On the second day of the IPFBM All-Partners Conference, guests rose early for prayer before breakfast, heard messages, attended workshops on practical ministry topics, and listened to ministry reports from six IPFBM church association representatives. International pastors and laypeople are meeting Monday, Nov. 6 through Friday, Nov. 10 in Tagaytay City, Philippines, for this conference of the International Partnership of Fundamental Baptist Ministries.
In the morning session on Tuesday, Regular Baptist International Director Chris Hindal spoke from Ephesians 4 on the importance of the local church and the function of its leadership. “The unity of the faith doesn’t require unity of practice and methodology,” Chris says.
During afternoon sessions over the next three days, guests have their choice of three ministry workshop tracks to attend. In one workshop, Jim Vogel, executive director of the Northeast Fellowship and editor of The Pastor: A Guide for God’s Faithful Servant, talked about the nature of believer’s baptism and its place in the local church. “In light of the current trends to minimize doctrine in general and the doctrine of the church in particular, I believe we need to affirm what the Bible teaches about church ordinances and why it matters,” he says.
While Jim was leading his workshop, his wife, Jeannie, a Regular Baptist Press author, spoke in a women’s workshop called “Be Prepared: A Primer on 1 Peter 3:15,” which dealt with the importance and specifics of planning ahead in order to be ready to share the gospel in a variety of settings. She says, “If we want to be effective in sharing the gospel with people we encounter daily, it requires advanced preparation or we will lose many opportunities for spiritual impact.”
Josiah Kennedy, vice president of the Association of Fundamental Baptist Churches of Ghana, Africa, spoke in an afternoon workshop on reaching children through Vacation Bible School. He has seen thousands of children come to faith in Christ because of the teaching of the Word of God, particularly through teaching resources he has received from Regular Baptist Press International. “[Vacation Bible School] is important, and we have a great passion for it because of the many kids we win to Christ,” Kennedy says. “They are the future church, and now they are also becoming leaders in our churches.”
The conference’s technical producer, Chris Brown of TechMin, hosted an afternoon workshop on the options for effectively using technology. Recognizing the diversity of the group, he devoted the workshop to questions so he could address the specific needs of guests’ ministries. “I have a heart to help these partners understand and be empowered to use technology to help their calling in the Great Commission work,” he says. The workshop was extremely interactive and helpful to the IPFBM partners. Much follow-up will take place to further meet the guests’ many needs.
At a late morning session, guests listened to reports from six partnering association leaders: Dr. John Tripura of the Bangladesh Tribal Association of Baptist Churches, Josiah Kennedy of Ghana West Africa, Pastor Jermi Babu Gowdiperu of Emmanuel Baptist Church of India, Nabin Singha of the Fellowship of Baptist Churches of India, Pastor Basilisco Elimanco of Mindanao Theological Seminary in the Philippines, and Pastor Siam of the New Testament Baptist Churches Association in India.
While Pastor Siam was speaking, the audience erupted in applause when he reported that a Hindu priest recently accepted Christ as his Savior after witnessing a church’s love for his daughter. “This touched [the priest’s] heart,” Siam says. “Why would strangers help my daughter? He saw the love of the Father through Christ, and he got saved and baptized.”
In the evening service, Clare Jewell challenged the guests to love people enough to cross over and share God’s truth with them even when it might be uncomfortable or unpopular. Citing the example of Jesus in John 4, Jewell pointed out that Jesus crossed over to speak to the Samaritan woman. “Tolerating people who engage in sin is a cheap substitute for loving them,” Jewell says. “Jesus didn’t settle for tolerating this woman. He loved her enough to cross over and enter her story so He could connect her with God.”
Jewell continued his challenge by reminding everyone that they “have the resources of the Father to go rescue the lost.” When we rescue the lost, Jewell says, “we experience the enormous satisfaction of seeing lives transformed by the gospel. The most satisfied churches are the ones that are using their resources to go out and rescue people. The quickest way to lose the blessing of the Father is to make it clear to Him that we are unwilling to do this. Jesus crossed over to redeem our lives. Let’s honor Him by doing the same.”
Voicing guests’ appreciation for the All-Partners Conference, Pastor Basilisco Elimanco says, “We are so thankful to Chris Hindal for having this conference so that we can connect with each other, establish partnerships, and exchange information about training, skills, and the costs for ministry. This is good to establish partnerships and connect with other ministries that will help us develop through training. It is God’s leading.”
- Read more stories about the IPFBM All-Partners Conference.