Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2012 Annual Reformed Conference – Opening Night

The Zambian Reformed Conference and School of Theology commenced today. About 700 individuals have registered. Almost all the provinces of Zambia are well represented. Some of the people also came from Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Dubai, Wales, and England. The opening meeting, which commenced at 18.30 hours, was led by Charles Bota.

Charles Bota leading the conference in worship
After General Phiri read out the ground rules at the commencement of the opening evening meeting, Pastor Sam Oluoch shared about the Reformed Baptist work in Kenya. He was grateful for the work done by missionaries to establish the Reformed Baptist work in Kenya. He, however, bemoaned the effect this had on indigenous men, who sat back instead of rising to the challenge of leadership. He mentioned the start of REFCOK, which was started with a view to challenge Kenyans to provide leadership to the work of Reformation. He mentioned the towns in which the churches were but bemoaned the fact that most of the churches were in rural areas and many major towns and cities did not even have a single Reformed Baptist church despite the fact that the movement in Kenya started earlier than the Zambian movement. He ended with a few prayer points

Sam Oluoch sharing about the Reformed Baptist work in Kenya
Ken Turnbull talked about the African Christian University and Seminary. He spoke of the sudden departure of Bruce Button but was grateful for the coming of David Wegener to take his place in January 2013. He took us through the various support bodies and persons of the university, and the management that is being put together. As usual, Ken emphasized the uniqueness of the university, which aims at a worldview transformation of students through a Christ-centered education and a student labour programme. He ended with a few prayer points.

Pastor Ronald Kalifungwa introduced the theme of the conference and then went on to introduce the preachers. Voddie Baucham (USA), Choolwe Mwetwa (Chingola), Conrad Mbewe (Lusaka), Kabwe Kabwe (Ndola), and himself (Lusaka). 

Ken Turnbull sharing about the work of the African Christian University
Pastor Kabwe Kabwe was the key-note preacher. He preached on the topic: "The church is a sent-out community." He asserted that it was the very heart of missions. He expounded John 4:27-38 by starting with a question, "What would you refer to as, 'My food is to do the will of him who sent me.'?" He then gave seven observations from this text.

(1) The church has been sent out into the world just as the Father sent out Jesus. (2) This missions he has given the church is a very fulfilling and satisfying one (v.34). That was why Jesus called it his food. (3) The mission of the church demands our immediate attention (v.35a). Souls need to be reaped NOW!! (4) If we are to do the work of missions it must be intentional (v.35b). It matters where you are looking. (5) The work of missions is a most rewarding work (v.36). There are eternal rewards that will give fullness of joy. (6) The work of missions demands hard work (v.38). It is about labour and toil and even death. (7) The work of missions is one to which you must contribute only in this life (v.34). You must finish your work, and then others will build on your foundation. 

Kabwe Kabwe preaching the key-note address at the conference
Pastor Kabwe pleaded with us to use our gifts in the positions they are meant for in order to push forward the work of evangelism and missions. We are a sent community. We need to repent of those things that have become our food other than this work. Like Isaiah, he wanted more and more of us to respond, saying, "Here I am, Lord, send me." 

This was the opening night. I am looking forward to seeing what the Lord will do in our midst this week. 

Congregational singing during the opening meeting of the conference


  1. Trust this will be an encouraging conference! Is there really no representation from Malawi?

    1. Dr Reimer, it's sad that none of us from here Malawi registered for the conference. We pray and hope to make it next year, God willing.

  2. I wish you a successful and God-honoring conference my Reformed brothers. Thanks Pastor Mbewe for this update.