Warmest greetings to you all on behalf of the REACH SA leadership committee. A month ago I would certainly not have imagined I’d be writing to you all in my new capacity as chairman of the committee but I’m strengthened by the knowledge that Christ is and always will be the true Head of the Church. We were certainly sad to hear that Bishop Des had to step down early but we are very grateful for his leadership through a short but significant time in our denomination’s history.
In God’s providence we now have seven bishops, along with our Administrator and Chancellor, who will share the responsibility of leadership both regionally and nationally.
I am very glad to report that our first committee meeting was most encouraging and I was impressed by the spirit of unity and ministry mindedness in our discussions.
Naturally there will be changes to our leadership structure and responsibilities. The bishops are all rectors of local churches and this will demand a more devolved and shared responsibility. At the same time, we are aware of the need for us to provide the ongoing leadership, vision and encouragement to all our fellow workers in Gospel ministry. We hope to keep you all updated through the various regional structures as well as regular postings on our website (www.cesa.org.za) and the various social media networks.
Finally, I wish to share three thoughts that are uppermost in my mind at the moment.
Praying: Are the current challenges and difficulties in our country causing many to lose heart? My counselling sessions have definitely increased this year. I also know a number of our brothers in the ministry are grieving the loss of loved ones or struggling with local church troubles. Is it not a time for us to be calling our congregations together for focused prayer as we seek God’s help in sustaining the saints and saving the lost?
Preaching: In difficult times there is always a subtle temptation to focus on more “practical” and “results” orientated solutions. We can easily find ourselves trying more ‘quick fixes’ to keep our people happy and regular. Remember that bran keeps people happy and regular but Gospel preaching keeps people from the gates of hell. Let’s keep the hours spent in preparing and preaching of the Word our weekly priority.
Training: A number of us are desperate for extra staff but lack the finances. Ephesians 4 is clear that we are called to equip the saints. Many of us may be missing the goldmine of help that sits silently in our pews. Let’s think about more ways in which we can recruit and equip ‘volunteers’ to help carry the ministry load in the local church. I can also highly recommend GWC’s revised correspondence course material as a valuable tool for training.
I’m very grateful to so many colleagues who have called or emailed me with warm words of encouragement and prayer. I’m so conscious of my weakness and grateful for God’s grace in enabling me to serve His people in this way.
May our God continue to fill us with His Spirit as we trust in Him and continue the glorious struggle of gospel ministry.
Every blessing to you all and may God give us much fruit in the coming Christmas season.