As I write this I am preparing to go away for four days to San Antonio, Texas for a denominational conference. While many Reformed Church (RCA) groups will be gathered at this One Thing conference I will be there with the RCA Parenting Church Network. Taking part in the “middle management” of this part of the conference I will be busy, but I anticipate enjoying it immensely. Why?
Just because it will be good to get away? Yes, though I will miss you and my family, absence usually does make the heart grow fonder. But that is not the main reason.
The main reason is that I am excited about North Branch’s participation in what God is doing in the wider church. You know by now that my role in our area Classis churches is to oversee the multiplication of new churches. Through our help the Reading, PA Hispanic church, which Carlos and Carmen pastor, has grown to 60 people on Sundays. They have started their own daughter church in Lebanon, PA, which is now worshiping 30 and anticipates renting a new building soon (cf. picture). Bob and Heidi’s plant in Oxford Valley is now worshiping 60 and is preparing for a grand launch. And then, my personal favorite, our own daughter church, Ignite, is preparing to launch her second cell group. Within each of these new groups there are a high percentage of people who are experiencing Jesus Christ for the first time! I am so blessed to be able to witness a powerful work of the Holy Spirit in these plants!
So to San Antonio I am bringing four other pastors from our Classis to explore giving birth like we have. If even one or two become partners with us in this venture we will no longer be alone! We are in the middle of God’s greatest work to bring new people to Christ through new churches that our Classis has seen in over 100 years!
And this is just our Classis. Throughout the other 45 Classes of the RCA in North America over 100 churches have been born since we launched our ten-year goal to plant 400. For the first time in a half a century God has blessed the old RCA with growth!
So I ask you to pray that God might inspire and challenge our denomination, the oldest in America, to help bring our nation to a deeper commitment to Christ.
Peace and joy,
Pastor Todd Buurstra