At first, sound doctrine is cherished. Enthusiasm for gospel ministry runs high. A generation or two later, the same congregation is on its last legs. Biblical convictions are eroded or abandoned. Fervency for the global expansion of the gospel is relic of the past. It’s tremendously sad to read. It’s even sadder to watch.

What’s going to keep that from happening at KingsWay?

I’ve been grappling with that question for several years, and all the more since stepping into my new role as lead pastor. I think the answer is surprisingly simple. Don’t make assumptions. Refuse to take a single one of our biblical values and commitments for granted. Instead, find ways to establish enduring, gospel-centered rhythms in our church life that regularly strengthen our vision for specific, biblical priorities.

Take international missions for example. God has charged us to go and make disciples of all nations. The day we assume that priority is the day we start losing that priority. We can’t let that happen. Our role in the global expansion of the gospel is simply too important for us to neglect the priority of international missions. Hence the idea to establish an annual Missions Weekend where we do several things as a church:

  1. Remember why God is passionately committed to saving men and women from every tribe and tongue
  2. Rejoice in the amazing work God’s doing through the missionaries and denominational ministries we support
  3. Pray for the gospel to go forth in power among specific unreached people groups
  4. Prepare for short-term mission teams going abroad in the next year

I’m thrilled to announce that our 2017 Missions Weekend will be held on March 11-12, 2017. Highlights include hearing Andrea Baker share how the gospel is transforming women coming out of prostitution in La Paz, Bolivia, watching video testimonies from missionaries we support in Thailand and Namibia, as well as listening to Mark Prater explain the work God is doing in Sovereign Grace churches around the world. Add to that extended times of worship and prayer, a break-out session on our 2017 mission trips, an international lunch, and you have the makings of quite a weekend.

The schedule of events is available here. We’ve worked hard to fit as much content as possible into a Saturday evening and Sunday morning you don’t want to miss. I’m especially excited for Mark to join us. He was elected several years ago by the assembly of elders to serve as the executive director for Sovereign Grace Churches. Mark is passionately committed to seeing our denomination become a global family of churches. On a more personal level, he was a significant source of personal encouragement for me amidst the painful leadership transition we navigated in 2015. He is a peacemaker, a man of prayer, and eagerly accepted my invitation to spend time with our church. The fact that Andrea Baker was also willing to fly all the way from Bolivia to participate in our Missions Weekend is no less amazing.

God really is doing a new work in our midst. He’s building a long-term vision for global missions. The ethnic diversity of our church is increasing. Giving to our International Missions Fund has gone up significantly in the last year. Folks who have never travelled abroad are applying for short-term mission trips. I’m already praying that our annual Missions Weekend becomes a catalyst God uses to raise up a harvest of missionaries from KingsWay who will take the gospel to lands where Christ is not known.

So mark your calendars for March 11-12. And if you have any questions about the event or want to volunteer, contact Serena Walker at We need all the help we can get to make it happen.

“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.” – Psalm 67:1-2

Matthew grew up attending KingsWay and joined the pastoral staff in 2009. God has blessed him and his wife, Aliza, with three rambunctious boys. Matthew did his undergraduate work at the University of Richmond in chemistry and political science, spent a year at the Sovereign Grace Pastor’s College, and received his Masters of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.


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