A few hours from now, our pastoral team will gather in Charlotte, NC with pastors from all the other Sovereign Grace (SG) churches in the mid-south region. This meeting is officially called the Regional Assembly of Elders (RAE).
I say “official” because half of our time will be spent conducting official church business for our region, including approving ordinations, evaluating church adoptions, planning regional events, and participating in pastoral training sessions. Governing authority in SG rests on the backs of local elders, accountable to both their local congregations and their fellow regional elders, and the RAE is a case in point. I thank God for the protection, oversight, and missional strength Kingsway derives from our partnership with like-minded churches.
The other, less official half of our time will be spent in casual, small group conversations with other pastors, including a 6 mi. run I’m organizing for the younger ones among us. These interactions are often the most beneficial part of the trip. There’s something spiritually invigorating about rubbing shoulders with men who are engaged in the same calling to shepherd the flock of God.
When I read in Acts 15 about the fruit of one of the first extra-local, church assemblies, I’m stirred to pray that this RAE would have a similar effect on the spiritual life of Kingsway and our mid-south region. Listen to what Luke says happened when the church in Antioch received a letter from the Jerusalem council.
So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch, and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. And when they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words. And after they had spent some time, they we’re sent off in peace by the brothers… (Acts 15:30-34)
Will you join me in praying for the RAE during the next 36 hours?
- Unity in the gospel
- Wise decisions that will have a significant impact on local churches (ordinations, adoptions, etc.)
- Humility to learn from one another