God is doing great things in our world

God is doing great things in our world

This past week I have had the privilege of attending the World Reformed Fellowship General Assembly in Jakarta, alongside an elder from one of our sister churches. The World Reformed Fellowship (the WRF) is an organisation that aims to connect people from the Reformed tradition together from different churches, denominations and organisations worldwide. The hope is that we can share information, provide helpful material to train and encourage one another, and to understand the church is bigger and more diverse than we imagine. The General Assembly (GA) is only held every 5 years or so, and Jakarta is the closest location to Perth that it has been held.

Our host for the GA was the Indonesian Reformed Evangelical Church in Jakarta, which was built out of the ministry of Pastor Stephen Tong. He is still the senior pastor aged 89. This is a large church network, including a range of church plants throughout the world, a seminary, Christian schools, a university, and a TV station. There are many Christians in Indonesia, despite the 85% Muslim majority. We were warmly welcomed by the local church and the other Indonesian attendees of the GA. Overall, 1200 people attended the GA, with 200 from a range of 25 countries and 1000 from 71 different denominations throughout Indonesia.

(And, as a bonus, I had a chance to meet up with Rony, Anessa and Agatha, who used to be part of All Nations!) 

One thing that I took away from the GA was the encouragement that God is doing great things in the wider world. I was able to share meals with Brazilian brothers who are part of a Presbyterian denomination of over one million people, Mexican brothers whose denomination has over two million, and Ugandan brothers and sisters who are seeing explosive growth in churches in their country and throughout southern Africa. It is one thing to know that the church is growing in non-Western countries, and quite another to hear the stories firsthand. As we all know, the Western churches are not quite so positive, and there was teaching about the issues we are all facing culturally and theologically (which I will cover in a further blog post).

Safari from the Congo, Betty from Uganda, and some guy from Perth

We are not alone as Christians in the world, even though in Perth the proportion of Christians is so low. It is true that leadership in the Reformed Christian world is moving to the African, Asian and South American countries, who are building theological colleges and evangelising so actively. We can learn a great deal from them. Our God is indeed a God of all the nations.