the training (i.e. the biblical methods of child-training).

At the Reformed School of Theology, the preachers will deal with the theology of the father in the home as a priest. The example of Job will be used to draw out this principle.

The afternoons, apart from providing a time to relax and engage in informal fellowship, will also provide a time for “break out” sessions. These will be in seminar or workshop format and will handle subjects such as intimacy in marriage (Alfred Nyirenda, seen above with his wife, Tina), music in the church (Charles Bota), raising teenagers (James Williamson, seen below with his entire family), and courtship (Raphael Banda).

The evening meetings are plenary sessions that will bring together those attending the Reformed Family Conference and those attending the Reformed School of Theology. During these evening sessions, Ephesians 5:22 to 6:4 will be expounded, showing the biblical responsibilities of wives to their husbands (Choolwe Mwetwa), husbands to their wives (Bruce Button), children to their parents (Conrad Mbewe), and parents to their children (Grave Singogo).

If you can make it, please take time to come out and be part of this rally for the Reformed cause. Registration is still taking place on-line here. Our clarion call is to the church to take the Word and the Spirit seriously. This message has gone out for the last twenty years and will do so again this year. The fruit is evident for all to see! We want to remind ourselves once again that this must not only apply to our lives within the four walls of our “sanctuaries” (Ha!) but also within the four walls of our homes. With all due respect to those aspects of our culture that are praise-worthy, the Christian family must be a place where the Word and the Spirit reign supreme—to the praise of our great God and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Those of you who are unable to be with us are implored to be much in prayer for this year’s conference. Pray for journeying mercies for all those who are travelling, and especially for those who are travelling exceptionally long distances. Pray that we will all be in good health throughout the conference period. Pray for rich fellowship as many homes in Lusaka host friends from across the country and beyond. Above all, pray that the Holy Spirit will come down and own the preaching of his Word. Pray that “times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Amen!

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