Reported by Roger Armbruster, Canadian Fellowship Elder and FCA Media board member
There was a powerful sense of God’s presence Wednesday at the 2017 U.S. FCA Convention. A few highlights:
- Following a moving video tribute to John and Ruth Genco for their more than 60 years of faithful ministry in Vermont, the couple sang a duet expressing their single desire to live a life pleasing to the Lord.
- Tony Simon issued a stirring challenge for U.S. FCA churches to join together to raise funds on “Church Planting Sunday,” June 4—Pentecost Sunday. Last year more than $20,000 was raised for church planting on one Sunday by 23 participating congregations. “I believe 50 churches together this year can easily raise $50,000,” he said.
- Duane Siemens, pastor of The Wave Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba—host church of the next year’s FCA International Convergence—invited this year’s convention goers to plan for the gathering May 1-4, 2018. The theme will be, “The Heart of the Father in the Heart of the Continent.”
- Jim Cymbala, pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, reminded FCA ministers of Jesus’ commission to “preach the gospel” (Mark 16:15). “We need to be biblical,” he said, “not just in terms of the subject matter…but with a sense of what God had in mind when he said, ‘Preach…’”
xxxxxCymbala challenged leaders to read the Bible with an open heart to go beyond the traditions and customs of their upbringing—to avoid limiting God to their past experiences. Cymbala warned of the dangers that come from trusting in our own cleverness or creativity rather than trusting in the Lord. “We’re dying because of cleverness,” he said.
xxxxxJesus did only the things he saw the Father doing, said Cymbala. And that was how “the early apostles and church fathers were able to start churches for the first 300 years without church buildings, without microphones, and without slick advertising. They preached the simple message of the gospel. They preached Jesus!”