Tim Shorey preaching on weakness in ministry.

Dispatch 1 from the Regional Assembly of Elders

This is one of the highlights of my year: the Regional Assembly of Elders for the North East Region in Sovereign Grace Churches. (Say that 5 times fast!)

These are brothers that share a common confession of faith and a common governance for the sake of advancing the Gospel together. We gather together to discuss what God is doing among our churches, make decisions together, and work together for how to advance the Gospel in our Region and (hopefully) internationally.

I’m going to drop a few notes through these couple days about things I’m seeing. These aren’t play by play — just Dispatches from the RAE, you might say.

First Night

We opened with extensive prayer and worship. Praising God for who he is and why he’s worthy of our praise. It was a joyful time of singing God’s greatness and glory.

When we did pray, we didn’t start with praying for God’s blessing. I was grateful for Tim Shorey (our Regional Leader) in his wisdom to lead us to start out praying about God’s glory and worthiness of praise. What a joy to start out, not with our needs and our churches needs (both of which are many), but with God’s greatness, which is magnificent. It’s a temptation to start with us. It’s wisdom and right to start with God. So we began with praying about God’s glory.

We then turned to praying for wisdom and unity for our time over these couple days. Additionally, Tim has included some prayers from the Valley of Vision.

Before getting to business, we started out the time with teaching. Tim lead us in a powerful and affecting message about weakness in ministry.

  1. Suffering is sad, so it’s ok to grieve.
  2. Suffering is divinely planned, though often Satanically provoked.
  3. Suffering turns hastiness into humility and dependence into desperation
  4. Suffering is a path to power — weakness if a path to power
  5. Grace-sustained suffering enhances our ministry by shaping the posture of our ministry, and affecting how people hear our ministry.

We ended with some time of prayer and prophetic words for men who were feeling weak and vulnerable by continual suffering in ministry.

Closing thought for the day

I’m left thinking that these men, in this region, are the men that, I pray, will see me grow in ministry to not be such a wimpy shrimp that I am today.

These are the men, Lord willing, that I will walk through decades of ministry life together. We will grow in our love for Jesus. We will see Jesus build his church through these challenging seasons. We will see him glorified in his church. May the Lord Jesus be glorified in the Church.

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