July 22, 2011 by
For those of us involved in leading Sovereign Grace Ministries through this difficult season, the challenges can loom pretty large. But whenever I step back and look at who we are as a family of churches I find the promise of Romans 8:28 gives me perspective.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
One of the things that has come through from even our strongest critics is that as we respond to the Lord in a way that pleases him, there can be great good that comes from this present experience. So it’s not hard to see through the eyes of faith how this season is part of the ‘all things for good’ of Romans 8:28. But you know what’s really great? There are also things happening right now that are part of the ‘all things for good’.
So let me just list for you a small sample of the ‘all things for good’ that I see in Sovereign Grace this week. Some are easy to see good in, others we have to look for good to come. But here they are in no particular order:
- Our incoming Pastors College class, the largest ever for us, has begun to arrive in Gaithersburg. These men and their families represent six countries, and eight of the students are here specifically to prepare for church planting. We'll introduce them to you here on the blog next month.
- In just a few weeks we get to host 1,700+ attendees for our WorshipGod conference. This year's theme is "The Gathering: Discovering what it means to build our meetings around the gospel." Thanks to Bob Kauflin's skillful leadership these conferences always bear wonderful results, and by God's grace we trust this year will be no different.
- The two review panels we mentioned last week are now established. Three church leaders outside of SGM are generously giving their time to serve as the preliminary panel, and we expect them to publish their evaluations early next month. Ambassadors of Reconciliation, a ministry that primarily serves Lutheran churches, will be our second and more in-depth panel. We are eager to learn from the evaluation they give us, and we will share their findings online too.
- Plans for a church plant in Miami, Florida, were recently approved. The team is being sent from Palm Vista Community Church in Miami Lakes, Florida. We'll share an interview with Jose Prado, the lead pastor, later this fall here on the blog.
- Next week, the expanded SGM board gets to gather in person for the first time. We have a three-day retreat starting on Tuesday that we're praying God will use in mighty ways for the benefit of Sovereign Grace churches. It is God's kindness that we were able to coordinate a retreat like this so quickly.
That's a start, and doesn't even drop down into the many wonderful things that God is doing on a local level in Sovereign Grace churches. Yes, this is a difficult season, but it is also a season of much grace. Let us keep in mind the comprehensive love of Christ that makes all things work together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose.
Please keep praying for us. God is good, and he’s offering proof of it every day!
P.S. Andrew mentioned in the comments that we were hoping to share some perspective this week on the question of C.J.'s qualification for ministry. We have that written, but we're going to publish it early next week instead so that our senior pastors can give us their feedback first. Thanks for your patience!