CERC attends Fellow Workers’ Conference
9 Mar 2020
Learning what true unity is as defined by the gospel
An important part of CERC’s culture is the edification of the church through conferences. Each year, the church looks forward to a variety of conferences hosted by the Gospel Growth Fellowship (GGF). GGF conferences aim to help grow the gospel in the Klang Valley by equipping Christians with the necessary skills to handle God’s word faithfully, and supporting the building up of healthy churches in Malaysia.
In line with that vision, many leaders from CERC dedicate time and energy to support GGF ministries by helping in the organisation of these conferences, be it in word ministry or operations. GGF’s annual Fellow Workers’ Conference (FWC) focuses particularly on looking at culture, church history, and ministry through the lenses of the gospel.
Just before the Movement Control Order (MCO), over 236 people from CERC attended FWC from 27-29 February 2020 in Port Dickson. This year’s participants had the privilege of working on the topic of ‘The Gospel and Unity’ with the main talks by Rev Dr Mark Thompson, who is also the current principal of Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia.
Having served as Principal of Moore College since 2013, and representing Sydney’s Anglican Diocese as the Chair of the Sydney Diocesan Doctrine Commission, Dr Thompson has had to work out what it means to remain united under the truth of scripture. Part of what he teaches includes recognising that there are actually different gospels that are being taught. In his article on ‘What is the gospel?’, he writes:
In a world confused by a range of different gospels and in the churches where both clarity and boldness are all too often absent, it is good from time to time to ask ourselves this most basic of questions: what is the gospel? We have no business preaching any other gospel than the one given to us by Christ and his apostles. Sadly, the distorted but popular gospels I mentioned at the beginning all in the end underplay the seriousness of sin and how it relates to salvation.
Here is what one of this year’s FWC participants had to say about the conference:
“FWC helped me understand that there is no bond of unity greater than that of Gospel unity because it’s the blood of Christ that binds us together. I learnt that unity is first and foremost vertical. If we emphasize the horizontal, that is, unity in human relationships, then we are setting ourselves up to fail because the conflicting schemes of man always do. Rev. Mark Thompson’s talks also opened my eyes to the level of theological precision needed to preach faithfully to a congregation. When we are obscure in our explanations it can easily be misinterpreted by the listener, and received as a gospel other than the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Small group sessions were helpful in that we could reflect and think about applying what we learnt in our own specific contexts. I loved the electives too – there were more than 20 electives across 4 days! These allowed me to see how the theme of Gospel unity had been applied in the context of history. This has been my favourite GGF conference so far because the materials led us through thinking theologically from Scripture all the way to thinking ministerially in a Malaysian landscape.”
– Isabelle Khaw, FWC participant from CERC
CERC has truly been blessed by Dr Thompson’s ministry and thanks GGF for their many years of faithful service in running conferences like FWC. We pray that GGF will continue to strive in their good work for the gospel, and help to support and nurture the health of churches all around Malaysia.