Saturday, September 27, 2008

Philippines PLD Conference

Report on Two-day Conference

Theme: “Men Who Finished Well”

Pastor David Stevenson (and John Richard)

August 19 to 20, 2008

New Tribes Mission Conference Hall

Manila, Philippines

On Aug 19 and 20, CGM/ACTION conducted a pastor/worker conference for the Christian Brethren pastors, workers and lay leaders, and Aug. 20 from the Baptist denomination came.

Dr. Richard started the days with a devotional message, related to the topic of men who finished well. Quoting the words of Jesus “It is finished”, Dr. Richard said Jesus is the primary example of men who accomplished his mission and finished well. By His statements on the cross, he accomplished all the necessary requirements to pluck us out of the evil one. Of the apostle Paul, another example of men who finished well, Dr. Richard quoted Paul’s declarations, “I have fought a good fight . . . I have finished the race.”

After showing the examples of the Lord Jesus and the apostle Paul, he shared some suggestions in order to finish well. “If we want to finish well,” Dr. Richard said, “we should aim to follow Christ.” “Also, aim a becoming smaller and smaller in our own sight,” he continued. Going back to the Scriptures, he again pointed the example of Paul who said he was the chief of the apostle, then later on he said he was lesser than the least of all saints, and when he was at the peak of his intimacy with the Lord and nearing the end of his life he declared “I am the chief of sinners.”

Dr. Richard concluded his devotional message by saying “My will is to do the will of the One who sent me. So that what I want written on my epitaph will be HE ENDED WELL.”

Pastor Stevenson’s four sessions center on Hebrews 12: 1-3, emphasizing firstly, men who finish well learn by the experience of others, secondly, men who finish well know they are called to be racers, thirdly, men who finish well center their attention on Jesus and lastly, men who finish well endure to the end. He also urged the delegates to be reliable, available, faithful and teachable. He said positions do not matter in the eyes of God. He stressed the importance of humility (servant attitude) and integrity, not being boastful, willing to experience agony and living to please God, not people. He concluded his messages by saying “All of what we have talked about finishing well, it is impossible to achieve without our dependence on God. When we all have finished well, it will be all for the glory of God.”

Later, when the delegates learned of the ages of Pastor Stevenson and Dr. Richard, they were impressed by their faithful service to the Lord in spite of their age. After the conference, project CLAIM Special set, “Light on Finances” by David Venable and “A Sure Foundation” by Tim Strickland were given to each delegate with the book “Men Who Finished Well” by Pastor Stevenson.