Prior to His ascension into heaven, Jesus left specific instructions to His church about her calling in the world after He assumed His place at the right hand of His Father. The church was commissioned to send forth the gospel to the ends of the world. Jesus promised that He would pour out His Spirit upon His church in order that the whole of the church—all believers—might be faithful witnesses of Christ. Accordingly, the church that is obedient to the risen Lord is busy with the work of missions and witnessing in various ways.
The Protestant Reformed Churches, in obedience to the King of the church, sends out missionaries in America and abroad. Local congregations are likewise busy in evangelism. This tiny denomination of fewer than 8,000 souls seeks to be faithful both to the purity of God’s truth and to its proclamation wherever God gives opportunity. We do not despise the day of small things.
The editors decided to publish a special issue that would highlight the ongoing work in denominational missions and local evangelism. Thus we asked our missionaries to write about their respective labors, giving an overview of how the field got to the point that it is today. We asked evangelism committees to give a snapshot of their activity, noting especially endeavors about which they were particularly excited. In addition we asked Rev. Stuart, of the Covenant PRC of Northern Ireland, to describe his congregation’s significant ventures on the Internet.
The desire is, first of all, to inform. The hope is that by these accounts we encourage each other to ever more zeal and faithfulness. The purpose is also to give the readers concrete knowledge, enabling them to perform their indispensable part, namely, to pray for the work. We are excited about the articles submitted, convinced that they will do all of that, and more. It should also make us bow in humble thanksgiving to the Lord.
A hearty thanks goes out to all the writers.
The response of the missionaries and committees was such that their articles filled most of the space for this issue. For this reason we decided to postpone the scheduled editorial. Look for the preview of the 2009 Synod in the June 1 issue.