General Synod 2017
Hosted by Outreach North America, Moderator Lee Shelnutt and the Committee on Campus Ministry, Pre Synod kicked off the week on Monday night with keynote speaker Ed Stetzer and music from Jeremy Casella part of Indelible Grace.
Dr. Stetzer is the Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism. He has planted, revitalized and pastored churches, trained pastors and church planters on six continents and has written dozens of articles and books.
Dr. Stetzer said that as Christians we must/should obey commands. There are four commissions of Jesus.
- We are sent (John 20:19). Just like the Disciples were sent then, we are sent now.
- To all different kinds of people (Matthew 28). When we read nations, we think different countries but that didn’t exist when Jesus said this. This means all different kinds of people.
- With a message (Luke 24:46). The Gospel needs to be offered to all.
- Empowered by the Spirit (Acts 1:6).
Dr. Stetzer closed the session with a time of Q & A followed by a Hymn sing with Jeremy Casella. Casella is a founding member of the Indelible Grace hymns movement. Drawing from scripture as well as his own life experience. He has toured throughout the United States and Europe for over 18 years, sharing his songs and stories in churches, colleges and anywhere else people are gathered.
Rev. Patrick Malphrus, vice moderator, began the 213th Synod meeting with 1 Samuel 4:1-11. He described the mess in Israel and how glory had departed from there. From this scripture, it leads us to ask questions about ourselves. Malphrus challenged pastors to ask if there is something or someone they rely on to go to battle for them? Are there things they place equal to God. For non pastors, do they treat pastors as if they are to fight their battles to help grow the church? For the ARP denomination, what do they think will save them? The next big question is, “has the glory departed from the ARP Church,” Malphrus asked. By God’s grace He is working in the church. We don’t need to rely on anything else.
Dr. Leslie Holmes along with Rev. Malphrus served communion.
Tuesday Synod Business
Retiring Moderator Phil Williams handed over the duty of Moderator to Lee Shelnutt, pastor of Huntersville ARP Church.
Williams says, “I leave the office of Moderator with a charge to each you. Do not wait to be asked, just serve your Church, serve your Presbytery, and serve your Synod. Never forget you are always “Coram Deo” (Before the face of God). Thank you for the great joy, privilege and honor of serving you, His people.
Rev. Shelnutt challenged Synod to not despise the day of small things! There is no need. The Lord is at work, by His Spirit, and one day you will rejoice when you see what He has in store!
To read more about Pre Synod and the General Synod meetings, subscribe to The ARP Magazine here.