It was again a full day at the Annual Reformed Conferences. As I warned yesterday, this report will be slightly awkward because I was preaching in both the Family Conference and the School of Theology. So, it will be slightly ego-centric. Those who know me will appreciate my sense of discomfort about this, especially when I know that the other preacher doing the other sessions was no other than Dr Voddie Baucham. It is like preferring to talk about the moon and not the sun at noon day!
|Pastor Voddie Baucham lecturing to the School of Theology|
After the usual prayer meeting at 08.45 hours, I handled the Family Conference. Sydney Kombe (a pastoral intern at KBC) led the meeting and I basically handled part 2 of “The Call of ‘Macedonian’ Today”. This time it was about statistics. I showed how the Reformed Baptist movement in Zambia has grown from 4 churches to 40 in 20 years. All the major cities in Zambia have been covered, with Lusaka alone now having 10 Reformed Baptist churches—and counting. This was work already accomplished.
I then challenged the brethren to consider two areas of Zambia that had the least Reformed Baptist churches—the western and northern regions of the country. I also pointed out the rural areas, which are filled with ethnic religions and Christian cults. These were areas we needed to serious enter with biblical churches.
|Sydney Kombe leading worship during the School of Theology|
Then I went into the famous 10/40 Window and showed shocking statistics of how so few people groups there were evangelised. The Jews, the Moslems, the Hindus, the Atheistic Communists, etc., were all in this region and they were the least evangelised on the planet. There was need for us to be relevant to world evangelisation by going to such places with the everlasting gospel.
I repeated this message to the School of Theology in the second part of the morning.
In the afternoon, I handled a seminar at the School of Theology on raising funds for missions. I insisted that the first method should be through the tithes of church members. It was crucial to teach Christians to be faithful in tithing. The second method I turned to was that of free-will offerings and pledges. This was over and above the tithe. The third method was that of partnerships. Churches without missionaries (or with a little more money to spare) should join hands with those who have missionaries. They should regularly send funds to help them sustain their missionaries on the field.
|"Yours truly" lecturing at the School of Theology|
The last method I dealt with is often referred to as “tent-making”. I call it “selling services”. In other words, you sell what you have to the world and use the money the world pays you to support the work of missions. In this, I encouraged individuals who run personal businesses to consider using some of the funds they realise from such ventures to support the work of missions. In each method of fundraising I emphasised integrity and transparency on the part of those handing money. The question and answer session that followed this could have gone well past our ending time. It was clear that this was a very relevant subject.
In the evening, Chopo Mwanza (another pastoral intern at KBC) led the meeting and Pastor Kalifungwa preached from John 6:22-40. He said, “This is beyond our reach,” is the average attitude of many churches towards missions. Many say this because of their small size or because they think they are too weak to be God’s instruments in missions. Others are merely lazy and see lions standing in the way of their dreams. Against all this, we must realise that missions is not beyond our reach—because God did not fail to lay the foundation of the salvation of the elect. He went on to open up four points:
|"Your truly" teaching during the afternoon seminar at the School of Theology|
A. The nature of the mission of the Father (v.39-40): It was about the salvation of all those given to the Son by the Father. He was not to lose any of the elect. He was to raise them up on the last day. If you are saved today then you are elect of God and thus part of God’s eternal purpose to bring you to glory.
B. The challenge to the mission of the Father: Pastor Kalifungwa pointed out the challenge emanating from his nature. There was the challenge pertaining to his transcendence, the challenge pertaining to his eternity, the challenge pertaining to his perfection, the challenge pertaining to his holiness, the challenge pertaining to sending his only begotten Son, and the challenge pertaining to giving his Son as a propitiation for sin. He also spoke of the challenge of breaking down the rebelliousness of his elect people scattered across the earth.
|Chopo Mwanza leading worship during the combined evening meeting|
C. The agent in the mission of the Father (v.38): Jesus did not come on his own—he was sent. He was a missionary. This Jesus is God. So, God sent God as a missionary to this world. How was he to meet this challenge? He left the riches in glory, perforated time, appeared in a body, became poor, became sin and sent his Holy Spirit to transform the hearts of the rebellious.
D. The fruit from the mission of the Father: It consists of elect people who have been saved, who know and love Christ, who live to the glory of God, and who will worship Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in heaven.
|Ronald Kalifungwa preaching during the combined evening meeting|
Pastor Kalifungwa ended by exhorting us to see that nothing is impossible with God. We must reflect this image of God in the work of missions. We must be motivated to pay the price of missions because there is a reward. The reward is the heathen. We will receive the satisfaction of winning the heathen.
That was how the day went. My next report will be less ego-centric. Since the photos on this blog post were from the School of Theology (most of them per kind favour of Pastor Isaac Makashinyi), I will report from the Family Conference stream so that the last treat for your eyes will be from there. So, watch this space!